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Old 01-28-2012, 07:46 PM   #16
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I've been looking forward to this... You certainly know how to write a good ride report
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:39 PM   #17
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Location: SOUTH OZ
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Great RR, keep it coming
Rode from Adelaide to Tassie (clockwise) back in 2005, with my partner on back seat of my Davidson.
One of my best rides ever, was very lucky with weather, only rained in Victoria.
Would love to get back there one day on DR650!!
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Old 01-28-2012, 09:26 PM   #18
Steamy Moose
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Loving the report so far mate, can't wait to read the rest of it!
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:33 PM   #19
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Day 4

The dawn brought with it an unexpected surprise – sunshine poking through the treetops

Alas.. by the time we’d started to pack up camp the rain was back and we departed in the wet

As luck would have it the rained cleared up for a while as we reached Corrina, a nice little spot on the banks of the Pieman River

We had a look around and took a short stroll along the boardwalk to check out a very uninspiring remnant Huon Pine at the end before the famous ‘fatman barge’ came across to collect us and, for $10 each, take us across (we resisted Chris De Burgh’s idea of not paying the ferryman until the other side )

Once past Corrina the rain began in earnest and followed us for the rest of the day. Our next stop was Granville Harbour, which was a rugged rain swept bay

We poked around the settlement a little then checked out a sandy track that led out to the point

Were we were able to watch the big swells roll in, we heard later they had been 8mts during the week

I’m sure in fine weather it would be a completely different place but the boat ramp did nothing to inspire us today

After deciding against trying Climies Track in the poor weather we headed back to the main road and pressed on. Not far out of Zeehan we then took the dirt road out to have a look at Trial Harbour. It was barely visible through the rain as we came down the hill towards the coast

We wondered to ourselves what this “summer hideaway by the sea” must be like in winter, as two old guys trudged past us in their fluro waterproofs. By this stage the weather was pretty bleak and Paul was starting to freeze, so it was off to the only dry place around - and batman suddenly appeared

Finding a camp site for the night was now very much on our minds. We headed into Zeehan to plan our next strategy and suddenly realised how hungry we were. With not a lot of choice we ended up at a very friendly take away shop where Paul quite radically declared “that was the best hamburger I’ve ever had - ever” (and I can tell you he would know )

As peristalsis slowly took its course we sat back and struck a conversation with a local guy who had taken an interest in our bikes. Bob (yes his real name) had lived his whole life in Zeehan and when we raised the question of possible campsites nearby he offered to take us for drive around town and show us a few possibilities. He then charged back into the rain to grab his car “as I just live around the corner”. Still unsure if he was serial killer or just being friendly we soon bundled into his VN Commodore (still in our waterproofs) … the lure of that heated car was just too strong to ignore
It was only a minute or so later that Paul piped up from the back seat when he spied one of these

“Hey Bob, is this a real Gurkha’s knife?” “Sure is” he replied, “I just got it, I’ve got a collection of 100’s of knives, it’s a real hobby of mine”. Mmmmm… with thoughts of Ivan Milat foremost in our minds Bob then swung the old Commodore up a dirt track out the back of the ‘golf course’.
True to his word Bob did show us the sights of Zeehan, including the Spray Tunnel, an abandoned hut that looked like it was about to collapse, the back way around the museum and even a an old slag pile a few kms out of town that apparently was going to be re-mined (although this was quite hard to see through the torrential rain on the window). Finally, he dropped us back to the take away shop and our bikes, with the offer of coming around for a shower later on if we liked. “You won’t miss my place, it’s got a stack of signs out the front
So, with a few ideas in mind we headed off on the bikes to check out a few option out towards the Spray Tunnel.

mmmmm….not this time

Soon we arrived at the Spray Tunnel itself. It’s an old abandoned railway tunnel about 100mt long that was used when trains hauled material from the nearby Spray Mine. The surrounding area has recently been ‘beautified’ by the council and bollards now prevent cars driving through (lucky DR650’s aren’t cars )

After considering all our options, and with the rain unrelenting, we decided that a flattish area adjacent to the car park of the tunnel provided a spot to set up camp. It was unlikely anyone in their right mind would be coming up there that night. So up went the shelter and a fire was quickly lit

Then, as the afternoon turned to evening the rain finally let up. So close to town and no rain could only mean one thing… a beer! We thought we’d pop in and see if our new mate Bob would like to join us for a coldie at the pub so went searching for his house (we thought we’d pass on the shower). It didn’t take long

But despite our knocking on the door no sign of Bob could be found (he probably had reconsidered his shower offer). The town was pretty well deserted and the pub was a very quiet affair, in fact it closed when we left after a couple of beers

What was interesting was one of the old road distance markers in the main street. No doubt how many miles to Queenstown

Now, without casting any aspersions on the residents of Zeehan, wouldn’t you know when you were actually there

Once back at camp we took full advantage of the break in the weather and finally got a fire going with some warmth to it. Then a few ports certainly went down well

To be continued…

bull600 screwed with this post 05-10-2014 at 07:33 PM Reason: New Photo links
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:00 AM   #20
El Toad Man
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Nice ride report, you found some great spots!
KLX650C 1993
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:33 AM   #21
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luvly RR, thx very much :-)

have put a link pointing this way at post 1 of
Tasmanian Riders Hub

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Old 01-29-2012, 12:52 AM   #22
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Great stuff guys , shame about the weather !!! looking forward to the rest
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:13 AM   #23
bull600 OP
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Day 5

Well, the previous night was one of those nights from hell. Wind and pouring rain mean that the flat area we had chosen to put the tents up on basically became a sort of shallow lake. We lay (floated) in the tents until around 8am when finally the rain stopped and we trudged out. Needless to say the tent floors didn’t cope too well and there was quite a bit of wet gear around with no real hope of drying it out

We couldn’t be stuffed trying to get another fire going so just packed up all our stuff and headed into town. However, we did had an ulterior motive … yesterday at the world’s best hamburger shop we’d spied a sign advertising big breakfasts ... and true to their world the wonderful lady who runs the place put on a great spread

Our plan for the day was to firstly visit Montezuma Falls. At a little over a 100mt it is one of the highest waterfalls in Tasmania. We struck out on the main road to Rosebery and found the turn off about 10kms out of Zeehan. It was labeled as a medium grade track for 4x4’s but looked pretty wet (lucky we were used to being wet )

Much of the track follows parts of the old North East Dundas Tramway, which was a 2’ gauge rail track that operated from the late 1800’s. So there were lots of cuttings

And a few creek crossings

It was at one of these that we met two 4x4’s coming the other way. The first guy forded the creek, and then gunned it up the hill on the other side where we had pulled off to wait, almost collecting us as one of his front wheels left the ground. The second guy seemed to know what he was doing and just idled up in low gear. However, the majority of the track was made up of a series of big puddles and holes from the constant rain

One sinister looking lake near the end looked a bit daunting, but by that stage we just plowed on through

Finally, after about an hour, we arrived at the end of the track (around 14km all up)

From there it was just a short walk until the falls came into view

A swing bridge spans the creek immediately below the falls

And allows access to the base of the falls on the other side

Knowing what to expect made the trip out a lot easier but one nasty spot where 4x4 drivers had placed logs to aid with traction led to Paul having a lie down after slipping on a submerged log

Once at the main road we headed back into Zeehan and fueled up at one of the two unmanned fuel stations. These take credit cards and seemed to work ok (as long as some people can remember their PIN number that is )
Strahan was our next destination and the rain stayed away for a bit. With a sign to a lookout ahead I indicated and began to pull over in gentle sunshine in the hope of getting some nice shots of the coastline in the distance. As we drove up the short track to the lookout a loud battering began on my helmet. What tha? …. It was hailing!! Down it came for about five minutes and then it turned to rain for another five, then it stopped

We actually both pissed ourselves laughing, what could be next? From there in was a short run into Strahan which lies on the massive Macquarie Harbour that leads to the mouth of the Gordon River. We found it to be quite an attractive, albeit touristy place

One of the more popular attractions is the historic train service that runs from Strahan to Queenstown

Our interests were not so mainstream, so we headed off towards the ocean beach for a look. Access to the beach was quite easy and the sand was hard packed

The recent days of bad weather had taken their toll on the adjoining coastline and large chunks of soil and sand had been undermined

We continued for a few kms along the beach but could see in the distance that water was right up close to the edge of the shoreline so decided to turn around, not wanting to ride through salt water like in the TV ads.
Queenstown was our next destination so we took the Lyell highway and headed off. I had been to Tasmania by car about 30 years ago and the memories of traveling through the moonscape that surrounded the mines of Queenstown back then were stuck in my mind. As we approached we could still see the barren hills but some re-vegetation had obviously taken place.

As we made our way into the township the rain stopped and this appeared. We were hoping it was a good omen..

With a lot of wet stuff still in our kit we decided to check out the caravan park as a place to possibly stay and dry out some gear. We were also looking to do a day trip out to Mt McCall/Bird River the next day and staying at the park would give us the chance to leave some things there and lighten the bikes.
As we passed through the town it became obvious that it was a depressing sort of place. There were quite a few shanty type houses (complete with satellite dishes in some cases) and I couldn’t help but think of the comparisons to Queenstown in New Zealand – one of the prettiest towns I’ve ever been to

The caravan park was no Hilton

But it did have one godsend … in the back corner was an empty shed of sorts, that we soon took over as a makeshift dry area

After we unpacked our gear and set up our tents Paul found the reason for his blood soaked sock

The first of quite a few leeches that made their presence felt during the trip. The lady at the caravan park was quite helpful and offered the use of her backyard to wash our bikes up before the trip out to Mt McCall the following day. This is a requirement of the National Parks Service before obtaining a permit to visit the area. The aim is to try and reduce the spread of Phytophthora fungus

Once all our jobs were done we headed into town and grabbed a counter meal at one of the two pubs that sit across the road from each other. Then it was back to tents for an early night

To be continued…

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Old 01-29-2012, 04:24 AM   #24
Joined: Apr 2007
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The west side of Tassie is rugged for sure, we were there last jan & it pissed down the whole time we were on the west coast.

Great RR waiting for the next instalment

Cheers Terry
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:29 AM   #25
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Tassie is Heaven. Your RR is proving this fact. Top ride. Keep the photo's coming.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:35 AM   #26
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Don't you just love them DRs keep it coming guys
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:41 AM   #27
hunting and riding!!
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I use to tell tourists in the cradle valley(when complaining about the weather) that if they didn't like it come back in 5mins 10 on a good day
Happiness is a warm barrel....i don't care if its the bikes barrel or the rifles barrel!

WR250r of with extra added Awesomeness!
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:22 AM   #28
Ranger Rob
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Location: SE Queensland, AUSTRALIA
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Rain, hail and bloody mud = broken bones

Fantastic ride report.

I rode in this area in 2007 with a group of mates and sure enough it poured, hailed and was freezing cold all the time, every day!

Just like your mate, I had a big off on the track to Montezuma Falls from tangling with a submerged log. 4 broken ribs and a rooted shoulder was the result but just wrapped up with 3 kidney belts and had to ride out through that shit until back to town.
Mucho pain, freezing cold and dark to boot.......ahhh the memories.

I can't wait to see the rest of your ride report.

safe travels guys.
"Everybody dies but not everyone lives"
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:27 AM   #29
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Great report-keep it coming
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:42 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by bull600 View Post
Day 5
We couldn’t be stuffed trying to get another fire going so just packed up all our stuff and headed into town. However, we did had an ulterior motive … yesterday at the world’s best hamburger shop we’d spied a sign advertising big breakfasts ... and true to their world the wonderful lady who runs the place put on a great spread

I see they also sell South Australian drinks!

I was in Tassie in the second half of January last year; I arrived the day of the big floods in Queensland, Victoria and Devonport, but I had two weeks of lovely low 20s degC weather and very little rain.
This year I was over in Adelaide and the Riverland, and yes it was stinking hot.
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