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Old 11-16-2012, 02:39 AM   #1
Chickaloon OP
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: currently, Denver...hope to return to Alaska soon!
Oddometer: 26
shout out to the Aussies from the Alaskans....

Wow! Just spent 5 hours reading trip logs from so many of you!! I'm completely inspired and can't wait to start planning a trip down here it goes:

I'm an Alaskan who is currently working in Antarctica and am leaving the ice mid Feb. Lookin to ride in Australia, but having spent time in the Gramps and Arapiles as a climber I know it can be hot this time of year. Thinking of spliting the trip up into possibly two parts. One may be in Tasmania where the temps are a bit cooler to start off, and the second....well, I'm open to suggestions on rides anywhere in mainland. The Tasmanian trip would be for a week to ten days, and the second trip could be two to three weeks. I like dirt. Offroad is the goal. Only started riding this year, but have had awesome partners and am up for a challenge (yep, no doubt sand will be just that). Aiming for longer rides/routes, as I'm set up for camping. Am super open to suggestions on a few testpiece rides building to something bigger/longer. What are your favorites? Your country looks amazing to ride! I'd love some help narrowing down options.

I also need to track down a bike. Rental? Purchase (used)? Easy to sell afterwards??? Affordability is a consideration. May have at least one riding partner for Tasmania and am hoping to talk another (LEMUR!? - ha, little do you know) into the second leg.

Some of you have mentioned the Hema Atlas, and others have mentioned the 4WD book....any other planning tools you suggest?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.....

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Old 11-16-2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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Where do you arrive from Antarctica to - Hobart or Melbourne ?

Your planning is good, Tassie is perfect in February but just wondering if 30 days total, warrants buying a bike
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:15 PM   #3
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Hey chickaloon,

Good luck with the trip -

What par to of AK are you from?? I lived in anchorage for 12 months and Barrow for 3 months was lucky enough t osee most of it in that time - So I know you know about getting to places and covering the miles. Alaska always reminds me of Oz the people are pretty genuine and for some reason they arent like alot of people from the lower 48

Like Phil said buying a bike for thirty days may be a hassle but you certainly wont lose the cash like you would with a rental.

Errr what sort of bike are you looking for ? A big tourer or something reliable and conveniant to go most places like a KLR or DR??

As for the second leg I would reccomend doing a trip up the great dividing range through the high country of Vic and up through NSW into QLD plenty of great riding and thingsd to see but not so remote that if its a stinking hot day you cant hole up in a pub but still see plenty along the way and there is a great mixture of dirt and fantastic non boring tar that can be done!

Geting out into the west @ that time of year is bloody hot and you can end up doing alot of Km's in the stinking hot for a picture with a camel (dont get me wrong I like heading west but just not @ that time of year)

If your in gunnedah give me a yell
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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get on to or and pick up a dr650 thats set up and ready to go. put it in a shed for when you come back the 2nd time.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:53 PM   #5
I did that.
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Downtown S.E. NSW
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What lentil said.
It's generally too hot to ride inland that time of year, not good for the health.
The east coast ranges run the length of the continent, and there's heaps of gravel and variety there.
Also, if you get the urge it's usually only an hour or three to the coast for a swim.
Whatever you choose, enjoy.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:49 PM   #6
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Which station are you at down there ? I did Mawson in the late 80's, an awesome experience, especially on the quads out on the blue ice
What's your plans for the future, more trips down to Antarctica, if so I reckon you will get the bug to do a complete lap of this big country of ours so you may want to think long term for a bike purchase. There won't be a shortage of people willing to store the bike for you I'm sure.
As for where to head, well just keep reading those RR and start of by a list of what you like about each in dot point and before long a route will appear.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by marlboroughlad View Post
get on to or and pick up a dr650 thats set up and ready to go. put it in a shed for when you come back the 2nd time.
Excellent suggestion given the nature, location and duration involved.
i just seek clarity
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chickaloon View Post
... mid Feb... ...I know it can be hot this time of year... ...may be in Tasmania where the temps are a bit cooler to start off...
Late December to end of February is the hottest time of year in SE Australia.

I did Tasmania in the second half of January 2 years ago and the weather was gorgeous. I arrived the day of torrential flooding, but I then got 2 weeks of 20 to 25deg days and sunny weather. February would be the same, so obviously start in Tassie.

In Victoria, the hot weather never extends past the first week of March and often the last week of February is noticably milder; March and April are, for my money, the best time of year here. By late April, it's getting colder and daylight saving has ended.

The other thing which I didn't really grasp until I lived in Ohio for a while is the nature of the weather.

Summer in SW Ohio is stable, moderately hot and very humid. Every day. All that seems to vary is just exactly how hot, over a range of maybe high 20sC to low 30sC. In winter (which I didn't experience) they get a wide variety of weather.

Winter in Melbourne is stable, a 12C day is cold and wet, a 15C day is warm and sunny. It rarely fails to top 10C and almost never tops 17C.
Summer in Melbourne is unstable; it might be 20degC one day, 26 the next, 34 the next, then 38, with a cold front at 2pm and back down to 20degC. Yes, we get some very hot weather (though not humid), but it doesn't last more than a couple of days and many days are quite mild and very pleasant.

  • if you're going to do Tassie, do it first
  • don't worry about the heat in Victoria after the end of February
  • work your way north as Autumn progresses.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:34 PM   #9
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Here's a link to the daily weather observations for February this year in Melbourne to give you a feel for how variable the weather here is even in the hottest months of the year. There are links from there which will get you to other months and to other places.
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