Epic followers, the time has come, commit or be damned! Or at least give an interested wave…in my newish role as ‘lady of leisure’ (yes you guessed it, it’s not Mark posting this time…) I have given over some of my extensive hours to planning, plotting and booking in readiness for the excitement that is the 2013 Epic. Of course everything takes an extra two hours over here in an alternative time zone. So Perth to Albany is taking shape, not quite the route determined by AUDAX, but an altogether more meandering one that is now 11 days of fun, fitness, food and all other related joys.
The following describes what you are required to do if you decide to join us this year, the itinerary, and what we have done in the way of planning and booking. I need to confirm numbers with some places, so be good to know who is in pretty soon.
Definites are: Steve, Miranda, Mark, Leah, Vinnie, Katie (Steve’s daughter), Carol (a newbie from Perth), everyone else so far is a maybe….let’s see if we can move a few more into the definite group! You can do this by depositing the usual $100 in the Xmas Epic account which Mark set up:
Acc No.: 1005 3429
So, if you know you are coming, here are some instructions:
First, if from out of town you will need to book flights and accommodation in Perth. Suggestions for places to stay that are nearby and can be booked through Wotif are: Riverview on Mount St or City Stay Apartment Hotel which is across the road. Unfortunately we have limited spare beds/floor and they are already booked up.
During the epic, which is 11 days long, accommodation for 10 nights has mostly been booked. I am expecting that accommodation for 10 nights will be around $250 each. If you are planning on staying in Albany at the end of the epic you will need to arrange your own accommodation (several of us are flying back to Perth that night as we are heading to Sydney for a wedding).
IMPORTANT: I haven’t booked Nannup yet (see itinerary below). They will only let us book for the night if we pay up front as they have had bad luck with no shows. Please indicate the room type you want and perhaps deposit that in account also.
You will also need to arrange your own way back from Albany. Apart from flying (three flights a day back to Perth, cost us $175 each). There are three bus routes back to Perth, timetables are belo . They will accept bicycles that are booked, but only two per bus so that means that a total of 6 people can leave on the buses in one day. This will cost between $70-90, depending on which route you take. The advice is to book as close as possible to three months prior (Oct 6). Bookings do not open until 3 months before the date you wish to travel. Number for booking is 1300662205
Once back in Perth, as many people as can fit at our place are welcome to stay. We return Jan 10.
Other costs from the kitty will be for petrol, driver’s accommodation, some food and coffee for breakfasts, picnics and campsites. Otherwise food will be bought along the way at bakeries and pubs as per usual.
The Epic Itinerary
Day 1: West Perth – Rockingham 65 km
Starting from our place: 41/7 Delhi St West Perth
2nd breakfast: Fremantle Cappuccino strip
Accommodation – cabins at Rockingham Cee and See Caravan Park. Have booked three at $138 each to sleep four, but am sure the floor will be comfortable too if there are more than 12…
Attraction – Penguin Island – planning to have picnic lunch while we check out the penguins. Ferry costs $12
Day 2: Rockingham – Lake Clifton, 80 km + detour to thrombolites (5-10km)
2nd breakfast: Gourmet Cookies and Pies Golden Bay (approx 30 km) then another stop at Miami Bakehouse (approx 55 km)
Accommodation: camping at Lake Clifton Caravan Park $15/person (deposit paid)
Attraction – Thrombolites approx 10km before accommodation stop http://www.lifeonperth.com/thrombolites.htm
Day 3: Lake Clifton – Australind, 88 km
2nd breakfast: Johnson Rd and Eckersely Rd crossroads (approx 30 km) out of back of support car. Another stop at Benger (approx 70km)
Accommodation: Australind Tourist Park Lot 9 Old coast Rd Australind $40/4 person site, booked and paid for three sites.
30/12/13 (pre-order 2nd breakfast)
Day 4: Australind – Busselton, 65 km
2nd breakfast: Bull and Bush Pub Boyanup (approx 25km) – need to order, don’t eat much for 1st breakfast
next stop – undetermined
This lovely drive meanders through parts of the tiny Tuart Forest National Park, which is the last natural Tuart forest in Australia, and therefore the world. These trees once formed an open forest stretching along the limestone coastal plain between Busselton and Jurien Bay. Unfortunately, the new settlers prized this coastal land, and the strong tuart wood, and a timber mill operated on and off until as recently as 1974. The limestone was also valuable, and was quarried for building and agriculture. These last few little scraps of surviving Tuart forest were hopefully rescued when the area was declared a National Park in 1987, and is now accessed by what was the main highway until a few years ago. Two picnic areas are along the drive. The Layman Picnic Area is in the National Park and is a nice day use site with picnic facilities and walk trails. The one kilometre Sawpit Trail leads to a demonstration sawpit, and the 1.5 kilometre Possum Paths Spotlight Walk has red reflector rnarkers and information plaques along the way. This walk is intended to be done at night by torchlight, so you can get to see some of the delightful nocturnal forest animals up close.The Ludlow Picnic Area is not in the National Park, but is a nice quiet area in a small pine plantation about 100 metres off the road. A good road leads into the large parking area, which is heavily shaded by pines.
Attractions – Wannaro House, Busselton township and pier
Day 5: Busselton – Dunsborough (29km) + Margaret River region tour
Accommodation: Wyndham Dunsborough Resort booked with MFs holiday credits + $100…this is our 5 star accommodation for the trip! The booked accommodation sleeps 12…I can book another room if needed.
The plan for this day is to ride to the resort (hopefully we can leave luggage etc there) before setting off on a tour around some of the regions attractions including wineries, breweries, chocolate, cheese and olive oil producers, and one of the several mazes…this has yet to be planned, but expect to ride an extra 50-80 km.
*Note – this is where the planned route has changed from the original that we sent previously
Day 6: Dunsborough – Nannup (98 km)
2nd breakfast: Rosa Brook (42km)
Accommodation: Nannup pub – lovely old pub with various accommodation options. However, they want money up front as they have had problems in the past and we will need to book fairly soon so please let me know your preferences:
The Hotel rooms are $65 per night per single, $90 per double and $110 for a family room (double and single bed)
The Motel units are $120 per couple and $20 per person thereafter. 5 of the Units have a double and 2 single beds, the sixth (Unit 4) has only 1 x double and 1 x single.
Day 7: Nannup – Manjimup (69km)
Again coffee stops will have to be on the road as we are going bush. There is about 20km of dirt, however the dirt roads around here appear to be very good and well compacted if a little bouncy (we drove it in the RX8 …) Manjimup is a timber town with an impressive town sign traversing the road on the way out – massive. You will get your fill of old timber machinery here. Not as attractive as some towns going north from her (Bridgetown was very pretty) but we just can t go everywhere can we!!
Accommodation: Hopefully we can camp overnight at Fonty’s pool Seven Day Road , Manjimup, Western Australia 6258…they usually require 5 nights to be booked, but they like cyclists! Should be only about $10-15 each. Waiting to hear back.
Day 8: Manjimup to Frankland River (92km)
2nd breakfast: TBA – there isn’t much out there, we will do a recce trip another time to work out good spots to stop.
Accommodation: Have booked two chalets which sleep 7 each at Alkoomi Wines on Wingebellup Rd, Frankland. They are fine if we need to set up tents also. Total cost for two chalets is $260.
Day 9 Frankland River to Kentdale (90km)
Coffee stop: Rocky Gulley Muirs highway (30km)
We are travelling through State forest for a large part of the day, so perhaps a picnic on the side of the road is most likely.
Accommodation: Camping at Ayr Sailean: 1 Tindale Rd Kentdale W.A. 6333 (midway between Walpole and Denmark) I have paid a deposit of $50. $15/head
Attractions: Tree top walk at Walpole, Valley of the Giants, the coast, Bibbleman track
Day 10: Kentdale to Denmark (45 km)
The choice was either most of the ride on the South Coast highway or a bit of backtracking and taking an inland route. Whatever, not a huge ride.
Accommodation: Denmark Hotel 36 Hollings Rd Denmark
Have tentatively booked all the hotel rooms.
Day 12: Denmark to Albany (55 km)
Again not a huge ride, but should be very pretty as we are staying close to the coast and around Wilson Inlet. Done our best to avoid the main highway, but sometimes unavoidable. We plan to go down and check out the roads from Manjimup so that we don’t end up on too many unpassable or dangerous roads.
And that’s it…sorry now pretty pics from us, or informative videos, maybe next time.