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Old 07-31-2012, 02:11 AM   #16
jmcg
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Joined: Sep 2011
Location: The Dandenong Ranges, Vic
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Enjoying the report.

Thanks,

JM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:30 AM   #17
slojon
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Location: South Coast-NSW-Australia
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Hey, you missed Narooma. Go back and start again.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:37 AM   #18
Scaredofthedirt OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slojon View Post
Hey, you missed Narooma. Go back and start again.
Ha ha! Rode through Narooma on day 2.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:52 PM   #19
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Day 10: Maryvale to Tiaro

Distance: 440 km Total: 4,217 km

Back to Towoomba to buy a replacement camera – my Olympus “tough camera” had broken the night before when it fell from a coffee table. Grrrr….

Sadly, not much in the way of photos today.

I rode around the Somerset Dam and took the back roads into the Glasshouse Mountains.



I rode the ridgeline to Maleny, then Kenilworth and Imbil before hitting the Bruce Hwy at Gympie.

My head still hurts from the hang-over from the last time I stayed in Gympie (in 2001) so I continued north.

On dusk, I crashed at the 1887 Tiaro Hotel for the night.





I met a young couple who seemed to have the perfect school holiday job – they were paid by the local tourist board to stay at all of the camping spots and ask fellow campers what they thought about each spot.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:09 PM   #20
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Day 11: Tiaro to Calliope River

Distance: 468 km Total: 4,685 km

I lazed in the sunshine waiting for the day to warm.

I spent some time cruising around Maryborough taking in the elegant old buildings before hitting the coast at Hervey Bay.

It’s easy to see why Hervey Bay is rated as one of the happiest places to live in Oz.





I skipped the Bundaberg Rum distillery this trip and made for 1770.



I had wanted to overnight at the beachside camp ground and drink the afternoon away at the funky driftwood bar/café.



Unfortunately, the bar had closed and the campground was jam-packed.



Time to make camp at Calliope River free camp.

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Old 08-01-2012, 06:44 PM   #21
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Day 12: Calliope River to Finch Hatton Gorge

Distance: 557 km Total: 5,242 km



A procession of grey-nomads slowed my packing. They commended me as a young fella to be riding a real motorcycle like they made them back in the day and congratulated me for the mint restoration job I had done. When told the bike was six months old, they’d fetch their wife…”honey, look they’re making Triumphs again…it looks like the one I used to have…perhaps, we could get one…” An offer of coffee and breakfast usually followed. I was heartened by their interest and generosity.





I stopped for a photo at



There was not much to see on the highway to Mackay.



I took a left turn and rode through the cane fields.



Sugar cane was being harvested. You could taste it in the air.



I climbed the range to Eungella.



And got to watch a platypus frolic in the wild.



Back down the hill to look for somewhere to overnight.

I stumbled across this place owned by a kookee Vietnam war vet.



The tree huts were full but I secured a tent spot in the rain forest next to a fellow Triumph rider.



A night on the goon-bag with my new Tiger buddy and the voofer girls from the tree huts.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:27 PM   #22
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Day 13: Finch Hatton Gorge to Magnetic Island

Distance: 433 km Total: 5,675 km

Up before dawn for the 6km hike to the Ring of Fire.







The showers were open to the rainforest. Sadly, I’d missed the voofer girls…



More bumpy back roads through the cane fields to Townsville.

Perfect timing, I arrived just as the last vehicles were being loaded onto the ferry.





The campsite was booked out.

I got way too drunk with my backpacker roomies and woke up hugging a palm tree.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:46 PM   #23
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Day 14: Magnetic Island to Kurrimine Beach

Distance: 301 km Total: 5,976 km

Thankfully, it was not too far from my room…



…to another palm tree to sleep off my hangover under.



A few hours later, it was time to take in the island.







A mid-afternoon ferry and I was heading north again.





Mission Beach was a disappointment – crazy busy, heavily developed and stupidly $$$

My Ducati lunch-buddy had recommended Kurrimine Beach.



Good choice!



Dinner with an incredibly fit Frenchwoman who was spending her university holidays cycling from Darwin to Sydney!
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Old 08-04-2012, 12:36 AM   #24
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Day 15: Kurrimine Beach to Mareeba

Distance: 416 km Total: 6,396 km

A storm hit overnight. Very strong winds and heavy rain. My tent passed the test.



A wrong turn at Tully lead to a 120km dead end.

Not that I was complaining.



My first banana plantations, I must be getting tropical.



I spent much of the afternoon exploring the Atherton Tablelands.





But still found time for some corner carving.



Overnight with some German backpackers at a grungy caravan park in Mareeba.

Peace out.

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Old 08-04-2012, 12:50 AM   #25
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Day 16: Mareeba to Cape Tribulation

Distance: 222 km Total: 6,618 km

More waterfalls at Kurranda.



Before dropping down to the coast north of Cairns.



The Scrambler made a lot of noise chasing a Thruxton rider along the Capt Cook Hwy into Port Douglas.

I arrived at Cape Trib in time for lunch, made camp and spent the afternoon walking along the beach/nearby hills.







I watched the sunset, lay back on my bed for a minute and promptly woke up at 1am.
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:02 AM   #26
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Day 17: Cape Tribulation to Cooktown

Distance: 327 km Total: 6,954 km

I was warned there was some rough dirt and river crossings if I continued along the coast to Cooktown so I chickened out and backtracked.

A brilliant ride along the bitumen through the rain forest just after dawn.



I had set up camp mid-town before lunch and spent the afternoon lazing around.





Barramundi and sneaky beers at the wharf.



I helped a couple of old boys set-up camp. They tell me Harleys fall over if you don’t park them on concrete…

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Old 08-04-2012, 08:22 PM   #27
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Day 18: Cooktown to Georgetown

Distance: 646 km Total: 7,591 km

A delayed started as everyone in the caravan park wanted to chat with the Harley riders and their “son” on the sporty Triumph.

Excellent views from the lookout above town.





Heading back towards the Atherton Tablelands.



I stopped for supplies in Atherton and headed west into the unknown.



I smiled when I realized that the next proper corner would not be until the Adelaide Hills some 11,000km later…

After missing the last lava tube tour of the day by 5 minutes, I pushed onto Georgetown for the night.

They get a little rain up here – some months earlier where I stood to take this photo was three feet underwater!



I went to sleep with the disturbing image of my evasive, creepily neat, impossibly precise neighbor smiling to himself as he set fire to my tent with me in it as payback for some perceived slight.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:50 PM   #28
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Day 19: Georgetown to Burke & Wills Roadhouse

Distance: 658 km Total: 8,249 km

A very early start to celebrate not be murdered in my sleep.

While most of the outback roads are dual lane, I did encounter a few road trains on the single lane sections.



If they are coming towards you, best bet is to pull up well off the road and wave them past.

I did have the opportunity to overtake one road train. The driver helped by slowing but (as per routine) did not move off the bitumen meaning I took to the sand/gravel verge. I eventually made it past all loose and interesting at 140km/h plus.

My plans of watching the sunset over the Gulf of Carpentaria was dashed when Karumba was booked solid.



They say this is a life size statue of Krys the Savanah King. Yikes!



The first fields of termite mounds.



I was tempted by the 500km of dirt on offer via the Savanah Way but also wanted to check out Mt Isa.

A few hours of this delivered me to the Bourke & Wills Roadhouse.



The roadhouse was staffed by a bevy of Dutch glamazons. I must have looked famished, the mixed grill they fixed me covered the plate and was piled 4 inches high!

I waddled back to my tent a very happy chap…

Scaredofthedirt screwed with this post 08-05-2012 at 12:11 AM
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:20 AM   #29
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Day 20: Burke & Wills Roadhouse to Barkly Roadhouse

Distance: 760 km Total: 9,009 km

The rodeo had hit town. Mount Isa was very busy. I did not find any reason to stick around. I should have taken the Savanah Way.



The original Barkly Hwy was dirt hastily cut during WWII. Later it was single lane bitumen. Now it is pretty much continuous dual lane. Here you can see the old and the new.



I met up with 1200GS riding Paul at Camooweel. We pushed west.


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Old 08-05-2012, 12:29 AM   #30
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Day 21: Barkly Roadhouse to Larimah

Distance: 665 km Total: 9,674 km

Another big day of riding without finding many reasons to stop.



I snuck onto the old WWII airstrip behind the Daly Waters pub.



And pretended to be a spitfire with a couple of high speed runs.



Mid-afternoon, I made camp at the Larimah pub.

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