Travel Tips for Cyclists (or what I wish I'd known before I went)
- Camping is more expensive than we expected. At most of the campsites we stayed at they charged per person and there were no 'tent sites' so we usually paid $40 - $50 per night just for a tent site for the two of us. Accommodation could often be found for just $20 more.
- Internet access was pretty good. McDonalds everywhere had free WiFi. Many of the tourist campsites we stayed at used a single provider that provided a good deal (24 hours, 100GB download limit for $5). Others however had a provider that charged by the MB (10 cents per mb) which I really didn't like. The YHA we stayed at offered free internet for members. The promised free wifi on nakedbus didn't work.
- We had no problems transporting the bikes by public transport. The airport buses, ferries, nakedbus and airport shuttles were all happy to take our bikes in bike bags, and although several said they would charge extra for bikes on their websites, only one did.
- The ferry to Coromandel links with a complimentary bus service which was happy to take our bikes (in bike bags) into town for free.
- As usual you should always check (politely) when people give you advice on which route to take whether they have actually ridden it on a bike themselves. A motorist often doesn't notice little things that a cyclist will ... like hills.
- two pipe clamps (see picture below, purchased for $2.50 each) can stop a bike seat slipping down.
- lastminute.com.au seemed to have much better priced hotel deals than wotif.com and quickbeds.com.au.
- If you meet someone like Judy, take her photo. You'll want it to remember her.
- Supermarket food was often more expensive than we expected. In the end we ended up eating out most nights as it wasn't much more expensive than buying the ingredients and cooking them ourselves.
- Yellow cyclist signs mean you are at the bottom of a big, long steep hill (actually, I'm kind of glad I didn't know that).
- Despite warnings about 'crazies' everywhere we went (referring to drivers), on the whole motorists were pretty darn good. The main risks were the people in small cars and large log trucks. Bridges were also a hazard due to road narrowing and no shoulders.
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