Easy Riding Down Under: Things to Consider

Riding the highways of Australia is a special treat. Its spectacular coastline and epic inland countryside are practically tailor-made for road tripping and easy riding down under. While the cycling culture is well developed in the Land Down Under, this is by no means a feasible method of covering great distances.

On the other hand, encasing yourself in a tin can of a car can turn the experience into wondrous landscape watching, but with an inescapable feeling of a placebo effect. There is nothing quite like riding a motorcycle on the asphalt that cuts through lush rainforests and epic desserts. If this is something that interests you, here are some things to consider about easy riding down under.

Cat Watson on a Harley in Broken Hill, Easy Riding Down Under
Cat Watson on a Harley in Broken Hill: Photo on Flickr by Steven Florence / CC BY 2.0

Easy Riding Down Under

Australian weather and easy riding

Climate-wise, the Australian continent can be divided into the northern and the southern climate zones. They should be approached differently, according to the extent of your Australian road trip and general time of year you’ve decided to visit.

If you enjoy a climate that is very similar to the Mediterranean; then you should start by motorcycling across Southern Australia. Summers are dry and warm while the winters are cool and wet. By all accounts it’s business as usual; just make sure to avoid confusion if you are from the northern hemisphere – in Australia, seasons are inverted.

Summer months are December through February whilst the coldest months come in June and last throughout August. For an easy riding cyclist, the best time to visit Southern Australia is during the spring months – September through November. Snowy Mountains and the Victorian Alps are especially lovely for motorcycling at this time of the year.

If you want to visit the northern part of the continent, it’s warm throughout the year; but possibly the most inopportune time to go cycling is during summer (which lasts from November to April), because it turns into the wet season. Humidity ramps up and hurricanes are not uncommon; so it’s practically fine if you decide to go cycling across these territories any time but during summer.

Preparation and gear

Before you prepare a detailed list of minutia; you have to take care of a few crucial items before embarking on the easy riding down under. The bike license, passport and visa should be neatly wrapped and zipped into a well-protected package along with bookings, credit cards and cash.  Also, make sure you have a proper health and travel insurance.

As far as packing goes, don’t overstuff your bike with things you don’t need – the more you pack the heavier it will get, which increases the probability of malfunctions and accidents. Even though you’ll hardly see any surprises when it comes to the climate, make sure you have the best possible clothing and apparel (as the Alpinestars gear, for instance) for increased safety in any weather.

Since you’ll be covering great distances, you’ll have to carry a lot of water. In order to avoid drinking from overheated plastic bottles; you should purchase a portable fridge that can be easily attached to your bike. This, of course, goes along with the fact that you have to balance all these necessary things with camping equipment, as well as tools and gear for motorcycle maintenance. This is why it is so important to bring along a credit card and cash; in order to keep things manageable. You’ll have to deal with the logistics of what to bring along and what to purchase along the way.

Yamaha FZ6 at Mt Sturgeon, Grampians, Victoria, easy riding down under
Yamaha FZ6 at Mt Sturgeon, Grampians, Victoria: Photo Holiday Point / CC BY 2.0

Accommodations under the starry skies

If you are a free-roaming easy rider, chances are you’ll have a lot more flexibility on your journey if you just stick a GPS on your bike and sleep in the designated camping spots across the country. Since we are talking about Australia, you are in luck when it comes to campsites because national parks and tourist hotspots are filled with them, and they are always brimming with people from different backgrounds and parts of the world.

Animals, insects and other hindrances

Australian wildlife is endemic, rich and sometimes quite dangerous. One of the biggest hindrances on your easy riding journey can be summed up in one word – insects. This is why it is so crucial to wear a helmet and glasses and bring a reliable insect repellant along. As far as dangerous animals go, don’t believe urban myths about Australia. Chances you’ll come across dangerous amphibians on the road are slim to none; but they are within the realm of possibility.

If you are walking through territory known for snake sightings, just drag your feet loudly across the ground and they’ll slither away – since they actually don’t want trouble. Don’t leave your shoes out in the open to avoid any uncomfortable spidery surprises. Finally, always be on a lookout for warning signs of crocodiles. If you are visiting northern regions during the wet season, avoid swimming in the shallows because of the jellyfish presence.

Darting across the Australian continent on a motorcycle is a good way to see a little bit of everything this incredible continent has to offer. With a few suggested tips and things to consider above; you should be well set to start the practical aspect of your preparation for an adventure of a lifetime. This advice might be basic, but it’s a good starting point for further research and solid preparation.

About Lillian Connors

Lillian is an avid traveler and a passionate writer within this niche. She enjoys sharing her insights with others sharing a travel bug.

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