Melbourne to Sydney through the mountains
Wed 18: Sydney –> Melbourne
Fly Qantas to Melbourne. Flight leaves around 1pm which is an hour late but is compensated with fantastic views of Sydney. Takes 90 mins to Melbourne and then get airbus into the city. Build bikes and then take train out to Bayswater. Ride the 5km or so to Nick’s house. Have an awesome barbie with him and his 3 children and Annette.
Thu 19: Melbourne
Take train into the city from Boronia. Visit some of the sites in Melbourne. Ride to St Kilda and go to pier but penguins only are seen at dusk. Have an ice cream (7$ each!) and then take train back from balaclava. Eat lovely home cooked food at Nicks.
Fri 20: Melbourne –> Badger Creek (78.7km, 1068m)
Leave round 8:30 and cycle on back roads to Mount Evelyn where we pick up the Warburton rail trail. Nice easy riding and nearly flat. At Warburton there is a bit of rain. Go to tourist info office and have coffee. Then go up to another bike trail called O’Shannessy Aqueduct trail. This is really cool but unfortunately it is wet so we go on to proper campsite at Badger Creek. Pay 40$ but have nice hot shower and meet germans who give us cheese for pasta and wine.
Sat 21: Badger Creek –> Murrindindi (38.9km, 945m)
Go to sanctuary and the weather gradually gets better. Interesting collection of Ozzie animals. Continue on bikes up big climb and then at the top go along a single trail and then climb further into Murrindindi on forest trail. Go to Bull Creek campsite where there is no price for bicycles so we pay nothing. Nice camping.
Sun 22: Murrindindi –> Bonnie Doon (87.7km, 573m)
Leave at 9:30 and continue on forest trail. Then pick up the Mansfiled cycle trail and stop off for a lovely Sunday pub lunch at Molesworth. Go to campsite at Bonnie Doon where we pay 30$ and there is only 1 other family on site. Nice view of lake which is very very low due to dry weather.<br /> <br /> Mon 23: Bonnie Doon –> Tolmie (47.3km, 793m)<br /> Take the cycle trail to Mansfield. There have lunch at the bakery, buy a tube and supplies and go up bike hill to Tolmie where we set up camp at community campsite. It is a lovely place for 5$ each with a kitchen and shower. Camp on the edge of the cricket pitch. Local guy brings us eggs and wine. Really nice people here. Roos come to graze at sunset.<br /> <br /> Tue 24: Tolmie -> Myrtleford (89.9km, 1059m)<br /> Ride on asphalt to small town of Whitfield where we eat at the local small supermarket which also serves burgers. Rest on the grass opposite for a while and then on gravel back road to Lake Buffalo. This is a tough road going generally up with some steep gradients. From Lake Buffalo easy riding on a gradual descent down to Myrtelford. Sleep at the unofficial free campsite on the edge of town and have a beer in the pub. Lots of mosquitos by the river.<br /> <br /> Wed 25: Myrtleford –> Tallangatta (84.6km, 856m)<br /> <br />Thu 26: Tallangatta –> Colac Colac (77.5km, 1124m)<br /> Decent campsite which the guy gives us for 25$<br /> <br /> Fri 27: Colac Colac (Corryong) –> Gee Hi (61.1km, 1148m)<br /> Leisurely breakfast and then head along main road to Corryong. Buy some gas and go to the supermarket. Contine to Khancoban and visit tourist info and eat average pies bought in Corryong. Then leave on direct route through the bush to Gee Hi where we enter at the back of the campsite and have to cross the river twice. This is a great shortcut and see nobody until the campsite which is quite full. It is a free camp with fire pits and lots of roos.<br /> <br /> Sat 28: Gee Hi –> Thredbo (46.6km, 1792m)<br /> Lots of climbing. Go over first hill and drop down to Tom Groggin where we have lunch with many tame Roos. Then hit main climb which is very steep. Get up to the burnt trees at Dead Horse pass and drop down to Thredbo. Eat and check in to the YHA which is nice and have quiet night. (81$) in a big room.<br /> <br /> Sun 29: Thredbo –> Jindabyne (37.4km, 370m)<br /> Chilled morning and cook porridge in the lovely hostel and then grab a small pizza at bakery and call in a tourist info. Take main road which mainly descends for 34km to Thredbo. Visit large tourist info and eat some pies at the bakery. Buy a couple of tubes and then go to campsite on the lake in town. It is really nice and only 27$. It rains so we shelter at the outside kitchen and catch up on admin.</p>
<p>Mon 30: Jindabyne (cycle free day)<br /> Get up early and wait at turn off to hitch up to Charlottes Pass. Get a lift with a tree surgeon and then french couple in their camping van. We hike up to the top of Kosciuszko which is very easy and windy. Then descend down a nice trail into Thredbo. Have an ice cream and then hike to top of village where a couple then gives us a lift back to Jindabyne via their campsite. We bike back to Jindabyne and then cook at the campsite. Very tired after so much wind and hiking.<br /> <br /> Tue 1: Jindabyne –> Cooma (60.9km, 786m)<br /> Very windy still. Route today is unusually on main road but not too busy and there is a bit of a shoulder. Most of the way the wind is somehow behind us so we make fast progress to Cooma. Stay at the caravan site (30$) and then cycle down into town and buy food. Go back and cook. Very easy as we are camped next to the kitchen.<br /> <br /> Wed 2: Cooma –> Namadgi (53.5km, 1042m)<br /> First part of this is asphalt and then it turns into good gravel for a while and then back to asphalt and back into gravel as it enters Namadgi NP. We camp at Mount Clear campsite where we are the only people. It is an idyllic spot and lots of roos around. Build tent and have a great campfire.<br /> <br /> Thu 3: Namdgi –> Canberra (84.7km, 1244m)<br /> Leave quite early and soon hit asphalt again. The road is up and down and then flattens out. Eat at a small village where I cook noodles outside the town shop. Canberra has lots of bike paths and navigating to the lake is easy and then ride along bike path at the lake and then over the bridge to the town. Have an ice cream and then a pizza in the pedestrian area. Cycle up to the campsite where we shower and then have a beer with an older english couple who had also been cycling.<br /> <br /> Fri 4: Canberra –> Depot Beach (car)<br /> Pick up car at 10 and then drive to the coast. Go to Depot Beach and build tent and go for a walk along the beach. Cook and are surrounded by very tame roos, one of which comes to our table and tries to eat with us. Pay 8$ to enter park and then 23$ for camping.<br /> <br /> Sat 5: Depot Beach –> Nowra (car)<br /> Breakfast on beach and then found hole in mat and then driven up the coast. Had a swim in the sea followed by lunch and then tried to get a pitch at campsite but all there were full. Drive to Nowra and stay at the showgrounds for a rip off 20$. There are no facilities. Go out to an Aussie stekhouse and a beer at the pub.<br /> <br /> Sun 6: Nowra –> Penrith <span style=”font-size: 12.16px; line-height: 15.808px;”>(car)</span> <br /> Drive up to Penrith where we stay at Big 5 (32$). Relax at pool.<br /> <br /> Mon 7: Penrith –> Katoomba <span style=”font-size: 12.16px; line-height: 15.808px;”>(car)</span> <br /> Drive to Wentworth Falls where we park and then hike the ‘National Trail’ which goes past some nice waterfalls and is spectacularly built into a cliff edge. It takes around 3 hours. Then go back to car and drive on the main road and come off at Leuma and take the scenic drive to Katoomba. Call in at TI and then walk to the 3 sisters look out which is easy 30 mins return. Go to caravan park where we stay and then drive into town and have pizza. Town is built on a hill and is very much up and down. Campsite is ok with lots of euro tourists there.<br /> <br /> Tue 8: Katoomba –> Newnes <span style=”font-size: 12.16px; line-height: 15.808px;”>(car)</span> <br /> Drive off after breakfast at campsite and walk to the glow worm tunnel. It is a 35km drive along the valley and we have to go through a tunnel towards the end of the road before the car park. Hike is just 1hr return but is really nice and glow worms are cool. Drive out and then in to the next valley to Newnes which is an old and abandoned mining town. Just the hotel remains and we camp with just 1 other car and there are loads of roos and the spectacular walls of the Blue Mountains around us. Have camp fire and great nights sleep. This is so different to the commercialism of Katoomba.<br /> <br /> Wed 9: Newnes -> Big River Camp <span style=”font-size: 12.16px; line-height: 15.808px;”>(car)</span> <br /> Leisurely breakfast and sit at the hotel in Newnes for a bit flicking through the book on local history. It is not open but we can hang out on the terrace. Then head up to Big River Camp in a park where we are the only people. Go down to the river to wash and bathe. Lots of roos again and nice scenery. Cook food over fire and then there is a huge storm from around 9 until 2. Sit in the car for a bit and tent door is open so when return things are a bit wet, but at least it is warm here.<br /><br /> Thu 10: Big River –> Wombeyan Caves <span style=”font-size: 12.16px; line-height: 15.808px;”>(car)</span> <br /> Head off and have a long driving day. Go through the cut village of Lydsdale and then through Bathurst and Oberon to Wombeyan Caves. We arrive after the shop has shut so pay no camping fee and pitch next to a big field full of roos. There are a handful of other Aussie campers here. Cook up food and then have an early night.<br /> <br /> Fri 11: Wombeyan Caves –> Bundanoon (car & train)<br /> Early start and quick breakfast. Then drive back to Camberra and unpack car with just a few mins to spare before 10. Hand keys back and then cycle off to the train station, but find out bikes have to be boxed and checked in. So pay ticket for late afternoon train (75$ for 2 and 2 bikes) and then go and cook food in the park and then have a lie down. Go on bikes to the parliament where we go in and have a quick walk around and ride back to station. Box bikes and take train to Bundanoon which is 2 hours. Train is bound for Sydney but only has 3 carriages.<br /> <br /> Sat 12: Bundanoon –> Jamberoo (72.4km, 798m)<br /> Relaxed morning and back up photos on German guys PC. Chat to Aussies who gives us a coffee from the machine. Then go into the cute town and have hair cut for 21$. Ride mainly on the main road which is not too bad to Jamberoo. There is a huge twisty downhill. Camping is basically in a park there and there are a few other vans. We go around the back and on to the edge of the cricket pitch to camp. Watch the cricket and cook before going to the pub for a few beers.<br /> <br /> Sun 13: Jamberoo –> Shellharboar (24km, 324m)<br /> Easy 10km to the coast. It is very windy and we stay at the caravan park there after lunch in a nice cafe. Go for an Indian at night where they have wifi and catch up on some admin. <br /> <br /> Mon 14: Shellharbour –> Coledale (45.1km, 235m)<br /> Easy riding along the coast. Lots of purpose built bike tracks. Have a swim and lunch at North Wollongong and then cycle on to Coledale. Stay at the campsite by the beach run by the surf club. it is 25$. Have another swim in some average surf.<br /> <br /> Tue 15: Coledale –> Bundeena (46.8km, 235m)<br /> Coast road gets hilly and thtere are 2 climbs up to 220m. First offers great views. The Royal Nat Park is the dirtiest we have seen with litter along the roads. Have a snack at the side of the road as there are no picknick places. Go into Bundeena and have a coffee at the cafe which is closing at 3pm and stock up at the IGA. Ride to the campsite which is 1km out of town. It is on the coast. It rains as we are cooking our pasta and we are invited to join family under their tent.<br /> <br /> Wed 16: Bundeena (no cycling)<br /> Massive storms in the night and throughout the morning. Have breakfast in a dry spell and then go back to tent for another 2 hours as more storms pass through. Hike to Maianbar and have a pie in the local and only shop whilst sheltering from another storm. Walk back and go into Bundeena and have a beer at the bowling club whilst watching the storm on TV. Several house roofs have been blown off in Sydney.</p>
<p>Thu 17: Bundeena –> Sydney<br />Weather is at least dry today. Take boat across the bay to Cronulla and cycle into Sydney. Many bike trails and go along beach for a while opposite airport. Stay with Jeff from Warmshowers who is really hospitable and lives in Surry Hills.</p>