Melbourne to CairnsGot a month or so to spare? This is what you should be spending it doing! This motorbike tour encompasses the absolute best of Melbourne and its surrounds, including the epic Great Ocean Road! Ride through the incredible Snowy Mountains and Victoria Highlands to the cultural hub of Sydney, experience the vibrant Sunshine Coast, visit the world renowned Great Barrier Reef and end on a high in tropical northern Queensland.
Melbourne to Cairns Self Guided Motorcycle Tour
A month that will be remembered for a lifetime. This motorcycle trip combines the ultimate Australian east coast bike tour, with some of the most spectacular highlights of Victoria and southern New South Wales. Ride along the world famous Great Ocean Road, up through the Grampians National Park and into the highlands of Victoria. Sweep through the majestic Snowy Mountains and through to the cultural hub of Sydney.
Experience the sophistication and history of Australia's most famous wine producing region, ride through some truly superb high country, lounge on a selection of the greatest beaches on the planet, marvel at the Great Barrier Reef and explore the oldest rainforest in the world, before ending in the tropical paradise that is Cairns.
A bustling, cosmopolitan city with loads to see and do. The 'Cultural Capital of Australia' will do its very best to make you feel welcome. Plenty of superb restaurants offering great meals, shopping, parks and an easy to use tram system make touring the city a breeze. A brilliant place to set out on this amazing motorcycle tour to Cairns.
The Great Ocean Road
Famous as one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world, words can't describe the wonderful scenery and amazing riding on this 280km stretch of road on the fringes of Melbourne, but we'll try anyway.
As soon as your wheels hit asphalt, you'll realise just how special the Great Ocean Road really is. The route twists and turns, hugging the picturesque cliffs as it winds a sinuous path along the coast. Curve after sweeping curve are seamlessly stitched together, almost purposely designed to give maximum enjoyment to any motorcycle riders that are lucky enough to be there.
There are plenty of small coastal towns to stop for a break and a coffee, serving up fantastic ocean lookouts along with the great refreshments. The lovely Otway Ranges provide a lush backdrop to the quaint towns when the road darts inland away from the coast. It takes longer than you might expect to ride along this gem of a road, there's simply so much to see.
Take a walk in the temperate rainforest at Maits Rest, try and spot that iconic Aussie creature the Koala in the trees above, visit the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, the Grotto, London Bridge, The Arch the list goes on and on! Don't forget to watch the road as well as the spectacular views though!
Every motorcyclist should ride this road at least once in their life!
The Grampians National Park
The ancient hills of the Grampians National Park make for an awesome spectacle as you ride toward them. This area of granite highlands is jam packed with wildlife, superb lookouts and beautiful waterfalls. The visitor centre at Halls Gap can provide all the information you'll need for getting the best out of your time there and will give you a great overview of the area, ensuring you get to see everything you want during your visit.
By the time you've ridden the roads in the park, taken a short walk to the two main lookouts and perhaps trekked to the base of one of the thundering waterfalls, you'll need at least a half day to absorb what's on offer, but will probably long to spend more time lost in the atmosphere of the national park.
New South Wales has the Snowy Mountains which you'll be riding through soon and Victoria has the Highlands. A more relaxed alpine environment than the Snowies, but don’t be fooled, there are plenty of thrilling roads to ride and more breathtaking scenery to provide a great backdrop.
Wide open plains framed by rolling hills and jagged mountain peaks, the road stretching far into the distance meandering gently as it weaves through small settlements and tiny communities.
With such unrestricted views all around there’s plenty of time to prepare for the corners, revel in the experience and then gaze about at the intricate beauty beyond the perfect ribbon of asphalt you’re speeding along.
Epic alpine scenery in Australia? You bet! Most people don’t realise that Australia has more ski runs than Switzerland, but a ride through this area will soon set the record straight. Although mostly recognised for its winter sports, 'the Snowies' as the area is affectionately known, is a playground for those looking for something different and adventurous motorcyclists alike.
Twist through the atmospheric alpine forests, sweep along the winding mountain roads and drink in the fantastic scenery. Whilst you’re having so much fun don’t forget to stop for lunch at one of the seasonal alpine towns along the way, or pause for a rest on the shores of one of the many pristine snow fed lakes.
New South Wales Southern Coast
There are more than 30 national parks scattered along the coastline of southern New South Wales, with incredible marine sanctuaries and nature reserves adding to the already pretty impressive count. The route follows the coast along the Grand Pacific Drive and over the famous Seacliff Bridge, a marvel of modern road building. It's not possible to ride any closer to the ocean without actually getting wet.
There's so much to see and do in this fantastic city that words can't even begin to describe the place, that won't stop us trying of course! There's the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, Manly, Circular Quay and that merely scratches the surface of what Sydney has to offer you.
If you fancy taking advantage of some of what Sydney has to provide, why not let us organise a few extra nights accommodation for you at a superb city centre hotel? It's a great place to take a break before continuing on your motorbike tour.
Named after the coloured tinge the mountains take on when viewed from a distance, the Blue Mountains is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site and a motorcycle rider approved top quality area of Australia. Astounding scenery dominates the region at every turn with thundering waterfalls, the second largest canyon on earth, nerve jangling cable car rides, the steepest funicular railway in the world and some lovely walking tracks.
Check out the Three Sisters, Wentworth Falls and a plethora of other scenic lookouts, before riding a circular route back around the mountains. The accommodation for your time here is a great bed & breakfast with friendly, welcoming hosts and spectacular views over the Hawkesbury River.
The Hunter region, more commonly known as the Hunter Valley, is the grape crushing heart of Australia's wine production. Ride along sweeping minor roads, past the viewpoints, fast flowing rivers and gorges of the Wollemi National Park [Australia's second largest] to the vineyards, top class restaurants and wineries of the Hunter Valley proper. The overnight accommodation for this part of the tour is a brief taxi ride from some of the most famous restaurants and wineries in the region, so there's plenty of opportunities to sample the local produce. Arrive early and go on a wine tasting tour or savour the culture in a relaxed evening out amongst the vines!
Another incredibly scenic and winding back road takes you through New England to the settlement of Armidale. Famed for its deciduous trees in Autumn, it's an unusually seasonal area of Australia due to its elevation and actually experiences four distinct seasons, unlike most of Australia. If you time your visit right, the display offered up as the leaves on the trees switch to their more Autumnal hues is a sight worthy of retelling by the greatest poets. A good range of restaurants and a country town atmosphere mean Armidale is a pleasant town to spend the evening in, before riding on to the Waterfall Way the following day.
State Highway 78 or the far more attractively titled ' Waterfall Way', is a simply breathtaking biking road through dense rainforest, past countless waterfalls and boasts some epic views over the New England National Park. It's quite rightly regarded as one of the finest roads for motorcycling in the state. The route leads down to the base of the Great Dividing Range where you'll stay for the night.
It's not a long day on the bike this one but there's so much to see on the way it'll take all the time you're willing to give it! If you arrive earlier than expected there's the additional draw of the 'Promised Land' circuit to ride, which takes you along a beautiful single track country lane past some pristine crystal clear streams. Just the ticket for a refreshing swim on a hot afternoon!
The most easterly point of Australia, Cape Byron is at Byron Bay. There are some truly beautiful beaches here augmented by a lively, friendly and incredibly welcoming small town with some great riding in the surrounding countryside.
Once a centre for 'alternative lifestylers', Byron Bay has clung on to that unique atmosphere and generally chilled out approach to life. You can relax on the beach, visit the famous lighthouse, enjoy the goings on in town and get a good meal at any of the great restaurants. There's still more to come on this tour though, so don't get completely seduced by Byron Bay’s undoubted charm.
The Gold Coast
Australia's most visited holiday destination and it'll be pretty obvious why when you ride in. Great beaches, all the top theme parks, vibrant nightlife and a surprisingly beautiful hinterland. If you want it busy you've got it, if you prefer the views and a bit more relaxation then you can have that too! The 57km of coastline bordering the aptly titled region near Surfers Paradise includes some of the most popular 'surf breaks' in the world. If you're even slightly interested in that most Australian pastime of surfing, you'll be well catered for here!
Capital city of Queensland, 16th 'most liveable city in the world' and the ideal place to explore mid motorcycle tour. Enjoy a glass of something nice in a restaurant overlooking the river or take advantage of the great nightlife, lovely parks, bustling shopping streets and a wealth of other attractions.
You'll wish you had longer to stay, but there's plenty more to tempt you away as you continue this motorcycle tour north.
You’ll continue winding your way north through one of the most spectacular hinterlands in the country combining rainforests, waterfalls, pineapple plantations and the beautiful Glass House Mountains. Many of the towns and settlements along the coast began life as tiny fishing ports or jetties but they've long since been developed into vibrant coastal communities.
The contrast between the wealth of upmarket coastal resorts and fringing, undeveloped hinterlands makes for a great days riding. The views from the top of the escarpment are incredible and don’t forget to visit the late Steve Irwin’s superbly kept Australia Zoo.
Perhaps take a pause from motorcycle touring at Rainbow Beach for two nights. A vibrant little coastal town, famed for, wait for it...the rainbow coloured sand dunes which surround the settlement.
Day two is the ideal opportunity to experience a four-wheel drive tour on the largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island (see pricing below). Many people consider this to be one of the highlights of their motorcycle trip, as the tour takes you along the eastern beach, which doubles as the main road, north to rainforests, crystal clear freshwater lakes, intriguing shipwrecks on the beach and towering sand dunes.
A flight over the island as an option well worth considering. Take-off and landing is along the beach. A great experience for a relatively low cost. Easy to organise too as they’ll ask you on the 4WD tour if you’d like to take the flight. No need to pre-book.
Eungella National Park
Prowl the 'Land of the Clouds' in search of the famous Platypus. Dense rainforest provides the ideal hiding place for some of Australia's more bashful wildlife but there are some lovely walking trails through this area to get you deep into the thick of things. Rangers are on hand to help you discover more about the original aboriginal inhabitants, 'bush tucker' and the flora and fauna of the region.
Those castaway islands you've seen in films? Here they are! This is a beautiful series of incredible 'paradise islands' just off of the small coastal town of Airlie Beach, where you'll stay for two nights on this motorcycle tour. During the second day it's well worth indulging in a cruise (see pricing below) around some of the most perfect coral islands in the world.
Visit the stunning bleached white sands of Whitehaven Beach, snorkel in protected bays over teaming coral gardens and observe the fascinating array of marine creatures that are privileged to call the Whitsundays home.
A fertile plateau with smooth, rolling green scenery, leisurely curves and lazy hills to ride around and over. Some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Australia can be found on the aptly named Waterfall Circuit. The truly ancient 500 year old Curtain Fig Tree near Yungaburra is a wonder of nature and well worth a visit. Superb riding around every corner on the roads of this region, where rainforest and farming blend seamlessly into one another.
Rainforest features heavily in the makeup of northern Queensland, but non fits the image more perfectly than the Daintree. The oldest rainforest on earth can be explored at a pace that suits you by paying a visit the very helpful information centre, which will lead you on a tour of the densely tangled forest via easily traversed boardwalks and even a tower that allows you to get deep into the canopy and get a closer look at the creatures calling the forest home.
The narrow, tightly twisting roads are great fun on the bike but it's and area that just demands to examined at leisure, so make sure you stop often to admire the views.
The coconut lined beaches of Cape Tribulation back straight onto the verdant rainforest, a sight that apes many a scene from films involving castaways on tropical island paradises. There aren't many places on earth you can sit and listen to the soothing bird and insect calls of the forest, whilst taking a picnic on the beach as your motorcycle rests under a palm tree! Captain James Cook beached his damaged ship 'The Endeavour' here to make repairs, after spectacularly failing to navigate around the reefs off shore, hence the name 'Cape Tribulation'.
Port Douglas is a petite tropical town north of Cairns, who's permanent population of under 1000 people is regularly bolstered by visitors drawn by the many natural attractions on offer in the area. Palm fringed beaches, hot summers, warm winters and great riding are the norm in Port Douglas. It's also the nearest port to the Great Barrier Reef, so the ideal spot for taking a fast catamaran cruise out to the reef to snorkel, dive or just enjoy the views for the day (see the pricing below).
An unforgettable experience, one that could even top the experience of touring the area by motorcycle, but we're not 100% set on that.Cairns
The holiday capital of northern Queensland and ideally located within short distance of the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, Cairns has incredible weather, a laid back tropical atmosphere and plenty more to offer. One of Cairns' many bars or restaurants would be the ideal place to kick back, enjoy the views and toast the conclusion of an incredible motorcycle tour.
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