April -July 2011: Australia Summary

Here are some statistics for our ride from Sydney to Darwin:

Accommodation statistics (night spent in):
1 Showgrounds
1 Pub
3 Private home
3 Caravan Park cabin
3 Bush camp
5 Hotel
5 City park
7 National park
7 Hostel
8 Warmshowers (private homes)
57 Caravan Park

We spent more than 75 days in the tent.  It has held up well and once we got the tentiquette sorted, the 3 man size was great.  Sleeping bags needed a good wash when we arrived in Darwin – not sure when we’ll use them again, probably not until we leave SE Asia.

Cycling statistics:

Days: 102
Days cycling: 70
Total distance: 5503 km
Average distance per cycling day: 78.6 km

Mechanical issues:  all repaired roadside
One rack screw for Dave
One loose pannier screw for Nancy
One broken spoke for Dave

Flat tires: ZERO, none, nil, zip – We love Schwalbe tires

Finance statistics:
Average total daily expenditure: $98 AUD
Average daily expenditure on accommodation: $30 AUD

Australia is pretty expensive these days.  The global strength of the Aussie dollar makes it even more expensive to travel here than it will be to travel outside Australia.  We have visions of 50 cent meals in SE Asia – we’ll see how that works out.

Positives of our time in Australia:

  • All the people we met – from fellow travellers to the caravanners to friendly park owners to fantastic warmshower and private home hosts – we were really lucky to have met so many great folks.  The people you meet travelling are always the best part of the trip – Australia did not disappoint.
  • The roads – we were told that they would be narrow, bumping and really scary – turns out that they are a little narrow and there is some chip-seal but in general, the complete lack of traffic for much of the route more than made up for a few bumps.
  • The road trains – ok, maybe they weren’t a positive but on balance, they were great drivers and always gave us heaps of room.  We had one buzz us on the Stuart Highway but this would be less than 1%.
  • The egg and bacon rolls – not all were great but even the bad ones helped us refine our technique for making our own.
  • The Barkly Highway – it was long, with big open spaces of nothing but being able to say we rode the entire thing is a great feeling and it will always be a great memory.
  • The camp kitchens – we had some great ones in NSW and Queensland (NT needs to work on this concept a bit).  They are somewhat unique to Oz and a great treat for a touring cyclist – all the necessities for cooking, a place to charge the batteries and some good fellow camp socialisation.

Negatives of our time in Australia:

  • The one bloody road train that buzzed us!
  • The difficulty carrying enough water – next time we’ll take the Bob bicycle trailer for the big open spaces.
  • The idiot who threw the empty coke bottle at me back near Terrigal – it hit me – no damage other than being a bit startled.
  • The wide open spaces were a little too wide open at times.  I’m sure we’ll have a few days in Asia where we long for nothing but day after day unchanging scenery and no towns was harder work than we thought it would be.
  • 500 ml chocolate milk costing 4X 1 litre of plain milk – and the generally high prices of Oz – bring on those 50 cent dinners!

We definitely plan to do some of the remaining parts of Australia at the tail end of this trip as there is still lots to see on this continent.


5 responses to “April -July 2011: Australia Summary

  1. Those “caravan parks” (campgrounds) really did sound expensive compared to here. But then we don’t have camp kitchens.

    I sure didn’t expect that the ferry ride would be the most dangerous part of the trip.

  2. No sleeping bags in Asia….what will you be sleeping in? So excited for the next leg of the trip. Stay safe 🙂

  3. Wow! I’m amazed that you did not have any flat tires from Sydney to Darwin! Have a great trip to Singapore!

  4. I thank you for educating me about E&B rolls, I’ve been blind to them on the menu at hamburger shops! Had a fine one at Gin Gin last week. All the best for the next leg. We lived in Hong Kong for 10 years, I don’t suppose it’s on your route lol.

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