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Planning an adventure around Australia. Input please

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by Paula Bateson, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. Hi All,

    Hubby and I have been thinking about our trip of a lifetime.

    He is riding a V-Star 650 (which has already done the big lap with the original owner), I am riding (so far) my trusty lady, Hetty (250 Virago).

    The plan is to leave Coonabarabran, ride to Broken Hill, Adelaide, Ceduna, over to Esperance, Albany, Perth, Broome, Katherine, Darwin, back down to Mt Isa, Longreach, Dubbo and back home.

    I would love to hear from people about what the pros and cons could be (I have never gone west before, hubby was last in WA with the Navy, years ago, never on the road).

    Some input about fuel stops. We have been using the Hema Motorcycle Atlas and have so far worked out fuel stops between Ceduna and Albany (work in progress). Some idea on fuel price or where I could possibly look these up would be useful too.

    I have read through Stu's travels post and have noted some good recommendations on fuel bladders, etc.

    Hubby is also wanting to pack a tent and sleeping bags, but I thought looking at a double swag may be the way to go, so some thoughts on this would be good as well.

    Plus, for anyone who has done the big lap (I know we aren't quite going that far), can anyone give a suggestion on a realistic budget, so I can work out how long we need to put money aside. I was thinking along the lines of $5000 to start off with.

    Also another thing we have to think about, hubby is on medication (he is an 'older' fart than myself) and I have to sort out medical records (can they be electronically stored on the Medicare system now?) and access to regular medication.

    We are prepared to ride about 500km or so each day (with some longer stops in Adelaide, Esperance, Albany, Perth?, Broom {of course}, Darwin and Longreach as there are things we want to do in these places), but realistically, how long would be looking at on the road (this is for budgeting purposes).

    Does anyone have good recommendations on accommodation as well?

    Thank you for listening to my ramblings and here is looking forward to our big trip.
  2. Gutsy effort! High 5 to you both.
    Can't help 'cos I've not done it but will look forward to your ride report.
    Have a great (safe) trip. Enjoy.
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  3. See sjmhosjmho's thread: 250cc 14000km Round Australia

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  4. Yes, I read that one, I was interested in the costs going over west, he went east side and up top mainly.
  5. Having used both tent and swag on my motorcycle tripping.

    I'd go with a tent.


    Swag: Even though I have a biker swag, which is fairly compact, and I sleep really well in it; I find it's good for a night here and there (I have done a continuous 14 day ride with it, by the 3rd night I wish I had packed a tent), but the swag is a PITA if its raining, getting in and out of it in the rain is not fun!!! , plus you'll need a tarp/shelter to cover your riding gear as it won't fit in the swag. If it is raining it is near impossible to get dressed inside a swag.
    Additionally, Security..... if you want to go exploring or just down the pub for a meal, once you've set up camp, all your gear is in full view for a light fingered thief.

    Tent: About as compact as my swag (although most swags are bulking and over hang the width of your bike), with two of you travelling together, you can split the load.
    I use a self inflating bed roll in conjunction with a cheap foam bed roll (from Kmart), the foam one adds a bit more padding and prevents prickles puncturing the self-inflating roll.
    You want a tent that you can set up quickly, even if it is blowing a gale. I have a single pole one, but I did see that Anaconda had some that spring into shape in less than 30 seconds.
    Tent provide a bit more security to your gear, and a place to get changed, or to eat something, read your map etc.... if it is raining.
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  6. Thank you, this is the type of feedback I want.
  7. Not wanting to hijack your thread, but thought I might throw in here that I am also interested in what people have to say and recommend. In September/October I'm riding from Canberra to Karijini NP (my bucketlist destination) in WA and then to Ningaloo and on down the coast of WA and back. I will also tent it rather than swag for the reasons outlined above.
    There is now an Australia-wide e-health system where health records are kept. Not everything is there yet but you can go here to register:
    My Health Record | Welcome to My Health Record
    A colleague of mine just went the whole way around and they did it in 6 weeks but that doesn't give you much time anywhere. For them it was a quick trip - they've done extensive longer touring in South America, Africa etc. I'm doing approx 11,000km in 2 months.
    When are you going? I might bump into you on the way.
  8. The grey nomads claim that, due to the prevalent winds, you use less fuel going counter-clockwise around the block rather then clockwise. I guess a bike has a smaller sail area than a 200 series landcruiser though.
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  9. Thank you on the tip for the medical records, just what I was looking for.

    Since I'm only in the planning stage, I need to do a bit more saving, so we were looking about 12-24 months away at least before heading out. Can't rush these things, but we both have a couple of health issues to sort out before we head out as well.

    I suppose it depends on what we want to see (Hubby wanted to go to Broome, but then said something about not going to Monkey Mia. I gave him THAT look, I'll be buggered, if I am riding that far, I am going to see the Dolphins at Monkey Mia) LOL!
  10. I will have to ask a few that I know regarding direction, interesting concept.
  11. We rode from WA to Tasmania and back a couple of summers ago. My report is here Middo's nullarbor adventure

    In answer to a few of your questions, I would start with these pointers:

    The 250 could be hard going out in the middle of the Nullarbor. My criterion is that I would want to be able to overtake a road train, and definitely not be the one being overtaken. That is not to say it can't be done. Obviously it can, but I would choose a larger engined bike personally.

    Fuel stops are pretty easy, unless you are heading north of Carnarvon. From memory, there is nothing further than 150 kms out in the middle, and you may find longer gaps in country NSW or SA depending on the roads you choose. Yatala used to be a road house and is shown on many maps (western SA) but closed a couple of years ago.

    Tent vs Swag? We used a tent, which allowed us to use a big queen size air mattress that I blew up with a pump from the bike battery every night. I need a good night sleep and found the tent great. A couple of nights we stayed in hotels/motels as we were getting into town late, or were soaking wet and just wanted to dry off. Consider pubs if this is the case as they are usually reasonably priced and most will let you put your bike somewhere safe overnight.

    I would not personally carry fuel unless it was an absolute necessity, but that again is just me. I did bring a lot of water, more than we ever needed in any day, but it was really just in case we got stuck somewhere.

    Cost is hard to pin down. How do you want to eat? Preparing your own meals saves a lot on a trip like this, but takes time. Buying a pub dinner adds up pretty quickly. Do you need a latte to get you going in the morning? All these little things add up over time.

    I don't know what current fuel costs are like, but the Nullarbor road houses were adding about 50c per litre to the price of unleaded from the big cities when we went through.

    500 kms each day is fairly easy if you get up early and get moving. We could do that before lunch if we were in the mood. Some of the real outback, 500 kms is about 4 hours riding, as there is not much to see and do out in the middle of no-where.

    I would suggest you make sure your bike is comfortable for 5-6 hours per day. Does the seat hurt your tailbone like the cruisers do to me? How will you manage it over 10 days? If you are good with a 500 km ride, then you should be good to make it.

    Lastly, do it while you can. We could have waited for our trip. There are always reasons to put it off, but go. Life is too short to wonder.
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  12. Keep in mind that there are very strict controls on feeding the dolphins at Monkey Mia. You can read more here
    Monkey Mia - Introduction » Shark Bay
    There are other places in Australia that you can have some great dolphin experiences. I will probably go to Monkey Mia but it is low on my list, as is Broome.
  13. I'm not interested in feeding them as such, just want the experience of seeing them come up close. I've seen so many documentaries.
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  14. A double swag is gonna be pretty long and hard to carry on the bike.
    As mentioned above. A tent packs up small and can store all your gear too.
    A 2 man tent will be too small for 2 people + bike gear.
    a 3 man tent was perfect for myself and my girlfriend and all our gear.
    Sounds like a great ride.
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  15. We took a really cheap 3 man. They never get cold, unless you wear PJ's to bed. :whistle:
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  16. I went to Monkey Mia a few years ago. Only a handful of people got to feed the dolphins and preference usually goes to kids. Interesting place and I would recommend a cruise around Shark Bay to see the Dugong etc. There are several interesting sights on the road out to Denman such as the Stromatolites (oldest living things in the world) and Eagle Bluff.

    While you're travelling up that way, don't forget the Pinnacles as well. When it is quiet, that place can be quite eerie.

    Avoid Highway 1 where possible and travel on the more scenic coast road past Lancelin, Jurien Bay etc.
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