3- Sea to Summit


 Nowra to Kosciuszko

indigo indefatigables

This year’s ride is done!  Here are the daily reports by vicarious rider Chris, one of our very best supporters –

Daily Reports 


On 21 March 2019 we are again going for a ride and raising funds for the indigo foundation’s projects with a focus on supporting women’s empowerment in developing countries.  The last ride made $13,000  This is the donation website

We welcome anyone who wishes to join us on the ride.

The Route

Day 1 (21 March) Nowra to Braidwood 121kms (17kms gravel), 1623ms total vertical (tv)
Day 2 Braidwood to Canberra 105kms (20kms gravel), 1193ms tv
Day 3 Day off (sort of) in Canberra – A 33km round the lake fundraising ride with a whole lot of extra riders is planned
Day 4  Canberra to Adaminaby 116 kms (40kms gravel), 1900ms tv
Day 5 Adaminaby to Jindabyne 98 kms, 1258ms tv
Day 6 (26 March) Jindabyne to Kosciuszko and back 100 kms (15kms gravel),
1807ms tv

Total – 490 km to the summit plus 50 back to Jindabyne (plus 33 round the lake)
Total vertical metres – 7,781 – that’s a bit less than Mt Everest, but more than Aconcagua!

See a map of the route.  (Note – this map is not quite accurate.)

Read more details on the riding conditions each day below.

Joining the ride

You may join us for as many kilometres as you wish and leave and re-join if necessary. As we start on Saturday you might like to come for the first half day, for the first day or the first two days. Getting back to Sydney by train would be possible at various stages of the first day and the second. See train timetable here.

We are not racing!! This is a supported ride.  A SAG wagon will carry our gear and refreshments so you only need to have a bag for rain gear etc on your bike.  We expect there will be sub-groups riding at differing paces.

Level of difficulty

This is not an easy ride. A good level of bike fitness is required. Most of the days on this ride we will expect to be on the bike for 5 hours, with a couple of days requiring around 6 hours.

Last year we averaged about 19 kms/hour. The majority of us were on the plus side of 60. If you can keep up a pace of more than 25 kph on the flat on a still day you might well be buying the first round of drinks at the end of the day.

What bike is required

Touring or gravel bikes with 32mm or more tyres are probably best for the ride as there are gravel sections on most days. A road bike with 23-25mm tyres would be fine for days one and two. If there aren’t too many road bikers they could be ferried over the gravel bits except for the last 15 to the summit and back.  Alternatively, it should be possible to carry a few alternate bikes suitable for dirt in the SAG trailer for road bike users.   If you plan to use a mountain bike the whole way, as most of the route is tarmac, fitting high pressure, low tread tyres such as Schwalbe Marathon Plus 26 x 1.35″ would be a good idea.

The route largely uses lesser roads, but some stretches will have traffic. High visibility clothing is essential.

We also recommend that your bicycle is checked and serviced.


Shared accommodation should be available each night for around $50. Accommodation with private bathrooms will also be available for a higher price. We don’t think camping is practical in view of the long days and the extra load and time taken.

Participants must make their own accommodation bookings. It is first in first served. A number of rooms will be reserved at Braidwood and Adaminaby where there is limited accommodation. Below is suggested accommodation.




  •        A couple of indigo supporter have kindly offered accommodation
  •        There are many commercial options


  • Snow Goose Hotel Motel


  •        We will make a group booking.

Other Costs

A contribution toward support vehicle expenses proportional to the number of days riding is required.  It should be possible to get an evening meal for around $30.  Lunch for the first two days will be available from a pub.  We will need to buy lunch supplies at the beginning of each of the last three days.


We strongly recommend that you obtain personal accident insurance before taking part in the ride. Bike associations like Pedal Power in Canberra include insurance in membership fees.

Inclement weather

There is a saying that there is no such thing as bad weather just bad gear.  A blizzard on the Kosciuszko road would probably stop us, but otherwise we would probably just struggle on.  There is the SAG wagon to call if anyone is finding it too much.

Details on the route

Day 1
The Nowra to Braidwood road has is now all sealed except for about 17kms and much of the road has good hard shoulders. The President of Nowra Velo Club advises that it is pretty quiet. On Monday it should be very quiet. The climb is long and steady from sea level to 770 metres over about 50 kms. It is grade 2. There is one short pitch at 9%. Otherwise it is under 4%. After the climb it rolls along through grazing tableland country to Braidwood.

Day 2
This a pretty nice ride on tarmac through rolling grazing country south of Braidwood, then on gravel for 20kms through forest to Captains Flat. The Captains Flat to Queanbeyan road is a good ride. There will be a little traffic. It is bike paths then into Canberra.

Day 3 – Day in Canberra

Day 4
This is quite a tough day, but it is a pretty spectacular ride. It includes the famous Fitz’s hill which is 11 and 12% but not very long so it is only a Grade 3 climb. There are about 40 kilometres of gravel road. We know this can be done on road bikes, but fitting the widest tyres frame clearances allow would be a good idea. On road bikes 25mm is usually the maximum.

Day 5
This is a rather easier day. There are 24 kms on the Snowy Mountains Highway, but this should be pretty quiet. We then do a few extra kms on back roads to Jindabyne to limit the kms on the Cooma to Jindabyne road.

Day 6
So this is it. A long steady climb from about 860 metres to about 1840 metres at Charlotte’s Pass on tarmac then 7.5 kms on gravel to about 2120 metres at Rawson’s Pass and finally .5 km and about 108 metres on foot up to the top of our big hill Mount Kosciuszko – 2228 metres. The ride involves a Grade 1 climb and a 2 and a 3. The maximum gradient is 11% and there is quite a bit at 7, 8, 9 and 10%. The run back down doesn’t chew up the brake pads too much! We hope there won’t be snow!

Getting Home
Watch this space. There will be a couple of cars going back – one to Canberra and one on to Sydney. Depending on numbers we will seek volunteers to help or we may beg, borrow or steal a mini-bus and trailer to get riders and bikes back to Canberra and Sydney. The only public transport from Jindabyne seems to be a Countrylink bus.

For more information please email Robin Brown at tidbinbilla@grapevine.net.au



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