Beautiful Perth, perched scenically along the banks of the Swan River, is where our adventure begins. Pedaling across all of Australia and both islands of New Zealand the multitude of experiences will be hard to fathom: pleasant wine regions, daunting desert stretches, limestone coast of the Great Ocean Road, fascinating cities of Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Auckland, and lush, hilly and volcanic countryside of New Zealand.
From Perth the cyclists will pedal along the beaches and cliffs of Australia’s isolated South-west coast. Turning inland the riders will then get a sense of the desolate beauty of the Nullarbor Plain 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.
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.
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.