Australia’s wide open spaces beg to be explored from the open road, and there’s perhaps no more thrilling way to do that than astride a motorcycle. You can unleash your inner biker chick by exploring the country’s most scenic motorways with the wind in your hair. The following tips can help you get started as you plan an epic motorcycle journey down under.
Create a Motorcycle-Friendly Itinerary
Part of the fun of embarking on any road trip is the initial planning stages. There are numerous motorways in Australia, of varying levels of difficulty. If you’re mainly interested in sightseeing, you might want to consider following the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne and enjoying the panoramic ocean views. Hunter Valley wine country is also impossibly scenic, with plenty of curvy country roads to keep motorcyclists well engaged among the vineyards. Experienced bikers looking for a real thrill won’t want to miss the Great Alpine Road, with steep cliffs and hair-pin mountain turns to get the pulse racing.
Find the Right Bike
From a vintage Vespa to a classic Harley-Davidson, motorcycles come in all shapes and sizes. It’s important to choose something that you feel comfortable with for your trip. The best bike will depend on your experience level and your itinerary. For twisty, narrow roads you’ll want a lightweight sport bike, while a cruiser will be better for wide open roads. Although you can rent a motorcycle or travel with an organized tour group, if you know your way around a Chopper it might be worth looking at local listings sites like bikesales.com.au. Used motorcycles can often be found at low prices, and can be resold at the end of your journey.
Although it’s possible to fit quite a bit of gear onto a bike, it’s better to pack as lightly as possible while still covering the essentials. You can secure your luggage using bungee cords or find bike-specific baggage. Go slowly at first to make sure your gear is secure before you floor it down the highway. You’ll want to bring clothing for all types of weather, with a first aid kit, matches, extra batteries, rain gear, and bug spray. Bring paper maps even if you plan on using your smartphone’s GPS, as reception may be spotty in more remote areas. Extra bungee cords and plenty of wet wipes to freshen up will come in handy as you hit the open road.
ATM machines may be few and far between in areas like the Outback, and not all fueling stations or campsites will accept cards. It’s worth stashing away a bit of cash for incidentals along the way, and working this into your overall budget.
Talk to the Locals
A distinct pleasure of travelling through Australia’s more remote areas is stopping off for a bite to eat and getting to know the locals. Not only can local residents tell you more about sights in the area that you won’t find in the guidebooks, but they’ll be knowledgeable about current road conditions and the weather forecast. This information is vital for bikers, as you don’t want to travel 50 km only to find out that the bridge you meant to cross is washed out.
Taking a motorcycle tour of Australia is a great way to get off the beaten path and explore the countryside. With a bit of preparation, you can tailor it to best suit your interests for an unforgettable ride.