This time I started in Melbourne. The first evening I biked through town and ended up in a motel in the southeast suburbs. I bought a fancy expensive lock for this trip when I landed and the first morning I couldn’t unlock it. I tried for hours and finally in the evening I borrowed a disc grinder… Problem solved! When I entered Wilsons Promontory I had so many memories, but this time there was too many people! Last time I visited I think there was 10 tents there in total and now it was really busy. It’s still lovely though. In the evening I followed a group out canoeing. Afterward I was dead tired and fell asleep. In the middle of the night I woke up with a wombat doing laps in my tent. A big hole in the tent and a couple of bananas later I learned my lesson. I biked up to Buchan Caves after that and then followed the gravel road to Suggan Buggan. I think this road was my highlight this time even if I had to visit a hospital because of bad water. Other highlights were Bungendore Country Music Festival, the Blue Mountains, Three sisters, as always The Rocks in Sydney and The Entrance. This adventure I cycled about 400km and spent 3 months in Australia.
My second time biking in Australia. I biked a lovely gravel road along Snowy river and visited Buchan Caves. Blue Mountains, Sydney and more. There is so much to see but the iland is big and you can’t see it all.
Since the last trip in Australia I had bought a new bike. Before I had a steel frame but now I have aluminium. I decided to upgrade my rims and put thicker spokes on. I also decided to leave my panniers and use a BOB Ibex trailer to get rid of some disconcerting effects as speed wobble. It’s less stress on my frame and one big waterproof bag is pretty nice to have as well. Above this I also had one handlebar bag for easy camera and wallet access.
“You really feel the difference when pedaling up a hill standing on the pedals: A strong touring bike will take this without complaint, but a weaker frame will start to flex and wobble like a wet noodle.”
The frame is the most important part of the bike; everything else can (and eventually will) be replaced, but the frame is the heart of the thing.
I bought some maps for SE Australia in different scale from 1:100.000 to 1:650.000. It´s easy to check Google Maps too on MC Donald´s WiFi while stoping for a couple of 50c ice cream cones. Maps.me could also work.
I slept on the beach covering the sign Camping forbidden with wet shorts once, I slept on campgrounds, in the jungle, in peoples gardens, on sofas, goat sheds and under highways. I asked people for water during the evening and sometimes I got invited for food and a late chat about life. I had showers with garden hoses under the stars and skinny dips when no one was around. I can only advice you to be open, talk to people, take the opportunities and think about safety. Ask people if they know a good place to put up your tent for the night or if the evening darkness surprise you in between towns you can always jump over the ditch and pitch the tent there. Reflexes on the tent? Add a couple of metres!
I used a lot of sunblock, long sleeved shirts and some kind of hat every day. There is a jungle of sunblock. Have the animals, coral reefs and body in mind when you buy. My helmet become white during the trip because of the UV.