Charley Boorman opposite the Sydney Opera House
Surrounded by a convoy of over 300 keen motorcyclists, actor and adventurer Charley Boorman swept across the majestic Sydney Harbour Bridge on July 22nd, aboard a BMW R 1200 GS Adventure.
The last stage of his 'By Any Means' challenge brought to a close three months on the road travelling 'By Any Means' from Wicklow in Ireland to the Botanical Gardens in Sydney's iconic Harbour. By Any Means, the brainchild of Boorman and Russ Malkin, has seen a three-man crew pass through 24 different countries and travel 21,132 miles (33,811 km) since April on more than 100 different modes of transport. Boorman, Malkin and cameraman Mungo have filmed every step of the voyage, which will be made into a six-part TV series to be shown in the UK on BBC Two from September and on the National Geographic Channel globally in the New Year. Gritty adventurer Boorman underwent rigorous training in preparation for the journey, having set himself the challenge to travel from Ireland to Sydney through extremely diverse countries and cultures by many different modes of transport other than commercial aircraft. The countries visited include Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, India, Nepal and Indonesia with forms of transport ranging from trains to container ships, dugout canoes, cement barges and solar cars, with Boorman ending the adventure on his best-loved form of transport - the motorcycle.
With the Sydney Opera House as a backdrop, Charley was able to relax with his family and friends as well as the crew of the latest adventure, after the ride.
"It feels incredible to finally arrive in Sydney after an epic three and a half months' journey from my Dad's house in Ireland," said Charley. "One of the most memorable highlights was sailing in a small wooden boat from Timor to Darwin. It took six days and for three of them we had really bad weather. It was brilliant to meet up with the family. It was fantastic - I was so excited to see them."
The final day of the trip began just after dawn in Wollongong, on the New South Wales south coast. There Charley met up with hundreds of well-wishers and fans who joined him on the three hour ride into the center of Sydney on a picture perfect Australian winter's day.
BMW Motorrad dealers and HP2 Megamoto riders Max and Ben Stratton drove more than 2,000 mi
BMW Motorrad Australia provided the crew with a selection of motorcycles to complete the last leg of the journey, with Charley on a 2008 R 1200 GS Adventure - the latest version of the bike he and Ewan McGregor made famous in their 'Long Way Round' and follow up 'Long Way Down' adventure journeys.
Also in the fleet for the crew and Charley's wife Olivia, were a BMW HP2 Megamoto, several R 1200 GS and F 650 GS models, and a K 1200 R.
Before departing Wollongong, Charley was interviewed by breakfast television and several key media organisations followed his route into Sydney. Charley shared the ride with his children, having Kinvara on the back of the Adventure at first and then swapping to put Doone on the back for the last stretch into Sydney.
The BMW riders escorted Charley along the route which took in the spectacular Sea Cliff Bridge, before threading its way through the western suburbs of Sydney and culminating in the ride over the Harbour Bridge. At the end of the ride Charley was welcomed to the Botanical Gardens by an Aboriginal representative of the indigenous owners of the land.
"We were very pleased we were able to supply Charley and his crew with BMW motorcycles to provide a fitting finish to his latest epic adventure," said Cameron Cuthill, General Manager BMW Motorrad Australia and New Zealand.
"Charley has had a strong link with BMW with 'Long Way Round' and 'Long Way Down' as well as 'Race to Dakar', so to finish 'By Any Means' on a BMW seemed to be the perfect ending to a dream trip. And just to make his transfer back to civilization all the easier, we have lent him the Megamoto to commute around Sydney for a while."
Charley and his family look set to stay on in Australia for a while visiting Uluru (Ayres Rock) and far North Queensland.