UPDATED July 27, 2018

BY Henry Gold

IN Company, Staff Picks, Trans-Oceania


UPDATED July 27, 2018

BY Henry Gold

IN Company, Staff Picks, Trans-Oceania


Why You Should Cycle The Nullarbor Plain Now

In just about six weeks, one of TDA Global Cycling’s epic tours, the Trans-Oceania will begin. Though it may be a little late to convince anyone to join the whole tour, there is still plenty of time to sign up for the second section of the tour – The Nullarbor Plain. If you are even remotely familiar with the geography and weather of this area, your first reaction may be to think that this is a crazy idea. Wikipedia sums it up – “The Nullarbor is part of the area of flat, almost treeless, arid or semi-arid country of southern Australia, located on the Great Australian Bight coast with the Great Victoria Desert to its north.” Sounds grand.

However, I am one of those people – and I grant you there are many more people who would probably choose to cycle the wine country instead – who think cycling in the desert can provide great rewards for the intrepid explorer. Four years ago, I even wrote a blog called ‘13 Reasons Why You Should Pick A Desert And Cycle Across It‘.

Wikipedia has much more to say about this particular desert: “Crossing the Nullarbor”, for many Australians, is a quintessential experience of the “Australian Outback”. Stickers bought from roadhouses on the highway show “I have crossed the Nullarbor”, and can be seen on vehicles of varying quality or capacity for long distance travel.”

Of course, it is one thing to cross Nullarbor in a motorized, air-conditioned vehicle but, if you really want bragging rights, you should absolutely consider cycling across it. As the old Romans used to say  – ‘Carpe Diem’ – grab the opportunity when it’s offered.

13 Comments for "Why You Should Cycle The Nullarbor Plain Now"

I would do it just for the hell of it! And of course in order to meet likeminded cyclist with the passion for the sport of adventuring on 2 wheels!

I have done it and can recommend it.
By stripping away all the stimulation of our lives today and replacing it with endless horizons and the metronomic shamanic beat of the cranks going round for 10 hours a day allows the intrepid traveller to explore parts of the inner self that can only be discovered by such a journey.
Having the time and lack of distraction lets you explore and understand the landscape too.
The flora and fauna are critically and intrinsically linked so they can withstand this environment.
Also… SPOILER ALERT!, Kangaroos hiss at night if you startle them.
There are many reasons to do this ride and surprisingly lots to learn.
I’m keeping the best knowledge a secret though.

Oh wow…I did it too, back in 1985 with my Canadian mate. We could hardly move our bikes ,we had so much food and water on board as we left Norseman. Met a lone Japanese cyclist coming the other way who was desperately under prepared…he had run out of food and taken too much sun. Loved that trip. And this was before the days of the internet and mobile phones…the wind always seemed to be against us but I will never forget the beautiful sparse landscape

Hi I crossed the Nullarbor in 2013 at the age of 73, a great experience, thought I was the oldest one doing the crossing only to find an Aussie 75 years old was on the road.
I did not prepare properly ( poor tires, lots of punctures, wrong gear ratios) but I made it ok in 3 weeks.. would love to do it at the age of 81, Corona virus permitting. I have learnt a lot since my first venture.. Will give it serious thought. Would recommend it to anyonne with a spirit of adventure.

    Glad to hear this. I am a 67yo female cycle tourist and would love to do Nullaboor challenge, i am thinking i am too old, but your blog gives me encouragement

      Hi Loris., just seen your reply to my blog of 2020. Did you get round to crossing the Nullabor? Now in 2023 and at the age of 85 I am thinking of doing it again after reading about a New Zealand couple, in their 80s, who did it recently plus other mammoth rides elsewhere in Australia.
      If I do go, I will be much better prepared this time, first time around my preparation was unbelievably naive.

      Hi Loris, ref your reply to my blog of 2020. Did you manage to cross the Nullarbor by bike. Now at the age of 85 I am considering doing it again after reading about a New Zealand couple who did it in their eighties (they have also completed other mammoth rides in Australia). This time around I will be better prepared, the preparation for my first trip was unbelievably naive.

After Kununurra-Perth just completed and the Munda Biddi to start this week, I’m planning to cross the Nullarbor in December. All this is part of my current plan to cycle around Australia.
Would love to do it together with a fellow cycling if anyone interested.

Plan on doing it as part of the Trans PAC route Perth to Sydney will be done over twelve weeks or more not in a hurry places to see people to meet covid is a problem though borders unreliable

im wondering if there may be a company you can hire that will offer support vehicle

    Hi Sharon, Sorry we can’t help you with this but we wish you all the best on your ride.

Which direction and when to cycle that is the question! If we sart in Perth in May what ais the prevailing wind direction?

    The prevailing wind changes throughout the year, so it would be a good idea to look this up. However, when we did this route in September 2018, we had headwind every day, which was not expected based on the prevailing winds.

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