I arrived yesterday and am in the middle of uploading photos to Flicker. This post is a summary and I’ll follow up with posts for individual days afterwards as I transcribe the diary I kept along the route.
Basically I rode 881km over 12 days – with 2 rest days – through the central coast to Dungog and Gloucester; via Taree and Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Casino and ending in Wilsons Creek. My original plan was to do some camping at the Myall Lakes and maybe further north, but the rain set in. Maybe I can do that on a future trip, and at least I have some experience with cycling north from Sydney now, which will hopefully help.
If I left now, I could probably ride back to Sydney before my holidays end, but I’ll instead rest here for just over a week and then ride to Casino and catch the train back to Sydney from there.
Despite protestations about penalty rates killing service jobs in rural Australia, I saw no sign of an issue at any point in my trip. Apart from arriving in Macksville late on Easter Sunday, there was never any trouble over the long weekend with finding cafes etc. in even the smallest of rural communities. Everywhere I stopped there were bustling businesses doing a booming trade.
Country NSW is full of friendly helpful people and it was wonderful to be able to experience all the different facets of interacting with nature and country life again. Long distance cycling may not be for the fainthearted but I recommend it to anyone wanting a closer connection with the world around them when traveling.