Bicycle Touring Experiences from Australia

Australia

On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who travel to Australia (you can share your experiences here).


Contents on this page


desperately looking for bike shipping options from taipei to melbourne , australia ?

hi there, i recently flew from japan to taipei with a cannondale quick4 in a bike bag,it was cheap andit wasnt any stress getting it from taipei airport to the hotel, however im about to head onto hongkong and dont want to carry bike with me there if i can help it and i have been looking for shipping options to send it packaged to australia either by air or by surface mail, the local postal service has box size limits that are too small to even pack individual parts such as frame and wheels packaged seperately so sadly what probably would have been the cheapest option is a no go area 🙁 i then asked the lady at the post office if they deal with fedex she said they do and she made a call to them and gave them the box/package size dimensions (Ll34cm x H72cm x W19cm) and wieght of the packaged bike a few minutes later she scribbled down the quoted price of fedex's economy air shipping and it was 19,500 taiwanese dollars almost more then the bike cost and probably what it would cost me for a return air ticket from my hometown to taipei and back, in other words far to expensive 🙁 there is a possibility i can ask eva airways to expand my luggage allowance to i think the maximum is between 32-38 kgs for my flight to hongkong but it will be a hindrance to my travel as i wont be riding in hongkong or in thailand which i will be visiting straight after hongkong before returning to australia in january, so anyway as you can see im in a tough position here , if anybody can offer any practical advice relating to cheap shipping companys that operate here with generous maximum box size allowances it would be greatly apreciated 🙂 thanks in advance, gary

gary, November 30, 2012

Thai bike friendly

We flew MEL-BKK-CDG and CDG-BKK-MEL in June/July 2011 for the Tour De France. I had a Scott CR1 Pro boxed up in a cardboard bike box. I'd contacted Thai prior to the flight to ask about bike and they offered me an extra 4kg over the standard 23kg so now 27kg check-in allowed. No hassles in either direction and box arrived in good nick both ways. On the way back I had actually gone a bit overboard and had 30kg of check-in total. No problems and no extra charges.

roger, November 15, 2012

Cathay Pacific and current baggage allowance

In June I flew CX DXB-SYD via Honk Kong. The Bob trailer would have cost $600 in excess baggage costs so I spent almost $500 total on air freight - one way. On my return I will only take the bicycle and leave the BOB behind. CX is now quite expensive for hauling bicycle stuff. Too bad BA does not fly on my route as I have Silver status on their frewuent flyer system.
Next year it looks like China Southern will be the way to go as they have a cheaper excess baggage rate. Cathay Pacific has become quite expensive and non-lenient (in 2011) for bicycle touring. Sigh ...

Ken, July 29, 2011

RailTrail.com : World Rail Trail Directory

Bike, walk and horse ride disused railroads in Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada, Europe

David Berry, November 26, 2008

Bicycles and Emirates UAE to/from Australia

In May 2008, I had to call Emirates regarding their policy with bikes. I want to take a Greenspeed GTO to/from Perth and Dubai to bicycle in Australia and then return with it to Dubai.

Airfare is 4800 Dirhams return. A good price. But... The weight allowance is only 20 kg. That means XS baggage of 73.40 Dh per kilo extra (in each direction). So, if 20 kg extra is for bike stuff that means 1468 Dh extra in each direction. Got the idea? At 3.7 Dh per US dollar it is better to fly with a bike from North America to Australia than from the Middle East. The total price is $2090 USD and the flight is only 11 hours non-stop.

Not a complaint - just an observed calculation 🙂 Other carriers in this area (Thai, Singapore, etc) have similar rules regarding bikes/trikes and XS baggage rates

Ken, May 14, 2008

Qantas from Canada to Australia and return..

In July 2006 I flew Winnepeg (YWG) to Brisbane via LAX and used Air Canada to LAX and Qantas to Brisbane. Somehow the bike (overweight at 70 lbs) was forgotten at Calgary by AC, but it DID arrive in Brisbane a couple of days later. Then I repacked the bike into 2 boxes and flew along with my IBEX (3rd box) to Cairns.

Then, for the next 6 weeks I bicycled across the Savannah Way to Darwin. At Darwin airport Qantas gave me 3 bike boxes at no charge and packing tape) and watched me pack the parts for the next couple of hours and I flew to Melbourne at no extra cost for checking in the 3 boxes.

I traveled from Melbourne by train to Sydney visiting friends but had to ship the boxes separately (at a cost of over $100 AUD) as there was no way to take the boxes on the train (no baggage facilities). In Sydney I had to pay someone to take the boxes from the freight facility in a suburb.

At the airport I paid Qantas just over $100 AUD extra because I was hugely overweight, and flew to LAX with Qantas. Then I flew with NorthWest to YWG via MSP. The boxes arrived when I did with no damage (in either direction). The fees I paid AC and Qantas were worth every penny since I was hugely overweight and the staff was really interested in the fact that I had bicycled across the outback and THEIR airline was carrying my gear 🙂

Ken Pisichko, February 11, 2008

Virgin and Recumbent Trikes

After we got to the Airport, we surrendered to the Virgin Blue bureaucracy.
We were told it is a CASA requirement the bikes be put in an approved bike box...
Of course Trike's don't fit into an “approved” bike box. Still the book said they “must” so we squeezed them in, leaving a big “bulge” on one side
Despite our trials and tribulations we finished the job in about two hours,
Our bags (Trailers) were a huge 12kg over the limit and our “boxed” bikes weighed about 52kg (that is both boxes combined), including tools, helmets, ect.ect... Which, by the way is UNDER the maximum limit for a bike box (32 KG limit per box)
Apart from a $15.00 – per box – fee, we were not charged anything for the additional 64+ Kg overweight and oversize baggage. Thank you Virgin Blue, very much. See pictures on the website - April diary.... Mal & Lee

Mal, May 01, 2007

Inspection

I packed my bike for a trip to Melborne and at the airport (SeaTac) the airlines and TSA would NOT allow me to be present during pre-flight inspection.

Not only did the bike arrive damaged, (they used ONE piece of tape to close the box), but HALF of the equipment had been removed. Handlebars, Seat, pedals, lights, bike computer, tools and derailer had been removed and clearly cables had been cut to get them off the bike.

The airlines refused to take a claim - saying I was responsible for safe packing. TSA said they weren't responsible for the theft because I had no proof the items were on the bike to begin with. I was really upset.

On return (I had to buy all new equipment) I INSISTED on being present for inspection, and packed all the little stuff in my luggage. I photographed the contents in the presence of the inspector and had a preprinted receipt which the airlines inspector signed acknowledging the contents of the package.

Plus I took a photo of the inspector. (He was NOT happy.)

Nothing was missing when I got home and the bike was in pristine condition and taped from one end to the other.

Sara R. Avrams, March 09, 2007

new lightweight bag

Bigfoot latest bag a winner, MTB bag used by Trevor Kloden. a great story about about a great product.
winning a bronze medal at the Downhill MTB championships in over 50 age group, Traveling with a 5kg bike bag on wheels EASY!

Marc Sier, October 30, 2006

Bicycle padded airline Bag

Still the best product out on the marketplace is the Bicycle Travel Bag from ROME Bike Bags, CA 310-791-6366, they ship the same day for procrastinators like myself who needed a bag in a hurry. The bag was used for a trip to france and was easily stored in a locker at the train station when I was riding. ***** Great price $129, give them a cal, I think the website is www.bikebags.com ask for Sandy.

Brian, May 26, 2006

Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and Christchurch Airport

As a family we have just flown domestically within Australia with Virgin Blue then to NZ with Pacific Blue. They are basically the same airline. We had two single bikes and a tandem all boxed and had no problems. Even though they weighed all the boxes the airline has policy that irrespective of the actual weight of the bike it only counts as 5kg of your luggage allowance. Very bike friendly.

So too was Christchurch Airport with its Bicycle Assembly area, which includes two workstands such as you see in bike shops. Extremely bike friendly and welcoming.

Tim

Tim Stredwick, March 21, 2006

PedalOZ

Hi

We are a cycle touring focused operator based on Perth Western Australia. After many overseas cycling trips we started our own business.

If anyone needs some advice about a tour in our region or just wants to check us out you can go to our website at www.pedaltours.com.au.

Cheers

Justin

Justin, September 04, 2005

Darwin, NT

Darwin is a dream to cycle. The airport is modern and easy to navigate through. The streets leading from it (no freeways at all here!) are all wide, flat, and well maintained. Traffic is slight and the drivers are not rude.

The entire city has beautifully maintained bike paths all over the place, way out of proportion to it's size as a city. Whenever I couldn't find a bike path I happilly hopped onto the road because the streets are well maintained and usually with enough room for bicycles.

I bicycled in from Adelaide, SA, and easily rode right up to the door of the airport. The staff were very helpful at Virgin Blue and I had the bike and my gear all boxed and packed in no time.

I can't guarrantee that the people will all be so friendly by the end of the rainy season, but in July Darwin is awesome for bikes.

Greg Clark, August 25, 2005

Clean Your Bike For Australia

Clean your bike, especially fenders and tires, before landing in Australia. I recommend having brand new tires on just to impress them. Don't pack any food items at all to save hassel.

Greg Clark, August 25, 2005

Bike boxes in Melbourne Airport

In Melbourne we picked up free used bike boxes from the domestic Qantas terminal, boxed our bikes and then flew to London. There were about 8 boxes there when we took ours. They were qantas boxes whic are about $16 new and were quite large we could fit a bike in with one pannier on. Only needed to take off a pedal and the front wheel.

Neil, July 29, 2005

Qantas Airlines

I went on a flight from Auckland, NZ to Sydney Australia. My bike box, which I checked-in, weighed 25KG and I wasn't charged for any over-weight (although the luggage allowance was 20kg). Plus my hand bag weighed about 12 kg - but that was not a problem as well.

All in all a good experience.

Yaron Orenstein, June 24, 2005

British Airways

I went on a flight from Sydney Australia to Bangkok, Thailand. My bike box, which I checked-in, weighed 25KG and I wasn't charged for any over-weight (although the luggage allowance was 20kg). Plus my hand bag weighed about 12 kg - but that was not a problem as well.

All in all a good experience.

and - the flight was excellent!

Yaron Orenstein, June 24, 2005

Jetstar vs Virgin Blue (Australia) Excess Baggage for Bikes

Having just participated in the Great Tasmanian Bike Ride, we've been able to compare the airline policies and charges for carrying bicycles. Jetstar charges AUD$5 per kilo for EVERY kg of excess over 20kg, with no special allowance for bikes; and no negotiation.

By contrast, Virgin Blue will only count a bike as 5kg of the total allowance, regardless of what it weights, and their excess baggage charges are less, and they were known to waive it for some people. Based on that I know who I will be flying with next time!

Jo Clendon, February 14, 2005

Qantas Airlines

Have just flown with Qantas from Melbourne to Bangkok with my boxed bike and Bob trailer.

Total weight 36kg, the check-in woman charged me 5kg excess (20AU$ per KG) so I had to pay 100AU$.

David, December 11, 2004

Pedal Tours Western Australia

Hi

We are a cycle touring focused operator based on Perth Western Australia. After many overseas cycling trip we started our own business. If anyone needs some advice about a tour in our region or just wants to check us out you can go to our website at www.pedaltours.com.au.

PS does anyone want a reciprocal link

Cheers

Justin

Justin Baker, November 06, 2004

Australia cycle bicycle tour

We are a new bicycle tour company based in Perth Western Australia. If you are coming to Perth check us out at www.pedaltours.com.au

Justin Baker, October 17, 2004

Sydney Airport to City Centre

I was pleasantly surprised to find a good, fairly well sign-posted, route from Sydney International Airport to Sydney city centre on my recent trip to Australia.

Despite a fairly thorough search, I could not find information about this route on the Internet before my trip and found the route by accident. Most of the route is on road, but these are mostly suburban back streets and shared footpaths.

Finding the route from the airport arrivals area involves crossing one fairly busy road though. I am sure there must be a safer way to get across this road than this way, but this is how I found it. If anyone out there knows a safer way to the cycle way, please post here or perhaps, ask an airport worker!

Anyway, I found the track by heading towards the main airport carpark exit. You will see toll booths there. I guess about 100 metres before you reach the toll booths, turn right and go ahead until you reach the end of the car park. Cross the busy road which is before you. I couldn't see a pedestrian crossing so use caution! Walk in the direction of the water, under the flyover and you should see a bicycle signpost. Turn right to go to the city.

Rachel Muntz, May 31, 2004

Bikes on Air New Zealand

I had a pretty ordinary experience when taking my bike from Broome to Christchurch via Perth, Melbourne and Auckland (don't ask). Broome to Perth via Qantas was fine ... no charge, no hassle. The local bike shop had boxed up the bike for me. In Perth, had to travel to the international terminal on the bus (dodgey). Perth to Melbourne on Air NZ (well, Qantas masquerading as Air NZ) I was slugged for excess weight (All up I was carrying 45kg), but at least it was all booked through to Auckland where I changed terminals again.

Coming back, I had to pay excess again on the Air NZ legs.

I was a bit surprised as I had been led to believe that bikes travelled free on Air NZ.

Jane Lodge, February 10, 2004

Travelling with (almost) full-size bike

Since 1994 I have travelled & toured extensively with my good friend, a 1986 vintage Cannondale MTB.

Back then, 24" wheels and small frames were the way to go. But in 2000, I fitted 26" wheels (had to change front forks to accomodate larger wheel, but fitted 26 x 1.5" tyre to rear) and acquired a 'Haro' bike bag (fr. 'housse').

I can now ride to (most) airports or bus/train stations, loosen handle bars, remove pedals, remove seat/post, detach front forks/wheel (by undoing head with 2 x 32 mm wrenches), tape everything together, throw the lot in the bag, and act like a normal passenger (with a large black bag) heading from A to B.

That is, except in Australia, where we are advised to 'be alert not alarmed' so anyone on public transport with a 1m long black bag is probably up to no good and should at least pay for excess luggage.
Aarn

Aarn, January 13, 2004

UK to Australia by push bike

UK to Australia by push bike [bicycle]
stunning non commercial site about a journey still in progress

Chris Wilcox, January 04, 2004

Melbourne to Denver via Tokyo, LA

I travelled from Melbourne Australia to Denver USA in March 2003 on a JAL flight via Narita (Tokyo). I expected to be charged a fee by Japan Airlines when I checked in two large peices of luggage and a bike box but to my suprise and delight they didn't.

The Melbourne-Tokyo leg was a code shared Qantas flight. When I arrived in LA I thought United might charge me for the LA-Denver leg of my journey but since I didn't have to check in my baggage the question never arose (the bag & box was transferred to the United Terminal by airport personnel after leaving LAX customs and the INS passport check area).

I'm hoping now that I will have the same experience travelling back to Melbourne with Frontier and JAL in December.

Howard Mitchell, November 05, 2003

Virgin Blue

Wanted to include here our experience in taking bicycles on virgin Blue.
We took two flights in Australia during our holiday: one in the middle of august from Brisbane to Cairns and another one from Cairns to Sydney at the end of august. For both flights:All we had to do was at check in to release air from the tyres, turn handle bars, and remove pedals, That was all. On both flights there was no objection and they were EXTREMELY bicycle friendly. 10/10 as a bicycle friendly airline. Highly recommended

jose and annette, August 30, 2003

BikeFriday since 9/11

In May 2002 I was Ride Director for a Bicycle Adventure Club ride in Holland. We had 71 participants (2 non-bikers) on three barges of Bike & Barge, Holland. Of those, there were 14 BFs, one a Tendem. I had suggested that each person with a BF case indicate to Security at various airports around the country that IT was a piece of excercise equipment. On arriving in Amsterdam, no reports were received of trouble . I cannot speak for return trips. But there must have been dozens of airlines and airports represented on this trip.
Frankly, I have literally been all-over the world with my BF on 24 trips, and the only complaint I have is that someone once stole the extra-safety belt around the Carlton case, and another time something punctured the case - no real damage. Otherwise, TROUBLE FREE

Wes Conner, June 03, 2003

Virgin Blue (Australia)

I recieved the following email from Virgin Blue when I asked about their bike policy:

Dear Jonathan,

Thanks for your email.

You can by all means take your bike with you but you do need to pack it as we take no resposability for damage to the bike. The bike will represent 5kg of your 20kg baggage allowance and you must ensure the tyres are deflated and loosen the chain and handle bars so the bike can be manipulated. I hope this answers your questions.

Kind regards
Virgin Blue

Jonathan, May 27, 2003

Shipping Services, Worldwide

Hi folks,

From Chile and to Chile, Also to Bolivia, or through my Agents in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Perú, etc. I can help you Shipping your staf worldwide. If your comming to Chile on tours, Biking, etc. Just e-mail me, I was a Traveller and have helped friend from USA, Australia, New Zealand shipping their bikes, etc.

Francisco Herrera Barnachea, May 27, 2003

Bikes on Cathay Pacific and Vietnam Airlines

I travelled through Vietnam April 2002 on a bicycle and used Cathay Pacific and Vietnam Airlines. I had a bike box out of Australia into Hong Kong and onto Hanoi with no problems at any airport. I paid the small excess for it to travel with me on trains in Vietnam with no problems, just make sure you arrive early to check the bike in at the station.

I also used buses in Vietnam with the bike travelling on top of the bus without concern. I returned to Australia with the bike packed not in a box but wrapped in food wrap, plastic sheeting, tape and string with the pedals, wheels and seat removed to help reduce it's overall size, apart from the curious looks I got at check-ins I had no problems with either airline.

wayne, May 10, 2003

New Zealand Trains

The rail network was sold off a number of years ago rather underhandedly from a government department to a private enterprise ... In recent times they have consolidated their interests and focused on more profitable areas .. ie freight makes the most $$$ and passenger trains have largely disappeared from railway lines around the country ...

There are still a few train services, but these are largely scenic rides and in the north island ... the tranzscenic [Christchurch-Greymouth return] and the Taieri Gorge Train being the exceptions ...

Alas, the southerner you speak of has disappeared ... however it is ably replaced with buses and shuttles, most are happy to take bikes [generally around $10], Atomic shuttles in the south island even have bike racks on their buses/shuttles, knightrider [overnight service] has them also ...

some useful links ...

http://www.tranzrail.co.nz ... for details on remaining trains in service
http://www.atomictravel.co.nz ... Atomic shuttles
http://www.intercity.co.nz ... intercity buses

NOTE: the Taieri Gorge Train is a seperate private trust that runs a restored train service from Dunedin to Pukerangi/Middlemarch [start of Central Otago Rail Trail] return and happily have one way fares and bikes can be wheeled on and off the guards van with out removing anything, and they ride free!!! Top guys, top service!!! plus it is an awesome train journey too ... and it takes out three rather large hills to get to the start of the rail trail.

Hope this helps somewhat, please get back to me if I can be of any further help ...

cheers, Hoogie Timaru/Oamaru, NZ '10 more sleeps till my next tour!'

thought for today: It is not that the journey is difficult, just the first pedal stroke

Hoogie, March 22, 2003

Thai Airlines and China South West

I've just returned from Melbourne-Chengdu, Kathmandu-Bangkok, Bangkok-Melbourne with Thai and Chengdu-Lhasa with China South West Airlines.

Each time, I checked in four panniers weighing over 30 kilos in total. Plus the bike (unboxed) weighing another 13 kilos. And 10 kilos or mmore of hand luggage. Never had any problems with excess baggage or charges.

At a few of the airports, they tried to put the bike through their x-ray machine. Of course it wouldn't fit so they gave up. Most of them made me let the tyres down.

Jon Miller, November 11, 2002

Melbourne-Tokyo-Heathrow (Qantas/JAL)

In September 2002 I travelled to London for work, bringing my mountain bike with me. I was convinced by co-workers and friends to take it along. I bought a soft bag for it so it would survive ok, and I could haul it through London on the tube (and use around europe, and in the future), rather than a cardboard box that would knowing my luck fall apart on me. For anyone interested (in Australia), the bag came from Bigfoot Bags (www.bigfootbags.com.au), but no shops in Melbourne carried any bags, so had to go on recommendation from CBD Cycles.

Bike fitted in fine with wheels off, handlebar off, pedals off, and I cut up some PVC pipe and used my skewers to protect the rear frame/dropout, a bit of bubble wrap around the rear derailer and chainrings, and cable-tied anything I didn't want to move. Threw in my shoes, and cycle clothing for some padding, with tools and a lock. Total weight was 18kg on the scales at airport (I thought it should have been about 15kg, I was sus of the reading!) Word of advise I got from bikeshop owner who does lots of travelling, was don't overload the bag/or box, as if it is heavy, the baggage gorillas treat it worse, and need another gorilla to help them, and just throw it around....

Flew JAL, but Qantas operated the sector to Japan. Checked-in at Qantas counter, with 25kg suitcase, and my courierbag (worked as a pushie courier for a while) with about 20kg as carry-on. Check-in girl didn't care what it was too much, and insisted she fragile sticker it. It got stuck in the "un-usual shaped objects locked trolley", and I got everything on fine (with no extra baggage/bike tax 🙂 )

Tokyo, with JAL, the bike was transfered fine, nothing said by the check-in staff, who checked that my baggage was going to the right place.

I got to Heathrow, after 90 minutes to get through Immigration, and the bike bag was sitting beside the baggage belts (ie. seperatly taken out).

Qantas and JAL were great, no fuss, and bike made it to London without any damage - but it is a mountain bike (well converted to an urban road bike since the stint couriering), and has taken many big stacks, so should cope fine travelling anyhow....

I has glad I was talked into taking it, good bikes are expensive in the UK, great way to get around, and avoid the expensive public transport system here. And I am not going to be happy with a cheap and nasty bike, when I have a nice Giant I am used to riding!

Next adventure, taking to mainland Europe to get out of London!

Stuart, September 26, 2002

NZ to Oz August 2002

I recently flew home from NZ with my Avanti Pioneer Touring bike. Qantas charged me $10 per kilo excess. The bike was preboxed so no additional charge was incurred. I managed to reduce my excess from 24kgs to 10 because friends flying on the same flight had less than their allowance and so it was credited off mine. I think I was luck and would not rely on this option

Elayne Neill, September 04, 2002

Australia: declare bikes!

Australian Quarantine now requires bikes (as well as camping gear etc) to be declared on arrival.
The tyres are inspected for mud. As Australia is free on Foot and Mouth disease etc this is probably reasonable.

Best make sure your tyres are clean beforehand.

Ken Nielsen, July 11, 2002

Singapore Airlines (Sydney, Australia / Singapore / Taipei, Taiwan), Taiwanese taxi.

I flew Sydney, Australia / Singapore / Taipei, Taiwan in June 2002 on Singapore Airlines.

No bike box required. No handlebar straightening required. No pedal removal required.

Just had to ride-on-up and let down the tires.

The woman at the counter wasn't very happy or helpful, and neither was the oversized baggage loading guy (where I dropped off my bike). The former tried to convince me I should have boxed it, but I told her I had rung up and been informed that I would be able to ship it regardless however any damage would be my problem... she grudgingly labelled it and sent me onward to latter's post at the corner of the terminal.

When I arrived in Taipei, it was just sitting there 'upside down' in the middle of the baggage-retrieval area, next to the assigned carousel.

Got a taxi in to the city from the airport, seemingly this hasn't been done before. After taking the front wheel off, the taxi-assignment official calmed from an initial 'no way' attitude, and an enterprising cabbie dashed up from halfway down the rank and helped me out.
Its a pricey trip .. maybe NT1800 (USD45) or so in to the city!

Walter, June 29, 2002

Touring Cycle hire Christchurch New Zealand

City Cycle Hire have a range of fully equipped touring bikes for hire.(MTB as well)
Free phone 0800 343848 in New Zealand. or email craigbanbury@cyclehire-tours.co.nz

Craig Banbury, June 16, 2002

Christchurch, New Zealand

Check out "Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides' as a guide to where to ride etc. Can be ordered off the following website: http://www.mountainbike.co.nz/

Michael H McPhillips, June 16, 2002

Virgin Blue (Australia)

2 of us with bikes had no problems flying between Melbourne and Canberra, even though the plane (737) was fully booked.

All we had to do was let the tyres down, no disassembly or packing of any kind was required. We were not charged and there were no problems at check in, no damage to the bikes.

Compare this with Qantas who wanted us to disassemble them, pack them in boxes and charge us for the privilige. Needless to say we always fly Virgin, even when we are not taking our bikes!

Terry George, May 18, 2002

IronCase

I spent months trying to hunt down and decide on the most appropriate packaging for my bike. I was leaving Canada to travel to Asia and then to Australia, returning to Canada. I wanted to make sure I bought something sturdy, long-lasting (I live between Australia and Canada), and secure. Finally, I decided to buy an IronCase, and I'm glad I did. It has offered me piece of mind, over and over again.

On arrival in Bangkok, I checked my bike (I'd dismantled the bike to fit...it's a big downhill bike, and had packed towels and armour around the deraillers, etc.) and it was in perfect condition. Granted, the clips on the case were a bit scratched, but otherwise, it was OK. I used two small pad locks to secure each end and slapped THIS WAY UP all over it. Oh, and I flew with Singapore...great airline and will consider the bike case your second piece of luggage (you're allowed 2 x 30kg items). The bike does not cost extra (make sure you remind them of that...it's free for bikes).

Although it cost me CDN$500 (including shipping, taxes and international duties), I am relieved that I bought it and that it has already served it's purpose.

I highly recommend the IronCase! Oh, and buy it directly from the manufacturer. It's the cheapest option I could find, both in the US and Canada.

On another note, I stored my bike case at Bangkok Airport's Left Luggage for 30 days. It cost about CDN$120 and was in perfect condition.

Vanessa, April 03, 2002

Air New Zealand

I had no trouble shipping my bike Auckland-Sydney with Air New Zealand.
Very friendly and helpful at check-in.

Asked me to estimate bike weight and no charge to carry as luggage.

David Hannett, December 04, 2001

Tri-All 3 Sports Bike Bag

Found on: eurobike@topica.com

I have a hard sided bike box. I have never had a bike get damaged inside the box in a significant amount of travel via air, bus and train.

However it is not all panacea - the box weighs more empty than the bike does so it pushes the travelling load up considerably. It weighs 27 kg at the airport check in counter with one of my 9 kg bikes in it and the few other things I pack in there. Plus it is big - it is kind of difficult to get it into the boot or hatch of many cars. But not so big that it is trivial to pack - it takes practice and strategy.

Mine is a Tri-All-3 box in the small size, made in the USA and it came with US Triathlon Federation stickers all over it, and I've seen more than a few of them at big Tri's here in Australia. Believe it or not they make a bigger box too which only takes the check in weight up to 30 kg, but that is only if you don't take advantage of its larger size! It can fit 2 bikes AND a third set of wheels if you are careful in packing - but that makes for a 40 kg total weight that no airplane will accept.

I've also leant/hired the box to locals going to far away races: my box has been to a couple MTB races around Oz, Japan twice, Hawaii for the Ironman, Mexico for the world Tri titles, and a couple other places without me. It has received some damage during a couple of these trips. The plastic is quite brittle and got cracked from someone dropping something. I fixed it by riveting thin Al plate over the cracked area.

The bike shop I work at sells quite a few soft sided bike carry cases each year. The best ones I've seen have some stiffening boards in them so they hold their shape even when empty. If you pack carefully and the airlines is sensible, they should be just as good as a hard box, but a bit easier to use and several kg lighter. We also used to hire out, at the bike shop, the larger size Tri-All-3 box to anyone who wanted to use it for a trip. We purchased the first one from a visiting tourist. By the time an airlines ripped it in half (literally) we were able to source a replacement from a local distributor. The second box slowly got beaten to death over 3-5 years and is no longer hired out since it isn't really in one piece any more. This particular brand doesn't stand up to continuous use of flying somewhere new every week.

BTW, I know of 2 people who have purchased the bike box from Performance mail order in the US and shocked to see how their bike came down the luggage ramp at their destination - a wheel, a seat, the lid, a helmet, the bottom with the frame still inside.... - I'd not recommend that particular one!

I'd say that it is quite a bit easier and nicer having a bike case than relying on a cardboard box sourced from a bike shop.
Michael Hanslip

Michael Hanslip, September 26, 2000

United, Ansett Airlines

I live in Australia and flew Brisbane/Sydney/LAX/Chicago/Jacksonville this year, with United. No complaints whatsoever. Due to flight delays, had only 50 mins. turnaround in Chicago after late departure on 747 from LAX; thought I would be lucky to make the connection but my bike was alongside my plane for Jacksonville FL before I was, and I watched it onto the plane. Returning from Charlottesville VA, local agent was helpful in selection of flight (some planes flying Charlottesville/Washington are too small to take bikes) and gate clerk virtually repacked my (rather flimsy) box.


No charge was made by Ansett/UAL, on the basis that I had only one sports bag and the bike therefore counted as my second piece of luggage. An attempt to charge oversize was refuted with the explanation that my boxes never exceeded the size of UAL's own bike boxes. On Ansett-only flights, bike has travelled free, not boxed but with front wheel and pedals disassembled, all protected by plenty of bubblewrap. Always mark the bike box Checked Baggage, to minimise likelihood of its following on another plane.


Have taken the bike to USA twice now, with only problem being once when Ansett's Sydney/Brisbane flight had to return to Sydney and did not make the next flight with me. It was courier-delivered to my home early next day, with no hassles, need to follow-up etc.


Thanks for a very interesting website, George.

Bob Schofield

Bob Schofield, September 13, 2000

Spacecase

I used the Spacecase bicycle case to transport my bike from New York to Australia, to New Zealand, and back to New York last year. It worked great. It was a bit bulky and difficult to carry, and the wheels suck, but my bike made the trip without a scratch. One particularly nice feature about the spacecase is that it is collapsible. I stored it in a hostel when I was staying in New Zealand and traveling around in a rental van and by bicycle. One drawback is the size. On my trip to Oz, I was charged an oversize luggage charge but not a bicycle transport charge. Also, the same charge was applied on my return trip from Las Vegas to New York. Hope this info is helpful! -Ethan Healy


Ethan Healy, March 28, 2000

Buses in Australia

Found on: touring@phred.org


So if anyone is planning a trip up that way I can recommend McCafferty's Coaches (Parcel Express) they have been most helpful over the phone - they prefer bikes to be boxed but could understand that this isn't always possible.

Cheers from Rob I have used McCafferty's numerous times. When the bike is accompanied luggage, they have never asked me to box it. They charge AUD$25 for a bike with the front wheel and pedals removed, and the handlebars turned. They charge AUD$50 for a fully assembled bike. My bike has never been damaged. I have heard, but have on strong evidence, that the Sales Manager of McCafferties is a touring cyclist and has developed their policy for touring cyclists. Greyhound operate over similar routes and offer a similar service.


Peter Gordon Brisbane, Australia

Peter Gordon, January 30, 2000

Bikes on trains in Australia

Found on: touring@phred.org


G'Day All


Well I have to admit to drawing a blank with the TableLands Xplorer. The Indian Pacific which travels around 5000 Km from Perth in Western Australia across the country to Sydney in New South Wales will take touring bikes without preparation or boxing.


We are going to take the Indian Pacific from our home in Adelaide to Sydney (1400 Km) Then we have to travel around 350 Km to Armidale where we will start our tour... This is where we ran into trouble, the local train will not accept bikes unless they are boxed. We dont want to box them as the company has stated "We require you to remove the front wheel , pedals and panniers must be removed and handlebars turned around. Also the carrier baskets would have to be removed as well. The boxes are supplied."


Since we will start and finish the tour in different places we are not able to store the boxes for reuse. On previous trips I have always been able to negotiate with the carrier and eventually come to some agreement that leaves the bike in a wheelable state, I have toured in every mainland state and transported the bike/s by Bus, Truck, Boat, Plane, and Train -- all of which have had different transport preparation requirements and all of which - in the past - have agreed to leave the bike in a wheelable state, or at very worst with only with the front wheel removed.


After attempting to do the same this time it became clear that the company's attitude was totally inflexible. So if anyone is planning a trip up that way I can recommend McCafferty's Coaches (Parcel Express) they have been most helpful over the phone - they "prefer" bikes to be boxed but could understand that this isn't always possible.


Cheers from Rob

Rob, January 27, 2000

Bikes on trains in Australia

Found on: touring@phred.org


Rob I have never managed to convince Countrylink rail people in the city stations to take bikes Boxless, although I did just get on the train to Melbourne at an unmanned country station once and the guard just took my bike and layed it down on the floor of the goods van. The Countrylink trains have limited luggage capacity (they were specified that way for some reason) and can only take 3 boxed bikes or 3 surfboards on any service. Even to get your bike on the train (boxed) requires booking in advance especially to the north coastal towns which surfers travel to. If you want a box that you can fit a touring bike into try to buy one from QANTAS which are the roomiest bike boxes I've ever seen. You could try hanging around airports to see if you can pick up a used one for free.

AD

DUNCAN,Andrew, January 23, 2000

Tasmania, Australia

Hello George;

Very nice website - thanks for keeping it current.

Hobart Airport, Tasmania, Australia:

The Hobart airport is rather small, and did not have an "official" baggage storage area to leave your bike box (in Dec 1998). However, the workers at the airport seem very helpful, and allowed us to leave our BikePro tandem case in a garage-like room behind the baggage claim area for no charge. There were several other bike boxes there at the time, so they probably are used to the request from cyclists.

We were able to take a bus from Strahan to Hobart (with the tandem stored underneath); most towns may only have one or two buses a day, so check for schedules. Emergency spare parts can also be shipped via bus from the 'big' cities of Hobart or Launceston. Be sure to book in advance during busy seasons.

When we left about 3 weeks later, we just picked up the box in back room without any hassles. We suggested to a person taking a tourism survey for the airport that a baggage storage area would be very helpful for cyclists (and perhaps others), but she didn't seem very interested in our suggestion, unfortunately. Hopefully, the free storage room will continue to be available.

Another storage option may be to take an airport shuttle bus to the city (for storage at a hotel, perhaps), but we did not attempt this.

The Hobart airport has easy bike access, with good road surfaces. It is an easy ride into Hobart. A small book shop at the airport sells maps of Tasmania - which may be hard to find in your hometown depending on where you live!

An excellent source of information on cycling in Tasmania is at http://www.netspace.net.au/~dmurphy/giro.htm - no bike tourist going to Tasmania should be without a printout in their panniers.

Steve Casagrande [Thanks to Wayne Kelly for updating the link - GF]

Steve Casagrande, January 18, 2000

Melbourne, Australia

Hi George, thanks for the useful info on your website. The current info on Melbourne is a little out of date, so I have written a summary to replace it. I hope it's not too long.


The are two possible routes from Melbourne Airport to the city - an on-road route, and an off-road bike path. The freeway is banned to cyclists.


The on-road route follows major roads which can be quite busy, especially at peak hour. Late at night the traffic eases and the trip can be quite pleasant, mostly downhill. At the set of traffic lights just out of the terminal turn right onto Centre Road then left at the roundabout onto Melrose Drive. The traffic on this road is fast (80 km/h), but usually fairly light up to the next roundabout, after which the service lane on the right hand side can be a quieter option. Just after the train line Melrose Drive flows onto the Freeway so turn right onto Matthews Ave. From here navigation is simple - at the T-junction turn left onto Keilor Road, then continue onto Mt Alexander Road. A bike lane takes you most of the way to the City via Flemington Road, and there are also minor road options for the last sections. The total distance is around 20 km.


The off-road option is around 30 km, much more fun, but not recommended at night. At the traffic lights just out of the terminal turn left, and follow the minor road to 'J.H.U.I', which takes you under the freeway (traffic exits the freeway onto the other side, so take care if travelling this route in reverse). After the oil company buildings, a gate takes you into Woodlands Historic Park (if the gate is locked you can step over the low fence). At the flight markers you pass under the airport's primary approach corridor, with jumbo jets coming in to land over your head. A fine gravel bike path leads from the road, and you may see kangaroos through the fence in the neighbouring park. The path closely follows the Moonee Ponds Creek but is sometimes difficult to follow (to avoid getting lost make sure you never lose sight of the creek). After some poor sections it improves to a high quality concrete surface all the way into the city. Alternatively you can get a train to the city from Jacana station by taking the Western Ring Road bike path after crossing the bike bridge at the 9 km mark.


Melbourne has a good network of bike paths and on-road routes in the inner city and suburbs, but watch out for the tram tracks! Bikes can be taken on metropolitan trains for free outside peak times, and on country trains there is a $3 surcharge. On country buses it is at the driver's discretion, but usually OK.


The Melbourne - Geelong Road is not recommended for starting the Great Ocean Road - take the train to Geelong and start from there. For a great 1-2 day ride try the Lilydale - Warburton Rail Trail.


Matt Coller, Melbourne, Australia

Matt Coller, December 22, 1999

Airline Policy

I spent approx 1 hour at the Vancouver International Airport today confirming the "bike as baggage" policy with various airline representatives. Due to my screwed up routing on my upcoming trip, this involved airlines in the American/Canadian/Qantas/etc alliance (OneWorld) and airlines in the United/AirCanada/etc alliance (Star).
Here's the scoop:

"Official" IATA policy (not specific airline policy) is that on "International" flights, bike can travel in lieu of 1 of 2 total pieces of baggage. Turn handlebars, remove pedals, part deflate tires. Airline can require box, bag, nothing. Airline will not necessarily supply required box at the airport. On "domestic" flights, a surcharge can and usually does apply.

Both OneWorld alliance and Star alliance airlines will follow these IATA rules.

What is important to check is whether your flight is classified as "international". This is left to the individual airlines. For example, Canadian airlines considers flights between Canada and USA as "domestic" and will charge for a bike unless there is a direct connection with no stopover to an onward international destination. Qantas will consider a domestic flight in Australia for a stopover as "international", with no bike fee, if it is part of a larger international ticket. On my ticket, Qantas considers a flight from Australia to NZ as international for this reason, whereas they may consider this as domestic for other tickets. Apparently flights between European countries part of the EU are often considered domestic and subject to a fee.

Each of the airline reps said it is best to get all of your flight plans issued as one big ticket, including the international leg. If the international leg is on the same ticket, you will sometimes not pay for a domestic leg.

The other exception to this international/domestic rule will come about if you purchase certain cheap package, charter, or consolidator type fares even if on one of the airlines above. For certain of these fares, the airline limits baggage allowances for everyone (below the typical 2 piece, 70 lbs each). If this is the case, and it should be printed on the ticket (but always ask), you'll likely have to pay extra for the bike.

In terms of web links that provide this info, you might be able to find the baggage policies for international and domestic luggage. However, the only way to clear up the issue of whether you are on an "international" flight is to ask the airline directly with your ticket/itinerary in hand.

I had the airline reps. check out all of my flight segments to make sure I will pay no fee. This is still the best method. A travel agent can usually provide you with the same info, but I prefer to get it straight from the source.

My only problem now is that my flight segment from Nadi, Fiji is on Air Pacific which requires a box. Air Pacific will not provide a box. Do other airlines sell boxes there? Any friendly LBS's to try? Good hostel with storage too? Any other suggestions?

Adam in Vancouver

Adam Lubell, June 08, 1999

Bikes on Trains in Australia

Australia.-- Melbourne to Adelaide In Feb 1999 I travelled on the "Overlander Train" from Spencer Street Station in Melbourne ,Victoria to Adelaide , South Australia, with my fully loaded touring bike. The passage cost $56(aud) for me and $12 for the bike (roll on / roll off fully packed) no problems. Just pay and leave the bike at the luggage check-in and pick the bike up when they roll it off in Adelaide. Best to book at least a week or so ahead.

Wayne Kelly, April 08, 1999

Bikes and Ferryboats in Australia

  • Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.soc


    Bicycles travel free on all ferries in Sydney (Australia). They are free on trains in off-peak times but cost a half-fare in peak hour.


    It's not such a bad system 🙂

  • JMorss249, January 06, 1999

    Bikes and Ferryboats in Australia

    Sydney's ferries run from about 6am to midnight on weekdays, with ferries every half hour or hour. More in peak times. They don't run quite as late on Sundays.


    Unfortunately, any 'country' trains will only take 3 bicycles and/or surfboards (eg, 2 surfboards and one bicycle) per train, and they must be booked in advance (although it doesn't cost any extra). That is, the bicycle must have a booking in addition to the human passenger 🙂


    This makes taking bikes on holiday, especially for a tour with more than three people, a bit of a logistical nightmare unless you drive 🙁


    Cheers


    Tim Chambers __o
    User Liaison Officer _\ school of computer science and engineering (^)/(^)
    unsw
    room ee-343f phone (02) 9385 4072
    http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~tchambers/

    Tim Chambers, January 06, 1999

    Qantas Airlines

    My experiences with QANTAS on an international flight from Melbourne (AUS) to Europe, 21-Sep-1998.

    QANTAS stated that they require bikes to be boxed and they will provide boxes at the airport (for $10 Australian). When I reached the airport I found that the international terminal has no boxes and they directed me to the domestic terminal which is just next-door. The attendent at the domestic terminal did not however charge me for the box, whether due to him not knowing to or assuming that I had paid at the international one, I don't know.

    The bike box provided was *large*. I only needed to take the front wheel off and lower the seat to fit a touring/Mt bike into it and could probably have put most of my pannier contents in there as well.

    Adrian Tritschler, November 23, 1998

    Qantas Airlines

    Before my trip from Oz to the USA I phoned up the airlines (Qantas and Thai) and they implied that flying to or from the USA (not sure if this actually applies to North America, ie including Canada) a two piece luggage limit applied (economy class) each piece not to exceed 32kg in weight. There was also a dimensional limit on each piece, but the bike box easily meet this requirement.

    I flew Qantas from Melbourne to Sydney to Los Angeles. I packed my bike in a box with a few other odds and ends and tossed the rest of my gear that I would need for my fully loaded trip (minus food and water) into my panniers and the panniers into a large cheap ($4) laundry bag, (excluding one pannier I used as a carry-on bag. At the Melbourne airport check-in counter the lady asked something about how did I manage to get about with so much luggage. As I was too worried about other things, I did not reply and nothing else was said. The boxed bike weighed in at 21kg and the other bag 20kg (ie total 41kg).

    I flew home with Thai from Los Angeles to Bangkok to Perth. I packed my gear basically the same. At the LA airport check-in counter both pieces of luggage were placed on the scales at the same time and a reading of 99 showed on the display. The lady started to say that I would have to pay excess luggage, however before I could say anything the manager behind her suggested to her that she may like to switch the scales from reading pounds to kilos. The reading then changed to show 45 (kg) (I had gathered a few souvenirs along the way but still well under the 64kg total limit). She then said I might be charged for oversize luggage (the boxed bike). I calmly explained that prior to my travels I had enquired about the requirements and was lead to believe it was alright. She consulted the manager who said it was fine. I also made sure that my luggage was checked all the way to Perth as I had a 24 hour stop over in Bangkok, and did not want to lug it all around Bangkok. This turn out to be quit fortunate as when I checked in at Bangkok airport for my flight to Perth. I did not have to worry about my luggage but the lady noticed the 45kg luggage weight written on my ticket and asked if I had paid for the excess. I explained that I was travelling from the US to Australia, with my stop in Bangkok effectively being a transit stop. She phoned up somebody and then returned saying I did not have to pay excess.

    So travelling to or from the USA, weight does not really seem to be an issue. However if I do travel economy class from Australia to any other country with my bike I will be limited to the 20kg limit as Malcolm has mentioned and thus I too would be interested to hear how other people have overcome this problem. One way would be to make a stopover in the USA irrespective of destination, however this would be an looooong (and expensive) way to get from Oz to NZ.

    Just before my trip to the USA a similar question was posted to the list by Yvonne van den Hork (in March 1997) who was travelling from Nederland to Australia via Qantas and was limited to 20kg for economy class with a surcharge of 4% for every extra kg. I have read her trip reports on the www but there was no mention how she solved this problem (or not).

    Regards, Richard

    Richard, March 03, 1998

    Adelaide, Australia

    Adelaide is a very easy airport , close [5 km] to city centre. Staff have always been friendly on our 2 person X half a dozen trips. No hassle with "minimum breakdown" routine, ie turn bars, remove pedals, drop seat. No problem with front wheel left in bike etc. Usually no charges on either domestic or international flights. There's a bike path to city centre, about one km from airport perimeter, but no signage (yet!) from the airport - ask someone how to find the "Torrens River Bike Path", it's a little North of the airport exit. When you find it, turn right , [ ie to the East ,] then about 4 KM to city centre- you can't go wrong. There will be plenty of bikes, to check directions, on the path at most times of day, but it's dark at night. There's also a bike friendly bus, with a trailer, from airport to city centre, about A$5.00. There are several camping grounds within 5 Km of city centre, some of them on the bike path. ( for further information on Adelaide & Australia, just eMail !)

    Bicycle Fish, December 09, 1997

    Qantas Airlines

    Notes: Box required-$10, taken on small 60-pass. jet no problem from Cairns to Alice Springs. Ansett charges more for box.

    Sean McGann, September 01, 1997

    Melbourne, Australia

    There is a bicycle trail from Mickleham Road, a few km outside Tullamarine Airport, which runs along Moonee Ponds Creek , ending at Mt. Alexander Rd. near Racecourse Rd. just north of the city center.


    To reach it from the airport, take Melrose Drive (kind of a service road which exits off of the terminal loop drive) about 2km, then left on Mickleham about 2km. Trail is difficult to follow. Distance is about 25km.


    On-road alternate (easier)-continue on Melrose Drive past Mickleham. Turn right on Matthews Ave, follow alongside freeway. Then left on Keilor Road. Turn right on Mt. Alexander Rd., follow about 4km, takes you to same street as the bike trail.


    From there, have a good city map ready, as it is a real maze with lots of tram tracks to watch for. St. Kilda Rd. is the best way to the southern areas of the city. Most main roads such as Flemington Rd. are not recommended, nor is cycling out of the city to start the Great Ocean Road- take the train to Geelong and start from there.

    Sean McGann, September 01, 1997

    London (Gatwick), UK

    We rode from Paddington across London to the place we were staying and next day rode to Victoria to get the Gatwick express. This train has a baggage car at the end (nearest the main concourse at Victoria) where they put baggage checked at the airline counters. Bikes are safe there and can be chained to window bars. The Gatwick Express is a good way to travel. At the Airport there are elevators and such so it is easy to move bikes around with loaded panniers.

    We flew BA from Gatwick to Bordeaux. BA only requires bikes to have pedals removed and handlebars turned so with some nervousness we handed them over unboxed. Don't forget to have tools ready to do this and hold back one pannier to put the pedals into. The bikes arrived intact in Bordeaux and we took about half an hour to re-assemble them and attach panniers. We had booked at a hotel 8k from the airport for the first night in case we had a problem with the bikes.

    After the ride, we returned to Australia from Heathrow by Qantas. This time we found a bike shop in London that would box the bikes. More expensive than in our LBS but probably still worth it.

    Ken Nielsen, June 26, 1997

    Ground Transportation

    In Sydney we arranged for a minibus (50% more expensive than a normal taxi) to take us to the airport with bikes and other luggage.

    Not knowing how to find such a vehicle in London, we booked a Hertz rental minibus to meet us. This was a fairly expensive solution and next time we will try harder to find a waggon taxi. We drove the mini bus with our bikes and stuff to some friends' house at Maidenhead, West of Heathrow where we assembled the bikes to make sure they were OK. We then left them there until we were ready to start riding. Then we rode to the local train station and took the train to Paddington. Bikes don't seem to be a problem on UK trains outside rush hour, though there are special rules for the underground.

    Ken Nielsen, June 26, 1997

    Qantas Airlines

    We started the trip in Sydney Australia from where we flew with Qantas to London Heathrow. Qantas have boxes for bikes at the airport but weren't willing to let us have them a few days before the flight. We wanted to pack before leaving for the airport so we got a bikeshop in Sydney to box the bikes for us. We recommend this. Bike shops know how to make bikes safe and secure. They arrived in perfect shape at Heathrow.

    Ken Nielsen, June 26, 1997

    Perth, Australia

    The Perth airport is only about 25 km from the city center. We were able to check our BikePro tandem case at the airport for around $5 a day. Make sure your bike and tires are clean, as they may be checked at the airport.


    BikeWest, funded by the Department of Transportation, has some good maps of Perth and surrounding areas, and there are good bike paths through much of Perth.


    We were also able to take the tandem on both the train down to Bunbury towards Margaret River (although they may tell you on the phone that they can't take tandems, we didn't have a problem at the gate, and the staff were very helpful and friendly). We also took it on a bus, with the tandem sliding easily in the luggage compartment underneath the bus.

    Steve Casagrande, April 07, 1997

    Qantas Airlines

    Sydney-Melbourne-Tasmania RTN. Bike boxes recommended, but not mandatory. (Qantas will supply a box, but numbers are limited - a relative missed out on one when travelling to a big bike event.) No charge for bikes (part of normal luggage allowance). Watching plane being unloaded, it seemed that unboxed bikes were treated with more care than "anonymous" boxes, which were just thrown around like any other luggage.

    But, in our case, boxed bikes survived A-OK.

    G. Woodward., March 11, 1997

    Auckland, New Zealand

    I've been having my vicarious scroll through the archive and saw some stuff about crossing our borders and cycle touring here. Yes we are paranoid about pests. 80% of our economy is from agriculture or forestry and we don't have many of the pests, fungi, bacteria etc that live other places - the benefits of being an island nation. You are allowed to bring your bike and used tramping / camping equipment into NZ. You will be asked if its been cleaned and if you have been on a farm, orchard or rural place in the last 30 days. If you vow and declare that you have washed your bike, boots etc, you will probably be let in without inspection (please make sure you HAVE washed your bike).

    Otherwise you'll have to unpack your bike for inspection. Last time this happened to me the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries guy helped me assemble my bike. I have bought my mountain bike and camping equipment back from Australia (where nearly every insect species is represented), Bali, Fiji, and Thailand without undue hassle from customs. Returning from Canada last week, I watched a young German man and his bike go through the Ministry of Ag and Fish check, and they seemed more interested in the fruit in his muesli than his bike. Generally the Ag and Fish queue is shorter than the "nothing to declare" queue so you get through the formalities quicker.

    They seem to have stopped that spray the inside of the plane thing for some flight originations now. I got sprayed arriving from Bali earlier this year, but not from Toronto via Honolulu and Fiji last week.

    Absolute no-nos are fresh fruit of any kind (we had a bad fruit fly scare last year) and dirty bikes, shoes or boots from areas where there is foot and mouth disease or Tsetse fly. These will be impounded, fumigated and mailed to you (takes forever). Be extra paranoid about the clean thing if you are arriving from Africa.

    Anyone who wants some info about touring in NZ, mail me and I will respond.
    Brendajane
    I spend more time on planes than on my bike!

    Veale, March 07, 1997

    Australia

    The best/worse thing I read on the web site: Australian customs is very picky about foreign soil. I'll be sure to have my mt. bike spotless before I pack it. Wouldn't want any contaminated American dirt to enter their country. 🙂
    Carol

    Carol Thomson, February 19, 1997

    Tasmania, Australia

    I rode around the Western half of Tasmania from Devonport in the North and ending up in Hobart in the South, in April of 1995. I took my bicycle with me from the U.S. It rained over half the time of my ride, and I experienced cold, ice, and snow, but also some very warm sunny days. I would do it all again in a hearbeat. I did it solo through the mountains, and there were definitely some tough climbs. E-mail me with any questions, I'll be happy to try and answer them!

    My travel originated in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I had my bicycle packed in a box. I flew United Airlines. I called them before traveling, and they told me that there would be a $100 charge in each direction. When I arrived the day of my flight, I paid $100 for the outgoing segment, they took my box, and I didn't have to worry about it until I arrived in Australia. I flew into Melbourne (via Chicago/L.A./Auckland). On the return leg, they did not charge the $100. I also found out that Qantas does not charge for bicycles, so maybe if flying United, this could be used as a bargaining chip to get your bike on for free. United told me it was required for the bike to be in a box (which I would have done regardless).

    We went through customs before retrieving our luggage, so only our carry-on baggage was insepected. I assume the checked bags went through x-ray machines. I took a taxi from the airport to my hotel, and the bike and box just barely fit into the back seat of the cab.

    Once in Melbourne, I booked a flight to Devonport through Kendall Airlines. They did not charge anything extra. They did not require the bike to be in a box. The airlines people were extremely courteous (much more so than in the U.S.). The airport in Devonport is very small, so there is no problem at all riding out of it. I rode from Devonport to Hobart, and then flew Qantas from Hobart back to Melbourne. Since I left my original bike box in the Devonport airport, I had to find a new one in Hobart, which was no problem, there are several nice bicycle shops. I packed my bike up the night before leaving Hobart, and took a cab into the airport.

    Jeff Haferman, February 19, 1997

    Auckland, New Zealand

    As in Australia, in New Zealand there are also regulations regarding quarantine and your bicycle should be (a bit) free of dust and dirt. There are not much problems for bringing / taking your bike, because it is a very common matter in New Zealand.

    At Auckland International Airport, there is even a special place for cyclists to build up your bike after arrival. See Jan's touring site.

    Jan Boonstra, February 06, 1997

    Brisbane, Australia

    It's nice and simple, whether arriving by domestic or international. Take the airport road until you reach the large roundabout with the flyover (this is the intersection for the Gateway Arterial). Go under this road (200 metres) and at Nudgee Rd, turn left. This is a moderately busy road, but wide. Turn right (5 km?) onto Kingsford Smith Drive. This is four-lane and busy. It's ridable, but not for the faint hearted or traffic naive. There is a footpath. After reaching Breakfast Creek (you would have been cycling along the Brisbane River for about 2-3 km) the road curves right, stay in the lefthand lane and turn left over the bridge and follow the signs to the city. Again it's busy during morning peak hour. There are some back roads, but too complicated for here. Brisbane is a small city (1 million) with some bikepaths, and it's really nice too!.

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    Dr Neil White (President)
    Bicycle Institute of Queensland
    PO Box 8321
    Wooloongabba 4102
    ph/fx: 3844 1144
    WWW http://www.modeling.ctpm.uq.edu.au/biq/
    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    Neil A. White, October 28, 1996

    Tasmania, Australia

    Ferry crossing-- Bass Straight crossing to Tasmania on the 'Spirit of Tasmania'.

    Melbourne- Victoria to Devonport-Tasmania Charge $20(aud) or $25 in the busy season for bike passage. No specific facilities are provided to restrain your bike during the (possibly rough) fourteen hour crossing. They just tie it up to any bit of pipe available around the car deck. It would pay to provide some padding and do your own restraining if you value your paint job.

    To avoid a long wait in loading queues , I think the best plan is to take all the luggage off your bike in the walk-on passenger lounge , carry it on board to your cabin. In the last hour before the departure deadline , go back to the bike and take it to the head of the car queue. If you get there any earlier they just make you wait amongst the motor bikes (for an hour and a half or more) whilst they pack the cars on. You could ride on board with your luggage on your bike but then you have to manouvre your bags between tightly packed cars as you carry them to your cabin. There are also lots of very narrow stairs or a tiny and incredibly slow lift to negotiate on the way. Best to take the panniers on board first. Near the end of the crossing you get plenty of time (when they call for drivers to go down to their cars) to take your luggage down to the bike, hook it on, and ride off fully loaded .

    Good luck and enjoy your trip.

    Wayne Kelly
    University of Tasmania
    Department of Zoology
    GPO Box 252-05
    Hobart Tasmania 7001
    AUSTRALIA

    phone 03 6226 7168
    fax 03 6226 2745
    e_mail: wayne.kelly@utas.edu.au
    Zoology web page: http://www.utas.edu.au/docs/zoology/HomePage.html

    Wayne Kelly, April 08, 1996

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