Queensland, Northern Territory & Western Australia: Australia's premier long distance mixed surfaced adventure motorcycle tour, along the northern edge of the continent and via the haunting red centre
An epic ride from the verdant green tropics of North Queensland, the golden grasses of the endless Savannah through the red rock of the very heart of Australia before riding onto the stunning blue coastline of the Indian Ocean at Broome. This remote ride is the quintessential Australian "outback" experience that includes so much of what makes Australia "iconic". Experience what so few bikers can lay claim to, ride some of the most truly remote tracks on earth, visit endless heritage listed areas and gaze in awe as the sun sets over the "rock". Be humbled by the immensity of the Kimberley's, larger than some European countries, and challenge yourself on the legendary Gibb River Road. This is an epic ride through the heartland of Australia and an accomplishment that will stay with you forever.
This tour will run in 2023 with some modifications making it a Grade 3 ride. Contact us to express your interest and receive a notification when tour dates and prices are available.
Dates & Prices
At a Glance
- Undarra Lava Tubes
- Cobold Gorge
- Sunset over the Gulf of Carpentaria
- Canoeing through Lawn Hill Gorge
- Remote station camps
- Alice Springs
- Riding the "Dreamtime Trail" to Glen Helen Resort
- Kings Canyon
- Incomparable Uluru
- Conquering the Tanami Desert
- Lake Argyle
- Riding the legendary Gibb River Road
- Home Valley on the Gibb River Road
- Airport Transfers
- Motorcycle rental as per your selection.
- Fuel for clients riding Compass bikes
- Support vehicle with passenger carrying ability
- 27 nights accommodation
- 27 breakfasts
- 23 Lunches
- 13 Dinners
- Services of ride leader and support vehicle driver
- Pre-departure material and route maps
- Access to satellite phone, pay per minute
- Compass Expeditions polo shirt
- Entrances to all national parks mentioned in the itinerary
- Undara Lava Tubes
- Cobold Gorge tour
- Hard times Mine tour
- Min Min Encounter entry
- Uluru National Park entry
- Durack Homestead entry
- International Flights (if required)
- Visas (if required)
- Fuel if riding own bike
- Personal Health/Travel Insurance
- Tips and gratuities
All accommodation is twin or double share, if you would like a single room there will be a single supplement: AU$ 2,350.00
(Please note, you may be required to share a bathroom at least once on this trip).
Our motorcycles are insured and have a damage excess of AU$ 4000, you can reduce the excess by taking advantage of our Excess Reduction Policy: AU$ 25 per day
Cairns to Broome
Joining Day: Your Cairns airport transfer will take you directly to our joining hotel, ready for an early start tomorrow. Today you will meet your crew for your tour briefing and welcome dinner.
Day 1: Leaving the Coral Sea behind we ride the twisties of the Gilles Range as we ascend onto the Atherton Tablelands via the dirt tracks around Lake Tinaroo. We cross the Herberton Range and ride onto the geological phenomenon of the Undara Lava Tubes, the world’s longest lava tubes.
Days 2 & 3: After a guided tour of the lava tubes we continue on to the wonderful Cobold Gorge. We spend two nights here allowing us to spend 3 hours cruising this stunning gorge and enjoying the stunning wild scenery all around this still working station.
Day 4: Another remote riding day as we cross through a vast empty landscape known as the Savannah, before arriving at the prawn capital of Australia, Karumba, on the shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Day 5: Leaving Karumba behind we hit the dirt after Normanton. The ride continues on more dirt from station bore to station bore through a landscape of termite mounds and golden Savannah. We round the day off with our first “Bush Camp” beside the beautiful Gregory River, real Australia!!!
Day 6: Heading off road again we cross the Gregory River, lined with palms and ferns, on our way to the UNESCO listed Riversleigh Fossil site. The afternoon is spent canoeing at the incredibly spectacular Lawn Hill Gorge before riding to our overnight stop at the wonderful Adel’s Grove.
Day 7: We ride south today, initially on dirt, through a spare golden landscape of spinifex and ancient escarpments. Tonight’s destination is “rough and ready” cowboy city known as Mt Isa where we have a chance to visit the extraordinary “Hard Times Mine”.
Day 8: Leaving “the Isa” behind we enter “Channel Country, named for the myriad of channels crisscrossing the landscape and a tough remote sparsely populated south-western corner of Queensland. We overnight at the remote Boulia.
Day 9: The ride turns west today as we hit the dirt of the legendary outback highway known as the Donahue Highway. The track travels through a spare landscape dotted with giant termite mounds and crosses into the NT before our overnight camp at the 6000 square kilometers Tobermorey Station.
Day 10: A day on the dirt as we cross the seemingly endless grass plains and termite mounds of this epic landscape passing landmarks such as Heartbreak Bore & Cockatoo Waterhole. Our overnight camp is again at a working station, this time at Jervois Homestead.
Days 11 & 12: After a number of days riding across an impossibly vast & open “big sky” landscape we will be surprised to see the Harts Mountain Range loom into view. It isn’t long before we hit the pavement and reach Alice Springs for a good earned beverage and to wash off the layers of dust. We have a rest day in “the Alice” allowing us time to visit the wonderful Road Transport Hall of Fame, Royal Flying Doctor base or simply relax by the poolside.
Day 13: Leaving Alice Springs mid morning we arrive at the spectacular Stanley Chasm late morning to catch the most spectacular time of day when the noon day sun briefly illuminates the chasm turning the towering canyon walls a bright red colour. Continuing on through the scenic West MacDonnell Ranges National Park we arrive at our overnight stop of Glen Helen Homestead Lodge mid afternoon allowing us time to visit the stunning Glen Helen Gorge on the Finke River.
Day 14: We ride the dirt of the iconic Mereenie Loop Road today that traverses ancient landscapes of red walled canyons, valleys, red desert sands and spinifex before arriving at the spectacular Kings Canyon in the Watarrka National Park
Days 15 &16: We spend the morning enjoying the “Rim walk” around Kings Canyon before an easy ride through an stunning endless desert landscape before arriving at one of the greatest natural spectacles on earth, Uluru located in the geographical heart of Australia. We spend two nights here allowing us time to visit the “rock” and also the nearby Kata Tjuta, a striking group of domed rock formations 30k west of Uluru.
Day 17: Today takes us, via the pavement, back to Alice Springs stopping en-route at the remote Curtain Springs and Erldunda Roadhouses. We will get great views of Mt Connor, which many people mistake for being Uluru.
Days 18 & 19: We enter the legendary Tanami Desert via the longest “shortcut” in Australia, the Tanami Track, a remote desert ride from the heart of Australia to the renowned Kimberley’s. The nights camping here under an immense carpet of stars surrounded by utter silence will possibly be the highlight of the trip.
Day 20: With the Tanami behind us we enter the vast Kimberley region of Western Australia. It’s a rugged landscape of escapements and stony gorges dotted with tropical waterholes surrounded by tropical forest. We overnight at Halls Creek.
Day 21: Lake Argyle is our destination and is Western Australia's largest and Australia's second largest freshwater man-made reservoir. We stay overnight at the wonderful Lake Argyle Resort and take a short ride up to Sunset Point to watch the sun dip over some absolutely breathtaking scenery.
Days 22 & 23: After vising Durack homestead,its a short ride back to Kununurra. From Kununurra we hit one of Australia’s most iconic rides, the Gibb River Road. Two nights are spent at the outback station of Home Valley. There are two swimming pools to enjoy and activities such as horse riding, natural waterhole swimming, barramundi fishing and a variety of walks to nearby gorges.
Day 24: A wonderful remote ride through the epic landscapes of the Kimberley along the Gibb River Road. Manning Gorge is our destination with a beautiful swimming hole located right next to our campsite.
Day 25: More Gibb River Road dirt riding today until we will have lunch at Tunnel Creek National Park which has one of the Kimberley’s most interesting cave systems before reaching the pavement near Derby
Day 26: Our final ride takes us into Broome, the Kimberley’s western gateway. The white sandy beaches of the Indian Ocean add to the diversity of landscapes and tracks that we have covered in the last amazing month that took in so much of what makes iconic Australia.
Departure day: Spend some time in Broome exploring this amazing destination, or fly home, the choice is yours.
- 27 nights of accommodation.
- 21 nights in 3-4 star hotels and resorts and 6 nights remote camping
- A flexible attitude is needed, as services in these extremely remote regions of Australia may be not what you are accustomed to.
- All accommodation is on a twin share basis. If you are traveling alone we will pair you up with another solo traveler. However, if you prefer single accommodation a single supplement is available: AU$ 2,350.00 (please note that you may be required to share a bathroom at least once on this trip)
- On every day of the tour we include breakfast: 26 Breakfasts
- On mentioned ride days we provide a picnic lunch that we prepare ourselves from our mobile kitchen: 23 Lunches
- We include mentioned dinners in reliable restaurants we have used many times before: 13 Dinners
- You will need to be in Cairns one day prior to start of expedition, for your joining day (a bonus nights accommodation is included)
- All riders must have a valid motorcycle license and at least two years riding experience.
- It is a requirement that all clients have appropriate insurance for this type of expedition.
TRIP EXTENSIONS – AUSTRALIA
Compass Expeditions is based in Australia our HQ is on the western outskirts of Melbourne. We have all ridden and travelled this wide brown land extensively and have a few suggestions of places to see and things to do while you are in the country.
First of all, Australia is big, really big, which means that there is an amazing variety of ride opportunities to ponder.
If after your Compass Expeditions Guided Motorcycle Tour you would like to take in even more of the sights we can arrange Motorcycle Hire, Self Guided Tours and make suggestions as to the best way to use your available time in our enormous back yard.
We are also able to arrange excursions to a plethora of amazing attractions either before you join one of our tours or after.
Here are just a few suggestions, please use the form below to contact us for more information or to see how we can assist with your Australian adventure.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Iconic Great Barrier Reef includes over 900 islands and stretches more than 2,600 kilometers along the coast of Queensland. It is worlds largest reef system and a Mecca for diving, snorkeling, boating and beach lovers.
We can arrange dive trips, resort accommodation and any number of amazing activities. Or we can find you a beach to relax, rest and revitalize on. The choice is yours.
Swimming with Whale Sharks
Exmouth on the remote northern coast of Western Australia is the jumping off point for another incredible reef experience. Ningaloo Reef is not only a world-class diving destination it is also the most accessible place to allow you to swim with the world’s largest sharks.
To experience Whale Sharks up close and in the wild is an experience that you will never forget. The calm majesty and sheer size of these gentle giants will stun you and with the right tour operator you will likely see a number of other amazing sights and sea life including humpback whales, blue whales, manta rays, dolphins, dugongs, turtles, spectacular corals and fish of all shapes and sizes.
The tropical rainforest ecosystem of the Daintree Rainforest is one of the most complex on Earth. It contains 30% of the frog, reptile and marsupial species in Australia, and 90% of Australia’s bat and butterfly species. 7% of bird species in the country can be found in this area. There are also over 12,000 species of insects in the rainforest.
Apart from the astounding biodiversity of this stunning coastal region of far northern Queensland it is also home to some of the countries most beautiful beaches and a delightful place to wind down.
Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park is an enormous, biodiverse nature reserve in Australia’s Northern Territory. With terrain encompassing wetlands, rivers and sandstone escarpments, it’s home to some 2,000 plant species and wildlife from saltwater crocodiles and flatback turtles to an astounding variety of birds. Aboriginal rock paintings, dating to prehistoric times, can be viewed at sites such as Nourlangie, Nanguluwur and Ubirr.
|Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Iconic Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid “Red Centre”. The nearest large town is Alice Springs, 450km away. Uluru is sacred to indigenous Australians and is thought to have started forming around 550 million years ago. It’s within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also includes the 36 red-rock domes of the Kata Tjuta (colloquially “The Olgas”) formation.
The Great Ocean Road
Motorcycling The Great Ocean Road is something of a right of passage for the many riders who come from around the world to cruise around the innumerable tight corners, fast curves and winding sections of this iconic coastal road.
It is a rugged coast, the views are as spectacular as the riding and the beaches some of the most wild and beautiful in Australia.
Some come for the road, some for the bush-land others for the iconic surfing of Bells Beach, Torquay and the massive waves of Port Campbell, whatever the reason, you can’t miss out on The Great Ocean Road.
Compass HQ is located just over an hours ride from the start of this 250km gem, with straight forward access to the coast from our workshop and depot.
TOUR AND EXPEDITION TRAVEL INSURANCE
|At Compass Expeditions we work hard to make sure that your motorcycle tour runs smoothly and safely. Your welfare is of primary concern to us and we know that we cannot control every situation on the road or while you are traveling.
Accidents happen, luggage is lost and tour or flight cancellations can occur, so it is our policy that all participants of Compass Expeditions tours have an appropriate level of travel insurance to cover the unforeseen. This is not only compulsory when joining a Compass Expeditions motorcycle tour, but it makes sense.
|We have sourced a number of companies that will provide you coverage in the event of an accident and/or other losses, depending on the policy selected and better still will give all Compass Expeditions customers a 10% discount off the advertised rates when purchasing through the our website, (this offer is not available over the phone). Compass Expeditions does not endorse, recommend or guarantee payment in the event of a claim from any of the insurers mentioned. We do know that they will offer a policy for clients riding a motorcycle OVER 250cc (including our bikes). This is a critical point to ensure when purchasing a policy. Compass Expeditions are offering this information as a service only to ensure all our clients are properly protected.|
Travel Cover for Australians:
We don't have any testimonials for the Iconic Australia Motorcycle Tour, just yet, as we will be running the first, 26 day, tour of this amazing country in July 2017However, if you would like to read what past guests of our other outback experiences have to say about touring in Northern Australia with Compass expeditions have a look at the testimonial tabs on the Australia Encompassed and The Savannah Way.