I have to agree with mitzikatzi, WA is a bit short of big hills (certainly by eastern states/international standards).
Kings Park is a good place to start, but the climbs are very short and amount to 50m if you start from Winthrop Ave. The same goes for Mosman Park, a great challenge because it is steep, but very short.
I did a lot of training in Kings Park before the GWABR because it was not far away when I rode to work and it is good for building strength, but not stamina and just as importantly the mental aspects of tackling long climbs.
I am convinced that half the difficulty of long climbs is the feeling that it is never going to end. This leads me to believe that climbing is 1 part gearing, 2 parts fitness, and 7 parts in the head. Secondly, once you have conquered the climb it is always easier the next time because you know where it finishes and you know you can do it (so keep at Mosman Park).
When you are ready there are some great rides in the hills. My personal favorite is:
I start at Hale Rd in Welshpool
Up Welshpool road to the end
Left onto Canning Rd, onto Pickering Brook Rd
Left onto Patterson Rd to the end
Left onto Walnut Rd
Right onto Aldersyde Rd to the end
Left onto Mundairing Weir Rd up to Kalamunda
Stop for a coffee
Then down Canning Rd to Welshpool Rd for a flying finish down Welshpool Rd (mind the nasty crosswinds and don't break the speed limit).
This makes up 630m of climbing over a 46km course with three long climbs, probably as bad as any day on the Great Escapade. On an early Sunday morning this is a quiet and well known cycling route, so the locals (probably begrudgingly) know that there are cyclists around. I would certainly favour it above Gt Eastern Hwy, which scared the ^&*% out of me.
For a real test try Mills Rd East, up to Canning Rd and into Kalamunda and back. Mills Rd East is the toughest climb I have tried in Perth, every time you think you are close to the top, you go around a corner and find it keeps going.
Keep up the training, preparation is everything.
I'm not sure what all the fuss is about - if you want hills go to France. For the moment were doing training for the Great Escapade! Very Happy I did the GWABR (Albany-Perth 2006) and that was hilly for me (a first timer back then).....
I like the suggestion, any one got any spare change to help get me there?
My dream is to ride one of the the Tour's mountain stages, just to see what it is like. But the longer I leave it the shorter the gearing is going to have to be.