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Trail Towns Season 2 Preview

Trail Towns Season 2 Preview

 
Learn more about the upcoming season of the cycling TV show Trail Towns, where Vandy and Deetz take on the bike paths of New Zealand. Find their press release and links to season 1 episodes below.
 

 
In an exciting announcement, the fabulously feel good Trail Towns, which burst to life on Australian TV channel SBS in 2021 is back for a second season premiering on Saturday July 2nd at 4pm and running for six weeks. 
 
“The guys are on the right idea here, it’s very addictive, this show, makes you want to get on a bike and hit the trails” - Lisa Leong – ABC 774
 
The brand new series is shot entirely on location in New Zealand. The series is a drive / ride road trip adventure, consisting of six episodes starting in the North Island featuring: Auckland & The Twin Coast Cycle Trail, the Hauraki Rail Trail & Rotorua and Taupō. Then it was over to the South Island to check out: Christchurch & The West Coast, Timaru & the Alps 2 Ocean Trail and finishing up in the stunning towns of Queenstown & Wānaka.
 
Since its first season, Trail Towns has branched into radio, broadcasting right across Australia and New Zealand on SEN (Australia’s leading sports entertainment network), with the first three seasons being picked up by international distribution. Trail Towns is set to be broadcast across the world, inspiring many to take a bike holiday in New Zealand, and other destinations across the globe.
 
“It’s terrific, a charming show, give it a go.” - James Holmes, Radio 3AW Victoria.
  
The creators of the show Dieter and Paul - known fondly to viewers and listeners as Deetz & Vandy - live the dream when they hit the trails.

“When we created Trail Towns, we wanted to shine a light on the local communities and encourage viewers to choose from the many New Zealand regions for their next holiday,” says Deetz, Executive Producer and host of Trail Towns. “Our second season of Trail Towns was always going to be something very special, given we were spending six weeks filming six episodes in one of the most beautiful countries on earth - Aotearoa New Zealand. But boy, it was even more epic than we could have imagined. From the sculpted flow trails of Cardrona, to the outrageously beautiful Alps 2 Ocean Trail and the pristine forest trails of Taupō - there's so many amazing places it's impossible to name them all. Just watch the show!”
 

Vandy reflected on season two saying, ‘‘Trail Towns Season 2 was an adventure of a lifetime! Imagine doing a one week holiday... six times... in a row! Mind blowing. The pristine nature, cycling trails, fresh produce and beautiful people made us all fall in love with Aotearoa New Zealand. We hope the show inspires Australian viewers to plan their next adventure to New Zealand.”

New Zealand’s people and places are what makes it such an extraordinary country, and this partnership showcases the best of Aotearoa’s cycle trails and local communities. The locals in each region shared valuable knowledge on the best places to eat, drink, stay and play in each episode – inviting exploration in the spirit of Manaakitanga, a traditional Māori value encompassing reciprocal hospitality and respect from one individual or group to another.
 
“These guys have got a good show.” - Dave O’Neill - radio broadcaster & Spicks & Specks TV show regular.

The true heroes of Trail Towns (apart from Deetz & Vandy!) are the locals of each region, who help the presenters unlock and share valuable knowledge and tips on the best places to eat, drink, stay and play in each episode.

After decades of adventuring on bikes, Deetz and Vandy are sharing their passion with people and encouraging everyone to explore some of the world’s best cycling in Australia and New Zealand. ON AIR SBS Saturday 2nd July 2022, 4.00pm and follow up on SBS DEMAND. New Zealand on air date to be advised.
 
 

 
To be honest, the new series looks so fun it makes us want to go on a cycling holiday in New Zealand (we know - very unlike us!). 
 
Fortunately, we have our mates with the World Expeditions Travel Group at Adventure South NZ who are experts in active adventures in New Zealand. From cycling the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail to the original Otago Central Rail Trail, see the team at Adventure South NZ for a top bike trip across the ditch.
Mudgee Wine + Food Month

Mudgee Wine + Food Month

 
While it's always a good time to visit Mudgee, September is a great time to visit Mudgee.
 
This is because the Mudgee Wine + Food Month is on!
 
Here's what you can expect, according to the official event synopsis:
 
An unforgettable wine and food experience, Mudgee’s annual wine and food month festival started as a week-long celebration of the wine industry. Over 40 years later, the event is now one of New South Wales’ longest running wine and food festivals and features a diverse range of events including tastings, trivia, dinners and more.
 
While there are many signature events of the month-long celebration, each participating winery will generally offer their own unique experience, ranging from food and wine pairing, special tastings, platters, and tasting flights.
 
 
Cyclists in the vines at the Moothi Estate in Mudgee |  <i>Ross Baker</i>

Mudgee Wine + Food Month Events

There are several events you won't want to miss during this month-long celebration of the glorious gourmet produce of Mudgee. 
 

Twilight Tastings

Tantalise your tastebuds as we bring the wine tour to you, right in the heart of Mudgee township. Purchase your tasting pack including a wine tasting tumbler and tasting tokens before leisurely tasting a selection of Mudgee’s finest wineries (and local foodies).
 
A favourite with locals and visitors alike, come along + enjoy a public tasting of some of the best wines the Mudgee Region has to offer!
 

Tasting Sessions

Guests can choose from over 100 wines to sample + compare their palates to those of the wine show judges. There will also be an opportunity to take home six-packs of the award-winning wines at special ‘Go Tasting’ prices.
 
Enjoy a wine tasting experience with winemaker David Lowe at Lowe Wines, Mudgee |  <i>Destination NSW</i>
 

Wine Trivia

Join some of Mudgee’s biggest + best wine personalities for a casual evening of trivia with a difference – it’s all about the wine! Not a winemaker? Never had a Shiraz? Usually go for a beer? Don’t let that stop you! Wednesday Wine Trivia is all about having fun, learning something new + tasting some great local wines.

There’s a trophy and some fantastic prizes on offer, so grab your mates and get a team together. Study up if you like, but don’t fret if you don’t as there are questions for every level of wine knowledge out there.

Meet the Maker

Head out to one of Mudgee’s various cellar doors after hours for an intimate tasting session and exclusive access to new release wines!

Be greeted by one of the makers as you arrive for a special experience such as a winery tour, vineyard tour, or tasting of exclusive pre-release wines.

Go Grazing

Join in for an elegant long table degustation dinner of locally inspired dishes, paired with a selection of Mudgee’s best wines.

Throughout the evening you will be introduced to each wine and its matching dish by the local winemaker host. Listen and learn as you are guided through the characters to look for in the wine and why they complement the food on your plate. Bookings are essential for this delightful experience that is sure to leave you with a full belly + heart, as well as a deeper appreciation of how wine can enhance a meal.

>> Find all event dates, participating vineyards and more at the official Mudgee Wine Month website

Kangaroos in the midst near Mudgee

Take a bike tour to Mudgee during the Mudgee Wine + Food Month

There are 4 amazing self-guided cycling holidays you can take that start and finish in Mudgee during September. Having a food and wine festival at the finish line of a bike tour? Guilt-free gorging is priceless.

Mudgee Explorer

On this self-guided cycle trip you are free to set your own pace, with time to enjoy a long lunch, sample local cheeses or stop for a wine tasting en route. The choice is yours. We have a number of routes for you mapped out, each of which gives you ample time to appreciate the produce of this region. You'll stay in Mudgee for 4 nights, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the delights of the town. Best of all, you unpack just once on this one-hotel holiday. 

> View the Mudgee Explorer Self-Guided Cycle

Moothi Estate Vineyard in Mudgee |  <i>Ross Baker</i>

Central West Cycle Trail

The Central West Cycle Trail is quickly becoming one of the most popular bike routes in NSW (some would argue all of Australia!). It showcases everything you would expect from rural Australia including sweeping views, lonely roads and charming towns packed with character.

There are two ways to experience this trip during September:

Cycling the CWC out of Dunedoo |  <i>Michele Eckersley</i>
 

Capertee Valley in Comfort Cycle

Ride through the outstanding scenery of the Capertee Valley, an area of timeless beauty, and discover national parks, endangered birds, native wildlife and the world's widest canyon. Rest, relax and recharge in boutique accommodation. This self-guided trip departs daily all year round.
 
 
Cyclists viewing the Capertee Valley walls |  <i>Katy Taylor</i>
 
>> Find all event dates, participating vineyards and more at the official Mudgee Wine Month website
 

 
Will you be visiting Mudgee for their food & wine festival? Or have you been before? Let us know in the comment section below.
 
  
 
10 Unmissable Cafes on the Murray To Mountains Rail Trail

10 Unmissable Cafes on the Murray To Mountains Rail Trail

First rule of cycle tourism? Stay caffeinated. This rule is even more pertinent when cycling the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, which runs through Victoria's divine food and wine region.
 
Discover 10 of our favourite coffee stops on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail in Victoria's High Country. If you have an awesome place to share, we'd love to hear it! Tell us about it in the comment section below.
 
>> Explore all of these great cafes on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail during a self-guided cycling holiday
 

1. Caffeine_n_Machine in Rutherglen

 
As the owners, Nick & Megan say, this is a cafe with a difference. Caffeine_n_Machine features a modern industrial style layout with classic car and vintage motorcycle displays. There are also a few human powered bikes as well. If that doesn't float your boat then try the freshly baked treats and coffee. It's the perfect way to fuel your day exploring the surrounds of Rutherglen.
 
 
 

2. The Pickled Sisters in Wahgunyah

Over the border in Victoria is this gem in Wahgunyah. The Pickled Sisters doesn't just serve great coffee, it also offers delicious spreads of gourmet treats. See what Fran says in her Tripadvisor review below.

We came for lunch—we didn’t have a booking as we had been out on the rail trail on e-bikes and just happened onto this place. Luckily they could accommodate us—-I mention this because this place is worth a visit—so book! We sat outside. We had the tasting platter for two. They kindly agreed to substitute extra cheese as we didn’t want the salami. The platter was excellent. The pate was a standout, but the pickled spicy eggplant, sundried tomatoes, smoked trout and cheeses were all very good. We unfortunately didn’t have room for dessert!

Fran N, Tripadvisor

 
 
 

3. Cafe PreVue in Wangaratta

This popular cafe serves up tasty modern Australian cuisine. Be sure to see what all the fuss is about and visit Cafe PreVue while you're in Wangaratta.
 
Plus - you can enjoy your coffee with a view of the bridge you'll soon be cycling over. Marvellous!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Cafe PreVue (@cafe_prevue)

 

4. Everton Hotel in Everton

The Everton Hotel is a classic place for a lunch stop between Wangaratta and Beechworth. Here's what Carolyn thought:
 
 
A friendly country pub with garden fresh authentic Thai meals. Thanks to Murray the Licensee for his hospitality. The cool drinks were very welcome after the heat of day riding the Rail Trail. Everton Pub makes for a welcome place to stop in. Carolyn, Google Review.
 
The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail links together great country towns and hospitality |  <i>Chris Buykx</i>
 

5. The Pumpkin Seed and Oil Store (Pepo Farms) 

Is it worth stopping at Australia's first and only pumpkin seed farm? Absolutely. Besides charming farm scenery - and plenty of information about the health benefits of pumpkins - Pepo Farms have a little shop on site serving coffee. From their website:
 
Our factory, oil and seed educational centre is a first of it's type, product sales and taste testing plus view the factory where its all made and packaged. We also have a coffee shop so you can rest whilst watching small batch oil's being pressed. Learn eat feel better!
 
 
 

6. Beechworth Provender

Beechworth is one of Victoria's ultimate food and wine destinations. One of the must-do experiences is to visit the Beechworth Provender. Even if you don't go inside for a coffee, lunch or sticky beak of the fossils and gemstone jewellery, their old-timey facade is an essential photo stop.
 
Enjoying the fine produce and goods of Victoria's High Country in Beechworth |  <i>Robyn Lea</i>
 

7. Rail Trail Cafe

The Rail Trail Cafe is an integral part of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail. Just 8km outside of Bright, in the town of Porepunkah, you'll find this mecca for cyclists. Their menu is currently serving up a mix of Mexican and Australian favourites: think burritos, burgers and nachos.
 
Enjoying coffee t the Rail Trail Cafe on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail
 

 8. Milawa & Co

It's not just coffee on offer in Milawa: it's an array of gourmet produce. From artisanal bread (baked fresh daily) to the Milawa Cheese Company, you're bound to find yourself some foodie delights here.
 
 

9. Sixpence Coffee Roasters

Let the legends at Sixpence take care of all your caffeination needs. You can also buy their roasted beans to take home with you (the beans will fit snugly into your bike's panniers). It's also possible to spot the Sixpence team at the Bright Markets (on during the 3rd Saturday of every month from 9am to 1pm).
 
 

10. Bridge Road Brewers

This is a list of must-visit coffee places on the Murry to Mountains Rail Trail, and what the Bridge Road Brewers offer is a coffee...of sorts. At the end of a great day of cycling in Beechworth, be sure to treat yourself to a sundowner drink. Maybe their Robust Porter, which is made of 'English malts and rolled oats which provide a luxurious backdrop for the chocolate, coffee and vanilla flavours on the finish'. See, it is coffee! They also make a great pizza and do alcohol-free beers (as pictured below).
 
 

 
>> Explore all of these great cafes on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail during a self-guided cycling holiday
 
Of course there are plenty more great cafes to add to this list - let us know your favourite coffee stops along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail in the comment section below. 
 
  
 
 
 
Top Things to See and Do in Capertee Valley

Top things to see and do around the Capertee Valley

Capertee Valley, pronounced kay-per-tee, is one of the best-kept secrets of New South Wales. Not only is it home to the second widest canyon in the world, exceeding the Grand Canyon, but it is an essential habitat for endangered birds, a cool climate for producing fine wines, and its impressive scenery has inspired Australia's finest poets.
 
Capertee Valley is less than 3 hours drive from Sydney, making it the perfect destination for a short escape. 
 
>> If you want to explore the Capertee Valley on a stylish bike holiday, view the Capertee Valley in Comfort self-guided cycling tour
 
Here are 5 amazing things to see and do around the Capertee Valley.
  
Cyclist viewing the impressive walls of the Capertee Valley |  <i>Ross Baker</i>
 

1. Gardens of Stone National Park

This national park is named after the beautiful stone pagodas that tower over the native eucalypt trees below. The Gardens of Stone National Park is one of eight national parks that form the UNESCO World Heritage-Listed Greater Blue Mountains Area. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lora Ye (@lora.theexplorer)

 
 
The icon of the national park is Pantoneys Crown, which is an enormous isolated sandstone mesa. It rises 300 metres above its surroundings to 1020 metres. While it's possible to summit Pantoneys Crown on a long hike, in our opinion it/s best viewed from afar.
 
Cyclist viewing the impressive rock formations of the Capertee Valley |  <i>Ross Baker</i>
 

2. Discover the fine wines of the Central West

The Central West region is emerging as one of Australia's most popular destinations to visit vineyards. Two of the prominent wineries in the area are the Naked Lady Vineyard and the De Beaurepaire Vineyard, both of which have award winning wines. 
 
Cyclists leaving the Naked Lady Vineyard in Rylstone |  <i>Ross Baker</i>
 

3. Spot the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater bird

Capertee Valley has been designated as an Important Bird Area and as such you'll (hopefully) spot endangered birds. The Regent Honeyeater is listed as critically endangered with an estimated population of just 400 birds remaining in the wild. The Capertee Valley is the most important breeding area in Australia for the Regent Honeyeater. The species breeds between July and January in ox-Ironbark and other temperate woodlands and riparian gallery forests.
 

 

4 Explore the poetic beauty of the Capertee Valley

Henry Lawson was one of Australia's finest poets and writers during the colonial period and is often called Australia's "greatest short story writer". He was based in the Central West of NSW and the local scenery inspired many of his works. You can visit the Henry Lawson Memorial just outside of Mudgee in Eurunderee. 
 
He wrote about the 'wild beauty' of Capertee Valley in the poem, 'Song of the Old Bullock Driver'.
 
Then slowly we crawled by the trees that kept tally
       Of miles that were passed on the long journey down.
We saw the wild beauty of Capertee Valley,
       As slowly we rounded the base of the Crown.
But, ah! the poor bullocks were cruelly goaded
       While climbing the hills from the flats and the vales;
'Twas here that the teams were so often unloaded
       That all knew the meaning of ‘counting your bales.'
 
Read the full version of Henry Lawson's poem, 'Song of the Old Bullock Driver'.
 

5. Ride through historic villages

The relatively gentle terrain and quiet roads around the Capertee Valley allow for cycling trips that are achievable and accessible. During a day of cycling you can reach small towns that contain a glimpse into Australia's colonial past. Visit Glen Davis, an old shale mining town that now lies abandoned. 
 
cyclist leaving Glen Davis in the Capertee Valley |  <i>Ross Baker</i> Shale Oil mine now abandoned in Glen Davis |  <i>Ross Baker</i> Cyclist at abandoned shop in Glen Davis in the Capertee Valley |  <i>Ross Baker</i>
 
Or pedal to Kandos, the traditional home of the Dabee tribe, of the Wiradjuri people. Kandos was established in the early 1900s around the production of cement, and it's said to be the foundation of Sydney's building boom. The best place to admire the heritage is in the Kandos Museum, which is located inside an old church.
 
Cyclists in Kandos |  <i>Ross Baker</i>
 
>> If you want to explore the Capertee Valley on a stylish bike holiday, view the Capertee Valley in Comfort self-guided cycling tour
 

 
Have you visited Capertee Valley? What did you think of it? Share your thought in the comment section below.
 
  
 
 
Trail Towns Season 2: New Zealand

Trail Towns Season 2: New Zealand

 
Paul and Dieter are back for another inspiring round of cycling shenanigans with Trail Towns: Season 2.
 
If you missed it the first time around, Trail Towns is a 'Getaway' style travel show exploring the very best of Australia's cycling routes. Paul van der Ploeg is a world champion mountain bike rider and Dieter Kahsnitz is a self-professed lover of dad jokes and a passionate cyclist.

In season 1 they explored the Great Victorian Rail Trail, the Southern Forests and Valleys of WA, and the Murrumbidgee to the Mountains trail, among others.
 
 
For season 2 they are crossing the ditch to explore New Zealand's cycle paths. The new season premieres on Saturday, July 2, on SBS. Watch the trailer below.
 

Watch the Trail Towns Season 2 Trailer

 
To be honest, the new series looks so fun it makes us want to go on a cycling holiday in New Zealand (we know - very unlike us!). 
 
Fortunately, we have our mates with the World Expeditions Travel Group at Adventure South NZ who are experts in active adventures in New Zealand. From cycling the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail to the original Otago Central Rail Trail, see the team at Adventure South NZ for a top bike trip across the ditch.
 

 
Did you enjoy Trail Towns Season 1? Let us know in the comment section below.
 
  
 
Winter Cycling Holidays in Australia

Winter Cycling Holidays in Australia

 
A cycling trip in winter has a lot of great things going for it: fewer tourists around, fresh weather, a reason to get out of bed and make the most of your holidays - plus, you can snuggle up with a welcoming glass of red in front of a fireplace at many of our regional accommodations. So make the most of winter and explore Australia by bike; you won't regret it! 
 
Here are our top Australian cycling holidays to experience during the winter season (or see our full range here).
 

1. Capertee Valley in Comfort

Cycling along a shaded road on the Capertee Valley Cycle |  <i>Ross Baker</i>
 
Discover the outstanding scenery of the Capertee Valley - the second widest canyon in the world (1km wider than the Grand Canyon). Surrounded by World Heritage listed wilderness such as the Wolemi and the Gardens of Stone National Parks, you'll be able to explore a little known part of NSW. During the trip you’ll stay in deluxe bed and breakfast accommodation; think bathrobes, ensuites with heated towel rails, comfortable beds, and incredible views.
 
 

2. Great Victorian Rail Trail

Cyclists crossing the Goulburn River |  <i>Robert Blackburn</i>
 
The Great Victorian Rail Trail affords inspiring views of the Victorian High country foothills, and come evening, you'll settle into a local atmospheric hotel to enjoy the regions exceptional food and wine set in iconic country towns. With the ease of our luggage transfer service, an app to guide you each day and your accommodation all taken care of, this cycle journey opens up a whole new way to appreciate the natural beauty of this special corner of regional Victoria.
 
 

3. Townsville & Magnetic Island

Cycling Australia's spectacular Magnetic Island |  <i>Ian Anderson</i>
 
Chase the winter sun in North Queensland! The beauty of the North Queensland coast and nearby Magnetic Island is captured on this interactive cycling holiday combining Townsville with the Great Barrier Reef. On a series of guided cycles, explore the wetlands, river systems and coastal landscapes of the Townsville surrounds.

Then on Magnetic Island, cyclists will be immediately transported into a tropical paradise of palm tree lined sandy beaches fringed by coral reefs. This cycle trip will appeal to those seeking a combination of active exploring, relaxation and swimming.
 
 

4. Southern Highlands

Viewpoint at Belmore Falls near Robertson |  <i>Kate Baker</i>
 
We know that the Southern Highlands is renowned for its frosty mornings in winter, but with easily manageable cycling distances each day, you'll soon be fireside with a beverage of choice knowing you earned your dinner and experienced amazing scenery along the way. Our tailor made trip takes the back roads between iconic towns, where there is much to feast your eyes on as you pedal past grand estates, vineyards and green rolling hills. With the help of an e-bike, the hills are no problem, leaving you with plenty of time to linger over lunch, stop for wine tasting and explore the local sights. Plus, cosy up to inviting fires at your warm accommodation in charming villages such as Bundanoon.
 
 

5. Hunter Valley

Follow the Hunter Valley's dedicated cycle route |  <i>Bruce Baker</i>
 
Pedal from vineyard to vineyard while encountering kangaroos and cheese boards on the pleasant cycling paths in the Hunter Valley. Best of all, there's plenty of award winning wine on hand to help celebrate memorable cycling.
 
 

6. Central West Cycle Trail

A cyclist on route between Gulgong and Dunedoo |  <i>Michele Eckersley</i>
 
The newly established 400km long Central West Cycle Trail takes cyclists on a loop through New South Wales' Central West Region. There is everything you would expect from rural Australia including sweeping views, lonely roads and charming towns packed with character. During the week-long trip, you will be supported with ebike rental and luggage transfers between towns, giving you the freedom to cycle at a relaxed pace and take in the ever-changing landscape of grazing country, vineyards, national park' and reserves. 
 
We have handpicked accommodation in a combination of country pubs with shared bathrooms and family run motels with private facilities, with friendly hosts and tasty food options. The sense of achievement as you roll into Mudgee on the last cycle day is a true highlight on this groundbreaking cycle trail. There are a variety of trips to experience the Central West Cycle Trail.
 
 

7. Top End & Kakadu Supported Cycle

Discover the real Australia by bike.
 
Become immersed in the Top End of Australia on the ultimate cycling trip. Over 5 days we’ll ‘hike and bike’ to some of the best locations in the region, enjoying two nights at our private semi-permanent campsite in Kakadu with a million-star view and the crackle of a campfire. We’ll swim in remote rockpools, meet Indigenous guides who will share their connection to land then create some dust as we cycle down back roads and along some selected scenic roads. This is an amazing round trip of over one thousand kilometres travelling a round circuit south from Darwin then east to Kakadu before circling back west from the southern reaches of Kakadu to Litchfield National Park before returning to Darwin.
 
 

8. Brisbane Valley Rail Trail

Old Coominya Station |  <i>Shawn Flannery</i>
 
At 161km (100mi) in length, the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (BVRT) qualifies as the longest rail trail in the country. Our cycle tour starts at the top of the range, giving you an easy start downhill to the plains of the Brisbane Valley and back to Walkuraka over three days. The cycling is on mixed surfaces of gravel, dirt and asphalt and is achievable for anyone of reasonable fitness and cycling ability. 
 
Along the route, you'll pass through prime agricultural land, a rugged mountain range and forests of Blackbutt, Hoop Pine and Cedar. Stops at historical townships with good coffee and bakery items, interesting museums and friendly pubs are all part of the BVRT experience. At night, stay in comfortable accommodation and soak up the atmosphere of country Queensland towns. It's also possible to extend the rail trail adventure by combining this trip with the Kilkivan Rail Trail.
 
 

9. NSW South Coast

A great sense of achievement arriving into Huskisson on the South Coast Cycle |  <i>Kate Baker</i>
 
The South Coast of NSW isn’t just home to some of Australia’s most idyllic beaches, it also features top food and wine locations, magical wilderness walks, Aboriginal cultural experiences as well as many vantage points to spot dolphins, whales and even seals in their natural element.

A self-guided cycling trip along the NSW South Coast is the best way to take in the beauty and activities in the region. Whether you choose to cycle the South Coast’s coastline or venture further into the hinterland towns there is no shortage of things to do out of the saddle. Relax on some of the whitest sands you’ll find anywhere in the world, shuck a fresh oyster, walk through a rainforest or hit the water for some stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking.
 
 

 
Want more cycling options? Take a look at our full range of bike holidays in Australia for June, July and August.
 
 
Central West Cycle Trail Reviews

Central West Cycle Trail Reviews

The Central West Cycle Trail is quickly becoming one of Australia's most popular bike routes, and with glowing reviews such as these, it's easy to see why. From Queensland to Canberra, cyclists from around Australia are marvelling at the classic country scenery and sense of community that this trail provides.
 
See what travellers have to say about our self-guided and supported cycling tours along the Central West Cycle Trail below. 
 
Mt Carl Trail on the CWC between Mendooran and Ballimore |  <i>Michele Eckersley</i>
 

Central West Cycle Trail Self Guided Cycle Tour Reviews

 
"Good riding through open country of western NSW mostly on reasonably good gravel roads. There had been plenty of rain before our tour so we navigated a few spillways which was fun as well. Accommodation was variable but all acceptable and same with the meals. Navigation with the app worked well no problem. Bikes were brand new and no big problem. Need to improve puncture resistance from a spikey weed. Enjoyed the trip and would do it again." B. Hartnett, Prospect.
 
You'll be happy to hear that we're improving our bikes with puncture-proof tyres that will be better suited for the rugged conditions of the Central West - Australian Cycle Tours team.
 
"☆☆☆☆☆ Wonderful trail and everything was very well organised." C. Baxter, NSW.
 
The Royal Hotel in Mendooran on the CWC |  <i>Michele Eckersley</i>
 
"Good route, enjoyed it. Great value to see the effect on small regional villages... new business post drought, covid etc." H. Mackinnon, Longford.
 
"Almost everything went well. Bikes great, navigation app almost perfect and accommodation fun." J. Jeffrey, Canberra.
 
 
 
Happy cyclist on the route between Dubbo and Wellington |  <i>Michele Eckersley</i>
 

Central West Cycle Trail Supported Cycle Tour Reviews

 
"☆☆☆☆☆ Shawn was professional and friendly. The routes were great and our app and the information supplied was top rate. The scenery and roadside food stops were amazingly beautiful. We always felt fully supported, but our journey as cyclists was independent and so fun was had by all." S. Smith, Orange.
 
"The tour was well planned. Our tour guide, Shawn, is an excellent guide and treated us well throughout the trip. Good support vehicle and ongoing instructions to guide us each day made the tour even more enjoyable." P. Campbell, NSW.
 
"Great fun with our group. We had such a good time. I was grateful for a lift with the luggage transfer lady in day 2. Such possibilities may need to be available in future." E. Muspratt, Queensland.
 
Cycling group along the Central West Trail |  <i>Shawn Flannery</i>
 
"I loved the Central west trail. Australian Cycle Tours were very accommodating and helpful in assisting me to join the tour for one day less, due to a prior commitment. Our guide Shawn was a great help to us all, thoughtful, informative and interesting. The countryside was a picture after heavy flooding and we lucked in with the weather. Only one very windy day, and blue skies the rest." L. Cunningham, Mosman.
 
"I really enjoyed the adventure. Dubbo motel was very generous in letting us use their washing machine and dryer." A. Hill, Maroochydore.
 
"Great trip, 6 days of riding, a bit challenging at times, but enjoyable. Most of the accommodation was really good, especially in the motels, only 1 pub wasn’t that great. Shawn did a great job of making lunch every day and carting our gear around. Only 6 of us on the tour, but the people we were with were a bundle of laughs, so a great time was had by all." R. Thompson, Rathmines.
 
 
The amazing Winx silo art in Dunedoo |  <i>Shawn Flannery</i>

Central West Cycle Trail Highlights Self Guided Cycle Tour Reviews

 
"I loved the trail particularly as the countryside is looking beautiful after a great season of rain. Very atmospheric. The self guided approach worked for us and I found the app useful. The bikes were great and the team were really communicative and helpful. Our luggage was waiting for us at all venues." L. Mitchell, Bronte.
 
"The organisation and support were both fantastic. Brett was superb. The route worked well. All the small towns were interesting and the facilities were good. Without exception the accommodation was clean and the hosts friendly." S. Blattman, Bokarina.
 
Cycling the CWC out of Dunedoo |  <i>Michele Eckersley</i>
 
"Overall a great experience. Difficulty was experienced with navigation due to heavy rain and not wanting to ruin a mobile phone. Slushy wet unsealed road conditions were bypassed on several occasions. Accommodation quality was mixed but eclectic (beds were always comfortable and pub meals surprisingly good). Some upgrades to toilet and shower facilities in pubs are needed for a large group like ours. The hire ebikes performed faultlessly, and bag shuttles worked very well. Perhaps better CWC signage on intersections could be of benefit and encouragement of Airbnb accommodation for cyclists to offer alternative accommodation could help." P. Sorensen, Buderim.
 
 
Happy cyclists on the Central West Trail |  <i>Shawn Flannery</i>
 
 

 
 
Have you cycled the Central West Cycle Trail yet? If so, tell us what you thought in the comment section below, otherwise let us know what part you're most excited for.
 
   
 
Watch: Enticing Teaser Trailer of the Central West Cycle Trail

Watch: Enticing Teaser Trailer of the Central West Cycle Trail

These days, big-budget film studios are constantly releasing trailers for their trailers! While it can seem a little excessive, it does show you a snapshot of what to expect in the movie without explaining the entire storyline.
 
It's a similar point with this short, 1-minute official video from the Central West Cycle Trail community. It's a teaser trailer for the Central West Cycle Trail - it highlights the towns travelled through, shows peaceful drone footage of the country landscapes, and explains some interesting features of the trail. Best of all, it makes you want to see more, which can really only be done by experiencing the Central West Cycle Trail yourself.
 

Watch the Central West Cycle Trail teaser trailer

 
Experience the Central West Cycle Trail on an unforgettable Australian tour:
 

 
Are you keen to cycle the Central West Trail? Let us know in the comment section below, and don't forget to share this article with a cycling mate.
 
  
Our Shiny New Fleet of Merida E-Bikes

Our Shiny New Fleet of Merida E-Bikes

Fantastic news for cycle tourism in Australia - we have recently upgraded our fleet of e-bikes. These had been ordered over a year ago but held up; partly due to the pandemic, partly due to the high worldwide demand for electric bikes. But they're finally here and ready to ride and we couldn't be happier.
 
Get to know our brand-spanking new e-bikes, the impressive Merida eSpresso CC 400 EQ Electric Hybrid Bike Silk in Titan/Black, in the below article.
 
Merida E-Bike is perfect for cycle touring with good battery range and a comfortable ride

These bikes are available on the following tours:
*we use a range of brands of e-bikes on these trips and therefore a Merida bike is not guaranteed
Merida e-bikes in the Southern Highlands |  <i>Kate Baker</i>
 
Here's a highlights video from the team at 99 Bikes.
 
 
If you're a tech geek, here's what the experts at Merida Bikes have to say about this e-bike.
 
"Whether your commute takes in forest trails and gravel tracks or you just want the freedom to explore at weekends, the eSPRESSO CC 400 EQ delivers all the convenience of a city e-bike with added off-road ability. That's because our low step-through ENERGY CRADLE frame is stiff enough to cope with dirt tracks while also housing an internal 630 Wh battery and the trekking dedicated Shimano E6100 drive unit. 
 
While the suspension fork and seat post help keep you comfortable when it gets bumpy, we've fitted it with a host of kit to make city life easier and safer, with mudguards, rack, lights, lock and a kickstand as standard. A smooth-shifting Shimano 10-speed drivetrain and strong, low-maintenance hydraulic disc brakes add fuss-free control.
 
Merida e-bike gears |  <i>Shawn Flannery</i>

The eSPRESSO CC range is the rugged sibling of the regular eSPRESSO, with wider and grippier high-volume tyres on 650b wheels. While it's happy working hard in the urban jungle thanks to standard-fit mudguards, lights, lock, rack and kickstand, it's also capable of taking trips along forest trails and gravel tracks for fun. Models with the low step-through ENERGY CRADLE frame design come with either 630 Wh or 750 Wh fully-integrated batteries, while a more economical semi-integrated frame comes with a 504 Wh battery. 
 
All come with a refined but powerful Shimano STEPS pedal-assist motor, including the sporty EP8 unit on some models. Smooth and comfortable progress is assured with suspension forks on all models, while powerful hydraulic disc brakes allow effortless and controlled stopping. All have a high system weight of 150 kg which means plenty of capacity for rider and luggage."
 
 
The features include:
  • Trekking dedicated Shimano E6100 drive unit
  • Super low step-through ENERGY CRADLE frame design with internally mounted 630 Wh battery
  • Smooth Shimano 10-speed drivetrain
  • Suspension fork and seat post for comfort and control
  • Agile 650b wheels with grippy high-volume tyres
  • Fully equipped with guards, lights, lock, rack and kickstand
 

 
These Merida e-bikes are available on the following tours:
*we use a range of brands of e-bikes on these trips and therefore a Merida bike is not guaranteed
 
Are you unsure about the benefits of an e-bike? Read about Linda's initial reluctance to ride an e-bike, to her full-on adoption of Sparky and the promotion of electric bikes.
 
 

 
Do you ride an e-bike? What do you like about it? Share you thoughts in the comment section below.
  
Australia's Cycling Adventurer: Kate Leeming

Australia's Cycling Adventurer: Kate Leeming


Before you read about Kate Leeming we need a disclaimer: adventures mean different things to different people. For some, discovering Capertee Valley by bike, home to the world's second-largest canyon (bigger than the Grand Canyon!), is a fun adventure. For others, cycling from Mount Kosciuszko, at the top of Australia, down to the glittering coastline at Tathra, is a rewarding adventure.
 
For Kate Leeming, one of her incredible adventures was to cycle a 25,000km loop around Australia in order to promote the importance of education for sustainable development. 
 
Kate cycles the Buchanan Highway on the way to Victoria River Downs Station |  <i>Kate Leeming</i>
 
Pretty incredible! And her adventures don't come with comfortable accommodation, an optional e-bike, and all the logistics handled by the Australian Cycle Tours team.
 
>> We have a couple of copies of Kate's book, Out There and Back, about her Australian cycling expedition, to give away to 2 lucky members of the Australian Cycle Tours community. Subscribe now (it's free!) and be in it to win it. The prize will be drawn in June 2022.*
 
 

About Kate Leeming

As an explorer/adventurer, Kate has cycled a distance greater than twice around the world at the Equator. On August 16th 2010 she became the first person to cycle an unbroken line from Africa’s most westerly to its most easterly points; from Pointe des Almadies, Senegal to Cape Hafun, Puntland, Somalia.

Kate Leeming

Cycling 22,040 km over ten months, Kate’s Breaking the Cycle in Africa Expedition was not only a physical quest but an odyssey to highlight the development needs and activities of war-torn and poverty-stricken nations.

Cycling through twenty countries, Kate aimed to find out what is being done to give a ‘leg up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ – to shine a positive light on the issues, cultures and geography of Africa.


 
In June 2019, Kate completed another original expedition when she became the first person to cycle the entire Namibian coastline, a 1621km sand cycling expedition from the mouth of the Kunene River on the Angolan border to the Orange River mouth on the South African border.

Kate has two earlier world firsts under her belt – the Trans-Siberian Cycle Expedition (1993) when she became the first woman to cycle across the new Russia unsupported (aiding the children of Chernobyl), and the 25,000km Great Australian Cycle Expedition (2004/05) which included the first bicycle crossing of the Canning Stock Route by a woman.
 
Kate pushes a 50kg load through the sands of the Gunbarrel Highway |  <i>Kate Leeming</i> Crossing the saline Savory Creek, the main source of water for Lake Disappointment, the Canning Stock Route |  <i>Kate Leeming</i> Battling endless corrugations on the Tanami Track |  <i>Kate Leeming</i>

Kate’s latest challenge, Breaking the Cycle South Pole, will result in the first bicycle crossing of the Antarctic continent via the South Pole (2022).

The Breaking the Cycle education programme aims to help prepare our future leaders to make informed decisions to create a better world. Students across the globe can follow her preparatory activities and Antarctic expedition and partake in the Breaking the Cycle Education learning modules and lessons with the end goals of creating their own projects.

In March 2016, The University of Western Australia awarded Kate an Honorary Doctor of Education degree for services to education and community. She is a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society (UK), a member of The Explorers Club (New York), an Honorary Advisor for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and a Scout Ambassador. Kate’s Australian and African expeditions were Official Activities for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNESCO).

In 2014, Kate’s documentary Njinga won two awards at the Action on Film International Film Festival in Los Angeles – best cinematography and best documentary (sport). Njinga, Kate’s second book, complements the documentary; her first, Out There and Back, chronicles the Australian expedition. Kate’s latest production, a 4-part TV series about the Namibian expedition, Diamonds in the Sand, has been broadcast around the world (National Geographic Asia, Outside TV).
 
Njinga: Breaking the Cycle in Africa Out There and Back, The Story of the 25000-km Great Australian Cycle Expedition

In between expeditions, Kate works as a 'real' tennis professional. She has won 5 Australian Open singles titles and been ranked as high as world number 2 woman.

Kate grew up with her two sisters and two brothers on a wheat and sheep farm near Northam in Western Australia, about 130km east northeast of Perth. After attending Northam Primary School, she boarded at Perth College during her secondary schooling and went on to study for a Bachelor of Physical Education and Graduate Diploma of Education at The University of Western Australia before beginning her travels.  After spending 11 years living in the UK and France, Kate returned to Australia, this time to Melbourne where she now lives, working part time as a senior professional at the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club.
 
This biography was taken from Kate Leeming's Breaking the Cycle website.
 

> Kate's current adventure is in South America, where she's taking on the Andes, the Altiplano & the Atacama. This journey sees her cycle from Cusco, Peru, across the Altiplano in Bolivia and Chile and the Argentinian Puna de Atacama to Ojos del Salado, the world's highest volcano. She'll cover a distance of 5,000km in just 56 days. Learn more about this journey and follow her trip.




*Want to win a copy of Out There and Back? We have a couple of copies of Kate's book to give away to 2 lucky members of the Australian Cycle Tours community. Subscribe now (it's free!) and be in it to win it. The prize will be drawn in June 2022 (open to Australian residents only).

Read excerpts from Out There and Back.

> Cycling the Canning Stock Route in Western Australia

> Cycling the Tanami Track in the Northern Territory

> Read an interview with Kate Leeming from World Expeditions

Great Australian Cycle Expedition trailer

Watch this footage from Kate's journey to get a feel for the harsh terrain and conditions she was dealing with while crossing Australia.
 
 
 
Read about Kate's adventures:
 
> Out There and Back. The story of the 25 000-km Great Australian Cycle Expedition. Get your copy as a physical book or digital book, from only $10.
> Njinga. The story of Kate's astonishing 22,000-kilometre trek by bicycle across Africa.  This is more than a story of mental grit and physical endurance – it’s a story of hope. Get your copy of the book.
 
Donate to support Kate's adventures and educational endeavours:
 
 
Follow Kate's adventures on social media:
 
 
 

 
Were you inspired by Kate's adventures? Let us know what you thought in the comment section below.
 
  
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