Sarah Maddock Sydney to Melbourne 125 Year Commemorative Cycling Tour

Photograph scanned from the Weekly Times of Sarah (left) and Ernest (right) Maddock on their bicycles. The photo has been shot in a studio with a painted backdrop to simulate their cycling tour from Sydney to Melbourne. Sarah is dressed in a long sleeved ankle length dress and hat. Ernest is in suit and tie and boater hat. The photo has been retouched in Photoshop.

Honouring the first woman to ride from Sydney to Melbourne on a bicycle

“There is a charm in cycling touring which appeals to us more strongly than any other branch of the pastime and few people who have once tried it will be able to resist its fascination”. Sarah Maddock, New South Wales Cycling Gazette June 19, 1897

This August and September we celebrate Sarah Maddock, a trailblazer in Australian cycling.  In 1894 Sarah became the first woman to cycle from Sydney to Melbourne. 

The ride was prompted by her husband – Ernest, who had been told by his doctor to make a “complete change” in order to improve his ill health.  However, all eyes were on Sarah throughout the ride as she was set to become the first ever woman to complete the feat.

Their route followed the Great South Road, which is today’s Hume Highway. They averaged 100km a day, travelling light carrying a change of clothes on the handlebars of their New Rapid and Conqueror bikes. They tackled corduroy tracks, ploughed lands and carried their bikes over flooded creeks.

In the early 2000’s another Sarah Maddock googled her name and came across her namesake.  This discovery has led her down a path of exploration – researching as much as she could about Sarah’s life and tracking down her great grandchildren.  The 19th century Sarah has had a great impact on Sarah’s life.  Her adventures by bike and her advocacy for women in cycling has inspired Sarah to take up the challenge to undertake her own modern day version of the Sydney to Melbourne bike ride. 

Sarah was originally planning on completing the ride in 2018 but suffered an injury causing her to postpone.  Since then she has partnered with Mulga Bicycle Tours to design and co-host a fully supported ride that will enable others to take part and celebrate the 125th anniversary.

The route is a modern day version of Sarah’s 1894 achievement, as riding the Hume Highway would be more gruelling than enjoyable. Instead the ride will take in some new towns such as Cootamundra and Wagga Wagga and in Victoria we will explore the Murray to Mountains and Great Victorian rail trails, which will give a sense of what the scenery and ambience would have been like for Sarah and Ernest. 

We’ll be trading in the corsets and bloomers, for your preferred cycling attire and while the route may be slightly different the essence of celebrating the adventurous spirit of Sarah is at the heart of the ride by encouraging others to take their own modern day adventure!

What is included:

  • 14 nights accommodation
  • 12 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 8 morning / afternoon teas
  • 7 Dinners including an end of tour dinner
  • 4 nights where dinner is not included the accommodation has kitchen facilities to self cater if you do not wish to go out to dinner
  • Hot/cold drinks and snacks from the support vehicle
  • Daily photos to capture your memories
  • Support vehicles provided every day - ride as much or as little as you please
  • Custom built support trailer for careful and safe carriage of your bike and luggage
  • Luggage transfer between your accommodation
  • UHF radio link between yourself and the support vehicle
  • Mechanical assistance and support (limited spares) 
  • Tour guides - the owners of Mulga Bicycle Tours are with you every day

Optional Extras:

  • Pre-tour accommodation at the Narellan Motor Inn. $147.00 Single or Double room. Select "Pre-Tour accommodation" as an extra on the booking form. 
  • Complimentary transfer from Canberra to Narellan plus pre-tour accommodation.  $147.00 Single or Double room. Select "Canberra to Narellan transfer and accommodation" on the booking form.
  • We will have two spare complimentary seats in our vehicle on our return to Canberra. Please contact us if you would like to travel with us.

Sharing a Room:

If you're a single and would like to share your accommodation with another single, let us know when you book by writing in the field "How did you find out about this tour?" You will still need to book as a single, but we can make adjustments to your tour price if we can find someone for you to share with.  We can't, however, guarantee that we will be able to do so.


Tour Itinerary


Day 1: Narellan to Bundanoon 93km

Via Picton, Tahmoor, Mittagong and Moss Vale

Meals included today: dinner

You'll be able to purchase lunch and morning and afternoon tea along the way.

Accommodation


Day 2: Bundanoon to Goulburn 79km

Via Marulan and Bungonia

Meals included today: breakfast

You'll be able to purchase lunch and morning and afternoon tea along the way. There are plenty of options for dinner within walking distance of our accommodation tonight.

Accommodation


Day 3: Goulburn to Yass 100km

Via Cullerin and Gunning

Meals included today: breakfast, morning and afternoon tea and dinner

You'll be able to purchase lunch at Gunning.

Accommodation


Day 4: Yass to Cootamundra 104km

Via Bowning and Harden

Meals included today: breakfast and afternoon tea

You'll be able to purchase lunch and morning and afternoon tea along the way. There are plenty of options for dinner within walking distance of our accommodation tonight.

Accommodation


Day 5: Cootamundra to Wagga Wagga 96km

Meals included today: breakfast, morning and afternoon tea and dinner

You'll be able to purchase lunch at Junee.

Accommodation


Day 6: Rest Day Wagga Wagga

Today you can do your own thing - put your feet up or perhaps explore Wagga.

Meals included today: breakfast

Your ensuite cabin accommodation has a kitchen so you can choose to cook your meals yourself, or alternatively cafes and restaurants are within walking distance, as are supermarkets.

Accommodation


Day 7: Wagga Wagga to Albury 127km

Meals included today: breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner

You'll be able to purchase morning tea and lunch along the way.

Accommodation


Day 8: Albury to Beechworth 53km

Meals included today: breakfast and morning tea

You'll be able to purchase lunch and dinner at Beechworth as our accommodation is within walking distance of restaurants and cafes.

Accommodation


Day 9: Beechworth to Whitfield 78km

Via Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail to Everton; Milawa

Meals included today: breakfast and dinner

You'll be able to purchase morning tea at Everton, lunch at Milawa Cheese Factory and afternoon tea at Moyhu.

Accommodation


Day 10: Whitfield to Mansfield 65km

Meals included today: morning tea and lunch

You'll be able to buy breakfast at the Whitty Cafe in Whitfield. Your ensuite cabin accommodation tonight has a kitchen so you can choose to cook your meals yourself, or alternatively cafes and restaurants are within walking distance, as are supermarkets.

Accommodation


Day 11: Rest Day Mansfield

Today you can do your own thing - put your feet up or perhaps explore Mansfield.

Meals included today: breakfast

Your ensuite cabin accommodation has a kitchen so you can choose to cook your meals yourself, or alternatively cafes and restaurants are within walking distance, as are supermarkets.

Accommodation


Day 12: Mansfield to Yea 82km

Via Great Victorian Rail Trail

Meals included today: breakfast and dinner

You'll be able to purchase morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea along the way.

Accommodation


Day 13: Yea to Coburg 83km

Meals included today: breakfast

You'll be able to purchase morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea along the way. Your accommodation tonight has a kitchen so you can choose to cook dinner yourself, or alternatively cafes and restaurants are within walking distance, as are supermarkets.

Accommodation


Day 14: Coburg to Melbourne 27km

Today we'll cycle the last leg our ride and tonight we'll celebrate with a special end of tour dinner.

Meals included today: breakfast and dinner

You'll be able to purchase morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea along the way.

Accommodation


Day 15: End of Tour

Meals included today: none

Important information

  • Acceptance of your booking is subject to Mulga Tours receiving a signed Waiver And Assumption Of Risk Form for each member of your party indicating acceptance of our Terms and Conditions, Safety Guidelines, Code of Conduct and Privacy Policy.
  • Your booking fee is not refundable, but is transferrable with at least 61 days’ notice.
  • Guests are responsible for choosing a trip that suits their abilities, fitness level, and state of health. See How Mulga Bicycle Tours Grades Its Tours for more information.
  • A list of mandatory safety equipment that you must bring with you on tour can be found in section 10 of our Terms and Conditions. We will ask to see your safety equipment prior to the commencement of the tour and we may also check it during the tour. If an item is missing or we form the view that a safety item does not comply, we may decide to exclude you from joining the tour or riding until you have acquired the necessary safety item or it has been serviced or recharged.
  • We are unable to delay the start of the tour for anyone who does not have the appropriate safety equipment.
  • Guests are also responsible for ensuring they are adequately and appropriately prepared both physically and mentally for the tour. If you have any health issues or doubts prior to the tour, you should seek appropriate medical advice and contact us.
  • We make every effort to stick to our plans, but tour details, such as accommodation, menus, and sometimes routes, are subject to change.
  • Guests must read all correspondence and information provided by Mulga Tours before and during their tour.
  • Hotel credit card pre-authorisations. The tour price includes the cost of your accommodation each night of the tour. At check-in some accommodation providers may require you to provide a credit card pre-authorisation to cover expenses you may incur on top of the accommodation costs covered by Mulga.
  • You may choose to hire a bicycle from us. The price of hire will be added to the tour price.