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Old 03-02-2013, 10:13 AM   #1
ksoth OP
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My Australia Journey!

Hi everyone. I made a post in the Trip Planning section but someone suggested I post here as well (didn't see this at first).

Linky linky.


So, as a quick sum, I'm an American and will be spending about a month in Australia on a Tenere 660. I'm renting it in Melbourne and cruising up to Cairns and back. I'm doing this by myself (so far).

Looking for tips, people to meet, things to do, people who could help if I get in a jam, people to go on rides, safe places to park the bike while I'm not on it, etc.

Mike
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:16 AM   #2
Precis
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As some have noted - you're planning to spend a LOT of time with your ass nailed to the seat - not going to see/meet many Australians - other than road-hopping marsupials - like that!
You should also be aware that speed limits are stupid-low here - and stupid-keenly enforced , so your 500 mile days at 50 miles an hour, plus refueling - don't forget this is our autumn - will eat most of your daylight hours.
With an itinerary like yours, I'd say to you'll going to look back and say that you've been TO Australia, but didn't see much other than streets and roads. Which is a pity - there's a lot to be seen in and around all the places you've listed: as an engineer, how about seeing the world's biggest hydro-electric system (Snowy mountains)? or any one of the sanctuaries (which are not zoos) for Australia's unique wildlife?
Your itinerary would better suit a one-year visa, not a one-month visit: don't forget that Aus is 10% larger than the Lower 48, but I bet you'd never consider suggest going from New Orleans to the NE Canadian border in a month?
When you get to Melbourne, I'd say you should line up some city accomodation, grab the bus from the airport and a cab to Garners in the morning; depending on your budget, the Bozo backpackers hostel is literally across the road from Garners - last time I walked past, it seemed to be filled with large-breasted blonde Scandanavian girls who'd had a bit too much to drink...
When crossing the road, please remember to look right, not left....
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:27 PM   #3
CrazyZ9
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As precis said you will do nothing but ride day after day, I would say forget cains and spend the month riding the south east corner, if you want to do Cains fly into Brisbane and spend the month doing the north east corner.
Your best bet is come back for the next 3 years and do the other corners and when you get a feel for how big the place is then come back for 6 months and do the middle bit.
I have 6 fairly impressive road bikes in my garage and do 35,000 + per year on road and a fair bit of off road and I am used to sitting on bikes for long days and I would not even consider that.

Pat D
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:45 PM   #4
KASUYAHO
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When i lived in the US for a bit when driving around i found that the biggest problem was you Yanks drive / ride on the wrong side of the road

On freeways was ok for me.
But at down town LA at a intersection and NOT following cars in front it was a bit of a head fuck trying to work out where i fuck i was ment to go.
There was not any drama's but it was thinking all the time.

You relax and the mind starts to wander and you will find yourself riding on the wrong side of the road.
That's not a good thing.

Head west fella, hit the dirt out west and meet the local people and stay at old pubs.
That you may find is a bit more interesting riding too and see the real Aussie
land.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:04 PM   #5
jtb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KASUYAHO View Post

Head west fella, hit the dirt out west and meet the local people and stay at old pubs.
That you may find is a bit more interesting riding too and see the real Aussie
land.
Wot he said...

I'd hate to drive Melb to Cairns in your time frame. Ride it on a Tenere? Forget it... you'll be knackered in no time.
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jtb screwed with this post 03-02-2013 at 08:02 PM
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:08 PM   #6
gavo
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You won't spend the whole day on the bike it's only around 3000 kms, divided by say 25 days = 120ks per day or a couple of days in a place then a bigger day of say 500ks, still easy. You WON'T see every thing, do lots of research as to what you want to see and do and factor in ample time, planning will be the key to make it work. If you plan all dirt roads or even some you'll need more time or longer days. Don't let them put you off just realize you either come back or see SOME of the things worth seeing.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:22 PM   #7
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As some one said .. Autumn here.

As well as being on the other side of the road, we are in the other worlds hemisphere, meaning South is colder, North is warmer.. and the sun travels in the other arc.

While you ask for "what to see/do" you need to give us some idea of what you like to see/do. If you like cities then x, if you like mountains then y, if you like animals then z...

(What I use for riding on the other side - a flag tied to a mirror - what ever side the flag is tied to is the side I ride on... The danger is in an emergency situation your automatic reaction is to go the wrong way... be very careful! I'm trying to change my automatic reaction to STOP and look for a safe place but it is hard)

=======================
Traveling times...

Melb to Sydney 2 Days ... Healsville, are you comfortable on dirt? Omeo, Jindabyne, humm do you really want to do Sydney twice?
Syd to Bris 3 Days
Bris to Cairns 3 Days...

You do want time to see things along the way .. and not travel all day along a 6 lane highway! You can do it quicker but you are on holidays - why make work out of it?

As you are going both up and down you could skip Sydney on the way up and do the Blue mountains, Skip Bris on the way up and do the hinterland... I'd make the return journey through the cities if you want. Big cities take a lot of time to get into and out off.

Accommodation ... in OZ ... pubs ... particularly country pubs ... called 'Hotels' in the phone book and in accommodation guides ... but everyone calls them pubs. Most OZie pubs have 2 stories - the lower floor is for drinking and eating. The upper floor is for sleeping. And out the back is parking, ask for a place to put your bike overnight if you are worried, if the publican is worried he'll tell you where to park it! If there are more than 3 pubs in town then I'd be worried (to do with population density).

Warin screwed with this post 03-02-2013 at 02:45 PM
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:35 PM   #8
gavo
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Just checked your link ,you plan to ride up aaaaand back----ouch, doable but I hope you have a hard arse

PS come back down the middle at least from Rockhampton on it's a change and a bit faster due to less large towns
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:43 PM   #9
D_A
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Don't be put off too much. The sun still rises in the East and sets in the West. That's the same. What's really different it that most of the country appears empty once you get away from the coast and fuel range can be a real consideration. Plan accordingly.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:00 PM   #10
Hardhead
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Just go one way and take your time. Fly into Melbourne, follow the coast up and cut inland when you need to then fly out of Cairns. Im sure you could negotiate for a one way rental.
You're on holidays, may as well enjoy it.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:04 PM   #11
CrazyZ9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavo View Post
Just checked your link ,you plan to ride up aaaaand back----ouch, doable but I hope you have a hard arse

PS come back down the middle at least from Rockhampton on it's a change and a bit faster due to less large towns



I was wondering about your maths

It's about 4,000 k's around the coast and a bit under 3,000 down the back.

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Old 03-02-2013, 03:35 PM   #12
prestonpaul
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I've done Melbourne to Cape York and back in three weeks, 2 weeks up and 1 week back. 2 weeks up was no problem. 400 to 500km days with a couple of rest days. 1 week return sucked majorly but is certainly doable
Keep in mind, Cape york is a thousand km past Cairns give or take so 4 weeks to Cairns and back should be no problem at all.
It just depends what you want to achieve. If you just want to ride and watch the scenery go by with the occasional stop, no problems. If you want to do some exploring, you may need more time. It's up to you and your expectations for the trip. There is no need to take the highway both ways, or take the same route both ways, there are plenty of options, it just depends on what you are comfortable with.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:45 PM   #13
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I find this helped me in my planing for a US road trip.

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Old 03-02-2013, 04:19 PM   #14
Goosefeather
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Personally I'd avoid Highway 1 / Bruce Highway / Pacific Highway / whatever you call it . . . full of traffic / cops / nutters / built up areas all contributing to a pretty boring ride. Bit like seeing the US by Interstate.

It looks like it follows the coast when seen on a small scale map, but the sea is usually out of sight. It never touches the coast from the NSW-QLD border to Rockhampton, and closes the real coast about once on each of the legs between Rockhampton - Mackay, Mackay - Townsville, and Townsville - Cairns.

True, the original Highway 1 follows the Gold Coast, but most traffic now follows the M1 motorway. My opinion again, but I think any days at the Gold Coast would be wasted - unless you enjoy crowds, a bit of surf, and tourist traps.

Consider the advice of wiser men than me - get cheap air tickets if you have a couple of destinations you really want to see (like Cairns and Gold Coast), and see a smaller area of the hinterland by bike.

I was in the states for a work trip a couple of years ago and thought it would be interesting to see a bit of the countryside, so drove from Buffalo to Montreal around the western edge of Lake Ontario. Apart from taking a detour into Niagara on the Lake, it was all basically repetitious highway - boring for a day - wouldn't like to do days on end.

Whatever you do, enjoy the trip, and don't go near the drop bears
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:23 PM   #15
ksoth OP
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Thanks everyone!

My thinking was this... I will be there for 28 days. 8 days of riding from place to place gives me 20 days of non-riding to see Australia and do other stuff. 20 days sounds good to me.

800km days on a bike sure could be tough (I've done it before and it was tolerable). I am definitely open to changing this. I decided on this because it seemed like if I were to split the main legs (like Melbourne to Sydney) into 2 days, I found it difficult to really know what to do at the halfway point. Also, my thinking is just hammering through it all in one day would be rough for that day, but would mean I have more time and energy the other days to do stuff besides riding.

So, maybe you could all help with that! For each of the legs, where would you suggest I stop that's about halfway that would make the trip better? I'll put my thoughts in parenthesis.

Melbourne to Sydney (Albury)
Sydney to Brisbane (Port Macquarie)
Brisbane to Mackay (Rockhampton)
Mackay to Cairns (Townsville)

Any thoughts?

As my current itinerary shows, I would like to spend about a week in Cairns. I'm a scuba guy so diving the great barrier reef is paramount. Also, enjoying the rain forest is also on my list. Maybe a day trip up to Port Douglas (a coworker recommended this).

In fact, I'm a nature guy in general. I know that a lot of the legs I planned were staying on the highways. This is mainly because I am doing this alone. I do not want to go too off the beaten path by myself for safety reasons. The idea was to get to the main areas, and spend the time in those main areas enjoying the sights.

Thanks again for all the input and I look forward to hearing more from you all!

Mike
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