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Old 03-03-2013, 10:15 PM   #61
PilbaraGoat
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Aah ya wanka. I just caught up and now I have to bloody well wait to see what happened!!!!

Hope your travels carry on soon.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:08 PM   #62
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Take Off To Tassie

After a 3 whole days I couldn't wait any longer, Hydro was cool about taking as much time to heal as possible but I wanted to get going. I had got away without to much injury but my shoulder was going to need some care and protection.

My dad had somehow secured some BMW corparate tickets through a mate of his to the first round of the World Superbikes at Phillip Island. The offer was there and as the pair of us had never been to see the bikes race live and "The Island" was definitely on our bucket list. Each day I was laid up was eating into our other island of Tasmanias time frame of 2 weeks. Armed with pain killers, anti-inflammatories and the extreme urge for more motorbike adventure we rode off for Port Melbourne from Geelong.

Riding into the Port area before boarding the Spirit of Tasmania. Due to our low speeds on the bikes as we rode in, you can clearly hear us talking on the helmet intercoms. Click to watch.
Riding in to board the Tassie ferry.

The bikes starting to assemble.
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The Spirit of Tasmania being loaded with truck trailers.
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Getting close to the vessel in the processing line up. Hydro, a little nervous, "we're going on the big ship Ty, it really happening, we're off to Tassie!"
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Riding onto the Spirit of Tasmania, be aware of the sometimes slippery deck, a Harley rider went down metres after riding on. Click to watch.
Riding onto the Spirit of Tasmania

Now we were off to Tasmania. Awesome!
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:30 PM   #63
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Keep it coming

Love your work.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:16 AM   #64
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Tasmania, Devonport To Bicheno

We rode off the "Spirit of Tasmania" ferry wide eyed and bushy tailed, ready for exploration and adventure. This was the beginning of a new Australian state, new country, pretty much a new world. What a world it is!

With eagerness we rode past all the other cruiser and sports bikers stopped at the nearest cafes for coffees and breakfast. Beware of the roads and cooler, wet conditions... Speaking to many returning riders, most had stories of crew coming to serious grief within moments of departing the vessel. Prematurely ending what could have been a ride of a lifetime! The twisty and dewy country starts straight away, coupled with cold tyres and too much enthusiasm you could see how it could happen so easily.

Following my fresh tank bag map and chattering away on the helmet intercoms like two kids on too much sugar we pulled up on Freers Beach at Port Sorell. There in the light of sunrise, we gathered our thoughts, prepped our equipment, chatted to the friendly morning walkers and planned our basic direction of travel. There is nothing like it, especially with a mate, in a area you've both never been before, the anticipation of adventure, the excitement of "whats next around the corner..."

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From there we rode across too and followed the Tamar River southwards down to Launceston and back up the other side to Low Head. With my nautical background and interests I wanted to ride up to the prominent lighthouse and check the view.

Unfortunately the road was blocked off with signs stating "construction site" "restoration in progress" alas! I spotted a walk trail and rode on giving Hydro no alternative to follow, his cautious pleas falling on deaf ears. As you can see by the photos, he didn't even want to get off his bike! It didn't matter anyway as straight after the shot, he took off back down the path and all the workmen/tradies circled around me with their smoko to talk bikes, set ups and places to go.

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Next stop was small fishing town of Bridport. Topless sunbathers had us giggling like naughty schoolboys and taking snaps of the "beautiful vista"
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The low tide at Bridport.
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We continued on ready to find a place for breakfast/lunch and for me to get some painkillers and anti-inflamatories for my aching shoulder. The Weldborough Pub gave us our first taste of delicious Tasmanian cuisine washed down with a local beverage. We were actually looking for the "Pub In The Paddock" we had heard about which we found out from the publican, was a few more km's down the road. We ventured on and found the character filled establishment and its beer drinking pig.





From there we rode on down the Tasman Highway to the East Coast. I had heard of the amazing Bay Of Fires area and on riding in Hydro and I were struck by its beauty. Binalong Bay had us riding out on its little rock wall wharf and getting off the bikes to absorb it all, the clear, clear water, spectacular day, clean fresh atmosphere and the stoke of discovering it all on our bikes...

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A video of just leaving beautiful Binalong Bay. Click to watch
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St Helens was next back out on the highway, another small fishing town. Here we met a cool couple traveling two up on a Triumph sports bike. You seem to meet heaps of bikers of all types, all happy to share experiences, places to check out, places to stay and ride loops not to miss out on. We found ourselves bumping into them throughout our travels around the state. They recommended the "Elephant Pass" further south down the coast. We had heard about it from others as well so it was going to be a "must do"

St Helens
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The day was starting to get on and we choose to go past the Elephant Pass turn off and settle in at Bicheno for the night. The plan was to return in the morning and ride it fresh and with out the cool long afternoon shadows that were appearing.

Our first day in Tasmania was better than ever expected and the thought of exploring for days to come was having us grinning from ear to ear...
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:54 AM   #65
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Bicheno To Port Arthur

We awoke with the Elephant Pass calling us and our new riding world of Tasmania all around us. The excited chatter, banter, jokes and laughter between Hydro and I every morning is a cool way to start the day. We were high on life, each day promised to deliver new things, experiences and people into our happy biking orbit. The routine of packing our usual overnight items into the panniers, rolling up the swags and bike checks was fine tuned. The bikes always warmed up as we donned the final pieces of riding gear and then we were off like prawns in the sun.

I had spotted a river with the namesake of my great mate Doug Swift, so I had to pull up for a photo! As I mentioned in the very beginning of my adventure he has a large and pivotal role in this quest for exploration and adventure, to do things while you can, to make to most of life. You may see a sticker I've put just above my speedo, a personal affirmation if you like... it's "Swift & Safe" Without sounding all heeby jeeby, it makes me think every day of how fortunate I am with my health, wellbeing and ability to do the things I do. Doug rides with me everywhere even though he is at home or the hospital battling cancer. The man is an inspiration too me with his strength of character and unfathomable wisdom.
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The Elephant Pass was just a taste of what Tassie had to offer. Click to watch. The footage doesn't give you the real feel of the tightness of corners the sheer drop into forrest wilderness. I suggest that you go ride Tasmania yourself to understand what mean! if you already have then I am sure your nodding your grinning head in agreement... hahaha
Elephant Pass

After getting up to the top of the pass at St Marys, Hydro and I took about 2 seconds to agree to turn around and roar back down it in reverse. Be careful and stick to your side of the road! You never know whats coming the other way and won't, till the last second! What a way to open the account for the morning, twisting 1st gear turns, with amazing views that terrified you because you didn't want to take your eyes off the road, high speed straights into narrow wooded corners that promised a test of your skill and courage every time... Grinning.

With the adrenaline pumping we rode back down to Bicheno for a bakery breakfast feed and on to who knows what!

Coles Bay was next on the map and as with the Bay Of Fires, it was recommended by all, off we rode...

Just around the corner from Bicheno near Apslawn, looking out over Moulting lagoon and beyond.
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Another Lighthouse, Cape Tourville. Again we rode up the access track which is probably not allowed but as with most every other place we travelled, no one or hardly anyone was around. This time it was Hydro that dared to risk it and I followed cautiously.
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Amazing views from the walkway viewing platforms.
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Coles Bay
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A video of Coles Bay area, click to watch. You can hear Hydro being his humorous self in the back ground. This place with its fresh breeze gave a feeling of crisp, clean and unspoilt.
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More bays on the way down the coast. Tirzah Beach.
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Instead of taking the Tasman Highway down to Port Arthur we decided on a bush short cut through the coastal forrest south of Orford. Unfortunately as we got out down the track we found the road closed and barriered off. Luckily there were some local dirt bikers nearby that let us in on a way through a unlocked paddock that the earth work machinery company stored its equipment. We were able to bypass the washed out bridge under construction and continue along some fast (and very slow) forestry access tracks. Dodging startled roos and dust we had a great time riding off the beaten track in places.

Bypass video. Click to watch.
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Wielangta Forrest
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After riding through the beautiful forest area we came back onto the tar near Dunalley and were totally shocked at the devastation caused by the recent bush fires. I have always seen the news reports on TV and watched from the safety and comfort of my lounge. To ride through the aftermath, seeing folks with tents pitched next to what was previously their home but now just a chimney and scorched, twisted corrugated iron had me near tears.

The randomness of the fires actions too was unbelievable. Riding pass half a dozen burnt to the ground homes, then you would have one house totally untouched, standing defiantly amongst another four or five more houses further on down the road. It didn't make sense but certainly shocked you with the destruction. Shops, sheds, paddocks, homes even water tanks were charred victims of what was a hungry predator.

Riding into Dunalley. Click to watch.
Port Arthur Bushfires

Pirates Bay near Eaglehawk Neck. Land of the Long White Cloud?
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Although we didn't ride a great distance kilometre wise we certainly packed in a full day checking out all the nooks and crannies of the coast, forests, mountains and farmland areas. With the sun setting it was time for dinner and some comfortable accommodation not to mention a few cleansing ales...
Dinner and digs for the night. Fox and Hound, Port Arthur.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:41 AM   #66
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Port Arthur

Like most Aussies we had heard about Port Arthur for all the wrong reasons. In particular Australia's worst shooting massacre. The site has significant heritage with it being a former convict settlement. It has a great interpretative information centre and you could easily spend a whole day exploring the place.

We chose to do our own quick step tour to check out as much as possible before getting back on the bikes. It would of been great to take a little more time, catch the ferry over to the island and even do a ghost tour!

The convicts sent out from England were used to construct the buildings for the town. Their workmanship was amazing to witness especially considering the conditions they must of endured. Many of the buildings suffered damage due to bush fires that raged through the area over the years, not from substandard construction.

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Port Arthur was well worth a visit, Hydro had seen something that he has always wanted to check out on the ride into the area. It was time to take a look...
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:23 AM   #67
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Tassie Devils!!!

Hydro was intrigued by these little critters that are only native to Tasmania. I had watched them in TV programs and documentaries about their unfortunate plight against a nasty strain of cancer. It manifests itself with face sores and spreads easily from devil to devil due to their particular vicious feeding habits. I was smitten by these carnivorous marsupials, I couldn't really see them doing well as a family pet though. Their screeching and ferocity gave me full understanding on what the crazy cartoon character "Taz" was based on!

The geographical location of the Tasmanian Devil Park we visited on the Tasman/Forrestier Peninsulas lends itself to being isolated from other infected populations elsewhere. The research these people are doing to save the Devils is absolutely commendable. I noticed in the parks shop that what money they don't spend on the running the park and research from the donations for entry, they also give to the Children's Cancer Foundation!

The mating pair. It all looks cute, furry and very cuddly... Oh no... Watch what happens below when you add food!
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I showed this video clip to my cousin Brad, he just laugh at my amazement of their aggressiveness and stated that "It's just like dinner time at my place with all the kids!" Click to watch.
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Finally after they got a piece of wallaby each they settled down to scoff as quick as possible. Click to watch.


These deceiving with their looks scavengers would have me shitting myself if I came off my bike and unable to move from injury. You wouldn't last long I'd imagine...
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:11 AM   #68
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Hobart, Mount Wellington.

After riding out from the Tasman/Forestier Peninsulars we headed for Tasmanias capital city of Hobart. We soon found ourselves in the congestion of city traffic and feeling like fish out of water. We were going to check out "Joes Garage", a bar dedicated to cars and bikes that we had read about. But out of all days of the week we chose to ride into town, it was the very one that had it closed for the day!

Plan B, whats the name of that bloody big hill....? Is that a cars windshield reflection on some road heading up there...? Lets go!!!

On consulting the GPS we took off for our next challenge, little did we know of the sensational panoramic rewards we would encounter and the great ride up (and down) in the process.

As with many other roads in Tassie that are somehow cut into the face of a extremely steep hill or mountain I found myself wanting to look out at the vista but the fear and ever present and real probability of leaving the road or track to certain death had me shitting myself. In the efforts to get decent footage, but also maintain my alive status I will admit to being jealous of Hydro at times. He was always roaring past without any care in the world, starring in partly scripted riding scenes riding the terrain like it's his personal motocross track. It seems "Some people have all the fun"

None the less I enjoy capturing the moments and it has me giggling, remembering the enjoyment felt whilst riding along with my mad riding padre. I wouldn't swap it for anything.

Riding up Mount Wellington. Click to watch.
Up Mount Wellington

On pulling up on the bikes it was clearly evident we had scored a rare magical day, 32 degrees, the harbour a glass off and visibility for miles. I over heard an old couple walking by explaining to their visitor friends that every time they'd been up here they had experienced rain, hail, sleet, ice, snow and every other ordinary weather condition. Blessed!

What a view, what a day!
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Hobart below


Panorama perfect
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Riding down Mount Wellington. Click to watch.
Down Mount Wellington

We rode on from Mount Wellington out the back way towards Huonville. These twisting and turning road through amazing forest and fern covered country is awesome.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:56 AM   #69
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Southbound, Southport

We got onto the Huon Highway, after a couple of refreshing ales at the Longley, International Hotel. The afternoon was starting to fade and the shadows getting longer, we had to move it if we were to reach Southport.

Coming from Western Australia and in particular Exmouth, I can safely plan to travel 100-110km in an hour. The roads are straight, long and not with a great deal of traffic. I have had to recalculate my inbuilt assessments since travelling else where, this due to the crazy amount of corners, hills, mountains, traffic and local conditions. So now 50-60km could take an hour! I know it all depends and is ever changing but it is now a part of my travel planning when it never was before.

Another item I can't factor in is the amount of sites and places we will pull up and enjoy, take photos etc. All being so close together compared to the Western Australian coast has us not travelling very far, but worn out and satisfied with adventure and discovery after each and every day!

Wooden boats at Franklin.
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My favourite wooden vessel wasn't the larger "Black Pearl" or viking row/sail boat. Impressive as they were I liked the "Viking" tucked away in the reeds.
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Another picture perfect panoramic scene. Southport, Kingfisher Beach, Tasman Sea.
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We stayed at the southern most pub in Australia here. We met three other lads travelling on sports bikes that we would bump into, ride with and share a drink with in the evenings at several other places in Tassie along the way.

Life is good, life is simple, ride, enjoy, laugh...
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:02 PM   #70
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Great stuff ! ...

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Old 03-25-2013, 09:02 PM   #71
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Nice work guys, have always wanted to see Tassie, especially by bike.

Great writing and pics too, Hoonatic.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:18 PM   #72
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Oh yes Tasmania - biking heaven

Have to do Elphant pass again soon, did you stop for pancakes ?

Enjoying your RR
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:07 AM   #73
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Shame you missed out on the Oodnadatta Track but you certainly seem to be enjoying the ride. Tassie is God's Motorcycling Playground. Enjoying your RR. Did you try the bacon wrapped oysters in the Pub In The Paddock? The ride from Queenstown to Lake St Clair is brilliant. Some great trout fishing to be had as well just about everywhere.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:43 PM   #74
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What's been happening guys??
Been nearly a month and no update, hopefully everything is ok?
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:41 PM   #75
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Back on Track...

Hey crew!

Humble apologies for my mysterious disappearance from the scene. It has well and truly been sometime since my last post.

Not long after my post from South Port I suffered debilitating complications with my shoulder damage, suffered in the Geelong crash. Another stint in hospital was required.

Soon after hospital I stored the bike and returned to work for my 5 week 'swing' at sea.

Unfortunately, days out from getting off the ship and getting back on the bike I was struck down with near fatal meningitis of the brain and spine. This too resulting in a lengthy stay in isolation at the Royal Darwin Hospital and recuperation!

Well you're going to have to try harder than that to kill me and/or keep me off the bike and the adventure trail is all I can say!

I will pick up where I left off from and continue the journey.

First gear, release clutch...
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