Great Outback Escape
Great Outback Escape ride guide
The Great Outback Escape ride guide is now available. This is your one-stop-shop with all the information you will need for the ride.
It includes key times, maps and notes for each day of riding so you know exactly where we will be and when, as well as when you will have some free time to explore the Red Centre.
There is also some important event assistance information and some phone numbers that you should save.Download ride guide
Saturday 11 June
When you arrive
When you arrive on Saturday 11 June, there will be plenty of time for you to relax and enjoy Alice Springs before we head off on our adventure the following day. Below outlines a few of the key steps that you will need to tick off once you touch down in the Red Centre.
1. Airport shuttle
Bicycle Network will provide a complimentary shuttle service from Alice Springs Airport to the Mercure Hotel, just follow the direction signage to bus parking.
2. Hotel check in
All guests will be able to check into their accommodation at the Mecure Hotel from 2:00pm. If you arrive early, the Mercure can store your luggage and bike until check in, giving you time to explore Alice Springs.
3. Bike unloading
The Bicycle Network team will be on hand to help you unpack your bikes from travel cases and onto transport trucks for our first day of riding. Feel free to go for a pedal around Alice Springs, however all bikes must be loaded by 6:00pm.
4. Welcome to country
From 6:00pm there will be a Welcome to Country to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land in which we will be visiting, and an introduction to your Bicycle Network support team on the Mercure lawns with drinks, canapes and dinner.
All this information and more is available in the official Great Outback Escape ride guide.
You can’t visit Central Australia without experiencing the awe-inspiring and ever changing colours of the landscape, sacred Aboriginal culture, clear starry skies and the red dirt between your toes.
As part of your entry to The Great Outback Escape, you’ll receive meals each day, stay in three to five star accommodation and take part in a number of unique and one-off Red Centre experiences. Some of these include:
- Welcome to Country at Mecure
- Didgeridoo concert
- Welcome drinks and canapes
- Self-guided tour to Desert Park and telegraph station (Optional)
- Evening camp fire with marshmellows at Glen Helen Homestead
- Bush food BBQ
- Tour of the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct
- Standley Chasm walk
- Angkerle Artists art project
- Standley Chasm art show
- King Canyon Rim Walk and champagne on the viewing deck
- Kings Canyon Helicopter ride (incl. lux ticket)
- Camel ride or quad biking at Kings Canyon (optional)
- Field of Light Sunrise breakfast
- Sounds of Silence dinner
- Bike transport (Melbourne to Alice springs return)
In addition to 8 days of unforgettable riding on the Great Outback Escape, there is a range of exciting activities available for you to book separately.
With everything from walking tours to helicopter rides on offer, there is something for everyone, depending on how you’d like to spend your spare time off the bike.
To customise your red centre experience, click the link below and browse through the list of all the activities available to book now.See activities
Here are the answers to your most common questions. If your question isn’t in the list, please contact us on 1800 639 634 or via our contact page
We recommend bringing any bike that you feel comfortable on for riding 100km+. If you opt for a road bike, we suggest using wider tires of around 28mm for the best riding experience.
Most airlines will allow you to travel with your bike for a handling fee (approx $25).
Bicycle Network will also be able to freight your bike from Melbourne to Alice Springs, and back.
Please see additional information about drop off and pick up locations below.
The weather in the NT in May can be both cold and hot. We recommend being prepared for all weather conditions and using layers of clothing so you can easily dress up or down as the weather changes.
For more information on what to pack, including riding gear, see our ‘What to bring’ page here.
Yes, all coach transfers are included in the entry fee.
You may also elect to stay an extra night with us in Yulara, though we suggest pre-booking flights for your return leg well in advance.
Yes, helicopter rides are an optional extra for Premium tickets.
- 8 min flight – $95
- 15 min flight – $150
This will be available as a bookable extra soon.
We welcome expressions of interest from interested volunteers from the local community in the NT. Applications will be assessed on a case by case basis.
Please send your details and experience through to firstname.lastname@example.org
You are welcome to bring your own sleeping bag / linen, although this will all be provided on the night (including tent, bed rolls and a sleeping bag).
The remaining balance payments are due by 5pm, Saturday 15 December, 2018.
As outlined in the Terms and Conditions, balance of payments not received by the 15 December will be deemed incomplete and Bicycle Network reserves the right to cancel the Ride Participant’s entry.
Road and route
The Bicycle Network team will be fully supporting you on your ride through the Northern Territory.
Most days, riders will be buses from the hotel to a location to commence riding. All riders will start together, with a big cheer!
There will be directional signage, rest areas, nutrition, water and mechanics along the route. And, if it all gets a bit too much, give us a call and we’ll come pick you up and bring you back to the accommodation.
Each day the route will have an official close time. This time is based on a slowest riding time of 15km per hour, plus plenty of time to stop for photos and admire the scenery. The times will have you back at the accommodation ready for activities and evening meals. It also allows the Bicycle Network team to pack down and set up the following day, plus enjoy the evening with you. You can see the route close times in the day-by-day breakdown.
Click the tab next to the “Great Outback Escape” heading to select each day’s route.
The ride will take place on primarily on bitumen. There will be the odd bit of dirt as you enter/exit a rest areas or should you wish to venture off the route for some extra site seeing.
Keep in mind the surface is likely to be very course and the edges of the road can be a little uneven. We recommend bringing any bike that you feel comfortable on for riding 100km+. If you opt for a road bike, we suggest using wider tires of around 28mm for the best riding experience. It would be ideal to carry one for two spare tubes with you each day.
Our mechanics will be available at the rest sites to help you out as much as possible, however stock and resources will be limited.
Bicycle Network is offering complimentary bike transport from Melbourne to Alice Springs (return) for Great Outback Escape riders.
Bikes will depart our workshop in Sunshine North on Tuesday 7 May 2019 and will be ready for your arrival at the Mercure Hotel on Saturday 11 May. Bikes will be returned to the workshop after the event.
Riders will need to drop off and collect bikes from the the Bicycle Network workshop before and after the event during the following times.
Bicycle Network workshop
- Wednesday 1 May: 9:00am – 3:00pm
- Saturday 4 May: 9:00am – 1:00pm
- Wednesday 22 May: 9:00am – 3:00pm
- Saturday 25 May: 9:00am – 1:00pm
*You can call Bicycle Network event assistance during drop-off hours for enquirers on 0425-777-484.
Your bike must be clearly labelled and boxed or carefully wrapped (e.g. in bubble wrap) upon drop off.
The Bicycle Network team will take as much care as possible to look after your possessions, however, are not liable for damage to your bike in transit. Please refer to the event terms and conditions for more information.
Alice Springs shuttle
Bicycle Network will be providing a complimentary shuttle from Alice Springs Airport to the Mercure Hotel on Saturday 11th of May.
Shuttle times are at 9:45AM, 10:45AM, 12:45PM and 1:45PM.
Please follow direction signage to Bus Parking when you arrive.
The shuttle times have been selected to collect as many of our riders as possible and allow time to gather luggage and bikes. Please be patients if you are on a slightly earlier flight time and need to wait around a little.
Alternatively, there are public shuttle and taxi services operating from the airport (learn more here).
On-event bike transport
Most days on event we will be transporting your bikes to the start location. All bikes will need to be packed onto the trucks between 5:00PM – 6:00PM the previous night. As we head off early each morning, there will be no time for bike loading. Your luggage will be packed on the buses each morning as you hop on the bus.
Bikes do not need to be packed away in boxes during the event. The Bicycle Network team will assist in packing the bikes each night.
Transport to Alice Springs
On the morning of Saturday 8 May buses will depart from Yulara to Alice Springs town and Alice Springs airport.
Transport to Ayers Rock Airport
A complimentary bus service will be available for guests flying out of Ayers Rock Airport after the Great Outback Escape.
The bus departs from our accommodation at Ayres Rock Resort and unless you have access to a private vehicle it is the only transport available to Ayers Rock Airport.
Ayres Rock Resort is planning for us and will have the ability to transport excess luggage, including bicycles, on the buses. Buses are planned to match with departing flights. Click here to see a bus and flight schedule guide prepared by Ayres Rock Resort.