Feature Ride

Great Southern Randonnée (GSR)

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The seventh edition of the Great Southern Randonnée (GSR) is scheduled to run on October 14th 2024

Please follow us on our Great Southern Randonnée Facebook Page

Regards…..your GSR Sub Committee

Great Southern Randonnée (GSR)

The Great Southern Randonnée (GSR) is a premier 1200 km randonnée with a tradition of fabulous support provided by enthusiastic volunteers. It is Audax Australia’s equivalent of the iconic Paris-Brest-Paris 1200km randonnée, similarly being run every four years.

The seventh edition of the GSR will be held on Monday the 14th of October 2024. 

In this edition of the GSR, there will be a limit of 60 riders with a single start/multiple waves. Riders will head first along the iconic Great Ocean Road, head north from Port Fairy to Halls Gap and then return via the Great Ocean Road to Anglesea, with a final 200km loop up to Geelong, west to Winchelsea and return to Anglesea.

Website details will continue to be updated as detailed planning proceeds. 

Registrations open on the 1st of March 2024.

To get on the GSR Interested Riders List for priority entry, email your full name and country to: gsr@audax.org.au.

If you cannot do the ride but would still like to be involved, why not volunteer to help with the running of the event? Depending on the help provided, volunteers can receive free food and accommodation during the event.

For further information or to volunteer for the event, email gsr@audax.org.au.

Before the Ride

There are a number of things you’ll need to do before the ride:

  • Decide whether to enter the 1200km, 1000 km or 300 km event;
  • Complete a qualifying ride;
  • Decide if/where you need pre- or post-ride accommodation;
  • Work out how you will get to the start;
  • Register (full payment is required);
  • Make any pre- or post-ride bookings as early as possible.

Key Dates

The Great Southern Randonnée will be held from 14th – 17th October 2024. In the meantime, planning is underway and the key dates are shown below.

January 2024Draft routes published on Audax Australia’s Ride with GPS.  Cue sheet entries to be updated.
1st March 2024Entries open 6pm, field limited to 60 riders.
30th July 2024– Cutoff date for completing qualifying rides
1st – 31st July 2024Event merchandise orders open
14th September 2024Refund period closes 10pm
30th September 2024– Entries close 10pm
– Final version of routes & controls announced
30th September 2024 (tbc)Volunteers’ ride departs at 6am from Anglesea
14th -17th October 2024The Great Southern Randonnée!
Qualifying

Qualifying rides will apply for those entering the 1000km & 1200km distances.

To qualify you must have completed either a 1000 Km or greater ride (including PBP) in the 2022–2023 seasons (November 1, 2022 to October 31, 2023), or a 300 Km or greater ride in the current 2023-2024 Audax season by the 30th of September.

See the Audax online ride calendar for some great options, or consider one of the many permanent rides around the country.

Other qualifying rides may also be accepted at the discretion of the event organiser.

Safety: Lighting, Helmets & Reflective Gear

Riders must obey the Audax Australia Ride Rules and the Victorian Road Rules as it applies to bicycles. Riders observed breaching these rules may be disqualified by the ride organiser.

In Victoria, all cyclists are required by law to wear a helmet. See https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/safety-and-road-rules/cyclist-safety/wearing-a-bicycle-helmet.

Between sunset and sunrise, they are required to have front (white) and rear (red) lights and a red reflector. Lights must also comply with Victorian Road Rules, visible from a minimum of 200 metres.

Audax Australia strongly recommends that a spare front and rear light is carried and that reflective clothing is also worn at night and at times of low visibility.

Clothing

As well as Lighting requirements, you are required to wear reflective clothing – see the Audax reflective garments guidelines for details.

You should make sure that you’re equipped with clothing for a variety of weather conditions – weather can be highly variable and change rapidly. See the Weather page for further details of expected weather in November.

Remember the old adage – “There’s no  such thing as bad weather; only bad clothing.”

GSR Merchandise

A GSR carry bag, Audax Australia Ankle Bands and medal will be included in your entry fee (1000/1200/300 riders).

All other GSR merchandise will also be available when the shop is open from July 1-31.

Weather

Victoria will be in late spring in October, and typically the weather will be fine and warm – it can be a wonderful time of year to ride in great conditions. But it’s important to be aware that the ride includes a wide variety of landscapes from winding coastal roads to the hills of the Grampians, and that the weather can go through several extremes in a short period of time.

In general, prevailing winds will be from the west to southwest. You will need to be prepared to face strong winds (particularly on the exposed parts of the coastal Great Ocean Road), sudden squalls, extreme cold if the wind swings to the south and brings cold air from the Southern Ocean, or even extreme heat if the wind swings northerly and brings in hot air from the red centre of Australia.

Temperatures can reach into the high 30’s (centigrade) during the day on the coast – as high as 100F – or be as low as freezing (0C, 32F) overnight in the Grampians. Melbourne is well known for having 4 seasons in one day, so do make sure that you’re well prepared.

Anglesea

(data from the Bureau of Meteorology’s data for Airey’s Inlet)

The daily average maximum temperature is approximately 20C, but can be as low as 12C or as high as 37C. Notably, both of these records were set within a fortnight of each other, which indicates how variable the weather really can be.

The daily average minimum temperature is around 11C but has been as low as 4C.

The average rainfall for November is 60mm, with around 11 days of rain.

Port Fairy

(data from the Bureau of Meteorology’s data for Port Fairy AWS)

The daily average maximum temperature is approximately 20C, but can be as low as 12C or as high as 38C.

The daily average minimum temperature is around 11C but has been as low as 2C.

The average rainfall for November is 45mm, with around 11 days of rain.

Halls Gap

(data from Bureau of Meteorology’s data for Hamilton Airport)

As you travel through the Grampians, the weather will be changeable. Daily average maximums are between 21C and 24C, but maximums may be as low as 9C and it has reached 40C in Hall’s Gap before in November.

Daily average minimums are around 8-10C, but again it may drop considerably lower and frosts are not unknown with lowest minimums around 0C.

The average rainfall for November is 44mm, and Hamilton has an average of 12 days of rain.

The Great Southern Randonnée offers three rides:

Entries will be open on the 1st of March 2024. Please click here for the 1000/1200, click here for the 300.
Please Note: You MUST have completed a 600 or longer in the previous season for a 300 or longer this season to qualify for the 1000 or 1200.
The cost for the 1200 km and 1000 km options is A$650.00.
The cost for the 300 km option is A$200.00.

Support at Controls for the 1200 km options is designed for the ride to be completed in 80 to 90 hours (giving maximum sleep and enjoyment).

Entry includes:

  • Assistance with accommodation for interstate entrants
  • Overnight accommodation for the duration of the ride on Monday 14th (Hamilton), Tuesday 15th (Port Fairy) and Wednesday 16th November (Apollo Bay).
  • Breakfast on Monday 14th
  • Full support (breakfast/dinner) with bag drops at the overnight sleep controls at Hamilton, Port Fairy and Apollo Bay
  • Meal support at Port Campbell and Apollo Bay (limited sleeping available on return), Halls Gap and Moyston (tbc)
  • Out of hours tea/coffee/soup/sandwiches support at Macarthur (tbc)
  • Sag wagon, motorcycle marshal, photographers on course and about 30 volunteers
  • Event merchandise
  • Engraved finisher’s medallion

Also available (at extra cost):

  • Event jersey and other merchandise (tbc)

What are the start times?

Unlike previous GSRs, there will be a single morning start on October 14 at 6 a.m.

The 300km ride will start on Wednesday the 16th of October at 6 a.m. at Port Fairy.

Is there a limit on the number of riders who can enter?

Yes, the event limit (constrained by the sleeping/eating facilities at the overnight controls) is 60.

Will there be a wait list if the rider limit is reached?

Yes, a wait list will be established.

What if I have to cancel?

Check the general Terms and Conditions when entering for Audax Australia events. 

Refunds will be provided for cancellations, the following schedule overrides the standard Audax Australia Terms & Conditions cancellation policy:

  • before 10:00 pm on the 1st of August 2024, 75% of the Ride Entry Fee,
  • before 10:00 pm on the 1st of September 2024, 50% of the Ride Entry Fee,
  • before 10:00 pm on the 1st of October 2024, 25% of the Ride Entry Fee, and
  • after 10:00 pm on the 1st of October 2024, only the medallion fee component of the Ride Entry Fee.

If there is a Wait List, Audax Australia may, in its absolute discretion, refund the Ride Entry Fee less an administration fee of $50.

Getting There

Cycling

Cycling from Melbourne to Anglesea can be done by riding down either side of Port Philip Bay. While the eastern side of the bay involves a longer ride of around 160km to get to Anglesea, the route from Melbourne to Sorrento, with a ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff and then a coastal ride to Anglesea, is arguably much more picturesque as compared to the relatively flat, boring and higher traffic route through Geelong.

Cycling from Geelong is a shorter 40km ride, you can get to Geelong by train with your bike (see below).

Hitching a Ride!

Many local Melbourne riders and volunteers will be heading to Anglesea, and it is expected that they will be able to transport additional passengers, luggage and bikes. You can put your thumb out for a ride with one of our volunteers via an email to gsr@audax.org.au.

Public Transport

V-Line trains run from Melbourne to Geelong on a regular basis. It is approximately a 40km ride from Geelong’s railway station to Anglesea for riders in the 1200km and 1000km events. Trains have bike-carrying facilities.

V-Line trains run from Melbourne to Warrnambool a few times a day. Warrnambool is just under 30km from Port Fairy, the location of the start of the 300km event. Trains have bike-carrying facilities, but capacity is limited, please check with V-Line before you travel.

Driving

The 1200km and 1000km start at the Anglesea BIG4 Holiday Park is approximately 90 minutes from Melbourne by car, via Geelong. Off-street parking will be available for participants during the event, but please be aware that this is not secure parking.

For 300km riders, Port Fairy is about 3.5 hours west of Melbourne by car, on the inland route, or you may prefer to drive the world-famous Great Ocean Road and spend a day (or two) getting there instead. This route is a 6+ hour drive, depending on how often the stunning scenery makes you stop.

Parking

During the ride you cannot leave your car at the Anglesea BIG4 Holiday Park, unless you have booked a unit or tent site for the duration of the ride.

On street parking is available outside the Holiday Park in Murray Street, and around the corner in Noble Street (was used without issue during the 2024 GSR).

Off-street parking close to the start (about 300 metres) is available at the Anglesea Historical Society/Commmunity House car park. They have offered us the use of 24 spaces. Cost is a small donation to these charities, payable via the GSR Supplementary Payments portal.

Flying

If you flying in from interstate, the closest major airport for both start locations is Melbourne. Bus and taxi services operate from the airport into Melbourne, and also Gull Bus operates a service direct to Geelong.

Accommodation

Melbourne

Melbourne offers a huge range of accommodation to choose from over the internet, whatever your budget.

We have a limited number of billets available with local cyclists in Melbourne and Geelong, but are seeking to source some more. These can vary from a private double bedroom to sleeping on a mattress on the floor. If you would like to stay with a local cyclist, email gsr@audax.org.au and we’ll do our best. Priority for these places will be given to our international guests first.

Anglesea

BIG4 Holiday Park is a very comfortable 4-star Anglesea BIG4 Holiday Park. It comes complete with an indoor pool, bouncing pillow, giant chess set and even grazing kangaroos. You can book unit accommodation prior to the start on for Sunday 13th and after the finish on Wednesday 16th for the 1000 or Thursday 17th for the 1200. If you want to make additional bookings for during the event either prior during or after the event, you can contact the Anglesea BIG4 Holiday Park directly – contact is Jess who is handling our booking and works on Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays (phone +61 3 5263 1640, email info@big4anglesea.com.au).

Note: if riders must book their own pre and post ride accommodation, we suggest using the Big4 Holiday Park.

The cheapest accommodation at the Holiday Park is a tent site (all powered), $35 (tbc) for 2 people per night. There is also the Anglesea Backpackers right next door, another Caravan Park and a motel nearby.

Start / Finish

Anglesea

The 1200km and 1000km rides start and finish in the picturesque seaside town of Anglesea, approximately 115km southwest of Melbourne at the start of the world-famous Great Ocean Road. Anglesea is approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne.

Port Fairy

The 300km ride starts in the beautiful Port Fairy and returns to Anglesea. Port Fairy is close to 300km west of Melbourne, a short distance past Warrnambool.

Pre-ride Dinner

2016