Gear up for your next adventure with this guide to motocamping by our on-road aficionado Adam, who breaks down the gear, the bikes, and the best routes to get you started.

Quick Overview

Motocamping is one of the best ways to see Australia’s wide open spaces and beautiful nature. There’s something for everyone, from rocky beaches and thick jungles to sun-drenched fields and rolling hills. It’s an experience that not many people get to have, and it can be incredibly rewarding.

Before you head out, there are some important details you need to know. Do you need new camping gear? How do you choose the right bike? What routes are best for motocamping?

Don’t worry, this comprehensive guide will help you get ready for the excitement of motocamping, whether you’ve done it before or it’s your first time. Before you get on your bike and fuel up, let’s talk about what ‘motocamping’ actually is.

What is motocamping?

Motocamping is essentially travelling for multiple days by motorbike, camping along the way, and carrying all of your gear on your bike.

It’s an adventurous and unique way to explore the world, often with the convenience of being able to stay in one location for multiple days. You can travel the world in a way that most people will never experience.

Motocamping also provides an opportunity to become part of the local community, meet new people, and discover hidden gems you wouldn’t find if you took a standard vehicle. It can be challenging at times, but it’s truly rewarding.


How much do I need to invest?

The cost of a motocamping setup can vary greatly depending on the type of riding you plan to do, the gear you choose, and your personal preferences.


Bike and Riding Gear

The first thing you have to decide is what kind of bike you want to ride. A dual-sport or adventure bike might be the best choice for longer trips and off-road activities. These bikes have a good mix of ease on-road and ability off-road. If you just want to go on short trips on the weekends, a commuter or touring bike might be better.

After you decide on a bike, you’ll need to buy good quality riding gear. This includes a helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, and pants. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time on the road, it’s important to choose your gear with safety and comfort in mind. Depending on the brand and features you choose, you can expect to spend between $1,500 and $3,000 on good riding gear.


Camping Gear

When it comes to camping gear, there’s a wide range of options to suit every budget. For basic motocamping, you’ll need a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, camp stove, tools, and other items like a head torch. You can find cheaper choices for each item, but remember that quality matters, especially when it comes to gear that’ll be out in the weather and in rough conditions.

To save money, you might want to buy used gear or borrow it from friends. You can also look for deals at outdoor stores or shop online. Basic camping gear can cost as little as $750, but if you spend a little more on good gear, you’ll be more relaxed and have a better time.

You can go motocamping on a tight budget, especially if you choose a dual-sport bike and focus on cheap but reliable gear. With a budget of $12,000 to $15,000, you should be able to put together a comfy and useful setup that lets you hit the road and camp out under the stars.


Wandering South: Motorbike Touring Southern NSW, cam elkins, harbour bridge, motorbike, sunrise

Photo by Cam Elkins

How to Choose a Bike

Now to the most important part: how do you choose a bike? First, think about whether you’ll be exploring and riding on dirt roads or singletrack and off-road paths. This will help you figure out what kind of motorcycle will work best for you.

If you’re new to riding a motorcycle or haven’t done much off-road riding, you should start with a smaller, lighter bike that’s easier to control. Dual-sport bikes like the Suzuki DR-Z400S or the Kawasaki KLR650 are comfortable on the road and can go off-road, but they aren’t too scary for newbies.

If you like to explore more and go off-road sometimes, you might prefer an adventure touring bike like the KTM 500 EXC-F. You can ride these bikes comfortably on streets and dirt roads, and they can also handle some light off-road conditions. If you’ve been on a motorcycle many times before, you might want to give a BMW GS1250 a go (it’s a beast!).

Remember, the best bike for motocamping is the one that fits your riding style, level of experience, and personal tastes. Before making a choice, you should test-ride a few different bikes and get help from expert riders or online groups.


A comprehensive guide to motocamping, Adam Jones, motorcycle on bridge, Khancoban Pondage, Snowy Mountains, Credit: Snowy Valleys Council; Matt Beaver,

Photo by Snowy Valleys Council: Matt Beaver

What safety equipment do I need?

Safety gear is important when you’re riding a motorcycle or motocamping because it keeps you from getting hurt in the event of an accident. Each piece is made to do a specific job while protecting you as a whole.



A helmet is one of the most important pieces of safety gear because it keeps your head from getting hurt if you fall, and could just save your life. Look for a helmet that fits well and meets safety standards (such as DOT, ECE or Snell). Depending on the brand, features, and materials used, helmets can cost anywhere from $150 to more than $1,200.


Jackets and Pants

Jackets and pants protect your chest and legs. They often have materials that don’t wear down easily and built-in pads to protect you from blows. When picking out a motorcycle jacket and pants, you should think about features like breathability, protection, and flexibility. Motorcycle jackets and pants can cost anywhere from $150 to more than $1,500 per item.



Gloves are important because they protect your hands and make it easier to hold onto the grips. Look for gloves that include a grip-strengthening feature, support for the knuckles, and are a good fit. A good pair of gloves will cost anywhere from $45 to more than $300.

When choosing safety gear for motocamping, put comfort and quality at the top of your list as you’ll be wearing these items for long periods of time. These are the details that you should never skimp on – make your protection and safety a priority. Investing in good safety gear is always a good idea – it not only keeps you safe on the road but also makes your ride experience better as a whole.

What kind of camping equipment should I buy?

You don’t have to buy all new camping gear for your motorcycle camping trip. But when choosing gear for your motorcycle, it’s important to keep in mind the limited room and weight restrictions. This might mean that you need to rethink the camping gear you already have, and buy smaller, lighter items that are better suited for motocamping.



When considering your camping gear for a motocamping trip, give preference to items that are light, easy to pack, and useful for more than one thing. For example, instead of a big sleeping bag, choose a small one that keeps you warm and doesn’t take up too much room. Also, choose a small cook stove and cooking set made for travelling or backpacking. These tend to take up less room than traditional camping equipment.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace

How do I find trails and routes?

It can be hard to find trails and routes suitable for motorcycles, especially if you’re new to Australia or don’t know anyone here. But, there are great tools out there that can help you to find the right trail for your next trip.

Gaia GPS – an app that has great maps and directions for climbing, biking, and other outdoor sports – is a very popular choice. Gaia GPS makes it easy to look for trails near you and find out a lot about each one. You can also save your best tracks and routes for quick reference on the road. The app works on both Apple and Android devices, so you can use it no matter what kind of phone or tablet you have.

Joining local riding groups in Australia is another great way to find trails and routes. If you’re near Brisbane, the SEQ Motorcycle Riders are well known and welcoming to newcomers. You can also check out the Melbourne Motorcycle Riders, Perth Motorbike & Sidecar Riders, and the Sydney (250cc or LAMs) & Beyond Riders Group if you plan to motocamp around those areas.

Many of these groups post GPS routes they’ve used online, which make it easy to find new places to explore. Plus, they often advise on the best places to ride locally and sometimes plan group rides. Joining a local riding group is a great way to meet people who love exploring the outdoors as much as you do.

Read more: A Beginner’s Guide to Planning Your First Motorcycle Adventure

The Best Places to Take Your New Ride

Australia is a vast and diverse country with countless opportunities for motorcycle adventures. While popular destinations like the Great Ocean Road and Snowy Mountains are well-known among riders, several hidden gems offer equally stunning landscapes and thrilling riding experiences.


Oxley Highway, New South Wales


A comprehensive guide to motocamping, Adam Jones, Oxley Highway, Walcha, Sun shining over country landscape and road, Credit: Destination NSW

Photo by Destination NSW


The Oxley Highway in NSW is one of these lesser-known places. This beautiful path winds from Port Macquarie on the coast to the inland town of Coonabarabran. It’s over 163km long, and features the section of highway that joins Wauchope and Walcha.

The road has wide curves, tight turns, and stunning views of green valleys and rolling hills. Along the way, you can visit small towns, national parks, and historic sites – which make it a great place to go motocamping.


Flinders Ranges, South Australia



The Flinders Ranges in South Australia is another hidden gem. This rough and remote area has everything from smooth roads to difficult off-road tracks that are perfect for riding.

Riders can enjoy the solitude of the Australian desert while discovering ancient scenery, unique rock formations, and rich Aboriginal history. Plan your trip carefully because petrol stations and places to stay can be hard to find in this area.


Alpine Way, New South Wales


A comprehensive guide to motocamping, Adam Jones, motorcycle on country road, Khancoban, Snowy Mountains, Credit: Snowy Valleys Council; Matt Beaver,

Photo by Snowy Valleys Council: Matt Beaver


The Alpine Way – which winds through Kosciuszko National Park in NSW – is another beautiful place to go motocamping. This beautiful road takes you on an exciting trip through the Snowy Mountains, right up to the Thredbo Community bell – Australia’s highest lifted point at 2,037m. Along the way you’ll see snow-covered hills, clear lakes, and thick forests.

Every time you turn a corner on these twisting mountain roads, you’ll be graced with a stunning view. Along the way, visit cute mountain towns, walk through the Kosciuszko National Park or even try your hand at trout fishing along the Thredbo River.

With these lesser-known places, you can enjoy the beauty and excitement of Australia’s scenery without crowds and traffic.

Before hitting any of these routes, be sure that the maintenance on your bike is up to date to reduce the likelihood of mechanical issues on the road.

Read more: Wandering South: Motorbike Touring Southern NSW

What are you waiting for?

Motocamping is a unique and exciting way to see Australia’s beautiful scenery and different terrains. By combining the excitement of riding a motorcycle with the peace of camping, you’ll make memories you’ll never forget and get closer to the great outdoors.

When you go off the beaten path and find Australia’s secret gems, you’ll see and feel the real beauty and spirit of the country. With careful planning, the right gear, and a sense of adventure, your motocamping trip will be nothing short of amazing.

So, get on your bike, and go on the ultimate Australian motocamping journey. It’s time for the ride of your life.


Feature photo thanks to Cam Elkin