Whilst we don't claim to have visited absolutely every inch of Australia, we've seen more than our fair share. We've ridden the highways, rattled along the tracks, powered through the deserts, up the mountains, through the valleys and roamed deep into the Outback.
The information provided here is intended to give you the knowledge you'll need to stay safe in Australia, plus a little personal account of the main areas of the country.
Advice and information - New South Wales
New South Wales is Australia's most populated state, with almost 7 million inhabitants enjoying the relaxed lifestyle and invigorating scenery. Not only does it boast one of the most famous cities in the world, Sydney, but it also encompasses the nation's capital of Canberra, which sits nestled within the Australian Capital Territory.
Starting in the north you have an intriguing blend of old and new. The north coast is where the world’s largest expanse of subtropical rainforest meets mountains forged from ancient volcanoes. The sparkling coastline boasts seemingly endless beaches offering surfing, whale-watching, frolicking dolphins and flocks of seabirds.
If sticking close to the attractions offered by the coastline is your thing, then you will be enjoying excellent, if somewhat mundane highways for the majority of your ride. If you head up into the high country, further away from the coast, you expect twisting lanes, delightful vistas and some truly invigorating riding.
The Great Dividing Range is the setting for some of the most interesting scenery in the state and includes the highest mountain in the region, Mount Kosciuszko at 2229 metres. The range stretches more than 3500km and runs the entire length of the eastern coastline through New South Wales. At the southern end of the state the range forms the Snowy Mountains and affords some truly amazing scenery, especially in winter. It should be noted that riding in this area during the colder months, can be extremely uncomfortable unless you are suitably prepared! You can entertain yourself with a variety of winter sports or choose to go cycling, caving, rafting, kayaking, horse riding and any number of other activities during the more clement months.
The Great Dividing Range is never very far from the coast, so it makes a mix of coastal and mountain riding a distinct possibility and it would be a shame not to experience both on your way through.
Sydney is the capital city of New South Wales and the site of Australia's first permanent European settlement. It is one of the world's most beautiful settlements. Nestled around a large harbour, it has the natural advantages of walks around the foreshore, spectacular views, bay side parks and gardens, plus the architectural magic of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. The English writer Anthony Trollope, when he visited Australia, wrote of Sydney: 'I despair of being able to convey to any reader my own idea of the beauty of Sydney Harbour. I have seen nothing to equal it in the way of land-locked sea scenery.' The centre of the greater metropolitan area is a low-lying plain which stretches west for nearly 50 kilometres, until it reaches the eastern edge of the Blue Mountains.
The Blue Mountains, located approximately 100km south of Sydney are not, as the name might suggest, mountains at all. They are in fact a series of cliffs surrounding a plateau, riddled with gorges with some over 700m deep. The 'blue' aspect of their name, comes from the blue-coloured tint the range takes on when viewed from a distance, this effect is caused by the release of oils from the surrounding eucalypt forests. In fact most mountain ranges in Australia appear blue from a distance, but the name stuck with this particular region.
Whether it be experiencing the heady delights of Sydney, enjoying any number of activities in the Great Dividing Range or simply soaking up some sunshine on the beach, New South Wales truly has something for everyone.
I hope you've found my personal account of riding New South Wales useful and a perhaps even a little bit interesting!