Biking Around Australia

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.

This is the route I took around Australia. Every few days I would update this YHA map with a marker and the route I more or less made up as I went along.

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).

February 12th, 2002 - 3:50pm
March 12th, 2003 - 3:12pm
I carried a 15 pound IBM Thinkpad 600E with five batteries over the course of the entire trip in order to keep this website updated on a weekly basis so people back home could follow me on my travels. I had a system setup where I'd back the photos up to CDs and mail them home every few weeks. To update the site, I primarily did it with 3.5 inch floppy disks. There are 542 daily journal entries on here. I redid the website in 2020 so it would show up on phones and such ok. I took 36,304 photos over the 17 months and 12321 of them ended up here on this website. As for the words, there are 119527 of them for you to read. I didn't start active journaling until a couple months into the journey. I've noted where I've added journal entries way after the fact based on recollections or notes I had from the time. Some people have actually read the the entire site and have seen every picture. Some entries were written the same day, others were not. Some entires are a thought-provoking and a wholly entertaining read, others are downright boring.
Lunky.com website 2001-2020

The MS Paint image I updated every few days
Also during the journey I carried a cardboard "clock" for this website I had started a year earlier called The Human Clock. Here it is on the Queensland/Northern Territory border
The Human Clock website was pretty popular then and it plus my bike trip got a quick blurb in the Sunday Times of London in September of 2002

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.

This was also back when the GPS looked nice
Standing at 18°S 142°E
Thanks for reading!
July 17th, 2002
QueenslandHome Hill to Townsville
129 km today
6203.08 km total
80.0 mi today
3845.7 mi total

ugh, what a day today was....

Actually before you read all of this, it contains nothing really interesting. The only real out of the ordinary thing that happened is that chain-tool portion of my BLACKBURN MULTI-TOOL broke on me. Had I been way out in the outback I would have been screwed. Anyway on with the chaff..

Ate too much for breakfast, the slice of pizza at the bakery didn't help things much. This of course slowed me down all morning. The ride was back in the sugarcane fields on the busy two-lane highway.

Got into Ayr...couldn't find a bikeshop. Tried getting money from the ATM, damn thing wouldn't work, but made it so I couldn't get any cash for the rest of the day.

I went to drink some water about 10k out of town and discovered that the valve on my water hose fell off. Worse still was the fact that all my water ran out with it. Not a major crisis, just annoying.

Stopped in Nome. Quite different than the one in Alaska I'm guessing. The one I was at was just a gas station with a restaurant attached to it. Too bad there wasn't a sign otherwise I couldda got a pic for George in Alaska.

Finally made it into Townsville. Kinda like Tacoma, Washington, USA, granted I didn't see all of it. The port was kinda nice, but the outer parts were nothing unique. Townsville is the part where you can start to go to the west on up to Darwin. This is what Roff did in his National Geographic articles. I;m going north further and across the top....this should be more scenic and it is not on major highways.

Headed downtown assuming a bike shop would be there, nope. Found one though and slapped on a new cogset and chain. I think 6,100k is a chain/cog wearing record for me.

Ended up having to bike out of town in the dark since I oouldn't find a caravan park. Could have slept in one of the big vacant lots but didn't since I had no water, plus I needed to fix my chain since it was too long. Found a caravan park eventually. The Coconut Grove is a beaut, Situated right next to the highway and my tent is a stonss through from a busy railroad track. I can't wait till I'm out in the outback.

Took apart my chain and just as I got it apart, the Blackburn Multi-Tool broke on me. Here I am with a broken chain tool and undone chain. I can understand the chain breaking, but not the chain tool. Again, this was a BLACKBURN MULTI-TOOL that is CRAP! So I spent the next 1.5 hours shortening the chain and putting it back on with my bike clock (hammer), pliers, and the remainder of the chain tool.

Ok, enough rambling, I'm going to bed...

July 17th, 2002