Our Australian bike tour is complete.
We have ridden from Cairns in Queensland to our most northern point
Cape Tribulation at a latitude of 16˚,4´South and from there to Port Arthur in
Tasmania at a latitude of 43˚,1´South, our most southern point. Projected on the northern
hemisphere in “our own” region this could be compared with from
Dakar in Africa to Carcassonne in the south of France.
As the crow flies it's about 3000
kilometers, but for us on the ground it meant roughly 6500
kilometers. This took us 4 months and 20 days. We did not cycle all
these kms, we only pedalled 5000 k, and that is a quite exact number.
(Compare: Breda – Teheran). The other k's we did by bus, train, car
Most of the time we camped, 76 nights
in our little tent. Once in the garden of a private house, sometimes
on rest areas without any facilities but a creek, sometimes on
so-called showgrounds, these are grounds where the local horse race
track, soccer- and criketfields, swimming pool etc. are and where
there mostly are toilets and showers. But most of the camping we did
in caravan parks. In Europe we would call them campings or campsites.
The caravan parks are similar to their European equivalent but for
one thing: they have free barbeques and campkitchens. These can be
very complete, with ovens, microwaves, barbeques, electric hot plates
or gas stoves, freezers and fridges, water boilers, cutlery, pots and
pans, sinks etc. Sometimes they are just basic and poorly equipped
and even dirty. But most of the time they were good to excellent, we
hardly ever used our own little gas stove. There are not many tents
in a caravan park, it's mostly caravans (much bigger ones than in
Europe) and campervans. Since these campers have all facilities with
them, we often had the camp kitchen for ourselves.
We also stayed a number of nights in
motels, pubs and cabins, one night in a bus and one on a boat.
But what we will remember most of all
of this tour is the unbelievable hospitality of the Australians.
Through Warmshowers.org we contacted all in all 15 different hosts
and alltogether we spent over 50 nights in their safe and cosy homes.
In some occasions we stayed a number of days in a house while
the hosts themselves were not there at all. For us the Australians
rank first and foremost as the most hospitable people we have ever
Being so often in such close contact
with the people in this country, this tour really made us get deeper
in the culture and into daily life. We have experienced that this is
an egalitarian and open society and that getting in touch with people
is easier than in many other parts of the world. In this sense
Australia is a very easy country.
Though we have cycled quite a distance
we have only seen a small part of the country. We were never very far
away from the coast (max app. 300 k I think). So we have seen and can
confirm that the country has fantastic beaches, and very many of
them. We have seen and felt the openess of Queensland and the
forests, hills, mountains and agricultural areas there and in three
other of the six states. There is an abundance of nature, national
parks all over. We have not seen the outback, the west and the north.
But that Australia is a country with lots of beauty we will confirm.
Yet we find that it is not an easy
country for the cyclist. Very often the distances between places and
facilities is very great. This makes long distances necessary, with
nothing in between. Then, besides north Queensland (and the great
outback where we didn't ride), there is no flat road to be found.
It's often very hilly and roads are very undulating, with steep hills
following one after the other. That makes cycling very hard and
tiring. It's not the same everywhere though, we found Victoria and
especially Tasmania easier than the other states.
Australia is only for advanced bike
tourers, we would say.