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Old 05-17-2013, 04:13 AM   #1
Steamy Moose OP
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Wicked Tasmania to South Australia via Kangaroo Island - 12 days

Howdy inmates

Thought it was about time I broke my ride report virginity. This ride is back from September 2012. I have been meaning to post it for sometime but unfortunately, I've been slack...

The original idea of the trip was from a passing comment form a mate at work. For some reason or another, he suggested that we should go and ride the Great Ocean Road. After a bit more serious thought, we decided that we should do it. Unfortunately for us Taswegians, any mainland travel becomes expensive due to having to cross Bass Strait. For those of you not familiar with the stretch of water, itís approximately 240kms wide at its narrowest point and an average depth of around 50 metres. Itís claimed to be twice as rough as the English Channel and has claimed many ships/boats (claimed to be well into the hundreds). The only way to travel Bass Strait is by air or ship. Average sailing price is around $400 each way, give or take a bit dependant on season.

With this price in mind, we wanted to get more bang for our buck. So we thought, with an initial outlay of that much we may as well spend more time on the road. It seemed silly to pay that amount, to only spend a few days on the road to ride GOR. After much research and discussions we decided to travel to South Australia via Kangaroo Island. With limited annual leave opportunities at work, we booked it in and started to prepare our kit. I think we had around 6 to 7 weeks to get our stuff sorted.

Being my first large bike trip, I had to get my hands on a bit of gear to pimp my ride. My first hurdle was panniers. I was going through that old debate of soft or hard. I finally decided on soft bag panniers made my Wolfman Luggage. I also ordered an explorer lite tank bag / large dry expedition duffel bag and a tool roll. I was keen as mustard for all this to arrive so I could get it fitted to the bike and get out riding to break it in before the trip. My pannier frames where easy to fit, they fitted well with my already installed Ventra bag rack. They took around an hour to install.










During one of my test rides I somehow wore a good sized branch through my rear wheel, taking out my chain guard and another plastic part on the other side. Thankfully it didnít do any other damage. It ended up becoming a bit of a long winded story as nowhere in Australia had the part in stock and it had to flown out from Germany. When the part actually arrived some weeks latter it was the wrong part, it had been ordered for an f800 not a 650gs. It took a lot of control not to throw a dummy spit. Anyway, the correct part arrived about three days before I was due to leave.





I planned 95% of the trip prior to leaving and plotted it via basecamp to upload to my GPS. My mate didnít really care where or what we did, as long as we were doing something. I had a lot of help from some members on this forum. Especially from Bull600 with info on must see places and routes to take. The main plan was to camp and if the weather was bad or we were too knackered, we would get a cabin. I think I had around about 50kg of gear loaded on the bike. This included camping gear, small rations of food and camera gear.

After a few sleepless nights, the day finally arrived and it was time to hit the boat. We were due to board the boat at around 1800hrs. After saying our goodbyes, we hit the road bound for Devonport. We had a quick bite to eat at trusty old golden arch before boarding. Water conditions looked calm so smooth sailing was on the cards. Whilst waiting to board we meet a group of guys that had been touring tassie along with a lady that was enroute to QLD on a small scooter for a convention. It was good to catch up with like minded people and talk bikes. They did ask us why the hell were we travelling to VIC when we have all the windy/bendy roads we could wish for here in Tassie.

After standing around in line for around an hour or so it was finally time to load. Once loaded and tied down we headed for the bar. It was a rather weird feeling leaving your bike tied down on the boat. I thought to myself, fark I hope it's still standing when I get down here in the morning. Lot's of people had assured me they had made many trips without issue. After a few drinks and a bite to eat (as much as i could cram onto one of those small plates) I hit the bunk at around 2300 for a few hours sleep before our big day of upcomming riding...






Steamy Moose screwed with this post 05-19-2013 at 08:51 AM
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:49 PM   #2
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You may want to try another colour font most inmates use skins with a dark background.

Looks Like a ripper RR coming
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:52 PM   #3
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Looking forward to this Steamy

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Old 05-18-2013, 12:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYDADVGS View Post
You may want to try another colour font most inmates use skins with a dark background.

Looks Like a ripper RR coming
Thanks mate, it's been a while since I've been on the forum. When I returned its all changed on me! Should I run white text?
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:58 AM   #5
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I've been thinking of a Kangaroo Island trip myself, lots of pics please.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:36 AM   #6
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Looking forward to this RR fellas. A part of the world I long to travel on a bike. Enjoy.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:43 PM   #7
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Hope you enjoyed Vic..

And I hope you made it to the good riding side of the state too.


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Old 05-19-2013, 02:49 AM   #8
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Day 1: Melbourne to Warrnambool - 357km


We awoke at around 5 to get ready for our first real day of riding. Upon reaching the outer deck of the ship it was a very dark and overcast Melbourne sky. We got the go ahead to go down below and reload our bikes and get set for debarking. On arriving at the lower deck I was relieved to see my bike still standing! As we were on the freight deck (surrounded by semi trailers) we got the nod to debark first. Unfortunately, me being the douche bag that I am, I had told the staff back in Devonport that I had a small gas cartridge in my gear. The cartridge was confiscated, and placed in storage to be collected in Melbourne when we debark from the ship. This was a rather lengthy process as cars had started to also arrive at the collection point. After about 20 minutes, my cartridge was in hand and it was time to hit the port for a bite to eat.



After finishing breakfast it was time to hit the road. I double checked the GPS and off we set. We both had hesitations about negotiating out of the city, fortunately there was next to no traffic on the roads. We hit the Westgate freeway and headed for Geelong. About 15 minutes into the ride the heavens opened up with monsoonal rain and wind. It was time for a quick stop to throw the wet weather gear on. It was a pretty cool feeling riding a multilane freeway as back here in Tassie our biggest road is only dual lane highway.

We arrived Geelong in pretty good time, as we didn't have any plans for Geelong it was time to head for the GOR. The GOR was to be one of the main plans of our trip. As we hit the GOR there was many cheers and hell yeh's being yelled over the intercoms (Scala G4's). After so much planning we were finally here, riding the GOR.

Our first stop was to check out Bells beach just out of Torquay. Bells Beach is one of Victoria’s best surfing locations. It's also home to one of the world’s longest running surfing competitions, the Rip Curl Pro Surf and Music Festival. After a few quick mandatory pictures it was time to move on.





Our next stop was at Aireys Inlet. Aireys Inlet has some nice beaches along with interesting rock shelves. It was a very active little town with lots of tourists wandering around. My mate somehow found himself a group of 4 young non Australian ladies touring the area. I was wondering was this going to set the tone of the trip? Second stop and he’s already found the ladies...













Our next stop was at Apollo Bay for lunch. We stopped at cool little fish and chip shop towards the end of the town. The weather up to this stage had been very patchy, raining on and off, luckily it only seemed to rain whilst we were on the road. The road was good to ride, the odd rock needed dodging. The speed limit was between 60kph & 80kph.





The GOR after Apollo Bay went more inland than coastal, I personally liked this part of the road better. It was a mix of rainforest and open country. We rode on until we reached the 12 Apostles. This area was absolutely crawling with tourists, I couldn’t believe how many were there and how many helicopters flying around. These tourist operators must make an absolute fortune on joy flights! The 12 Apostles have been formed by erosion by the southern ocean to limestone. It’s well worth stopping to take a look at if you’re down that way.





After leaving the 12 Apostles we rode onto Warrnambool, this would be our resting spot for the night. We stayed at a caravan park for the night. It was a good feeling to get out of the riding gear. That night we rode into town and had a feed of Chinese. I think we got back to the park at around 8ish to get ready for the next day.



End of day 1....
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:56 AM   #9
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Great pictures! Thank you for sharing. Keep posting please.
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:46 AM   #10
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Day 2 - Warrnambool to Robe - 376kms

A semi early rise saw us get our gear repacked and on the road. Our plan today was to ride through to Robe. We hadn’t really set any must do things with the exception of checking out Mt Gambier.

The initial weather looked ok sky wise, but weather reports had forecasted rain. We stopped at Golden Arch for our early morning coffee n hash brown before leaving the town. Not all that far out of Warrnambool we came across an old church. It looked cool from the road so we stopped to take a closer look.





After leaving the church we encountered some of the worst riding conditions we would have all trip. Gale force winds and rain. It was too the stage of adopting a full lean to counter the wind. When a break came in the wind you had to be quick to re-position yourself more upright, or it would have been a bitumen eating experience. Admittedly, there was a large amount of wind farms in the area, so I assume it is usually pretty windy in that area.





We then rode through to Portland and stopped for a brew and bite to eat. We had a quick look around the town then hit the road bound for Mount Gambier. During this stretch I had my first oh shit moment on the bike. Riding through tall pencil pines with only highway insight, my low fuel light came on earlier than expected. It came on about 100kms earlier than usual. Usually I have around 30 – 50km reserve, but with the bike loaded up I wasn’t so sure. The GPS indicated there was a servo close by, approx 30km out from our current location, so I backed off on the throttle to conserve fuel. When we reached the GPS location, there wasn’t a servo in sight, nor had we passed any signs to indicate one was close by. By this stage I was starting to get a little worried, how the hell was I going to get fuel out here in the middle of nowhere? We continued on and fortunately about another 15kms down the road we rolled up onto a servo. Thank god for that, it was the first time I was actually keen to put fuel in my bike.

We reached Mount Gambier at around lunch time. Mt Gambier is the second biggest populated area in South Australia, home to approx 25,000 and is situated 17kms from the Victorian boarder. After a quick lunch it was time to explore the town. We headed to the blue lake, a popular tourist destination in the town. Blue lake is formed by a volcanic eruption some 4000 to 5000 years ago. It’s a very peaceful and scenic location. A local tried to explain to us where a hot spring was situated, but unfortunately we couldn’t locate it. We asked some other locals and they knew nothing about it.







After Mount Gambier we stopped at Beachport for a quick gander and photo before riding onto Robe. Beachport is a small coastal town, home to South Australia’s second longest jetty, 772 meters long (I wasn’t aware of this at the time).









We arrived at Robe late in the afternoon. Robe has a population of around approx 1,200 people. We stayed at the Robe Discovery Holiday caravan park. This is a great little spot close to the beach. That night we had a huge meal at the local pub with an ale or two to wash it down. I hit the beach latter that night for a bit of photography.






End of day 2...
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:43 AM   #11
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Day 3 - Robe to Victor Harbour 336kms

Day 3 - Robe to Victor Harbour - 336kms

Day 3 would see one of the best days of riding for the whole trip, with exception to the Barossa Valley.

Leaving Robe early saw us stop at a little cafe in the town. They did the best raisin toast I have ever had.

We then had a stop at Kingston to check out the “Big Lobster”. It stands at 17 meters tall and is regarded as one of the most impressive of Australia’s Big Things. The Big Lobster took 6 months to construct and was opened on 15th December.





Our trip from there into Tailem Bend saw as ride along beside the Coorong National Park. Coorong National Park is a series of saltwater lagoons with a plethora of birdlife. The road beside the park had some of the longest strait sections of road we experienced all trip.



Whilst riding through the Coorong we stumbled across an old oil drilling rig. We stopped for a while to take in the history and also consume a chocolate bar.











We then continued on to Tailem Bend where we came to a barge crossing of the Murray River. The barge runs pretty much every ten minutes and is cable driven. You could fit approx 10 vehicles on it. It was a very smooth crossing and it gave you an excuse to stop and take in the scenery of the Murray River.










Our next stop after the barge was Milang, we stopped here for a burger. Milang is situated on the edge of Lake Alexandra and is home to a population of about 500 people. It’s a very nice area rich with history of rail workings. From here onto Victor Harbour took us on winding roads through farm land and miles worth of vines. We passed many guys on vintage motorcycles which appeared to be in a race or touring event in the area.





We arrived Victor Harbour mid afternoon. We stayed at the Victor Harbour Holiday and Cabin Park. We unloaded our gear and set off to take a gander around the town. Victor Harbour has a population of around 10,000 and expands hugely during the summer months. A popular area of VH is Granite Island which is connected to VH by causeway. The causeway can be accessed by foot or by a horse drawn tram. The tram takes hordes of people to and from Granite Island on a daily basis. Granite Island is home to a colony of little penguins.










While exploring VH we came across a couple touring Australia by Russian motorbike & side cart. They had this bike in places you wouldn’t imagine. The riders were professional photographers blogging as they toured Australia.



While we were in VH they had a small festival on the foreshore. I’m not sure if this runs all summer or not. I returned to the foreshore latter that night with the camera for a closer look. It would have to be one of the nicest towns we visited on our trip.
















End of day three...

Steamy Moose screwed with this post 05-21-2013 at 07:09 AM
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:22 AM   #12
Oldone
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big thanks......

Thanks for the RR ...... I enjoy reading about places that I'll never see unless I win the lottery. Photos are nice to check out too. It's a learning experience. :-)

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Old 05-21-2013, 07:11 AM   #13
Steamy Moose OP
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Thanks for the RR ...... I enjoy reading about places that I'll never see unless I win the lottery. Photos are nice to check out too. It's a learning experience. :-)

Gary "Oldone"

Grampaís Lake Superior Ride
Grampaís National Monument Ride

Its a great place to see mate!
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:19 AM   #14
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You missed the best bit

Portland. BUT DON'T TELL ANYONE; IT'S SECRET
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:29 PM   #15
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"...While we were in VH they had a small festival on the foreshore. Iím not sure if this runs all summer or not. I returned to the foreshore latter that night with the camera for a closer look. It would have to be one of the nicest towns we visited on our trip."

My wife & I did a bike tour 4 or so years back & came to Victor Harbor by chance. We ended up moving here. It's better living here than just visiting. Haven't been to KI yet so I 'm waiting for the rest of the RR.
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