April 07, 2008 GMT
Planning for Oz 2008

Another place I have heard about since I was a kid (yes, a LONG time ago) is Ayres Rock (now called Uluru) in Central Australia. Unlike the Nazca lines and Machu Picchu, Uluru is not "on the way to anywhere" :=) There seems to be several thousand miles of ocean involved just to get to Australia then a thousand miles of "outback". Oh well, that's what makes it an adventure ride. I thought that since I am going to cross that entire ocean I might as well see a bit more of Oz than just Uluru. I figure a circumnavigation and then a little (2000 mile) detour to the center for the "rock" would be about right. The route looks like this on my GPS.

With a few "alternate" routes to be determined and some "side" trips, that's 10 to 12 thousand miles. That's about the same distance from home to Tierra Del Fuego and back up to Buenos Aires on the last big trip so 4 months should do it. Since I promised Julia I would at least "try" not to be away from home on all the holidays again, I figure if I start riding on the first of Sept. and return just before Christmas maybe she will forgive me for not being there on Thanksgiving. :=)
After checking into shipping my bike to Oz and all that would be involved, I decided to rent a motorcycle over there. I looked at several places and decided on a company called Bike Round Oz www.bikeroundoz.com . I have talked with a fellow there named Mark who has gone way out of his way to answer all my questions. I am going to rent a Suzuki DR650 with an oversize gas tank and large panniers. It is very similar to the KLR I rode to SA.
Here is the plan so far. Fly from Los Angeles to Melbourne on Aug 28th. Rest and recover a couple of days and start riding on Sept 1st. It will still be winter/early spring in the south so I will head north and east toward Brisbane and Cairns then west to Darwin and Broome. The rainy season starts up north in mid to late October so I need to be in Broome before then. Down to Perth and the southwest corner in early November and up to Uluru/Alice Springs in mid to late November, then back down to Melbourne to turn the bike in and hopefully meet Julia for a bit of "real tourist" stuff via plane around some more of Australia.
I am going to start with the same email list I had on the last adventure so I hope you want to tag along. If NOT, send me an email at rick.mcd@verizon.net and I will remove you from the list. Remember: The entries in the blog are "last in, first up" (behind the intro page). If you want to start from the beginning of the North/South America trip click the "full index" button on the right and start from the bottom. If you previously toured with me and have read it already (and you should have) :=) and just want to keep up with this Australia trip part, click on the "archives category" and select the "Around Oz 2008" entries. More to come as the planning progresses

Posted by rickmcd at April 07, 2008 02:24 AM GMT

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