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Old 03-19-2009, 08:18 AM   #1
OzBen OP
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Goldfields - Western Australia

Seven riders started but unfortunately one came off on the first day and his trip ended there. The Goldfields is about 500km east of Perth and rich in gold and nickel. Gold was discovered in 1893 and mines are still scattered all over the place (many abandoned). It’s like visiting another planet - things are done differently and everyone works and plays hard. There are numerous old ironclad hotels and pubs that were built during the gold boom and survived all these years in what seems to be the middle of nowhere.

6 days – 2500kms mostly on dirt. Four 1200GS’s, an R80GS and a KLR650.
As a result of a cyclone up north some parts of the Goldfields had heavy rain the days before we got there and dirt roads were closed to traffic. We travelled mostly on dirt and some roads were opened the day before, or even on the day we got there. Two riders dented their front rims in washouts and two had punctures. Shane had road tyres on his GS and as a result ended up in the mud twice.

Day 1 we left Perth and travelled north to Perenjori on sealed roads, then east on dirt to Paynes Find. Kev picked a bad line on a sandy creek crossing and after a spectacular display of motorcycle aerobics, landed pretty hard. For his efforts he got a badly injured shoulder and hip, three broken ribs, one written off bike and one damaged ego - but Kev's a tough one so he lived. The satellite phone came to the rescue and about four hours later an ambulance was on the scene.

In the meantime, John had continued on to Paynes Find where he got hold of a truck and came back to collect Kev’s bike. The rest of us got to Paynes Find tavern at about 9pm that night. The owners had heard about the med-evac and kept the bar open late for a much needed thirst quencher.

The next day we continued to Sandstone on dirt...

...and visited the Youanmi abandoned gold mine.

Shane got intimate with a mud puddle, but no injuries (emotional maybe?)

At Sandstone we repaired a puncture which didn’t take long (tubeless tyre).

Heading to Agnew we passed ‘London Bridge’...

...and the old brewery...

...before camping behind the old Agnew ironclad hotel and having a few drinks at the pub - great atmosphere.

Day 3 was more challenging. The dirt road to Leonora had been opened for 4wd only that very morning and graders were still doing repairs. There were floodways, sand, mud, clay and water on the road.

We came across a bogged Land Cruiser and eventually one of the graders pulled it free.

Richard and Dren both dented their front rims in washouts and I got my bike bogged.

We reached Leonora in time for a pub lunch and then visited the Gwalia open cut mine...

...and the abandoned township...

...before continuing on dirt to Kookynie.

After a thirst quencher in the beer garden and stocking up on bourbon...

...we travelled a short distance to camp at Niagara dam.

Day 4 through Menzies and on dirt to Snake Hill for a look at the Outback Art Sculptures on Lake Ballard (there's never water in it).

...and then headed south.

Dren got a puncture which took longer to repair as he has tubes.

We stopped for a look at Rowles lagoon (which had water for a change).

...and had a few drinks at Ora Banda Historical Inn...

...before camping in the bush.

Day 5 took us past Broad Arrow tavern (it was closed when we got there early morning, which was probably a good thing).

...and on to Kalgoorlie, which is the capital of the Goldfields region.

A quick look at the infamous Hay Street brothel with its pink cubicles...

...and then a look-see at the Kalgoorlie Super Pit, the largest open cut gold mine in Australia.

Currently, the Super Pit is 3.5km long, 1.5km wide and more than 440m deep.

Coolgardie next and south on the Victoria Rock dirt road.
We managed to get about 100km down this road when we found ourselves on the edge of a hail storm.

Shane and his beloved road tyres had their second intimate moment with the mud and the rain was making the road super slippery.

We decided to turn back and got rained on all the way back to Coolgardie.

The skies started clearing... we pushed on to Karalee dam to camp.

We returned to Perth the next day - but for Kev’s accident, it was a great trip and time well spent (beats working).

OzBen screwed with this post 09-13-2011 at 05:10 AM
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:12 PM   #2
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Wow, that's quite the muddy adventure! thanks for the report and all those pics!

Let's hope Kev recovers quickly
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:18 PM   #3
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excellent report mate
looking forward to more
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:29 PM   #4
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Looks like another great aussie adventure, fella's
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:18 PM   #5
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Great report and pictures OzBen.
I did a solo on the bottom end of that Holland Track (Victoria Rocks) in similar weather and spent more time lying down beside the GS having little rests than riding I think. That is slippery slippery dirt when wet (especially with Tourances on). Fortunately for my ego my camera battery was dead... sorry guys.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:38 PM   #6
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Oh man, i want to do THAT ride
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by petefromberkeley
Oh man, i want to do THAT ride
Shiite - I just wanna ride OZ!
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:45 PM   #8
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well done, brothers!
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:07 PM   #9
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Thanks for posting.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:48 PM   #10
Aussie BM rider, West Oz.
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Again, a nice report Ben.

I like the small screen on your bike. John's been trying a much higher one as he bought a new helmet that is really noisy, he's trying to get the air over his head. I suggested he forget about it and take the screen off altogether or try a smaller one.
I'll have to make sure he reads this report.

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Old 03-19-2009, 10:09 PM   #11
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thats really cool.
Prepare for the worst and dare the good Lord to dissapoint you.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:33 PM   #12
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Very good pics and RR!

Thanks for sharing!

Best greatings from Germany
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:13 AM   #13
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Keep 'em coming Ben, good stuff.

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Old 03-20-2009, 02:19 AM   #14
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oh yeah !
What a landscape ! Great
you're damned lucky !!
Cheers to you for this RR !
Vita brevis, ars longa, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:41 AM   #15
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great stuff blokes, need to get my arse over there
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