Landing in Darwin, Australia
Starting out from the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, Darwin, the 2016 Trans-Oceania tour officially begins! The Northern Territory is a vast expanse of land that covers approximately one sixth of the Australian continent. To give you an idea of how large that is, it’s the equivalent of combining the areas of France, Italy and Spain together! About 80% of the territory lies within the tropics, having a maximum elevation of 450 meters. So, the weather is absolutely beautiful most of the time, until the wet season hits (October to April) where the coast is susceptible to tropical hurricanes and typhoons. Luckily, the Trans-Oceania team will be much further south by the time any cyclones touch down.
So now that you’ve got an idea about Darwin and the Northern Territory, we’ll jump right into talking about the first few days leading to the start of the tour. Despite a few pieces of luggage getting lost along the way from Sydney, or in the case of our mechanic’s bike, not leaving Toronto, everything arrived in time for the start. The first major task was to organize and clean our day-to-day equipment, including items such as cutlery, cooking pots and the ever important water tanks. As the staff were organizing and cleaning these items in front of the hotel, city rangers showed up asking whether they had a permit to do this. Despite seeming like a bizarre situation, the staff proceeded to move operations to the hotel’s underground parking lot.
Once this was taken care of, shopping for food and additional equipment took place. Below, you can see our chef, Yanez, holding out the kilometre-long food supply receipt!
Can you believe that this is only a few days’ worth of food supply?
For the start of the tour, there are riders joining from a variety of countries including Britain, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States. Since Australia and New Zealand’s terrains are mainly comprised of smooth, paved road, riders are making use of road and hybrid bikes with low-rolling resistance, smooth tread tires.
At the first official meeting between the staff and riders, Yanez had a few special treats waiting for everyone. This consisted of savoury crackers with smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill as well as a few other goodies like a delicious Pavlova dessert.
After the route details and rider’s questions were answered, everyone was ready to fix their number plates to their bikes.
With everything set and in place, the Trans Oceania tour’s staff and riders are ready to tackle Australia’s outback!