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This ride is not for wimps. This ride is full of gravel roads, snotty tracks, desert crossings, bulldust holes that would swallow a Mack truck, and rugged outback towns! This is not a luxury tour but if you have a sense of adventure and want bragging rights to last a lifetime, maybe you should clear your calendar. Traverse Australia, cross four deserts, and travel through four time zones. Bike through six states and territories. Ride for days on end without seeing another vehicle. Reach the top of the “Big Red,” the biggest sand dune in Australia. Ride to the most remote parts of Earth in an awesome adventure and watch the Finke Desert Race in person!
During this tour, you will be staying in various accommodations across Australia. On most nights, you will go camping. Single rooms will be provided. When it comes to accommodation, everyone is pleasantly surprised by the quality of the camps. Comfort, good service, and something different are the criteria used in selecting the camps.
If you are in town, you will be staying at the best campground on offer. A hot shower is always welcome after a day or two in the bush. When off the beaten track, you will usually still have access to a shower but it may be in the form off a waterfall, a freshwater stream, or a dam.
The team will pick you up from your hotel at 08:00 a.m. After stowing all your gear in the support vehicle, it is time to get acquainted with your bike. Following a rider and safety briefing, the first part of the trip will be a short ride downtown to get your boots wet in the Pacific Ocean. The next time you see water will be on the Indian Ocean 16 days later. Leaving Airlie Beach, the first hour of riding is on bitumen road while you get used to your bike.
You will wind your way north through Bowen, then head east, up over the range and get onto the dirt road for your first part of the adventure. You will wind down the other side of the range and deep into cattle country. After a lunch stop along a river bank, you will head off into the afternoon sun and push on farther east and even deeper into cattle country. Apart from the first hour, you will stay on dirt tracks for the rest of the day.
By late afternoon, you will arrive at your first overnight stop at Charlie’s Hut for a well-earned meal and a cold beer. Get the fire going and set up your first of many camps across Australia.
After a big cooked breakfast, you will break camp and continue east towards the Thomson River. You will see kangaroos and emus all morning as you cross the Great Dividing Range and ride across the Mitchell Plains to your lunch break. As you continue along the Thomson River, you will enter deep into west Queensland cattle country and turn south towards Longreach.
If you get an early start and the riding is smooth, there will be a time in Longreach to visit the Outback Hall of Fame and the Qantas Museum. In Longreach, you will stay at the campgrounds where a shower is welcome and dinner is at one of the local pubs.
Leaving Longreach behind, you will continue along the Thomson River and wind your way along old stock routes. Lunch is on the bank of the Thomson River near Jundah. After filling your tanks, you will continue south along the Windorah-Jundah stock route to Windorah for a well-earned drink at the pub. The overnight camp is just a small ride away at Cooper’s Crossing on the banks of Cooper Creek. Burke and Wills camped there on their ill-fated exploration of the great Australian interior.
Leaving the Cooper behind and with the early morning sun on your back, you continue on well-formed roads towards the Betoota Hotel. The hotel was closed in 1997 but the veranda is a welcome spot to have lunch out of the sun. After lunch, you will continue along easy dirt roads and arrive in Birdsville for a well-earned beer at the famous Birdsville Hotel. It will be the last town before you head into the desert. You will overnight stay at the campgrounds and dinner is at the Birdsville Hotel.
On day five, you will get into the Simpson Desert. After a big breakfast, it is time to say goodbye to civilization and head west into the desert. The first dune is called “Big Red.” There, you will spend some time and attempt to take on the dune from the west. Most people make it on their first go if the sand is hard. Once you have had enough playing in the sand, you will once again turn west and continue over the second of 1,200 sand dunes that you will cross in the next three days.
Heading west along the QAA Line to the Northern Territory border, you will join the K1 Line for an hour or so along a large salt lake. Then, you will arrive at the French Line. Turning west again, it is only a few more sand dunes to your overnight stop at Poeppel Corner where the Northern Territory, South Australian, and Queensland borders meet. That is your first camp in the desert and there, you will have the chance to soak up the remoteness and the solitude under the biggest night sky on earth.
There is no hurry on day six as it is going to be tough enough without rushing. After a lazy breakfast and breaking camp, you will continue over more sand dunes and into some of the best sand riding Australia has to offer. The lunch stop is at the Approdinna Attora Knolls which are the only hills you will pass for the next couple of days. Then, it will be back onto the French Line and more dunes to your overnight stay at Erabena Track Junction.
Back onto the French Line, you will continue on another 300 dunes and past the Rig Road to your overnight stop and a welcome hot shower at Purnie Bore.
After a big breakfast, you will leave Purnie Bore and you will also leave the sand dunes behind. You will continue along easier tracks towards Dalhousie Springs. The thermal hot springs will soon soothe away the aches and pains from the days riding. The surrounding countryside changes as you start along the “road of stones,” then a refuel in Mount Dare.
Leaving South Australia and entering the Northern Territory, you will make your way north toward Finke then turn east to your overnight stay at Lambert Center. It is the absolute geographic center of Australia. The campsite also marks the middle of the tour in both time and distance.
You will be watching the Finke Desert Race at Finke on these two days.
The road slowly gets better until it feels like you are on a gravel superhighway. The easy riding continues to Kulgera. After a 16-kilometer stint on the smooth bitumen of the Stuart Highway, you will continue to Mulga Downs then turn north to the Ayers Rock road. On your way to Yulara, and after a few kilometers on the bitumen, Ayers Rock looms up behind the dunes.
Ayers Rock stays in view all the way to your overnight camp at the resort where all the modern conveniences greet you such as showers, swimming pool, shops, and much more. You will head to the pub for dinner and a cold beer or three.
It is a day off. You may want to visit Ayers Rock and the Olgas or spend the day as you like.
Day 11 will be one of your longest days in the saddle. You will leave Ayers Rock behind and continue on the bitumen for half an hour until you get to the Olgas. From there, you will once again get on the dirt and head for your morning cup of tea stop at Lasseter’s Cave. Continuing along the Great Central Road past Docker River, you will enter into Western Australia. Another hour or two later, you will arrive in Giles for lunch.
After filling your tanks at Warakurna community, it will be a short trip to the start of the abandoned section of the Gunbarrel Highway. Following the Rawlinson Ranges, you will make camp at Lake Christopher. It will be the first of the three camps along the Gunbarrel.
Once again, you will be crossing sand dunes and spending the morning weaving along between the dunes and around desert oaks. After a few more hours of sand, the country opens up and the corrugations begin. The corrugations will last for the next day and a half. It will be smooth on the bikes but you have to feel sorry for the support truck driver. As you push on after lunch, you will head into the Gibson Desert and camp at one of the most secluded places on earth. You will be more than 1,200 kilometers from the nearest city.
Leaving Camp Beadell, you will continue west towards Carnegie Station. There, you will get some awesome sand riding mixed in with the never-ending corrugations. The going gets tougher and the riding is a blast. With varied riding terrain all day, you have to be on your toes and be ready for the unexpected.
As you leave the Gibson Desert and enter the Little Sandy Desert, you will start to see camels, kangaroos, and emus so stay alert. After lunch, it will be a lazy ride down the road to Carnegie Station. Hot showers are available and there is a Telstra phone box for your use.
All fueled up again and after a nice hot shower, you will head west from Carnegie Station. On day 14, the riding will be easy but it will be the longest day in the saddle. Good graded roads, you will continue on the Gunbarrel Highway to your lunch stop along the track. As you head further west, you will get back into cattle country. The small outback town of Wiluna marks the end of the Gunbarrel Highway.
There, you will visit the Club Hotel for a beer in one of the most remote pubs in Australia. The roads get a little better from there on in and you will have a lazy afternoon blast to your overnight stop at an abandoned sheep station in Lake Mason.
After a full cooked breakfast and breaking camp, it will be a short ride into Sandstone for a refuel then you will continue southwest towards Paynes Find and the Goldfields. After stopping for a refuel at Paynes Find, you will continue along the deep red roads to your last overnight camp at Lake Moore. With plenty of firewood available, you will have a big campfire.
As you head back to the big smoke, you will pass through the wheat and sheep farming areas of Western Australia and pass numerous small towns before you get back onto the “blacktop” road and through the first set of traffic lights for the past 16 days. They are always red. You will then continue on the highways to Fremantle.
There, you will meet the Indian Ocean and it is time to dip your boots into the ocean again. The adventure is now over. After transfers to your hotels, you will meet again later that night at Clancy’s Fish Pub in Fremantle and enjoy a wind up dinner.
If there is enough time, you will visit the Outback Hall of Fame and the Qantas Museum.
This tour will take place in Queensland, Longreach, Cooper's Crossing, Birdsville, Poeppel Corner, Erabena Track, Purnie Bore, Lambert Center, Yulara, Christopher Lake, Camp Beadell, Carnegie, Lake Mason, and Lake Moore in Australia. The tour will start in Airlie Beach and end in Fremantle.
During this tour, all meals will be provided. Meals are of a mixed normal variety such as roasts, fish, and much more. If you have any special dietary needs, please let Outback Adventure Treks know in advance. Some guys say “they wished their wives could cook this well.” Breakfast is always a full-cooked Brekkie or you can simply just have some toast and cereal. Lunch is either at an outback pub or a selection of sandwiches or wraps if you are well off the beaten track.
The evening meal is usually served in the “million-star open-air restaurant,” usually a barbecue or a variety of international dishes cooked the outback way. The team can even spend a few nights cooking over an open campfire followed by chocolate or dessert. Meals and drinks are included but do not include alcoholic beverages.
Whitsunday Coast Airport
Transfer not provided
Please book your flight to arrive at Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP). Outback Adventure Treks does not provide airport transfer for this tour.
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