Start of a New Adventure - Big Lap of Australia by Motorcycle
Our love of adventure travel started back in 2013, we’d been together eight years and married for six months when we quit our jobs and took a year off to go cycle touring through Asia and Europe, not realising at the time how much of an impact it would have on us. When we got back we knew we wanted to spend our lives exploring and experiencing different places, we just had to figure out how to do it without sending ourselves broke each time!
So in 2014 we started a small web development business and Tina made the huge career shift from finance to computer programming so we could both work remotely, and since then we’ve been doing travel/work stints at different places around the world.
In this post
- The decision to a big lap of Australia by bike
- A slight change of plans...
- Prepping for the big motorbike trip
- And let the moto adventure begin!
- The route
The decision to do a big lap of Australia by bike
Fast forward six years to March 2020, when the pandemic hit we flew back home to Sydney after a three month stay in Chamonix, France. With borders closing and lockdowns happening everywhere we settled into being back home for the foreseeable future, but it wasn’t long before we got itchy feet again.
A few months into our stay we were chatting over a few drinks and came up with the idea to do another big cycle trip, this time a big lap of Australia! We hadn’t done an overland adventure trip like that since the first one and neither of us had seen much of our own back yard yet, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
A slight change of plans...
Over the following months the plan started to take shape, we bought a pair of new touring bicycles (as soon as we found somewhere that wasn’t sold out) and began mapping out the route. The big difference between this trip and the first one is that we can’t be offline for extended periods of time anymore because of work, which unfortunately rules out cycling across a number of vast areas of Australia where there simply isn’t any network coverage. To get around this we modified the plan to use different forms of transport in different places: cycle everywhere possible, rent a 4wd where necessary like Cape York and the Kimberleys, and rent a car or catch a bus/train through the rest.
Then we were looking at Tassie and came up with the fun idea to rent motorcycles and ride around the island, Tina didn’t have a bike licence yet but she could be on her Ps within a few months. Which led us to another idea… why don’t we simplify this whole thing and ride around the whole country on motorcycles!? 💡😲
Prepping for the big motorbike trip
In late 2020 it was full steam ahead with preparations for our motorcycle adventure around Australia, we ordered and picked up a pair of Royal Enfield Himalayans (Franco in October and Arnie in November), bought our helmets and riding gear, Tina passed her Ls test, and we got to work converting the boys into real adventure machines! Fitting them with side racks, panniers, top boxes and crash bars before going on our first mini trip in December to test out the setup.
We installed bluetooth communicators on our helmets (Cardo Packtalk Bold) so we could talk to each other on the road which we don’t know what we’d do without. We also dusted off the old tent from 2013 to see if it had another adventure left in it.
Other than a few minor hiccups the test run was a blazing success! Over the next few months we made some final modications to our setup and packed up our life in Sydney. Then after being back home for a bit over a year we hit the road!!
And let the moto adventure begin!
Our first few weeks on the road have been exciting and chaotic, we can’t believe we’re finally on the road after so much planning and preparation, and that we’re back doing an adventure trip after so many years! It’s been a challenge figuring out how to juggle everything we’re doing – moto touring, camping, learning how to vlog the adventure, and all while running a business at the same time.
In the end we think this means our lap of Australia is going to be slow and steady, with regular stops to catch up on work which can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of months depending on what comes through. We don’t mind though as it’ll give us a chance to get to know a lot of places more than if we were just passing through.
When we left Sydney we had a rough plan to head north for the Winter, but as usual we changed our minds and went south instead for a family get together at Tina’s brother’s place in Melbourne. We’ve been basically winging it with route planning up until now but decided we work better when we have something to aim for, so we’ve come up with the goal to ride from the (almost) bottom of Australia all the way to the top – Bells Beach to Cape York!
This is the route we took in the first few weeks of our motorcycle big lap of Oz, initially we headed north to Mill Creek Campground and Singleton before making a u-turn back south towards Melbourne via Katoomba and Cowra.
May 8, 2021