Anyone Done The Around Australia Trip??

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by harrythefinn, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    There being a variety of nationalities and a vast pool of experience on this board I thought there maybe someone out there that can shed some light, give some pointers on a planned trip around Australia. Getting on in age means there are more and more trips that need doing before it is too late and the Around Australia Trip is one of them. (AAT)

    Thinking about a solid bike like a Suzuki DR650,(I know 17" rear, maybe change to a 18"), 18 litre tank, soft saddlebags, GPS, tent, sleeping bag, few tools and spares. Got 3 months to do it, with a North /South trip added (Uluru),a run to the Cape, planning about 30,000 kms.

    So..............any one out there done it and willing to share a few pearls of wisdom? No point in making the same mistakes again. :thumbup: :thumbup:

    (Have been across the Nullabor before and Cape York many years ago, like 20 years ago) :) :)
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  3. Noel Akers

    Noel Akers Ol'Timer

    G'day Harry,
    Have done almost all of Oz over a number of years on bikes .Leaving Victoria on a Yamaha RT 3 in about 1972....and finishing up on an XR 600 in 1999 . 2 main things that come to mind . Up North where temps are hot , carry plenty of water ( recommend Camel Pak to constantly rehydrate ) ,and do lots of oil and filter changes. I found that going up one tooth on the countershaft helped cruising revs, except on the XR which was already high enough to cruise at 110- 120 kmh. I know you've been around but light. Maybe instead of tent etc consider a Hennessey Hammock cos the ground can be real bony when you get on a bit , which then requires mattress = bulk. I lived at Ayers rock for 10 months and in winter it can get to zero C no worries at all, so be prepared for inland temps.
    The distances are large and most riders don't stop enough. Give yourself plenty of stop time , especially in the sticks, to allow yourself to get into the country. Shit , starting to sound a bit Zen now ...better quit . It is a brilliant country to ride . Cheers Noel
  4. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    Hi Harry,
    Agree with Noel completely, same as Noel and have done heaps of Km's in Oz.
    Schedule your trip to miss the Norths wet season, Nov. and up to April.
    Some stretches of road in the north can be 500km without fuel and water, and remember to inform the police if you are setting out on a long run in the outback. The last trip I was on my Dakar (which I still have up here in CNX) it carries 17ltr of fuel with a range of up to 350km, I carried an additional 10ltrs and was ok. As Noel mentioned, I had a 2ltr camel back and an additional 5 litres of water. All adds up to more weight but necessary.

    A lot of European rides have got into trouble by underestimating the size of Oz and how desolate it is. It also takes it toll on bikes, tyres, chains, sprockets all wear and you might not get these unless you plan your maintenance schedules near a large town/city. Be prepared to average about 500km a day, it is a long way between homesteads and towns.
    Try and go around anti is shorter. Fair dinkum!
    Tom :happy3:
  5. Noel Akers

    Noel Akers Ol'Timer

    Another thing just came to mind....try and avoid riding at night, especially in the country regions . Kangaroos appear to have a suicidal gene and are extremely unpredictable in their movements . Sheep and cattle often sleep on Qld, NT and WA outback roads at night where there are no fences . I have known a few riders who have tried to escape the heat of the day by riding at night.....and paid dearly for the mistake. If you go down , on an outback road, it could be along time till help arrives.
    Also as Tom said , the Wet season can make bike touring hard work and could also stop you from going in to some of the best areas Oz has to offer. Cheers Noel.
  6. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    Harry, can't give you much advice about the round Aus loop... but a guy of my sydney forum is trying to get some people together to do a lap in 2012 - he is planning 6-8 weeks...

    One thing to point out is, you shouldn't plan to be doing anything more than the speed limit, which is generally 100km/h... while you don't have to worry about lossing your licence like us locals, in NSW, the fine for more than 45 over the limit is 85,000.00 Baht... most 80 zones you could do 125km/h and not even know you are speeding...

    Speed limits are ridiculously low here in Aus, and policed with a vengence... it is one of the states main forms of income... what that means is, you need a bike that will sit on 100km/h for hours on end, but not one that is comfortable at 200km/h...

    The DR650 seems to be the bike of choice if you are going 'off-road' and the BMW GS if you are staying on the 'highways'...

    Most highways in Aus are put to shame by 4 number roads in Thailand...

    Are you planning on buying a bike in Aus, and selling it 3 months later??? or paying 45K Baht to ship one here and back???

  7. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    I don't know if you have caught this excellent trip report on ADV:
    Australia,it's a bloody long way.....around.

    Considering your bike of choice, you may already have read through it.
    The rider's family may well have originated from these here parts.

    Anyway it's a cracking read and he made a real effort with the pix, considering the tedium of parts of the ride.


    PS this was another Oz ride that looks interesting:
    Simpson Desert & Hay River, Australia
  8. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Wot 'E said... times a 'undred.
  9. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    Hi Harry,
    Some photos to wet your appetite.

    Not good on tyre wear

    This is the start of the track to Devils Gate on the Northern Territory border 500km's

    These little critters will ambush you early mornings and late afternoons, don't ride at night

    The best way to see Australia

    Road blocks Aussie style

    Look out for road trains, they are bloody big
  10. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    Thanks for all the replies. I have been going thru literally days worth of road reports on Advrider, sometimes the threads are named different or otherwise hard to find.

    So as not to confuse people I'm a paper Aussie and lived in the Snowys for 10 years or so and travelled West and up North. Although I have been away now for more than 20 years.

    I am trying to take it easy so a 3 months schedule. Camel backs are always with me on any ride esp off road in Cambo/Lao etc. I always have good lights but night riding in the bush is not
    on the agenda. I have been flattened by a "roo" (actually a wallaby :crazy: ) on my PE175. Also have hit a wombat with a XL500 and was lucky to survive, I doubt the wombat even noticed.
    I'm looking at buying in Aust and storing it after with the olds for the next trip. Just which bike now, I want to do the "Gun Barrel Highway" , "Simpson Desert" , "Cape York" and maybe a few other tracks in the centre, my choice is between the DR650 and the XR650R , always having been a thumper fan after the first XL500S (3 times) XL600 and 3 XR650's. (Yes, I do favour Mr.Honda). Both bikes have 24 litre tanks available. My plan is minimum weight, soft panniers with a Coyote Giant loop bag, maybe a fuel bladder (Turtle Pac or Liquid containment type) for the long stretches. GPS , Hema maps, Darche hybrid tent (1.6 kg) , sleeping bag (0.5kg) ,sleeping mat ( I have a jungle hammock , but just can't sleep in it), tarp, Kelly kettle,.................and a hundred other bits and pieces.

    Always looking for more info and links.
  11. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    Good stuff Harry...

    If you want something dirt oriented, the DR650 definately seems to be the bike of choice in Aus for adventure riders... rarely hear anyone using an XR...

    Thought about a KLR650??? I have an 05 for sale (in Sydney) if you are interested... $Au5,000... :D

    I wouldn't be much help buying a bike for you, as I am not much on the mechanical side... but if you buy one, and want me to sell it for you once you go back to Th, I won't even charge you a commission :smile1: ...

    As a paper Aussie, do you have an Aussie Drivers Licence... I often wonder about how I would get on if I got a Thai address and Thai licence so I don't have to worry about loosing my right to ride... It is an Automatic 6 month suspension for more than 45 over, on top of the fine...

    Put a bit of effort into budgetting... Australia is an expensive place these days...

  12. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    I had no problem with the new style Thai license - though it's no biggie getting an International one.
    My Thai license [not International] was good-to-go for hiring cars and even at police stops.
    Australia taking its ASEAN membership seriously...

    Daewoo is spot on re budgeting.
  13. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    As a paper Aussie, do you have an Aussie Drivers Licence... I often wonder about how I would get on if I got a Thai address and Thai licence so I don't have to worry about loosing my right to ride... It is an Automatic 6 month suspension for more than 45 over, on top of the fine...

    Got a NSW licence, getting hard to renew now, used to do it by mail, but NSW changed it to "once a lifetime only" renewal by mail overseas. Need to fly in every 10 years just to do a licence! :lol: :lol:
    My understanding that to use a foreign licence in NSW (and most states except WA) it is restricted to 3 months from date of arrival, for visitors, I reckon if you could show a visa (Non Immi "O" for eg.) and an entry date into Aust less than 3 months ago, it might work., whether it would stand up in court I don't know.

    Have had a Thai licence for many years, very simple now to get, no excuses anymore, the Malaysian one expired years ago, forgot to renew it.

    Re,Budgetting. If camping when ever possible and less fuel and bike costs , looking AUD$100 a day , Is this in the ball park??. I was last in Aussie in January , prices aren't cheap. :shock: What it the most anyone has had to pay for fuel?? I can remember $2.00 a litre , I think Bamaga, top of Cape York.

    Tyres looking at 5k kms per rear, and approx $200 + for a replacement ? Oil and servicing , changing tyres , chains etc self done. Side winder rear sprocket (Ti Moly ) should do the whole trip, fronts one tooth up down as required, 3 each 14 and 15 tooth. 4 chains plus a spare. The list is never ending.........................
  14. Noel Akers

    Noel Akers Ol'Timer

    Among all the stuff , I don't think you've mentioned a riding buddy. I know this can be a big problem , but raises all the " what if's ".
    Some other junk which can be a life saver is a dune flag and a UHF radio. Places like the run from Dalhousie Springs to Birdsville ( Simpson Desert ) often have 4 wds belting over the dunes....ouch !! I think you also need a Desert Pass...Oz loves regulation.....its all about submission of citizens. may have some handy info for planning. Good luck Harri.
  15. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    Hi Noel,
    The dune flag I never thought of. Got a mate lined up to go also ( the best part is that he is a mechanical engineer and an ace motorcycle mechanic :thumbup: ), UHF 's only between the bikes. Seen that you can rent sat phones at Birdsville.

    The regulation bit is why I originally left (that and the tax ) , I think it has turned into a bit of a nanny state, yet I send my kids to go to school there. I just hope it never reaches Asia.
  16. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    Desert Pass is mostly to give more money to the 'Original Owners'... plus, you need to get permission in advance from all the 'Original Owners' whose land you might pass through... they won't give it tho, 'cause it every blade of spinifex is sacred and other bullshit...

    You can buy a SPOT, which seems to be the thing to do... if you get in the shit, you hit a button, and it dials emergency services and tells them your GPS co-ordinates... and you mates can also see that your spot hasn't moved in 8 hours, and call the emergency services to come and get you from the Birdsville Pub...

  17. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer


    Sounds like a good plan, was thinking about how to survive "white line fever" just to get around the country. Serious planning needed for a good route in the dirt, criss crossing the center does have appeal for me, staying away from the populated areas and just enjoying the riding. Oh well revision number 25 , probably a few more to go. Thanks.

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