Whales worth the global ride

Simon and Lisa Thomas, stopping in Hervey Bay on their 400,000km motorbike ride to see the whales.
Simon and Lisa Thomas, stopping in Hervey Bay on their 400,000km motorbike ride to see the whales. Roderick Makim

THE whales of the Fraser Coast have won a big endorsement from a couple who have seen everything.

"That was worth riding 400,000km for," the UK's Simon Thomas said.

Simon and his wife Lisa have been riding around the world on motorbikes since 2003 and they specifically chose Hervey Bay as one of the first stops in Australia to see the whales.

"It was just fantastic," Lisa said.

The couple had previously seen whales while in South Africa but said the "gymnastics" of the humpbacks here put the experience in a league of its own.

Australia is the 77th country Simon and Lisa have visited on their BMW motorbikes, covering almost 400,000km across the globe so far.

When they left the UK in 2003, their aim was to circumnavigate the planet, riding on all seven continents, set five Guinness Endurance World Records, raise money for some charities along the way and fulfil a lifelong dream.

"It was all my wife's idea," joked Simon.

With various misadventures along the way including bouts with malaria, dengue fever and a broken neck, it was easy to believe him when he said: "there has never been a dull moment".

With another 45 countries on the itinerary after Australia, the couple would head north to Darwin after leaving Hervey Bay.

"We've just had a great time here," they said.

"We will just keep going until we lose the 'wow factor' in what we're doing," Simon said.

With experiences such as the humpbacks breaching in Hervey Bay on their journey, however, the wow factor certainly wasn't being lost just yet.

For more information on Simon and Lisa's adventures, visit their website


2 Ride the World

While in Australia, Simon and Lisa are looking to break these two records:

  1. The longest overall journey by motorcycle in a single country
  2. The longest continuous journey by motorcycle within a single country

Both records are currently held by Canadians Colin and Ryan who circumnavigated China achieving 16,240km.

Topics:  fraser coast motorbike tourism travel whale watching

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