Riding around Australia

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Beaches, kangaroos, red sand and flies

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Australia's red, hot centar.

Australia is famous for beaches, red, hot outback and kangaroos. What nobody talks about is the gazillion of flies in the outback. I have never seen such aggressive flies trying to get into my eye, nose, ears and mouth.

I really made two trips. One test ride from Brisbane to Sydney and back for a total of about 5,000 km. My cousin got an old Honda Transalp in rather bad shape. He fixed and I had to try it first before taking it to the outback. The bike performed like a champ.

The other 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 most importantly, not a single flat.

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My route.

Brisbane to Sydney

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Beautiful beaches, many completely deserted just south of Brisbane.

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

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

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Must take photo next to the Sydney bridge.

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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.

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The Great Ocean Road, west of Melbourne.

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Waterfall in Grampians NP.

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The Grampians.

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Nearly got stuck in a "dry" lake.

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Windmill museum.

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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.

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

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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.

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Dazzling white sand and crystal clear waters near Esperance.

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

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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.

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Beach riding is allowed even in national parks.

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Not sure about the legality of it, but I wasn't the only one camping on this beautiful beach. I would love to return to this place one day.

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

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Kalgoorlie, a big mining operation and the end of the civilization.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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Many signs are in Chinese too.

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Besides kangaroos and emus, there are camels roaming on the roads of Australia. They were brought in before the arrival of railways. 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.