From the the highest point in Australia, down through the Snowy Mountains, across rural landscapes and National Parks to Sydney's historic Botany Bay. A beautiful (mostly downhill!) ride that finishes in Sydney just before the Easter weekend.
Mt Kosciuszko is akin to Mt Everest - the highest peaks in their respective lands. Although dramatically different in height and shape, the two mountains share exciting names that conjure up images of exploration and achievement. Both were named after men in high esteem and we have the opportunity to celebrate and share the summit, marvel at the 360 degree views and ponder the man-made roads and nature's rivers below as they twirl their way through magnificent Snowy Mountains.
All rivers run to the sea along the easiest route possible. We have chosen the most efficient machine possible and have added a few hills, a few towns and a few people to make this ride the most exciting way that one could ever imagine of traversing the magical green carpet that extends beyond the horizon. The crisp mountain air from melting snow will fill your lungs to capacity as you enjoy the natural wonder of propelling yourself on a bicycle with new-found friends from the highest point in Australia, Mt Kosciuszko, to the hustle and bustle of Sydney and its historic Botany Bay.
We pride ourselves on organising adventurous, action-packed cycling holidays in interesting and scenic destinations and this fully supported six-day ride from Melbourne to Kosi fits the bill perfectly (second stage of Melbourne to Sydney Ride - total 12 days). We organise everything that you will need for the duration of your time with us (food, accommodation, luggage transfer, bike mechanic, great company and so much more) so you can pedal away each morning without a worry in the world except which way to look to take in the amazing scenery.
Riders that participate in our 'point to point' tours enjoy camaraderie, sharing laughs and memorable experiences with their fellow cyclists, knowing that Phil and Susan’s expert preparation of the ride allows them to sit back and relax those weary cycle legs at the end of each day.
On the first stage of this ride (Stage 12 of Australia Ride) we cycle from Melbourne’s ecclectic seaside suburb of St Kilda, across the Great Divide and over the Strathbogie Ranges before visiting the Milwala winery district and historic goldrush towns. We head through the Murray Valley to the legendary Snowy Mountains before arriving at our luxury accommodation and standing on top of Australia.
On the second stage (Stage 13 of Australia Ride) we head down the mountain to Cooma, the largest town in the Snowy Mountains Region and then on towards the nation's capital of Canberra before bypassing the city traffic to Bungendore, then beautiful, historic Braidwood where the entire town is classified by the National Trust. From here we head to the sea and enjoy cycling up the coast off the main roads as we move north from the rural settings of Nowra through Wollongong along the new elevated road winding its way along the coast to Stanwell Tops - playground for all the hang gliders as they take off and glide over the ocean. You cycle through Royal National Park and finally to the hustle and bustle of Botany Bay, Sydney - the site of James Cook's first landing of HMS Endeavour on the continent of Australia.
Dip your bike wheel (or yourself) in the water at Melbourne, ride it up to Thredbo, then come down the other side to dip it in the water at Sydney.
"From the Clouds to the Crowds"
A typical day on the ride: Imagine waking up in the early daylight and looking around a comfortable motel room and wondering where you are. Is it Thredbo, Cooma, Wollongong? What the heck! You want to get up and start another day riding from Melbourne to Sydney, cycling through some of the most beautiful parts of Victoria and New South Wales.
After a quick shower it's down to the breakfast area where other cyclists are around the tables greeting each other and talking excitedly about today's ride. Some bring their maps with them showing the profile and route intended and talk about the world renowned country-side, the hills up and down, or the ports and harbours at the seaside.
The big breaky of muesli, scrambled eggs on toast, fruit juice, raisin bread, fresh fruit and coffee gets you up and at it. You leave your bags at reception and once again mount your faithful treadly and head off early with new-found friends from yesterday's ride.
A steady flow of cyclists chatting away to each other, see the directional signs by the roadside and know they are on the right track to morning tea break. You notice big yellow signs on the vehicles, CAUTION CYCLISTS AHEAD, and it makes you feel safer and proud to be part of a big organised bike ride. You know you are amongst friends, all with the same aim and similar interests, and you know that the hard work of many km's along the flat or of climbing and the exhilaration of descending is all part of the package. A very satisfying and rewarding package.
The quiet road winds its way through magnificent scenery that slowly passes you by. You are all riding at your own comfortable pace, checking out the many magnificent viewing points of Australia's country and coast. Before long you see the AllTrails truck, stacked with luggage, and nearby is the welcome morning tea and muffins. Everyone exchanges stories about what they saw, how fast they rode and how good they feel. It's time to leave the jacket in the truck and be off on the second leg of the day that takes you through dramatic landscapes that are beginning to shows signs of their magnificent autumn colours.
The food breaks, morning tea, lunch and afternoon snack are at set times enabling all riders to plan their day and the amount of time required to enjoy the sights and attractions along the way. Lunch is a great time to relax, refuel your body and chat to your friends, be it in a famous bakery, a country pub, or by a mountain stream. Cyclists move off at their own time and pace, knowing the distance and terrain ahead and aiming to arrive at the overnight stop around mid afternoon.
Your accommodation is excellent and cycle friendly, the best available for our needs. You check in, have a cuppa and snack and shower or perhaps a soak in the bath. Explore the local surroundings, go for a walk, share a cool drink with friends or simply relax.
A briefing for all cyclists at 6pm is always interesting, finding out what happened that day, and a run down on the sights and special attractions to look out for the next day. Lots of laughs and stories are shared before we either settle down to a good healthy group meal and a few drinks, or you head out on your own to enjoy the local offerings. Bedtime is not far away, where you put your head down in salubrious surroundings curled up like a bear in hibernation, remembering the day and dreaming of tomorrow.
The camaraderie developed on a bike ride like this lasts a lifetime.
Meal and accommodation inclusions noted as B, L, D, A (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodation)
THREDBO Thursday, 21st March 2013
If you are beginning your ride with us on Stage 13 in Thredbo (not in Melbourne), we suggest that you arrive in Thredbo today which will give you the full day tomorrow to enjoy what is on offer here. Today is also the day that cyclists on Stage 12 from Melbourne will arrive. Tonight's accommodation is an optional extra if you are just joining for Stage 13. It is included if you have also booked Stage 12 from Melbourne.
Public Transport to and from Thredbo in the summer months is not as regular as the winter months so it can be a challenge. If you are beginning your ride with us on Stage 13 in Thredbo we suggest the best option would be to get a friend to drive you to start the ride or catch our bus from Melbourne. If that is not possible check our FAQ's tab for 'How do I get there and back?'. Of course you could always fly to Melbourne and cycle to Thredbo with us on Stage 12.
THREDBO Friday, 22nd March 2013
Today is a day to either relax and enjoy the local area, or to climb to the top of Australia. Jump on the chairlift, rock and roll to Crackenback then walk and talk on an elevated mesh path over a spectacular landscape, sometimes dotted with snow patches, to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko. The 7km walk to the highest point in Australia is stunning as we enjoy a celebration and 360 degree views over the Snowy Mountains at the top. For those who do not want to walk to the top, the alternative is to cycle around Thredbo, visit the AIS Olympic swimming pool and all of it's facilities, play a round of golf at Australia's highest golf course, or just have a wander around the village and relax.
Accommodation tonight is included in the price of the Kosi to Sydney ride.
THREDBO to COOMA, 96km Saturday, 23rd March 2013
B L D A
You leave Thredbo climbing and descending many hills through lovely country, before fantastic views of Lake Jindabyne and a big downer into the township. You rock and roll over hills and dales of the Monaro Range through Berridale, then down into Cooma, a busy country town.
COOMA to BUNGENDORE, 134km Sunday, 24th March 2013
B L D A
The Monaro highway, from the Aboriginal word meaning high plateau, with smooth bumps is relatively quiet taking you through Bredbo and Michelago, before entering the Australian Capital Territory, however by-passing Canberra, the nation's capital, then out into the Aussie country past Queanbeyan to Bungendore.
BUNGENDORE to NOWRA, 165km Monday, 25th March 2013
B L A
Today you cycle through bushland the Budawang and Morton National Parks, then Sassafras. It's a big day, but not very hilly with undulations for 100km, then down 700mts for the last 50km and onto the coast of NSW.
NOWRA to WOLLONGONG, 69km Tuesday, 26th March 2013
B L D A
It's great to be back at sea level again where you cross the bridge then down to Shoalhaven Heads and follow the coast along Seven Mile Beach National Park to Kiama, Shell Harbour and the seaside splendour of Wollongong.
WOLLONGONG to SYDNEY, 92km Wednesday, 27th March 2013
The coast is clear as you cycle the path to Bulli and the Grand Pacific Drive. This stunning elevated road takes you over the crashing waves before climbing to Stanwell Park, hang-gliders heaven, through the Royal National Park and into Sydney at Botany Bay - the site of James Cook's first landing of HMS Endeavour on the continent of Australia.
Congratulations, a mammoth ride over and through the Great Dividing Range, taking in the highest point in Australia.
We finish our ride at Brighton Le Sands at Botany Bay which is near the airport so you can either fly home tonight or take a day or two to look around Sydney or visit friends or family. Easter weekend is nearly upon us so there is no rush to get back to work!
For those who wish to stay in Sydney tonight you will need to book your own accommodation. We have made a couple of suggestions in the FAQ section under the title 'How do I get there and back'.
WEDNESDAY, 10TH APRIL 2013
Written by Cyclist
Dear Phil, Susan and Ben, Thanks for another great trip. The organisation was faultless and it was apparent that you had done a lot of research about where to stop for lunches and so on. This is really important on a trip like this in that all we have to worry about is riding, while you look after all the other things. The accommodation was all great from our point of view. [One of the] best things about the trip were Susan's morning teas, going out to dinner every night and the cooked breafasts every day. Bill & Ed (VIC) Thredbo to Sydney 2013
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? STARTING AT THREDBO
If you are starting the tour in Thredbo, one night of accommodation is included in your tour price (Friday 22 March). To make the most of this great location we suggest that you arrive on Thursday 21 March and book an extra night of accommodation at our tour motel. This not only gives you a night of terrific accommodation & breakfast, but also a dinner with the arriving group from Melbourne and access to all rest day activities with the group on Friday.
Public Transport to and from Thredbo in the summer months is not as regular as the winter months so it can be a challenge. If you are beginning your ride with us on Stage 13 in Thredbo, we suggest flying into Melbourne to catch our bus on early Friday morning. The bus departs Melbourne 7am Fri 22 Mar and will take you to our Thredbo accommodation. The cost is $50pp. Select the optional extra on the pricing tab to book. If you take this coach option note that you will not be able to partake in the rest day activities at Thredbo including the hike to the top of Mt Kosciuszko as you will arrive on Friday evening.
*Cycle up with us from Melbourne on Stage 12.
*Get a friend to drive you to start the ride (Thredbo is approx 550km / 7hrs drive from Melbourne, 500km / 6hrs drive from Sydney).
*Fly to Canberra then go via Countrylink (coach) to Cooma. (http://www.countrylink.info/timetables/southern/sydney_to_bombala). From Cooma there may be the possibility of a local bus / school bus connection from Cooma to Jindabyne to Thredbo. Please let us know of your plans if you are starting the ride in Thredbo.
How do I get there and back? FINISHING IN SYDNEY
ARRIVAL IN SYDNEY: We finish at Brighton Le Sands, Botany Bay. You can stay at the very nice Novotel (novotelbrightonbeach.com.au) approx $300 per room night, or The Airport Hotel Sydney (airporthotelsydney.com.au) for approx $100 per room night. There are many other hotels in central Sydney that you can usually book when making airline reservations that will range in between those prices.
We do not hold any rooms in Sydney to book so you are free to find your own accommodation.
How fit do I need to be and what training is required?
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, build your kilometre total distance in training to gradually attain 100km + 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.
Australia Ride is a great opportunity to get healthy and see Australia on a bike in a safe, supported and fun way. In 1988, Phil McDonald, Director and owner of AllTrails, rode around Australia on his Penny Farthing creating a world record and raising over $100,000 for Rotary. Make the challenge bigger than yourself by raising money for our main charity partner MS Australia. If you wish, you can split your fundraising between MS and your own favourite charity.
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.
For some of our more remote trips around Australia the accommodation at times has more character than charm and when we are between towns for a day or two we may organise a bush camp. In which case we provide you with a single or twin share tent, depending on your choice. Instructions, assistance and an air mattress will also be provided. Check the tour details for more information.
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.
Snorers can enjoy their own room
If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room (single supplement cost). This is not just a courtesy to your fellow travelling companions, but will also give you the space & privacy you need to enjoy your sleep after a long day on the bike.
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 (check for pre & post accommodation in 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
Do I need to carry anything on my bike?
We suggest you carry a spare tube, tyre levels, two full water bottles and your own personal goods such as camera, wallet and perhaps rain gear if it’s threatening. We transport your luggage*, day packs*, food & extra water. A detailed list of what is required and provided will be sent to you in your pre-tour info pack.
(*riders travelling with their own vehicle will be required to transport their luggage, day packs and bikes. We will provide mechanical and safety support and additional support if unforeseen circumstances arise)
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
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
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 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.
Can I rent a bike?
We do not have a fleet of hire bikes however we will be able to 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. If the tour has a camping component tents are single occupancy unless otherwise specified.
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. If travelling overseas check before you depart that global roaming has been activated with your service provider. Otherwise it may be cheaper to purchase a local SIM card on arrival at your destination.
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 ‘Book Your Place Today’ button on the relevant tour page of our website and scroll down for Conditions of Contract.
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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