From Darwin the cyclists will pedal across the Outback on the legendary Stuart Highway with its quirky roadhouses & unforgettable road trains. Three rest days in Alice Springs allows you time to visit the magnificent Uluru (Ayers Rock). South of Alice, the riders will get a sense of the desolate beauty of Australia’s deserts before entering wine country and the relaxed city of Adelaide. The cyclists now cruise along the coast on the gorgeous Great Ocean Road, stopping for a couple days in Melbourne and its arts and coffee scenes. Refreshed, you will now climb up into the ‘Australian Alps’ before swinging down through Canberra, the country’s capital, and on into cosmopolitain Sydney, finishing at the city’s beautiful Opera House.
A couple days later the riders will fly into Auckland, New Zealand to begin the second half of their Down Under cycling adventure. Heading south after exploring this friendly city, the cyclists will pedal through a hilly landscape dotted with volcanic peaks and hot springs. Next up are some of the country’s finest vineyards and the gorgeous harbour in Wellington. A scenic ferry ride takes the cyclists to the south island, one of the most gorgeous locales in the world. The ride will take the riders along the island’s western coast and features crashing waves, sculpted rocks, hanging glaciers and stunning mountains before the tour comes to a close in friendly, picturesque Queenstown.
Our epic Trans-Oceania ride begins in tropical Darwin, which has evolved from “brawling frontier outpost” to cosmopolitan small city, fuelled by mining, tourism and crocodiles. After stocking up and making sure we have plenty of Fosters in the “eskie” (cooler) we’ll head off on the Stuart Highway and into the Outback, a vast tract of “scrublands, red desert sands, and galloping roadside Emus.” 300 km down the road our first rest day will be in the town of Katherine from where riders can visit the picturesque sandstone gorges at Nitmiluk National Park or the Cutta Cutta Caves. Continuing south we’ll encounter the fascinating ghost town of Newcastle Waters before arriving in Tennant Creek, which services the region’s remote cattle stations and aboriginal communities. Further on we’ll pass by piles of gigantic boulders known as the Devil’s Marbles and camp at roadhouses en route to Alice Springs, known to locals simply as “Alice.” Here, a triple rest day marks the end of this section and will give our intrepid cyclists plenty of time for the 450 km side trip by bus or by plane to astonishing Uluru (Ayers Rock).
Continuing south from Alice through Australia’s desolate “red heart”, with road trains and kangaroos as our companions, we’ll eventually arrive in the opal mining center of Coober Pedy, which has been the base for “end of the world’ movies including Mad Max. Then it’s across the government-owned Woomera Prohibited Area, the western world’s largest ground and airspace weapons testing range, to the eerie village of Woomera, home to rocket scientists and a Missile Park. Our tran-Outback “rideabout” ends at Port Augusta, the “Crossroads of Australia,” at the top of Spencer Gulf. From there it’s a 3 day spin through South Australia’s fabled wine country to the sophisticated city of Adelaide, which is renowned for its many festivals and culinary delights. After our month long journey down the Stuart Highway, Adelaide may feel like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Here you can spend your rest day visiting the superb central market, wandering thru botanical gardens and art galleries, or imbibing Shiraz and Riesling at the National Wine Centre.
This 12 day section highlights the South Australia and Victoria State coastlines. Our reluctance to leave Adelaide’s wine bars behind is quickly forgotten, as we cross the Murray River and cycle along the Limestone Coast through the fertile lagoon landscapes of Coorong National Park. We will wind our way past Discovery Bay to the whale watching centre of Warrnambool. The incredibly scenic 250 km Great Ocean Road, an Australian National Heritage, begins at Allansford, and takes us along the rugged Shipwreck and Surf coasts, through rainforests, and past sheer cliffs, waterfalls, and fantastic rock formations including the 12 Apostles. This stretch of our expedition ends in Melbourne, Oz’s 2nd largest city and the centre of its rabid Aussie Rules Football (footy) culture. Melbourne is packed with attractions, and you’ll have a couple rest days to explore its vibrant atmosphere, from laid-back laneways and lush parks to grand museums and sumptuous restaurants.
This section of our two-wheeled odyssey takes us across the much varied terrain of Oz’s south-east corner. After cycling through Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, we leave the Tasman Sea behind, and climb over the Australian Alps on secondary roads, into the planned city of Canberra, the national capital and political heart. The excitement builds as we enter New South Wales and near the end of the Australian portion of our journey, world class and diverse Sydney. No doubt we’ll celebrate long and hard, in true Aussie style, as we spin up it’s magnificent natural harbour and clamber off our bikes at the iconic Opera House.
This beautiful section begins in the country’s largest city – Auckland – also known as the ‘City of Sails’. After a day or two of sightseeing in this laid-back city, the riders will head south and be treated to some of the world’s most scenic highlights – Lake Taupo, Tongariro National Park and the hot springs/mud geysers around Rotorua. Next up is a rest day in Napier and the Hawke’s Bay wine region. After a day of sipping on the famous New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, the cyclists will continue through orchards, sheep-clad rolling hills and yet more vineyards before arriving in beautiful Wellington, the country’s cultural capital and the end of this incredible section.
The last, and perhaps most beautiful, section of the Trans-Oceania begins with a gorgeous ferry ride across the Cook Strait from Wellington to Picton. Riders will spin off through misty peaks and along placid bays before emerging onto the shores of the Tasman Sea. The west coast of New Zealand’s South Island is spectacular: the stunning Pancake Rocks, rushing rivers pouring into the ocean, snow-clad peaks, wild kiwis, the Fox & Franz Joseph glaciers, mysterious caves, abandoned mine shafts, empty beaches, hot springs and much more. Five days later the route heads inland past Lakes Wanaka & Hawea before heading up the Cardona River and its abandoned goldfields. Cyclists will now pedal along the shores of Lake Wakatipu before ending their incredible journey in the country’s adventure capital, Queenstown.