Keeping Track of Adventures

Hi Everyone,

I’ve decided that blogs frustrate me because you can never find a page you want when you want it. For that reason I have created a new page called my Adventure Directory, where I intend to keep links to all the cool adventures friends and I have had over the years. I may even include some posts from my favourite blogs, like twobreakfasts,  Tandem Travellers and Northern Walker.

I will also try to add some old adventures to my collection of posts because I’m fairly certain I can put up a reasonable collection of posts for each state and territory.

If anyone wants to do a guest post feel free to let me know because the bigger the directory  the better really.

Brisbane to Alice Springs

As many of you know I recently decided to move to Alice Springs in central Australia. I’ll be starting a new job next week, but for the moment I’m still enjoying free time. To get to Alice is a fair trek and over the past week Clare and I drove more than 3,600km and used something like 380 litres of fuel.

The route is pretty varied with some long 600+ days at the wheel, but we found plenty to entertain ourselves and some beautiful campsites. The highlights have included:
– star gazing at the cosmos centre in Charleville
– climbing the windmill and the weir in Longreach

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– visiting Larks Quarry and the dinosaur causeway south of Winton, then going out with Jen to rediscover a rare plan and camp under the stars in a random clay pan.

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– searching for a camp out of Mt Isa only to find it full of cows.

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– camping at Camooweal Caves

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– sunset and sunrise at the Devil’s Marbles.

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Stradbroke Island Cycling

On Sunday we braved the early morning cold and got up at 6am for an adventure out to North Stradbroke Island, the largest of the many islands which form the barrier between Moreton Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The crisp morning air demanded jumpers to be worn with our shorts so it was hard to raise the motivation to throw our bikes in the car, rummage through the cupboards for food and drive out to Cleveland where the car ferry begins the 45minute journey across to the Island.

Having parked the car and assembled my bike (seriously one day I am going to buy a bike that fits in a car or even a standard bike box) we bought our tickets just as the ferry started loading. The calm and beautiful conditions on the crossing confirmed to us that it had been worth getting up, and that we weren’t mad.

Our early morning ferry trip confirmed that today would be a good day!

Arriving on the island we were immediately in the shade of the sand hills the dominate the island. Panic filled me as my ideas of riding around on a perfectly flat island with lots of beautiful bays was shattered, but a coffee from the bakery restored my earlier optimism and we started riding towards Point Lookout at the northern tip or the island. The riding is easy, with good roads that seem well thought out and aren’t steep.

The hills are relatively large (80m maybe), the the slopes are gentle making them easy enough to ride. Continue reading

Daisy Hill Mountain Biking

Today I went out to explore the mountain bike trails at Daisy Hill Conservation Park for the first time. It is 5 days since it last rained so I thought that there would be a bit of mud lying around but that the tracks would generally be dry enough to ride. How wrong I was….

It turns out that the tracks at Daisy Hill hold water like nowhere else, despite 5 days on sunshine and winds many of the fire trails in the park were under an inch or more of water which made for a gloriously muddy ride. To make things better a few of the creeks were still swollen and what looked like shallow creek crossing turned out to be a hub deep hole on a number of occasions. Despite this I couldn’t have asked for a better day out because the fast flowy trails punctuated by rock gardens and water crossing made for a day to remember.

I rode about 35km inside the park, plus 7km each way to get there from the train station and it was all pretty awesome. You can see the maps and vertical profiles here.

Brisbane to Adelaide – maybe with Friends?

So as you know I don’t currently have a job I’ve had the realisation that I can apply for jobs from any computer anywhere I am. So I started thinking…

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

The idea I have had is to ride from Brisbane to Adelaide over a period of 2 -3 months, and to meet up with people along the way and if possible have them join in for a few days.

The route I am considering includes so really exciting and iconic locations such as:

  • Waa Gorge
  • Mt Kaputar
  • The Warrumbungles
  • Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve
  • Goobang National Park
  • Parkes Radio Telescope
  • Lake Cargelligo
  • Hillston (where my friend Gregor lives)
  • Balranald
  • Mallee Cliffs National Park
  • Mungo National Park (possibly)
  • Mildura
  • The Murray River to the mouth
  • Victor Harbour
  • Kangaroo Island
  • Adelaide

I am really looking forward to the ride, and would be happy for people to join me for as much or as little of the ride as they like. Even drop in if you are in the area.

I will keep everyone up to date when I am leaving and where I am. Post a comment or send me an email if you are interested in coming along and I will leave you with this thought…

Long Weekend Cycle Tour – Rosewood – Lake Moogerah – Ipswich

It was a wet and windy weekend and all through the house chilly drafts filled every corner. The alarm stirred two sleepy figures who opened their eyes, mumbled a few words about how terrible it was and rolled over to go back to sleep. 
Ten minutes later one figure sat bolt upright and declared that it was time to go riding!

Our plans for the weekend we’re fairly simple. We would catch a train to Rosewood, run an undefined distance and following an undefined route as far as we could be bothered which would hopefully be Lake Moogerah. We would then turn around and come back if we had sufficient energy. Amazingly it worked out quite well and to plan, though that was never going to be hard.

Our route for the June long weekend cycle tour and the vertical profile. Click on the image for an interactive version.

So on Sunday morning we rode to the station and headed off to Rosewood with little or no plan, but a good supply of food and some shelter in case it all got to hard. One of the best things about Brisbane is that it is really easy and cheap to get out of it by public transport. From Rosewood we turned south along the Rosewood-Warrill View Rd into a head wind that made riding like riding on sand, every spin of the pedals was harder than the one before and progress was slow averaging only 16km/h.

Anyway the ride improved after a stop for hot chips in Rosevale and the afternoon saw us riding along the nicest road we’ve ridden. The road ran between Rosevale and Aratula and was well graded gravel winding up a beautiful wooded valley with a creek next to the road. If anyone is in the area take the time to ride it!

After a late lunch we rode the last 12 kilometres to Lake Moogerah Caravan Park which is situated right beside the lake. We didn’t take any photos because we were tired and it was far to nice to lie on the grass. Instead I have provided some photos from their website to entice you!

On Monday morning we packed up in record time and started heading north. With sore legs and hills to contend with he first few kilometres nearly made us weep, but once we crested the last hill it was downhill for kilometres with rapid descents and very little pedalling to be done. The joy on our faces going down the hill would have looked amazing, but it was good enough to declare it our second best ride (after the day before of course). To top it off we finished the morning riding at brilliant cafe in Kalbar called the Art Cafe Du Kalbar, you all know I get pretty excited about coffee but this place is up there with the best. It has arm chairs in the wind, with books and magazines discreetly placed on the table and is wonderful. Also they now know how to temper soy well after yours truly educated them as part of my quest to enlighten the masses.

After coffee we rode on into the rain and wind, stopping only to put on rain coats, overshoes and play with historic water pumps.

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Brisbane Adventures #3

So after 6 weeks in Brisbane it seems like it is time for my second general update on what is going on and why I still seem to have no free time, even though I am unemployed. If you have suggestions on what I should be doing let me know, otherwise I’ll just keep enjoying the life of a leisure!

Volunteer Work

I thought that since I have to give at the moment I should give it. In my last update I talked about how I had been helping out with the National Parks Association of Queesland, and I am still doing a little bit here and there. Last week I started a new volunteer role with MS Queensland helping to get all the rider packs ready for their upcoming Brissie to the Bay charity ride. This ride is Queensland’s biggest charity bike ride with up to 5000 people partaking. The scary thing is that all of the ride packs for the event are packed by hand which takes up the staff’s time when there aren’t enough volunteers to help. For anyone who has ever take part in a charity bike ride, or any other charity activity I’d really like you to spare a thought for all the people who make these events happen.

Mountain Biking

I’ve finally started getting out on my mountain bike in the past few weeks. I’ve been riding with the people from the Gap Creek Trail Association a few times and have spent a bit more time helping to build trails, including a fairly sweet little berm and switchback section at Gap Creek.

One of the berms I helped build at Gap Creek mountain bike park. Continue reading

Riding with the crazy dutch guy!

I spent this afternoon riding out of Brisbane with Thomas our crazy dutch cycling friend.

Thomas has already ridden around Tasmania, New Zealand and from Melbourne to Brisbane. He hopes to make it back to Melbourne (the long way) by December.

For info on his ride or to see his amazing photos go to http://thodo.nl

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Sunshine Coast and Hinterland – Not Flat

On Tuesday I set out for what I thought was going to be an easy three day ride through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, down to the Sunshine Coast Proper, and then back to complete the loop. Based on our ride in the Glasshouse MountainsI mistakenly thought that it would be a fairly easy ride with one day of hills and then a two days of relatively flat terrain. Little did I know what it would turn out like….

The start of my ride, the map on this board is better than the one I was using to navigate.

Continue reading