Strzelecki Bike Tour Overview
The Strzelecki Tour includes some of Australia’s most iconic climbs and its highest mountain.
In 1839 Explorer Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki set off from Sydney on a journey of scientific discovery. We follow his 5-month journey into the Great Dividing Range through the Snowy Mountains to Melbourne. Spend a rest day in the skiing township of Thredbo NSW giving you a chance to explore Australia’s highest peak. Strzelecki climbed and named Mt Kosciuszko in March 1840.
Stage 2 heads into bushranger county and along the Murray River before turning back into the mountains and summiting Mt Hotham, Australia’s highest sealed road at 1,840 metres.
A beautiful descent through forested wilderness continues over two days to the coast from where Strzelecki’s expedition took a turn for the worse and he was forced to leave his horses and mineral samples behind. Strzelecki would have likely died of starvation had it not been for the knowledge and hunting skills of his two Aboriginal guides as they made a 3-week long dash to Melbourne.
With much of the dense forest which caused Strzelecki’s expedition so much trouble now open farmland, we instead skirt the mountains and ride through the fern-filled Yarra Ranges before entering Australia’s most cycle-friendly city, Melbourne.
Strzelecki Bike Tour Highlights
> Cycle across the Great Dividing Range from the Pacific Ocean to the Southern Ocean
> Test yourself over Australia’s most iconic climbs
> Ride through the Capital to Parliament House
> Wind through the alpine wilderness within the Snowy Mountains
> Cycle over Australia’s highest road
> Climb Mt Kosciuszko and enjoy the 360-degree views on top of Australia
> Explore the small country towns and meet some of the local characters
> Experience a landscape rich in iconic Australian history: 60,000 years off indigenous occupation, convict settlement, early explorers, frontier wars, gold rushes, Ned Kelly and the bushrangers and stockmen like the Man from Snowy River
> Beautiful environments from coastal forests, rolling farmland of the high-country, Australia’s longest river lined with Red Gums, the views that accompany the alps and the fern-filled forests made up of Australia’s tallest trees
> Delicious local produce and wine from the vines that parallel our route
Māori New Zealand Tour Dates 2020
|Stage||Start Date||End Date||Days||Distance||Cost (AU$)|
|Stage 1 – Sydney to Albury||Nov 27th||Dec 7th||11 (10 nights)||845 km / 525 miles||$ 6,680|
|Stage 2 – Albury-Wodonga to Melbourne||Dec 6th||Dec 14th||9 (8 nights)||725 km / 450 miles||$ 5,480|
|Epic Strzelecki – Sydney to Melbourne||Nov 27th||Dec 14th||18 (17 nights)||1569 km / 975 miles||$ 10,750|
Strzelecki Bike Tour Food and Wine
Australia is world-renowned for their modern cuisine; blending its British, European, Asian and Middle Eastern influences with fresh local produce to create dishes uniquely Australian.As one of the world’s largest wine exporters, its history going back 200 years there are many excellent wines to be sampled, many from the regions will be travelling through.Another highlight is the morning snack break. As the Italian inspired coffee culture has spread far beyond the metropolitan areas and combined with delicious pastries and baked goods it’s no wonder Starbucks failed to ever get a foothold on this continent. Australia does have a few food more obsessions including Pizza, that would make even the citizens of Naples proud.Nibbles platters that take the best from Europe with their cheeses, cured meats, oils and combining them with some Australian creativity to middle eastern dukkha, falafel bread, eggplant dips and garlicky hummus. The perfect accompaniment to your aperitivo.Oh, and of course there is beer! In recent years even very good beer.
Stage 1 – New South Wales
Day 1 – Sydney – Warm-up Ride
Day 2 – Wollongong
Day 3 – Bundanoon
Day 4 – Bungendore
Day 5 – Canberra
Day 6 – Cooma
Day 7 – Thredbo
Day 8 – Thredbo Rest day – Hike up Mt Kosciuszko
Day 9 – Walwa
Day 10 – Albury NSW
Day 11 – Albury NSW – Finish
Distance: 845 km / 525 miles Elevation: 9,390 m / 30,805 ft Daily Average: 106 km / 1,170 m Daily Average: 66 miles / 3,850 ft
Stage 2 – Victoria
Day 1 – Albury NSW / Wodonga VIC
Day 2 – Bright
Day 3 – Bright – Rest Day ride Mt Buffalo & Tawonga Gap
Day 4 – Omea via Mt Hotham
Day 5 – Bairnsdale
Day 6 – Traralgon
Day 7 – Warburton
Day 8 – Melbourne
Day 9 – Melbourne – Finish
Distance: 725 km / 450 miles Elevation: 8,154 m / 26,720 ft Daily Average: 120 km / 1359 m Daily Average: 74 miles / 4,450 ft
Strzelecki Bike Tour History
Our Strzelecki Tour takes us across the Great Dividing Range from the Pacific to the Southern Ocean and takes in Australia’s most iconic climbs. But who exactly was Strzelecki?
Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki, to give him his full title, was a Polish-born explorer, scientist and nobleman. Prior to landing in Australia in 1839, he’d briefly served in the Prussian Army, and was an experienced explorer with several expeditions under his belt. He initially set sail from Liverpool, England to New York in 1834, where he began an epic geological trip in the Americas, which included discovering copper in Canada, and travelling the west coast from Chile to California. He visited Cuba, Tahiti and the South Sea Islands before eventually arriving in Sydney.With an ambitious dream of conducting a geological survey of Australia, Strzelecki’s expeditions would see him cover over 7,000 miles in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. While studying the mineralogy of the country he was the first person to discover gold and silver near Hartley and Wellington, but Governor Gipps, in office at the time, asked him to keep his discovery a secret, to avoid a gold rush and to maintain discipline among the convict population. Strzelecki agreed, and in doing so apparently forfeited his own claim to a fortune.
His expedition led him through the Snowy Mountains, where he climbed the highest peak in Australia, naming it Mount Kosciuszko, after Polish leader Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Kosciuszko was a worthy namesake, considered a national hero not just in his native Poland, but also in Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and the USA. He fought on the US side in the American Revolutionary War, and is honoured with statues in several US cities – to fight against the British and then have a mountain named after him in a British Colony is pretty impressive! If Strzelecki had marked his map with the local indigenous name of ‘Targangal’ however, Australians would have had a far easier time of spelling out their highest mountain for the last 160 years.
Strzelecki then travelled south through the area he named Gippsland, after the Governor. After passing the la Trobe River things took a turn for the worse and the party were forced to abandon the horses and minerals and make a dash for Melbourne. They reached it on the edge of starvation and exhaustion, but thankfully alive, in May 1840.
He was accompanied on his trip by James Macarthur and James Riley, and it was mainly thanks to their Aboriginal guides Charlie Tarra and Jackey that the group survived. Cycling trivia fans might be interested to note that James Riley was the great-grandfather of one of Australia’s greatest cyclists, Russell Mockridge. Mockridge won cycling medals around the world, and even beat the pros in Paris in 1952 – a ‘humiliation’ which caused organisers to ban amateurs for years. He competed in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, turned pro the following year, and was one of only 60 riders to finish the 1955 Tour de France, out of a starting line of 150.Strzelecki then travelled Tasmania (or Van Diemen’s Land as it was then known) for two years, discovering coal while he was there, before returning to Australia. He eventually set sail back to England in 1843, managing to squeeze in further expeditions in China, the East Indies and Egypt on his way back. On his return he published his findings to great acclaim from the scientific community. His snappily-titled Physical Description of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land won him praise from Charles Darwin himself, and was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society.
He produced the first large geological map of New South Wales and Tasmania, which is still on public display at the Royal Geographical Society in London. He later became a British Citizen, and in 1869 was knighted, receiving the title of Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG), an honour specifically for services to the British Commonwealth, most notably his work done as a famine relief agent, which he refused to accept payment for and it has been estimated that the various works in which he was involved in during those horrible famine years saved 200,000 lives.
Tour at a Glance
Stage 1 – Sydney to Albury
Distance: 845km / 525miles
Elevation: 9,390m I 30,805ft
Dates: Nov 27th - Dec 7th 2020aa
Price: AU $6,680
Stage 1 – Sydney to AlburyLength: 11 days / 10 nights
Stage 2 – Albury-Wodonga to Melbourne
Distance: 725km I 450miles
Elevation: 8,154m I 26,720ft
Dates: Dec 6th - Dec 14th 2020aa
Price: AU $5,480
Stage 2 – Albury-Wodonga to MelbourneLength: 9 days / 8 nights
Strzelecki Epic – Sydney to Melbourne
Distance: 1569km I 975miles
Elevation: 17,420m I 57,140ft
Dates: Nov 27h - Dec 14th 2020aa
Price: AU $10,750
Strzelecki Epic – Sydney to MelbourneLength: 18 days / 17 nights