Karen and I still had over four hundred kilometres to ride before we reached Perth, but this was only a stone's throw compared to the distance we had come. If necessary, we could be in Perth in four days, but it was not necessary. We still had lots to see between here and there.
The first things Karen wanted to see were the famous buildings designed by a bloke named Hawes, which seemed to be Northampton's main claim to fame. Every little country town had something it thought would appeal to tourists. Tenterfield had an erosion ditch it had named Ghost Gully and advertised as a feature. Wycliffe Well was the UFO Capital of Australia. Wyndham had the Largest Concrete Crocodile in Captivity. Many towns had nothing, and had been forced to build something big - the Big Banana, the Big Merino, the Big Cow, the Big Potato, the Big Shell, the Big Pineapple, the Big Prawn - and the list goes on and on. Northampton had old buildings.
The morning was cool and overcast. Karen rode in a sloppy-joe to keep warm, while I preferred my rain jacket which kept out the wind and would come in handy if the overcast turned to rain. A partial solar eclipse occurred in the morning, but the cloud layer hid it from our view. In fact, we did not see the sun at all until almost midday.
Riding the hills out of Northampton soon warmed us up. We stopped after ten kilometres to remove our jackets and have a stretch. At thirty kilometres we stopped for morning tea in a parking bay, as usual, then it was off for more ups and downs until we reached the outskirts of Geraldton, ten kilometres out of town! We had not realised just how big Geraldton is, with its twenty one thousand people spread out over a large area. It is definitely not a typical Australian "blink and you'll miss it" country town.
We rode straight to the tourist bureau to grab some info to read at the Pizza Hut, less than a block away. Inflation had added a dollar to the Four Dollars and Ninety Five Cents all-you-can-eat lunchtime special, but we were just thankful that it was still being offered. Karen and I had feared that the promotion was past its use by date, or that Western Australia had not participated in the scheme. This was the first Pizza Hut we had seen since Darwin - four thousand seven hundred and twenty kilometres ago - and we pigged out accordingly. Ninety minutes later we waddled out of the Pizza Hut and with Elle and Mel groaning under our added weight we rode to Point Moore and the Belair Gardens Caravan Park.
A post lunch walk was a necessity, so we toured Point Moore on foot, exploring the beaches and investigating the marina and the lighthouse. The scenery was not at its best. The sun had disappeared behind the clouds again and a cold wind was whipping in from the ocean, making everything look bleak and uninviting. It was to be expected though - Geraldton is renowned as the windiest town in Australia.
Back at the caravan park, we sheltered from the wind in an excellent campers kitchen which included a television. We watched Catchphrase, wrote up the diary and read. We also rang an 1800 number to order Telstra float information and asked for it to be delivered to Jill and Tony's address in Perth. Dinner did not happen - we were still full from lunch.
The first McDonald's in 4720km
The next morning we walked into town and headed straight for McDonalds, also the first since Darwin. And it was yummy. After, we looked for books at Vinnies and the Salvos before walking up the biggest hill in town for some views. The port was a typical port, ugly and colourless, and the town was just a town, but the real highlight of the lookout was the sighting of a new bird. The Western Rosella took our total number of species seen to four hundred and fifty.
A must see in Geraldton, or so the tourist brochures said, is the St Francis Xavier Cathedral, designed by our old mate Mr. Hawes of Northampton fame. The building actually looked great, except for a pukey trim of orange and white. The colours probably had some religious significance, but it looked pretty bad. Continuing the cultural theme, we dropped in to two museums. We watched a long video on the efforts taken to salvage the wreck of the Batavia, a Dutch sailing ship which sank off the Western Australian coast in 1629. History is always more fascinating when you are in the area where it happened.
Some essential shopping came next - a new tyre, additional food supplies, Tandia by Bryce Courtenay, and thirty cent ice-creams at McDonalds again. After walking back to the caravan park we had a combined afternoon tea and dinner and relaxed in front of the television for the evening. Karen stayed up to watch When a Man Loves a Woman, with Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia, but I had to agree with a critic who said it was not worth the effort and went to bed early.
The night was cold. I almost put on a pair of bed socks to keep warm, but I managed to resist the temptation. We were riding before 9am, battling a strong east north-easterly cross-wind in an otherwise lovely day. Not far down the highway we turned off for a quick look at the mouth of the Greenough River before carrying on to Greenough itself, famous as the place where the trees all grow horizontal due to the constant, salt-laden wind. South of Greenough we traversed a very open stretch of road where the crosswinds almost blew us over, so we soon stopped for shelter and lunch at a service station attached to the S Bend Caravan Park. The park is not named after anything to do with plumbing, but for a right hand and left hand turn in the adjacent highway.
Karen tried the "Free coffee for driver" ploy again, but the manager said we did not qualify. He did allow us to use a table in the caravan park however. Shortly after we began eating lunch, he approached us with two cups of coffee in hand and apologised for his rudeness. It was a nice gesture.
After lunch the flat terrain became undulating, but we were still riding through wheat fields and farmland. Shortly before arriving in Dongara at 2:30pm, we saw a dead bird on the side of the road. Despite the fact that its head was missing, we identified it as a barn owl. We had never seen a barn owl in the wild before, not even a dead one, and we had already set a precedent by allowing dead birds to be counted as sightings. But was counting a decapitated bird as a new sighting just a bit much?
Dongara is not famous for too much, but it occupies a special place in my mind. A mate of mine was married there, and he had asked me to be his best man. Because I had tried to talk him out of getting married - and done it in front of his future wife - and because I was living in Sydney at the time and did not want to traipse across the entire length of the country to a God-forsaken little country town to participate in a wedding ceremony in a Catholic Church, I declined the offer. I always felt a bit guilty about it, worrying about myself when I should have been thinking of my friend, but my guilt largely disappeared when he got divorced a few years later. He should have listened to me in the first place!
Karen and I set up at a coastal caravan park then walked back into town along the river. One of the postcards for the area featured a supposedly famous old mill, so I bought one of these and sent it to my friend as a reminder of bygone days. I wrote on the card that I was sure he had been through the mill a few times since his wedding!
Rain started overnight and did not abate until after sunrise. During a brief sunny break I managed to dry and pack the tent. Early undulations and light winds produced an average speed around twenty kilometres per hour up until morning tea. The wind was from the north-west, not too strong at first, but it increased steadily during the day, bringing with it a succession of heavy rain showers. Karen and I huddled in our rain jackets behind bushes on the side of the road, sipping our coffee while the wind and rain howled by overhead.
After waiting for a squall to pass, Karen and I continued on down the road, encountering a fifteen kilometre straight section of highway where a strong wind right up our clackers pushed us to an average for the day of over twenty five kilometres per hour. This last stretch was truly amazing. The trees on either side of the road were thrashing about in the wind, but Karen and I were carried along in a cocoon of silence. We were travelling at thirty five kilometres per hour, the same speed as the wind, and there was absolutely no wind noise in our ears. We kept pace with the storm in front of us, and kept ahead of the one behind us. It was unreal.
We eventually turned off the highway and followed eight hundred metres of good, smooth dirt road to the Western Flora Caravan Park. After selecting a campsite right next to the amenities block, I quickly set up the tent before the storm which had been following us arrived. When it hit, Karen and I sheltered in a superb campers kitchen in the amenities block, with a free electric stove, hot and cold running water, a kitchen table with chairs with backs and a free fridge as well. In addition, it was a proper room, totally enclosed, which was a real blessing with the winds approaching gale force in the late afternoon.
The new tyre we had bought in Geraldton was to replace my rear tyre which was badly worn. One look at the old tyre at the end of the day convinced me to change it immediately. It was worn down to the canvas around half its circumference! I could actually poke my finger through a couple of the holes in it, and the rest was so thin that I was able to rip the tyre in half along its length. The only thing stopping the inner tube from bulging out was the Mr Tuffy Tyre Liners, which for once had done a good job preventing a blow-out.
Don't let your tyres ever get this bad
Karen cooked another superb Mussaman curry for dinner, and the evening was spent talking with fellow travellers, all caravanners, who came into "our" kitchen. Outside, the night was wild and woolly. We ventured out into it to get back to our tent a little after 10pm. As usual, we were snug inside the tent. The repairs and modifications had definitely improved the tent's performance in the wind and rain.
We did not get flooded or blown away overnight, but the elements sure tried their hardest. The morning was fine one moment, raining the next, so we decided to stay at the caravan park until the weather improved. We took a good, two hour walk to a nearby waterfall before lunch, with Karen taking lots of photos of flowers. As its name suggests, the Western Flora caravan park caters to wildflower lovers. It is located in the middle of nowhere, its sole purpose to act as a base for tourists, naturalists and horticulturalists who wish to experience all the wildflowers that Western Australia has to offer. The caravan park is set on a large property, much of it covered with natural bush abundant with flora of every description.
Karen and I went for another walk in the afternoon, again managing to stay dry as the weather gradually improved. At 4:30pm we went on yet another wildflower walk, this time run by the owner of the caravan park, a guy named Alan, who was very knowledgeable about the flowers and plants he showed us. As I have previously stated, I am not really into plants, but one species we were shown fascinated me. The Western Australian Xmas Tree is parasitic, having a root system of filaments which can stretch for kilometres. The roots invade the roots of other trees and steal their nutrients, but they are indiscriminate in what they choose to attack. They have been known to sever copper telegraph cables and are now deforming fibre optic cables to the detriment of the signal! All of this is pretty interesting, but the most fascinating concept for me was the suggestion that because of their extensive root systems, and the fact that new plants can spring up anywhere along its length, every Western Australian Xmas tree in the entire south-west of Western Australia could actually be part of one huge plant! It sounds just crazy enough to be true.
We tried ringing Kevin the next morning to wish him a happy father's day, but the public phone at the caravan park was occupied. Twenty three kilometres down the road at Eneabba we called into a service station where Karen wangled two free cups of coffee and rang Karen and Barbara from the phones outside. We discussed all sorts of things - the Telstra float, the building of a pergola at our property in Southport, the loan of our refrigerator to Karen's brother Gary, the dispersal of half of our furniture which was currently stored in Karen's late grandfather's garage - but which would have to be relocated because his unit would now have to be sold - and even the death of Princess Di. It can be difficult running one's affairs and keeping up to date with the affairs of the world when cycling down a highway in a remote part of the continent.
After leaving Eneabba we turned westward for a short run to the Lake Indoon Recreation Reserve where we intended to stay for the night. Only two other cars were in occupation, and both of these were full of day-trippers with boats who left in mid afternoon. After lunch we embarked on a long and interesting walk around the lake, seeing lots of bobtails (the Western Australia blue-tongued lizards we had encountered at Derby, Denham and Kalbarri), a couple of prime specimens of male Splendid Wrens, some grey teals and heaps of grebes.
Camped by Lake Indoon
In the afternoon I listened to Adelaide beat West Coast and North Melbourne beat Geelong while I contemplated the safest position for the tent. We were alone now, but there was always the possibility of visits from local hooligans, bikie gangs or psychopaths, so a site where we could remain unseen was paramount. Late in the afternoon a car pulling a caravan drove into the camping area and parked about a hundred metres away, obviously staying overnight. With the somewhat dubious security their presence gave us, we set up the tent in the open, even enjoying the luxury of an open fire which was excellent for keeping the mozzies and cold at bay.
Overnight showers had me packing a wet tent in the morning, but we were hoping and expecting to be able to dry it later in the day. We rode out of the recreation area at 8:30am not having seen a ranger and therefore not having to pay camping fees. The garbage truck that had arrived at 8am had given us a bit of a scare though. Seventeen kilometres took us to the coast road where we turned left for an eight kilometre run into Leeman, a surprisingly large town. We continued on to reach Green Head after forty kilometres, arriving just as a short but violent squall hit the village. A service station awning provided good shelter, and the proprietor even allowed us to make coffee and use his table and chairs.
The storm passed quickly. Karen and I rode to a couple of local lookouts, taking a photograph of Dynamite Bay. A new road had been built from Green Head to Jurien, where we wanted to spend the night. We had seen the road as we cycled into town, so we backtracked out to the turn and followed it south. Eight kilometres after leaving Green Head we came to another intersection where a sign pointing to the right indicated that Green Head was only two kilometres away. I blamed Karen's navigation, but she responded with a quote from one of her favourite movies - "You took the wrong turn with me, Miss Daisy!"
The new road to Jurien was good, the wind kind, the weather fine, so we averaged about twenty kilometres per hour. We stopped for a break and a photo at a lookout over the Leseur National Park, then carried on to Jurien, another town whose large size surprised us. The eighty kilometre day had been reasonably flat, a pleasant change from the hills we had toiled over near Geraldton.
After setting up in the caravan park and speaking with a couple from Perth for half an hour, Karen and I walked down to the jetty for the usual tourist look then shopped at Foodland for an evening barbecue. A cask of vin ordinaire was added to the shopping basket as well, before returning to the caravan park and making use of their wood fire barbie.
While we were cooking our dinner of chicken, pineapple, onion, zucchini and potato, a group of young, obnoxious and very drunk campers joined us in the barbecue area to prepare their own dinner. As soon as our cooking had finished, we carried our food halfway across the caravan park to another campers kitchen where we wreaked havoc on their electrical box in order to get the lights and hot water service working, and spent the rest of the evening reading and hoping the drunks we had avoided at the barbie earlier would drop dead.
The evening weather forecasters had promised rain and they were right. Bad weather moved in soon after Karen and I had gone to bed, bringing strong winds and periodic heavy rain for the rest of the night. It was still bad in the morning. Karen and I packed up the sleeping gear inside the tent then pushed our bikes over to the campers kitchen we had occupied the previous night. It was basically only a shelter with two tables, a sink and some lights. Karen prepared brekkie while I emptied the tent completely, but the weather was so bad that neither of us was keen to ride in it. We decided to stay in Jurien, and also decided to move our tent closer to the kitchen.
We spent the morning and half of the arvo eating, doing cryptic crosswords and crochet, reading and watching the weather come and go. At around 3pm the clouds parted long enough for us to walk to the jetty and then along the beach to the harbour and back to the caravan park via a couple of blocks of double storey mansions and some older, dingier backstreets. Jurien looked like an interesting place to live. The rest of the day was killed with more reading and diary writing, a dinner of two minutes noodles, vegies and a few glasses of wine. It had not been a riveting day, but sometimes we just had to wait around until the weather improved.
It did not improve overnight. A few heavy showers had fallen, but just as we were about to leave the tent at 6:30am the skies opened and the rain absolutely bucketed down. The caravan park was built on sand and was well drained, but the rain was so heavy that puddles formed in the grass and streams began to flow, one of them right under our tent! Even with an occasional sunny break, the rain showed no sign of going away so we resigned ourselves to another day in the Jurien Bay caravan park shelter.
Sheltering from the rain at Jurien
We ate and read until 3pm, our only entertainment being trips to the dunny via the caravan park's newly formed inland sea, and an hour of tent relocation and gear drying. The base of our tent was showing signs of deterioration, the waterproof lining delaminating from the fabric of the floor. A small amount of water had seeped through to the underside of our mats, which was not too bad at all considering the amount of rain that had fallen.
During a longer sunny break late in the day we did a walk to the south end of town, checking out the beach, the offshore islands and shoals, and the local architecture, which was again a mix of Aussie mansion and old coastal holiday house styles. Back to the caravan park for an egg and ham dinner, more crosswords, more reading and an argument over how eschalots should be cooked, which was probably a sign that the enforced captivity was wearing on us.
Even if the Great Flood had started the following morning, Karen and I would still have ridden out of Jurien. The day dawned fine, but a dark storm in the north-east looked threatening. We packed up a very wet tent and used our shelter for brekkie and loading the bikes, then it was back on the road shortly after 8am. There was no wind at ground level and the clouds appeared stationary as well, so only a touch of rain hit us as we passed under the edge of the cloud.
The route to Cervantes is three sides of a square - a lot of travel for not much gain in actual distance. We rode through beautiful rural scenery on the way out of town, with newly formed wetlands from the rain lying on very green pastures, with bright yellow flowers, possibly canola, almost everywhere we looked. Big, fluffy clouds in a deep blue sky completed the picture.
After lots of hills for the first fifteen kilometres we turned right, to the south, for a flattish stretch where we made good time. Another right turn took us back into the coastal hills before we descended into Cervantes before midday after a fifty five kilometre ride at a twenty kilometres per hour average - pretty good going with all the hills. Another milestone had been passed as well - five thousand kilometres since Darwin.
At the Shell service station we booked and paid for an afternoon tour of the famous Pinnacles in Nambung National Park, just south of the town. We barely had time to set up our tent in the caravan park and have a bite to eat before the tour bus arrived to pick us up. The Pinnacles are a collection of limestone pillars which project upwards from the surrounding yellow sand to a height of about four metres. I had wanted to visit the Pinnacles for a long time, but when I arrived I was amazed by the area covered by the formations. I had pictured something similar to the size of a football field, but the actual area is about one hundred times larger.
Our mini-bus parked alongside a half-dozen, full-sized tourist buses which had disgorged their passengers out into the formations. Adding to the throng were people from about twenty private cars, making a total tourist population of about five hundred people. At first I believed I had no chance of taking the classical Pinnacles photograph, where the columns stand alone and undisturbed by any human presence, but the formations were so numerous and the area so large that the tourists just seemed to get swallowed up.
Karen amongst the Pinnacles
We stopped at two or three spots to wander amongst the formations, pose in front of the columns and take our photographs. A small climb to a lookout gave wonderful views over the entire Pinnacles area and the rest of the Nambung National Park right down to the ocean. The tour also included a brief stop at Hangover Bay on the way back into Cervantes, plus a tour around the town and its beach.
Back at the caravan park we did a bit of reading, checked out the local beach - nothing special - and watched a sunset which initially looked promising but which eventually fizzled away to nothing. We retired to the campers kitchen to escape the cold breeze and battle a large and very loud Coke vending machine which was determined to drown out any attempts at conversation. Over a dinner of ham, pasta and red wine, Karen and I talked to a couple of retired school teachers we had met on the beach. Many travellers spend their nights alone within their caravans, rarely venturing out to meet and interact with the people around them. Karen and I had no option, and consequently spoke with thousands of people during our travels. It was almost always rewarding.
A couple of showers just before sunrise made for a wet tent pack-up, something I was rapidly becoming accustomed to. We topped up our supplies of metho and postcards at the caravan park shop, then rang Jill in Perth to rearrange our arrival time which had been delayed because of the length of our stay in Jurien Bay. We left Cervantes shortly after nine o'clock, riding back over the same twenty three kilometres of hills we had travelled the previous day to meet the road heading south. At the turn-off we stopped for morning tea, and discovered that Karen's bike had a flat front tyre.
I used a temporary roadside puddle to check the tube for leaks, and found a Mr Toughy puncture where the two ends overlapped. The sleeve I had fashioned from an old tube had failed to cover the join completely, so I replaced the entire tube. I would fix the puncture later. Lots more hills took us to the Brand Highway, the new name for the section of Highway One south of Geraldton. We virtually crossed straight over the highway and rode two kilometres of tar and five kilometres of dirt to a caravan park called Waddi Farms we had seen on a tourist bureau brochure. Waddi Farms is also a restaurant, emu farm and wildflower export centre.
In the afternoon we walked around the property, following a wildflower walk with numerous information boards, skirting the emu enclosures with their ten feet high chain-wire fences, and looking for birds, as always. It was a great set-up, but it desperately needed some promotion because it did not appear to be going anywhere. Apart from a resident pussy cat and one other couple, the caravan park was empty. The night turned cold after dinner, so Karen and I sought our usual sanctuary - the laundry. We relocated two chairs, one from the disabled toilet and one from the pool area, and sat under the laundry's neon lights to while away the evening with cryptic crosswords and reading.
A clear, pre-dawn sky and a still day gave way to overcast and a biting southerly breeze. We again packed up a wet tent, said goodbye to the pussy cat and rode out to the highway shortly after 8am. This was the best part of the day, for the wind was with us, but after turning southwards everything changed. The rest of the day was a real bastard, with cool headwinds, a rough road surface, no shoulder, undulations, lots of traffic and no sunshine. Only the wildflowers made the riding worthwhile.
We took a long break for morning tea with only thirty seven kilometres behind us at a roadhouse at Cataby, using a handy table and chairs. A bus-load of travellers were shuffling around the roadhouse, stretching, smoking, drinking coffee and waiting impatiently for the bus to resume its service. Hardly anybody looked at Karen and me, and nobody spoke to us. After thousands of kilometres of friendliness, the sudden coldness of the people around us came as quite a shock. It was an indication of how close we were to a major city, as accurate as any road sign.
A couple more hours of slogging southward took us to the Moore River. We lunched by Regan's Ford, amongst a plethora of No Camping signs which forced us to seek accommodation back up the road a little ways at the Windmill Roadhouse. Like many of our overnight stops, Waddi Farms and the Windmill Roadhouse were simply convenient places to camp, and not places we were dying to visit.
The dining room of the roadhouse had a television tuned to an AFL match, so while Karen went for a shower I watched the last half of North Melbourne beating the West Coast Eagles. After the game I set up the tent, the sun appearing for just enough time to dry it out completely. Before Karen reappeared, I saw a new bird - the unmistakable Western Spinebill. I told Karen to look out for them when finally it was my turn to have a shower. I also shaved and washed my hair, neither of which had been done since Geraldton. Afterwards, we sat at a table and chairs near the caravan park dongas to write up the diary, read and update the bird book with our latest sightings.
In the evening we walked around to the dining room in the hope that the Adelaide versus Geelong game would be televised too, but it was not showing when we entered. The manager, however, changed the station to the footy. Terrific, I thought, but then he changed it to a third station which was showing the news. I was shocked, not because the manager had changed the channel, but because there were more than two channels to choose from. All the towns we had travelled through of late had been limited to two, and I had not expected a third or a fourth. Bloody cities and all their bloody stations! We bought some biscuits for dinner and retired to our table near the dongas to do a cryptic crossword and listen to the football on the radio.
Shortly after eight o'clock the next morning we crossed the Moore River and turned west off the highway with the wind almost directly behind us. Twenty kilometres of flat riding was followed by a left turn to the south through hilly farmland. Another turn to the west brought more good riding until we reached the Yanchep - Lancelin Road. Southbound again, the wind was now across and into us, keeping the pace slow. At seventy six kilometres we reached a totally unexpected turn-off to Two Rocks. The new road was not shown on either of the two maps we were using, so we asked a passing car driver who came along the road if it was okay. He recommended it.
The aptly named Two Rocks
The road was good, but Two Rocks was even better. We lunched in an elevated park overlooking the marina and the ocean. The old maps we were using showed a caravan park somewhere in the vicinity of Yanchep, so we headed south again. As we cycled past the Club Capricorn Resort we wondered for a moment if it was the caravan park shown on our maps, but it seemed too fancy. We shrugged and carried on to the Yanchep beachfront only to discover that we had been right to wonder about the resort - it was the caravan park.
By the time we reached the Club Capricorn Resort we had covered almost one hundred kilometres for the day. It was a pleasant surprise to find that tent sites at the resort cost a mere eight dollars a night - a site at the back of the Windmill Roadhouse had cost us nine dollars! Kevin and Barbara had given Karen and me one hundred dollars for our birthdays so we decided to use the money for something we would not usually buy for ourselves - a decent dinner at the resort restaurant.
At about 6pm we walked over to the resort proper. Lindsay's Restaurant was a lot more upmarket than the eateries we normally frequented, but our money was not paying for it so we splurged accordingly. Chicken and asparagus vol au vent entrees were followed by steaks for mains and mud-cake desserts. Karen and I were also celebrating the eleventh anniversary of our first life-affirming experience together, so two carafes of red wine were ordered as well. Cappuccinos finished off the celebration quite nicely.
We did not begin cycling until after 9am the next morning, but we knew the day would not be a long one. A short ride of only seven kilometres took us to the Yanchep National Park where we watched the ducks and other waterfowl before having an early morning tea and heading off for Perth. Undulating semi-rural country soon gave way to the inevitable urban sprawl, with new estates all over the place. Our destination for the day was Ocean Reef, the northern suburb where Jill and Tony lived. We asked for directions from a girl behind the counter of a Chicken Treat fast food outlet, showing our appreciation for her help by buying lunch there as well. A half hour later Jill answered our knock on her door.
Almost five months had passed since we had left Darwin. Five thousand two hundred and ninety seven kilometres of road had passed under Elle's and Mel's wheels during that time. We had averaged almost seventy seven kilometres per day on the days we had ridden, but had taken so many rest days that our overall average was less than thirty six kilometres per day.
Cycling from Darwin to Perth was a major milestone for Karen and myself, but it also represented another achievement which we actually did not realise at the time. When we reached Darwin we had recognised immediately that we had just crossed the continent from south to north, but our arrival in Perth brought no similar recognition. With time to reflect, however, we realised that by cycling from Sydney to Darwin, and then from Darwin to Perth, we had actually cycled from Sydney to Perth and therefore crossed the continent from east to west as well.
Now all we had to do was cycle back to Sydney.