Bike Ride Bairnsdale to Wodonga via Omeo Highway. Total distance
Train Pakenham to Bairnsdale and ride to Ensay via Bruthen. Lunch in Bruthen
and freeze dried for dinner at Ensay. Overnight in Ensay recreation reserve in
hike tent. 80km
Ensay to Anglers Rest via Swifts Creek and Omeo. Morning tea in Swifts
Creek, lunch in Omeo and dinner in Anglers Rest Hotel. Overnight in Anglers Rest
camping ground in hike tent. 80km
Anglers Rest to Mitta Mitta via Omeo Highway. Morning tea near Glen Willis,
lunch on side of road on Omeo Highway and freeze dried for dinner. Overnight at
Mitta Mitta camping ground in hike tent. 80km
Mitta Mitta to Wodonga via Tallangatta. Morning tea in Eskdale, lunch in
Tallangatta and dinner at Chinese in Wodonga. Overnight in motel. 110km
Train Wodonga to Melbourne.
Two mountain bikes each with two panniers loaded with provisions and sleeping
Rugged country around Anglers Rest and the beautiful green Mitta Mitta
The Tambo and Omeo valleys were also lovely but a bit dry. See
photo of the Mitta Mitta valley
Hotel at Anglers Rest. Chicken Parmigiana and Vegetable Pastie sitting
outside on the balcony. See these photos of
The long steep
climb between Swifts Creek and Omeo. Rick could not ride any more so decided
to push his bike. Only walked 300m and around a corner was the top where Noel
was waiting. He had been waiting there 30 minutes and would have come looking
for Rick in another 10 minutes. Rick had run out of water and very thirsty.
Drank Noelís last bottle of water.
This photo is at the top of the hill
Steep climb on
Omeo Highway about 20km from Anglers Rest.
The last 60km
through Tallangatta and into Wodonga we rode into a headwind. Not very
Omeo Highway about 30km from Mitta Mitta. Downhill for about 15km on a made
Riding alongside the Mitta Mitta river we encountered numerous thick clouds
of small black insects a bit like thrip. Sunscreen on arms and legs caused them
to stick there. Biggest problem was they got in your eyes and mouth.
Twice, each about 300m. If you get tired, it is probably a good idea to walk
and push your bike for a while. Up a steep hill the speed difference is not
Everyone wants to talk to you when you are on bikes loaded with all your
gear. Met some interesting people.
Glen Wills which is about 20km from Omeo. See
photo. A bit of surprise seeing it in excellent condition. Discovered later
that a firm of bridge builders were
constructing a new bridge over the Mitta Mitta river at Glen Valley. The mother
of the bridge builders (of Italian descent), was visiting her sons and was
amazed that there were no crosses in the Cemetery. Before leaving the area, they
built a large cross on a square slab and promised that one day they would come
back and erect crosses to commemorate the grave sites. This they did in the
summer of 1991. As there is no plan of the actual sites of the graves, they were
placed in a double row consistent with the two graves visible.
Mitta Mitta camping ground. We placed our tent near the newly erected camp
kitchen. Covered tables and cooking facilities. Very nice. However, in the
shower block, the clothes dryer would not work and the showers and toilets were
a bit grotty but it was great to have a shower after 3 days riding.
Rail trail from Tallangatta to Wodonga has a rocky surface and difficult to
ride on. Also, signs indicated the trail could be traversed across Sandy Creek
where there was once a rail bridge over the creek. However, it was poorly
signposted, very rough and we had to lift our bikes and gear across an electric
fence. Not worth the effort. Eventually, we gave up and took the road.
About 1200m on the Omeo Highway.
Best Morning Tea
Swifts Creek bakery. Fruit pie and cappuccino.
See this photo.
Chinese restaurant in Wodonga. Very dirty. Had to ask for toilet paper and
there was no hand towel for drying hands.
About 20km out of
Anglers Rest you pass over the Mitta Mitta river but it appears to be flowing
the wrong way. Discovered later that it sources near Mt Hotham and flows SE
for a while then swings around and flows North towards the Murray.
A guy on the
train to Bairnsdale suggested we have dinner in the Ensay hotel but we could
not find it. Found the Ensay South hotel which has been converted to a
Seeing the 5km sign to Wodonga. See
Not much Traffic
On the Omeo Highway. Only three vehicles passed us.
The proprietor of
the Hotel at Anglers Rest told us about the 2003 bushfires where the CFA
abandoned them and he and his brother were left to save whatever they could.
The fire swept over them at 100km/hr and all their vehicles and some
outbuildings were burnt but they saved the original hotel buildings. A
The proprietor of
the Mitta Mitta store told us about the 2006 bushfires where the CFA was
initially told to save the historic hotel in the main street and ignore
everything else. He explained to them that he had 20,000 litres of fuel stored
in tanks and if his building caught fire and the fuel went up the whole town
would be blown up. They went away for a while and must have spoken with a
higher authority because they came back and had decided to protect his
building. As it turned out the fires did not descend on the Mitta Mitta
township but got very close.
Noel had flat tyre near Tallangatta on the bike trail.
What drivers tell you about the steepness of the roads ahead. Whenever we
stopped and spoke with locals we asked about any steep ascents ahead but the
information was always wrong. It seems that when you are in a car you have no
concept of the steepness of the roads.
Most Useful Implement
Noelís fuel stove. Boiled water very quickly.
At how high up Omeo is. About 700m.
Rick - 12 to 13km/hr. Noel - 15km/hr.
Low 20's every day. No rain.
What we should not have done
Ridden 110km on the last day. It was too far, particularly as we struck a
head wind for the last 60km.
How Difficult was the Ride