Africa Twin Across The Outback 2017: Day 9 – Alice Springs to Yulara

Day 9: Update for today – Odometer 17798km. Second time visiting Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, first being on the Ducati 1199 back in mid-2015. Great to be back in the centre of Australia. Both rock formations of Uluru and Kata Tjuta are absolutely amazing to see in person.

Day 9 at Kata Tjuta, Northern Territory.

Rookie mistake #9: The more that you try to do, the less that you will come across wholesome experiences.

Every single solo trip on the motorcycle have been a race against time, and this road trip had not been any different at all. Prioritising maximum distance coverage whilst attempting to squeeze in as many different locations at the same time, I am required to make significant compromises to achieve a road trip that is both adequately satisfactory and time efficient. Due to my own time constraints, in that I have to finish my whole road trip at a date and time no later than planned, I’ve had to pass on many places that would have been great attractions to visit.

Petrol station at Curtin Springs, Northern Territory.

I am very much the antithesis of the usual tourist. I refuse to purchase any souvenirs, don’t bother with tour guides and, where possible, I avoid staying at the same place for more than one night. I do not wish to feel too comfortable in one town; another day spent in one town is a day too many.  I have to be on the move constantly. In the end, I believe that there’s always going to be a new thing in the next destination to take up your interest.

In light of my usual road tripping routines, I also know that I am missing out on a more complete encounter of the experiences that could have been that extra step away for me. As a way to keep myself from straying from navigable routes, I mostly stay on roads that appear on the GPS. I rarely walk away out of sight from my motorcycle, which means that I am restricted to only the places where the motorcycle can be ridden. Physically, I am already missing out on a massive chunk of what the outback of Australia can offer to the keen explorer without such a self-imposed handicap.

Mount Connor, a large mesa near the Curtin Springs cattle station area, standing 300 metres tall from its base.
Entrance of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

But even if I did only stay on the road, I am still missing out on a lot. If I had a longer schedule for my travels, I would be able to take more detours without risking the feasibility of my deadlines. Places that are within very easy reach with a motorcycle, such as The Devils Marbles and the West MacDonnell National Park, have not yet been given a visit, even though I have now visited the Northern Territory annually for three consecutive years on a motorcycle to date.

Kata Tjuta in the background.

In the end, though, it’s still great to be able to do all this on my own accord. I could have easily allocated these 14 days to a location that is closer to home. After all, there are still plenty of locations in NSW around the Sydney basin that I haven’t yet explored. The inland areas of outback Australia was a calling that I had to satisfy using my Africa Twin so, even if I had not seen as much as what other travellers would have done, I’ve learned so much from these experiences, particularly when it comes to rugged dirt riding for a week, something that I’ve never done to even a fraction of its extent.

Aside from gaining new experiences, it has been a great time to be reacquainted with the majestic rock formations of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. I had first visited this park back in mid-2015 when I rode all the way out here with my old Ducati 1199 Panigale, and they don’t fail to amaze with their mass and textures. Depending on the time of the day and amount of available sunlight, they will also display different shades of colours. Certainly a place that will keep any photographer and avid sightseer busy for a great deal of time.

Uluru at 6pm local time in the Winter season.

Whether or not I’ll visit this part of the Northern Territory in the next few years remains a question to be answered, as I now have an international adventure bucket list to fulfil before I run out of what remains as a young adult in his 20s. What is certainly guaranteed is that there will still be loads of new locations to visit. I will never have the time to get sick of any place due to my travel habits, and that’s a good thing; I will never be able to overdose on a specific venue. Nature is our performer and the open road is its stage; its purpose as a performer is to leave us wanting more!


Basic Statistics for the day:

  • Route: Erldunda, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Curtin Springs
  • Total distance: 560km
  • Range of temperature: 20°C to 36°C

Expenses for the day:

Africa Twin - Outback 2017 - Expenses - Day 9

General map route:

Africa Twin - Outback 2017 - Map - Day 9.jpg