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Cycling from Melbourne to Arapiles?
3:59:36 PM
I have recently finished a trip from LA to Canada and spent time climbing at Squamish. My travelling feet are getting itchy again but I'm pretty strapped for cash. I have my climbing shoes and a bike and I'm in Melbourne and looking to make the pilgrimage to what sounds like some of Australia's nicest climbing and go from there.

I can cycle between 50-80miles a day when I am fully loaded and I am looking for state parks where I can stay or areas where I can free camp and not be harassed.

Has anyone done this trip before? Is it even possible?

I know I can just take a bus up but I would prefer to cycle. If anyone can help me with a vague itinerary which goes from cheap state park to cheap state park that would be idea. If you could figure in a detour to the 12 apostles also that would be super.

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on my trip. If I can't get any solid answers I'm probably just going to wing it and see what happens.

4:10:55 PM
I'm thinking of doing the same this year. I'm getting my touring bike back this week after doing some riding in the US last year and want to spend some time at araps for 6 weeks or so at the end of December. Not sure on a route so I'll be very interested in hearing anything that you come across.
4:29:13 PM
Cheap? If all you have is a touring bike you should be able to camp for free. Routes are simple to work out on a map.

The most direct route is roughly along the western highway. Lerderderg, Langi Ghiran, Grampians, Arapiles is a pretty sensible one.

A coastal detour is a big detour, but there is plenty of free camping along the way. The Otways is beautiful and has free camping.
4:31:17 PM
As far as I can tell so far you can stay for free at Enfield State Park and Mt Buangor. Still not totally sure. You can take $3.50 public transport for the first day to make the 132km ride from Melbourne to Enfield a bit smaller. The second day is only 86km and then to the Grampians is another 76km.

I suppose that is the best way of doing it.

We will see.

salty crag
4:50:36 PM
Not sure if you want to carry any extra weight but my wife and I have used the "Camps" guide books for years and find them very accurate. The info in them may be available online. The Twelve Apostles is a tad out of your way and cycling on the great ocean road can be fraught with danger (crazy drivers, a few bends and chicane's and some think their a F1 driver). I would throw the bike on the train to Geelong, head out on the Hamilton hwy to Cressy, Cressy to Colac - Cobden - Port Campbell - Twelve Apostles an easy return day trip from Port Campbell, Port Campbell to Warrnambool via ocean road as it's a lot safer that end or shorter route via Boggy Creek rd (great pub on the way). From Warrny either head to Port Fairy and do the Hamilton rd at Killarny or head up the Caramut rd from Warrny to Penshurst - Dunkeld - Halls Gap... your are smack in the middle of gods country for climbing!!! I travel the above roads quite often and most are in better condition than the more major highways and offer some good choices for free camping.

E. Wells
6:25:27 PM
easiest camp in the Grampians to access may be to take a left turn on Golton Rd. and bush camp. Can fill water a few klms before at the Big Turd Koala after Stawell.
8:58:27 PM
I met this German guy called Jarad at arapiles a few years ago at and he had riden his bike to araps from Sydney via Wilsons Prom and the great ocean road, so it can be done. You might be able to find someone on this forum who has his contact details.
1:04:36 PM
Finding free camping in Australia can be really difficult in a car. But on a bike? No farmer is going to mind you pitching behind some trees on their lot - just don't leave a less or make a fire.

There are tons of toilet stops on the highways where truckies sleep en masse, but they can be very noisy & not so pleasant.

Also - when a state park has "free camping" it's usually a major detour from your chosen route
We slept on a football pitch on one pilgrimage to Araps

4:33:22 PM
On 21/10/2013 martym wrote:
>Finding free camping in Australia can be really difficult in a car. (snip)

... Maybe in major urban centres*, but I am aware of whole industries of map makers, book producers# and magazines that dedicate themselves to exactly that pursuit, to cater for the ever growing grey-nomad tribe.
If you google 'dump points' it will give you a head start...

(*Though in major rural towns, there is often free overnight stay for motor-homes etc, in creek reserves, adjacent public areas set aside for horseriding, footie ovals etc, and these are often enhanced with gas bbq facilities etc, to attract the grey nomads for the tourist dollars they bring to town).

(# ~> just one example ... & no, I have no affiliation with same).
11:17:39 AM
On 21/10/2013 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
> magazines that dedicate themselves
>to exactly that pursuit, to cater for the ever growing grey-nomad tribe.
>If you google 'dump points' it will give you a head start...

I don't have enough hair to join that crew.
And haven't done enough rv-ing to warrant a book... so clearly M9 you trump me again!

11:29:54 AM
On 22/10/2013 martym wrote:
>I don't have enough hair to join that crew.
>And haven't done enough rv-ing to warrant a book... so clearly M9 you
>trump me again!

Baldness qualifies!

Seriously, I was shocked by the size of that industry when I first started doing some homework in that area. It is clearly a big business at the moment.
Apart from applying common sense in finding campsites, I have only found the books I bought (mostly 2nd hand at garage sales), on the subject, to be useful in pre-planning routes 'with options', rather than relying on finding the sites relatively pristine and unoccupied.

Regarding books on the subject; for the technosavvy most of it is on the internet these days anyway.
3:51:53 PM
i think this point has kind of been made but as soon as you get past ballarat its pretty much only farmland so its pretty easy to pitch a tent for the night and just get up early and leave before any farmer has a chance to see you.
5:09:30 PM
I don't think the point has been made that riding up the highway would be dulldulldulldulldull. If you want to go for a ride, go the coast and up through the gramps options. It will take heaps longer but actually be nice. If you just want to get to Araps, put you and your bike on the train/bus. It's about $25 on an off peak service. You can then potter out to the Mt on said bike, it'll only take an hour or so.

There are 13 messages in this topic.


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