20 individual stages that link up to create a fully supported and achievable cycling route around Australia
Choose one stage or ride the lot
Designed for teams to share the challenge by dividing each day’s distances, or join as an individual and ride with great new friends
Raising money for MS Australia and your own charity if you wish
All stages completed over 3 years with each stage varying between 4 to 14 days in duration
Achievable for most cyclists and budgets with accommodation and camping options available
Choose between our vehicle support or bring your own additional vehicle
Come share in this environmentally friendly adventure with a highly experienced support team creating safer riding conditions and organising all accommodation and camping options, meals, water, bike and luggage transfer and support.
For more detailed information about the Australia Ride concept, download the PDF here.
The palm filled Stokes Range that follows the road for miles
The Boab, the iconic Kimberly tree with so much character and personality
Stunning landscapes full of big skies and ancient mountain ranges
Kununurra – the food basket of the north, a town next to Lake Kununurra and surrounded by red ranges for which the region is famous
The Bungle Bungles – striking rock formations unique in the world and only a short charter flight from Kununurra
"Tropics to the Kimberley "
We organise everything that you will need for the duration of this 9 day tour, including accommodation or camping, food, safety and support vehicles, bike mechanic and much more.
Imagine waking up in the early daylight and looking around from a comfortable room or your tent knowing that all that the day asks of you is to jump on your bike and experience some of Australia's most remarkable regions.
The food breaks, morning tea, lunch and afternoon snack are all at set times enabling all riders to plan their day and the amount of time required to enjoy the sights and any attractions along the way. Lunch is a great time to relax, refuel your body and chat to your friends, be it in a bakery, a country pub, next to a river or looking out from an ancient mountain range onto the outback. Cyclists can move off in their own time and pace, having been informed of the distance and terrain ahead and aiming to arrive at the overnight stop early to mid afternoon.
Check in or set up your tent then have a cuppa and a snack. Explore the surroundings, go for a walk, share a cool drink with friends or simply relax.
At 6 pm there is a briefing for all cyclists. It is always interesting finding out what happened during the day, sharing some laughs then talking through the sights and special attractions to look out for the next day. Then there are more laughs and stories to be shared as we settle down to a good healthy meal and a few drinks. Bedtime is not far away, where you can put your head down remembering the day and dreaming of tomorrow.
The camaraderie and memories made on a bike ride like this lasts a lifetime.
*Accommodation or 'A' represents both camping and accommodation inclusions. Refer to ride options for more details.
Meal and accommodation inclusions noted as B, L, D, A (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodation)
DARWIN Thursday, 24th May 2012
Day 1: Arrive in Darwin. It is a beautiful, fascinating tropical city - a melting pot of people and cultures that prides itself on its unique and friendly laid-back lifestyle. While a sophisticated, modern city in its own right, it is also one steeped in history, being on the front line of both WWII and cyclone Tracy, which left the town uninhabitable. It has bounced back on both occasions to become the vibrant capital that it is today.
Today is the day for ride registration, checking over your bike, meet and greet the group and have your pre-departure briefing. In the evening, we invite you to join the staff and fellow riders at a nearby restaurant for a welcome dinner (included in your tour price).
DARWIN to ADELAIDE RIVER, 113km Friday, 25th May 2012
B L D A
Day 2: Stage 4 of Australia Ride begins! What an adventure. Over the next 3 days, rolling hills take us past some classic pubs and interesting sites to Katherine, where we have a rest day to explore one of the most gorgeous gorges in Australia. Then the road turns west to ride through some of the Territory's largest national parks and most beautiful landscapes. In particular, the geologic formations such as the deep red gorges, flat-top mountains and 'bee-hive' formations.
Riding out of Darwin, we follow a 20km bike path before joining up again with the highway. As we leave the outskirts of the city, you experience the Top-End landscape and its iconic burnt patches from recent dry season fires and the fresh green growth of Darwin Woolly-butt, Stringy Bark, and Bloodwood trees that follow.
Adelaide River has had a long and wild past. It is great place to enjoy a cold drink and share a few stories and iconic enough in the Territory to be the resting place (stuffed on the bar) of Charlie, the Buffalo who featured in 'Crocodile Dundee'. Not far from town is Australia's largest WWII cemetery and a memorial.
ADELAIDE RIVER to PINE CREEK, 120km Saturday, 26th May 2012
B L D A
Day 3: Leaving Adelaide River the road passes through rolling countryside thick with vegetation and bordered by red ranges. As we pass Hayes Creek have a look at the petrol browser pumps that have been painted like Jack Daniels Whiskey bottles.
Pine Creek, our overnight stop, was the scene of a gold rush in the 1870's from which some timber and iron buildings still remain today. Ironically, the town was officially named Playford in 1889 after the South Australian Commissioner of Crown Lands. Playford's desire for immortality was misplaced and the town continued to be known as Pine Creek in spite of the government's attempt to honour him. After over 80 years, the town is now officially known by its original name. Worth a visit are the Railway Museum, Old Repeater Station, Mining exhibition and Ah Toy's Bakery.
PINE CREEK to KATHERINE, 91km Sunday, 27th May 2012
B L D A
Day 4: Travelling out from Pine Creek the road becomes quite undulating, which is to be enjoyed before the flats of the Victoria Hwy, and the hillcrests also provide grand views over the beautiful tropical scenery.
There are also many large termite (dirt) mounds, some are over 5 metres high. They are constructed by tiny insects that size-for-size, build structures that dwarf our own human constructions and very silently consume more grass than all of Australia's large herbivores combined!
Katherine is a bustling town next to the Katherine River. Named by explorer John McDouall Stuart on his third and final attempt of his trans-continental crossing it has long been a stopping point with the first permanent running water for thousands of kilometres for those travelling up from the south.
The Katherine River is a mixed blessing however, causing plenty of floods and leaving the watermark up to 2m high on buildings all over town, as well as stories of crocodiles swimming down the main street. When you cross the bridge, which crosses one of the thirteen stunning gorges of the Katherine River your mind will boggle at how much water must pass through here to cause a wet season flood.
KATHERINE (Rest Day) Monday, 28th May 2012
Day 5: To give your legs a well deserved rest and to do this beautiful area justice we have our rest day here and offer transfers to Nitmiluk National park where you can canoe, cruise and swim between sheer cliffs to the sandy freshwater beaches of the main gorges and view ancient Aboriginal rock paintings high on the rock faces. Waterfalls and rock pools are found along walking tracks and for those looking for some high-time excitement; you can also explore the area by helicopter (activities are at your own cost).
There is also plenty to see in town, visit the Katherine School of the Air, the Outback Heritage Museum or relax by the natural spring-fed crystal-clear pool of the Katherine Hot Springs set in picturesque surroundings with lush green lawns, shady paperbarks and pandanas palms.
For those that just cannot stay off the bike visit Springvale Homestead, 8 kilometres south-west of Katherine and the oldest original homestead in the Territory, built in 1879 by Alfred Giles the former Overland Telegraph linesman.
KATHERINE to VICTORIA RIVER, 195km Tuesday, 29th May 2012
B L D A
Day 6: A big day to begin our westward journey. This section takes you through into both dry and beautiful country, with the highlight being the scenery of flat-top mountains and the colourful gorges nearing Victoria River, Northern Territory's largest River. Gentle to flat grades take you through open and arid Spinifex grasslands, until entering Gregory National Park within 40 kms of Victoria River Gorge, where there are some fantastic long to moderate downhill sections!
Victoria River Roadhouse is a friendly place with a stunning backdrop of the red Stokes Range. There is also a bit of Top End humour with a large sign proclaiming 'Under New Management' with the word 'Management' crossed out and replaced with 'Wife'
VICTORIA RIVER to TIMBER CREEK, 91km Wednesday, 30th May 2012
B L D A
Day 7: The superb and generally easy ride alongside the colourful Victoria River Gorge within Gregory National Park continues for another 8 km leading out into open country. It is mostly flat riding apart from a gentle 4 km climb at about the 58 km mark near Kuwang Lookout, which overlooks the plains to distant mountains.
Timber creek is a small outback town with huge boab trees lining the main street. There are some nice walks, a lookout, a museum at the old police station ruins and a river tour (at own expense). Keep an eye out for the rare and colourful Gouldian Finch as the area is home to 70 mating pairs. For those that consider themselves a tweeter there is even a bird hide on the Timber Creek Heritage Trail.
TIMBER CREEK to SADDLE CREEK (BUSH CAMP), 117km Thursday, 31st May 2012
B L D A
Day 8: It is a beautiful ride leaving Timber Creek alongside the Gregory River. Named after Augustus Charles Gregory who was the first European to see the magnificent country you will be riding through. Setting off on foot (without a support vehicle waiting 10 kilometres up) he completed the first trip across northern Australia from west to east, in the mid 1850s. He completed eight thousand kilometres overland, by the time he reached Moreton Bay, on the Pacific Coast amazingly without loss of life to his crew of six. Both the Boab tree (Adansonia gregorii), and the National Park here, are named in his honour.
Tonight everyone, including those on the accommodated package will be able to sleep under the night sky looking out towards the Pinkerton range. With a nice fire, great company and facilities, even if they are a little basic, we are sure to have a great night.
SADDLE CREEK (BUSH CAMP) to KUNUNURRA, 109km Friday, 1st June 2012
Day 9: The Boab trees that seem to have so much character in their squat, pulp, almost human shapes, will have become a frequent roadside highlight. Over the last two days, you will have noticed some beautiful examples with many trees over 2000 years old! These trees were just as big and impressive when Gregory and his expedition team passed through this country over 150 years ago.
At around 69 kms we arrive at the WA/NT border and must leave behind all fruit, vegetables, farming equipment and cane toads that you may have been carrying with you. Then it is a short walk across the line and we all become one and half hours younger, adjustments should be made to your watches accordingly. Then it is a 40 km ride that crosses 'Golden Gate Bridge' to Kununurra.
We made it! What an amazing 8 days from the top of the Northern Territory into WA. Those continuing onto Stage 5 will receive a complimentary breakfast and either a night accommodation or camping. Those leaving us after Stage 4 are free to organise their departure as it suits. We can book accommodation in Kununurra for you if you would like to stay in centrally located accommodation with the group before your departure.
KUNUNURRA Saturday, 2nd June 2012
Accommodation tonight is an optional extra or included as part of the next stage. Most people will be connecting this stage with Stage 5 and for you, this is your rest day, which includes breakfast.
Enjoy the day, have a look around town, visit a mango farm, take a swim in the Lake, tune your bike, relax, or take the opportunity to fly out to the Bungle Bungles on a charter plane and spend the day out exploring these hidden, world-renowned rock formations. More information will be provided in your Ride Guide.
WEDNESDAY, 15TH AUGUST 2012
Written by Cyclist
"Hi Midge, Just wanted to let you know that I had a fantastic time on the ride from Darwin to Broome. Ben is an absolute star and was a pleasure to be on a tour he was running. Thommo was also fantastic from both the mechanic side of things and general helpfulness. Also some of the old characters on the trip were inspirational, Barry is a machine. At 40 years my senior I was often embarrassed by how strong (mentally and physically) he was! Again, wanted to thank the entire AllTrails team for a great experience." Andrew D (SA). Darwin to Broome 2012
WEDNESDAY, 15TH AUGUST 2012
Written by Cyclist
"Phil / Susan, You have a gem in Ben. He has performed extremely well and was a key to ensuring a successful ride. He is so good he will be hard to hold! His cooking skills were tremendous. Thommo was enthusiastic beyond belief and assisted Ben in every way possible. I certainly want you to know I have enjoyed and appreciated the rides and the organisation that you have been able to make available to me and people from all over Australia. You manage a great organisation and I hope you continue to provide rides for many years to come. All the best and KEEP UPRIGHT." Ken M (VIC). Darwin to Broome 2012
Question not answered below?
Feel free to contact us at any time through our website ‘Contact Us’ page, phone or email. We love what we do and want to get you on the best bike ride for you. Speak to us about what's on your mind and we'll help you make your decision.
How do I get there and back?
Recommended arrival date and time: We suggest you arrive no later than midday on Thursday 24 May 2012, allowing you plenty of time to settle into your accommodation or camping (included in tour price) and set up your bike for the next day’s ride departure. A suggestion, especially for those arriving from overseas is to allow at least one day prior to 24 May, which will provide you with a more relaxing time in Darwin before your cycling holiday and minimise the risk of flight or other delays.
Recommended departure date and time: We suggest you begin your onward travel the day after the tour finishes, allowing you sufficient time to pack up your bike and gear and get to your departure point whether it is the airport, train station or bus terminal
Registration time and location: 24 May 2012 – 4pm City Palms Resort, Darwin
Tour finishing time and location: 1 June 2012 – 4pm, Kununurra, Centrally located accommodation or camping
Interested in travel by train? Check greatsouthernrail.com.au for more info or call 132 147
For bus transport or freight options check www.greyhound.com.au or call 1300 473 946
Post touring options: Australia Ride Stage 5, Kununurra to Broome
How fit do I need to be and what training is required? (AR)
This depends on whether you plan to ride the entire stage or divide each days ride distance between a team. If you have a good level of general fitness, are in good health and are a reasonably keen cyclist that is prepared to do some additional training you shouldn’t have a problem with our tours. As a guideline you should work on being able to comfortably ride at 20 km/h on the flat with consistency more important than speed.
To get the most out of your ride leave plenty of time to build your kilometre total distance in training, to gradually attain about 110 km a day for 2 days straight or the distance agreed amongst your team members that you will ride each day. A training outline will be sent to you in your pre-tour info pack. In situations where you cannot complete a particular section of the ride for any reason we will always have support vehicles to transfer you and your bike or in the case where you have your own additional support vehicle you will provide that assistance to your team members.
Is the riding safe?
We have a great safety record and do our best to inform motorists so that they can drive accordingly, however cyclists have to play their part in keeping well over to the left. We have support vehicles on the road showing 'Caution Cyclists' signs and a ‘tail end Charlie’ (vehicle following the last rider) with a flashing beacon to warn traffic about our cycling group. You will also be briefed before each day's ride pointing out parts of the road that may get narrow or have any known hazards.
Meals and Food
Always a big part of any cycling holiday! Check tour details for meal inclusions on your ride. Our emphasis is on fresh food and balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates, proteins, fruit and vegies catering for a cycling holiday. We successfully cater to most dietary requirements, however feel free to contact us with any questions. Most meals are included as part of our tours, however you may be required to purchase some meals. See the 'Day to Day' tab for more details, or click the 'Generate Itinerary' button.
What is the accommodation like?
We always try to obtain great accommodation in the best location for you to rest your weary head (and legs) in each town whether it be a motel, hotel, cabins or similar, usually 3, 3½, 4 star. We choose the best and most welcoming motel for cyclists and our tour group needs. On occasion we travel through some very small towns where accommodation is extremely limited. If for whatever reason, such as limited options, the accommodation one night is below normal standard, we strive to improve this with an extra good room the next night or nights following.
Sharing rooms – how does it work?
On the online entry form you can nominate any travelling companions that you would like to share a room with and/or be accommodated close to so that couples or friends can be roomed together. This can be in a double bed or in twin beds. If you are travelling alone like many of our riders, you can choose to 'twin share' where single riders are paired with other riders of the same gender and sometimes changed at each accommodation to create interest in sharing rooms. Single Supplement is also available for those that would like their own room for the whole trip. If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room.
What is the camping like?
Due to the long distance between accommodation in some of Australia’s more remote areas, camping may be necessary for the entire tour group. Check tour details for specific information. These nights out in the bush are often the highlight of the tour for many people. We will provide basic amenities with an emphasis on enjoying the camping experience and a focus on hygiene. We often have a fire which is used to cook delicious dinners on for an authentic outback experience.
Those booked on an accommodation option can choose to have their air-mattress and tent provided free of charge for any nights where camping is necessary or they can bring their own.
For those on a camping option, tent, air-mattress and sleeping bag are usually available for hire, bookable on the ‘Optional Extras’ area of the booking form, or you can provide your own. Packing a small comfortable pillow can add a lot of comfort to a night sleep.
What’s not included in the tour price?
• Airfare and transportation to and from the tour pick-up/drop-off locations
• Accommodation before and after the tour other than stated on the 'day to day' inclusions (pre & post accom can often be booked by us - check the ‘Optional Extras’ under the ‘Pricing’ tab)
• Personal accident or travel insurance
• Personal items purchased during the tour
• Some meals may not be included allowing you the opportunity to explore the regional cuisine and choose your own meal. Check tour details for more information.
• Optional activities and sightseeing
What sorts of people join our rides?
People from all parts of Australia and overseas. Ages generally range from 30 - 70 with the average age about 50 years old. Adventurous cyclists usually about 40% women & 60% men with a mix of singles, friends and couples.
What is the weather likely to be?
Our tours have been specifically scheduled to take into consideration the best time of year to travel to that destination. This takes into account the temperate range, possible rainfall and the prevailing winds. Of course, we can’t ever control the weather however this only adds to the adventure and excitement of your travel experience!
For more specific weather and climate information visit www.bom.gov.au or for our international tours visit www.worldweather.org
What type of bike is best?
A comfortable racing bike, road bike or touring bike with a good seat and road tires with slick or near-slick tread. A hybrid or mountain bike is also possible if you are comfortable riding the daily distances and average speed of the tour (ask us for the 'Training Tips' document for this ride).
What bike mechanical assistance is provided?
A tour guide with bike mechanical knowledge will be part of our crew and will have most items that are required, including a good stand-pump for different valves. The bike parts used for replacement will be charged at shop prices. Labour is free for the first fifteen minutes, there after costs may be incurred at the mechanic's discretion. Cyclists with rare or different bikes are asked to contact us at AllTrails as parts can often be very difficult to obtain.
Accidents - who can help?
We have a great safety record, but accidents can happen. We have comprehensive First-Aid Kits with trained 1st aiders as tour guides and drivers, mobiles and a satellite phone for emergency calls and the locality of hospitals in the areas that we travel through. We also have vehicles that can take anyone injured or sick for further treatment.
Camping Equipment Hire
Tents, air-mattresses and sleeping bags are often available for hire. Check ‘Optional Extras’ under the ‘Pricing’ tab to view exact hire costs. Tents are usually 2 or 3-man dome tents which are quickly and simply assembled. Staff can also assist you with setup and pack-down if required when they are available. If you wish to share a tent with a travelling partner, make this request when booking. Air-mattresses are comfortable inflatable air-pads. Sleeping bags are dual zip bags, rated to zero deg celcius.
Can I rent a bike?
We do not have a fleet of hire bikes however we can usually help you out with organising bike hire through our local contacts near our office in Melbourne, or closer to a ride departure location. When you make your booking just let us know that you would also like to hire a bike and we will get the ball rolling for you and put you in touch with the right people where possible. You can also bring your own seat and/or pedals to give you that little bit of 'home comfort'.
Do I need insurance to join the tour?
Travel Insurance for lost deposits and cancellations:
Lost deposits: We very strongly recommend you take out travel insurance for your trip. This should include cover for cancellation fees, lost deposits, and stolen or lost luggage (including your bike). We cannot emphasise enough how important this is. There are many unforseen reasons why cyclists may need to withdraw from a ride - injury, health, weddings, business, personal and many more. Cancellation fees can be a major financial loss to you and as a small business we need to adhere to our cancellation policies. Please go to the ride page on our website for your ride and click the 'Terms & Conditions' button to see the ride's cancel policy.
Travel Insurance: Domestic travel insurance cover tends to be significantly cheaper than international cover (approx $50 for one week). Above are two websites that offer both international and domestic travel insurance that you can look at. You can also speak to your local travel agent, or often airline booking websites will offer travel insurance as an optional extra as you book your flight.
This is also very strongly recommended. We cannot emphasise enough how important this is. Cycling can be a dangerous activity and you must be prepared for the worst. You may have an accident in training for the ride, on the ride itself, or cycling down to the corner dairy. If you are a cyclist coming on our tour you should be 100% prepared for the unexpected.
Cyclist insurance can be bought separately, or it comes with cycling memberships such as Bicycle Network Victoria or Bicycle Queensland. If you are involved in a crash or collision they will support you with personal injury costs, loss of income, third party liability insurance, assistance in completing your claim paper work & free legal consultation.
Life Insurance and TPD Insurance (often paid through your superannuation), and Private Health Insurance are also worth considering.
Bring your friends and save some money! For all groups of 5 or more entrants you will receive 5% discount off your respective entry fees. This excludes any optional extras such pre and post tour accom, cycling jersey, t-shirt etc.
Contact our office for more details and information.
I have a group who would like to know more. Can I book an info session?
Contact us if you would like to find out about booking an info session for your group of friends, or if you would like to find out about a travel talk happening near you in the future.
Be inspired, hear from the experts, learn more about a destination and even book your tour on the night.
Not a problem! You’ll find other like-minded cycling companions taking part in our rides. If you’re a solo traveller we will pair you with other solo travellers of the same gender in twin share accommodation or you can opt for Single Supplement (additional cost) to receive a room of your own.
Tour dates, ride direction and prevailing winds?
Each stage has been specifically scheduled to take place when as many factors important to a great cycling holiday are likely to, or will, occur. We have taken into consideration the prevailing winds, hence the anticlockwise direction of the circumnavigation of Australia as well as the south to north crossing for stages 17 & 18 from Adelaide to the Top End. We have also taken into account the temperature range, potential risks, possible rainfall and the best times to view the attractions on route. Of course, we can’t ever control the weather however this only adds to the adventure and excitement of your travel experience!
For more specific weather and climate information visit www.bom.gov.au
Brochure. How can I get one?
You can download an AllTrails brochure from our homepage, otherwise contact us with your postal address and we will mail you a copy.
Can I talk to someone who has done one of your tours?
Absolutely. We will be happy to give you the names and telephone numbers of people who have participated in the ride or a similar ride that you are considering. Where possible we will provide you with the details of someone within your city or state.
Another good place to look is our ‘Testimonials’ page.
How can I stay in communication with home?
Will my mobile phone work on tour? Part of the appeal of a holiday is to get away from the hassles of everyday life! If you can’t leave home without your mobile phone, check with your service provider to see where you will have coverage. Telstra Next G provides the greatest coverage for remote towns and areas in Australia. As you may not always have mobile phone coverage, particularly if you travel into remote locations, it's best to purchase a phonecard or calling card before you leave home, as most public telephones do not take coins.
Some towns may have an internet café or access to an internet terminal, so you may be able to check your emails from time to time while you’re away. If you don’t already have a web-based email account, it is a good idea to set one up before you leave, e.g. Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail.
I am coming from another country, what do I need to know?
Welcome! Traditionally most of the clientele on our rides have been from Australia or New Zealand, but we also have had many riders from USA and UK/Europe. You just need to make sure that your passport and visas are in order and check the cost of transferring your bike to Australia, or rent one here.
What if I need to change or cancel my tour?
We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance for all our Australian rides at the time of deposit and ensure that it includes coverage for cancellation fees if for some reason you are not able to travel. For our international tours we require all participants to have Travel Insurance to assist you in the event of a medical emergency, lost baggage, personal liability, cancelled tour or any other trip related issues.
Should you wish to change your booking with AllTrails to a different tour, there will be a very reasonable service charge. We try to keep this figure as low as possible to allow flexibility where we can as we want to make sure that you get on the right tour for you.
For cancellation and refund policies for your tour click the ‘Terms & Conditions’ button on the relevant tour page of our website.
What to pack?
We recommend you bring a soft bag or backpack. We advise against bringing a suitcase as they are bulky, difficult to stow on board vehicles or trailers and heavy. You may be required to lift or carry your own luggage from time to time, e.g. into accommodation. Any excess luggage may need to be stored or forwarded on to your final destination at your own expense.
Information about what to pack is included as part of your Pre-Departure information. Generally we advise that you pack as light as possible.
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