3- Sea to Summit


 Sydney to Kosciuszko

indigo indefatigables

On 19 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  A website for donations will be set up.

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

The Route

Day 1 (19 March) Sydney to Wollongong 93kms (9kms gravel), 1105ms tv (total vertical)  or 102kms with no gravel and a bit more vertical
Day 2 Wollongong to Nowra 81kms, 612ms tv
Day 3 Nowra to Braidwood 121kms (17kms gravel), 1623ms tv
Day 4 Braidwood to Canberra 105kms (20kms gravel), 1193ms tv
Day 5 Day off (sort of) in Canberra – A 33km round the lake fundraising ride with a whole lot of extra riders is planned
Day 6  Canberra to Adaminaby 116 kms (40kms gravel), 1900ms tv
Day 7 Adaminaby to Jindabyne 98 kms, 1258ms tv
Day 8 (26 March) Jindabyne to Kosciuszko and back 100 kms (15kms gravel),
1807ms tv

Total – 664 km to the summit plus 50 back to Jindabyne
Total vertical metres – 9498 – quite a bit more than Mt Everest!

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.  The Boat Harbour in Wollongong and the George Bass in Nowra have generously offered discounts as we are riding for charity – mention indigo foundation when booking.





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



  •        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 $25.  Lunch for the first four days will be available from a cafe or 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 One
We start at sea level below Mrs MacQuarie’s Chair at Port Jackson in Sydney. We will follow bike paths and bike lanes to Cronulla from where we will take the ferry to Bundeena then ride through the Royal National Park. The road through the park has stretches with paved shoulders, but stretches where cars have to be patient to pass bikes. On Saturdays many cyclists ride this road so our bunch won’t be unusual. There is a bit of up and down. The coast is spectacular south of the park.

Day Two
This a pretty easy day with only 612 vertical metres. The route is pretty close to the sea most of the way.

Day Three
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 Four
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.

We will carbohydrate load at the Yarralumla pizza restaurant for dinner with family and friends including local indigo supporters.

Day Five – Day in Canberra

Day Six
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 Seven
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 Eight
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 on Monday morning at 8:20.

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



Akihiko’s Ride

A friend from Japan, Akihiko Sumnami, did part of this ride from Canberra to Kosciuszko in 2015.  Here is his journal.

Hello all
My name is Akihiko Sunami from Tokyo, Japan.  I planned to participate in the Sydney to Summit ride during my visit to Australia.  When it had to be cancelled Robin suggested I might like to a solo ride from Canberra to the Summit in 3days.

When I arrived Canberra we found perfect weather was forecast for next few days so I decided to take the challenge to the Summit!

From Canberra (Tharwa) to Adaminaby, thru NAMADGI NATIONAL PARK.
(total 80km includes 40km gravel)

Setting off from Tharwa

Setting off from Tharwa on Robin’s Airnimal

On the long climb on the Boboyan Road

On the long climb on the Boboyan Road

Gravel Road, it was tough enough, I could feel the power of the Australian land!


Arriving Adaminaby. YES! Trout!


Refreshment at the Snow Goose Hotel – Robin said there probably would not be craft beer and advised that VB was a good option!


DAY2 Adaminaby to Jindabyne (total distance 98km)

Breakfast at Snow Goose hotel in Adaminaby – Vegemite with butter! This was also Robin’s advice.


Met 3 bicycle travellers in Berriedale. Alan & John are traveling from Bendigo to Canberra to meet Alan’s Daughter. Alan is 70. John is 67. Damian, from France was on a 3 year trip from Sydney to Adelaide to Darwin then on to many Asian country’s.


Damian’s serious titanium travel mountain bike with trailer8

Arriving at Jindabyne Lake 9

About half way to the summit 10


This is last 100m up, you have to park your bicycle and walk to the top. Here are Australia’s highest toilets and bicycle parking!!!

At the summit! The highest point on the Australian mainland! 2228m!1213

14 Wild refule station on the way!

Day4 Jindabyne to Canberra on bus by NSW Travel Link
A night to relax and rest after the 3 days of riding. Next morning at 8:20AM the bus to Canberra departed from in front of Jindabyne tourist info center. Arrived Canberra at 10:37AM.


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