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In 2013, the  PedalPower "Spring Scenic Tour" was a nine-day loop through East Gippsland, starting at Bondi Forest Lodge, near Bombala in southern New South Wales. From there we headed south to the coast through Errinundra National Park, east to Mallacoota, then back to Bondi Forest. The northern part of this loop is through densely forested areas, so I wasn't too surprised that the start and end of the trip were a bit wet. I was surprised by the fact that it snowed on the second day though - in November.

The original plan was to make use of some of the less well-known tracks around the coast and north-west of Genoa - shown in grey on the map above. By the time we got to Wingan Inlet though, we realised that the schedule was looking a bit too tight to comfortably accommodate a lot of bush-bashing on poorly maintained tracks. In the end we ended up doing quite a lot more bitumen riding than originally planned, but the traffic was pretty light, even on the highway.

The route

  • Day 1: Bondi Forest Lodge to Delegate River campground
  • Day 2: Delegate River to Ada River campground
  • Day 3: Ada River to Bemm River (coastal town)
  • Day 4: Bemm River to Thurra River campground
  • Day 5: Thurra River to Wingan Inlet campground
  • Day 6: Wingan Inlet to Mallacoota
  • Day 7: Rest day in Mallacoota
  • Day 8: Mallacoota to Imlay Creek
  • Day 9: Imlay Creek to Bondi Forest Lodge

We used a support vehicle (a ute with a box trailer) to transport most of our gear between campsites. Splitting the hire and fuel costs for that amongst the twenty or so riders made for a pretty cheap transport bill.

Thanks to Richard Bush for doing most of the organising.

Getting ready at Bondi Forest Lodge
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Getting ready at Bondi Forest Lodge

Bondi Forest Lodge is an old forest workers camp. The accommodation is pretty basic, but it's clean, has hot showers, a large communal kitchen and a separate kitchen/lounge/dining area. The grounds are spacious, with plenty of lawn and there's a large farm dam - it's quite a pretty spot.

Bondi Forest itself is a working pine forest, so it's not as picturesque as it could be. When the weather's bad and you're pedalling uphill on rough muddy tracks through kilometres of austere pine plantations and logged coupes, I'd actually describe it as grim. Maybe that's just me.