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  #1  
Old 3 Dec 2011
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Route advice

Hello,

around April 2012 we´ll arrive in AUS. Most likely in Sydney. Roughly four month later we want to ship from Darwin to Timor del Este.

1) Our Plan A based on weather/travel-season-webpages was so far:
Do a loop in the southwest (on the coast to Melbourne and back through the blue mountains to Sydney).
Go north to the Great Barrier Reef and from there to Darwin.

Nearly everybody tells me since, this is the more boring and touristic route. The much more interesting (less civilisation + more charming) is the west-route.
Beside other arguments those above mentioned webpages all say, that it is "cold and rainy" by then in the south and the (south)-west.
How "cold and rainy" is that?

Are the road conditions affected or roads even impassable?
We ride DRY gravel and dirt roads, but mud and deep sand are not our thing.

2) Which route would you recommend (west or east)?

3) How about non-touristic / a bit off the beaten track routes from Sydney to the Great Barrier Reef?

Greetings from Patagonia

Panny
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  #2  
Old 3 Dec 2011
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If you are coming down to Melbourne I would definately include Tasmania.
Just take your bikes on the overnight ferry.

Would be one of the highlights of an Australian tour IMO.

As for East Vs west its chalk and cheese to a certain extent.

West will certainly win out if you want dramatic desert scenary, incredible rock formations and rugged, arid landscapes.

Perth itself is a great city to visit and Broome of course is a highlight on the west coast.

Along the east coast you have great beach towns between melbourne and Sydney, national parks and mountains and its easy to stay of the beaten track for much of it.

As for Sydney to great barrier reef its either coastal or inland routes or combos of both. Again depends on what you want to see.

In terms of weather that time of year in April, sure its starting to get cooler down Melbourne way but you can still get some nice sunny weather. I ride 12 months of the year in melbourne and would not avoid coming here on a bike trip even mid winter.
Up north you may still get some tropical downpours but of course its a fair bit warmer than down south.

So east or west? Which of your kids do you love more than the other?

Either way you will have a ball, just depends on the type of trip you want.

Cheers

james
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  #3  
Old 4 Dec 2011
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Visit to 'The Reef'

Weather in Queensland will be perfect in April- just starting to get cool. You said you wanted to visit the Reef- think about visiting Lady Elliott Island, it's just off Bundaberg (I live just to the south of Bundaberg). Another possibility is to go to Lady Musgrave Island. You depart from the township of 1770 which is itself a lovely place. Bear in mind that Easter and the school holidays might occur in April. If so it will pay to make bookings in advance. Have a great trip to Queensland- I know that you'll enjoy the wide open spaces.
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  #4  
Old 9 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary_58 View Post
Weather in Queensland will be perfect in April- just starting to get cool. You said you wanted to visit the Reef- think about visiting Lady Elliott Island, it's just off Bundaberg (I live just to the south of Bundaberg). Another possibility is to go to Lady Musgrave Island. You depart from the township of 1770 which is itself a lovely place. Bear in mind that Easter and the school holidays might occur in April. If so it will pay to make bookings in advance. Have a great trip to Queensland- I know that you'll enjoy the wide open spaces.
Tanks for the advice!

Are those islands, you mentioned, great for snorkeling, too?

Regarding booking in advance: does that a apply for campgronds, too?
Since we are on low budget we bush camp whereever we can. In Australia the maximum of luxus will be a offical campground. Will they be crowded or even booked out around eastern/school holidays?

Cheers

Panny
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  #5  
Old 9 Dec 2011
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Originally Posted by realmc26 View Post
Either way you will have a ball, just depends on the type of trip you want.
Even though you didn´t prefer one side, it´s helpful.

We heard a lot of positive things about Tasmania, but the high ferry costs might be the ultimate argument against it.

Regarding "cold and wet". Does that mean: some rainy days and some without or some rain each day or what?
Cold = what temperature? 15°C or maybe 20°C on average would be fine. 10° on bad days okay. 0° or below at night no problem for us. We are used to MUCH colder nights here in the Andes.

Cheers

Panny
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  #6  
Old 9 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panny View Post
Even though you didn´t prefer one side, it´s helpful.

We heard a lot of positive things about Tasmania, but the high ferry costs might be the ultimate argument against it.

Regarding "cold and wet". Does that mean: some rainy days and some without or some rain each day or what?
Cold = what temperature? 15°C or maybe 20°C on average would be fine. 10° on bad days okay. 0° or below at night no problem for us. We are used to MUCH colder nights here in the Andes.

Cheers

Panny
Before I answer just wondering when you will actually be down south?
Just after arriving ?
So March/April?
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  #7  
Old 10 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panny View Post
Even though you didn´t prefer one side, it´s helpful.

We heard a lot of positive things about Tasmania, but the high ferry costs might be the ultimate argument against it.

Regarding "cold and wet". Does that mean: some rainy days and some without or some rain each day or what?
Cold = what temperature? 15°C or maybe 20°C on average would be fine. 10° on bad days okay. 0° or below at night no problem for us. We are used to MUCH colder nights here in the Andes.

Cheers

Panny
If your used to the Andes southern Australia will be mild in Comparison.
If you ask a Queenslander they will go on about the miserable weather down south. The reality is the climate is pretty mild especially from March-july when you will be in Australia.

As an example for Melbourne-
The average minimum temperature in Celsius for those months are (these are overnight lows not daytime)
apr 16.3 may 14.5 jun 9.8 july 7.5

Average maximum temperatures
Mar 26.2 Apr 22.9 May 18.2 Jun 14.6 July 14.6


So you can still get some nice warm days in March and April.

10deg would be considered a coldish day in Melbourne but your unlikely to experience that in your time frame.

As for rainy days, hard to say, absolutely nothing to worry about though. Melbourne can typically have 4 seasons in a day particularly as it gets into April/may but expect the odd shower or rainy day but certainly you will get many rainless days.

As an example commuting everyday to work last winter I had my rain gear on maybe 5-7 times total.

The best website for planning is the bureau of meteorology at Bureau of Meteorology - Home Page Gives historical weather data for all over Australia and real time forecasting as well.

If you cannot get to Tasmania then The Great ocean road is a favourite biking trip from Melbourne along the coast and I would include wilsons promontory, a national park at the most southerly point in Mainland Australia for wildlife and amazing beaches. IMHO some of the best white sand beaches I have seen, better than anything I have seen in Asia, the Caribbean etc
This is where the QLDers will chip in to disagree
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Old 10 Dec 2011
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@realmc26

Thanks a lot for this detailed and really helpful reply!
As you describe it, weather will NOT be a argument against the west-route!

cheers

Panny
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