Australiian dersert nights

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by BlueTwo, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. BlueTwo

    BlueTwo New Member

    Dec 22, 2004
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    Hi ,,,I am planning a circumnavigation of Australia in Jan 2006 ,, Sydney to Perth and around to Sydney ,,,In many other countries the derest is cold at night ,, I have a 5 degree C sleeping bag with a therarest pad and a Tarn 2 tent ,from MEC.CA ,, any info on night time temps would be appreciated,from the various regions ,, I hope to be in summer all the time ,at least Canadian summer 20 C at day and 12 C at night,west coast style which is mostly wet and cold like New Zealand,,

    looking for partners ,outback excurtions and a very loose timeline

    Bluetwo ,,Vancouver,Canada

  2. HughMann

    HughMann New Member

    Jun 22, 2004
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    First thing you need to check is the prevailing wind. Most people travel anti-clockwise ( ie. Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville, Mt Isa, Darwin etc.) and do it in winter/early spring. Even the caravans and camper vans do it anti clockwise to save fuel.
    At the time you plan to ride its cyclone season in the top half of OZ. From about Rockhampton on east coast around to about Port Headland on west coast can have some pretty bad weather. Speaking of weather day time temps will regularly reach 45 c (113 F ) especially up north and accross the Nularbour between Norseman and Port Augusta. Night temps can go down to 5 c once you get away from the coast in desert areas.
    WATER will be a huge problem. From Broome to Port Headland is 1100km and there is only ONE gas station between!

    Eugen did it in 55 days last year to set a new unassisted solo record. Even in late winter the temps were high and he did most of the top half of the continent riding at night.


    Why not think about staying in the south for Jan/Feb/Mar. Lots of good riding, places to see, friends to meet before heading north and into a bit more moderate weather.

    Sorry to sound so negative but I dont think that you really understand how extreme the Australian climate is in summer and how vast the distances are.

    Check out our weather here:

    You are doing the right thing and starting your planning early.

  3. DarrenT

    DarrenT New Member

    Oct 18, 2004
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    You are generally correct. I did the Perth to Sydney leg in August - September 2002, choosing that time & direction specifically for cooler temps and prevailing westerlies. Our group did the BoM research, got the anecdotal eveidence from some caravaners, but ended up with decent tailwinds on only two days. We copped headwinds or cross-headwinds almost daily, and they can be very strong across southern Oz. One day - 65kms of pain in 6hrs 30mins. Next day - 202kms in 7hrs 45mins including dirt road detours for sight-seeing!

    Maybe 2002 was an el-nino year??? All the evidence still suggests westerlies are more common, so don't necessarily take my word on it. Do the research again, particularly with the Bureau of Meteorology website provided. Then just hope.

    I wimped out and stayed in road-houses more often than not, so I'm not an expert on the night time temps. From what I recall, a 5c sleeping bag should be OK. You can always wear a track-suit inside the bag if its particularly cold.

    Day time temps reached about 35c around Iron Knob & Port Augusta. That would have been no more than a week into Spring. The temps will be very much higher if you decide to ride the southern section in Jan - March, but this is likely to be your only option to avoid the north during those months.

    Availability of water isn't too much of a problem between Perth & Sydney. The longest distance between Road Houses is about 180-200km. The problem in this area is choice and cost. Choices are bore water (rare), tank water or bottled water. Tank water is probably OK, but can you risk a dose of the runs on a cycling holiday? Bottled water is the safest option. But, the Road Houses are usually just old petrol stations with a few rooms or cabins. They stock bottled water up to 1.5 lt and were charging up to A$3.60 per bottle in 2002. You can buy much cheaper in supermarkets, but these are usually many hundreds of kms apart. That also requires a support vehicle to carry it. If you are carrying your own gear, then you just have to put up with it. At a guess, I spent over A$400 on bottled water. Sort of screws up the budget if your not expecting it.

    The east coast is the most populated, so water shouldn't be a problem. I can't speak for any other section.

    Like Hugh, I hope I haven't talked you out of it. I have no regrets from the Perth to Sydney leg.

  4. overthehillmedi

    overthehillmedi New Member

    Feb 25, 2005
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    Just so you don't think that you're the only crazy canuck out there. I'm planning the same trip but first I'll circle North America then do Australia,but I'll wait about three years until I retire.I think that it has something to do with all the fresh air we get from the Pacific,I'm on the rock across the water from you in Nanaimo. I plan on following this page with interested eyes.