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Miles and more

If you want to get to know the west of Australia, you have to show stamina: the distances between A and B are nowhere greater than here. So no terrain for sports enduro bikes? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that!

Joachim Sauer


“This road is closed!” Margaret, who works at the Lanclin Roadhouse checkout, warned Jorg and me. The path along the sea had become impassable due to a sandstorm. No chance. A first setback? Asphalt instead of adventure? Less than half an hour later we know what Margaret meant. All traces are gone with the wind. A snow-white dune landscape as far as the eye can see. And to the left of us the troubled, dark blue Indian Ocean. We still want to give it a try, step on the gas. We can still turn back. But it works. We find the best traction right on the waterline, but we need a lot of speed in order not to sink into the heavy sand. Not easy driving. And after a while a mighty ledge forces us to change course. We have to find a way through the dunes, digging through the soft sand. Hard work in the scorching heat. But we wanted it that way, after an eternity we reach a gravel road. And after a while back to Highway Number 1. Without an escort vehicle, the large connecting roads are unfortunately often the only way to bridge the endless distances between the few places in the state of Western Australia, the most sparsely populated part of the continent. Vastness. The monotony along the wide belt of asphalt is a nightmare. The air shimmers with heat. At 80 km / h it hits you under your helmet like from a hot air blower. In Carnarvon we learn that the slope along the coast to Coral Bay is also closed here. We still turn towards the ocean ?? until after a while the path actually ends in a wide bay. Only behind a belt of dunes do we find a trail that leads at least in the right direction. As if on soft waves, we slide along on the light-colored sand. No one but us. Only emus and kangaroos. The next day we run into the sleepy nest Coral Bay. Its only attraction is a mighty coral reef that extends almost to the beach. The Ningaloo Reef ?? 260 kilometers long and supposedly even better than the Great Barrier Reef, but not as crowded as its famous counterpart in eastern Australia because of its remote location. We allow ourselves a break and disappear with glasses and snorkels into a world whose colors and shapes are overwhelming. Countless fish, yes, even a giant turtle come close to touch ?? a feeling as if we were moving in a huge aquarium. However, when a curious reef shark chases the turtle away, we prefer to go ashore. Back on the motorcycle, we immerse ourselves again in this endless solitude. A brick-red sand runway leads from the coast inland to the 1105 meter high Mount Augustus, one of the oldest monoliths in the world. This stone is said to have been 1750 million years old, looming in front of us like a mighty mountain in this flat landscape. We are finally in the outback, far from any civilization. A fascinating and at the same time frightening feeling. We keep going north, pass the Hamersley Range and make a detour to the nearby Karijini National Park. Red, sometimes almost black rock, gorges and waterfalls are the dramatic highlights ?? all around otherwise only wild, untouched land. The hot wind blows over the omnipresent spinifex grass, gleaming like gold. Lush green only at the water points, where the gnarled eucalyptus trees find enough moisture to survive. Australia like out of a picture book. After a few days of driving we reach the Indian Ocean again. We couldn’t have found a better place to wash off all the dust. In the shade of tall palm trees at the southern end of “Eighty Mile Beach” we discover one of those places from which you never want to leave. And stay at least one more day? arrows along this seemingly endless beach in a northeastern direction right by the water. No human soul can reach as far as the eye can see. Nobody to screw up this fun. Unimaginable for Central Europeans: after almost four thousand kilometers, we feel ripe for a detour into civilization. In Derby we treat ourselves to a good hotel for the first time. With a real bed and a real shower. We only understand why the lady at the reception is almost conspicuously at a distance from us when we wash our T-shirts in the sink. The KTMs are also made fresh? they are getting new rear tires. The Kimberley Plateau, an area the size of Germany that has still not been fully explored, lies ahead of us. The region has a tropical climate and during the rainy season between December and April, the Australian summer, the few roads are flooded and the slopes impassable. The rainy season is over, but the approximately 650 km long Gibb River Road, which runs through the middle of this area, is still closed. And there is no petrol, as a sign at the beginning of the “Gibb” announces uninvitingly. Anyone who drives here anyway must expect a fine of 200 Australian dollars. Does not matter ?? we risk a detour, this part of Australia seems too tempting to us. A vast savannah spreads out and we feel transported to Africa. The bulbous baobabs and baobabs only grow sporadically. A couple of elephants and giraffes and the picture would be perfect. However, reality quickly ends our daydreams, because in many depressions there is still the water from the last rainy season. The brown current in the rivers doesn’t look like ideal motorcycle terrain either. Bridges? Not in this part of the world. Fortunately, the water is never very deep. But the loamy ground turns out to be extremely slippery ?? we fitted the new tires at exactly the right moment. So we risk a little detour to Bell Gorge, a gorge in King Leopold National Park 30 kilometers away. Obviously no one has bothered to get there this year. The path is practically non-existent. We don’t find a trace. We laboriously navigate the two KTMs through grass that is as tall as a man and waist-deep watercourses. Every kilometer covered becomes a sense of achievement. And we actually make it to Bell Gorge, are overwhelmed by the enormous masses of water that tumble down into the depths of the canyon. The next day we reach the Imintji Roadhouse with cool drinks and sandwiches on offer. And plenty of information about the road conditions. The Pentecost River is still completely impassable. And there would also be countless salties in the river ?? the dreaded saltwater crocodiles ?? frolic. But even if the path were passable, we would have to turn back. There is actually no fuel other than diesel. We turn the enduros and make our way over the ?? logo, also blocked ?? Route through the Windjana Gorge on the direct path towards Fitzroy Crossing. There we finally meet again on Highway No. 1. A few hundred kilometers later we turn onto the Spring Creek Track. By Australian standards, a roller coaster that swings boldly through a landscape interspersed with termite mounds. In countless depressions it goes through mud holes or rivers to the Bungle Bungles National Park. From a ledge we look into narrow gorges, bizarre sandstone domes and mighty domes made of striated sandstone that look like oversized beehives. We leave the KTM and stroll through the gorges on foot. In the evening we meet Robert and Tory, who, like many, prefer to spend their time outside in the outback. Most of the night we sit together in front of the “Book TiVi”, as the Ausralians call their campfire with little romanticism. And the longer we look into the flames, the more we fall into a dream world. At this point at the latest, this fascinating continent at the other end of the world has completely cast its spell on us.


Traveling in the fifth continent is an experience in a new dimension – the vastness of Australia is almost unimaginable for Central Europeans. That is why you need a lot of time for a trip like this. Motorcyclists should have plenty of seat meat.

You cannot travel to Australia without a 20-hour flight. Depending on the season, a ticket to the other end of the world costs from around 800 euros. If you want to travel across the country, you should inquire about an open-jaw flight or, for example, with the Australian airline Quantas for domestic flights, which can be obtained relatively cheaply in advance the period of the intended stay in Australia is valid beyond. A visa is also required. There is a corresponding application form in every travel agency.ReisezeitAustralien can be roughly divided into a northern and southern part. In the North ?? in the tropics ?? it is warm all year round. In the Australian summer (between December and March), consumption-like rains even fall here, which flood entire stretches of land. In the south of the continent there is a similar climate to ours, only a few degrees warmer. The best months to travel are from mid-April to mid-October, so are the Australian winter ?? Only then should you set off into the hot and desert-like interior of the country. The motorcycle In the larger cities there are various rental stations whose vehicles are available, for example, from GS-Sportreisen (phone 089/27818484; or bike tours Australia (phone 02764/7824; can be booked. The prices vary depending on the vehicle, the length of the trip and the season. A Yamaha XT can be rented from around 50 euros per day. For long-term travelers there are often special flat rates. Those who have more time (and leisure) can look around on the private market for a used motorcycle (from around 2000 euros) and sell it again after the tour, which can, however, prove to be tedious can. The hire purchase, which is offered by many dealers, is safer. If the motorcycle is returned undamaged, the dealer pays back a previously determined purchase price. The most common motorcycles are the Yamaha XT 600 and Suzuki DR 650. Taking your own motorcycle by air or sea freight is only worthwhile for longer stays. For air freight, the price is based on the volume weight and is recalculated for each vehicle. Info: Bikeworld Travel (phone 05231/580262), Hellman Bike Courier (Mr. Siegl, phone 089/97594765) or GS-Sportreisen (phone 089/27818481). Inform MBS-Sea-Cargo (phone 02203/933842) or the travel agency Hamburg Sud (phone 040/37052593). Routes The petrol supply is good along the well-developed main roads. In the outback, on the other hand, the gas stations are sometimes 500 kilometers and further apart. There can be petrol at the petrol stations marked on the maps away from larger towns? but does not have to. In addition to sufficient fuel, there should always be enough drinking water on board. In the event of a breakdown, it can take hours to get help. As a rule, all slopes are easy to ski. Exception: during the rainy season or after storms. Signs warn of closures and provide information about the supply situation. Nowhere in the world are there more snakes and more poisonous to boot than in Australia. Of the 140 species of snakes, 20 are considered deadly! The best protection against a snakebite is sturdy shoes and long trousers as well as noisy locomotion. In addition, there are two species of crocodile in the north, of which the freshwater crocodile is considered to be rather harmless. But you can’t be safe from the aggressive saltwater crocodiles in any river or pond. After all, on the coasts in the north you will find the so-called box jelly fish, a species of jellyfish that quickly turns bathing into a deadly adventure in the summer months between November and April. Animals on the road are the ones when driving at dusk and in the dark The greatest danger and, above all, the kangaroos, which can be up to two meters tall, are sometimes unpredictable. With their lots of practical information for individual travelers, the English language »Outback Australia ?? from Lonely Planet for 28 euros and the “Australia Outback Handbook” from Reise Know-How for XYXY euros first choice. The best maps can be found in “Australia’s Great Desert Tracks Map Pack”. The four sheets, each with a scale of 1: 1.2500000, are available in bookshops and cost XYXYXYX euros each. In Australia, the branches of the AAC automobile club also offer good maps. Distance traveled: 6,800 kilometers Time required: four weeks

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