Motorcycle Travel Guide: Australia

Welcome to the Australia Motorcycle Travel Guide. This detailed article for adventure bike riders explains everything you need to know about riding in Australia on a motorcycle. 

Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

Contents

Picture of By Yan and Aga

By Yan and Aga

Round the world travellers aka Far Way Out

Motorcycle Travel Australia

Why you’ll love Australia

Despite being the world’s smallest continent, Australia (aka ‘Oz’ or the ‘land down under’) is still diverse enough to provide a huge variety of breath-taking landscapes and adventurous roads. No matter what type of bike you ride, you’ll love riding here, whether it’s battling through the hot, wild and untamed outback, exploring the lush, dense rainforests or cruising along spectacular golden coastlines.

Australia offers unrivalled adventure riding experiences. The variety of the country’s scenery and its immense size will blow you away. Even after spending five years living in Melbourne, we didn’t actually realise just how much this country has to offer until we left on our Australia motorcycle tour. Off-road options are absolutely amazing and you will definitely find a track or two to challenge yourself whether you’re riding through the vast emptiness or the Great Dividing Range, you’re going to love it!

This guide’s job is to help you get out there and ride in Australia. While these motorcycle travel guides on Mad or Nomad are geared towards overland motorcycle travellers, you’ll find plenty of useful info on riding in Australia whether you’re shipping your bike in or flying in to rent or join a bike tour. Here’s everything you need to know about motorcycle travel in Australia!

Paperwork

Visas

You must apply for a visa before travelling to Australia, with the exception of New Zealanders, who can do so on arrival.

To find out what kind of visa you need and all the conditions, check this official government website.

It’s most likely you will want a tourist (visitor) visa, eVisa or Electronic Travel Authorisation and depending on how long you’re planning to stay, there are several options (3,6, or 12 months). You can read about all visa types here.

A Working Holiday visa for people between 18 to 30 (included) and from eligible countries is also a popular option. It costs AUD 510 and allows you to stay and work in Australia for 12 months (with the possibility of an extension under specific conditions).

Make sure you have your visa and passport in place before travelling to Australia.

Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

Motorcycle insurance

All vehicles travelling on Australian roads need to be covered by Compulsory Third Party Insurance. In some states, this insurance is included in your registration fees. However, registration for temporary imports is not always required (depends on state). In this case you will need to find an insurance company to issue it. Allianz, Swann (made successful claims with them many times), AAMI are good examples.

It’s a good idea to get the insurance document from the state in which your motorcycle is being shipped to. For example, if you are shipping into Melbourne, then contact vicroads.gov.au for your insurance.

Personal travel insurance

While this is not a requirement, it is exceptionally important for any motorcycle traveller. Make sure you have full insurance in place before you travel to cover you while riding a motorcycle. Make sure the policy covers you to ride the capacity of motorcycle you have and as your main form of transport (some policies say they cover bikes, but not if you’re using it every day). You will also need to make sure it covers you to ride off-road or purchase this as an add-on. The below guide is packed with info to help you check your insurance.  

READ MORE: Motorcycle Travel Insurance Explained

Temporary import / Carnet

It is highly recommended to have Carnet de Passage for importing your motorcycle to Australia. If you want to import your bike without a CPD, you need to obtain a Vehicle Import Approval (VIA) from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts. For temporary imports, you can find more information here.

Your carnet must be valid for the duration of your bike’s stay in Australia. You may be able to extend your carnet by contacting the Australian Automobile Association. You’ll find more info on how to extend on the AAA’s website. 

READ MORE: Carnet de Passage Explained

Extra paperwork requirements

The procedure for importing your motorcycle into Australia can be quite complicated and the biosecurity requirements are very strict. Your bike needs to be absolutely spotless! You’ll find more info on this in the shipping section below.

Permits may be needed to access some remote areas of the country. Many National Parks require an entry permit.

Australia is a federation which means some laws and regulations vary from state to state. Be aware of this especially when importing your vehicle and figuring out things like vehicle insurance or when checking health regulations. At some point, during the Covid-19 pandemic each state had different entry rules for example.

Vignette

Most of the roads in Australia are toll-free. There are only a few roads around big cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane that have tolls, but these are well-indicated and can be easily avoided. You can find a list of toll roads here. All tolls are electronic (no cash payments). You can pay the toll before or after travelling on this website

Health

As of June 2023 there are no border restrictions regarding Covid-19, and you don’t need to show any negative tests or proof of vaccination. Standard vaccines are recommended. For more details you can check this page.

READ MORE: Motorcycle Travel Paperwork Explained

Getting in and out of Australia with a motorcycle

The most likely scenario for yours and your bike’s arrival to Australia is this: you catch a plane while your motorcycle arrives in one of the bigger Australian cities on a ship. You can either use a regular cargo ship or a RoRo service.

Shipping a bike on a plane is also possible, but usually crazy expensive. Sea freight takes a lot more time, but is an easy (and cheaper) option for long distance motorcycle travellers.

Australia Motorcycle Travel Shipping

Shipping a motorcycle to Australia

Shipping anywhere in the world is a pain and Australia is no different – plus you have the added difficulty of quarantine and inspection because of biosecurity hazards. This means your motorcycle must be absolutely spotless (seriously clean) before shipping to Oz. But that doesn’t mean you should be put off shipping your motorcycle to Australia. It’s not a difficult process once you’ve got your head around it.

To help, check out the dedicated guide below which explains in detail the procedure.

READ MORE: How to Ship a Motorcycle to Australia

RoRo ferry to Australia

Alternatively, a popular route for overland travellers is to travel to Australia via East Timor and that involves getting a RoRo ferry. One of the companies running this service is ANL. You can check the schedule and prices on their website.

The company also operates from other cities in Australia (Port Headland and Dampier) from which you can ship bikes to Singapore.

Buying a motorcycle in Australia versus shipping your own bike

If you are not a paperwork person and want to avoid importing your own motorcycle, you may find it far more viable (and much less of a headache) to simply buy a bike in Australia. It’s quite easy to do as a tourist. All you really need is your licence, an address where you can receive some documents and register your bike, phone number as well as a roadworthy certificate. Here you can read a little bit more about how to buy a vehicle in Australia (not bike specific, but still helpful for understanding the process).

You can usually find good deals for fully kitted second-hand motorcycles on websites like: gumtree.com.au and bikesales.com.au.

Make sure you get proper registration papers (Rego Guide for backpackers here) and roadworthy certificate when buying a bike.

One disadvantage of buying locally is that the motorcycle may not be set up exactly as you want it. If you’re planning a longer stay in Australia, you may need to modify it to make the bike more suitable for you and your riding style. This can cost additional money if you’re not a DIY person.

Also, if you’re planning on later selling the bike it’s much easier to do in the state where the bike is registered. You can sell interstate but it may require some additional paperwork.

We purchased two Suzuki DR650s in Australia. Here’s our review and how we modified them.

READ MORE: Suzuki DR650 Review

Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

Renting a motorcycle or joining a tour

Another option is to simply fly in and rent a motorcycle or join an organised tour in Australia. There are some fantastic companies based throughout the country – including companies based in Tasmania. 

This is by far the easiest option for riding in Oz as it does away with the headache of importing a bike and the paperwork that comes with that. If you’re interested in renting or joining a tour, check out the Mad or Nomad recommended companies in the link below. 

READ MORE: Recommended Rental and Tour Companies in Australia

When to motorcycle travel in Australia

Australia is “Down Under” which means seasons are reversed here. December, January and February are summer. June, July and August are winter.

Australia is huge and has lots of different climates. Overall, the best time is spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May), this way you can avoid crowds, but also unpleasantly hot weather.

However, the north of Australia is slightly different because of its tropical and sub-tropical climate. The north has two seasons: dry and wet. You should aim for the dry season between May and September. Between the end of September and April the wet season and extremely high temperatures make riding bikes challenging and many roads are closed due to floods.

Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

Australia weather overview by state

Tasmania: Between November and February. December and January tend to be quite popular with holidaymakers, so may be harder to find camping spots or other accommodation. It rains a lot in Tassie, so plan well.

Victoria: March to May or September to November. December and January are fine too but can be hot and crowded.

New South Wales: September to November or March to May. Cooler weather and less crowded.

South Australia: March to May or September to November. Avoid the Outback in hotter months if you can.

Western Australia: Western Oz is a huge state, so we’ll split it.

North of Western Australia: Dry season from April to September (although even September may be too hot).

South of Western Australia: The summer months from December to February. The shoulder seasons of spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) can also be a good time to visit the south, with milder temperatures and fewer crowds.

Queensland: April to September. For Cape York, try to aim for the dry season from May to September to avoid floods and mud.

Northern Territory: May to September. During the wet season from November to April some roads and attractions can be inaccessible.

Accommodation and costs

Hostels

There are plenty of hostels available in bigger cities, and the cost ranges from AUD 20-30 per night for a dorm room. You may want to avoid hostels in cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane if you value a good night’s sleep and want to avoid the late-night parties.

Hotels

Budget hotel rooms range from AUD 70-100. The prices will vary depending on the location and time of year. Booking.com is a good website for finding accommodation in towns and cities. It’s always recommended to book in advance, especially in bigger cities and popular tourist spots.

AirBnB

AirBnB is also a good option, although a pricier one. However, with some luck, you may be able to find some good deals. Booking in advance helps and it often makes a difference if you’re travelling with other people to help bring costs down.

Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

Motorcycle camping in Australia

We camped for most of our tour around Australia. This included both paid, free and bush camping. Officially, wild camping (bush camping) is not allowed in Australia, but it is tolerated, especially in remote areas.

Prices for camping vary significantly depending on the location, but on average it’s about AUD 15-20 per person/night for a paid site. We found some of the paid campsites/caravan parks ridiculously expensive. There are no special prices for motorbikes/small tents.

Usually, you pay per site (powered/unpowered) or per person, and it doesn’t matter if you have just a small tent, a van, or a huge spaceship.

We highly recommend downloading the WikiCamps app, where you can find lots of different camping spots, with the latest updates and reviews. You will also be able to find plenty of free spots to camp with this app. We used it all the time and always managed to find an acceptable camping spot. The app also shows wild camping spots that people used before. This way you can be sure you’re not camping where you’re not supposed to. The iOverlander app also works in case WikiCamps fails.

Camping in National Parks is usually only allowed in designated spots (unless stated otherwise) and often requires booking ahead. Some National Parks also charge an entry fee per vehicle in addition to the camping fee, so make sure to check beforehand.

Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

Fuel

As of January 2023, the average price for unleaded petrol was AUD 183.6 cents per litre. Depending on the state and location prices may vary. In the outback, fuel prices can go up significantly over AUD 2 per litre. We used an app to keep track of the best fuel prices in the area. You’ll find a few of these apps online. 

If you’re heading into the outback, it’s wise to calculate for and carry extra fuel. There’s a number of ways you can do this like adding an auxiliary tank, spare fuel cannisters or fuel bladders. Check out the equipment reviews section for some examples. 

READ MORE: Motorcycle Equipment Reviews

Food

Eating out in Australia can quickly become quite expensive, especially in the main cities. The average cost of a restaurant meal for one person in a mid-range restaurant is around $20-$35. You may be able to find cheaper joints, but it will rarely be less than $10. In the outback, food choices at roadhouses are quite limited and quite expensive for what you get. Burger and fires are the most common option.

We cooked most of our food while we were travelling, trying to buy what we needed from bigger supermarkets like Coles or Woolworths as they are usually cheaper.

Again, there are towns and places in remote parts of Australia where grocery shops have a limited amount of products and steep prices. Fruits and vegetables can quickly become an expensive luxury in the outback.

To give you an idea of food costs, here’s a short list of some of the products we carried with us and their average prices in AUD:

  • Oats (750g): $2-5
  • Peanut butter jar (500g): $4-$8
  • Toast Bread (sliced loaf): $3-$5
  • Muesli bars (6-pack): $3-$6
  • Rice (500g): $1-$3
  • Pasta (500g): $1-$3
  • Pasta sauce (jar): $2-$5
  • Tuna can (95g): $2-$3
  • Tuna salad (pre-made, single serve): $3-$5
  • Soup to heat up (400g): $2-$4
  • Curry sauce with beans (packet): $3-$5
  • Kidney beans (400g can): $1-$2
  • Chickpeas (400g can): $1-$2
  • Canned chicken (single serve): $1-$2
  • Walnuts (raw, 1kg): $20-$30
  • Dried apricots (1kg): $8-$12

Safety, security and health for motorcycle travellers in Australia

The elements

Australia is a beautiful country, but a huge amount of the country is uninhabitable. That means there’s no people there – or services such as fuel, food and water. The climate can turn very dangerous very quickly if anything goes wrong. The heat can be lethal if you break down in the middle of nowhere, so can quickly running out of water, and also getting help if you have a crash.

You must be smart about travelling in the outback and that involves being prepared. Let people know where you’re going and check in. Figure out your routes carefully. Don’t ride beyond your skills. Ensure you have enough petrol to get to the next station and the same goes for food and water. Consider carrying an emergency satellite communicator and make sure you have travel insurance in place.

If you’re planning on heading to very remote areas, then try to Google or ask about the current track conditions. Depending on the time of year, tracks in remote regions can change rapidly based on the number of cars and trucks passing, the severity of the wet season and grading schedule etc.

Also, if you’re asking an Australian adventure rider and they say: “all good mate, some sand and that’s it – you’ll be alright!”, take it with a pinch of salt. We often forget that many Australians have been riding dirt bikes since they were kids and nothing is too hard for them when it comes to off-roading!

READ MORE: 

Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

Theft

Australia is a safe country, but as with travelling anywhere, always use common sense. Don’t leave valuables on your motorcycle, and properly secure your bike when you leave it – especially in larger cities.

We lived in Melbourne for five years and had two motorbikes stolen despite securing them properly. Might have been just bad luck, but it’s better to be safe than sorry so take the time to lock it properly and cover it up.

Sadly, areas where many Aboriginal people live (especially in the far north) are infamous for petty thefts, and we’ve been told many times to secure our bikes and possessions carefully when in those areas.

READ MORE: How to Keep Your Motorcycle Safe

Wildlife when motorcycle travelling in Australia

Animals are a big concern for a lot of people planning a motorcycle trip in Australia. And no doubt you’ve heard a lot of horror stories. Well, the good news is that it’s nowhere near as bad as you might think.

Snakes and spiders

Yes, there are some snake and spider species that are highly venomous, but it’s rare to get bitten by them. You just need to take precautionary measures and you should be fine. However, if you are bitten by any snake or spider, immediately call the emergency services. Here’s some advice:

  • Don’t leave your tent open overnight, be sure to zip and unzip it every time you get in and out.
  • Don’t leave your motorcycle boots outside of your tent overnight either. Check inside your boots before putting them on, a simple shake won’t do as creepy crawlies can stick inside.
  • Close all your bags overnight and keep everything packed away.
  • When walking through brush and grass, make noise as snakes are typically scared of humans and will slither away once they sense the vibrations of your footsteps.
Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

Kangaroos

The biggest wild animal danger for motorcyclists are actually kangaroos, cows, emus, wallabies and wombats.

These animals have absolutely no self-preservation instinct and are convinced of their road priority. You must be extra vigilant, pay attention to all road signs warning of animals ahead and never ride at night, dusk or dawn as that’s when kangaroos are out and about.

Even when riding in broad daylight, we had a wallaby run across the road and hit the side of the bike. We got lucky and didn’t fall (wallabies are quite small), but it could have been much worse.

If you see a kangaroo, wallaby or other animal on the side of the road or even up ahead, slow right down, they may for the last second before jumping out in front of you. They may even hop alongside you which might feel pretty cool, but at any second and without warning they’ll turn into the ride and hop right into you.

By far the closest animal “attack” we had while travelling Australia was a hungry possum making its way through our tent door to eat some bread that we left inside. All that meant was we had a hole in our door and no bread for breakfast.

Australia Motorcycle Travel Wallaby

Police and laws

Obviously, wearing a motorcycle helmet is a must. After that, each state has a few small differences in their rules.

Lane filtering is allowed if you don’t go faster than 30 km/h and the two lines are stopped or moving very slowly. Some states don’t allow filtering between the roadside (where people walk) and cars.

Victoria is the only state that allows you to park your motorcycle on footpaths (aka for free) with some expectations. Please make sure to follow the rules, so that we don’t lose this privilege.

To ride on the road your bike needs to be “roadworthy”, so for example, enduro bikes with modified exhausts, without indicators etc. are not allowed on main roads.

You must follow the rules of each state, abide by their traffic laws and ensure your motorcycle is legal to be on the roads.

Riding conditions

Paved roads

You can ride around the entirety of Australia using only paved roads if you wish. They are in good condition and there are some absolutely brilliant asphalt routes such as twisty roads through the Great Dividing mountain ranges and the southern coast.

Off-road

There are lots of off-road opportunities in Australia for all levels. You’ll find millions of routes and options throughout the country. One of the best things about the off-roading in Australia is that you can reach many beautiful and very remote spots that aren’t accessible by main roads. But, you’ll have to be prepared to eat a lot of dust and have your bones rattled. Expect a lot of corrugation, sand and bulldust.

We recommend getting a map (Hema are good in Australia) with different off-road routes and researching them beforehand to make sure that they are open and adequate to your skills.

Facebook is another great resource for riding in Australia. There are some fantastic Facebook groups out there with lots of information on particular roads and regions with the latest updates on road conditions.

Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

Off-roading and the law

You are legally allowed to ride off-road in Australia. You can ride off-road on most public land in Australia, but in National Parks you can only ride on designated roads. You will need permission to ride on private land, unless otherwise stated.

Road rules

  • We drive on the left in Australia.
  • Watch out for road trains (super long tracks anywhere from 36 to 50m long). They make a lot of wind when they pass, if you’re slower than them, let them pass and watch out when overtaking them.
  • On the unpaved roads, people seem to have a different attitude. Big cars and caravans will sometimes go past you super quickly and cover you in a huge dust cloud restricting your vision. Watch out.
  • On both paved and unpaved roads watch out for wildlife.
  • Don’t disregard “Road Hazard” signs especially on unpaved roads.
  • If you’re passing any closed gates, make sure to leave them as you found them.

The best motorcycle routes in Australia

Australia is HUGE and has a lot of amazing roads (both paved and unpaved). Here are our absolute favourites routes after 33,000kms exploring the entire country.

Western Australia: Gibb River Road

Gibb River Road in the far north of Western Australia is considered a must by many adventure bike riders. Remote, dusty and corrugated, it takes you through amazing wild landscapes and gives you a chance to swim in unspoiled gorges. You can also make a detour and visit Mitchell Falls, but it’s a whole other adventure. Distance without detours: 660km.

Queensland: Cape York aka The Tip

Cape York aka The Tip is another bucket list adventure for many Australians is the trip to the Tip (the northernmost point of continental Australia). You have the option to follow an easier (but still unpaved and corrugated) Peninsula Development Road, or go on a riskier adventure and take the infamous Old Telegraph Track. Along the way you can also make several detours to see waterfalls and remote beaches along the peninsula. Just watch your fuel! Distance from Cairns and back: about 2060km (without detours).

Queensland – Northern Territory – Western Australia: Savannah Way

Savannah Way is another famous one among Australians. This road stretches along three states and passes through some of the most breathtaking wonders of northern Australia. You can make a lot of detours to reach more remote areas and you can also choose if you want to ride on paved or unpaved roads. (But let’s be honest, some of the most beautiful spots are at the end of dusty roads). Distance without detours: 3400km.

Victoria: Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is a classic holiday and weekend trip for lots of Melbournians. This coastal road is fully paved with a good amount of sharp turns and bends to feel the adrenaline rush. Plus, in good weather the views are amazing. Don’t forget to make a small detour to Cape Otway. Maybe you’ll get lucky and spot some koalas! Distance without detours: 150km.

Tasmania: Western Explorer

The Western Explorer in Tasmania may be small, but is full of little roads waiting for your adventuring wheels. One of our favourites is the Western Explorer road on the west of the island. It connects the towns of Arthur River in the north and Zeehan in the south. Passing through seemingly unending button grass plains and temperate rainforests, the road allows you to experience the remoteness and beauty of the Tasmanian West Coast. Distance: 150km.

Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

More great riding roads and regions 

Here’s a selection of other great adventure riding routes throughout Australia for you to add to your itinerary.

Victoria: High Country
Yes, there are mountains in Australia, and you can admire them by taking the Great Alpine Road. There are also some off-road tracks in the area if you want to test your skills.

Western Australia: South-West 
We wish we had more time to explore this region, but it has some amazing coastal and forest roads. It was a big change from the dusty and empty north.

South Australia: Ikara-Flinders Ranges
We didn’t have much time to explore South Australia this time, but if there is one thing that we can recommend, it’s staying and riding around this National Park for a few days.

South Australia: Oodnadatta Track
Another famous off-road track in Australia. We haven’t ridden it but it’s well known.

Queensland – Northern Territory – Western Australia: Outback Way
Great Central Way aka Australia’s Longest Shortcut.

The Desert: The Simpson Desert Crossing
The Simpson Desert Crossing is probably one of the most extreme adventures you can get in Australia. Ready to eat some sand and ride over a thousand dunes?

Western Australia: The Canning Stock Route
The Stock Route is the longest historic stock route in the world and another extreme Australian adventure. You may need a support vehicle to carry water and fuel for this one.

Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

Motorcycle travel in Tasmania

Tasmania is an absolute must for any adventure rider – especially for Australians. It’s an incredible island off the south coast of mainland Australia. There are dedicated and packed guides explaining everything you need to know about getting there, riding there and the best routes on this website so we won’t go into more detail here. Here’s the links:

READ MORE:

Motorcycle Travel Tasmania

Motorcycle riding gear for Australia

When it comes to riding gear, it’s important to keep in mind the various terrains and climates in Australia. If you plan on spending a lot of time riding around the country, you’ll want gear that can handle anything the weather can throw at you from extremely hot temperatures to heavy rain and cold winds. Additionally, the intense UV rays in Australia mean you’ll need gear that offers proper sun protection to avoid permanent skin or eye damage too.

While it’s possible to stick to paved roads throughout Australia, there are also many places that can only be accessed by unpaved, gravely, muddy, or sandy roads. For these situations, you’ll want some off-road gear.

Here are a few recommendations for versatile gear able to handle different terrains and climates in Australia.

Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

Jacket

Layered approach

A well-ventilated armoured jacket or shirt such as the ones from Knox. Always wear a long-sleeve shirt underneath to protect your skin from the sun and trap moisture when you sweat.

And for water protection, a waterproof over-jacket with ventilation to wear over your armoured shirt. Ideally, it should be breathable and easy to store during hot and dry parts of the journey. Good examples of this are the Klim Raptor or Mosko Moto Basilisk jacket, or an oversized waterproof hiking jacket as long as the shirt underneath is abrasion-resistant.

All-around approach

An all-around adventure jacket can also work, but it may not be as breathable and could be heavier for off-road parts of the journey. Examples of these are the Klim Badlands, Revit Defender, or Klim Artemis for women.

Trousers

Well ventilated pants or some sort of MX pants (Klim Dakar or Mojave) are a good option, but these are often mesh, and so not super waterproof. We opted for classic adventure pants that have enough vents to keep us cool, but can also provide enough cover from cold and rain. They are nothing fancy, but do the did the job.

Speaking of legs, we also needed the pants to fit our leg protectors. Don’t overlook this critical part of your gear setup since this is where most of the injuries can happen. We’ve read many articles about adv riders putting their trips on hold because of foot or knee injuries. Yeah, you can recover from those, but isn’t it better to prevent it? Especially, when you know you’ll be riding a heavily loaded bike in off-road conditions.

After many debates, and considering the pros and cons we invested in proper knee braces (Leatt C-Frame) for the Australian trip. They are expensive and not needed in all conditions, but we felt that they did save us an injury a few times. They are sometimes a nuisance, but you get used it and won’t even notice it after a few days.

Helmet

A well-ventilated helmet is an absolute must! Most modern adventure helmets will do the job. Examples are the Arai X4 or Klim Krios. Take a look at the best adventure bike helmets guide for a great selection of riding lids.

Boots

For boots we opted for MX boots with an enduro sole. They may not be the most comfortable, but again, you’ll get used to it and your feet will thank you later. Aga tested her Alpinestars Tech7 when she had a high-speed fall on a sandy road. She fell from the bike and the bike fell on her foot. She (only) broke one of her toes, much to the surprise of the doctors. Now imagine if she hadn’t been wearing those MX boots…

While it’s rare to find MX boots that are waterproof, you can invest in waterproof socks to wear when it’s going to rain or when crossing rivers like Seal Skinz.

Your choice

Ultimately, what motorcycle gear you wear for your ride in Australia is down to personal choice and what you feel comfortable and protected in. Just consider the conditions and the amount of off-roading you’ll be doing when weighing up your choices.

For more info on riding gear and to help you pick the right stuff for your trip, have a read through the below guides.

READ MORE: Adventure Riding Gear Guides

Top tips

  • The sun in Australia can be very deadly, even when it’s not extremely hot. The UV index in Australia is one of the highest in the world. So don’t leave your skin uncovered, wear a hat, sunglasses, and don’t forget your sunscreen!
  • Remember the slip, slap, slop approach. It’s what Australian kids learn at school, but what Australia fails to teach the tourists.
  • You can download an app to check what the UV level is in your current area.
  • In the outback, carry plenty of drinking water and sunscreen, as temperatures can be high during the day. And when we say plenty of drinking water, we mean like 5 to 7 litres per day per person. Yup, you read that right. Outback weather is no joke, and you also need to think about emergencies.
  • Also make sure to check where the next gas station is and plan accordingly, as petrol stations can be few and far between in some areas.
  • Bring an emergency beacon if you’re heading to remote parts of the country and know how to use it in case of an emergency. You can find more info on these here: Emergency Satellite Devices Explained.
  • It’s definitely worth having mobile data when riding through Australia for checking your map, weather, fuel and campsites. An easy way to get this in advance of your arrival into the country is to use an eSIM. Check out Airalo for more info.
  • Ask about road conditions if you plan on driving in remote areas, as water crossings and recent grading of roads can greatly affect driving conditions.
  • Take insect repellent and appropriate clothing for protection against insects and the sun.
  • Do NOT swim in rivers or in the ocean in the north part of the country. Don’t disregard the signs about salties (salt water crocodiles) and jelly fish.
  • Watch out for wildlife on the road and for spiders or other insects in your bags, shoes and tent.
  • And enjoy the adventure!
Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

About the authors

Yan Giovannoni and Aga Macura are a Swiss-Polish couple motorcycling around the world. Yan made his first overland journey in 2012 at the age of 25 – only 3 months after obtaining his riding licence. He rode his second-hand 1993 Honda Africa Twin from Spain to Japan through the Siberian forests and Mongolian steppe. After one year of living and working in Japan, he continued his trip and rode around South Korea, where he met Aga. In 2021, they rode over 33,0000km around Australia.

Follow their awesome round the world journey here: 

Yan and Aga bought and used a DR650 to ride around Australia, you can read their comprehensive review here: Suzuki DR650 Review

Motorcycle Travel Guide Australia

Read more on motorcycle travel in Australia

Thanks for checking out The Australia Motorcycle Travel guide. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on motorcycle adventure travel in Australia that we recommend you read next. 

ps. We may receive a small commission, at absolutely no cost to you, if you purchase any products using the links on this page. We’re not sponsored by anyone, are completely impartial and don’t run ads. So this helps us keep the site running. Thank you for your support.

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Are you planning a motorcycle trip in Australia? Do you have any questions, tips or suggestions? Let us know in the comments below. 

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