Queensland & Northern Territory: Tropical north Queensland to the red centre of Australia
Cairns’ tropical coastline with the internationally renown Great Barrier Reef and the dusty expanses of the Red Centre might be two of Australia’s most iconic attractions, but very few ever make the journey between them by road. Leaving the tropical splendour of Cairns and the scenic Atherton Tableland behind us we hit the tracks west to experience a genuine Outback culture and amazing, rarely seen, landscapes at such little-known outposts as Cobold Gorge, Adels Grove, Boulia and Tobermorey Station. Rounding off this extraordinary ride in the geographical centre of Australia at "The Alice".
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
- Tropical city of Cairns
- Undara Lava Tubes
- Cobold Gorge
- Sunset over the Gulf of Carpentaria at Karumba
- Amazing Gulf Savannah landscapes toward Gregory River
- Lawn Hill National Park
- Mt Isa and the "Hard Times" mine tour
- Super remote Tobermorey Station
- Alice Springs
- Airport Transfers
- Motorcycle rental as per your selection.
- Fuel for clients riding Compass bikes
- 12 nights accommodation
- 12 breakfasts
- 11 Lunches
- 7 Dinners
- Support vehicle with passenger carrying ability
- 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
- 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$ 1,090.00
(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
Day 1: 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 2: We ride the wonderful twisties of the Gilles Range as we ascend onto the fertile Atherton Tablelands. We cross the Herberton Range and ride onto the geological phenomenon of the Undara Lava Tubes.
Day 3 & 4:After a guided tour of the lava tubes we continue on and cross the remote, rarely visited Rope Walk Ranges onto the spectacular Cobold Gorge. We spend two nights here allowing us to spend 3 hours cruising this stunning gorge and riding around this superb Gulf Savannah location.
Day 5: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 6:Leaving Karumba behind we hit the dirt after Normanton.The ride continues from bore, (waterholes) to bore through a landscape of termite mounds and golden Savannah. We see the day out at the tiny outback community of Gregory Downs!!
Day 7: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 overnighting in the wonderful community of Adel's Grove
Day 8:We ride south today, initially on dirt, through a golden landscape of spinifex and ancient escarpments before reaching the quintessential "Aussie" outback town of Mt Isa
Day 9: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.
Day 10:The ride veers west today as we hit the dirt of the legendary outback track 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 kilometer Tobermorey Station.
Day 11:View spectacular desert scenery as we ride through some of the most remote country in the world! Crossing from Queensland into the Northern Territory we continue onto the wonderfully remote Jervois Homestead, our overnight stop.
Day 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 and celebrate the end of our epic ride from the Barrier Reef to the red centre of Australia.
Departure day: Spend some time in Alice Springs or fly home, the choice is yours.
- 12 nights of accommodation.
- 9 nights in 3-4 star hotels and resorts and 3 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$ 1,090.00 (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: 12 Breakfasts
- On mentioned ride days we provide a picnic lunch that we prepare ourselves from our mobile kitchen: 11 Lunches
- We include mentioned dinners in reliable restaurants we have used many times before: 7 Dinners
- 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. 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.
World Nomad travel insurance policies provide cover for clients located in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, Asia and the US. Please click on link to be directed to their website to obtain your quote.
Travel Cover for Australians:
We don't have any testimonials for the Reef to Red Centre Motorcycle Tour, just yet, as we will be running the first, 12 day tour of this amazing country in July 2019.However, 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.