The Great Australian Roadtrip (2007) was the successor of The Great Indian Roadtrip (2006). The Australian project was very close to my heart as it was the most difficult in terms to even concieve, let alone trying managing and executing it.

Why was the Australian project difficult for me?

  • I never had been outside of India before.
  • Even thinking of doing a roadtrip in a foreign land and showcasing it to thousands of people meant that there was no scope of slip ups. This was supposed to be no personal roadtrip - it was meant for my club, xBhp.com and will be involving sponsors and media.
  • Involving sponsors and media meant a lot of responsibilities and obligations.
  • Financial Constraints: Since there was a lot at stake and a lot to be achieved, I thought it would be prudent to go to Australia for three weeks some months before the trip started for a kind of recce and to get Australian media partners and motorcycle sponsors. This put a lot of financial strain on me as this money was not sponsored. But I still went ahead and I was successful.

My Role in the Australian Roadtrip project?

  • Concieving something different which had not been done by any Indian biking club before.
  • Getting sponsors for the trip. Main sponsor was Castrol. I managed to get Hyosung Australia and Nokia NSeries India for the trip.
  • Getting media partners for the trip and supplementary media coverage. I managed to get AMCN (Australian Motorcycle News Magazine) and Overdrive (India) as automotive print partners. Besides this there were newspaper releases, and feature articles in magazines like Maxim and T3.
  • Preparing and executing the trip : Branding of all the vehicles, selecting the cavalcade members, managing resources effectively.
  • Technical : Designing and developing the entire digital assets for the trip. The trip website, the blog etc. Ensuring blogs and content gets updated on the website at least three times a week.
  • Writing articles for magazines in Australia (AMCN) and India (Overdrive).
  • Doing photography and taking videos.

What was the aim of the roadtrip/project?

  • Inspiring Indians and Indian motorcyclists to discover the world on two wheels.
  • Showcasing motorcycling in a developed country to the growing motorcycle market in India.
  • Showcasing Australia's natural beauty via photos and blogs.
  • Promoting the general notion of discovering your world, travel and photography.

 

My role in the trip as a Photographer

I was using a Canon 400D with Canon 70-200mm, 100mm Macro, 10-22mm lenses. Below is a set of pictures taken on the Australian roadtrip, it is a Flash application. Click on it anywhere and then use keyboard arrow keys (left and right) to navigate between different images.

My role in the trip as a Writer

I was responsible for interfacing with the media and writing feature articles for magazine on the trip. I regularly wrote for two prestigious magazines in the Australian roadtrip. Overdrive Magazine in India and Australian Motorcycle News Magazine in Australia with full length feature articles.

 

My role in the trip as a Designer

I was responsible for designing the entire trip website along with all the creatives like tshirts, motorcycle branding schemes, riding gear branding etc. This was again an 360 degree real world excercise for me in branding.

View theGreatAustralianRoadtrip.com website concieved, designed and developed by me. The current website is a one pager, the main website was hacked and I am in the process of rebuilding it.

 

Some Roadtrip Facts

The Great Australian Roadtrip

Dates: November 1, 2007 to January 12, 2008 (72 days)

Riding days: 44

Total km done: 20,453km on road. 850 odd km on sea (Spirit of Tasmania)

Average km per day: 464km (in 44 riding days) or 284km (including non-riding days).

Longest distance in a day: 1234.5km (yes, that’s the actual figure; we added 5 kays by
loitering here and there after reaching the destination). December 25, 2007: Norseman
to Ceduna

Route taken: Melbourne-Wangarrata-Bairnsdale-Thredbo-Canberra-Katoomba-Sydney- Cessnock-Port Macquarie-Gold Coast-Brisbane-Hervey Bay-Rockhampton-Whitsunday Islands-Charters Toweres-Mt Isa-Tennant Creek-Alice Springs-Uluru-Katherine-Darwin- Kununurra-Halls Creek-Broome-Port Hedland-Tom Price-Carnarvon-Geraldon-Geraldon- Cervantes-Perth-Augusta-Albany-Esperance-Norseman-Port Lincoln-Adelaide-The Great Ocean Road-Melbourne-Devonport-Hobart-Launceston-Melbourne

Best place: Augusta (WA) because of its beaches and no congestion

Best roads ridden (in order of visit):

  • Great Alpine Way
  • Oxley Highway and Thunderbolts Way
  • The M1 to Brisbane
  • In Kata Tjuta National Park
  • 91 Mile Straight
  • Great Ocean Road
  • Devonport to Strahan

Best experiences

  • First sight of the countryside after leaving Melbourne
  • Morning Rainbow in the beautiful village of Thredbo
  • Lying in crystal blue waters of Whitsunday Islands
  • Watching the city of Mt Isa emerge in the middle of nowhere at dusk with a million teeming light bulbs
  • Watching a rainbow in front of the mystical Uluru with dark black clouds and the mighty bright sun shining through them
  • Walking on the beach in Geraldton
  • Walking on beaches of Augusta
  • Riding through Pinnacles Desert
  • Walking in London Court in Perth CBD
  • Dinner with an Australian family in Perth (Thanks, Simon M)
  • Doing 1200km on Christmas Day
  • Standing at the edge of the cliff at The Great Australian Bight
  • Crossing the nothingness of Nullarbor and the Never Never land
  • Seeing the devastation caused by Gordon Dam (not the best experience, but a unforgettable one)
  • Tuesday night at Joe’s Garage in Hobart
  • Meeting up with ‘Desi Bikers’ at Federation Square in
  • Melbourne after the trip finished

Worst experiences (not necessarily worst because they taught us a lot)

  • Riding the Barry’s Way in rain with ultra slippery ground
  • Riding in heavy rain for the first six days of the trip in Victoria and NSW
  • Sun rising at 5am in Brisbane and waking us up
  • Riding in heat in NT and WA • Fighting sleep on ultra straight roads in the north
  • The biggest problem for us were the cross winds, threatening all the times to throw us off the road
  • Staying in isolated places like Halls Creek where the only two motels had extravagant rates for lodging
  • What we were expecting, but didn’t happen (good and the bad)
  • Flash floods in the North, utter chaos on roads
  • Unbearable heat up north
  • Hot weather in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane – but everywhere we went it was cool, until of course we hit north
  • Us hitting a kangaroo or some other weird form of life on the road
  • No accidents
  • We thought we will see more than the four odd bikes we saw in thousands of kays in the northern and central outback 
  • Missing a track day at Phillip Island!

Some interesting questions we were asked in the trip

  • “Are you Casey Stoner?”
  • “If you are Indian how come you are not black?”
  • “If you are an Indian how come you speak English so well?”
  • “Isn’t India still a British Colony?”
  • “Can you do a mono for us?”
  • “Did you meet any aliens in the outback?”
  • “How did you ride from India?

 

Sponsors & Partners of The Great Australian Roadtrip (2007)

  • Castrol Power1 India
  • Nokia NSeries India
  • Hyosung Australia
  • yatra.com
  • Dream Sporting Gear India
  • Tourism Tasmania
  • Overdrive Magazine India
  • Thai Airways
  • Australian Motorcycle News
  Not Just A Photographer   As a Photographer
  The Great Indian Roadtrip (2006)
  About Me   As a Journalist   The Great Australian Roadtrip (2007)
]
  As a Motorcyclist   The Great New Zealand Roadtrip (2008)
  As an Entrepreneur   Castrol Power1 Passion Hunt India (2009)
  As a Graphic Designer   The Great Ireland Zealand Roadtrip (2008)