5 to 16 December 2018 - EVENT RAN
The Melbourne to Adelaide coast route has plenty of potential for a long-distance cycle trail.
Here are some tips for riders looking to do it:
* Ride Lorne to Apollo Bay very early in the morning before the tourist rush
* Use detailed maps for the Otways, there are for several sections of good gravel alternatives to the main road
* Warrnambool to Port Fairy Rail Trail
* Consider riding inland between Port Fairy and Portland, Lake Eccles is good to visit
* Include Cape Bridgewater, Seaview Lodge is terrific to stay
* There are back track alternatives to Nelson via Mt Richmond NP, forests and Glenelg NP but be careful on the Princes Hwy or Portland-Nelson Road
* Many back roads once in SA
* Don't miss Beachport and Robe
* Many beaches can be ridden with wide tyres when the tide is out, check tide times ahead and have good maps
* Take care on the Princes Hwy along the Coorong section
What’s it all about?
An amazing bike trail of 1200kms from Melbourne to Adelaide has been proposed (amazingly) by the Liberal-National Parties of Victoria and South Australia.
It’s a major piece of their platforms to be elected! Update - they were elected in SA.
(Dec 18) Victoria's Libs lost the elections BUT about July Adelaide's Advertiser news reported
the SA Liberal and Vic Labor parties have talked and together support the project... Let's watch this space!
Well, we agree the coast route is something special and we know a bit about it.
Ralph first travelled the route in 1978, cycled it in 1984, then in 1990 launched Wayward Bus Touring Company, offering the first public service linking Melbourne and Adelaide via the Great Ocean Road.
Several times a year Ralph still takes European groups along the route.
While the road route can by cycled in a week, riding the back trails deserves 2-3 weeks.
But let’s not wait for the Politicians. Outbike will get the wheels rolling in December 2018!
5-16 December 2018, 12 days, 11 nights, cost from $1250.
Start Melbourne or Warrnambool / Ends in Adelaide
Wed 5: Melbourne/Warrnambool to Port Fairy
Arrive to Warrnambool Station for 1400 start. Ride the Rail Trail via Koroit to the idyllic river port town of Port Fairy 40kms.
We will offer a service from Melbourne, depart NGV at 0900.
Rail runs 3 x a day, depart Melbourne 0723 to arrive at 1110 (limited bike space).
If you like to see/ride the Great Ocean Road you can do this prior. Be advised it is nowadays very busy and there is talk of having international tourists tested before they can drive rental cars on it. One can ride it end-to-end or base in Port Campbell and ride out and back to many of the features. Note also the nearby rail trail from Camperdown to Timboon.
Thu 6: Port Fairy to Bridgewater Bay 35kms
Bus to Allestree (60kms). Ride Dutton Way into Portland and on to Bridgewater Bay and Cape Bridgewater 35kms. Possibility to hike the Great South West Walk to seal colony lookout and/or go out on Seals by the Sea (if weather allows).
Depending on availability of overnight accom in the Bridgewater area we may transfer some or all riders back to Portland to stay.
Fri 7: Bridgewater Bay to Nelson 30-90kms
Ride via Bridgewater Lakes and trails to Portland-Nelson Rd 32kms. Ride or bus for 10kms. Ride forestry trails to Lake Monbeong and rejoin Portland-Nelson Rd after 18kms. Cross the main road and ride trails through Glenelg River NP for up to 33kms, following the river.
Sat 8: Nelson to Port MacDonnell 40kms
Ride into SA, turn off for idyllic Donovans on the Glenelg River, cross the main road onto Tillers Rd and take coast route into historic Port MacDonnell, continue to Cape Northumberland and return to town. 40kms
Afternoon bus trip to Mount Gambier’s town centre, Mount Schank, Blue Lake and Umpherston Cave.
Sun 9: Port MacDonnell to Millicent 80kms
Riding the back roads via Carpenter Rocks (mix of sealed and dirt) is 80kms.
Maybe we can get through on the sea-ward side of Lake Bonney - the GSOBT may develop a route.
Mon 10: Millicent to Beachport 40kms
Ride half on back roads, half on the Southern Ports Way, 40kms for the day. Quaint Beachport is delightful with its long jetty into Rivoli Bay, scenic coast drive/ride and National Trust museum.
Tue 11: Beachport to Robe 60 kms
We may be able to get out of town on trails between Lake George and the sea. Otherwise we ride 15kms on the Southern Ports Way and turn left into Bog Lane which of course is dirt. Pass the Sunland Holiday Village (allover-tan vacations) turnoff and 3km later detour to the coast for Nora Creina Bay and the remote Nora Creina village of holiday shacks. From here, return to Bog Lane – or ride the many beaches which are linked by sandy trails over low headlands (when tide is out). Robe dates from the 1840s, is a popular seaside holiday town and wine growing region.
Wed 12: Robe to Kingston 60kms
We may be able to ride the beach to Boatswains Point 15kms. Then to Cape Jaffa mostly by back roads 25kms (on the satellite images the beach route looks possible). Another 23km on quiet sealed roads takes us in to Kingston SE. Again, the beach looks possible to ride if tide is out.
Thu 13: Kingston SE to Meningie 65kms
Ride the beach (or sealed roads) to The Granites 20kms. The Old Coorong Road is gravel and takes us through the heart of Coorong NP for 43kms. Near the end, take in views of Old Cantara Inn, restored a decade ago and awaiting an operator (15 rooms, anyone interested?). We will bus onward along the Princes Highway to Salt Creek and Meningie on Lake Albert.
Fri 14: Meningie to Goolwa 60kms
Ride quiet sealed roads via Lake Albert, the Narrung Ferry, Lake Alexandrina shoreline and Poltalloch station back to the Princes Hwy 60kms. Bus-up for the 100kms drive right around Lake Alexandrina via Wellington Ferry, Langhorne Creek vineyards, Milang to the old riverport of Goolwa.
The proposed GSOBT wants to ride across the Coorong Barrages to Hindmarsh Island (and on to Goolwa) but to date cyclists and walkers can’t access this (although Google shows otherwise)!
Sat 15: Goolwa to Victor Harbor 20kms
Explore the historic river port. Ride the Encounter Bikeway via Middleton and Port Elliot to Victor Harbor, just 20kms. Take a stroll or the horse-drawn tram to Granite Island and ride out to The Bluff and back.
Sun 16: Victor Harbor to Adelaide 40-105kms
Ride back roads 45kms or bus-up for the drive 33kms to Willunga Hill (alt 372m). Ride down the old road (Tour Down Under climbs it) into Willunga and join the Coast to Vines Rail Trail through the vineyards of McLaren Vale and southern suburbs of Adelaide, reaching the coast at Marino Rocks, 40kms. Take the bus or keep riding another 20kms along the coast roads to Glenelg, then the bikeway along the old rail corridor into Adelaide city.
We will have a riding-guide accompany on sections where our bus can’t access.
Detailed maps will be provided.
The bus will 'station' at convenient points and times enroute.
12 days, 11 nights, start Warrnambool, end Adelaide.
Prices include transfers of riders, bikes and gear as per itinerary as well as accommodation.
* $1650 double or twin share accom in motels, cabins, holiday homes (ensuite where possible) etc
* $2100 single accom as above
* $1250 per person camping (bring own light tent, mat & sleeping bag)
Amendment - we CAN lend out pop-up tents and mats, please ask if you need.
Meals, admissions are NOT included.
Mountain bikes and fat tyre bikes for hire at $20 per day.
Transfers of rider+bike+bags to Warrnambool from Melbourne (or Sydney):
* From Melbourne (via Geelong, Princes Hwy) Wed 5th add $40
* From Sydney Mon-Tue 3-4 Dec with Monday overnight in Beechworth (can ride rail trail from Beechworth to Wangaratta 45kms) and Tuesday overnight in Melbourne: add $300 double/twin or $400 single.
Some links to the plans!:
Great Southern Bike Trail - Marshall Liberal Team
Outbike :: Australia & EUROPE
Epic (and shorter) rides of Australia's Outback, Rail Trails, France-Belgium Western Front and Europe's Greenways