What’s in the bag?

If you are planning a bicycle tour and buying your food/meals at shops and such along the way then this post isn’t really for you, but if you are planning on taking your food along on your journey and crossing state lines/borders then you will need to consider quarantine and what restrictions each state places on you and your menu.

Now, I’m planning on going from Western Australia (WA) through South Australia (SA) and ending in Victoria (VIC) and bringing along for the ride most of my food, but I don’t want to get to the first border crossing and find out that any or even the majority of my food cannot continue with me. Sure I could eat it all at the border crossing but that won’t do me any good tomorrow when I’m down the road.  I suppose there’s always road kill.

For Australia, the one stop shop for quarantine matters is Quarantine Domestic which not only covers foodstuffs, but also:

  • plants or plant products
  • animals or animal products
  • soil
  • agricultural machinery and other equipment
  • recreational equipment.

On leaving WA and arriving at the SA border, I can bring dehydrated fruit and vegetables, (dehydrated being the key word) rice, pasta and dried herbs & spices into SA, so far so good that gets me to the Victorian border which upon checking is also OK with what I’m planning on taking. But If I was planning on going in the reverse direction Vic through SA to WA, them, yes I’m ok at the Victorian and SA borders with everything, but at the WA border, they have a different view on home dehydrated and commercial dehydrated foods, also on processed and unmilled rice, whereas VIC and SA just use the one definition.  Might be worth checking if you are planning on taking honey, nuts and potatoes.

Not only will they take away the verboten foodstuff but you could end up with a fine and that won’t be fine and it will put a dent in your touring aspirations and budget.

Below are the information pages I downloaded and converted to PDFs if anyone is interested/planning a bike tour across the bottom of Australia in the near future.

destination-south-australia destination-victoria destination-western-australia

Another dry story

Dehydrating Food.

“Dehydrating or drying is a method of food preservation that works by removing moisture from the food, which in turn limits the growth of bacteria and has been used worldwide since ancient times to preserve food.  Where or when dehydration as a food preservation technique was developed has been lost over time, however the earliest known practice of food drying is 12,000 B.C. by inhabitants of the modern Middle East and Asia areas.”

Today’s attempt with different food types and dehydrating:

Corn: before 33 grams, after 9 grams.

Pineapple: before 142 grams, after 17 grams.

Apple: before 97 grams, after 15 grams.

Mince Steak: before 250 grams, after 55 grams.

Here are the before photos:

Dehydrating food
Pineapple before. 142 grams.
Dehydrating food
Corn before. 33 grams.








Dehydrating food
Mine meat before. 250 grams.
dehydrating food
Apple before. 97 grams.








And the results after waiting 10 hours: Mince, pineapple, apple and corn.

dehydrated food
Mince meat after. 55 grams.
dehydrated food
Pineapple after. 17 grams.
dehydrated food
Apple after. 15 grams.
dehydrated food
Corn after. Only 9 grams.















Dehydrating food is a very good way to reduce bulk and weight of your foodstuffs and prolong its life expectancy, especially handy for a long solo tour away from civilisation.  I’m sure I have many lessons to learn in my attempts to master this art.

For more information on dehydration:

Check out PineMartyn‘s youtube videos on camping and how to dehydrate food.

Two good articles on dehydrating from the Washington Post and the Dry Store

Things I didn’t know before I started touring

From the blogs I have read on longer distance tours, seems about 40% of bikes break at least one spoke.

Some tourers seem to lose mudguard or rack bolts.  (NB take some spares).

Cooked long grain rice expands more than double it’s uncooked size.

You are wasting your time cooking pasta at home, then dehydrating it as it has already been done before you buy it, it goes back to its pre-cooked state but stakesup more space as it isn’t straight anymore.  You aren’t saving any time out scrub precooking your pasta as it takes the same amount of time to cook pasta from the packet as it does from your dehydrator.

Seems to be a mice problem along the Nullarbor when camping.

Be prepared to hear outrageous camping site costs for what you get and then have to pay for showers.