Touring on a motorcycle is a wonderful experience that puts you right in the landscape for an experience you will always remember. Seeing the world from a motorbike opens up a whole new perspective.
Have you ever been taken for a ride?
I have… and I loved it.
Touring on a motorcycle – the experience
The sweet tarmac unrolls under us.
The dense canopy of the Royal National Park envelop us in a refreshing shade of green and finally, an ocean view – to die for – opens up in front of us.
And yes, this is exactly how you experience things when you tour on a motorcycle.
There are no frames to contain the view and no distracting comforts to prevent you from being fully in the moment.
In a car, you can eat, drink, listen to music, turn the air conditioning or the heating on or off to modify the environment you are cruising through.
On a motorcycle, there is none of that.
You are in the landscape.
You are part of it.
You star in your own show, not watch one.
The awareness of being so physically vulnerable to the vagaries of other drivers, the weather and the terrain, keep you focused in the present moment.
As the powerful machine purrs sweetly under you, a feeling of freedom begins to grow.
You can almost touch the ground, the trees, the ocean.
There are no doors and no seat belts.
There’s nothing to contain you or restrain you.
It is all up to you to balance and stay on the bike.
Sitting astride, you are in control of your body.
If a feeling of overconfidence creeps in, soon enough you will be reminded that you are just balancing on two, crazily spinning wheels.
Our Harley Davidson touring bike
When the Fat Lady – as David’s bike is affectionately called – is requested to overtake another vehicle, the force is with you.
It is impossible to ignore that surge of power.
This motorcycle is a 2005 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe, part of Harley Davidson’s cruiser line-up featuring an 88 cubic inch (1442cc ) V twin motor with 2 valves per cylinder with a 5-speed transmission and a belt final drive.
Key measurements include: 64.5 in (1.6383m) wheelbase, 24.5 in (0.6223m) seat height, and 676 pounds (307kg) dry weight.
This particular Harley touring bike has had engine bars and a pillion backrest added as required for carrying paying passengers.
David uses a Sena Bluetooth communication system (from rider to pillion) to enhance the experience of a guided tour.
No, I don’t know how to drive a motorcycle but I have been taken for a ride (and you can too) in a beautiful part of New South Wales by David Reeves, of Ride the World.
David is a veteran rider and expert motorcycle guide who loves to share his passion with other adventurous spirits.
From his teens on, he has always been messing around with motorcycles and finally turned his passion into his profession.
Touring on a motorcycle to the South Coast
On our tour of the Sutherland Shire and the South Coast, we stop at Captain Cook’s landing place at Kurnell, then on to Wanda and Cronulla Beaches before following the Grand Pacific Drive through the Royal National Park.
A stop at the spectacularly massive Hindu Temple, Sri Venkateswara, built on top of a hilly area 400 feet above sea level, is an unexpected treat.
Grand and peaceful, the temple has four ‘praharam’ (encircling corridors) and is the biggest in the southern hemisphere.
All are welcome to visit.
Finally, reaching Bald Hill, the spectacular Illawarra coastline opens up in front of us.
This is a spot where hang gliders soar high above the ocean below just like seagulls.
David takes the opportunity to explain how Lawrence Hargraves (29 January 1850 – 6 July 1915, an Australian engineer, explorer, astronomer, inventor and aeronautical pioneer) spent most of his life researching air currents from this spot.
His findings and experiments with box kites were instrumental to the development of aircraft.
His house is at Stanwell Park down below the cliff.
Pictures taken, we then cruise on the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge near Wollongong, a balanced cantilevered bridge that for many will be the highlight of this tour.
It is for me.
Quintessentially Australian views unfold before my eyes: cliffs, wild rockscapes and the ocean.
This offshore bridge was built to replace part of the road, which was prone to dangerous rock fall.
It was first opened in 2005.
Related post: While exploring the NSW South Coast, here are some things to do in Kiama.
Motorcycle tours in Australia
If you are thinking of touring on a motorcycle or are searching for a gift for someone wild at heart or are a visitor from abroad seeking an extraordinary Australian experience, Ride the World is the place to start your search.
If you are a rider, David also leads group motorcycle tours in Australia and abroad.
If you are a rider from abroad, David will arrange a rental bike for you and organise a tour for you and your friends.
Being taken for a ride in a safe environment is absolutely thrilling.
Just think of the memories and the selfies (a selfie stick is a good idea to video yourself riding as it gives you enough length to do so).
Touring on a motorcycle around Sydney is a fabulous way to see the sights, such as Sydney’s stunning harbourfront and the Sydney Opera House.
However, venture a little further and you’ll soon discover a world of wonders. Here are four more places to go touring on a motorcycle in New South Wales.
New England Tablelands
1000m above sea level, the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales is a landscape of rolling hills, lush valleys and plateaus on the Great Dividing Range.
It’s a picturesque ride in the NSW countryside, past cattle and sheep farms, through historic towns like Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Inverell and Armidale.
Another agriculturally diverse region, the wide open roads take you past irrigated crop farms, fruit orchards and the wine regions of Orange, Cowra and Mudgee.
Both New England and the Central Tablelands have mild summers and cooler winters and a comfortable climate for touring on a motorcycle.
From Port Macquarie, head south and the road hugs the coastline.
Explore the waterways and fishing villages of the Camden Haven, beaches, lakes and panoramic views and ride through Crowdy Bay National Park, tasting fresh oysters along the way.