Melbourne to Tasmania & SydneyThe cosmopolitan delights offered by two of the finest cities on earth, the best of Tasmania's untamed wilderness and convict heritage, plus all the highlights of the state of Victoria and a ride along the world famous Great Ocean Road, combined with stunning alpine scenery in the Snowy Mountains. Something for everyone on this semi-guided tour!
Melbourne to Tasmania & Sydney Semi-Guided Motorcycle Tour
This tour captures all the natural splendour of Tasmania and combines it with the cosmopolitan delights of Melbourne, the incredible world class riding on the Great Ocean Road and a chance to explore the fascinating Grampians National Park. Not only that but it throws in some brilliant twisting roads through the Victorian Highlands and Snowy Mountains, before ending on a high in Sydney. You'll start with a day excursion in and around Melbourne, before catching the overnight ferry to Tasmania...
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. We spend a day touring around the Melbourne area after collecting the bikes.
First port of call in Tasmania, quite literally in fact is Devonport. Home to the terminal for the 'Spirit of Tasmania I and II' ferries, Devonport is a congenial port town that serves as a lovely welcome for the Tasmanian section of our tour.
After disembarking the ferry we'll ride south east through the spectacular scenery, to the east coast and the beautiful Bay of Fires.
The Bay of Fires
The Bay of Fires was thusly named by Captain Tobias Furneaux in 1773, when he spotted numerous fires along the coast which led him to believe the country was more densely populated than it actually turned out to be.
These days it's more likely to be referred to as the Bay of Barbeques, as the prevalence of pristine, almost eye-wateringly white beaches, turquoise ocean and soothing climate, make this the ideal spot to relax, cook up some food and savour the atmosphere.
Boating, bird watching, camping, swimming, snorkelling and a wide range of other activities mean there's plenty to see and do, along with revelling in the beach lifestyle. We'll continue to ride south along this spectacular coastline, passing close to regions like the Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay.
Have you been speeding on your motorcycle? I certainly hope not, as you might well end up in a place like Port Arthur. A place like it perhaps, but the only way to get into this particular ancient convict settlement now is to take a tour like everyone else.
The guards and convicts may be long gone, but the atmosphere and fascinating history linger. The museum, historic buildings, informative displays, harbour cruise to the 'Isle of the Dead' and simply the setting itself, all provide an intriguing insight into what life must have been like for those convicts and soldiers alike, unlucky enough to be sent there.
From Port Arthur we then turn west, riding along the coast to the state capital of Hobart.
State capital of Tasmania and second oldest city in Australia, Hobart is strongly influenced by its maritime roots. It boasts a waterfront location to rival that of Sydney, the Tasman Bridge playing the part of the Harbour Bridge with considerable aplomb. Dominating every view of the skyline from within the city is Mount Wellington, towering to 1,271m above sea level it casts a watchful eye over the city below. The many hiking trails in the area provide an opportunity to get off the bike and stretch the legs, if you're feeling up to that thousand or so metres of course! There's always something going on in Hobart, so much so that you might find it hard to drag yourself away but trust us, there's plenty more to experience on this tour.
After experienceing the cosmopolitan delights of Hobart, we ride north west through some incredible National Parks and wild high country.Mount Field National Park
Founded in 1916 this is Tasmania's oldest national park, and was the last refuge of the now reportedly extinct Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine. Reportedly extinct because, well, there are so many places to hide in Tasmania's lush wilderness and more remote areas, that you never really know what you might happen across on a motorbike tour!
Cradle Mountain - Lake St Claire National Park
Another national park! Anyone would think Tasmania was covered in the things, but that's not so far from the truth really. Cradle Mountain is the place you've probably heard of before, the place everyone wants to see, and for good reason.
Explore the pristine alpine landscape and encounter some of the many endemic varieties of animals that call the park their home, wallabies, quolls, wombats, possums, echidnas and the infamous Tasmanian Devil can all be found within the confines of the park; if you're lucky you might just spot some.
After sampling the very best of Tasmania's natural heritage and fascinating wildlife, it's time to return to Devonport and cross over the Bass Straight again. Some of the finest riding that Australia, possibly even the world has to offer is next on this tour...The Great Ocean Road awaits!
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.
Every motorcyclist should ride this road at least once in their life!
We ride along the first section of the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay where we spend the night, then continue on in the morning to Port Campbell at the western end of the road; before heading north towards Halls Gap within the confines of the ancient Grampians National Park.
The Grampians National Park
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.
From Halls Gap we push back east towards Melbourne again, pausing along the way in the town of Castlemaine before riding up through the Victoria Highlands to the picturesque upland town of Bright.
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. It's a more relaxed version of the Snowy Mountains, which are next to come on this tour as you head north east.
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. The next section of the tour is arguably one of the most spectacular, riding through the breathtaking Snowy Mountains to the lake-side settlement of Jindabyne.
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.
As we approach Sydney from the South riding up the from the town of Batemans Bay, we're treated to a final hurrah from the New South Wales Coast before arriving in the iconic city of Sydney.
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 goes over the famous Seacliff Bridge, a marvel of modern road building, then follows the coast along the Grand Pacific Drive . 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. One of the finest cities in the world and the perfect place to end an incredible motorcycle tour! We spend a day in Sydney without the bikes, giving you plenty of time to indulge in what the city has to offer. Sightseeing, relaxing, shopping, whatever takes your fancy!
This tour is a 'semi-guided' arrangement. A briefing each morning will explain the route and things to see on the way. You’ll travel at your own pace to the next hotel where the support vehicle and your luggage will be waiting for you.
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