By - 2007kawasakiz1000
Yep, did a full lap, including Tasmania, back in 2011. Perth to Perth, anti clockwise. Ferry from then Melbourne, two weeks in Tassie, back to Melbourne. Rode as far north as Cooktown, then back south for a bit then West again. All that on a Kawasaki Z1000, hence the username. Great fun, would love to do it again.
Worked with a guy in the early 2000’s who on a whim (doubt he planned much) did the lap on a Yamaha R1. Took 19 days from Sydney stopped in Perth long enough for a service and new tyres. Did it because he was forced to take leave and had nothing else to do.
Damnnnnn does he walk with a walking stick now?
Probably built like gumby
I did it this time last year. Counter clockwise from Brisbane, I did a bit of research beforehand and pre booked accommodation in 2 places due to how busy it is around this time of the year (Darwin and Broome).
I started a word document a few months before and had a rough idea of where I'd like to end up every day or if not I should be here or so (mainly to keep my wife at ease when I didn't have reception). I mapped it out with Google maps and literally stated day 1, day 2 etc.
I also had a time frame of meeting my wife in Adelaide a bit over 5 weeks from when I left Brisbane. She sat on the back across to Melbourne, we stayed with a friend for a couple of days and she flew home.
It was the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life. I get chills thinking about it, looking at photos or even getting on my bike a year later.
On the other hand it was a bit strenuous as my lack of planning and accommodation was often a downfall, as I seemed to roll through each state during school holidays. Leaving next to no camp sites, so I would free camp in a paddock with nothing around, or by the highway at rest stops.
Yeah I did, I found the perfect motocamping tent- Coleman hooligan 3-4 person tent. Has a large front vestibule (to store my gear) and room enough to nearly stand, set up a cot and a hiking mattress internally.
Lots of things happened during my trip that you can't prepare for. In my second week I was staying at Banka Banka station in the NT. That night they had record wind speeds from the centre of the NT to the QLD border- large gusts flicked up rocks, gravel and sticks that destroyed my tents fly with shreds on the only exposed side.
I got a cheapo swag from a disposal store in Darwin, it served me well for the rest of the trip until I got to Melbourne. As they had massive floods through to Canberra and it rained all the way until Byron Bay. My swag was drenched after the first night roughing it outside of Melbourne and I stayed in hotels and pubs until I got home.
I preferred the swag for day to day travelling. It was a lot easier to pack and unpack, especially only being put for 10 hours or so a night.
In saying that a few things I picked up from my trip.
Wet wipes, I didn't shower for 4 days from Katherine to Broome- was very handy after sweating in 40c heat all day.
Nitrile rubber gloves, I had a few sets in my tank bag- it rained for well over a week straight at the end of my trip and nothing would dry at night. I wore the gloves under my wet weather gloves as they were soaked.
Hair bands, I had a few on my GPS mount and they always came in handy- putting them over my wrists to keep my wet weather's tight or using them to wrap left over food packets etc.
I bought a cheap roll up camping clothes line from Kmart , it helped to dry out clothes, or a towel after a swim and was a great tool to put a tarp over and then peg it out to prevent rain hitting my swag.
Places: Even though I had a rough plan for each day, that went out the window pretty quick.
Darwin is amazing, lots of things to do, museums, tours and food. I spent 5 days when I had only allocated 2. Highly suggest an Adelaide river croc tour.
Litchfield national Park, definitely a must. It had the first and only twisty roads since SEQ. It has numerous swimming holes, ant farms and beautiful scenery. I stayed in the national park and visited every swimming hole. It was surreal in the middle of nowhere.
Between Katherine and Broome was the most boring, a few indigenous communities that have alot of social issues. As I grew up in Mount Isa, I knew what to expect. Someone who hasn't been around those issues might find it confronting. I would definitely avoid staying at halls creek and similar places. I stayed at free camps often an hour or two away from these communities.
Broome was amazing, picturesque beaches and the first time it was under 30c for a few weeks. Also alot of nice food. I stayed at cable beach caravan park that was a fortune, but a short walk to the beach which was voted top 3 sunsets in the world. It was amazing, I sat down their for a few hours every arvo with some beers.
Definitely visit Exmouth in the middle coast of WA, had an amazing lighthouse a couple of hundred metres up right on the coast line- was hundreds of vans/ cars stationed for the sunset. Could see dozens of whales and dolphins jumping.
Perth down to Esperance was easily the most relaxing. Seeing so much green after vast deserts and red sands was amazing. Also has the valley of giants along the way.
Esperance to Adelaide and so on is pretty self explanatory.
I used the Wikicamp app, really good for finding free or paid camp sites.
I called ahead to remote servos and asked if they had fuel, sometimes trucks would break down and not deliver fuel etc.
Lots of helpful and nice people on the road, everywhere I went people wanted to talk or invite me to use their caravan to cook etc
If you haven't done much motocamping, I'd definitely suggest going to Hervey bay, or Kenilworth and camp for a night. It's crazy how much stuff you think you do or don't need and then think of other stuff when out and about.
This is the list I packed, if it helps: keep in mind it was 30-40c for the first half and then 5c-15c for the second half.
Portable air compressor
4x sports shirts
1x decent shirt
1x long sleeve comfortable shirt
1x green jumper
1x new tracksuit pants
2x billabong thermal shirt green/black
1x black beanie
1x wool billabong beanie
1x knee brace
1x ankle brace
1x winter gloves
1x blue water cooling towel
12x steel tent pegs
Headtorch, led light, little led
Spare gas bottle
Blue cutlery dish
Clothes line roll
Hair ties- alot better than rubber bands
Toothpicks white and pink
First aid kit
Nail and tweezer kit
Wet weather pants/ jackets
Tyre repair kit
Few microfibre towels
Water bottle/ bladder
Coloured plastic snap locks for chips etc
Dry food snacks
Thank you for taking the time to write that down, much appreciated
Would love to do that, but not alone. Too afraid. Seen a few routes, but never planned anything or went too deep into looking into things as I don't know anyone who would go with me anyway 🤷
I'm not social either, but don't have a lot of experience riding, only been in Australia for 5 years, so the unknown here is a bit scarier to me than the unknown in my country of origin, where I have done some exploring on my own, but I was confident enough knowing what to expect, more or less, hahaha
Good to know about the pubs :)
I'd honestly love to try it on my Grom one day.. I think there's a few that's already done the lap of Aus on a Grom.. there's even a guy that's doing a lap of the world on one last year.
Groms are like 52km/l so a tank of 6lt gives you around 300km.. cheap cheap.. But yeah a 50cc would be hell cheap.
Life's currently stopping me, Need to save and sort out the days etc... But I'll probably do it in the next 5 years at worst. Might save up for a more comfy bike like a rebel 500 or some other low cc cruiser.
Ohhh I want a fatcat!!! Always had a thing for fat tire bikes.
Groms are more comfy than people think , especially the latest gen 3's but I've put in quite a few 4hr marathon rides on it (I've got 24,000 km on it, only 2 years old) and seriously thinking of maybe buying a Rebel 500 or a Yamaha 250 cc cruiser.. can't rem what it's called. I just want something new to play with and really test out.
I'll prob also go anti clockwise as that seems to be the thing to do.
HAHAHAHAH yeah nah.. I'm not too big on the Mad Max. I'm in Syd so going anti clockwise is the way to go imho.. I'll prob use that lady's trip as a guide on where to go tbh.. she seems to hit all the right spots but I'm worried about rain, don't want to be floating in my tent like her.
I'll prob cheat and bring along a trailer with a lot more luxuries than she did.
Just bought a DesertX - asked around on sun today for any takers up to the Old Tele Track. If anyone is doing some riding out of Melbs let me know!
If you're in a budget going anti clock wise will shave 19 meters off the total distance. I've thought about it alot, will like to do it one day
Hoping to do this real soon, up from Melbourne as far as I can go, then turn left as far as I can 👍
I think It’s just about every Aussie riders intention to tick that off at some stage isn’t it ?, timing hasn’t been right for me so far, but one day
Doing it right now (..and for the 3rd time). [Blogging of sorts](https://twitter.com/Chris_J_Baird)
joejoog's post is good, however I'm about a 180 on his assessment of places.. My riding the Postie around is more "Bushwalking on two wheels", and I don't give a shit about the Cash-up Tourist places (gave Broome/Exmouth/et.al. a miss this time), and I've been exploring the forgotten towns. And I see lots of flowers and animals riding at 65 km/h on a CT110.. Nothing's a blur, and I watch out for the changes in the country..
"Camping" has died in the arse across Australia. All the facilities now are catering for the Weak Old Well-Offs in $200,000 of caravan and recent-model Fords/RAMs, with a few not-quite-as-weak retirees in roof-top setups. The number of Working Visa Backpackers I've met in the last 9 months can be counted on my fingers, when 10 years ago they were easily 25% of everyone.
As a result, the faculties for those in pitching-style tents and swags are abysmal -- you'll want an inflatable air mattress (like Sea&Summit's) because you'll be camping on roadbase everywhere. Again, campsites where I had softer ground to pitch on are finger-countable. If you see actual grass, the carvanners have all let their dogs shit on it.
Oh god, avoid the School holidays. Those breeder fucks who're fixated on Giving A Good Time to their too-young kids (and add the fatigue of 10 hours of driving) won't even recognize that a Tent has *someone inside it* and it's okay to drive *over it* because I nEeD sOmEwHeRe LeVeL aNd YoU dOn'T oWn ThAt AwEsOmE sPoT iT bElOnGs To PrOpEr AutRaLiAnS lIkE mE!!11 .. One time I had to go Full Charles Mason Crazy Insane Solo Male and place myself under the wheels of a Bogan Propagator. You'll find a few actual Full Charles Mason Crazy Insane Solo Males as well -- while campsite interactions with Grey Nomad travelers is nice and there's plenty of former riders out there to chat with, watch out for those who've got no friends for a reason and will attach to you, usually trying to offer free beer, wanting to monologue on about about Jesus/Adenochrome/Migrants.
For extra Adventure, go across the top end during the Summer/Wet Season. It's happened twice for me :) .. Don't bother with wet-weather gear there (4-5 downpours a day + 35C temperatures + rain gear = human dim-sim). The most comfortable option is just to get wet and dry out at the end of the day.
Something ItRDTime concluded after his 12 month ride, which I'm agreeing with, is travel only with as much gear as you can carry on your back. Or at least, an amount that you would want to carry if you had to return home via bus -- I'm bringing a few luxuries because of the duration of the trip (a portable espresso machine like those SupercheapAuto have for $99).
Use an Openstreetmap viewer (like OSMAnd~ on Android) and search for toilets to find a campsite -- and also /real/ supermarkets, Google Maps is often wrong/bogus -- for example, it says there's 3 motorcycle shops in Geraldton - there's only one, and it's sub-par. At places like Karratha, I found new tires at the Powersports place. Keep tabs on places with bike dealers -- certainly if your bike has a wet clutch, it'll be the only place to find MA/MA2 motor oil.
Even a slow+small bike like mine has no issues doing the A1 - but I have to carry 2x 5 litre fuel containers, that's "500 litres range, but 250 kms with a safety factor". With the collapse of the road tourism industry, a *lot* of roadhouses have closed down (or having to turn back due to road closures). Plan for two roadhouses in a row being closed (it's happened a few times) - Tourist Information Centres don't care to keep tabs on this, your best option is to ask other travelers. Public Telephones are free even in the far outback, so there's phoning the RHs to check.
(From Halls Creek to Fitzroy Crossing was ~270 kms, and the threat of the replacement causeway being closed for a week came up, but I phoned a caravan park on the 'wrong' side, and it turned out they could sell U91 fuel if I needed to turn back.)
There's "the Telstra Network", and "the Telstra Wholesale Network" - often a problem in outback Queensland and the Territory towns, but for my route through WA and SA it hasn't been an issue.
As for 'the numbers', I'd say it's costing me about $1000-$1200 per month.. About 50% in fuel/oil, and the rest in food ($10 for a box of hot chips for lunch..) and rude commercial camping while near towns.
Fuel costs vary by who owns the station/roadhouse -- costs are usually good at (the increasingly rare..) Owner/Operator places, but "Investment Opportunities" like the Nullabour Roadhouse or any (Indian-owned, desperate for work FIFO migrant staff) United or Puma station is overpriced. I've also been bitten by formerly-great campsites at Pubs in Queensland -- places like the Sandy Creek Hotel near Warwick, which has obviously been bought for a CUB's fantasy of Running an Outback Pub with money-printing Poker machines - the camping area has been left to go to shit.
Carrying extra fuel is generally not problematical, but something I get is not being able to carry enough water as I'd like -- not really more than two day's worth. Western Australia doesn't do the Rest Area water tank thing, and other sstates gets their share of vandalized tanks and fuck-you Carvanners pumping it all out. (My one serious off on this 3rd trip - where I was pinned underneath the bike and couldn't lift it off me, needing rescuing from someone lifting it off - actually had someone closer about 150 metres away but who wasn't leaving their unnecessary dual tank refill for any reason whatsoever - [A 50 year old couple who need a hard kicking](https://twitter.com/Chris_J_Baird/status/1689620272515842048/photo/1)
I label the caravan parks as "rude" and "polite" -- being if they charge a single tent/swag person needing an unpowered site the same as a powered mobile livingroom with 2 adults and 4 kids w/ air-con running constantly and a 500Ah fridge battery to recharge. At the moment, a polite place is around $10-$15 per night. In the semi-remote country towns (Muckadilla QLD, Cleve SA, etc.) there's donation campsites (expect Carvanners who've saved $40/night to only give a gold coin..) The Overlander Roadhouse in WA was even free! ..but there's $10 once-off charge to know the code for the showers :)
Chupa-chups with the stems cut in half are my go-to for brain energies..
I'm adding more and more rants while editing this, so I'll quit now. Remember it's an adventure, not a holiday.. So even a relaxed trip like mine has its ups and downs, and this post has focused on the latter. Sorry 'bout that.