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18 Day Finke Desert Race and East to West Across the Country Guided Motorcycle Tour in Australia

Airlie Beach, Australia

Motorcycle Tour Australia

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!

Key information

  • Bike: rental or personal bike (Suzuki DRZ400E and Yamaha WR250R)
  • Terrain: 95% dirt and 5% road
  • Mileage: 5,800 kilometers / 3,604 miles
  • Daily rides: approximately to 80 to 565 kilometers / 50 to 351 miles
  • Meals: all meals included


  • Exhilarating off-road tour
  • Watch the Finke Desert Race
  • Take on Big Red and sand dunes
  • Biking through deserts and remote areas
  • Starts in Airlie Beach and ends in Fremantle
  • Witness the legendary Ayers Rock and the Olgas
  • Suzuki DRZ400E and Yamaha WR250R
  • Services of guides and a mechanic
  • 17 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate


17 riding days
Group size: Maximum of 12 participants
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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.

  • Night 1: Your first overnight camp awaits at Charlie’s Hut.
  • Night 2 will be spent in Longreach.
  • Night 3: You will settle in a peaceful setting along the banks of Cooper Creek.
  • Night 4: Have a well-earned rest in Birdsville.
  • Night 5: Camping accommodations will be available in Poeppel Corner.
  • Night 6 will be spent camping in Erabena Track.
  • Night 7: Get a good night’s sleep as you go camping along the French Line in Purnie Bore.
  • Night 8: Set out your adventurous spirit as you go camping at Lambert Center.
  • Nights 9 and 10: Pampering accommodations will be available in a resort in Yulara with shops, a swimming pool, and other modern conveniences.
  • Night 11: Set up your camping gear around Christopher Lake.
  • Night 12 will be spent at Camp Beadell.
  • Night 13: You will be staying in Carnegie, where hot showers are available for your use.
  • Night 14: Accommodations will be available around Lake Mason.
  • Night 15: You will go camping on near Lake Moore.


Day 1: Airlie Beach to Charlie's Hut (448 kilometers / 278 miles)

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.

Day 2: Charlie's Hut to Longreach (406 kilometers / 252 miles)

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.

Day 3: Longreach to Cooper Crossing (320 kilometers / 199 miles)

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.

Day 4: Cooper Crossing to Birdsville (386 kilometers / 240 miles)

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.

Day 5: Birdsville to Poeppel Corner (167 kilometers / 104 miles)

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.

Day 6: Peoppel Corner to Erabena Track (80 kilometers / 50 miles)

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.

Day 7: Erabena Track to Purnie Bore (110 kilometers / 68 miles)

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.

Day 8: Purnie Bore to Lambert Center (363 kilometers / 226 miles)

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.

Days 9 and 10: Finke Desert Race at Finke

You will be watching the Finke Desert Race at Finke on these two days.

Day 11: Lambert Center to Yulara and Uluru Ayers Rock (420 kilometers / 261 miles)

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.

Day 12: Yulara

It is a day off. You may want to visit Ayers Rock and the Olgas or spend the day as you like.

Day 13: Yulara to Lake Christopher (455 kilometers / 283 miles)

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.

Day 14: Lake Christopher to Camp Beadell (331 kilometers / 206 miles)

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.

Day 15: Camp Beadell to Carnegie (280 kilometers / 174 miles)

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.

Day 16: Carnegie Station to Lake Mason (565 kilometers / 351 miles)

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.

Day 17: Lake Mason to Lake Moore (480 kilometers / 298 miles)

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.

Day 18: Lake Moore to Fremantle (424 kilometers / 263 miles)

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.

Skill levels required for this tour:


  • can ride for 2-3 hours
  • minimal riding experience
  • assistance required
  • comfortable with curves and leans
  • basic experience with unsurfaced roads
  • short distance ascents and descents


  • can ride for three to four hours
  • average riding experience
  • little assistance required
  • comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • steep ascents and descents

Included excursions

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.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Go swimming
  • Relax in the thermal hot water springs
  • Shop for personal items or take home presents
  • Visit Uluru or Ayers Rock and Kata Tjuta or the Olgas

What's included

  • 17 nights accommodation
  • Motorcycle rental (Suzuki DRZ400E and Yamaha WR250R)
  • Motorcycle fuel
  • All meals
  • All passes and permits
  • Services of accredited guides
  • 4WD backup truck
  • Services of a mechanic
  • All camping gear

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Souvenirs
  • Optional tours
  • Incidentals
  • Spending money

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP). Outback Adventure Treks does not provide airport transfer for this tour.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
18 days / 17 nights
from --


Start: Saturday June 5, 2021
End: Tuesday June 22, 2021

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