Perth to DarwinExplore the otherworldly Pinnacles Desert, roam along the rugged coastline and through the amazing gorges of Kalbarri, relax on the beaches of the Shark Bay World Heritage area, bask on the stunning Ningaloo Reef at the very top of the beautiful coast and ride through the outback to reach the incredible Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks, amazing gorges of Katherine and tropical paradise of Darwin.
Perth to Darwin - Self Guided Motorcycle Tour
There's so much to see and do in each area that this tour is organised so that you ride to an area one day, explore via bike and foot the next and then move on to the next main area. A day at each of the spectacular locations on this tour is the absolute minimum each deserves and you might find yourself wanting to stay longer. We'll be happy to help arrange extra stops, accommodation or anything else you might need.
The ride from Exmouth west towards Broome and Darwin includes a couple of long days in the saddle, but that's part of the experience of riding through the hauntingly beautiful Outback. With the right bike and a bit of experience you can have an adventure along the famous 'Gibb', explore the gorges in and around the Outback oasis of Katherine and revel in the incredible spectacles on offer in the Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. End with some tropical relaxation in the capital of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
Perth is a modern, clean city on the banks of the majestic Swan River. The river feels more like a winding harbour really with Fremantle (‘Freo’ to the locals) at its entrance. Perth has all you’d expect from a thriving city with great shopping, restaurants and nightlife combined with superb beaches and a sublime climate.
Ranked as one of the ‘world’s most liveable cities’, Perth has charm aplenty even if you’re just visiting. A great spot to begin your ride up the coast and over to the tropical delights of Broome.
Nambung National Park and the Pinnacles Desert
Named after a local Aboriginal word for ‘winding’, referring to the Nambung River, this area is now instantly recognisable for the spectacular limestone formations that jut from the desert floor like so many ancient teeth.
The exact process by which the ‘Pinnacles’ were formed is a matter still under some debate, but what’s not up for question is the fascinating spectacle offered by such an unusual landscape. Cervantes is the nearest settlement nearby offering facilities and is a great place to base yourself whilst exploring the unusual formations of the desert.Murchison River Gorges and Coast
Kalbarri is a lovely small town on the banks of the Murchison River where it flows into the Indian Ocean. It's uniquely blessed with a fascinating array of impressive river gorges, coastal scenery and marine landscapes, with the added bonus of year round amazing weather. A little way south of the town itself are some spectacular beaches, towering crimson coastal cliffs and amazing pink lakes. The Kalbarri National Park can be accessed by a good condition 26km gravel road and has some incredible natural rock formations, gorges and wildlife just waiting to show themselves off! Many of the gorges are estimated to be over 400 million years in the making, but it was certainly worth the wait in our opinion! There's the 'Z-Bend', offering some in depth views into the gorges, 'the Loop' and the iconic 'Nature's Window' just begging to be explored.
This pristine area of natural wonder offers a taste of the mind boggling isolation that the Outback provides, all within easy reach of the congenial town of Kalbarri. If you'd prefer not to take the gravel road out to the national park on the bike, there are plenty of guided tours available we can easily help you organise.Shark Bay World Heritage Area
Rise early in the morning, stroll down to the beach and have a breakfast chat with the famous wild dolphins at Monkey Mia, just a metre or two from the beach! With one eye out of the water they are genuinely interested in who's there and what's going on. It's genuinely a fascinating experience to be able to get that close to wild dolphins, whilst staying mostly dry!
A great optional excursion at Monkey Mia is to take an informative walk with an aboriginal guide who'll explain the history of the area, show you how to find bush tucker, water and medicine in the outback and bring what initially looks like barren desert to life. It's a highly recommended experience.
Whilst the dolphins at Monkey Mia are arguably the biggest lure to get you off the north-south highway, there's more to be seen in Shark Bay than just aquatic mammals! On the way into or out of, this World Heritage listed area you can take in the panoramic views of Shark Bay itself from Eagle Bluff and crunch along Shell Beach, a beach made up of billions of tiny cockle shells as far as the eye can see. The shells reportedly reach depths of up to 10 metres, which is a lot of shells however you look at it!
There's only one route in and out of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, so you don't have to stop at everything first time around. Or of course it gives you a great chance to revisit spots you've really enjoyed already, before rejoining the route north.
Ningaloo Reef & Cape Range National Park
Ningaloo is the longest fringing reef in the world and its isolated location at the top of the west coast, means that it's one of the most pristine too. You can snorkel or dive on the incredible 260km long reef simply by stepping off one of the many deserted white beaches, straight into the amazing underwater world resplendent with over 520 species of fish and 250 species of coral. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon. One minute you're riding your motorcycle along the shimmering highway, the next you're up close and personal with the spectacular shimmering fish of the Ningaloo Reef!
Forget the Great Barrier Reef, Ningaloo is remote, pristine, easily accessed right off the beach and there are good facilities to be had nearby at the tiny village of Coral Bay and the slightly larger town of Exmouth. Spot on!
There's a day scheduled for indulging yourself in the area around Ningaloo Reef and Cape Range, so you'll have plenty of time to soak up the best of what's on offer.
Continuing from Exmouth you'll turn north west as you angle towards Broome. There are a couple of long days in the saddle riding through the Outback from here, about 550km each day in fact. Whilst it sounds a lot, distances like that make for a quintessentially Australian experience, riding through some uniquely Australian landscapes. It's a remote region of the Outback with nothing but the welcoming roadhouses and atmospheric desert scenery to add flavour to the journey.
Eighty Mile Beach
Famous for its endless stretches of pristine white sand fringing the sparkling turquoise ocean, Eighty Mile Beach is aptly named and ideally situated mid-way between Port Hedland and Broome, making for an excellent spot to take an overnight break. You can roam the shore hunting for shells, perhaps enjoy a spot of fishing, observe the incredible numbers of migratory birds that call past the beach or just kick back, relax and marvel at a spectacular sunset over the Indian Ocean. You can easily claim a section of the beach as exclusively your own, there's plenty to go around!
There aren't any towns nearby which adds to marvellous sense of seclusion, but the local caravan park offers great cabin accommodation, camping and any other supplies you might be hankering for to take down to the beach.
The tropical paradise of Broome finally comes into view after the long ride up the west coast, it's a welcome sight and a sparkling pearl on the shores of the Indian Ocean. It has world famous beaches, wonderful sunsets, a fascinating history intertwined with the local pearl fishermen and a fantastic climate for much of the year.
It has all the comforts of a larger holiday town but with a laid back, frontier sort of feel. It's famous for the 'Broome Time' effect. The pace of life noticeably slows when you enter Broome, you relax more, take more time to enjoy yourself and just generally mellow out. It's easy to get absorbed by Broome Time!
There's a full day in Broome with the bike as you'll need a set of wheels to visit places like Malcolm Douglas' famous crocodile park, the picturesque jetty and to get to the justifiably world famous Cable Beach. Time it right for a cocktail and watch the spectacular sunset over the ocean! Don't get completely seduced by the allure of Broome Time though, there's more riding to be done!
The Kimberley and the Gibb River Road
The Kimberley has incredible gorges, vibrant crimson cliffs, unusual boab trees and some powerful rivers that helped shape the region. It's one of the world's last great wilderness areas, almost 423,000 square kilometres in size and is the ideal place to immerse yourself completely in the environment.
In the 'dry' season [usually May to October] you are provided with more options for exploring the area. You can either take the sealed road which skirts around the periphery of the Kimberley or, with the right bike and appropriate experience, be a little more adventurous and ride the Gibb River Road - one of the greatest four wheel drive tracks in Australia. There is a fantastic variety of natural wonders to tempt you along the Gibb River Road. Lennard Gorge, Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge are just a small sample of the fantastic sights just waiting to draw you from the highway.
It's worth remembering through that the Gibb River Road is definitely not a place for most road bikes, so if you're interested in experiencing the adventure that is 'the Gibb', it's best to check with us first.
The third largest town in the Northern Territory, Katherine is most famous for Katherine Gorge one of the most spectacular of local attractions. Located in the Nitmiluk National Park just north east of the town, Katherine Gorge is just one, although arguably the most impressive, of a series of 13 sandstone gorges hewn from the land over billions of years by the Katherine River.
There's a strong Aboriginal link to the area, with many rock art sites dotted about the park. It's the ideal area to take a break from riding the bike and explore in greater depth. There are plenty of options available for the inquisitive rider, but the gorges themselves are best investigated by canoe or a flat bottomed boat. It's a great opportunity to try and spot some of the indigenous freshwater crocodiles that call the park home, as they like to nest along the banks of the gorges. Don't worry though, they're pretty harmless!Litchfield National Park
Petite twin sister to the nearby Kakadu National Park, Litchfield certainly doesn't disappoint! There are some fantastic waterfalls, plunge pools and swimming holes to cool off in, plus a wonderfully secluded atmosphere about the place. Buley Rock hole, Wangi Falls, Surprise Creek and the secluded Tjaynera Falls are just a few of the places you might find yourself lingering too long.
If you've got the right bike and a little experience off-road, then the short track leading out to the 'Lost City' is well worth the ride. It's not actually a city mind you, more some freestanding sandstone pillars and blocks that merely lead the imagination on, conjuring up images of a settlement long abandoned by some ancient civilisation. The track in can sometimes be closed from November to April, so it's worth bearing that in mind. There are plenty of alternatives to keep you interested around Litchfield though!
The park is a short ride from Darwin, so you can easily return if you want to spend more time exploring what's on offer.
Kakadu National Park
Incredible wildlife with big saltwater crocodiles, stunning bird life, water buffalo, an amazing variety of plants and trees, vibrant Aboriginal culture, history and natural heritage can all be found in this UNESCO World Heritage listed, wetland paradise. Watching the sunset over the wetlands at Ubirr is a magical experience and exploring the caves and Aboriginal artwork at Nourlangie, some of which dates from 60,000 years ago, provides an amazing insight into the early history of the country.
Covering nearly 20,000 square kilometres, every centimetre of Kakadu is absolutely jam-packed with life at every time of year. It's undeniably the major natural attraction in the 'top end' and since you've ridden all the way here, it's worth spending a little to explore the park properly.
Capital city of the Northern Territory and tropical paradise on the shores of the Timor Sea. A population of about 130,000 makes it easily the most populated city in the Northern Territory, but the least populated of all Australia's capital cities. This, combined with the delightful tropical climate has led to the creation of a distinctly laid back, multicultural and very mellow sort of place. Plenty of markets, festivals, restaurants, pubs and an abundance of incredibly welcoming locals makes this the ideal spot to relax after this incredible motorcycle tour.
If you'd like to spend a little longer relaxing in the tropical embrace of Darwin, then we can arrange accommodation for you after you finish your motorcycle tour. Just ask!
This is a wonderful tour up the un-touched western coast and through the Outback. Western Australia is larger than Europe and yet has only 1.9 million people lucky enough to call the place home. As a result it feels like a much more personal place than the much more frequented eastern coast. People will take the time chat, show some true hospitality and there's so much to see on the way that few have seen before you.
If you'd like to experience the 'real' Australia, then this is the way to 'get amongst it' and the bike is the best way to travel!
If you've got a bit more time to spare, it's worth considering travelling through the Karijini National Park. A fascinating region of crimson red Outback, combined with a myriad of crystal clear pools and deep gorges that are ideal for cooling off in. Just ask us if you're interested and we can give you more information.
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