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5 weeks in a Supercell

October 25, 2023

5 weeks in a Supercell

Written by Mont Ambassador Geoff Murray

Last year I rode my motorcycle around the eastern half of Australia, covering a bit over 10,000kms and luckily timing the ride perfectly to dodge the massive floods that hit outback NSW and surrounding areas.

This year the logical extension was to ride around the other half of Australia. I marked out a route that took me from my home state of Tassie to Geelong, Adelaide, Darwin, Broome, Port Hedland, Perth, Adelaide then back to Geelong and on the ferry back to Tasmania.

The ideal time for a trip like this was July/August but that meant having gear that was going to cover the full gamut of Australia’s climate. I was starting in Tasmania in winter then heading for the tropical clime of North and North Western Australia.

I was fortunate to receive a new tent released by Mont just a couple of days before leaving. This is the new integral pitch tunnel tent called the Supercell. A 2 pole, roomy and classically designed tunnel tent. 

My trip was a total of 34 days and of those, I spent 27 nights in the Supercell so I definitely had a good opportunity to experience the tent’s qualities.

I have had tunnel tents in my life for a very long time and I genuinely love their classic bushwalker’s design. Their symmetry is elegant, they are spacious (and the vestibule of the Supercell is especially so), good in a wind and excellent at shedding snow (admittedly not a problem on this trip….).

Being integral pitch and having only 2 poles means the Supercell is one of the quickest tents available to pitch, regardless of the outside weather conditions. On a couple of occasions I needed to pitch the tent in windy conditions and once I had established a routine it was very quick and easy to get secure shelter organised.

My Mont gear for this trip consisted of the Supercell tent, a Mont Helium 450 sleeping bag, Mont thermals, a Slinx pile jumper, Bimberi shorts and trousers, my Mont beanie and my absolute favourite piece of gear, my Mont Zero jacket. 

The Zero jacket is outrageously warm for its bulk and weight, with the ultra lightweight shell material allowing the 1000 loft down to perform at its optimum, draping beautifully over the body and feeling so very luxurious. I never thought I would be waxing lyrical over a down jacket but there ya go :)

The first few days as I headed north were consistently fine but very windy but as I started traversing the true Outback things settled down and I was able to enjoy experiencing the barren but incredibly beautiful landscape that I was riding through. 

My camps ranged from totally isolated bush camps to more civilised spots at settlements along the way but every stop was different and enjoyable. I also experienced the remarkable hospitality of remote outback towns where people just want to help.

I talked to other travellers, interesting and adventurous people. One traveller that I met on the heavily corrugated and sandy Mereenie Loop, the alternative road between Watarrka (Kings Canyon) and Alice Springs was on a World Wide Walk, pushing a cart with all of his equipment on it. He was part way into the 120km dirt section of the road slowly pushing his cart over every corrugation and bump. He told me that when he reached Alice Springs that he would have just passed the 19,000 kilometre mark.

The landscapes were many and varied, from the verdant green of South Australia, the dusty barren brown of central Australia, into the more tropical bushland of northern Australia. I visited dense forests of Mangroves, rode past the incredible Boab trees of the Kimberley and gazed in awe at the over the top red rock hills of the Pilbara punctuated by yellow/green Spinifex. And I was able to photograph one of the truly magnificent but incredibly dangerous inhabitants of the north, the Saltwater Crocodile.


Even the traffic up north is remarkable. I had to pull off the road on a couple of occasions to let trucks carrying huge mining dump trucks past. These dump trucks weigh 240 tonnes and can carry 160 tonnes for an all up weight of 400 tonnes.

And then there are the road trains. Generally in central Australia they have 3 trailers and measure 53 metres in length but in the Pilbara that goes out to 4 trailers, 60 metres and ….108 wheels!!! They also weigh 200 tonnes and travel at 95-100  kph. Even on a high powered motorcycle, care is needed when overtaking them.

Riding back across the Nullarbor from Perth was almost an anticlimax after seeing the incredible diversity of landscapes further north.

And in those 34 days where I rode my motorcycle 14,000kms, I had one day of rain :)

I think I timed it well.

Mont Ambassador

Geoff Murray


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