Adventure Motorcycle Riding Around Australia

Australia's Outback

20,000km Around Australia

Australia never struck me as a motorcycling destination. But it is pretty big and there are roads, some of them rather desolate and seemed appropriate for an adventure ride. After all, who doesn't dream of crossing Australia through its red hot heartland? It is one of the World's great adventure rides, similar to Brasil's road BR-319 or Tajikistan's Bartang Valley.

So, when my cousin fixed an old Honda Transalp that he had bought in a rather sad shape, I could not say "no" to the challenge. I tried the bike around the neighborhood, then around Brisbane, then finally made a 5,000km trial run from Brisbane to Sydney and back before committing to the transcontinental ride.

The real ride was from Brisbane, along the coast south to Melbourne, Adelaide and eventually to Perth returning through the middle, on the Great Central Road.

It took me more than a month and 15,000 km to do the loop. No mechanical problems, and shockingly, not a single flat.

Australia is famous for beaches, red, hot outback and kangaroos and I saw plenty of those. What nobody talks about are black flies. There are gazillions of them in the outback and they are all trying to get into your eyes, nose, ears and mouth. Other than a nasty, menopausal customs agent who unsuccessfully tried to provoke me to say word "bomb," these flies were the biggest turn-off about Australia.

Route Map

My route.

Brisbane to Sydney

NSW Coastal Drive

Beautiful beaches, many completely deserted just south of Brisbane.

Byron Bay Sunset

Byron bay lighthouse at sunrise. Byron bay is a hip town popular with overland travelers.

Eastern Australia's surf

The surf is pretty strong. Once I had to be pulled out of a rip current by the lifeguard.

Sydney Bridge

Must-do photo, next to the Sydney bridge.

Blue Mountains NP

Waterfall in Blue Mountains NP.

Sydney to Melbourne to Perth

From Sydney and Blue Mountains national park, I rode through the "high" country to Canberra and then south to the coast and eventually reached Melbourne.

Melbourne is a vibrant, modern city with a diverse population.

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road, west of Melbourne.

Grampians Waterfall

Waterfall in Grampians NP.

Grampians National Park

The Grampians.

Stuck in Dry Lake

Nearly got stuck in a "dry" lake.

Windmill Museum

Windmill museum.

Skylab Debris

When the skylab fell from the sky, most of it landed in Nullarbor plain. I thought Nullarbor was some aboriginal word. It actually comes from Latin and means no trees. "Null" meaning zero and "arbor" meaning tree.

Extra Can of Petrol for NUllarbor

Had to buy a can and bring extra fuel for crossing of Nullarbor.

Cliff top camping

Camping on a cliff above the southern ocean. At one section, the road goes rather close to the cliffs. There are some paved roads to viewpoints and many dirt tracks. Following a rough dirt track almost guarantees solitude.

White sand beaches off Esperance

Dazzling white sand and crystal clear waters near Esperance.

Cape Le Grand NP

Cape Le Grand NP. This was probably the highlight of my whole trip. The sand is so fine and hard-packed that riding on it is almost like riding on pavement. The water is crystal clear but can be dangerous because of sharks.

Great Ocean road appears to run next to the ocean as seen on a map of Australia. But in reality, it's a few hundred meters to few kilometers from the ocean and it's hard to see the ocean without driving to the scenic lookouts. Nevertheless, there is very little traffic on the road and camping on the cliffs overlooking the ocean is unforgettable.

Selfie Kangaroo

The poor thing was hoping for food but all I wanted was a selfie.

Kangaroos may be cute, but they are not very smart. Once I was riding next to a truck and a kangaroo was watching the approaching truck standing just off the middle of the road. The driver did not even try to move an inch away from the animal. Luckily for the kangaroo, he was a foot off the path of the barreling truck. He ran away only AFTER the truck blasted past him. No wonder Australia's roads are littered with kangaroo carcasses in different stages of decomposition. They can jump in front of a vehicle any time of the day or night. So, riding at night is definitely a no-no.

Beach Riding near Esperance

Beach riding is allowed even in national parks.

Beach camping at its best

One of the most memorable camping experiences anywhere - miles and miles of powdery white sand and nobody around, just the sound of surf. I would love to return to this place one day.

The west coast of Australia

Happy to have made it to the western side of Australia, just outside Perth.

Kalgoorlie town

Kalgoorlie, a big mining operation and the end of the civilization before starting Great Central Road.

Water and fuel supply for crossing outback

Water and fuel for 4 days of Australia's Outback Way.


1600 km of dirt, kangaroos and FLIES. Everyone talks about the heat and poisonous critters in the outback, but I did not read anyone mention the flies. They were the worst part of this trip, by far.

Lake Ballard

Desert art on Lake Ballard. There are a bunch of "sculptures" like this one scattered around the lake. They are supposed to represent residents of the nearby town. The artist seems to have an obsession with boobs.

Outback camping

Bush camping. Behind the net, was the only time when I could get a break from vicious flies.

Abandoned cars along the great central road

Out here, when a vehicle breaks down, you just leave it, preferably upright. I saw dozens of abandoned vehicles like this one.

Big rigs along the great central road

They stop for nobody. When one of these rigs heads your way, better pull over on the upwind side.


I rode three days through the desert to to get to the Uluru. But I couldn't spend more than 3 minutes there because of the flies.

Traffic signs in Chinese

Many signs are in Chinese too.

Wildlife on roads of Australia

Besides kangaroos and emus, there are camels roaming on the roads of Australia. They were brought in before the railway was built. But when people stopped using them to carry goods, they were released and now roam freely throughout the desert. The train that runs to Alice Springs is called Ghan, after Afghan camel handlers.

My other adventure rides: