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Adelaide to Melbourne 2023

Dave Dowling | Published on 5/17/2023

David Dowling - Extract from FB posts


A group of 10 intrepid cyclists set off to cycle between Adelaide and Melbourne.  The trip was organised by Dave Dowling. Bikes were either mountain bikes or CX bikes.  All participants camped. The daily distance was 70 to 100km.  Weather was kind with just one rainy day but there was head winds all the way.  Total distance was about 1300km.  Traffic was light except when the occasional main road was used.


Overall, an excellent trip.


The following is an edited extract form Dave Dowling’s facebook page.


Day 1. Adelaide airport to McLaren Vale. 54km with some testing hills but beautiful scenery. They call it the Ocean to Vines rail trail, but many sections are certainly above the 3% gradient. With our bikes assembled, we pushed off around 11:30 and made it to Halets Cove for lunch. And finally arrived at the caravan park at 4:30pm. After setting up camp and quick shower it was off to the pub. Weather is great. Hope it stays that way.


Day 2. The Shiraz Trail 18km mostly flat. A good day with the weather still kind to us.


Day 3. Onkaparinka trail to Moana and return 35km. Another lovely day for cycling these beautiful trails.


Day 4.  McLaren Vale to Middleton via Victor Harbour. 69km with the dreaded Willunga Hill at the start and a headwind as complimentary. Sadly Richie Porte's record of 6:39 was never under threat. But it was a great ride to Victor Harbor for lunch where the place was packed with holiday makers for the public holiday.


Day 5 . Middleton to Murray Bridge via Milang. 87km flat. Another great day for riding 26 degrees with no hills, just a light headwind.


Day 6. A rest day at Murray Bridge and it's 34 degrees. Washing done, bike serviced, provisions purchased for the next 3 days riding, and about to order pizzas for dinner tonight.


Day 7. Murray Bridge to Coonalpyn. 91 km really flat and a bit of traffic. Fortunately, it wasn't hot, but we'll sleep well tonight after a beer and dinner at the Coonalpyn Hotel.


Day 8.  Coonalpyn to Willalooka 99.5km on a very flat but a good road.

Our day started at 12:00am when we were sadly woken by the sprinklers in the adjacent park spraying our tents. It lasted for 15 minutes but was repeated every two hours. One of our group who shall remain nameless was caught by the sprinkler as he was bending over to get in his tent. Then to make matters worse. It started raining at 6:00am when it was time to pack up. So much for the BOM forecast of a 1% chance of rain at Coonalpyn. So we're all a bit weary and looking forward to a good meal at the Willalooka Tavern.


Day 9.  Willalooka to Kingston. 79km of dead flat and boring road with little to no traffic. But the killer was the headwind. So the incentive was to get away early to arrive in Kingston in time to see the footy. And the Brisbane Lions are set to give the Power a good hiding.


Day 10.  Rest day in Kingston SE. Time for washing, local sight-seeing, and bicycle maintenance.


Day 11. Kingston SE to Beachport. Headwinds all day but riding in a Pelton of 3 thanks to Lawrence and Peter Duffy, we made it in good shape. Now for crumbled lamb chops for dinner. Might even consider dessert.


Day 12.  Beachport to Mt Gambia. 85km and a lovely ride.


Day 13.  Mt Gambier to Portland. This was a moderately hard day with 105 km, mostly flat, good second level A road BUT all the trucks took this route. The Princess Highway main road was 10 km longer at 115 km. Trucks all gave us a wide berth but they were constant. No towns on route as I recall and a long day in the saddle. Countryside was pleasant and we all were keen to get to Portland for a rest day. David had a cold beer waiting for us all at the camp when we got in.


Day 14. Rest day in Portland and a chance to catch up with Army buddies, Pat Obrien and Jack Walker. Pat and Anne looked after us and showed us the sights of Portland and Bridgewater. What a special part of the world. Jack and his brother Phillip brought their E bikes and plan on doing the Port Fairy rail trail with us. Hopefully these headwinds will subside soon.


Day 15. Portland to Port Fairy 73km of really hard slog into headwinds, but we survived.


Day 16.  Port Fairy to Warrnambool.  This was all done one the Rail Trail.  Only 40 km approx and a great day. Lunch in the wee little Irish town Koroit.


Day 17. Warnambool to Princetown past the 12 Apostles. And the Crayfish Festival and street parade in Port Campbell.


Final Day. It was a cold and wet day of mostly climbing, but the traffic was good and we all survived. No fun putting up the tent in the rain. Thankfully the rain has stopped this morning and the washing is on. Good news yesterday that Gull Services can pick us up with bike boxes on Sunday morning for a trip to the airport. Disappointed that we couldn't make it to Melbourne. The caravan park didn't hold our booking. No accommodation anywhere due to the Grand Prix.

En route


Paul Glennon

Check out other photos from this weekend here 2023 Adelaide to Melbourne April