Kiwi biker aims for bucket list ride across Aussie
Despite the risks of his motorbike breaking down, dehydration and crashing into wildlife, former Matamata resident Warwick Tapper will set out to travel 10,400 kilometres though Australian desert to cross it off his bucket list.
His parents, who still live in Matamata, will keep an eye on him via a GPS stracker which will chart his progress.
''My parents and my wife are not overly excited by it but I think they have accepted it,’’ the 51-year-old, who now lives in Moranbah, Queensland, said.
He will start at the most eastern point of Australia, Cape Byron, and travel to the most western point, Steep Point, and then turn around and come back again.
That is if his journey is not stopped by motorbike breakdowns, dehydration and wildlife.
He thinks he has found the safest speed to travel on his Husqvarna TE 630 motorbike after several errors with Australian wildlife.
''There are issues with kangaroos and emu; at 80kmh you will hit something but at 70kmh you have time for both you and the animal to dodge.
''I’ve seen so many blokes hits cows, kangaroos and emus at 110kmh and break arms and ribs.’’
He will always have five litres of water and two days of food on him during the trip to keep himself safe from dehydration.
At one point in the journey there will be nowhere to refuel for 800km.
His Spot Tracker GPS unit has a variety of pre-written texts that he can send to his wife or parents.
The SOS button alerts the United States company that sells the device to call the closest authority to Tapper.
It could take authorities up to six hours to get to him.
The crossing of Cooper Creek could determine his whole route; if it’s impassable that will change his route.
He is planning to do the 14-day trip in July or August, which is the wet season and could mean flash flooding.
The temperature could be 25 degrees Celsius to 27 deg C during the day and drop to between -5 deg C and -8 deg C at night.
Tapper’s love for motorbikes began on the Matamata farm his parents owned, and he shares that love with his father, his two brothers and late uncle.
Tapper has already completed an adventure ride. In 2012, he completed the 8000km APC rally in 15 days but this is the first time he has set out by himself.