Outbike :: Australia & EUROPE
Some feedback from 2016:
Rail Trails Victoria:
"As I said to Angie yesterday afternoon the ride far exceeded my expectations. Angie is one terrific tour leader and thanks to her excellent organisation, informative briefings and general all round personality she ensured that everyone sensed from day one that the ride they had signed up to do was going to be a success! She even organised wonderful weather!! The storm at Bright proved to simply be a teaser. I still can’t believe our luck on that front. The added bonus was that the other tour participants were great company and inclusive. Summing up – the ride was simply excellent."
Tessa from Cairns
"This tour gives you a great opportunity to ride on a number of rail trails without the worry of how to get your gear and bike to the next one. Get in early as this type of active holiday is getting very popular, and will become more expensive with other operators. Ralph is a very friendly and experienced tour leader, and goes out of his way to oblige everyone on the tour".
John from Dubbo
Bike 'n Wheels Expedition (Gulf to Gulf)
"From the Gulf of Spencer we set forth
To cycle to Carpentaria in the north
Led most of the way by the Tour de France
Followed haphazardly by the Tour de Chance
Through mud and dust and tears
We pedalled with no fears
Until the township of Birdsville we reached
Where we were unexpectedly beached
For one day, two days, three days, five
Our spirits began to progressively dive
Then came the day we again set forth
To continue our journey to the north
At bushcamps where we stayed some nights
We wondered at the galaxies glittering lights
The shovels we carried were a great hit
And helped us bury a mountain of ----
The flies were a plenty, especially at lunch
And I wonder how many we managed to munch
Then came the road trains long and frightening
Speeding by us like greased lightening
Here we pause for a little ditty sung to the tune of "Freight Train, Freight Train, Going so Fast" -
Road Train, Road Train, going so fast
Road Train, Road Train, right up my arse
Why do you not blow your horn
And let me know you're there
Now back to the "Ode"
To the helpers and staff our heartfelt thanks
Who helped stop us all from turning into cranks
With tucker good and a drink or two
The days of cycling simply flew
And finally we reached the Port of Karumba
Which only rhymes with Hertia Lumumba (AFL player - Thanks to Ray for the first name)
And from Karumba to Cairns like tourists we'll travel
And wait for our minds to begin to unravel
And when we've been home just a tad
We'll appreciate the adventure we've just had.
Thanks again Ralph for a truly memorable trip - (the body is slowly starting to mend)"
Colin from Adelaide
* South Burnett Rail Trail day trips, from Noosa or Gympie, Wed & Sat, $120, starts 14 April, info to come
* Pub Crawl Brisbane Valley and South Burnett Rail Trails 7 days, 6-12 August (see below)
* Australia Rail Trails in Qld, NSW, Vic & SA, up to 27 days, 3-29 September (see next column or separate page)
* Great Southern Ocean Bike Trail, Warrnambool to Adelaide, 12 days, 5-16 December (see separate page)
* NE Victoria basing in Beechworth 5 days, dates to come
Next Outback rides will be in 2019, see below and Gulf to Gulf 2019 page.
Ride moderate distances each morning on the rail trails and choose what you do with the rest of the day!
- add on rides on quiet country roads or in nearby forests
- browse many second hand and bric-a-brac shops
- see the local museums
- appreciate the ambiance and amber ales of Qld's classic country pubs
South Burnett and Brisbane Valley Pub Crawl 7 days
Mon 6: Ride Kilkivan to Goomeri 30kms
Pick ups from Nambour Station or Noosa with our bus. Start riding from Kilkivan on the gravel part of the South Burnett RT. Add-on sealed option to Kimbombi Falls +12km.
Tue 7: Goomeri to Wondai 30kms
Continue with the rough gravel 15km to Murgon, then sealed 15km more to Wondai. Add-on options into Wondai State Forest.
Wed 8: Wondai to Kingaroy 30kms
Gentle uphill ride via Woolerin. Kingaroy is the regional centre, famous for the peanut growing premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen.
Thu 9: Yarraman to Blackbutt 20kms
Bus transfer 45kms to Yarraman - you can ride the roads if you prefer (50-60kms with back roads). We're now riding the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. For extra distance, explore the rich farm country to the north of Blackbutt.
Fri 10: Blackbutt to Toogooloowah 57kms
Ride the descent to Linville, Moore and the newly opened leg.
Sat 11: Toogooloowah to Lowood 54kms
Via Esk and Coominya.
Sun 12: Lowood to Wulkuraka 31kms
Ride to Fernvale then on to the finish, 2 stops out of Ipswich. Transfers to Brisbane City and Sunshine Coast on our bus.
7 days, 6 nights
PUBS $600 double or twin share, $700 single
MOTELS $800 double or twin share, $1100 single
Bike hire MTB add $15 per day.
All travel, gear transfers and accommodation is included.
Meals and any admissions are extra.
NE Victoria basing in Beechworth 5 days
Ride the Mountains to Murray and High Country Rail Trails.
Stay 4 nights in beautiful Beechworth in the Asylum's Gatehouse (up to 10 riders) and/or Armour Inn.
Transfers to/from Albury Rail Station (transfers on our bus Melbourne>Beechworth>Sydney or vice versa may be available).
These events will be in the warmer months Oct-Apr.
Dates and rates to come.
SE Australia Rail Trails 1-2-3-4 weeks
We're working on itineraries to link rail trails, off-road cycle trails and touring/sightseeing on our mini-coaches in South Australia, Victoria, NSW and SE Queensland.
These will appeal also to international visitors who would like to cycle in Australia but aren't keen to venture onto our roads.
Each week would include 200-500 kms riding.
These events will be in the Spring and Autumn months.
See next column for September 2018 event.
OUTBACK RIDE POSSIBLES (2019)
Eyre Peninsula West Coast
Lake Mungo, Darling & Murray Rivers
Ride on quiet outback roads, sealed and dirt.
Accom at farms, holiday homes, pubs, cabins, camping etc.
Transfers will be offered from/to major centres (depending on ride, Sydney, Adelaide, Alice etc).
Suit MTB, cross-country or hybrid bikes.
Months Aug to Nov. Dates to come.
27 DAYS, 1000+ KMS OF AUSTRALIA'S TOP TRAILS!
Cycle our reborn rail corridors and enjoy the drives in-between on our comfy mini-coach. This is a fresh, active way to bike a big chunk of Australia and give traffic the flick.
S.E.QUEENSLAND, NSW, VICTORIA AND SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Mon 3: Nambour/Noosa to Wondai, South Burnett RT
Meet at Nambour Station (Brisbane Rail network) or Noosaville on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. Drive about 120kms to Kilkivan and ride the new South Burnett Rail Trail via Goomeri and Murgon to Wondai 60kms (45 dirt, 15 sealed).
Tue 4: Wondai to Blackbutt, Brisbane Valley RT
Ride 30km to Kingaroy (sealed). It's a short drive of 45kms to Yarraman to start the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. Ride a further 20km to Blackbutt (dirt).
Wed 5: Blackbutt to Esk, Brisbane Valley RT
Ride 75km (dirt) to the pretty town of Esk via Linville, Moore and the newly opened section to Toogooloowah.
Thu 6: Esk to Guyra, Brisbane Valley RT
Ride on another 67km (dirt) to the Wulkuraka terminus on the Brisbane Rail network, near Ipswich. Drive 400kms to Guyra, Australia's highest town at 1400m and the hub of a push to develop the proposed 200+km New England Rail Trail. See some of the towns on this fabulous route: Wallangarra, Tenterfield and Glen Innes.
Fri 7: Guyra to Hunter Valley
Drive on 370kms through Armidale, Tamworth and Scone to the Hunter Valley's vineyards. The newly opened Heritage Drive Cycleway runs just 11kms (sealed) but it does have a dozen cellar doors!
Sat 8: Hunter Valley to Sydney, Great North Road
We drive the scenic route via the colonial village of Wollombi. Options to ride (1) 35kms on the World-Heritage convict-built Great North Road, open only to hikers and cyclists; (2) or 65kms loop on quiet riverside roads Wisemans Ferry to St Albans return. Drive on to Sydney.
Sun 9: Sydney
A rest day to enjoy Sydney for continuing riders. Accommodation in Randwick near Centennial Park, 2 kms from beaches and 5 kms from city.
Mon 10: Sydney to Beechworth
It's a big drive of 560kms to Albury. We'll pause in Goulburn and Gundagai, future rail trail terminus towns. At Albury we collect new riders (eg from Melbourne) and drive up to the plateau gold-rush town of Beechworth, our base for 4 nights.
Tue 11: Beechworth to Bright, Murray to Mountains RT
Ride 70kms (sealed, fine gravel) on the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail to the alpine resort town of Bright and return on our bus to Beechworth.
Wed 12: High Country RT
Transfer on our bus to Shelley, Victoria's highgest rail station, for the ride downhill (-600m) to Old Tallangatta then along Lake Hume to Wodonga's outskirts, returning to Beechworth via Yackandandah. Options to ride are 35-70kms (sealed, fine gravel).
Thu 13: Around Beechworth
Options day. For a rail trails ride of 95kms, take the HCRT west to the Wangaratta terminus, continuing onto the path tracing the narrow-gauge tram that once ran to Oxley and Milawa. 15kms of quiet roads link back to the HCRT near Everton for the ride back to Beechworth. For more rides, the area has many back roads to explore places like Mt Stanley, Eldorado and Woolpack Falls.
Fri 14: Beechworth to Alexandra Great Victoria RT
Drive 140kms via the King Valley and Tolmie Road to Mansfield. Ride via Bonnie Doon the 75kms to Alexandra (fine gravel).
Sat 15: Alexandra to Melbourne Great Victoria RT
Ride another 75kms (fine gravel) via Yea to the Tallarook terminus. Transfer in our bus 90kms to Melbourne.
Sun 16: Melbourne
Continuing riders stay at Bayview on the Park Hotel near Albert Park, St.Kilda and Prahran, just 3kms to city centre.
Mon 17: Melbourne to Castlemaine, O'Keefe RT
Drive 120kms to Heathcote. Ride 50kms on the O'Keefe Rail Trail (fine gravel) to the gold-rush regional city of Bendigo. Drive 40kms on to Castlemaine for the night.
Tue 18: Castlemaine to Camperdown, Skipton RT
Drive 80kms to Victoria's other gold rush city of Ballarat for a walk of the town centre. Next ride the Ballarat to Skipton Rail Trail 60kms (fine gravel).
Complete the day with a 70km drive to Camperdown.
Wed 19: Camperdown to Pt Campbell, Timboon RT
Ride out of town on the Timboon RT, 40kms (fine gravel). Timboon is known for timber, cheese and the Scotch distillery at the trail terminus! Ride 20-25kms or drive on to Port Campbell, our Great Ocean Road overnight.
This afternoon/evening we can go sightseeing to Loch Ard Gorge and sunset at the 12 Apostles.
Thu 20: Pt Campbell to Pt Fairy, Warrnambool-Pt Fairy RT
Start the day with a drive of 65kms to more famed coast sights, London Bridge and Bay of Islands. Stop in at Cheese World, then browse of Warrnambool ahead of the ride to Port Fairy 40kms (fine gravel). Overnight in The World's Most Livable Community.
Fri 21: Pt Fairy to Nelson, ride options
Drive on to Portland, Bridgewater Bay and Nelson 180kms. Ride in the Glenelg NP or canoe up the Glenelg River.
Sat 22: Nelson to Robe, ride options
Travelling 200kms today. Morning option to drive or ride 34kms on quiet sealed roads to Donovans and historic Port MacDonnell. Drive on to volcanic crater Mount Schanck (hike up), the gorgeous Blue Lake, Umpherston Cave sinkhole, Mt Gambier town centre, Millicent and Beachport. Options to ride Bog Lane for the final 32kms (dirt then sealed) to Robe.
Sun 23: Robe to Meningie, Old Coorong Road
Morning drive or ride to Kingston and on to The Granites, 62kms. Ride 42kms along the Old Coorong Road. Drive on 85kms to Salt Creek and Meningie. Enjoy the sights of the Coorong Wilderness and visit Camp Coorong, a museum and educational centre of the Ngarrindjeri People.
Mon 24: Meningie to Morgan, Lakes and Murray River
Morning ride (or drive) the quiet Narrung and Poltalloch Roads alongside Lakes Albert and Alexandrina for 60kms. Follow the Murray River north, driving via Wellington, Murray Bridge, Mannum, Walker Flat, Swan Reach, Blanchetown and the old rail terminus / river port of Morgan. Some quiet sections can be ridden. Total day is 300kms.
Tue 25: Morgan to Gawler, Riesling RT / Rattler RT
Drive to Clare 130kms via the historic mining town of Burra. Ride 54kms (fine gravel) amongst the Clare Valley wineries to Auburn then east to the Riverton terminus. Drive 50kms to finish the day in Gawler.
Wed 26: Gawler to Angaston, Barossa Trail
Ride 40kms through the heart of the Barossa Valley. Plenty of time for side-trips on quiet roads.
Thu 27: Angaston to Hahndorf, Amy Gillett RT
Drive 50kms to Mt Torrens via Birdwood Motor Museum. Ride the Amy Gillett Rail Trail to Oakbank 17kms, then an option for a further 10kms on back roads to reach the popular German-settled village of Hahndorf.
Fri 28: Hahndorf to Victor Harbor, Encounter Bikeway
Drive to Meadows 20kms. Option to ride the next 28kms gently downhill (-370m) along the beautiful and quiet Bulls Creek Road. Just 14kms of busier road takes us into the old river port of Goolwa to ride 32kms on the Encounter Bikeway to Victor Harbor and The Bluff.
Sat 29: Victor Harbor to Adelaide, Sea to Vines RT
Drive about 40kms to the top of Willunga Hill, infamous from the Tour Down Under. Blast down the old road into Willunga where we switch to the Sea to Vines Rail Trail, riding 40kms through wine country, Adelaide's outer suburbs and southern coastline. It's possible to complete the final 20kms following the shore to Glenelg and rail trail into the city.
27 days, 26 nights
$4000 double or twin-share (motels, cabins 3-4 star)
Single supplement add $1300 (motels, cabins 3-4 star).
Bike hire MTB add $15 per day
Riders interested in an option with cheaper pub accommodations where available, please ask.
All travel, gear transfers and accommodation is included.
Meals and any admissions are extra.
Shorter section examples:
Nambour to Wulkuraka 4 days, 3 nights 600 dbl/twn, 750 sgl
Sydney to Melbourne 6 days, 5 nights 1000 dbl/twn, 1250 sgl
Melb to Adelaide 13 days, 12 nights 2000 dbl/twn, 2600 sgl
Other sections possible on request.