First Draft Route… Melbourne – Canberra – Sydney

I’ve been thinking about my big cycle non-stop over the past few days, and I’ve been eager to get my route sorted out. I’m still waiting on a map taking me from Adelaide to Melbourne, so I’ve decided to crack on without it for now and work backwards once I have it.

I’ve been throwing around the idea recently of not bothering with Canberra because from what I’ve heard there doesn’t seem to be that much going on and there is no real direct route to the city, but from a bit of reading I’ve found that to be not true! I’m big into my history, so to name a few places I’d like to visit they’d be Parliament House, the Australian War Museum and the National Botanical Gardens. I’ve even found a main road that takes me there meaning it’s a place I must factor in, if you guys have any suggestions for activities then please do let me know.

My provisional route in picture format can be found below.

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 18.55.47

I want to do the full route in good time so I’ve been looking for direct routes from city to city that I can cane out in a few days but see some new sights along the way. I’ve kept myself close to the coast for decent chunks of it, passed some epic looking lakes, gone through some nice woodland areas, and hit the highways to eat up some mileage on the way. This is just a provisional route so please feel free to comment any suggestions for changes that’ll make the route a little more interesting but not add too much distance on.

The route with estimated kilometers goes as follows…

Largely following the Princess Highway until Cann River, then following the Monaro (Cann Valley) Highway to Canberra.

Day

Start

Finish

Distance (km)

1

Melbourne

Traralgon

161

2

Traralgon

Lakes Entrance

153

3

Lakes Entrance

Cann River

142

4

Cann River

Cooma

173

5

Cooma

Canberra

106

Once out of Canberra, I’ll be leaving via the Federal Highway and join the Hume Highway to Sydney.

Day

Start

Finish

Distance (km)

1

Canberra

Moss Vale

163

2

Moss Vale

Sydney

127

Remember guys, this is a provisional route, feedback more than welcome 🙂

Gary

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Some essential reading…

Since cognitively committing to the cycle in Australia, I’ve been keen to read books about cycle touring and the country, and learn from others who have embarked on such a quest. I initially looked for a book by someone who had actually cycled the east coast, with the hope of stealing his/her planning ideas and bettering them for my own benefit, but as far as I could find this book didn’t exist! Maybe I’m missing a gap in the market here…?

As the book that was going to make my life easier didn’t exist, I headed to the maps section, booooooo! I managed to get hold of a massive map of Australia in WHSmiths, which is now pinned up on my wall for me to see each and every day when I wake up for a bit of inspiration.

Photo 20-03-2013 17 31 27I’ve since come across two books that I can actually have a thorough read through to get some hints and tips, the first being “Cycling Australia” by Lonely Planet (2009), a very specific book to touring Australia by bicycle. I’ve pretty much read this book cover to cover already, and I think it’ll be one that will be invaluable throughout the whole planning and cycling process. The second is “The Rough Guide to East Coast Australia” by, you guessed it, Rough Guides (2008). I haven’t yet had chance to look at this thoroughly, I bought it off the back of a recommendation from a friend, but flicking through it looks pretty good! It’s packed with city maps, activities, places to see, places to eat, and all else in between, so should come in handy for putting a route together. I found both of these treasures in Waterstones in Leeds, somewhere that I’ll no doubt be visiting again and again over the next few years.

To finish off with, you can never have too many maps, or at least that’s what my mate Hodson always tells me! When I was in Waterstones buying the previously stated books, I came across the map section and found some great city road maps.

I’m not just a bookworm though, I believe that true learning is through Q&A with people who’ve been there and done it, not necessarily Australia, but a similar kind of cycle. I did a bit of Google searching and found Cycling Forums, an online forum for everything to do with cycling. I’ve been posting on there when I have questions or the need to interact with likeminded people, why not give it a whirl?

These bad boys combined are gonna help me in a big way when it comes to planning, something that’s just around the corner, muchos readingos to do beforehand though…

Gary