Melbourne to Sydney | Australia

Another epic journey riding from Adelaide to Melbourne and then to Sydney, covering 3 states with a distance of 1751km and a 13,011m of elevation gain. I missed a few days’ rides from Cooma to Wollongong, ~370km, due to terrible weather and persistent heavy rainfall but I’m still incredibly grateful for the whole experience! This post will cover stage 2 (Melbourne to Sydney) of the tour. You can read stage 1 (Adelaide to Melbourne) here.

As always, huge thanks and great appreciation to the All Trails crew (Richard, Lou and Doug) for everything! Especially the logistics (which were a HUGE task!), amazing food and accommodation wherever possible and making the tour as smooth as possibly can.

Some say the group makes/breaks the tour…our group definitely makes the tour! Another wonderful group of cyclists, whom are full of wisdom and so generous in sharing with the “baby of the group” (me 😆). I felt very well taken care of (being the youngest has its perks 😉). A huge blessing to ride again with a few cyclists I met in Tassie and Perth tours. Truly appreciate and treasure my time with these very motivating and inspiring group of people! 🙏🏼🙏🏼

Some highlights:
1. Best views day would be Day 14 Yea to Milawa. Absolutely gorgeous when the sun rises and shines on the rolling hills, illuminating it.
Day 22 riding along Sea Cliff Bridge was incredibly beautiful too!
2. Best riding day would be Day 17 Khancoban to Thredbo. I was climbing well in Thredbo, slow but at consistent pace. And I LOVE the descent! I was riding well on Day 22 as well because my legs were fresh!
3. Best hotels are Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld (great room and lovely view) and Lancemore in Milawa (the best BED ever! I just want to lie there all day!).
4. Food has been incredible too! But the best of the best would be in Dunkeld (Parker St Project in Royal Mail Hotel), 360q in Queenscliff and Brown Brothers Winery in Lancemore Milawa.

What an incredible experience! It’s hard work indeed but truly rewarding. I’m already looking forward to the next one and itching to book for more in the future!

580.66km 7383m
7 riding days

Day 13 – Melbourne to Yea

☁️🌧☀️😊🙏🏼 We missed you both very much Carol & Andrew! Four cyclists left us in Melbourne and another six join in for stage 2 of the tour.

Nice temperature, cloudy, brief rain that lasted for ~10mins. Abit wet but thankfully clouds cleared, sun came out and dried the clothes for a bit. Longest (in terms of time) 20km ever ridden in the bike paths to get out of the city…it’s a nightmare to ride as a group with 20+ people on bike paths. Lots of debris on Plenty Rd on bike lane + busy road as well. More rough roads and dirty (full of debris) shoulders 🙄

Windy coming out of M. T. and kept getting stronger, thankfully some was tailwind! So not all full on headwind/crosswind. Beautiful ride and views once we get inside Flowerdale. Very beautiful views on the left with rolling hills in the distance as we turn into lunch. The 10km of undulating hills after lunch took some efforts but not too bad then it was a bit of downhills and flats for the last time 10km to Yea. Good start to stage 2! 🙏🏼🙏🏼

Tonight’s accommodation at Yea Motel
Dinner at Peppercorn Hotel

“20 years ago early pioneers of the cycle touring industry lead a group out on today’s route on their way to Sydney – the first big long-distance multi-day cycling tour for that small cycle tour company. From little things, big things grow. That was of course an AllTrails’ tour in conjunction with Bicycling Australia Magazine and that legacy lives on in our 2022 cyclists as they ride through the northern suburbs of Melbourne on their journey to Sydney. After the suburbs disappear, we begin climbing to Kinglake through thick forests that were burned by the devastating bushfires on Black Saturday in 2009 when Kinglake itself lost 120 residents to the fire. We then wind down beside the creek to Flowerdale and over rolling hillside to your overnight at Yea, with historic colonial buildings, attractive parkland located in the street’s central strip and The Yea Wetlands – the town’s best kept secret. We highly recommend heading to the visitor centre and enjoying the network of walking tracks, boardwalks and bridges throughout the wetlands if you have time.” 

All Trails

Day 14 – Yea to Milawa

🥶☀️🌪🥵🙏🏼 Magnificent morning then wind turned scary then INSANE!

Cold 🥶 start at the crack of dawn. Hills to warm up the body & legs. But hands and nose were still cold. Long gloves next time! Rough roads, dirty shoulders (gravel + debris) at the start making the descent rather scary.

Magnificent views of the rolling hills to distract the soreness from climbing and the cold. The sun rises and shines on the hills, illuminating it and it was just beautiful! 😍😍🙏🏼🙏🏼 It was a great morning ride actually despite more climbing until M. T. #2 (73km mark), love the descent, it’s winding around to the Gooram Falls (53km).

Lunch at Benalla Rose Garden

Then I decided to jump into the trailer for the next ~30km bit to avoid a gravel section. Headwind/crosswind is BACK! 😭 Hot in the afternoon! 🥵🥵 BLOODY WIND after lunch with crosswinds at 30kph and gusts of 46kph for 23km. Fear for my life when trucks/lorries zoom by…so that’s it. I’m done for the day! 😑

Dinner and overnight accommodation at Lancemore Milawa.

“This morning you cycle through rolling hills, cross the mighty Goulburn River then up into the lovely Strathbogie Ranges, sprinkled with massive boulders throughout the landscape. After this climb into the ranges, the rest of the day is mostly downhill and flat so get into your stride as you push through the kms entering Ned Kelly Country winding through Euroa, Benalla and Glenrowan, made famous by the bushranger’s last stand. For those with the strength to ride the full distance today, flat countryside takes you through to the Milawa wine area and location of our very special digs for the night at Lindenwarrah. With Brown Brothers just over the road and a beautiful 3 course dinner tonight, this is a treat you deserve and won’t forget.

All Trails

Day 15 – Milawa to Tallangatta/Albury

☁️🥱🙏🏼 Today’s ride is like a mirror image – drizzly and rail trail in the morning and the same for the afternoon.

Drizzly cloudy humid. Cold at M. T. #1. Very nice rail trail going into Beechworth. Smooth ride today with Leah in the morning 

The day went past quite quickly until M. T. #2 at Yackandandah. Beautiful views and riding along Lake Hume.

Lake Hume

The last 12km on the rail trail to Tallangatta was my least favourite. It’s terribly bumpy. Very sore hands, shoulders and bums 😭 The first 2km was soft gravel bits then it’s clay packed, terrible to ride on 🙄 Nearly slip on a bend. Then it’s bus transfer to Albury for our overnight accommodation.

Dinner and accommodation at Atura, Albury.

“Everton is just a short ride this morning where you can take a photo of the famous bus shelter if you wish, or get a self- proclaimed ‘World Famous’ milkshake from the General Store. From here we join the beautiful (paved!) rail trail up to the gold rich town of Beechworth, home of another ‘famous’ – the Beechworth Bakery. You leave the magnificently restored buildings of Beechworth and cruise down through gold diggings and quaint shacks, then cycle alongside Lake Hume. It’s your choice to ride the rail trail or the road to Tallangatta town on the banks of the Hume.”

All Trails

Day 16 – Tallangatta (VIC) to Khancoban (NSW)

🥶☁️🌧🙏🏼 Ride aborted early 🌧

Cold gloomy start 🥱😑 First 8km on the rail trail was unpleasant. Full of small little stones that kept getting caught on the wheel sets. I did not like that one bit. Feel bad for my bike! 😢

The next 30km to M. T. was a very enjoyable ride. Lots of climbing but beautiful views hugging around Lake Hume. Sensational!

Managed to avoid the rain for 40km 🙏🏼🙏🏼 Then it started raining quite heavily as we were heading off from M. T. so I decided not to continue riding. There’s a steep descent soon after M. T. and I didn’t want to descend in the pouring rain! 🌧🌧 There’ll always be more rides tomorrow anyway 😆

“Today we ride the Murray Valley Highway up into the nature plantations, wilderness parks and valleys on the edge of Victoria’s boundary before crossing over into NSW and the edge of Kosciuszko National Park. It’s with good reason that this area is referred to as ‘God’s Country’ and you’ll understand that as you take in the scenery on today’s ride. Khancoban is a small community at the foot of the Alps and a good place to rest up before a big climb tomorrow. It is not far from here that the Murray River springs from the earth in an uneventful trickle, gathering steam quickly as it becomes the border between two states, ending up near Goolwa where we were a couple of weeks ago on Day 2 of this tour.” 

All Trails

Day 17 – Khancoban to Thredbo

🥶🥵🥶☁️🙏🏼 Very gloomy day! The temperature was actually okay for me but cold for the everyone else. 

The last stretch to Scammells Ridge Lookout with gradient reaching 18%!

Very very hot 🥵 during the climb. Very very cold 🥶 during the descend. Really confused on what to wear. The first 20km climb (with a gain of close to 1000m) to Scammells Ridge Lookout was very challenging to an already exhausted legs. Thankfully the views were incredibly beautiful, we were surrounded by hills/mountains to distract us from the pain 😆🙏🏼

The next 12km to Geehi Picnic Area for M. T. was a breeze as it was mostly downhill 😁 Then another 20km to Tom Groggin Rest Area for lunch was a smooth and enjoyable undulating ride! 🙏🏼

Decided not to do the remaining 24km to Thredbo: 
1) No more strengths left in my legs to push for another 18km of uphill with some sections of 24%. If my legs were fresh, I’d probably try to push through but not with a weary pair of legs that have been riding almost nonstop the last 16 days.
2) Too many unknown territories: roads abit wet + very narrow roads + 24%. I don’t have enough experience to deal with so many unknowns at once. I might come back to attempt this again in a few years’ time. I’m happy to have done the first 53km being only a 2.5 years old cyclist ☺️💪🏼💪🏼

“Sunrise in the Murray Valley, filtering through the array of deciduous trees around Khancoban will inspire you to mount your trusty treadly on this exciting ‘challenge’ day as we head toward the Snowy Mountains base town of Thredbo and a big night around the welcoming lounge fire. The road narrows as you wind your way up the mountains past the Snowy Mountains hydro scheme, the largest engineering project undertaken in Australia, before lunch at Geehi, by the river amongst groups of kangaroos, then the crunch of the massive climb up to Dead Horse Gap and Thredbo. The ride will test your stamina like it did the legendary stockmen now immortalised in ballads and poems of this wild country. Of course, the AllTrails support vehicle will always be there for those who can’t quite make the climb to your superb Alpine accommodation at the European style village of Thredbo.”

All Trails

Day 18 – Mt. Kosciuszko walk on “Rest Day”

☀️👌🏼😁🙏🏼 What a gorgeous day! Couldn’t have asked for a better weather! Finally being rewarded with beautiful sunny day after 2-3 days of cloudy/gloomy sky! 🙏🏼🙏🏼

Chairlifted to Crackenback and walked to the top of Mt. Kosciuszko, tallest mountain in Australia (2,228m). Legs are probably going to regret it tomorrow 😆

It’s supposed to be an easy walk but the overused legs made it very challenging! Ouchhh my knees and feet! The last 1km to the summit was gravelly (small stones). It would be better with a pair of hiking boots rather than a normal runner…the stones were hurting the sole of my feet. Mt. Kosciuszko does feel abit like Tongariro Alpine Crossing in North Island, NZ but a much smaller version.

“Today is a day to either relax and enjoy the local area, or to climb to the top of Australia. The 7km (each way) walk to the highest point in Australia is stunning. Jump on the chairlift at Thredbo then walk and talk on an elevated mesh path over a spectacular landscape, sometimes dotted with snow patches, to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko and 360 degree views over the Snowy Mountains. For those who do not want to walk to the top, the alternative is to cycle around Thredbo, hire a MTB and hit the trails, visit the AIS Olympic swimming pool and all its facilities, play a round of golf at Australia’s highest golf course, or just have a wander around the village and relax.”

All Trails

Day 19 – Thredbo to Cooma

☁️😑🥵🙏🏼 Fake descend day…still did another 1000m climb. 

It wasn’t as cold as I thought (I think I overdressed abit) and also didn’t expect so much climbing on a “descend” day 🙄 Very hot when climbing, base layer was soaked and jersey was wet with sweat too 🥵 Gloomy cloudy sky…back to the usual.

Jindabyne Terrain Park

Lots of rough roads. Traffic was okay, very nice and quiet in the morning then it was a little busy right after M. T. till lunch. Magnificent views (some sun would be even nicer) along Alpine Way and all the way till Jindabyne for M. T. Riding towards Jindabyne lake was just beautiful 😍👌🏼

Nice smooth ride to Berridale for lunch. Then legs and speed were on for the last ~30km to Cooma, hoping to avoid the rain. The rain clouds looked thick and heavy and going to open up anytime. Managed to outride the rain! Yay! Some headwind for the last 30km stretch too.

“You leave Thredbo climbing and descending many hills through lovely country, before fantastic views of Lake Jindabyne and a big downer into the township. Rock and roll over hills and dales of the Monaro Range through Berridale, then down into Cooma, a busy country town.” 

All Trails

Day 20 – Cooma to Bungendore

🌧🌧🌧  Didn’t ride due to terrible weather 😢

“The Monaro highway that traverses the desolate Monaro Plain, from the Aboriginal word meaning high plateau, is relatively quiet taking you through Bredbo and Michelago, before entering the Australian Capital Territory. We skip past the busy streets of Canberra though with an overnight stop 30km past the nation’s capital at Bungendore, an historic village located in a pretty green valley in southwest NSW where you’ll find everything from lovingly preserved colonial buildings to markets, crafts and wineries.” 

All Trails

Day 21 – Bungendore to Nowra

🌧🌧🌧  Didn’t ride again due to horrible weather 😢 Ride also got called off at around 115km because of zero visibility. It was unsafe to drive let alone ride….

Beautiful accommodation at Carrington Inn
Great dinner too at Carrington Inn

“Today you cycle through bushland the Budawang and Morton National Parks, then Sassafras. It’s a big day, but not very hilly with undulations for 100km, then a spectacular descent of 700m for the last 50km and onto the coast of NSW at Nowra.

All Trails

Day 22 – Nowra to Wollongong

Wollongong Foreshore
Emery Reserve Gerroa

Didn’t ride again today due to the terrible weather! 😢 Sightseeing from the van instead 🙃

Great accommodation and very delicious dinner at Boat Harbour Motel

“It’s great to be back at sea level again where you cross the bridge then down to Shoalhaven Heads and follow the coastline along Seven Mile Beach National Park to Kiama, Shell Harbour and the seaside splendour of Wollongong. It’s a shorter day today so plenty of time to stop and take some photos of the coast and beautiful townships.” 

All Trails

Day 23 – Wollongong to Sydney

☀️🥵👌🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 DONEEEE!!! YAYYY!!!

Couldn’t quite say that I’ve ridden from Melbourne to Sydney because I skipped a big section from Cooma to Wollongong (~370km). I have only done 580 km out of the predicted 1106km 😭😭😭

The last day of riding with no rain! 🙏🏼🙏🏼 Beautiful sunny blue skyyyy 😍😍 Bike paths for the first 15km to get out of Wollongong…so BUSYYY even at 8am in the morning.

The Sea Cliff Bridge at 23km mark was absolutely stunning!

M. T. at Stanwell Tops Lookout (Bald Hill) was absolutely gorgeous as well! 

Riding through Royal National Park was absolutely beautiful but it feels like riding in Mt. Dandenong that has much better and wider roads!

Lunch at Royal National Park, Audley Dance Hall Café.
It’s the biggest sandwich I’ve ever seen.
It probably weighs 2kg 😆😱 Eating the sandwich was a workout in itself.

All of us couldn’t ride the 23km section after lunch till Barton Park because of flooding. We were transferred via van instead. I forgot to pause Wahoo during the van transfer 😅 Total ride today should only be ~80km.

The last 17km to Sydney Opera House were all on bike paths.

We were all ready to finish this epic tour!
Very grateful and a huge relief that we all made it safely especially on those days with terrible rain, they were quite dangerous to ride 🙏🏼🙏🏼
So grateful to ride with these very inspiring and courageous cyclists again!

The aftermath after ~1700kms riding from Adelaide to Sydney.

Rydges Sydney Harbour
Sydney Opera House

“The coast is clear as you cycle the path to Bulli and the Grand Pacific Drive. The stunning elevated roadway of Seacliff Bridge takes you over the crashing waves before climbing to Stanwell Park, hang-glider heaven, through the Royal National Park and into Sydney. We follow a network of cycle paths and streets into the CBD via the Botany Bay Beaches, past the Airport, through Hyde Park and finally around to Circular Quay. Congratulations, what a ride! Once checked in at the hotel head to the rooftop pool for stunning views across to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Our final dinner tonight is a big celebration!”

All Trails

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You might also like to read the other cycling adventures I had been on: Perth, Tasmania, Japan, Vietnam, New Zealand and Canada.

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