Features 4 Apr 2019

Destination: 2019 KTM Australia Adventure Rallye – Tasmania

Touring Tasmania's greatest tracks, trails and roads with KTM's Adventure Rallye.

The fourth annual KTM Australia Adventure Rallye lapped Tasmania in the 2019 edition, delivering a spectacular five days of riding and a special experience that brought together a wide range of KTM adventure riders between 24-29 March.

With more than 190 KTM adventurers taking part – 158 riders and in excess of 30 support staff on location – this year’s Rallye swept around the southern state of Tasmania through a mixture of conditions and terrains.

Image: Wilkinson Photography.

The majority of participants were from Australia and a select number even rode 4,000-plus kilometres to reach the Rallye before returning home afterwards, while a selection of international attendees travelled from New Zealand and as far as Greece and the United States to take part.

Day one from Cradle Mountain saw mother nature intervene with snow falling on departure and temperatures as low as two degrees Celsius, with hail reported on no less than three occasions during the opening 381km main route or 411km breakout route to Strahan! Regardless, there was no dulling the energy as a week of adventure riding got underway.

The second day consisted of a 374km (main route)/403km (breakout route) ride from Strahan to Hobart, where the clouds ultimately cleared and the sun began to shine on the Rallye. Riders were treated to the first of the true breakout routes for an added element of difficulty, which were greeted with much enthusiasm and excitement.

Image: Wilkinson Photography.

Following a breakfast hosted by local dealer Motorworks, a 318km (main route)/346km (breakout route) journey from Hobart to Swansea was the adventure for day three and it didn’t disappoint. The Swanston Track offered a real highlight for those who took on the challenging breakout route, before Swansea provided one of the more stunning overnight locations of the entire trip.

KTM Australia unleashed its major surprise on day four between Swansea and St Helens when special guest Daniel Milner of the KTM Enduro Racing Team debuted the highly-anticipated 2019 KTM 790 Adventure R!

Dubbed ‘Operation Secret Squirrel’ by organisers, the yet to be released model was introduced at the top of Jacobs Ladder and successfully piloted by reigning Australian Off-Road Champion Milner for the remainder of the Rallye. The main route was 272km and breakout route 325km on the penultimate day.

Image: Wilkinson Photography.

The fifth and final day saw KTM-mounted adventurers power on from St Helens to Launceston in a brilliant 297km (main route)/313km (breakout route) ride in outstanding weather, even sharing the town of Derby with the Enduro World Series mountain-bike event to further elevate the endless memories encountered throughout Tasmania. It was a remarkable way to wrap-up what will go down as an immensely popular outing.

Once again, the Rallye wouldn’t have been possible without the variety of support staff involved, including the 4WD backup team of brothers Ray and Mark Barnes, Overlanders Tyre Support, Motorex Australia, the Racesafe medical team, route coordinator Nick Selleck, the lead/sweep rider crews and KTM Australia staff who each made it another smooth week of riding and experiences along the way. Zero mechanical DNFs were recorded and there were no serious mishaps.