A New Start For The Trans-Oceania
In 2014, for the first edition of the spanking new Trans-Oceania Cycling Expedition, we situated the cyclists’ starting line in the Indonesian city of Medan. In 2016, we decided to replace the Indonesian section with New Zealand and, as a result, switched the departure city to Darwin on Australia’s northern coast. Therefore it should come as no surprise to anyone to learn that the 2018 Trans-Oceania will have another new jumping-off point!
Beautiful Perth, perched scenically along the banks of the Swan River, is the capital of Western Australia and the country’s 4th largest city. And in 2018, it will be the official starting line for the 2018 Trans-Oceania Cycling Expedition. We are very excited about this change as it means the riders will now be able to explore Australia’s stunning south-western coast and the forbidding Nullarbor Plain while cycling the 2 new sections.
This section begins in beautiful Perth. After enjoying the city’s charms the riders will head south through historic Freemantle and then on to Western Australia’s premier wine region, Margaret River. A rest day will allow the cyclists to sample some of the world’s best cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.
September is the perfect month for cycling in the area as the weather is warming up and the wildflowers are in bloom. The riders now leave the coast and head cross-country a series of State Parks and National Forests before arriving in the small town of Nornalup. Here on their second rest day, the cyclists can visit the famous Valley of the Giants which features a tree-top walk through towering red and yellow Tingle trees. They may also be able to go whale-watching in scenic King George Sound.
The route now follows the South Coast Highway which provides the riders with some excellent views out over the Great Australian Bight, a large open bay whose biodiversity has attracted a very large population of Great White sharks. Finally, the cyclists will pull into the scenic, laid-back town of Esperance and the end of this wonderful section.
This section begins with the riders heading north away from the coast and into the southern Outback. The route will take them north to the town of Norseman. Here they will turn east and head out along the Eyre Highway and on to the Nullarbor Plain. They will pedal past abandoned gold mining towns and experience Australia’s longest stretch of straight road – 146.5 km between Balladonia and Caiguna!
At the border with South Australia the road veers south and runs close to the the edge of the ocean. A rest day in the fishing port of Ceduna gives the riders a chance to recover from their long ride through the Nullarbor. The route now takes the cyclists through some of the country’s vast wheat fields before ending in 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 journey along the Nullarbor Plain, 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.
In Adelaide, the new route reconnects with the 2016 itinerary, following the spectacular Great Ocean Road to Melbourne and then onwards to Sydney and New Zealand.