Between February 2002 and March 2003 I circumnavigated 12,504 miles around the Australian continent on my bicycle, or push bike as they say there. After that I went to New Zealand for three months and met up with a friend and ended up pushing the total mileage to 14,115.7 miles (22717.02 km). I spent 269 days on my bike, 272 days not on my bike, and getting 67 flat tires over those 17 months.
I started and ended my 13 month lap around Australia at Luna Park in St. Kilda/Melbourne.. The distance around Australia (including Tasmania) ended up being about 20,281km (12,600 miles).
One fun thing I did during my trip was to visit six "confluences", which is where a whole-numbered latitude/longitude mark intersects for The Degree Confluence Project.
Mira and I didn't leave until about 9:00am. A nice couple named Mike and Val offered us a place to stay in Bowen. Mira and I split up at Proserpine since he was going to Airlie Beach. I wasn't going there since I wanted to get farther north...kinda worried about getting through the desert out west before Spring (and the heat) hits. We had stopped at the visitor center and Mira was booking a snorkeling trip on the Great Barrier Reef. It was kinda funny. The guy at the desk was booking the trip on the phone for Mira. He said, "Just a sec and let me ask him....Hey, tommorow there are going to be 100 American students on the boat...is that ok?". Mira said "uh, how about the day after then", kinda chuckling and hoping I wasn't offended. He had a nice imitation of two American girls screaming and saying "OH MY GOD!"
I stopped in Proserpine and had some Quiche. Riding the road through the town, I assumed it would go back to the highway like in most towns...but no, after about 3k a sign said "no through road to Bowen".
It was nice knowing I had a place to stay, since I had to spend the next four hours riding through a headwind. Upon reaching Bowen, I came to "The Big Mango". Australia has a lot of these "Big" things...an older couple is actually writing a tour guide to them.. So far I had only seen the Big Merino and the Big Seashell. (I forgot to see the Big Banana in Coffs Harbor, dang).
Bowen is a nice town of about 8,000 people. Mike showed me around town. "There is the yacht club, out there is Horseshoe Bay, hey there is the mayor (washing his car even)". There are murals all over town, just like Sheffield, Tasmania.