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Old 01-28-2015, 01:15 AM   #1
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Oddometer: 19
An oldie but a goodie - trip around Australia

So here is a RR from a trip I did with my brother and ex gf a few years back in 2009. We were on the road for just over 2 months all told.

So almost 15000 km later we are home at last. What a fantastic experience! This was the trip of a lifetime and I'd go again tomorrow.

This ride report is in diary form based on the notes etc I took along the way and is broken down into impressions of the day and so forth.

As there are a ton of photos and a fair bit of text to get through I'll be putting this out in installments, here goes....

After getting the idea a couple of years before and months of planning it was finally time to go. We met up at BP Yatala as that's where all our rides South seem to start. We'd be going a lot further this time however!

Day 1 - Brisbane to Uranga NSW

Ready to go!

Today was basically a transport day as we do the roads immediately south of Brisbane all the time. We couldn't resist the Burringbar Range however and it was as much fun as ever. We took a wrong turn somewhere south of Alstonville but discovered some fun backroads. Roadworks on the Waterfall Way meant we could only do one lap but it was still good.

Stopped at Uranga for the night and made friends with some locals.

Fantastic Plastic!

Day 2 - Uranga to Maitland

Beautiful start to the day riding beside the water at Macksville. Looked like rain but the Oxley was dry and so we all hooked in!

Great Road!

NO fuel at Nowendoc so Sandy and Troy topped up with our spare fuel. The mighty Bandit made it to Gloucester. Thunderbolts Way was fast and fun. 30 minutes of pissing rain coming into Maitland wasn't!

Day 3 - Maitland to Cowra

Premium parking under the Family Hotel in Maitland

All dried out and raring to go we had a great run down the Bylong Valley Road. This is a much better option than the Putty Road if you want to avoid Sydney.

No one mentioned dirt!

We stopped in Bathurst for lunch and called into Bikers Bathurst which is still the best bike shop I know. We were told of a nice detour to Cowra through Newbridge and Blaney. Strong winds for the last 60 kms. We were all buggered so the Chinese meals accross the road from our hotel were a nice way to top off a big day.

Weird beer glass had Troy amused!

ay 4 - Cowra to Corryong

We met up with Ev-Man and Guffy for a fun but windy blast to Gundagai. Lunch eaten and bikes fueled we headed through Tumut, Cootamundra and Tumbarumba in the wet. Batlow was 4 degrees and pissing rain, coupled with icy roads it was the coldest we'd ridden for years!

Freezing and wet in Victoria

Day 5 - Corryong to San Remo

Moggie met us in Corryong and we set off in the wet but the sun came out once we were past the twisties and on the freeway. Then it was inland to Bonnie Doon for lunch at a warm, dry pub. Hearty meals to say the least!

A big feed for Sandy

We did the infamous Black Spur in the wet but it was still fun and after 5 days on the road we made the Silverwater Resort in the late afternoon.

Les, Karen and Jeev arrived and we all had a nice civilised dinner before heading to the track to act like animals for 4 days.

Days 6, 7, 8, and 9 Moto GP!

WE got to the track early and you guessed it - more rain!

Waiting for the campground to open

Once we set up our massive camp it was time to get in uniform.

Supersuits are go!

We had a great set up

I love going to the Island, so much to do and see.

Fun rides

Nice views

Friendly Staff

Convenient amenities (look closely for Yort's wig)

Great Food

The exhibitions are good too

Look harmless don't they?

Day 10 - Phillip Island to Melbourne

So with the GP over we headed off to Melbourne to tidy up a bit. We went via the Black and Reefton Spurs and it was a beautiful day for riding. No photos though sorry as it we were enjoying ourselves too much.

Day 11 - Melbourne

Sandy and I had a last brekky together before she had to leave for home then Troy and I wandered around Melbourne for the day. There was a Scottish lady on the tram who sounded exactly like Mrs Doubtfire - what a crack up!

After a relaxing day we headed down to the boat to head to Tassie. It was funny to sit, have a relaxing beer and watch heaps of people break their necks to get in line for the boat. Everyone gets on at once and it takes all of 5 minutes. Why would you get there early and wait in your car for hours?

On the ramp to the boat

All tucked up for the night

Day 12 - Davenport to Launceston

This is what happens if you don't get out of Troy's way

We got off the boat in no time and took the back road to Launceston. A nice start to our Tassie trip and we found a nice caravan park on the outskirts of town then checked out Cataract gorge and the Motor Museum.

Home sweet home

That's the stuff!

Dad used to have one of these

Day 13 - Launceston to Stanley

We went in to Launceston to do the Boags Brewery Tour which is a must. Really interesting and the tasting at the end is very well done. The new Boags Pure was launched the day we were there but unfortunately we didn't get a taste.

This is about how much beer we drank on the whole trip

Day 13 - continued.

After the brewery tour we headed along the North West Coast to Stanley. This would have to be the most scenic highway I've ever been on and the road is just as good.

"The Nut"

Once at Stanley we went on the chairlift to the top of The Nut before setting up camp for the night. You can camp here for free and why wouldn't you?

Camping under The Nut

We had a great night at the local Pub which is staffed entirely by ladies - what a bunch of characters! There's a fantastic restaurant out the back overlooking a beautiful valley.
The only downside was that I "lost" the scallops I had during the night for some reason :vomit:

Day 14 - Stanley to Strahan

Heading south at last we had a cold ride to Cradle Mountain but it was well worth it. A beautiful clear day showed off Tasmania's showpiece complete with snowcaps.

On the road to Cradle Mountain

Scenic as Bro

You must be this tall to ride

Heading further south to Strahan we detoured via the Reece Dam which would have to be one of the best roads in Tassie and that's saying something!
It kept us on our toes with some gravel sections mid hairpin corner :

Reece Dam

Day 15 - Strahan to Hobart

Strahan was a beautiful as I remembered but the day wasn't. Cold, wet and miserable but that didn't stop us enjoying the ride as the roads were fantastic again. After stopping in Queenstown to call my son on his 13th birthday we pushed on.

For a place with a Regal name there's nothing flash about Queenstown - what a shithole! The range leading out however was tops! Windy, dry and racetrack smooth. Southwest Tassie is a bit of a wilderness but the roads are great and would be awesome in high summer.

We made Hobart by 3 and stayed with some friends, Kate and Mark. It was nice to have a home cooked meal for a change and a real bed to sleep in.

Day 16 - Hobart

As it was still pissing rain Kate & Mark lent us their brand new Mazda CX7 (or Sexy 7 as it's known) for the day. It was good to have a day off the bikes actually so we went to Richmond to see Australia's oldest bridge and as is custom, have a counter meal at the Pub.

An old bridge

Mt Wellington was an interesting drive but I'm glad we had the car as it was snowing at the top. This place is meant to have fabulous views of Hobart and surrounds but not the day we were there.

'Snow wonder we can't see anything

Dinner at the Ball and Chain Steak house was a nice way to cap off our visit with Kate & Mark.

Yes Ev it WAS off the chain!

Day 17 - Hobart to Mayfield Beach

We spent the morning at Port Arthur, a beautiful place which as seen a lot of tragedy. The monument to the 1996 masacre just as sobering as the relics of the former penal colony.

Thought provoking

When you hear some of the stories about Port Arthur it's not surprising the place was a lunatic asylum for a while. It's definitely one of Tassies Must Dos.

Just where he belongs

The best angle of Port Arthur

We then headed North to stock up at Triabunna and have a couple of beers at the local pub which was full of characters. We were temped to stay there but kept going and set up camp at Mayfield Beach at Mark's suggestion.

It's free to camp here too and with some help got a fire going, cooked up a feed and had some red wine to keep us warm.

Mayfield Beach Chainsaw Masacre


A bottle of red later...

Day 18 - Mayfield Beach to St Helens

Due to the Red we had a later start than usual but we woke up once we hit the Lake Leake Rd - Bandit country at last and Bertha was in her element.

Overlooking Wine Glass Bay

After brunch in Campbell Town we went back along Lake Leake Rd to the coast and up the infamous Elephant Pass. The range at the North end of St Mary's was so good we had to do another lap, scraping down both sides going up and coming back down. I wish I had photos but it was too much fun to stop.

Fish & Chips on the Paddleboat in St Helens :licklips:

Day 19 - St Helen's to Launceston

It was a bit wet so we had a subdued run over the ranges into Scottsdale with me wishing for my S3 without luggage again. This is a great road but the logging trucks are bloody dangerous, often taking the tighter corners on the wrong side of the road. We had lunch in Scottsdale then it was back to Launceston to set up camp.

We couldn't resist doing 'The point' with this guy for Ev

That afternoon we went and did the Hollybank Treetops Adventure What a fantastic experience! Flying through the bush on ziplines at up to 70 kph, sometimes 50m in the air. There was a Scottish couple on our tour who were great fun.

SpiderYort, SpiderYort....

Look Mum - no hands! Ok just one then.

Our group on a cloud station

After a big day it was into Lonnie for another big feed for Troy at the Jailhouse (anyone seeing a pattern forming?) We both slept like babies that night.

Check the eyes!

Day 20 - Launceston - Melbourne (kinda)

Quiet day really, just had a quick look around the local bike shops and then it was over to Devonport to get on the boat to Melbourne.

Tasmania is a magic place and every Aussie Motorcyclist owes it to themselves to go there. It's like the worlds biggest racetrack with strategically placed towns full of great pubs and awesome people.

This was on a BMW, the guy on the 996 behind was not amused

Day 21 - Melbourne

Back in Melbourne for a day off the bikes and some shopping. A new helmet and boots for Troy and a mesh jacket for me. We got some bargains and the Elisabeth St shops have a great range of stuff. Too bad they have that Big Bike Shop attitude. Dinner with Teddee and ixlr8 at the Richmond Pub.

Day 22 - Melbourne to Warnambool

After retrieving the bikes from Teddee's back yard it was time to set off to meet the Victoria SVers for a ride down the Great Ocean Rd. I was really nice of Val to come along and say Hi even though she'd just finished night shift.

Oops, wrong way

Now THAT'S handy!

We'd heard all sorts of horror stories about the tourists on the GOR driving on the wrong side of the road, driving really slowly and stopping without warning to spot Koalas. Luckily there was really heavy cloud so there was no view and therefore bugger all traffic.

The start of the fun stuff

Consequently we had a great run to Lorne where we stopped for a brew and a catch up. We had a ball carving up some of the locals on our fully packed bikes too. :grin:

This may or may not be the Indian Cafe at Lorne

Then it was off to Apollo Bay for lunch at the pub. It was just like a Qld ride with everyone having a laugh and putting shit on each other. Kinda made me homesick.

Then we continued to however many apostles are left this week and did the tourist thing.

I think we scared the tourists

After a big day Warnambool was as far as we could manage, maybe it was an omen...........

Day 23 - Warnambool to Halls Gap

Warnambool was a lot more fun that we expected, Chef from SVDU just happened to be staying at the same pub so we had a few quiet beers.

Unfortunately that led to some very rowdy beers and then some downright obnoxious Bundys. We hooked up with a local girls hens' night and partied pretty hard. We got back to our room at 5am so we didn't get far that day.

West of the Grampians on the Henty Highway

Day 24 - Halls Gap to Mt Gambier

We were up early and raring to go so after a quick brekky it was over the Grampians. A fun bit of road but easy to get caught out on I reckon. We then took a back road across to the Henty Highway and south again.

We stopped a Cavendish, home to Australia's biggest Hamburger - 4.5 Kg! Not sure we were lucky or not that it was only 10 am and we couldn't have one. From there it was an uneventful ride into South Australia.

South Oz at last

Day 25 - Mt Gambier to Hahndorf

Woke to windy rain which made breaking camp and packing up fun. I will admit to getting a bit grumpy that morning. We had a quick look at the famous Blue Lake then headed off.

The Blue Lake

300 Ks of dead straight roads weren't helped by really strong winds and we were buggered by the time we go to Hahndorf. Luckily we got a hotel next to an awesome German Pub which served giant beers.

The ferry at Tailem Bend

So Thirsty!

Troy loved his Kilo of ribs

Day 26 - Hahndorf to Adelaide

Short run to Adelaide, all of 45 ks.Stayed with a mate for a couple of days, quite generous considering they were moving house the next week.

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Old 01-28-2015, 01:38 AM   #2
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
Oddometer: 19
Day 27 - Adelaide

Rode some of the famous Adelaide Hills with Revken, a Mate of ours who is a minister and biker, and they are everything I expected. We have a lot of similar roads in QLD actually so I felt at home. A major downer was the fact I had severe hayfever causing me to sneeze throughout the ride and both my eyes got infected.

The Amberlight Motorcycle Cafe in Lobethal is a must for any visiting bikers with good food and great coffee. The graffiti in the toilets is good for a laugh too.

The Amberlight

We went back to Adelaide via Strathalbyn and stopped by "The Garage" for a quick look. Troy was very tempted by a 2nd hand Tuono so it was lucky a test ride wasn't possible.

Outside The Garage

Then it was time to go pick up my sons who were flying in for a 4 day visit. The youngest, who's 9 walked straight past me as he didn't recognise me with a months beard.

Day 28 - Adelaide

Took the boys to the zoo which was pretty good but some of the best parts were closed for renovations. Went out to a great pizza place in the city - Amalfi - for dinner.

Day 29 - Adelaide

Went for a drive out to the giant rocking horse. The boys and I had a great time combing to the top and checking out the view. The lads did about 10 laps of the thing.

Day 30 - Adelaide

We just hung around the pool for the day before I had to take the boys to the Airport. It was really hard seeing them go but we had a great time and I'm glad they could come to see me.

MMMM Pie Floater

Day 31 - Adelaide

We went to Steph's place to take advantage of her offer to service our bikes in her air conditioned garage. It was 39 degrees that day so it was a life saver.

The Bandit wasn't running well however and it took a while to figure out that the new air filter I'd installed wasn't seated correctly and was pinching a breather hose. Once we found the problem it was beer o'clock.

Sunset at the Seacliff

Our Mate Les was in town so we headed to the Seacliff Beach Hotel for beers. Les couldn't stay for dinner however and missed Rev and Kezza by minutes.

Day 32 - Adelaide to Clare

I went into town for an early lunch with an old friend from my Airforce days. Coincidentally she's found me on Facebook the day before.

We'd been in Adelaide for a week now and we were raring to go. The 39 degree heat didn't help so we got out of there as quickly as we could.

A quick stop at Annie's Lane winery was nice but not as good as making Clare and the Bentley's Pub. Another great spot with it's grumpy barman and excellent but different meals.

We'll eat anything
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:39 AM   #3
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Day 33 - Clare to Parachilna

42 degrees today! Luckily we'd had some warning and stocked up on Jackie Howe singlets to wear under the jackets. The right gear make all the difference.

The plan was to camp at Wilpena Pound but when we arrived the campgrounds were all in full sun, no grass and mid 40's. Stuff that for a game of soldiers!

Wilpena Pound

Bertha in the Heat

There is some amazing scenery in that part of South Australia but the day was getting on so we needed to find somewhere to sleep. Our options were to retrace our steps for 180 Km or take a 32 Km short cut over a dirt road from Blinmand to Parachilna.

We thought "how bad could it be?" and went for it.

I did some adventure riding a few years ago and can honestly say this road was as gnarly as anything I did on my F650GS BMW.

This is the good bit

I'd love to have more photos of that road but I was only game to stop the once. Once we hit the straight part it was fun blasting along at over 100 Kph with hugh plumes of dust flying up behind us. That was until trucks started coming the other way! At least they slowed down for us.

Outside the Prairie Hotel

After a few beers and meeting RM Williams great grand niece we got stuck into the Famous Feral Mixed Grill. I'd read abou this in a bike magazine in Melbourne and just had to try it. Kangaroo, Emu, Goanna, Camel, Goat and Quandong ( a cactus fruit) were all delicious.

Feral Mixed Grill - Entree

Feral Mixed Grill - Main

Feral Mixed GRill - Desert(Quandong Tart)

Day 34 - Parachilna to Glendambo

East of Wilpena Pound

More amazing views from the east side of Wilpena Pound then a long, hot ride to Port Augusta. The only highlight was a nice set of sweepers just after Quorn. It was 46 degrees in Port Ausgust which did nother to endear the place to us. We thought it was a dive! We stopped long enough to clean the bikes and grab some lunch before heading into some of the most desloate country of the entire trip.

Lake Hart

The Great Faaarrrk all

Day 35 - Glendambo to Coober Pedy

We left a little earler than usual to try to beat the heat. It was only 252 Km today but it was hot and there's nothing in between but sand and a bazillion flies. We stopped to rest at Ingaroo rest stop but the heat flies had us moving again pretty quickly. We had a chat with a truckie who'd broken down there the day before. He told us he'd had to phone the police in Port Augusta and threaten to burn the truck before anyone would come and get him!

Coober Pedy was just as I imagined and the Desert Cave Hotel was an oasis. The pool was so nice after being in the heat all day.

We just had to stay underground at Coober Pedy

The hotel has an underground bar and cafe as well as a section selling opals. One small display case contained over a million dollars in stones. As our room is underground it stays a lovely 24 degrees year round so we got a pizza and a 6pack and watched movies on cable all night.

Day 36 - Coober Pedy to Kulgera, Northern Territory

The Vin Diesil movie 'Pitch Black' was shot in Cooper Pedy and as I was starting to look like Obi Wan Kenobi I though I should get some photos with it. It wasn't exactly hi-tech inside however, movie magic I spose.

Two types of space travel

There's not much to say about our ride to Kulgera. It was a long, hot day to get to a road house in the middle of nowhere. At least they had a pool, air conditioned rooms and the beer was really cheap! It was great to finally make it to the Northern Territory however.

NT at last

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Old 01-28-2015, 01:41 AM   #4
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Day 37 - Kulgera to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Getting moving early is definitely the go to beat the heat. The hottest part of the day is actually mid to late afternoon. We made good time despite mistaking Mt Connor for the Rock.

Mt Connor, NOT Ayers Rock

Curtain Springs is about 90 Ks from the Rock and was the last place to get decent fuel. The campground was free but it couldn't have been less inviting.

We weren't tempted to take advantage of free camping at Curtain Springs

We made it to the Uluru Resort before 1pm which gave us plenty of time for a swim and to sort out our shit before heading to see the Rock at sunset. It really is amazing to see how the landscape changes as the sun goes down.

One of my life's goals realised - I rode to the Rock!

Troy trying to beat of the heat

Here it is

Day 38 - Uluru and The Olgas

Sunrise at the Rock is stunning and it's just so peaceful. Troy was underwhelmed however but then again he isn't exactly a morning person. When the sun was fully up we did a lap or two around around it and got a close look. It's amazing how much it changes from each slightly different perspective.

Sunrise is magnificent

A closer look at The Rock

After hiding in the AC for most of the day we took a sunset camel ride to see The Rock and The Olgas from a different perspective. It was a great little tour and the guide was very entertaining and informative. The downside was as a storm was coming we had to rush a little. Camels really act up in the rain as it was darker sooner they thought it was dinner time. That's probably why I was bitten by the camel behind us...twice! I had a larger bruise on my arm the next day and a bigger one on my arse! Maybe he knew I had eaten some camel a couple of nights before?

Troy was very amused.

Lawrence of Arabia eat your heart out!

This F**ker bit me twice - check out the smirk!

This guy was friendlier

Day 39 - Uluru to Kings Canyon

Dawn overlooking The Olgas was just as striking as Ayers Rock although it was much quieter with the bulk of the tourist buses over there. There's quite a large viewing platform which gives a great view of both The Olgas and The Rock.

Me and The Olgas

After sunrise we went and did the Valley of the Winds walk, real Indiana Jones stuff! The wind was really howling through there too. Then on the way out we saw some feral camels just off the road.

Outside The Valley Of The Winds

All too soon it was time to pack up our bongos and head for Kings Canyon a few hundred K's away. Many people say The Olgas are more impressive than The Rock and I can see why but the difference is that when I saw The Rock I felt something I didn't feel at The Olgas or anywhere else. National pride, sense of achievement or whatever, I was kinda bummed to have to leave.

The road to Kings Canyon is pretty dull but it's made up for by more stunning scenery. We had a great night talking to other travellers and since the chef at the outdoor steakhouse was a biker he really looked after us and cooked us a great steak and fed us before the two busloads of German tourists.

The top of King's Canyon

We met Sue, a Kiwi who'd recently lost her left leg below the knee in a truck accident. She is a keen photographer and was determined to do the creek walk at dawn for some photos.

Day 40 - Kings Canyon to Alice Springs

I was up before dawn to do the Kings Canyon Creek Walk at Sunrise. There are some amazing rock formations as you walk along a creek bed about 2 K's to a viewing platform. I'd been there about 20 mins when, true to her word, Sue arrived to take photos. The path is pretty rough in places and you have to climb large rocks along the way so it was an amazing effort for her to make it.

This looks like it will fall any minute

There's not much to see on the road to Alice Springs but we stopped at the Cannon Ball Run memorial as we'd heard a bit about how three people died doing something they loved. It was hard to understand how they'd come undone on a straight section of road however. The nearby ranges were fun with one speed advisory sign posted at 110 Kph!

Believe it or not this can get boring after a while

The Cannon Ball Run memorial

That night in Alice Springs we had a fun night at Bojangles's Bar and tried to wave at Sandy via webcam. She couldn't get it working so she bought us drinks from 3000 Ks away. I've got the best girlfriend ever!

Troy thought we may end up like this if the heat got any worse

A sign in a bar can't be wrong

Big steak and big beers
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:47 AM   #5
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Day 41 – Alice Springs to Tennant Creek

130 Kmh is fun for a while but it does nothing for your fuel economy. Spent 20 + minutes over 200 for a laugh but that got dull too believe it or not.

The Alien themed petrol station at Wycliffe Well was different as was the local who told Troy his bike looked like Bumblebee from Transformers. No photo unfortunately as it was so hot I couldn’t be arsed.

The Devils Marbles

The Devils Marbles were unreal with all the rocks seemingly stacked on top of each other. We would have liked to explore more but the flies were worse here than anywhere we’d been to so far.

Bloody Flies!

Tennant Creek was a lot bigger than we expected and we were happy to see a Red Rooster across the road from our hotel. First junk food for ages!

Day 42 Tennant Creek to Camooweal QLD

I’d thought we’d done some straight roads before but this 480 km stretch has about 3 bends in it and two of those are going into a Roadhouse about half way.

Harley riders heaven

It was a fantastic feeling to be back in Queensland after so long and so many kilometres. I’d never been to Camooweal before but somehow it felt like home and we had a great time in the pub that night.

God’s Country at last!

This sign in the Pub said it all.

Troy was well treated by one of the local Aboriginal ladies who told the younger ones “Stop swearing you black c**ts – we have a guest”

Bundy Rum is wonderful stuff.

Day 43 – Camoolweal to Cloncurry

A short day at only 300 Ks. Stopped briefly in Mt Isa, too briefly actually as it turned out but more on that later.

There was some light rain on the way to Cloncurry which seemed to get heavier as we came up behind a truck. It was only as we overtook it that we realised it was a water truck with its taps fully open!

The Oasis Hotel in Cloncurry had a Sunday night special - $2.50 stubbies so we took advantage. Seemed like a good idea until I worked out the next day I drank about $30 worth.

Day 44 – Cloncurry to Karumba

Heading north again we started to see hints of curvy roads. The landscape changed again and we saw lots of Road Trains heading south.

That's a lot of truck

So is that

The Burke and Wills Roadhouse was as remote a place as we’d been so far and as usual the place was staffed by European backpackers. I’m sure Outback Australia wouldn’t survive without the travelling workforce. It doesn’t hurt that they are easy on the eyes either.

We had a quick fuel up at Normanton and then onto Karumba, a beautiful fishing town with at great pub facing west over the ocean to take advantage of the sunset.

The downsides of the day were that 1. Troy lost his sleeping bag somewhere as it had worked loose because it was packed on top of his spare water. And 2. when we oiled our chains we discovered both our rear tyres were down to the steel belts. A week of riding through 45 degree heat at 140 Kmh had taken its toll.


We were kicking ourselves that we didn’t get them replaced in Mt Isa but the last time we checked they looked as though we’d get to Cairns on them at least.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:50 AM   #6
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Day 45 – Karumba

We arranged to get 2 tyres on a truck from Cairns but they’d take a day and half to arrive so we just had to wait. Luckily the local garage owner was a biker and was willing to fit tyres for us.

The view form the Pub

I hated having to spend an extra day in Karumba but poor planning meant we had no choice. We spent the day lazing around, having a few beers and a swim. The view from the Sunset Tavern next to our hotel was amazing so we could have been stuck in worse places.

I was feeling “arty” - Bertha looks great in the dark

Day 46 – Karumba to Georgetown

While we waited for the tyres to arrive we checked out the Barramundi Hatchery. This was a fascinating experience and we got to hand feed some of the big breeding females. The largest one was 118cm and 24 kilos – that’s one big fish!

Troy feeding the fish

The big girl

Look who’s hungry

The tyres arrived on time and we had them fitted without drama and we left about the time we’d normally stop for the day – 2pm. We wanted to be in Cairns on Friday and weren’t sure how long it would take us to travel the 900 odd kilometres as the roads were an unknown commodity. It was Wednesday.

We’d been warned about the wildlife on the roads between Croydon and Georgetown so we needed to stop before dark: easier said than done when in remote country. In the end we both hit small wallabies – just not big enough to cause a crash. The Bandit was covered in blood down the right side by the time we got to Georgetown at 5.30 pm.

Day – 47 Georgetown to Cairns

There were a stupid amount of road works between Georgetown and Mt Garnet but considering the majority of roads out there are single track I guess some work is due. Once we hit the main highway we were on the first decent roads since the Adelaide hills.

The wind farm at Malanda was pretty cool

The ride through Malanda, Mareeba and Atherton was so nice after all the straight roads and then we hit the Gilles Highway. It was a great as I remembered – far better than places like the Oxley in NSW I reckon for 3 reasons;

1. There’s not 100ks of crap roads either side of it
2. There are good pubs at the top and bottom and
3. It’s in Queensland!

We got to Cairns about 3 and it was so good to make the east coast at last. It meant the end of remote desolate roads that are dead straight. It meant the end of dry heat and flies. It meant we’d spend time with friends and family. It meant party time!
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:53 AM   #7
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Day 48 – Cairns

A week in the desert rotted out the palms of my gloves

We spent the morning getting a tyre on the front of Troy’s bike and then was time to pick up Sandy and Ev from the Airport. Ev’s parents had kindly opened their home to us so naturally we spent all afternoon and the evening on the grog.

You had to be there

Troy loves the beers!

Day 49 – Cairns to Port Douglas….and back!

Cairns is surrounded by some of the best motorcycling roads in Australia so we couldn’t miss the opportunity to round off the tyres a bit.

Yort and "Old School" Ev

From Cairns we went up the Gilles through Atherton and Mareebra then down the Rex Range to Port Douglas for lunch. Port Douglas is a nice little place but a bit too much like Noosa if you’ve been there. In other words too commercial and the local business owners are a bit too impressed with themselves.

After lunch we shot back to Cairns via the magnificent Captain Cook Highway, easily the best scenery since Tassie.

I’ve tried to convey what a great day’s riding we had but I think Ev sums it up best –

Day 50 – Kuranda

A ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway is a must for anyone visiting Cairns and I’m not just saying that because I work for the company that owns it!

Gold Classy

Hey, you’re awesome – we should have beers!

Ev’s off the Traaain

We went Gold Class because as I’m an employee we got a bit of discount. We had a brilliant day, the views are stunning the hostess gave us every beer on the train and we ate ourselves stupid. Kuranda village itself is like any other tourist trap but we did manage to buy a gift for Ev’s mum before having an unnecessary lunch at the pub.

The trip down on the chair lift was ‘memorable’ too.

The trip back to Cairns via the cable car was interesting too; we’d clearly had a bit to drink so it was not the normal journey down to say the very least.

While we were off getting hammered Troy was on a fishing charter and got quite a haul. Unfortunately he had to bring his catch home on the bike which restricted him to just one – a pretty big nannygai. After a day on the water Troy did a great job preparing and cooking the big fish on the BBQ and it easily fed all 6 of us.

Chef Yort

Nom Nom Nom

That was the best day of the trip for me by a long way.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:56 AM   #8
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Day 51 - Cairns

We had a quiet day recovering after a pretty big night before puttting Sandy and Ev on the plane. Dave and Maz fed us another great meal before we hit the hay early.

We had such a great time in Cairns largely due to the hospitality of Ev's Mum and Dad - good times? Great times!

Premium parking

Day 52 - Cairns to Home Hill

This was just a transport day really with a stupid amount of roadworks most of the way. Northern Queensland is such a fanstastic part of the world.
That night we stayed with Ken, an old mate who is the local police SGT. He told us some great stories which unfortunately I can't share. It had been couple of years since I'd seen Ken and his family and I couldn't believe how much his kids had grown.

Ayla is 13 - same age as my oldest boy, good thing her Dads a Cop!

Day 53 - Home Hill to Sarina

More beautiful scenery made up for the lack of interesting roads. Cardwell was a highlight - simply stunning!

We got to Sarina for lunch and I was really dissapointed that the local bakery no longer sold Ostrich pies. I'd been looking forward to having one for months. Oh well the bacon and cheese pie was pretty good.

Our Aunt & Uncle have a house at Grasstree Beach not far from Sarina and we arrived to mudcrab, prawns and scallops washed down with a lot of beer. It was fantastic.

The only downside was that we got attacked by Horse Flys. It was crazy how many there were - I'd never seen anything like it.

Day 54 - Grasstree Beach

Uncle Rod had to go into Mackay for supplies (beer) so we went along for the ride and picked up some fly guns in hopes of winning the war against the Horse Fly plague back at the beach. I'd seen these at Port Augusta in South Australia so we thought they were worth a go.

We also saw our cousin Toni which was a nice surprise.

Back at the beach we went to check the crab pots but no luck, we'd have to make do with the supplies in the freezer.

The good news was that the fly guns worked a treat and soon there were dead bodies everywhere!

Trophy shot

The fly guns were a bit of fun but after a while we decided to head to a quiet part of the beach with something slightly bigger. It was great fun blasting away - we killed every can and tennis ball on the beach. I was chuffed that I hit a bottle cap from about 50m away, some skills you don't lose.

Sniper Scott

Billy Ray Yort
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:00 AM   #9
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Forget what the above photo says - here's the rest of the RR
Day 55 - Sarina to Rockhampton.

I'd done the back road from Marlborough to Sarina a few years ago on another trip so I thought we should try it again. The difference was that on that trip I was on a big dirt bike and so didn't notice how bumby the road is. The two or three small ranges are not worth the detour.

We go to Mum and Dad's place in Rocky in time for afternoon drinks and I went to a school friends 40th birthday party. I felt out of place actually with a few people I knew from high school not recognising me under the beard.

Day 56 - Rockhampton to Gladstone

Just another transport day really as we only rode for about 50 mins.

The good part was that we stayed with a good Mate and his wife. It was Troy's (from Gladstone) birthday and we got on the grog to celebrate. He has a tight group of freinds who made us very welcome. In short we got blotto!

Day 57 Gladstone to Brisbane

My brother had had enough by now and took off early to head straight down the highway home. I had other ideas and after a late breakfast with our hosts I headed off myself via some of my favourite roads from my adventure bike days. Troy even gave me an escort to the highway on his A100

I wish I'd thought of a spare bike earlier

I was heading to Cania Gorge near Monto and I went via Many Peaks, Kalpowar and Mungungo. The road turns to gravel after Many Peaks and can get pretty 'rural' with all sorts of livestock on the road. Apart from that it's quite scenic and there are some really pretty sections.

I don't like my steaks this fresh!

Back on the tar just outside Monto I pulled in for fuel and overheard the woman in line in front of me complaining that there were no more camping spots at Cania Gorge. Bugger where could I spend the night now? I was really looking forward to one last night in the tent.

I walked back out to the bike a little dejected to look at the map. I'd already done 200 odd Km but there was nowhere nearby the looked promising. A quick check of the GPS told me that I could be home in just over 4 hours so that's where I went.

Imagine Sandy's surprise to see this a couple of days early

At 7pm on a Sunday night I got home after 2 months on the road and what an adventure! I'd fulfilled a couple of my life's goals, travelled almost 15000 kilometers and seen some of the most beautiful places on earth. I rode most of the best roads in Australia, I'd been freezing cold, soaked to the skin, stinking hot and almost sucked dry! I made new friends, caught up with old ones, met some fantastic people and I got to do it all with my brother.

For me the highlights were Tasmania and Ayers Rock, I'd go back to either tomorrow and I have already started planning to go to Tassie for a riding holiday.

scottorque screwed with this post 01-28-2015 at 02:07 AM
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:14 PM   #10
Not done yet.
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Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time and effort to post your pics and RR. It's likely the only way I'll get to see the places you've visited so it makes for quite the interesting virtual tour. I very much enjoyed your trip, spent a good part of my morning making my way through it.
Looks like a great time was has as well.
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Old 01-28-2015, 04:32 PM   #11
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You're welcome Mate. My advice? Just get out there and do it.
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by scottorque View Post
You're welcome Mate. My advice? Just get out there and do it.
Great advice and report! Keep it up
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:15 PM   #13
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Thanks for taking the time out to do this - better late than never

I notice you skipped WA - is that due to time constraints?

Hope to do the lap of Oz next year - if all goes to plan.

Keep safe
4 Wheels, move the Body, but 2 Wheels, move the Soul
............(3 wheels = cold beer and a comfy bed)............

Lets Ride
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:59 PM   #14
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Yeah I'd love to have gone to WA but time and budget were against us. As it was we blew our budget on hotel rooms.

We planned to camp most nights but South Australia had its worst heat wave in 25 years while we were there. You can't ride if you can't sleep!
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