Saturday, June 7, 2014

We did it! Brunswick Heads to Coolangatta

As we left Brunswick Heads, bargain hunters were already trawling for bargains at garages around the town.

We had a dream run to Kingscliff in glorious weather. In Chinderah, we stopped to let a 200 strong fleet of members of the American Motorcycle Club of Australia pass through.

We arrived in Kingscliff at 11.30am and were determined to finish our challenge today.
We dropped off the trailers at our motel and headed for Tweed Heads/Coolangatta.

There we booked in at a motel for Monday and located a bike shop nearby for bike boxes. These should be available on Tuesday.

We'll stay in Kingscliff until the Cooly Rock festival finishes, then we'll return to Coolangatta and make arrangements to fly home.

Feeling very satisfied and happy.
Did 70kms today.

A few statistics:
  • Ride - began Sunday 13 April, finished Saturday 7 June
  • Actual cycling days - 49
  • Rest days - 6
  • Total days - 55
  • Total distance - 2818kms
  • Average day's cycle - 58kms (longest - 86kms  shortest - 25kms)
  • Rain riding - 2 days
  • Temperatures - 8 to 26 degrees C
  • Punctures - 3
  • Accidents - 1
For more of our cycle tours of Australia see:
*Perth to Adelaide -
*Adelaide to Darwin -

Friday, June 6, 2014

A lazy day! Rest day in Brunswick Heads

Oh joy! Slept in this morning!

Explored the town in glorious sunshine and had lunch in one of the many cafes on The Terrace, overlooking the crystal clear Brunswick River.

We crossed the river to reach the ocean beach, popular with surfers.Golden sand stretched as far as the eye could see.

Tomorrow the town holds its annual monster garage sale called "Old and Gold". The whole town takes part with goods for sale in garages, shops, community hall etc, and a big invasion of visitors is expected.

The Tasman meets the river - Brunswick Heads

Ocean Beach - Brunswick Heads

Fishing in the inlet - Brunswick Heads

Thursday, June 5, 2014

So near and yet so far! Ballina to Brunswick Heads

Coolangatta is only a day's ride away but, because of the Cooly Rocks festival there this Queens Birthday weekend, all accommodation has been taken.

We're having to "cool our heels" for 4 days until Monday. We'll spend 2 days at Brunswick Heads and 2 at Kingscliffe. The rest will probably do us good after 20 consecutive days cycling.

After battling a couple of decent hills getting out of Ballina this morning, we had a lovely flat ride along the Coast Road to Byron Bay.

It's a very popular beach town. It was packed with visitors including bus loads of backpackers and too commercial for our liking. We decided to continue on to sleepy, pretty Brunswick Heads, where the Brunswick River meets the sea. We'll stay here for 2 nights.

Did 46kms today.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A sweet ride! Maclean to Ballina

Had a flat, fast ride along the Clarence and Richmond Rivers today. Took us through sugar cane country - vast plantations at various stages of growth. The cropping season is just starting. We spotted trucks and trailers laden with fresh sugar cane heading for the local refinery.

Arrived in Ballina around 3.00pm.

The Richmond River meets the sea at Ballina, which is famous for its prawns. A giant sized prawn welcomes everyone to the city.

Did 86kms today.

Ballina's giant prawn

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Maclean on the Clarence! Grafton to Maclean

It rained heavily last night.

We cycled off into a thick mist this morning which soon burnt off to reveal another sweltering day. The flat highway followed the Clarence River all the way, past farmland, then expansive sugar plantations.

We passed a noisy colony of bats in the trees as we neared Maclean.

Maclean is a fascinating town by the Clarence River with a colourful Scottish history, dating from the 1860s, of which it is very proud. It has a Scottish pipe band, a highland dance club, annual highland games etc. Streets are named in English and Gaelic and every power pole is painted with a different named tartan.

A high grassy levy protects the town from flooding.

Heard from the 'i' centre that, over next weekend, Coolangatta is holding its annual Cooly Rock and Roll festival, expected to attract up to 10,000 visitors. Accommodation will be booked out, so we'll definitely have to delay getting there until Monday 9th!

Did 46kms today.
Bat colony - Maclean

Stewart tartan power pole - Maclean 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Flood risk areas! Woolgoolga to Grafton

The birds were chortling merrily as we left Woolgoolga this morning.

The town is dominated by a stunning white and gold Sikh temple complete with statues of horse mounted deities at the entrance. When we arrived yesterday, there were people milling everywhere, dressed in their colourful traditional finery.

Today, back on the highway, the swampy roadside ditches were alive with masses of amorous frogs calling loudly and incessantly.

The roller coaster road is subject to flooding in the valleys as indicated by 2 metre measuring sticks. No wonder so many towns are built on hills.

We arrived in Grafton at 12.30pm and after a visit to the 'i' centre, decided to stay at the nearest motel. We are close to a supermarket and perfectly positioned for rejoining the Pacific Highway in the morning.

Did 55kms today.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Grey Nomads' winter migration. Nambucca to Woolgoolga

The good weather has returned today. Apart from our damp shoes and cycle gloves, all our gear had dried out.

It's Sunday but the Pacific Highway was busy and the number of caravans (grey nomads going north) is definitely on the increase.

There are major roadworks at regular intervals where the highway is being upgraded to a dual carriageway.

The further north we get, the more toots and calls of encouragement we are getting.

We bypassed Coffs Harbour and headed for Woolgoolga in order to cut down tomorrow's long ride to Grafton.

Haven't had a rest day for 16 days. How can we rest when we're so close to our goal? Didn't even manage take a photo.

Felt quite weary when we arrived in Woolgoolga. Spent the afternoon relaxing and snoozing.
Did 70kms today.