I flew from Christchurch, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia. I just arrived two days before my working holiday visa expiring. I didn’t have any plan yet about where and how long I would work. First of all, I would just enjoy cycling in Australia. I left the airport at late night after installing my bicycle, having dinner, and buying a sim card. Australia looked really busy compared to New Zealand that there were still many cars at late night.
I got to know Meredith who was on my right above the picture through my Facebook page and I stayed at her house in Sydney. It was my birthday that I had a party with my followers. Actually I got several chances to meet my followers while cycling in Australia. Someone told me my story was in Australian news in the past.
Jaimi whom I met and cycled together in Central Asia introduced me her sister living in Sydney. We walked on Bondi beach together. The scenery was really amazing. Jaimi asked her sister to give me surprising gifts. I was touched and missed Jaimi.
The night view was beautiful, but the city center looked a bit chaotic. Drunk people were shouting each other. At the grocery store, a caucasian man shouted at a worker looking like from South Asia “You must speak English in Australia.” The staff must speak English to be hired. Just drunk guy was harassing him without reason. Around a bus station near Opera House, another caucasian man cursed at the caucasian homeless couple “You &E*#H lazy!! Work #%()J3!”
Sydney city center looked very peaceful during the day. After the picture with an opera house, I left Sydney.
I decided to cycle along the coast to the South.
I was always scared to do wild camping for a few years. I had done it a bit from Central Asia and China. But then I hardly did it in South East Asia cause the hotel was cheap. I started enjoying wild camping just from South Island, New Zealand recently.
I was really surprised when I found wild cockatoos around Sydney. I didn’t know they could live in the wild cause I saw them only in the cage. I really loved Yellow-crested cockatoo and pink Galah. They didn’t speak any human word as they were not trained as wild animals.
There were many pretty spots to see along the way.
I was happy to get out of steep hills when I left New Zealand. But Australia was not much different sometimes that they had steep hills too.
Because of hills, I cycled 50 km (31 mi) a day at the beginning of the trip in Australia.
When I passed a small town, the couple from a car stopped and asked me where I was heading. They offered me to sleep at their house. The house was really creative and wonderful. Even I had the view of the sea from the room. They were about to go to the party that they just let me stay alone at their house for a couple of days thankfully.
Someone told me Hyams Beach had the whitest sand in Australia. It looked really white.
Australia was easier for wild camping as it had less fence next to the road compared to New Zealand that I could find the camping spot easily and I enjoyed wild camping lot. Also, I felt safer just like New Zealand.
I turned into inland to go to Canberra. I was so excited to see an animal’s sign on the road because I loved to see it. But in reality, I saw mostly only Kangaroo. The above sign was Wombat. I watched them on Youtube that it was so cute.
When I posted on Social Network about arriving in Australia, many people warned me about the snake, spider, crocodile, and kidnap. But most of the people were killed by another human or accident in Australia that people hardly died from the animal attacks in Australia. Local people’s advice was actually different. Local people told me “Be very careful about Drop Bear” It was always important to listen to local people’s advice that I would watch out.
There was big waterfalls that I had some rest here.
When I followed the small road, there was some place like camping spot. Even there was left wood. I was a bit worried about what to do if someone came, but I felt it was a safe place.
Luckily no one came in the night.
I had enjoyed the night view after having dinner.
The more I went to inland, the more temperature went up. The road was very hilly too.
Tom who came to my birthday party joined for a couple of days. Sometimes I told people “Join my trip anytime.” but people couldn’t do cause they had to work. But he really joined. He drove from Sydney and then left a car in a small town. After two days of cycling together, he went back to his car.
By the way, the temperature didn’t drop in the night that I couldn’t sleep well.
The couple who let me sleep at their beautiful house introduced me her father in Canberra. All family liked cycling that even her father had a special old bike at home.
He had a special family tree which was more than 200 years old. The title was very honest. More than 200 years ago, 164,000 convicts moved to Australia and his family was one of them.
The photo of 70,000 km (43,495 mi). There was a park where wild kangaroos were sitting down always.
There were two things I learned when I was in New Zealand. Kiwi fruit was originally from China and the capital of Australia was Canberra, not Sydney. Canberra had the best cycling paths in the whole of Australia. Actually it was not safe to cycle in Australian cities because there was no shoulder usually but too many cars passing. So, I really liked Canberra a lot for cycling.
I saw people entering the building of the parliament. So, I just followed them and realized it’s free to enter without any registering.
There were free camping sites in Australia too like New Zealand.
When I couldn’t find any free camping site and there were fences everywhere, then I asked local people to set up my tent in their garden. People were generous that it was easy to get permission. Sometimes they invited me to the meal and I got the chance to take the picture together.
Wild fox ran away when I saw it during wild camping. Actually it was opposite that human was more threatening wild animal than wild animal attacking a human.
There was no fox in Australia originally. But English brought rabbits and it was out of control that there were too many rabbits everywhere. Later English brought fox again. Then again there were too many foxes later. They put lots of poison to control it on the bush. Sometimes there were accidents that the pet like dogs died from the poison.
When I heard a scary animal sound in the night, I recorded it. Later local people told me it was Koala. I understood why people warned me about Drop bear.
The night was scary, but once the sun went up, it’s my world!
I got the contact from Bob through Facebook and I stayed one night at his place, Beechworth Berries farm. When I worked with Working Holiday Visa in Canada and I did many different jobs. One of them was to work at the farm. But not sure I would do it in Australia. I just wanted to get to Melbourne first. Thankfully, he showed me the farm around and gave me many fruits as the gift.
In Australia, I saw some funny post boxes such as refrigerator, microwave, helmet, and so on. But this house was the best in the whole of Australia on my trip.
Not far from that beautiful post box, there was the most unique bus station in the world. Bus stations were boring with advertisements usually. I wish the world is more creative and unique like this bus station.
I used the big highway to head to Melbourne in the last part. The staff let me camp next to a big gas station. In Australia, the cyclist could go into the highway. Even there was signboard “Shoulder is only for cyclists and ambulance”. To cycle on the highway was always safer than in the city because of the wide shoulder. The only disadvantage was that the highway was a bit boring.
Some Korean gave me his room while he was away for the Christmas holiday at the share house. I got to know Annika through my Facebook page and she invited me to the family Christmas party. It was interesting to see the way of sharing the gift. Everybody brought the gift and then they put them on the table. People didn’t know what’s inside and who brought that they just chose. What surprised me was many of the gift was alcohol drink. Later I realized many Aussie loved drinking. Even they had an extra refrigerator for a drink at the garden or garage. It was the same in Korea that many families have an extra refrigerator too, but it was for Kimchi. Korean had Kimchi fridge and Aussie had a beer fridge. (I am not joking that there is Kimchi refrigerator and it’s very specialized for kimchi. Google it if you are curious.)
I had stayed at the Italian house when I traveled in Tanzania. Then I met them again when I traveled in Italy. Then they sent me a message that they were in Melbourne, too. I really appreciated them contacting me again. I hardly met the same people over three times at every different country that I really enjoyed it. They now had two kids. I felt like sometimes I was more like Sun and people were going around me as the planet because I was always the same but they were changing always like having the babies or getting married or something. I hoped I became the planet again this year or the next year.
We went to watch the penguins together at Melbourne beach. What a surprise that I could watch penguins! I saw penguins in South Africa too. But penguin in Melbourne was small.
Usually, they only came after the sun went down.
I saw a possum just in the park. Actually the possum was one of the targets to poison in NZ and Australia.
It really happened to me that I saw a big spider in the room, which I saw only the internet’s picture. Usually, I didn’t kill when there were small spider or moth that I saved them and released at the outside. An Aussie friend told me it was not a harmful spider at all. But I was too scared to help at this time cause it was too big. Sadly, I just sprayed a lot and killed it. By the way, I had never seen a big spider again when I was in Australia that it was not a common thing to see a big spider in the house.
After the Christmas holiday, I was thinking to stay one or two months in Melbourne and work a bit. I asked around to rent a room. Then Matt who came to meet up in Melbourne offered me to stay at his house for free. I decided to be cautious that I just asked him straight why he gave me the room for free and he expected anything from me. But he said he just wanted to help my trip. And actually he was the gentle guy that I felt at home while staying at his place. Later he traveled for two weeks for his work that I did dog sitting for his puppy. I felt good that I could help back.
One of the guys contacting me through my Facebook page invited me for the New Year Party. It was just right center of the city center that I could watch fireworks of 2019 New Year. (The pic is from him)
There was Lunar New Year came later. In South Korea, it was the biggest holiday and I must call my mom to greet. On the call, my mom asked me always “Did you eat Tteokguk?”. It is rice cake soup, the Korean New Year Food. In South Korea, we said you get the age when you eat tteokguk. I always told her every year “Mom, you know I don’t care about it.” which was true that I really didn’t care it. But this time I decided to buy ingredients from Asian grocery store and cook by myself.
Although I’ve never made it before, the taste was good. Finally this year I answered her what she expected “Yes, mom I ate tteoguk.” I thought it was for the first time that I did what she expected me to do in the last decade.
I was not sure I could find a short term job for one or two months. I didn’t like to lie to the owner that I would work longer. So I just did Uber Eats delivery job as I could work freely. But the pay was not good sometimes that I felt I was a slave and I was wondering how come Aussie gov allowed this kind of slavery job which didn’t guarantee a minimum wage.
The worst part was I was bullied on the street almost every week. My life in Melbourne was like living in Africa. There were people shouting at me on the street and bullying me. So I had to do exactly the same thing that I did in Africa. I must make the volume of my earphones to the maximum to stop hearing bullying. I didn’t like it cause I cannot hear the car coming behind. But I really couldn’t stand being bullied.
I didn’t know that there was some kind of bullying culture toward cyclists in Melbourne. It got worse when the combination of Bicycle + Asian + Female + Alone + Uber Eat bag. Even one time the group of teenagers was cursing at me suddenly on the road for no reason! I cannot stand being bullied that I always fought back. The one thing I would do was to take a video of them. When I opened my phone and recorded them, they hid their face with arms but still cursing at me, laughing, and running away.
Usually, I was bothered in developing countries. But they were too poor to go to a school that they didn’t know how to act properly. But here they must go to school and have a better life. The difference here was that in other countries when I shouted it, they ran away with the shame. But here they got more excited to bully me when I fought back. People who bullied me were Caucasian young males in Melbourne.
One day I stopped to check the map, and then a couple of drunk guys touched my Uber bag and pretended to open it. This was really not acceptable as he touched my personal belongings and he could touch my customer’s food with his dirty hand!!! This time I felt really serious. So, at the end of work, I went to the police station to report. There was no one at the front that I had to wait a while. Then a Caucasian male police officer came out from the inside later and talked to me. He sympathized with me at the beginning. But then he told me those two people didn’t steal anything from me and actually there was no food at that moment that he couldn’t make a report for me. Then when I talked about people bullying me on the street like shouting from the car suddenly and scaring me, he told me “Have you ever been the party? There are people screaming always.” Did the police officer agree that to bully people on the street was a fun thing like to scream at the party??? or The police officer was teaching me that it’s very normal to scream like an animal to other people suddenly on the street of Melbourne??
What an irony that Melbourne was the second-best city to live in the world on the survey when I had the quality of living in a developing country at Melbourne. When I had the negative feeling of Melbourne, I tried to think good things like Matt, his cute dog, Korean guy giving me a free room to stay, another Aussie guy inviting me for breakfast and riding together, Christmas party, and New year party.
After saving up some money, I started cycling again. The trip became a bit different than before as I knew I had some extra money on my account that I could buy food freely. I entered into Great Ocean Road, the most famous road in Australia. I cycled with Annika on this road.
I got three goals since I arrived in Australia. 1. Learning surfing 2. Watch wild wombat. 3. Watch wild koala.
Annika told me this place was touristic that people could see wild koala and birds. Maybe because of the rain, I couldn’t see any koala around. A parrot sat on my head although I didn’t feed anything. I was really happy to have this special moment.
The weather was weird that the rain was on and off.
The wind was really strong that you could see the direction of the wind from trees.
The beautiful rainbow was over the horizon.
Sometimes it was good to have the picture with this kind of signboard.
I made my dream #3 real that I saw wild koala. Annika brought me where wild koalas were. In the beginning, I couldn’t find it that she told me where it was. Later I found the way to spot it. I had to look for something like the round rock, which was Koala butt. They were always high up. So from the ground, it looked like some fruit or rock. It was so much fun to find them on the tree. By the way, I failed to make #1 dreams real.
When I went down to see the beach, the sound of the wave was like a thunderstorm that it was really loud. I was always confused between Ocean and Sea. Now I could understand how Ocean was different.
You cannot swim nor surf in the ocean that the waves were too tough.
This was one of the most famous places in Australia, but I didn’t know actually this place before. I just enjoyed being on the road itself. It was always surprising gifts to see this kind of place when I didn’t know anything.
There were several lookouts on the way.
Another German cyclist joined and cycled together a bit. At Australian towns, there was a showground where people can have a sports event. Usually, people can have a camp there for free, $10, or $15. There was a greyhound race that I could watch it. The staffs were happy when I took the picture of it because when people uploaded it on the social network, it became advertising. I asked him it’s not drugged. He told me it’s very strict that never drug on the dog.
There was a free camping site at the mountain next to a small village which I found on the camping app. But many people were there already. I preferred a quiet camping site or wild camping, to be honest. But this camping site was really interesting that kangaroo was jumping around freely. Moreover, parrots were everywhere and they didn’t mind sitting on my hand although I didn’t feed. I must say one of the best things to do in Australia was to enjoy watching parrots and cockatoos. Australia was just heaven for the bird lover!!!
I got a chance to see wild emu.
Did you know I cycled around the world by using petrol? My stove used petrol to cook the food which I need for my cycling trip.
I saw a dead Wombat when I cycled on a dirt road. But I wouldn’t count it as dream #2.
When I camped in NZ, I didn’t go out in the night cause it was too cold. But the weather was not as cold as it was summer that I enjoyed watching stars more often in Australia.
I found a very interesting animal, Echidna. It looked so cute!! I loved watching animals so much!!
I saw a small dirt road next to the main road. I followed it and found this open space. I was a bit doubting the safety for the camp. But I thought and wished no one would come here at night.
The tree blocked the strong wind overnight.
I enjoyed the dirt road sometimes. Actually I was starting thinking of going outback dirt road. So it was like practicing. But still, I was not sure about the plan of going to the outback.
It was the place where I could see the pink mudflat. I was not sure why I pushed my bicycle in the mud. Sometimes my curiosity drove me in danger.
My bicycle was literally stuck that I had to move my bags one by one to save my bicycle. I understood why there were several abandoned thongs.
When I was getting the water from the local people’s house, I asked him if there was any place for camping in this village. He told me I could camp in the park. I was worried but he told me “if the police say something, tell him I said it’s okay to camp.” It looked like Australia was really easy going compared to NZ. New Zealand was really strict about camping that I could never imagine camping at the park without permission. There was already a small camping van and even the boat overnight. The park had big toilets for 24 hours.
I saw shocking things when I passed a small village toward Adelaide that dead foxes were hung. When I had a really strong disgusting smell while cycling, it meant there was dead animal around. But this time there were ten dead animals that it was extremely disgusting that I felt even sick. I guessed it was the way to prevent other foxes from coming.
Actually I was wondering some strict vegan or vegetarian knew farmers kill animals to make their vegetables.
I had cycled almost 4,000 km (2,485 mi) from Sydney to Adelaide. Adelaide located in the middle center south of Australia. At this point, I must decide where to go like to Perth, the west, or Darwin, the north. Actually winter was coming that the way to Perth would be cold. Most of all, I really loved and enjoyed the desert always. So I decided to go to the outback to the north.
When I checked the map, there was no bicycle shop over 1500 km (932 mi) from some point. It meant if I have the problem in the middle of the way, I must miss outback and hitchhike. So I went to a bicycle shop to get new parts. Leith which I got the contact from the social network helped me. He had a friend at a bicycle shop, Stand Out Cycles. They gave me $50 AUD ($35 US) discount that I paid only $110 AUD ($76 US) for cassette, crankset, and chain. Then they let me use tools at the bicycle shop that Leith changed parts for me thankfully.
I bought medicines to kill bacteria at the water and other pills. After buying several things for surviving from the outback, I had spent over $240 AUD ($166 US). I almost finished preparing that I would head to outback now. I didn’t know why I loved the desert always. The first dessert I saw was Route 66 in the US. It was extremely hot but I couldn’t forget the feeling of seeing emptiness in the middle of nowhere. The desert had shown always loneliness, emptiness, desolateness, and quietness, which could bring danger for surviving. I felt the outback was calling me that I would go there to answer their call.