Wildlife Justice League - 1000kms by bike

By Maddie

I'm going to bikepack 1000kms from Canberra to Melbourne through some of Australia's most glorious alpine regions!

Australia’s preparing for a long, hot summer and the WIRES 24/7 Rescue Line is already receiving hundreds of distressed calls every day, as vulnerable native animals fall victim to extreme heat, lack of rain and deadly bushfires. 

During this ride from Canberra > Melbourne, I'll be traversing 1000kms of some of Australia's most stunning national parks including Kosciuszko National Park and Alpine National Park. This land allows us to explore and play in stunning beauty, and I've spent countless hours getting lost in this wilderness, watching the flora and fauna shine. It's time to give back...

By supporting me, WIRES will be able to continue rescuing and providing immediate aid to our sick, injured, and orphaned native animals, ensuring they will have a second chance at life in the wild.

I know there are a million places that need your donations and support, so any small amount will mean so much to these animals. 

THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart for your donations. 


My Achievements

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My Updates

I'm raising the target goal $$

Tuesday 14th Nov
Since I'm a Virgo and round numbers are glorious, I've decided to up the target again. Let's make this a nice, neat $2,000! 

After using the WIRES service this morning I can see that every cent would make a huge difference. I have just over 2 weeks to go, but more than a month before I finish the ride, so let's do this! 

Over $1,500 raised so far!`

Tuesday 14th Nov
Wow, thank you so much everyone who has donated. This is incredible and I'm beyond grateful to you all. My initial goal of $600 is now far surpassed. Amazing!

Just this morning, a wild Rainbow Lorikeet 'fell' into our courtyard and we had no idea what happened. It was moving fine, with no visible signs of injury, but It wouldn't fly away. With no idea what to do, we called WIRES and explained the situation. They told us to take it to the vet, and gave us a reference number which would then cover the vet fees. How incredible is that for a service?! Not to mention, this phone call happened at about 6.30am, so that's a 24-hour customer support line your money is supporting as well as vet fees. Taking it to the vet at 8am, I filled in a wildlife form and they whisked it away for a checkup. 

This is where your money is going, folks. WIRES offer a wonderful service and experience. It can be extremely stressful if you're the one to find an animal in need, so it's reassuring to know there's a kind voice on the phone, helping you cope. If you're ever in this situation, WIRES are the ones to call. Thank you WIRES. 

Aside from that, last week I did a bit of a shake-down ride and took on the Thunderbolts Adventure 2023 route. This is 2 days of pretty brutal distance and ascending. I had never ridden 100+ kms on my Fargo (bike), especially not fully loaded with bikepacking gear, so I knew it was going to be tough. I set off early on Wednesday from Gloucester NSW with the aim of making it over the Barrington Tops into Moonee Flat pub for dinner. A total of 108kms and 2,300m climbing. Ooof!

The weather in Gloucester was gorgeous, sunny and HOT, at by 10am I was already dunking my head into a creek and spraying myself with water. The Barrington Tops however, has its own microclimate. At the 50km mark you begin the brutal ascent, with an average of 11% gradient for the first 16kms. As I agonisingly making my way up, I heard the thunder, and as soon as I hit the gravel road at the top, the rain started. It proceeded to pour down for the remaining 40kms. I was soaked and my bike was filthy, but thankfully It wasn't too cold. I pushed on, with the thought of a warm meal motivating me. 

Despite the rain, the atmosphere was like being in some mythical fairy tale. With the rain came fog, and there was nothing but me and the flora and fauna. I spotted plenty of wallabies, a few wombats, deer, wild boars and their piglets and even a brumby. I'm aware many of these are not native, and cause havoc to the environment, but nonetheless, it was pretty special to encounter.

The following day was very wet, so I decided to wait out the rain and clean the drive train of my bike as it was covered in grit which does terrible things for the brakes. I was tired and unsure if I was even capable of making a return trip, but I really had no choice. I had a friends farewell to make by Friday afternoon!

Friday morning arrived and I set off early, with the aim of making it to the other side of Barrington Tops where Russ would pick me up at the 60km mark. As I began pedalling it dawned on me that my legs were DEAD. How was I going to make 10kms let alone 60?? Oddly enough, after pushing on for a few minutes, this second wind set in and I managed to get to the top. That's a tough morning.. after 16.5kms I'd climbing 925 meters. And I'd ridden that with legs I'd thought were done. It did take a few hours but I'd done it, and the weather was fabulous at the top! 

I enjoyed the rest of the ride, with plenty of photo stops, and made it to the farewell on time. Huzzah!

With just over 2 weeks until I set off, this was a great few days to work out what I needed to tweak. I had most of it right, apart from the part where I'd left my rain jacket on the seat of my van. Oops. 

Thanks for reading! 

Initial goal reached! Updated goal reached! Mind blown.

Wednesday 1st Nov
Thank you, thank you everyone. Astounded with the generosity. I know there's plenty of places needing financial support, let alone the cost of living crisis. I know WIRES will be putting this money to great use. I also have tears in my eyes. Much love.

Preparing for this ride

Thursday 26th Oct
Honestly, this will be the most challenging physical, mental and emotional journey I've ever done. I've ridden my bike plenty, but never for this duration of time, with back-to-back days of big elevation and long distances. It will most likely be hot, dry and the flies are gonna be a pest. BUT, with all of that said, I'm extremely excited for this undertaking. I want to complete this more than anything, however it is common not to complete it due to many challenges that can arise. This could be me too, but I'm going to give it my best shot. I'll have the thoughts of helping injured wildlife to keep me going!

I will be doing this at my own 'party pace', so I can, eventually, hopefully roll into Edinburgh Gardens mid December, ready to eat ALL the food!

Preparing for something like this involves a few areas of focus.

1. Preparing your gear - As this is a self-supported trip, I'll be carrying food, water, cooking gear and camping equipment with me in special bikepacking bags attached to the bike. As well as this, I'll be making sure my bike is tuned and ready, with some spare parts/tools for en route maintenance if needed. I've put together a long checklist and will be crossing this off over the coming weeks.

2. Physical preparation - This means riding the bike a lot, as well as other strength training. I do yoga, pilates and weight training throughout the week as well as the odd hike to put slightly different muscles to use. There's going to be a lot of hike-a-bike on this route, which means pushing your bike up steep gradients for long periods of time.

3. Mental preparation - This part is HUGE and is often the biggest player in successfully completing something like this. If I feel ready, know I've put in the work, have allowed the space to do this at my own pace, have plans in place to get home afterwards, know I have the food and water I need and have my spot tracking device on me in case of emergency, then I'll feel more at ease and capable of giving this my all. 
The other massive game changer is time. Time is such a luxury these days, and I'm aware of the privilege I have in being able to do this. Having time and space in the mind, means a more calm central nervous system and this is very important when you're alone for many days, in the wilderness, with only your mind to keep you company.

They are some of the big areas to prepare for. As well as this, having basic bike maintenance skills and being adaptable to change is key. 

So stay tuned for another update soon!

Thank you to my Sponsors


Jennifer Foley

A good cause, true to my heart. Thank you Maddie Druce. Jen


Jen And Kev

Good on you! All the best. X


Chloe Field

You are just extraordinary ✨ We love you and your adventurous heart. Go, go, go! xo



You're a force of nature!!


Zoe Green

You got this! You are such a powerhouse! Am in total awe xx


Commuter Cycles

Go Maddie. A great cause and a great ride. Enjoy.


Madeline Druce


Jane Tyrrell

You make me proud! Wish I could join you!


Alex King

Go you good thing! Love that this ends in Melbs



Gee Mads,Take care.Be careful,be present at all times.



Rad! Go for it M. I’ve always wanted to do that ride so will be hoping to hear more about your adventure as you go.




Anderson Family

Good Luck!!



You’re a champ!! Tear the ride apart Mads!


Micki & John

You Go, girl!!!!


Annie & Tim Poulton

Awesome cause & effort Maddie. Look forward to following your journey


Rhianna & Jesse Fursdon Mueller

Go Maddie! In absolute awe of your quads my friend x


Mitch Lang

Go hard you got this! 💪


Jeremiah Bain

Get after it, great route and weather should be better to you.



Love you! ;)


Kate Campbell

You are such a boss lady you are totally going to smash this epic adventure!! Go Maddie, a true inspiration 🙌


Alexandra Almond

Love your work Maddie!



Cheering you on Maddie! Super inspiring


Cloe & Fam

You are an absolute gem lady. The world is a better place with your endearing, enduring and committed attitude to making this world a little bit better. We believe in you 🧡💫



Go Maddie Go!! 🚴 What an awesome cause 💗


Jonathan Parker

Woo! What an amazing challenge and opportunity. I hope you learn as much about yourself as you do about your bike!



Go Mads - enjoy the adventure. xx


Johanna De Greeuw

An epic challenge ahead. I will be cheering for you from here, and can't wait to see and hear about the adventure xx


Max Corcoran

Amazing stuff! Best of luck, you’ll have an amazing time :)


Caff H


Jase Hannon

Yeeew! 'Onya Mads x


Katy Roberts

What an incredible adventure for a wonderful cause!!! Good luck love!!!! Can’t wait to watch the progress!! Xxx



Go Maddie! You're a superhero! Love you xoxoxo


Joel Colthorpe




Emma Blomkamp

Good on you, Maddie - this looks equal parts amazing, ridiculously challenging and worthy!


Lilli Waters

You’re amazing!!! Go Mads 🫶🏼🫶🏼🫶🏼💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻


Alex Carr


Kia B

Slay in the Kozzies 👑


Nataly Tormey

Love you gurl! Next time dink me because I want to come 😂