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Australia

Last updated: November 2023

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Key Facts Cycling

  • 150 days in the country, from 27/05/2023 to 23/10/2023

  • 7,700 km / 4,785 mi cycled

  • 106 cycling days

  • Overnight stays:

    • Wildcamping: 66

    • Other free camping (shelters, etc.): 17

    • Paid campsites: 10

    • Hosts (incl. relatives): 24

    • Paid accommodation: 31

    • Other (bus, ferries, etc.): 1

  • The Route: Sydney - Brindabilla Ranges - Canberra - Narrandera - Mildura - Booleroo Centre - Port Augusta - Ceduna - Nullarbor Plain - Norseman - Albany - Munda Biddi Trail - Margaret River - Perth - Moora - Geraldton - Outback Tour Gascoyne Area via Mt Augustus - Coral Bay - Carnarvon 

  • Our Cycling Highlights: The Southeast, Nullarbor Plain, Munda Biddi Trail, WA’s Golden Outback 

Louisa & Tobi's Bike Route through Australia

Key Facts Country

  • Official name: Commonwealth of Australia

  • Population (2023): 26,808,800

  • Capital: Canberra

  • Official language: English

  • Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)

  • Dialing code: +61

  • Covers an area of 7,692,024 km² / 2,969,907 mi² with a wide range of different habitats

  • Inhabited for over 60,000 years by Australia’s First Peoples, making Australia the world’s oldest inhabited continent (also the flattest & driest)

  • 300,000 to 950,000 Aboriginal people were living in Australia when the British settled in 1788; approximately 260 distinct language groups and 500 dialects existed at that time; in 2021, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made 3,8% of Australia's population

  • They are the traditional owners and custodians of the land you are cycling through, so be respectful of that

  • There are several Aboriginal communities throughout the country, some of them are closed to outsiders, so inform yourself beforehand

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The Southeast

Louisa cycling through the forest south of Sydney Australia
Camping at the Murrumbidgee River while Bike Touring through Australia
  • We decided to cycle inland from Sydney to Port Augusta because we wanted to avoid the busy coast and also the heavy rainfall in winter

  • It wasn’t the most interesting route to take, but we had little traffic and nice camp spots

  • Sydney has a great network of bike paths, making riding out of the city quite relaxed and nice

  • Sydney to Canberra:

    • We cycled parts of the pretty cool ‘Attack of the Buns’ trail which we found on bikepacking.com

    • Some parts of the trail were closed due to flooding or maintenance though, so we had to leave out the better part of the northern half

    • The trail runs through different kinds of forest on quiet fire & forest roads

    • Along the trail are several (free) campgrounds

    • East of Canberra we followed the Brindabella Rd through the Brindabella Ranges, which was quite nice and peaceful 

  • The Riverina:

    • An agricultural region of south-western New South Wales

    • We first followed the Murrumbidgee and later the Murray River 

    • Especially along the Murrumbidgee we had a lot of peaceful riding on empty asphalt roads

    • We also found some scenic camping spots right at the river 

    • See our exact route here

  • Hay Plains:

    • One of the flattest places on earth - over 200 km / 124 mi the altitude difference between the highest and the lowest point is only 17 m / 56 ft

    • Might sound and look a bit boring, but we actually liked cycling here

    • The biggest problem were the strong westwinds, making riding hard sometimes as there were often no trees whatsoever to protect us from the wind

  • There are several dirt roads marked as ‘Dry Weather Road Only’ in the region - better take this seriously, when it gets wet this soil turns into really sticky mud that completely clogs your wheels within a few meters

  • This ‘killer clay’ is also really hard to remove as long as it’s wet, so if possible, wait until it’s completely dried up

Nullarbor Plain

Lousia & Tobi Bike Touring the vast Nullarbor Plain
Camping at the Bunda Cliffs in South Australia
  • Vast limestone plateau in southern Australia (shared between South & Western Australia), covers an area of over 200,000 km² / 77,000 mi²

  • Name derives from Latin ‘nullus arbor”, meaning ‘no trees’

  • Traditional owners of the land:

    • Aboriginal People have lived in the Nullarbor for over 40,000 years 

    • Yalata Lands: Anangu People

    • If you want to venture off the highway while being within the boundaries of the Yalata community, you have to buy a permit as it is a closed community

    • The Mirning People of the Yinyila Nation  

  • The Eyre Highway 1 crosses the Nullarbor - it’s Australia’s longest, straightest & flattest Highway and was much busier than we expected, not only with trucks but especially with a huge amount of caravans 

  • Between Ceduna and the Border Village the road doesn’t have a shoulder; from the Border Village to Norseman there is a shoulder, but it’s rather small

  • Our biggest highlights: 

    • The Head of Bight, where you can watch Southern Right Whales directly from the coast (May - October) 

    • The stunning Bunda Cliffs in South Australia

    • Wild camping along the cliffs and on the plain in general

  • The Nullarbor was cool, but not the Outback experience we had hoped it would be

  • We took 16 days to cycle from Ceduna to Norseman (1,200 km / 745 mi) 

  • Biggest challenge: No supermarket in between those two towns, meaning we had to carry two weeks worth of food 

  • After Ceduna came only the following places to fill up water, snacks & sometimes basics like rice or noodles (very expensive though):

    • Penong - 50 km / 31 mi from Ceduna; here the last General Store was marked on the map, but it was closed when we were there in July; Penong also has a petrol station with some basic resupplies and water

    • Yalata - 131 km / 81 mi from Penong; Roadhouse and Caravan Park; the Roadhouse was closed when we were there, but we could fill up water at the Caravan Park

    • Nullarbor Roadhouse - 92 km / 57 mi from Yalata; restaurant, motel & a shop where you can buy snacks for horrendous prices, but not much more (price example: 250 g of basic salt crackers: 9 AUD); you can also fill up water in the bathrooms (officially not safe to drink, better use chlorine tablets)

    • Border Village or Eucla - 184 km / 144 mi or 196 km / 122 mi from Nullarbor Roadhouse; we only stopped in Eucla; small village with a petrol station, cafe, caravan park & motel; we bought some (again very expensive) snacks and filled up water in the bathrooms

    • Mundrabilla Roadhouse - 65 km / 40 mi from Eucla; petrol station, restaurant, motel & a tiny shop; the staff in the restaurant was so nice to fill up all our bottles with potable tap water from the bar; we had really good burgers with wedges 

    • Madura - 116 km / 72 mi from Mundrabilla Roadhouse; petrol station, snack shop, restaurant & motel; again we got our bottles topped up by the staff behind the bar

    • Cocklebiddy - 91 km / 56 mi from Madura; petrol station, motel, small restaurant & tiny snack shop; we filled up water from the bathrooms

    • Caiguna - 65 km / 40 mi from Cocklebiddy; petrol station, motel, small restaurant & tiny snack shop; for the first time we were told that we weren’t allowed to fill up our bottles with the tap water due to the limited available amount; we had to buy a 10 L canister, which didn’t fill all our bottles though; luckily the staff ended up filling our remaining bottles with the tap water

    • Balladonia Hotel Motel - 181 km / 112 mi from Caiguna; petrol station, motel, small restaurant & little shop with some basics; according to the signs, you are also not supposed to fill up water here, but that probably mainly applies for big caravans with huge water tanks, so we decided to fill up our empty bottles anyway (there are also showers…)

    • Norseman - 191 km / 119 mi from Balladonia Motel - first town after Ceduna with a supermarket

  • Take enough cash with you as you won’t be able to pay with card when the internet is down (happened to us in Caiguna)

Munda Biddi Trail