Great Ocean Road & Great Alpine Road
Includes 'Around the Bay' event
Sunday 01 October, 2017 to Sunday 08 October, 2017
AllTrails is proud to be working once again with Bicycle Network to provide the 4-day Great Ocean Road Cycle Tour – a wonderful extension ride to the famous ‘Around the Bay’ ride – however this year we are doing something a little different…
We are combining this spectacular Great Ocean Road 4-day coastal ride with one the best 4-day high country rides you’ll ever come across as we wind our way down the Great Alpine Road through Bright, Hotham, Dinner Plain and Omeo down towards the Gippsland coast. Two of the ‘greats’ (by name and by nature) in just one week.
In between is a night in Melbourne to catch your breath and maybe even explore some of the delights of the great city.
These two locations are truly outstanding. On the ‘Road Cycling’ page of the Visit Victoria website, the opening paragraph begins… “Experience the splendour of regional Victoria on your trusty two-wheeler. Throw on your helmet and don the lycra, if that’s your thing, and visit the state’s greatest destinations, from the Great Ocean Road to the High Country.”
Greatest destinations indeed. And to experience them both with AllTrails Bicycle Tours, the best of the best when it comes to multi-day cycle touring in Australia – it’s a recipe for an experience that you will never forget. Only time for one leg? That’s fine – ride one or ride them both.
This is cycling without the logistics headaches – we organise everything that you will need for the duration of the tours including accommodation, food, safety and support vehicles, bike mechanical support, luggage transfer, great camaraderie and much more. You can pedal away each morning knowing that you are being looked after by the best tour company in the business, your luggage will be taken care of, food will be ready at the next stop, and all you need to do is decide which way to look to enjoy the scenery of this magnificent part of the world.
BONUS: come a day or two earlier to experience Melbourne at AFL Grand Final time (see ‘Highlights’ or ‘Day to Day’ tabs for more info).
GROUP DISCOUNT: Save 5% (over $180 each) for 3 or more cyclists.
No short-cuts! Our extensive preparation and organisation creates the best tours for our clients.
Our owners are usually on tour with you. AllTrails is renowned for good old fashioned service.
From great accom & meals, to the quality ingredients in our famous home-made muffins and biscuits.
Our support vehicle is never far away if you need a pick-up or mechanical assistance. Our crew are the best.
AllTrails cyclists are famous for fun, positivity and support. We are proud of the AllTrails community
The tour at a glance:
1-4 & 5-8 Oct 2017
8 days, 7 nights.
(or 4 days, 3 nights)
729 or 768 km total
Ave. Daily :
91 or 96 km day
Bike Type :
Road or hybrid bike
Bitumen roads. Mountainous climbs and undulating coastal roads.
Group Size :
Good quality cyclist-friendly accom
Morning tea & snacks on the ride
Difficulty Grading :
Check out more of our up-coming rides:
Victoria’s North East is road-riding paradise. Breathtaking scenery, quiet country roads, alpine ascents and happy-to-help locals – this part of the world is THE ideal holiday destination for avid road cyclists.
On this tour we have a relatively flat first day cycling along the Great Alpine Road as it winds its way through the valley with plantations on the left and Mt Buffalo Nat. Park on the right, before our overnight in Bright. This town is cycle-mad. If you have never been to Bright, it is an experience in itself, and even better as part of a cycling tour.
Day two starts with a gentle uphill to Harrietville before a 30km climb up to Mt Hotham. This is a big day of climbing but our support vehicle is there to pick up cyclists who need some assistance getting up the hills, or even to transport cyclists who want to skip most or all of this day. It is still a beautiful place to be – even in a support vehicle. Hotham is the highest point of the ride and the rest of the day takes you downhill to our overnight stop in Omeo, followed by Day three, making your way down towards the coast as the Great Alpine Road snakes its way through the valleys to our next overnight at Bairnsdale.
Day four takes you between conservation reserves and the famous Gippsland Lakes Region to Stratford where you jump on the train to the big smoke of Melbourne where you can either leave the tour or enjoy a relaxing evening ready for the train to Warrnambool tomorrow.
Part 2: Great Ocean Road
This magnificent jaunt along the best of the Great Ocean Road starts with a train ride to Warrnambool and finishes as part of the exciting ‘Around the Bay’ Bike Ride in Melbourne. In between is the bike ride that you have always wanted to do, and that you will remember forever.
We will guide you along the internationally renowned Great Ocean Road for three days, winding past The Twelve Apostles (or is it eight now?) and around popular beach resort towns that are the home of the surfing revolution. The pounding surf against limestone cliffs is the perfect backdrop for some power pedalling, climbing hills and descending through thick forest from Warrnambool to Port Campbell, to Apollo Bay to Queenscliff.
After our last overnight stop at Queenscliff you will take the ferry across the bay to Sorrento to join the thousands of cyclists in one of Australia’s premier cycling events ‘Around the Bay’. The final 100km leg will see you ride proudly in through the finish arch at Alexandra Gardens to the festive atmosphere at the finish line that this famous ride generates.
Bonus: Melbourne on Grand Final Day
What a time to be in Melbourne! The day before our Alpine ride is the AFL Grand Final and Melbourne will be abuzz with activity, excitement and fun – even if your team is not playing in the game. In fact even if you don’t even have a team! Come a day or two early to experience the AFL festival events at Federation Square, the FREE Live Site located at Yarra Park outside the MCG (usually from Wednesday), The Grand Final Parade (on Friday), or go along to the MCG to watch the game outside on the big screen and then go in for free to the post-match celebration when the MCG gates are open to the public from 6pm. Not interested in the footy? Flying in to Melbourne in the afternoon on game day should see some cheaper airfares! Let us know if you have any questions about the days before the ride and how we can help you with your time in Melbourne.
AllTrails Great Ocean Rode Luxury Bike Tour
What has been said about our previous GOR tours:Absolutely fantastic, brilliantly organized & supported four day tour. I just cannot express the personal satisfaction, joy, and sheer pleasure in being able to do that ride. All of it made possible by the marvelous support, planning, care & good old fashion ‘Aussie’ attitude of the ALLTRAILS CREW and the easily made friendship, comradeship of the entire cycle group. I have never before met such a marvelous group of people. Thanks for my memories that will last a life time & also just in case I do have a “Seniors” moment the many fantastic photographs supplied by Alltrails at the end. John A (NSW)
Thanks so much for a wonderful experience. A personal Best for me – 400km in 4 days! Such magnificent riding, along with some wicked weather! It was a delight to think that all I had to do with my day, was hope on my bike and ride, with complete confidence that the support – both front and rear – was always there. I feel your generosity of time and spirit was much appreciated; and are to be recommended highly. Would love to join you on another ride soon. Gabby (VIC)
Please pass on my thanks to Susan, Rachel, Phil and Ben for a fantastic tour. The personalized, professional and ‘no fuss’ attention to detail approach by the All Trails Team made a great trip into a fantastic trip. I’ll be back for more next year. I have been wearing my [AllTrails] Jersey while being out and about and also in the Gong ride just over a week ago, love the hi-vis colours. Every time I wear it someone asks me ‘which ride did you do’…..’how are Susan and Phil’…..so it’s also a highly recognized jersey. See you on the Road. Rod (NSW)
Kiwis abroad Dad and I would like to thank Susan, Phil, Ben and Midge for a wonderful ride. We decided to head over to Aussie for a change of scenery. We took our own bikes with us which was very easy and hassle free. We couldn’t fault the food, accommodation or help we received along the way. So any kiwis wanting to head over you will have a great time. The great ocean road is a great ride. Thank you AllTrails Lex and Peter (NZ)
I was very pleased with the standard of accommodation and foods on offer. The support you gave was exceptional. Really, what more could I have asked you do do. The cheerful banter and the challenges of rides, winds in the face, some hard climbs were there on the days, but the best feature was the group’s friendliness with an effort to be at the stops on time. David (NSW)
Just a short note to say a Big Thank You to all for the wonderful Great Ocean Rode ride; the care and attention to details and logistics put into it are all appreciated. After 15 years in this business, you must have thought out just about every possible eventuality, but it is great that everything went well without a hitch.Once again, many thanks, and wishing you all best for the future. Hoe Yoon C (Malaysia)
I have meant to write to you since finishing the Great Ocean Rode to tell you what a fabulous experience it was. The support, the location, the food! the people – all the people – participants and organisers! Makes me want to do more rides!Mel E (ACT)
Thanks Susan, Phil and Ben for a really enjoyable trip. Great food, accommodation, and support during the trip. My cycling improves each trip with Alltrails and I always have a good time. Jean (NSW)
Hi Midge, Phil, Susan and Ben, Thank you so much for another fantastic bike ride! It’s great to just ride and know everything will be wonderfully organised, safe and fun. I’m looking forward to the Great Vic in only a few week’s time and all the European riding with you next year. Thank you once again for everything. Mary-Anne C, (VIC)
Dear Phil and Susan, Thank you for all your efforts to make the 2012 Great Ocean Rode so rewarding. Challenging? Undoubtedly. Enjoyable? Immensely so. To you and your team, Thank you. Geoff F (VIC)
To all the team at Alltrails, my sincere thanks for making my first cycling tour with you such a wonderful enjoyable fantastic event, it certainly exceeded my best hopes and has fuelled my appetite for more. Well Done. Best Wishes Colin N (VIC)
Feel free to contact us at any time through our website ‘Contact Us’ page, phone or email. We love what we do and want to get you on the best bike ride for you. Speak to us about what’s on your mind and we’ll help you make your decision.
Our support bus is there to support the tour and also pick up riders who need to jump in for any reason. The bus is also sometimes used for part-time riders who only ride certain sections of each day – these are often partners of someone else on the ride. This vehicle can be quite popular on some days – especially long days or days with big hills! There is no shame in riding in this bus so if you are considering a tour and are ‘in the ball-park’ in terms of your fitness and preparedness, but not 100% sure if you will be up to it on the toughest days, just go for it – our vehicle and staff will be there to help out. It’s better to give it a try than to miss out all together. If you feel that you are extremely far off the fitness level required and cannot commit to enough training that will get you fit in time then you may be better off booking a later ride or a different type of tour – just give us a call or email to discuss.
Obtaining appropriate insurance is your (very important) responsibility
IMPORTANT: Travel Insurance – even for trips within Australia
- When you consider the cost of cancelling your tour if something goes wrong before or during your travel, insurance is good protection.
- Domestic travel insurance is usually considerably cheaper than international.
- Purchase your travel insurance as soon as you have booked your tour and your travel – don’t wait until just before you go.
- Some credit card travel insurances do not apply to domestic Australian travel – check with your provider.
- There are lots of travel insurance providers – cyclists should do their own research to ensure they are covered adequately.
- Here are two options as an example:
- International travellers should always have a comprehensive travel insurance.
IMPORTANT: Cyclist insurance for accidents & medical:
Cyclist Insurance is different to Travel Insurance and is often included as part of cycling memberships such as Bicycle Network or Bicycle Queensland or can be bought separately. Cycling can be a dangerous activity and you should be prepared for the worst. If you have an accident in training for the tour or on the tour itself cyclist insurance can help with medical, income protection and third party coverage. Check out the benefits here:
A staff member with good bike mechanical knowledge will be part of our crew and will have a stand pump for different valves. The mechanic will often be able to help you with a safety check, general tips and advice about your bike and its upkeep, as well as fixing mechanical problems. We will have limited parts available for replacement which will be charged at shop prices. Labour is free for the first fifteen minutes, there after costs may be incurred at the mechanic’s discretion. Cyclists with rare or different bikes are asked to contact us at AllTrails as parts can often be very difficult to obtain.
On the online entry form you can nominate any travelling companions who you would like to share a room with and/or be accommodated close to so that couples or friends can be grouped together. This can be in a double bed or twin beds. If you are travelling alone like many of our riders, a Single Supplement price is available for those who would like their own room for the whole trip. On some tours you can also choose to ‘twin share’ where single riders are paired with other riders of the same gender (often changed during the tour to allow solo travellers to meet other solo travellers). On other tours you may need to put your name down on a Twin Share Request List and we will try to match you up. If you are a snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we ask that you book your own room at the Single Supplement price. If you are coming on your own and have booked in as twin share, this usually means that you will share a room with one other single twin share cyclist or crew member, however in some cases we may have larger rooms (eg. two bedroom apartment or a B&B/house with multiple bathrooms) where we may have 3 or more single twin share travellers together.
If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room (single supplement cost). This is not just a courtesy to your fellow travelling companions, but will also give you the space & privacy you need to enjoy your sleep after a long day on the bike.
We always try to obtain great accommodation in the best location for you to rest your weary head (and legs) in each town whether it be a motel, hotel, cabins or similar, usually 3, 3½, 4 star. We choose the best and most welcoming motel for cyclists and our tour group needs. On occasion we travel through some very small towns where accommodation is extremely limited. If for whatever reason, such as limited options, the accommodation one night is below normal standard, we strive to improve this with an extra good room the next night or nights following.
We suggest you carry a spare tube, a full water bottle and your own personal goods such as camera, wallet and rain gear, on your bike with you. We transport your luggage, drawstring day bags, food & extra water. A more detailed list of things to bring and not bring is on our ‘Tour Preparation Guide’ which is sent out to you before the ride.
Always a big part of any cycling holiday! Check tour details for meal inclusions on your ride. Our emphasis is on fresh food and balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates, proteins, fruit and vegies catering for a cycling holiday. We successfully cater to most dietary requirements, however feel free to contact us with any questions. Most meals are included as part of our tours, however you may be required to purchase some meals. See the ‘Day to Day’ tab for more details, or click the ‘Download Itinerary’ button.
We realise that often our riders want to spend their holidays with loved ones who may not be a keen cyclist as they are – we are happy to accommodate non-riding partners and part-timers who only want to ride part of each day, or only certain days. We will generally try to allocate pickup points along the route every day. The entry price will be the same for part-time riders and usually non-riders as well depending on their tour plan.
We have a great safety record, but accidents can happen. We have trained First Aiders as crew, comprehensive First-Aid Kits, a list of hospitals in the areas that we travel through, as well as mobile phones and a satellite phone for emergency calls when we are out of cellular range. Safety discussions are held throughout the tour as part of the daily briefings.
We will be happy to give you the names and telephone numbers of people who have participated in the ride or a similar ride to the one which you are considering. Where possible we will provide you with the details of someone within your city or state.
Another good place to look is our ‘Testimonials’ page.
Bring your friends and save some money! Many of our tours have group discounts for 3 or more entrants. Check out the ‘pricing’ tab on each ride page to see if group discounts apply to that tour. This generally excludes any optional extras such pre and post tour accom, cycling jersey, t-shirt etc. Contact our office for more details and information.
Contact us if you would like to find out about booking an info session for your group of friends, or if you would like to find out about a travel talk happening near you in the future. Be inspired, hear from the experts, learn more about a destination and even book your tour on the night.
Should you wish to change your booking with AllTrails to a different tour, there will be a very reasonable service charge. We try to keep this figure as low as possible to allow flexibility where we can as we want to make sure that you get on the right tour for you. For cancellation and refund policies for your tour click the ‘T&Cs’ tab on the relevant tour page of our website.
If you need to cancel your tour, a travel insurance policy will cover cancellation fees due to most unforeseen events. This is why we provide links to travel insurance options and highly recommend that you investigate and purchase travel insurance for all our rides (including Australian domestic tours) at the time of deposit and ensure that it includes coverage for cancellation fees if for some reason you are not able to travel (see Travel Insurance FAQ). For our international tours we require all participants to have Travel Insurance to assist you in the event of a medical emergency, lost baggage, personal liability, cancelled tour or other trip related issues.
People from all parts of Australia and also some overseas guests. Ages generally range from 35 – 75 with the average age about 50-60 years old. Adventurous cyclists usually about 40% women & 60% men with a mix of singles, friends and couples.
We recommend you bring a soft bag or backpack. We advise against bringing a suitcase as they are bulky, difficult to stow on board vehicles or trailers and heavy. You may be required to lift or carry your own luggage from time to time, e.g. into accommodation. We expect your bag to be no heavier than 15kg, making it easy to manage for you and the staff. Any excess luggage may need to be stored or forwarded on to your final destination at your own expense. Information about what to pack is included as part of your Pre-Departure information. Generally we advise that you pack as light as possible.
A comfortable racing bike, road bike or touring bike with a good seat and road tyres. A hybrid is also possible if you are comfortable riding the daily distances and average speed of the tour, however these bikes can be around 20% slower than a road bike. Ask us for the ‘Training Tips’ document for this ride to get an idea of distances and speeds you need to train for.
If you are purchasing a new bike for this ride or wanting to make some upgrades here a few points to consider:
Bike set up: Unless you are accustomed to riding long distances or are very flexible set your bike up for comfort rather than optimum aerodynamics. A more comfortable upright position is most easily achieved by raising the handle bar and moving the seat forward.
Wheels: Do not go too light. High-end road bikes often allow you to choose different wheel sets or if you are considering upgrading, the lightest wheels might be the fastest, but they are not always the strongest. The heavier you are the more important this is. Cheaper wheels are heavier and generally have more spokes, but are also quite robust and easy to repair, so if this is your price bracket then there is not too much to worry about. If you looking at getting some fast wheels and you are over 90kg ask your bike shop for advice and even do some research online or within your bike community.
Tyres: Durability is the most important feature for long distance rides. When choosing your tyres look for features like anti-puncture and Kevlar lining. A harder rubber also allows you to get more kilometres out of each tyre. A popular choice amongst our cyclists are the Continental Ultra Gatorskins in either the 25mm, 28mm or 32mm width. Generally the wider the tyre the more comfortable, but check how wide a tyre your rims, forks and frame can accommodate before purchasing.
Gearing: As a rule; the more gears you have the easier it is to climb hills. The standard configuration of gears found on road bikes does not suit everyone. If you find yourself running out of gears while climbing, needing to get out of the saddle to get over a hill or ride with a high cadence it might be worth considering one or both of these options. Replace the cassette with a larger one (more teeth) and/or get a compact crank. A compact crack tries to do what the triple chain ring crank does in just two chain rings. If you already have a triple, this is not for you. The compact crank slightly reduces your big chain ring size and significantly reduces your small chain ring size making it much easier to climb hills and spin your legs faster rather than harder.
You really need to be a reasonably keen cyclist – not necessarily fast, but consistent. Try to sit on an average speed of at least 20-25 km/hr on the flat, and build your kilometre total distance in training to be out on the bike for a number of hours for two days straight. Aim to ride close to the average daily distance of your chosen tour on each of the days if you can. This will usually put you in a good position to be ready for your tour. We have a training schedule specific to each ride which we send to you after you place your deposit, however we are more than happy to send this to you earlier when you are considering the tour – just ask us for a copy and we will get it out to you straight away.
If you want to hire a bike for one of our tours just let us know on your online booking form and we will get the ball rolling for you. You can also bring your own seat and/or pedals to give you that little bit of ‘home comfort’.
The Skybus goes from Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport and goes to Southern Cross Station. You can take your bike on the Skybus and it also has free shuttles to CBD hotels. More info at www.skybus.com.au.
ARRIVING G.O.R. tour: Our meeting place is Southern Cross Station, Melbourne early (approx 6:30am) on Thursday morning. If you are staying close to Southern Cross Station you will just need to cross the road with your luggage and bike to meet us at the station (we have some hotel suggestions if you need them). If you have a car you may be able to leave your car at the hotel for the duration of the tour at a rate set by the hotel – enquire direct with the hotel. Please contact our office about other car parking options if required.
DEPARTING: The ride will finish on Sunday in St Kilda (5km from Melbourne CBD). You will have a 100km ride starting at 9am from Sorrento. It is possible to catch a plane home that evening (Sunday), however we suggest that you do not book anything earlier than 6pm if possible just in case you are delayed for any reason during your ride (flat tyres, weather, injury, mechanical problems etc). Staying in Melbourne on Sunday night will give you more leeway if that is possible for you.
We only run approximately 10 tours per year. This makes every tour as special to us as it is to you because we are not repeating the same rides over and over again week-in week-out. Every tour is meticulously planned and we are just as excited to be there as you – there is no bulk production-line here! On most occasions the owner-operators of the business will be on tour with you looking after everyone on the ride. The safety and confidence that comes with that is one of many great reasons to book your cycling holiday with us.
AllTrails is a proud Australian owned company with a great reputation in the bicycle tour industry. We have earned that reputation through hard work and dedication and we sincerely care about every person on every tour. Our large community of loyal AllTrails riders that keep coming back year after year are testament to the high standard of tours that we provide. We consider ourselves the best in the business and we always make sure that our tours represent great value at a fair price.
Conditions of contract : Please read carefully
Full terms and conditions for each ride are available via our booking system (directions to find them are below). These terms and conditions will also be sent to you with your confirmation email after booking.
To find the terms & conditions of this ride:
- Click any ‘Book This Ride’ button on this webpage such as the one below (right click ‘open in new tab’)
- Enter at least 1 participant on any package, then scroll down and click ‘BOOK NOW’
- Click the ‘SKIP’ button
- Scroll to the bottom of the questions page and click ‘terms and conditions’ hyperlink