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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 4 Sep 2013
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Smile Riding Australia on a Work+Holiday Visa... tips and advice.

Hi,
I'm looking for some info and advice on buying and legally riding a motorbike and just general bike touring through Australia on a working holiday visa...
I am an all year biker here in England, snow and sun. Own a Honda Africa Twin and a good old C90. I enjoy bike touring camping and have done 3 short tours round parts of Europe in the past few years, wouldn't call myself "well travelled" but am definitley not new to being in unknown territory with just my bike and essentials. Really I'm hoping to hear some stories, tips and advice fro m anyone who has travelled Australia by motorbike...
Firstly buying a bike in Aus, browsing gumtree and Ebay.au for second hand bikes (Honda Xr 400 or 600 ideally) I'm looking to budget around $3500 AUD / £2000 , has anyone picked up a similar bike ideally 1998 at the oldest in good ready to go condition? Does my budget sound sensible? I will be looking to purchase the bike in the North East, round Cairns or Brisbane, the motorcycle dealers that I have looked at so far are very steep.
Insurance, I have struggled to find how my circumstances as a traveller will effect the cost of getting covered to ride in Queensland, New South Wales, Southern Australia and Western Australia. can my no claims bonus's from the UK be used in anyway to save some money? As a 25 year old on a working holiday visa Im hoping to not have to pay much more than 500 dollars to insure an enduro tourer type bike 400cc plus, what do you think? If anyone has any useful links to good bike insurance companies in Aus that they have used that will be much appreciated! Breakdown cover will also be necessary I think!
With a years visa, I won't be in any major hurry to keep moving. Though the aim is to make it to Perth eventually as I have a couple of friends living there. I plan on working along the way and hopefully finding 3 months regional work to help get my visa extended if I decide that is what I want to do. Anyone have any advice on the regional work stuff? I hear fruit picking is a popular one?
To keep cost's down I aim to be using travellers hostels, hoping safe storage for the bike will be available but well see.... Coach surfing and Craigslist, or any other popular versions of these used in Australia? Any ideas?
And ofcorse I will be packing a tent, sleeping bag and mat! I know there will be times where I get caught out and need to find a place to sleep so wild camping will be the one. I am well aware of the many forms of wildlife that could seriously harm or kill me and I am really hoping for some advice from people who have done this. Any good tips for staying safe, finding the best spots to camp, judging the weather, dealing with the bugs, handy things to carry that you wouldn't think of...the list is endless. Any stories of your wild camping with your motorbike through Australia, or is this something that I should try and avoid doing!?
So yes, I have so many questions but don't wont to write too much on my first post. Any tips and advice from people who have done a similar trip will be greatly appreciated!
Many thanks
Brad, Sheffield, UK
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  #2  
Old 5 Sep 2013
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Basics http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/about-hu/4-easy-steps


Read through the Aus forum .. http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...a-new-zealand/

You'll find things like this
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ustralia-72044

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...-to-take-70058

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ustralia-68884

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ustralia-64220

And more .. should answer some of your questions ..

--------------------- Basic guide-

Don't ride near sun set/rise; too many animals moving around then.
Do "wild camp" when in the outback. Chose a spot that cannot be seen from the 'road'.
Weather .. much more sun than your used too. But when it rains it poors. As in you can get floods. Avoid the monsoon season in the north (Dec to Feb.).
Your money is a bit light .. go for a smaller bike?

---------- Oh - other peoples trips ...

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/get...aliaNewZealand

newsletter http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/get...red/newsletter

Meetings http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/events/hubbuk-2014

That will keep you busy!

Last edited by Warin; 5 Sep 2013 at 01:38.
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  #3  
Old 5 Sep 2013
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Where and when are you going Brad?

I fly out to Oz (Melbourne) in just over a month, and looking at the last few years of my life I reckon getting on a bike asap is going to be a good route to having a good time. Also looking at xr400 and 600s - Torn between the fact that the 400 is obviously the better bike if you actually want to go off-road, and the fact that I've spent the last few years riding quite fast around London on road bikes so that an XR400 is probably going to be a massive comedown speed wise. Also, I really want to ride around a on a rorting great big thumper at some point in my life, and this point seems as good as any (apart from the fact that aussie bikes are so expensive!!)

If you're oz bound at a similar time then a partner in crime for a spot of travelling/wildcamping/boozey fun at some point would be great.
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Last edited by Nath; 5 Sep 2013 at 08:28.
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  #4  
Old 5 Sep 2013
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Hi guys,

Warin - Thanks for all the links and tips pal, plenty to read up on tonight! Fair to say I have not looked through all the relevant links on here yet which I should have done to start with! The furthest North I would be will be Cairns I think(really want to get some diving done round there), although none of my plans/routes are finalised yet. I will be sure to avoid the monsoon season. Thanks....

Nath - I envy you heading out in a months time! Unfortunatley I wont be jetting over until July ish next year, starting very early with my preperations to ensure I have enough finances saved to cover everything I may need along the way. I hope you have an awesome time! A partner in crime along some of the way would have been great!!

My bike requirements... like you I want something capable of hitting some offroad, trying to find a wild camping spot down some dirt tracks on the wrong bike seems a bad idea to me. Really want a Honda (I know single minded....) capable of getting out the way of those road trains fast! Reliable... all my past XR's have been brill! Something that will carry abit of luggage without too much issue. I see quite a few racks for the XR's available over there so fitting one of them and some sling over panniers should be an easy task once I find the bike. The one issue is, no keys/ignition!? So a good chain will have to be carried with me. I know motorbike theft isn't as much of a threat over there, but getting the bike stolen would be a real bummer and leave my trip hanging by a thread.

Thanks for your comments guys! A new member feeling welcome already!

Brad
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  #5  
Old 5 Sep 2013
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Oz Info

Hi Brad,

Here is plenty of information for you:

Used Motorcycle For Sale - Buy and Sell Motorcycles Australia - bikesales.com.au
Used Motorbike For Sale - Buy and Sell Motorbikes Australia - bikepoint.com.au
Got my DL650 insured with Home
for $ 210.00 annually.

Cheers

RM
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  #6  
Old 8 Sep 2013
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I travelled Australia by car. 12 months in '98-'99, and 3 months in '02.

Wild camping. Did loads of it. 90% of the time I was either on campsites or wild. The occasional hotel/motel, just to watch the GP500s on telly. I stayed in a Backpackers once.......

Personal opinion, the East coast is an overdeveloped nightmare. Outback Queensland and Northern Territorys is where it at. WA too I expect, but never got into the outback there. Did cross the Nullabour to Perth though.


Biggest risk is mozzies, I never saw a snake, although some places are infested. You'll need a tent that zips closed to keep the mozzies out, so that'll keep Hissing Sid out too.
I did get bitten by a spider, a big hairy Huntsman, although they are only really dangerous if you are ill or weak.

Try and remember that if you bite the tarmac in the outback, no one is coming to scrape you up. No 999, no phone signal. Best you can hope for is someone finds you before you bake or bleed away.
Road trains stop for man nor beast, and shoot a shower of stones out on rougher roads. You'll see them coming a long way off. get well out their way.

I used to carry at least 10 litres of water. If something goes wrong, you won't live long in the outback sun without it, and it could be a long way away.
There are loads of books available on safe travel in the outback once you get there. mostly sold in the citys, to the dreamers. Read a few. Good tips in a lot, like burn a tyre if all is lost. Someone will always see the column of smoke, and come looking.

Working is a good craic. I met a load of great people. Fruit picking was OK, but there are some desperate sorts at it. My best experience, if not the greatest fun, was working in a Road Train and truck garage in Alice Springs. My advice would be try and get a "proper job" instead of fruit picking.

Fuel stations can be a long way apart in the outback.

Must visit places for me. Undara Lava tubes, Alice Springs, Ularu, Coober Pedee(sp?) Frazer Island.
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Old 8 Sep 2013
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Quote:
No 999, no phone signal.
Definitely no 999 anywhere in Oz. Just to save costs in our health system treating seriously injured foreigners we use a different number again - Zero Zero Zero. However if using a mobile phone, the normal 112 will work on any network as will 000.
Some possibility that 911 will be redirected but 999 will not
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  #8  
Old 8 Sep 2013
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make sure you get yourself this book Free and Budget Top Camp Sites, Best Camping Grounds and Caravan Tourist Holiday Parks Australia - Camps Australia Wide I don't leave home without it
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Old 8 Sep 2013
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112 should work in most countries ... for international travelers 112 is much better to remember than all the different country codes.

Cell phone coverage is about 8% of the land area... while that may cover 90+% of the people, once you are some miles away from a city/town you will have no coverage. PLBs are around $350 and cover the globe.
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Old 8 Sep 2013
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Seriously guys, I've watched 'The Adventures of Barry McKenzie' and I therefore think I'm qualified to comment on the necessities of traveling in modern Australia. So there!!!
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  #11  
Old 8 Sep 2013
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Reading through a lot of this info provided by you guys, thanks so much!

So, to avoid picking up a bike from a private seller that's not fully registered (most likely recreationally registered; which definitely is not what I will want If I'm to ride through other states) and getting stuck with a machine that will cost loads to get prepared for the trip. Do you think its maybe a better idea to go through a dealer. Obviously cost will be a lot more expensive, and I won't necessarily get the exact model of bike I'm after. But picking up a well kept bike fully registered and with RWC sounds a bit more appealing.

But (correct me if I'm wrong) If I find the correct bike from a private seller who has it "recreationaly registered, I can legally purchase it, insure it, (with my UK driving license) drive to a local bike dealer and pay for the RWC and then get the bike fully registered ready to take to other states??

Is the process of switching from "recreational reg" to fully registered expensive and long?

Also seen that buying in one state then selling in another is not allowed in some cases!? I was hoping my bike could be legally sold in Western Australia after all the riding had been done. Having to ride back to Queensland to sell?? This can't be true?....Is it? :confused1:

All your time typing is much appreciated!

Cheers

Brad
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  #12  
Old 8 Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by alxtek View Post
Also seen that buying in one state then selling in another is not allowed in some cases!? I was hoping my bike could be legally sold in Western Australia after all the riding had been done. Having to ride back to Queensland to sell?? This can't be true?....Is it?
You can transfer the rego from one state to another .. just adds a little more cost and a little complexity to the sale.

More important to you is the "open jaw" air ticket cost - cheaper to fly in and out of the same place. Unless you are getting one way air tickets .. and that again is more expensive that a return.
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Old 9 Sep 2013
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Thumbs up

Just one question, if you consider to stay there for 12 up to 24 month why you do not take your Twin to AU? It´s pretty easy, takes about 10 weeks (by ship) and will cost you about 1800EUR both ways (from Hamburg, don´t know about UK. You will need a carnet, but you will get the money back when you come home to GB, our bound for the AT 1993 was 3000EUR, which we got back after 5 days after we declared we are back in our home country. And the Twin is the perfect bike for AU as well.

We took the western route from Darwin to Sydney which took us 10 month. Do not miss Tasmania, that was one of our highlights for sure, we spend there 10 weeks. Couchsurfed a lot and stayed in the rest areas and free campings as well. At the west coast you can actually camp for free all the time if you are not close to a big city...

Good link is: Welcome to OzCamps

^^free camping in all AU + download the POIs´s for you navi if you got one. We used it constantly.

If you like to see some pics and get some impressions from the western way have a look at our blog...

Good luck MATE!

Ps.: Do not understimate the size of Astralia or the money you will need, it´s big and you need relatively loads of cash. For us it was just shocking after 1.5 years in SouthEastAsia to arrive to the "civilized" world
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  #14  
Old 10 Sep 2013
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How long are you staying?

I might be able to help with a KLR650. Open to buy back, and can have old panniers etc all fitted.

PM if interested, I'm on the NSW/VIC border.
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Old 10 Sep 2013
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RTW - Taking the Twin

Thanks RTW, to start with I had originally thought about taking one of my own bikes over. But I was actually thinking the C90, as its lightweight and small for shipping, reliable but ofcorse.... sloooow. Not that thats a bad thing though! I always thought the Twin would cost a bomb to ship over and ended up changing my plans to just finding something over there and saving the hassle of importing etc.

As I understood, with the carnet, I would have to get the bike out of Australia after one year. Reading up on this it seemed quite a strict rule but is there a way to re apply for the carnet and keep the bike in the country for longer than a year?

I went through a period of trying to collect quotes from international bike shippers, but got very little back from my enquires. (mainly airfreight). Who did you ship your twin with please? And which port did the bike dock at?

I have alot to weigh up. either fly out and buy an australian bike (anything up to $5000 dollars by the sounds of it) or ship one of my own bikes out there which could be half the cost, but then I have to consider shipping back home at the end. Couldn't sell the twin over there! I'd be gutted love that bike!

Plenty to consider, thanks!

Turborob - Thanks ever so much for your kind offer!! This trip wont be starting until June/July time next year so your circumstances may have changed by then. But, I shall keep your offer in mind and get in contact closer to the time. All being well, finding a job, friends, and generally enjoying myself then I will most definitley be applying for a second year on my visa!

Cheers

Brad
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