Nothing has made me want to travel more than being housebound for most of this year due to the 19/20 Bushfires, COVID and a spinal injury.
With border restrictions in place, I wanted an activity that gave the same sensation of travelling with the least amount of friction – Hiking.
ACT is the Bush Capital and the local government has tried to make sure that Canberra has as many reserves, sanctuaries, and national parks to stay deserving of the title. So why not take advantage of what you have in your backyard.
There is not one complete list of combing trails from all the ACT Nature reserves, sanctuaries and national parks. Those spaces only contain information about their specific areas.
Instead, australianhiker.com.au compiled a lot of these trails including the authors, Tim, and Gill Savage hiking experiences into a field report format on their website. I figured that this would be a great reference to start from.
Due to spinal injury from my volunteering efforts for the 19/20 bushfires, I am physically restricted to 5km distance per day for a few months and will expand the distances over the next year. The Australian hiker website has a lot of trails under 5km. I was able to copy the ACT trails a list from their website and organise the data by distance in an excel spreadsheet.What I found was that they had over 40 trails under 5km.
However, considering that parts of Namadgi are still closed due to fire damage, how many trails are open to the public? There are 37 trails under 5 km now open. That is when I realised that this would be an interesting challenge to complete.
Starting from the 1st of August, I planned to complete 2 to 3 trails (5km most) per weekend. Hiking all 37 trails across the next 14 weeks until 31st of October. Note: that most, if not, all these trails are well-marked and many within the suburbs of Canberra. By the end of August, we will have completed about 13 trails which are roughly 40km.
When planning trails on the weekend there a few things to consider:
Check the weather forecast in the areas you might be interested in to ensure the conditions are safe.
It is always good to have a plan B option for when there are road closures or timing restrictions.
Notify multiple people not hiking with us of our intended hiking place and rough return time.
For areas where there is dodgy reception, I will take my Garmin Inreach which is a subscription-based satellite texting GPS.
What do you hope to gain in the end?
Fitness and improved health. A chance to visit different places within the ACT border and explore different micro climates. Once I’ve completed this challenge I will add the details on my website so I can offer more notes and maps of the trails that weren’t included or have changed since being posted on ‘Australian hiker’ website.
Can others do this?
Anyone can take on this challenge or even use the spreadsheet that I will include in this article as a reference when exploring Canberra.
You can follow for my under 5km challenge on Instagram.
Below is a sample of my 2018 itinerary so the services and prices have likely changed.
I hope you are able to glean some useful information from this article on what to expect on the trip, useful hints and tips for planning and packing.
August 7th – Arrival
Flight arrival to Alice Springs Airport – taxi to YMCA
Arrange for Gas canisters, food to fill in back and 3 tubs for the trip
Pick up Food storage key from Visitors centre
Note: Food drop tubs will be dropped off by the local transport company. We will be packing our food for the hike that night.
8th August – Hike begins
Taxi from YMCA to Telegraph Station (Section 1)
Alice wanderer transport company pick up the tubs and distribute to the 3 food storage locations in Standley Chasm Camp site, Ellery Creek Camp site and Ormiston Gorge Camp site
8th Day 1: Section 1 – Telegraph Station to Wallaby Gap | 13.9kms – 5 hours (easy)
9th Day 2: Section 1 – Wallaby Gap to Simpsons Gap, visit Alice Springs Desert Park | 10.8kms (easy)
10th Day 3: Section 2 – Simpsons Gap to Mulga camp | 13.6kms (easy)
11th Day 4: Section 2 – Mulga camp to Jay Creek | 10.8kms (easy)
12th Day 5: Section 3 – Jay Creek to Standley Chasm | 13.6kms (Hard)
Food Drop @ Standley Chasm
Catered ‘pampered’ 4 course dinners
Alcohol free area
Supplemental provisions can be purchased at the kiosks
13th Day 6: Section 4 – Standley Chasm – Brinkley Buff | 10kms (Hard, best scenery)
Angkerle cultural experience – Half day tour with an indigenous guide (9am – 1pm)
14th Day 7: Section 4 – Brinkley Buff to Birthday Waterhole | 8kms (Hard, best scenery)
15th Day 8: Section 5 – Birthday Waterhole to Hugh Gorge | 14kms (Hard, best scenery)
16th Day 9: Section 6 – Hugh Gorge to Rocky Gully | 15.3kms (easy)
17th Day 10: Section 6 – Rocky Gully to Ellery Creek | 15kms (easy)
Food Drop @ Ellery Creek
Supplemental provisions can be purchased at the kiosks
18th Day 11: Section 7 – Ellery Creek to Serpentine Gorge | 13.1kms (Hard)
19th Day 12: Section 8 – Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Dam| 13kms (best scenery)
20st Day 13: Section 9 – Serpentine Chalet to Waterfall gorge | 16kms (hard, best scenery)
Dry camping spot – Giles Lookout over Waterfall Gorge. To acesss going west it is about another 1km or so. Up a creek bed then quite a climb 300m up up up. Perfect view when we got ther with sun setting behind Sonder and the full moon rise in the east.
21nd Day 14: Section 9 – Waterfall gorge to Ormiston gorge | 15.5kms (hard, best scenery) Food Drop @ Ormiston Gorge
Supplemental provisions can be purchased at the kiosks
Alcohol free area
22rd Day 15: Section 10 – Ormiston Gorge to Glen Helen/Finke River | 13.6kms (easy)
Glen Helen Private Camp site
Pub / Restaurant
23th Day 16: Section 11 – Glen Helen Junction to Rocky Bar Gap | 13.9kms (medium) 24th Day 17: Section 11 – Rocky Bar Gap to Redbank Gorge | 11.6kms (easy) 25th Day 18: Section 12– Redbank Gorge to Mt Sonder (return) | 15kms (Hard, best Scenery)
Best at Sunset OR Sunrise (allow 2-3 hours to summit Mount Sonder from Redbank campsite/Car park)
Regardless of whether you get of sunset or sunrise, bring something warm to eat and/or drink.
Bring a strong headlamp (avoid slip, trips and falls)
Redbank Gorge 11am Pick up AliceWanderer transport service, will pick up the 3 tubs on the way back to Alice Springs
Stay at Mercure Rest Alice Springs
Taxi to the Alice Springs Airport
If you want to stay an extra night to explore Alice Springs a bit longer, consider driving out to Uluru, kings canyon
Paid campsites: Standley Chasm, Ellery Creek, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen
Food drops locations: Standley Chasm, Ellery Creek, Ormiston Gorge
Camp Fees $18.50 Privately owned camp, cafes and facilities
Facilities: Kiosk (pay camp fees here), toilet, tent in carpark
Standley Chasm is in a private flora and fauna reserve owned by the Iwupataka Land Trust and is operated by Aboriginal family members that are direct descendants from Aboriginal people that have lived in this area for thousands of years. They operate the café as a profitable concern with no funding and as a training facility for their children. Angkerle Atwatye, a significant “woman’s’ dreaming” site
HALF-DAY Local Indigenous Tour of “the Jewel of the West MacDonnell Ranges NP”
From 9am (sharp) to 1pm $85 / Adult – to attend the following day
The Chasm itself is a Rock Wallaby Dreaming place that’s sacred to Arrernte women.
In traditional times, only women could come here to collect bush medicines and perform sacred rites. These stories and songs are still used by Arrernte women today – most of them cannot be revealed unless you’re a woman who’s been through the appropriate ceremonies.
Facilities: toilet, shower, BBQ area, water (will need treating) and the waterhole feature
There is advice on several sites that recommended bringing water to this campsite.
Feature: waterhole, advice that the water is very cold and there is a risk of hypothermia.
Ellery is also a sacred site for the Central and Western Arrernte people. Its name in Western Arrernte is Udepata (oo-DEP-pa-tuh).
The main Dreaming story here is Honey Ant Dreaming, although there’s a Fish Dreaming story that travels through the waterhole as well.
There is a Dolomite Walk that leaves from the shed shelter in the carpark and is a 3km loop which takes about 1.5 hours.
If you look carefully on this walk, you’ll find lots of Pitchuri or Native Tobacco growing on the ridges. Ellery is a favourite place for Western Arrernte women to come and collect pitchuri (called ingwulpa in Western Arrernte).
Facilities: Toilet, showers, Kiosk that operates 7 days and serves coffee, water* (will need treating) and the waterhole feature
*Drinking water is limited – you would be advised to bring your own, and of course, if you are taking water from the Gorge, treat prior to drinking.
Feature – waterhole (Gorge) – the water is very cold and there is a risk of hypothermia.
Ormiston is also a sacred site the Western Arrernte people. Its name in Western Arrernte is Kwartatuma.
The Dreaming story for the waterhole tells of the adventures of a group of Emus who came to the waterhole from the East, and the man who hunted them whilst they were there.
Something else that’s popular at Ormiston is birdwatching. An early morning stroll around the campground will reveal dozens of birds here. If you’re a keen birder or a twitcher, and a careful look at the right time of year will reveal some of Central Australia’s most sought-after birds.
Ormiston is renowned as a place to see Spinifex birds and Dusky Grass wrens.
Facilities: Enjoy hot showers, use of free BBQ, gas cooker and fridge freezer.
Features: Swim in the swimming pool or the natural waterhole of the Glen Helen Gorge, relax in the homestead at the bar or take a night off from cooking and enjoy dinner in the Namatjira Gallery Restaurant. End the night with free live entertainment from talented Australian musicians.
The Glen Helen Story
The story of Glen Helen is one of hardship and determination dating back to the explorers of the late 19th century.
Following discovery, the property was established as a cattle station covering a much larger area between what is now Redbank Gorge and Ormiston Creek.
Pre/Post trip Accomodation
Prices from 2018, price will have inflated since then
7th/8th August: YHA Accommodation $130/4pp=$32.50
24th/25th August: Mercure Superior Room – $133 (2 x double beds) = $133/4pp = $32.25
At this point, you will need to supply your own food. We will need to pack for 4.5 days of food and potentially water depending on the availability closer to the date. There is possibly some space to include spare clothing – pending confirmation on tub size.
Alice Wanderer will drop off three tubs for our food drops. There will be 3 official campsites (including 1 Private campsite) where we will access our food drops at – Standley, Ellery Creek and Ormiston. Standley and Ormiston have kiosks with limited food stock, so you will be able to treat yourself there. It is still recommended for everyone to carry 4.5 days of food between drop sites, as it will be dependent on our arrival time to these sites whether those kiosks will be open.
Once we have completed the End to End trail, Alice Wanderer transport will pick us up and our food tubs on the way back to Alice Springs.
[Please refer to Paid Campsites for more information on kiosks]
Adding luxury canned food (fruit), Beer and wine in the food drop boxes. (Standley Chasm and Ormiston Kiosk as alcohol free zones)
The best time to hiking the Larapinta trail is April to October. Peak season around July. Essentially avoid hiking during the official fire season (November to March).
Temperatures range from -1 to 7 degrees at night and 19 -28 degrees during the day. Even on warm days, it’s warm in the sun but quite cool in the shaded valley.
You will be hiking in warm weather even for winter, and as such you will need to bring about 3-4 litres of water with you. I recommend investing in hydrolytes in either tablet or powder form (such as Sistema) and collapsible water bottles to lighten your pack weight!
At each section there will be either a water tank or reticulated bore water for you to refill your water. The quality of these waters is not guaranteed and it is highly recommended using some sort of filtering/purification method to avoid ingesting water contaminants.
I brought 2x 1 litre plastic water bottles, a water filter (brand Hydroblu), a 2 litre collapsible water bladder (brand CNOC), and a 3 litre Nalgene collapsible bottle.
Comment on water carry from a friend which helped a lot:
“For Standley Chasm to Four-five Junction, overnighting at Brinkley Bluff, in hot May weather, I carried 7 litres but only used 5.5 litres (I discarded 1.5 litres after breakfast on the second day). For Four five Junction to Hugh Gorge Camp, overnighting at Hugh Gorge Junction, in hot May weather, I used 5.0 litres (I carried three from Four-five Junction and collected two from the waterhole). For Hugh Gorge Camp to Ellery Creek, overnighting trackside along the way, in hot May weather, I carried and used 4.0 litres. For Serpentine Chalet Dam to Ormiston Gorge, overnighting at Waterfall Gorge, in cool weather, I carried 7.0 litres and used 5.0 litres (I discarded 2.0 litres after breakfast on the second day).
On the walk, I usually drank between 1.5 and 2.0 litres during the day’s walk, although on one exceptionally hot May day I drank 2.5 litres. Then at camp I usually used between 2.0 and 3.0 litres. On hot days, I added a couple of hydration tablets to the first litre of drinking water for the day, then drank the rest plain.
Depends on the day and the person. Just did Serpentine Chalet Dam to Ormiston Gorge overnighting at Giles Lookout. I started with 7 litres. My 3 companion’s brought between 3 and 4 litres each. Contributed 4 litres of my water to the group. Collectively we probably needed about 4 or 5 more. Minimalist meal and no breakfast as water was tight. But overnighting at Giles Lookout was awesome.
I think that would be fine. Just make sure to drink lots when you are at the tanks, you can even do any cooking (i.e. eat dinner early) at the tank or soak your food there, brush your teeth there (i.e. do all your “water chores” there) so all you need is the water for the hike to the campsite and to drink in the morning. Just pay attention to the forecast and if you hike in the cool of the evening and get up early to get to the next tank before it heats up it’s easy
We dry camped Brinkley Bluff, Razor Back & Hilltop Lookout.
No water in Fringe Lily Creek when I was there earlier this month. Lots of waterholes in Hugh Gorge, and the one at the top of the creek is permanent.
Or camp at Hugh Gorge Junction, which in my opinion is much nicer anyway.”
Hiking (distance and elevation)
Hiking distance will be between 10 to 18 km per day, with roughly 500m of ascent and descent included.
It is highly recommended that you bring new hiking shoes/trail runners for this trail as you will shred them!
Shoes or Boots? I carried the Salomon XA pro trainers. I opted against gore-tex (water proof) for the Larapinta trip because you wanted to maximise on breathability and quick drying. Gore tex tends to retain moisture for days.
Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging.
Whilst the daily distances look easy, it’s the varying terrain that will mess with you. Larapinta trail is known for loose shale rock that will wear down your shoe treads. So its recommended to start with relatively fresh shoes. The loose shale will make it hard to summit some sections, whilst other sections its the fixed shale jutted out of the ground that makes you focus on staying upright.
The sun’s UV is strong so definitely slip slop slap! I was sunburnt on the right side of my face (East to West) on the first day. Sun care recommendation: Wear a legionnaires caps (a baseball cap with a neck flap) or a sun hoodie and baseball cap. Protect your face, head and neck! I recommend and wore an Outdoor research Echo sun shirt plus a cap.
Drink heaps of water because the heat can impact your hiking! members of our group started at dawn, have a mid day siestas and then continued hiking when it was cooler in the afternoon.
Packing light weight (to Ultralight) weight: Aim to be 15 kg or less with consumables. A light pack with increase your walking pace, make it feel less hellish with your ascents as well!
Tent areas are first in best dressed.
It is recommended to have a mixture of wide tent stakes for sand and wire stakes to tie around rocks.
There are three-side shelters provided at each section of the trail. They provide USB charging with solar panels on the roof. outhouses, and water tanks.
It’s good to know where the shelters are on your trailer and take advantage of them when the weather isn’t the greatest. However, I strongly recommend dry camping when the conditions are ripe! Camping on a mountain for the expansive vistas, or camping in a dry river bed for the peace and quiet.
Mobile reception is generally restricted to ridge tops and other high points. The trail is split between Telstra and Optus.
Telstra – From Alice Springs to mountain peaks before Ormiston Gorge
Optus – Alice Springs, Ormiston Gorge to mountain peaks between Glen Helen and Mount Sonder.
The budget I provided below was what was agreed upon between a group of 4 people. There are costs in the table that can be omitted like camp fees, tours, and prepaid for books if you wanted an budget friendly alternatives.
Opt for the free campsites available throughout the trail, eat only the food you pack, hike longer distances for the overall trip is shorter, hitch hike back to Alice Springs or to Redbank Gorge carpark.
Actual Cost Break down Per Person (budgeting for a group of 4)
YHA Alice Springs*
Standley Chasm Camp site ($5 powered facility + $20 camp fee pp) Tourist bonus – Indigenous Dream time tour $85 Tourist bonus – Pampered food (4 course dinner) $55
Ellery Creek Camp Fee (cash in person)
Ormiston Gorge Camp Fee (cash in person)
Glen Helen Camp Fee (book online)
Transport Company Storage Key $105 (refund is $50) ($55/4pp=$13.75) Secure Luggage Storage $25 Food drop ($60*3=$180/4pp=$45) Food Pick up (pickup $30*3 food drops=$90/4pp=$22.5) Pick up from Redbank Gorge ($725/4pp=181.25)
Mercure resort* Alice Springs Deluxe 2xQueen beds ($310/pp)
Cash for kiosk food and some resupplies
Larapinta trail permit did not exist as the time of this budget in 2018.
*Prices for the accommodations are an estimate.
*Full cost is relates to a 4 person budget breakdown.
I have provided two links to my Larapinta pack list:
Post-Larapinta – during the course of the hiking trip, I found that I was carrying a number of items that weren’t necessary for the hike. Due to fair weather, shelter provided at the trail, excess of equipment etc.
We arrived at Kangaroo Valley the day before our multi-day canoe trip. We wanted to take the opportunity to explore the town and write about what we had enjoyed whilst there.
Fitzroy Falls Visitors Centre is a lovely place to see the valley of the Morton National Park. Fitzroy falls contain several paths around the cliff edge to view the various waterfalls. The paths for both East and West take a bit over an hour to walk but highly recommend doing it to enjoy the stunning views.
We even got to see a few Superb Lyrebirds walk passed us whilst singing away. Lyrebirds are such an Australian icon that they have appeared on the Australian ten-cent coin since 1966 to present.
Friendly Inn Hotel is air-conditioned heaven, a key feature in the Australian summer. The Inn has a wide choice of beer, both local and international. I favoured the 4 Pines Kölsch Drought, whilst Eddy enjoyed the RedNut by Benspoke.
The Inn is popular for both tourists and locals with their families. You have several areas to sit whether inside the air-conditioned Inn or out the back among various sized tables with a mix of bench seats and old plastic chairs.
We sat outside where it was quiet to enjoy a classic pub meal like Chicken Parma with chips with a cool afternoon breeze.
Authentic Pies & Pastries conveniently located across the road from the Friendly Inn Hotel. It’s a pie shop that offers steak and pepper on the menu! I recommend them over the “World’s best pies” further down the road with a better choice of pastries and customer service.
Our accommodation was at Bandeela Recreation Campground. This campground is well-known for its ‘Bare-nosed’ wombats. During the warmer months, wombats and their young will leave their burrows to forage.
There are signs around many of the facilities, along with a brochure handed to you (linked below) at the entrance advising not to feed the wombats, to drive at low speeds and limit evening driving while the wombats are out in force.
You can see these little wombat families happily live among people in their tents.
Near where we pitched our tent, our #vanlife neighbours found an adult wombat was using their van to scratch its back. Causing the van to shake! This is a common occurrence across the campsite. This wombat even brought the rest of his family including two young ones to enjoy the grass around the van.
My partner, Eddy and I have been talking about going on canoe trip in Kangaroo Valley for a few months. This would trip would be our first adventure couples trip and we have been inspired to go on a trip by the We Are Explorers post on Multi-day Canoeing and watching Canadian vlogger and filmmaker, Chris Prouse’s Algonquin National Park canoeing videos with her partner.
I spoke to the team at Kangaroo Valley Safaris regarding the canoe trip and they were kind enough to provide us with a couple of multi-day itineraries, what is included in the trip package and recommended times of year to go on these trips.
I have summarised that in the list below:
Self guided canoe tour from Bendeela to Fossickers Flat and returning to Tallowa Dam
TRIP 1: BENDEELA TO TALLOWA DAM (2days)
An easy 24 klm paddle over the two days. ( 3 hours per Day)
TRIP 2: SHOALHAVEN GORGE (2 days) TRIP 3: THE BIG SAFARI (3, 4 or 5 days) Combination of Trip 1 and 2. (We opted for Trip 3 )
TRIP 4: HAMPDEN BRIDGE TO BENDEELA (2 hours to all day)
TRIP 5: WILDLIFE OF BENDEELA & BEYOND (2 hours to all day).
All multi day trips include
Cost is $65 per person per day all inclusive including transport (3 days $195 per person, $390 total)
In August 2018, I invested in a long distance gravel touring bike. Aftera lot of research and current stock availability at the time I went from ordering a Wayward Cape York touring bike to instead getting a more hardy gravel bike on the lead up to my first Gears and Beers event.
In recent posts (the Gears and Beers event, followed by the Canberra to Goulburn return trip) I used my new gravel bike, Bombtrack Beyond 1. This beast is built for bikepacking with a flared drop down bar to allow easier handling for technical terrain, the many mounting points on the front fork, top tube, and down tube. The tyres are even tubeless ready something I am very keen to change to, after the Canberra to Goulburn ride where we experienced a few puncture situations from wood staples and nails. We were able to patch up with the holes but it would have saved time if we already had the tubeless in place.
There are a few things that I would want to change about this bike.
Bike Frame Storage
Currently, I run the Tauber Rear rack for daily commuting with my Ortlieb Classic Pro panniers for clothes, shopping and gym gear. This allows for storage while commuting and is an alternative solution for bikepacking saddle bag for the moment.
I have a preference for a more solid saddle bag rack system; so far I am interested in the Mr. Fusion XL from American Cottage Company Porcelain Rocket and Blackburn Design Outpost seat pack.
I do want to get a frame bag, I like the idea of a roll top frame bag from Porcelain rockets as its less hardware to worry about breaking. I’ve seen frame bags with multiple zips which people overpack and break the zips. This bag will be used for main food storage.
The Bombtrack Beyond has many mounting options which means I will be looking towards two fork bottle mounts and a bottle at the bottom of the frame.
Top Tube bags
I’m looking at top tube bars near the handlebar and the top tube bag closer to the seat post. The plan for these pieces:
Top tube handlebar mount – To be used for electronics; gopro, battery bank, camera.
Top tube seat post mount – To store tools, and equipment for bike repairs, spare tyres, etc…
These will be used for carrying my snacks in bulk in two handlebar bags.
Additional bar mounting system
I’m also looking at additional bar mounting system for my handle bars for mounting my GPS Garmin Inreach Explorer Plus, bike bell, bike torch and phone mount.
Day 1: Canberra to Cooinbill Hut (119km)
Day 2: Cooinbill Hut to Derschko’s Hut (82km)
Day 3: Derschko’s Hut to Dogman Hut (93km)
Day 4: Dogman Hut to Omeo (99km)
Day 5: Omeo to JB Plain Hut (46km)
Day 6: JB Plain Hut to Dargo (98km)
Day 7: Dargo to Horseyard Flat Camping Area via Billy Goat Bluff (52km)
Day 8: Horseyard Flat to Licola (80km)
Day 9: Licola to Woods Point (58km)
Day 10: Woods Point to Warburton (103km)
Day 11: Warburton to Melbourne (95km)
Hunt1000, Canberra to Melbourne 20th – 30th of November
What is Hunt1000?
Trip type: Bikepacking
Start date: Wednesday, 20th November – Saturday, 30th November 2019
Sights: Arid mountains, gorges, dry creek beds, waterholes
Hazards: Dehydration, Snakes, Hyperthermia, Hypothermia
Activity Leader: Dan Hunt – Founder of the Hunt1000
Group: Jay, Eddy, Jaeryl as well as like minded (or disturbed) individuals willing to take on the hazards of the Hunt1000 trail.
A 1,000 km journey through the rooftop of Australia along backcountry trails, across exposed high plains, through snow gum woodlands and among tall native forests. The trail links two of major cities with limited resupply points and some of Australia’s best high country campsites.
The Hunt1000 was founded by Dan Hunt in 2016. It is a long-distance (1000km) endurance bikepacking event from Canberra to Melbourne through the Snowy Mountains. It will be tough with the occasional ‘hike – a bike’ trails but it’s easily forgiven by the amazing views the Australia Alpines has to offer. The main race itself will take 7 days, however those that want to enjoy the wonder of the Australian Alpines, like myself, prefer to take the journey a bit slower.
This trip will take an estimated 11 days plus another 1 day to recoup before catching a train back home (12 days in total).
During October, Ben, Jaeryl, Jay and I participated in the Great Cycle Challenge to raise funds and awareness in the fight against Kids’ Cancer.
This involved a two-day cycling trip pushing 200km through country roads and along highways, riding from Canberra to Goulburn and back again. This was my first time riding such a long distance in a short period of time and it was not an easy journey.
On the way to Goulburn, we had a headwind pushing us back to Canberra, which made pedaling just that little bit harder and took its toll on the body throughout the day.
Jay and I got flat tyres, mine along the Hume Highway and her’s just before turning into Goulburn.
It was a real challenge but worthwhile. We saw some pretty beautiful sights and took some great photos riding along the back roads near Breadlebane. Even so, I was pretty happy to see the Big Merino coming up along the turn off of the highway.
On the way back we had the rain chasing us and the road was full of many ups and down, literally.
After the previous day of long treks riding along highways, we decided to take more of the backroads and gravel tracks past Collector. These roads proved to be some of the most mentally challenging but also exciting rides of the day.
Just after Collector, we hit the hill from hell. The three of us pushed our bikes up a hill as cars struggled to climb past us. The hill drained us and we were only at the beginning of our ride home. Exhausted, we pushed on. Every time we would stop to catch our breath at the top of another hill the rain would come to tell us we’d better continue.
One good thing about hills though is that eventually you’ll get to ride down them and that was the highlight of the trip for me. Although the rain had caught up to us by then, I thoroughly enjoyed racing downhill with the rain hitting my face as I could hear the squealing of Ben’s brakes slowly disappearing behind me.
Just before Gundaroo the rain dispersed and we hit tarmac. After that, slightly damp, we rode all the way down Sutton Road from Gundaroo being driven by the prospects of pies at the Bakery in Sutton. When we got there, boy were those good pies.
Article by Eddy L
Photos by Eddy, Gears and Beers Photographers, OAUS