Outbound flights 19,353km March 18
Perth 50km March 21
Perth to Laverton 952km March 30
Laverton to Yulara
Warburton Road
1122km April 13
Yulara to Alice Springs 630km April 19
Darwin 1490km April 29
Holiday May 6
Sydney May 7
Return flights 15,976km May 9
Cycling total (approx) 4300km

outbound flights

FLight path display

Many people wonder what it is like to fly to Australia. It is, in my experience, much easier than to fly from North America to Europe since the flights are long enough for you to catch your quota of daily sleep.

Here is my schedule:

 Flight Details - Screen  1 of  4
        Date: Mar 16 1999   Tuesday
      Flight: CANADIAN AIRLINES     911
       Leave: MONTREAL, CANADA       0920
      Arrive: VANCOUVER, BC, CANAD   1145
       Miles: 2279
    Aircraft: AIRBUS INDUSTRIE JET (A320)
Elapsed Time:  5 hours 25 minutes
       Meals: Brunch,Snack

I spend the afternoon cycling in Vancouver, return to airport at Sunset...

Flight Details - Screen  2 of  4
        Date: Mar 16 1999   Tuesday
      Flight: CANADIAN AIRLINES     1035
       Leave: VANCOUVER, BC, CANAD   1915
      Arrive: HONOLULU, HI           2310
       Miles: 2706
    Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGL DC10
Elapsed Time:  5 hours 55 minutes
       Meals: Dinner		

No customs to go through while changing planes at HNL

Flight Details - Screen  3 of  4
        Date: Mar 17 1999   Wednesday
      Flight: CANADIAN AIRLINES     1035
       Leave: HONOLULU, HI           0100
      Arrive: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA      0755 **
          **This flight arrives on MAR 18	(actually a Qantas flight)
       Miles: 5087
    Aircraft: BOEING 747	(744)
Elapsed Time:  9 hours 55 minutes
       Meals: Snack, Breakfast

Flight Details - Screen  4 of  4
        Date: Mar 18 1999   Thursday
      Flight: QANTAS AIRWAYS        23
       Leave: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA      1000
      Arrive: PERTH, AUSTRALIA       1135
       Miles: 2024
    Aircraft: BOEING 747 STRETCH (743)
Elapsed Time:  4 hours 35 minutes

This flight continues... (but I don't !)

       Leave: PERTH, AUSTRALIA       1250
      Arrive: HARARE, ZIMBABWE       1715
       Miles: 5280
Elapsed Time: 10 hours 25 minutes

       Leave: HARARE, ZIMBABWE       1845
      Arrive: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH    2025
       Miles: 596
    Aircraft: BOEING 747 STRETCH
Elapsed Time:  1 hour  40 minutes

Map of 1999 trip through warburton road

cycling - part 1 - around perth

I need a few days to acclimatize (going from -5 to +35 can be rough), and especially get some additional supplies such as foods, fuel for stove as well as map and tourism information.

I will also go to Rottnest Island for a night or two. This is a small island park where cars are prohibited and is is cyclist's paradise.

Upon my return to Perth begins the real journey...

Map of 1999 trip through warburton road

cycling - part 2 - perth - laverton

This is the warmup period. Remember that the cycling season is getting a cold start since I have not bene able to train during the canadian winter. This is why I have allocated more days to cover this distance. It also allows me to debug and fine tune the bicycle and detect any flaws.

Road not fully decided as there are many alternate/smaller roads.

Map of 1999 trip through warburton road

cycling - part 3 - laverton - warburton

This is the true challenge of this trip. 1200 km of unsealed roads, much of which I expect to be sandy. This is a true test to one's balance, reflexes and concentration as one must constantly read the road to prepare for soft spots, holes, bumps, deep sand etc.

On this section, I can only plan on making 80km per day. If the road conditions are better than expected, then I will increase the distance. On bad roads, I can expect to average about 8km/h.

Because of limited supplies, I will need to carry much water and food and this will stress my bicycle greatly.

Permits are required to use this road. When I get to Yulara, a resort/oasis near Ayers' Rock (ULURU), I will deserve a good shower and a good meal. I will most probably kiss the road once I reach the sealed section some 40km before Yulara.

Map of 1999 trip through warburton road

cycling - part 3 - yulara to Alice via Kings Canyon

Although I have been to Yulara before, I have not yet cycled the distance between it and Alice, nor had I seen Kings Canyon, so this time around I will do both. Once I rejoin the Stuart Highway 130km south of Alice, I will be again on familiar ground as I have done that road before.

Map of 1999 trip through warburton road

cycling - part 4 - Alice to Darwin

This section on the Stuart highway brings me from from a desert area into a monsoonal forest area near Darwin. While the vegetation does change gradually, the weather and most especially the humidity hits about 100km south of Darwin. While the humidity rises, the temperatures will moderate to the low/mid 30s at Darwin.

Have not decided if I will go through Kakadu park or take the more direct route. It will depend on time and how much of the forest is in fire, as this will be the season where they purposefully burn the dense undergrowth while it is still somewhat moist to prevent wild fires once the stuff is completely dried out.

If I go through kakadu, the crocs will have another chance to prove that they are affraid of me by running away as soon as they see me (which was the case last year).

cycling - part 5 Darwin to Sydney

This is the holiday section of the trip where I might go scuba diving, jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane or just ride an airplane to Sydney where I spend a few days prior to flying home.

cycling - part 6 Sydney to Home

Return flights back home. It is a daytime flight from Sydney to Honolulu (arrive late evening), and then overnight flight to Toronto (9 hours) where the plane is kept dark to allow passengers to sleep right until the plane lands at about 15:20. Arrive Montreal on the next available flight (about an hour flying).