If you’re looking for a truly unique adventure, it’s hard to top a motorcycle tour along Australia’s Savannah Way. This is one of the most challenging, remote, and beautiful journeys in this diverse country, linking tropical Cairns with the historic town of Broome in Western Australia. Along the way you’ll pass through historic mining villages, wildlife reserves, and tropical rainforests. It’s worth taking some time for preparation to make sure that you make the most out of this epic journey.
You’ll want to give yourself ample time for the journey. A trip from one tip of Australia to the other can take a good three weeks, stopping off along the way to rest and enjoy the sights. Many travellers choose to depart from tropical Cairns, spending an initial week-long drive through the tropics to Hell’s Gate. This takes you to the border of the rugged Northern Territory, where you can drive on to the popular fishing village of Borroloola. Another top spot in the Northern Territory is the remote Lorella Springs Tourist Park, which features a “Lost City” tour showcasing the area’s mining and cattle ranching history. The Lorella Springs area is famous for its rugged gorges and stunning rock formations, and you can also spot crocodiles swimming in its wild wetland swamps.
Don’t miss the thermal pools at Bitter and Rainbow Springs, a mere 340 kilometres to the west of Lorella Springs. After sitting on a motorbike for well over a week, your back and legs will thank you. There are numerous cattle stations to stay out throughout the Northern Territory, but one of the most famous and picturesque is Bullo River Station. This working station covers half a million acres, dotted with native wildlife and indigenous rock art to explore. For more rock art, don’t miss the sights at Keep River National Park, a day’s drive away from Bullo River.
On the final leg of a journey from Cairns to Broome, you will pass through Western Australia. Don’t miss sights like Lake Argyle, which is the largest functioning diamond mine in the southern hemisphere. The Bungle Bungle mountain range is also worth visiting, as you pass through Fitzroy Crossing and on to the coastal pearling town of Broome.
You’ll need a hardy bike to weather the rugged roads of the outback. Using local listings sites like bikesales.com.au can put you in touch with sellers who are knowledgeable about these roads, but in general you’ll want a large, bulky, and powerful vehicle rather than a scooter or sport bike. Road conditions will vary, ranging from multi-lane bitumen to narrow dirt paths. Always research the road conditions before you embark, tell someone where you’re going, and travel in a group if possible. Unsealed roads can become difficult to navigate due to dust coming up from potholes, so take your time on these and wear all protective gear.
Boasting unforgettable scenery and a bevy of thrilling stretches of road to navigate, the Savannah Way is not for the faint of heart. With a bit of planning, preparation, and the right motorcycle, you can enjoy yourself in some of Australia’s most remarkable terrain.