|09-27-2014, 04:58 AM||#1|
Enroute to a PUB
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Lake Macquarie , NSW, Australia
3 Amigo's go West ( Australia )
This is a google Earth representation of our intended route .
The trip Report !
Home to Binnaway .
I Left Home at 0730 and got fuel and cash on the way thru to Raymond Terrace to meet Glenn and Steve .
I arrived at the meeting point about 5 mins before the appointed time and only found Steve waiting ,
no Glenn , I was a little worried as Glenn had texted me the night before saying he had the flu and was
not feeling too good . Steve and I both checked our phones for messages but there were none from Glenn ,
so we went inside and Steve ordered a Coffee for us each . On receiving our Coffee's we walked back out side to
drink them and as we began consuming the caffeine we heard the dulcet tones of an Akropovic tuned LC8
coming around the corner.
Glenn was a bit late as his flu fogged mind had allowed him to forget his
back pack and he was half way to the Terrace before he realized it was still sitting at home , so he
duly returned home to fetch it before once again setting off to meet us .
Our Coffee was quickly scoffed and we were under way , weather was good considering the forecast and the
world seemed good .
Within about 15 mins we were on the first dirt stretch and having fun .
Because of recent rain of large proportions , we avoided a planned section as about 1/2
the distance to cover is a clay surface and we were keen to keep moving at a decent pace , so ,
the tar option was taken through from Dungog to Stratford .
Glenn topped up his fuel at Stratford and we were away again , taking Gloucester Tops Rd through to
Rawdon Vale Rd and onto Scone rd and up to the higher elevations of Barrington Tops .
It was wet in places up on top of the Range but the Scone Rd is an all weather rd so it was fine .
We turned off the Scone rd onto
Pheasant Creek rd and wound our way down the Nth Western side of the range , this rd is also an all weather
rd but is clay capped with imbedded gravel and in sections was diabolically slippery , I stopped at one point
to check my rear tyre for pressure as it was sliding all over the road , but , the pressure was fine , the
road was just very , very slippery . We all just motored along at approx 40 - 50 KPH with a steady throttle
and put up with the rear wandering around at it's own volition . On reflection it was VERY fortunate that
we had all fitted brand new aggressive Knobby front tyres for this trip , it would have been a real nightmare
trying to ride this shit with a worn knobby or semi knobby of any description. We all made the drop down to Tommalla
rd without an issue but considered ourselves fortunate in doing so . We had pretty much left the cloud behind
once we were to the West of the Tops and the ground was pretty dry too , comparatively any way .
Mr Packer's property was as impressive as always and once past Ellerston we encountered the inevitable cattle
grazing the long paddock and being driven in the opposite direction to our travel . Muddy was head stock driver ;-)
It was a pleasant run from Webbs Ck into Murrurundi for our lunch stop and fuel up . Tanks and bellies full ,
we topped over the Liverpool Ranges on the New England Hwy and then made a left into Ardglen to hit the dirt
again , headed into the Liverpool and then Breeza Plains .
Coming into Blackville I spotted the first Black soil
local dirt rd that was impassable on a bike , thankfully it was not on our planned route , but I sure was aware
that the possibility was there for some of our intended route to be a real challenge or even impossible to ride.
The ride through from Ardglen was enjoyable and relaxing , no problems so far . The dust was a bit heavy in
places from Blackville on , but that is pretty much a given on any trip through those parts of this wide brown land .
We crossed into the Warrumbungle shire late in the arvo and kept a steady pace while watching for hopping Marsupials
to avoid damage and or injury , they were about , but not real thick .
One of my favourite runs on this trip is the last stretch into Binnaway , Round Mountain rd and Roper rds , I love
the sandy stretches and real outback feel while still within an easy days ride of home . We arrived in Binnaway and
found the camping area beside the River , very nicely kept by local volunteers and free , while donations for upkeep
are appreciated and showers require you to put coins in the slot for hot water .
We set up our respective sleeping arrangements , tents for Glenn and Steve an myself in my swag and boiled up some
water to rehydrate our dehydrated meals . Dinner was taken care of ( Monday night , no food available in Binnaway )
so we wandered down to one of the local watering holes to interact with some locals and wash down the dust .
A pleasant evening was had in one of the pubs talking with locals and having a few quiet ales to celebrate being
on the road before walking back to our campsite and retiring for the evening in the billion star motel ;-) .
Tuesday started early , around dawn I got out of my swag and walked to the amenities block to brush my teeth
and do the other morning things . Glenn (Mudrat) and Steve (Seahorse) were both up and about doing stuff
by the time I walked back to our camp area so coffee was made and Muesli bars were consumed as we packed up
our camping kit , while we were packing up distant rumbling and thunder could be heard but the sky around
us was almost clear . We decided it would be wise to check the weather radar to be pre warned if there was
storm activity in the area we were headed into . The radar did not look good , heavy rain was cascading
down over the Warrumbungle ranges and appeared to be moving West , our route was going to take us just to the
West of the ranges and on Black soil too .
Once we were packed up and suited up we hit the road for the 20 odd k's of tar out of town to the Nth West .
We found our dirt rd right where it was left for us :-) , so enjoyed the first sliding and drifting for the day
while also seeing for the first time what lay ahead .
The dreaded storm front did appear to be right in our path . We continued on along Pibbon rd as I was reasonably
sure that most of the clay based sections were not anywhere near the rain and I was proven right . Muddie had a
little rest on his side and was unable to right the bike alone so waited for Steve to come along and lift the
bike onto it's wheels .
We regrouped just before the turn onto the Tooraweenah - Mendoran rd and then set off for Tooraweenah .
About 5 or 6 km before the Newell Hwy intersection the road became wet , it was a gravel / sandy mix type
surface so was not too bad to ride wet . We regrouped again at the Newell junction and had a discussion ,
I told the others that out under that cloud dropping heavy rain in front of us was our road and the major
part of it is Black soil . A unanimous decision was agreed upon , cut and run from the weather .
We Turned West onto the Newell Hwy and headed for Gilgandra all the while watching the storm to the Nth
of us waiting for us to pass the front . We arrived in Gilgandra pretty much over the tar drone but it
was obvious the rain was still only a short distance to our North .
We had lunch in a nice little cafe in Gilgandra and refueled the bikes as well . We decided that the
best idea was to run further West to Warren on the tar and see what it looked like there .
We droned down the tar to Warren and Muddie refueled his 990 while I checked the radar again . It
appeared we were now far enough West to start running Nth to get back on our route so we went North out of
Warren on the Marybingbone rd headed for Canonba and Coolabah . At a regroup on this Rd a local farmer
stopped and gave us some directions and told us that there was no chance of further rain as the wind
was now out of the south , we didn't quite believe him as we could see that the further Nth we got the
closer we were to the rain front . Just before we got to Canonba we came to an intersection and the
rain was with us , instead of staying on this route we again turned West , Sth West actually the road
went . This road took us into Nyngan and we got off the bikes in Nyngan and looked at the map again .
We then decided to fuel up and run up the tar to Coolabah and stay at the Coolabah Hotel . We tried
ringing the Coolabah Hotel but the phone rang twice and then cut out , seemed quite odd . At the servo
we fueled up and Steve asked about the Coolabah Pub , we were then told that the Pub had burned down
about 2 weeks prior , so , a re plan was required . We then decided to get accommodation here in Nyngan
and suss out over the evening what plan to place into action the following day .
We got a room each in the Overlander Hotel Motel , got cleaned up and walked around to the bar for a
few coldies and to suss out dinner . The Bistro opened at 6pm ,so, we had a few beers and watched the weather
turn from clear and sunny to cloudy and very windy , to pouring rain with gale force winds . At one stage
we had to bolt the bar doors closed , as the wind was blowing that hard the doors were being held wide
open by the wind . When the evening barmaid arrived and parked out the front , she had to walk along the road
up to the corner and use the garden bed curbing to get across to the foot path because the gutter was full
of water and about a meter wide where she parked her car . It probably rained solid for 2 hours or so .
Dinner was great and we had a few more beers and as the rain had abated back to a drizzle we made our way
upstairs to our rooms and retired for the evening .
Day 3 Wednesday 27 / 8 / 2014
Wednesday started with my phone alarm waking me at 0615 , I wanted to check the BOM website thoroughly
for rain fall and predictions before breakfast so an informed decision could be made for the days
route . After checking the web and thinking about our options while packing my gear and loading my bike
I had decided what the best course of action was . Steve and Glenn were also packing their bikes and I
expressed my thoughts to them and they agreed that as my research was thorough I had a plan that should
work without a hitch .
Once the bikes were loaded up we wandered across the road to a little cafe and had some breakfast and coffee
before suiting up and heading out of Nyngan bound for Cobar on the Barrier Hwy .
The reason for going the Barrier was simple , Nyngan had had an inch of rain overnight and the rain was
wide spread , Bourke , which is about 200 km to the NW had had a little rain but Cobar which is 130 km
to the West had had none . We needed to go Nth west but as I expected all the dirt rds to be wet the tar
option to Cobar was the smart one .
I had never ridden the Barrier Hwy before so I was not too bored droning along at the 110 kph posted speed .
There was evidence of the rain showing for most of the 130 km into Cobar with wet patches on the tar .
The 130 km was ridden in just over an hour and we refueled in Cobar for the run to Louth . Louth rd is a
pretty straight run , tar for the first 30 odd k's then dirt through to Louth , it was in good condition
having been recently graded so we made good time into Louth for a refuel and lunch .
Lunch was excellent and the road beckoned so we left louth early afternoon , crossed the
Darling River and headed to Tilpa on the Northern Side of the River .
Again the road was in good condition for the most part with the odd rut caused by a vehicle using
the road when wet . I had intended to visit Tilpa Pub but time was
against us , so at Tilpa we turned right to Tongo rather than left to the Pub .
We were back on our intended route and everything was going well , the sun was shining and the breeze was
blowing the dust away to give good vision in front and behind .
At the Wilcania - Wanaaring Rd intersection we stopped for a regroup and Glenn topped up his fuel tanks
from his fuel bladders and we all had a stretch and walk around to increase circulation and ultimately
increase our ability to concentrate on our riding .
White Cliffs was our destination for the day and we were not far away now , the road was ok but had some
rather largish puddles to negotiate were the road crossed creek beds . We arrived in White Cliffs around
4 pm and headed straight to the pub to wash the dust down .
After a couple of cleansing ales we rode around the block to the Under ground Motel where we booked in
for the evening . The underground Motel is quite unique in my experience , built into the side of a hill
with the sleeping areas all burrowed out of the ground .
The UGM is self contained , bar , restaurant and lounge areas so you do not have to leave the building .
We ordered dinner , had a couple of beers , dinner arrived along with a bottle of wine , the world was
good , very bloody good :-) . After dinner and few more drinks we retired to our rooms for the night.
Day 4 Thursday 29 / 8 / 2014
Thursday started before sunrise , I walked out side to see how much light was in the sky ,
I could hear voices but could not see who was talking nor where they were . I went back inside
and did my morning things and came back out 15 mins later , I could now see better and Steve
and Glenn were standing out on the end of the car park checking out the sunrise .
Pre dawn car park White Cliffs Underground Motel
Sunrise from the car park
Inside the Motel
We all took some pics and had a brief chat before returning to our rooms to pack our stuff and load
the bikes. We had a great breakfast in the restaurant and suited up after settling our respective bills .
We then rode into the Servo to fuel up and were on our way by 9 am . Only a K or so out of town and
your on dirt , we spread out a little as the dust was hanging in the air a bit due to only a
slight breeze being present and made our way North and West towards Milparinka . I have ridden this
route only once before and then was in awe of the scenery , I was in awe of the scenery again , It
subtly changes as you ride and the change is constantly happening , I loved this run through to
the Silver city Hwy junction .
At the junction with the Silver City Hwy there is a couple of trees , man made trees , Tool trees .
After a brief stretch and walk around we remounted our bikes and headed North along the Silver City Hwy .
There is a fair bit more tar along this stretch than when last I rode it , probably about 50 % of the
distance between the Junction and Milparinka is now tarred . There was some great sights along this
stretch too , at one point there was a salt lake with significant water in it on either side of the road .
The surface of these lakes was like a mirror reflecting the sky and shore lines , I tried to capture this
with my camera but I failed unfortunately .
Salt lake in the back ground
We rode into Milparinka about 1130 am and had a wander around the historic buildings before going into
the pub and ordering lunch and a drink . After lunch we got back on the bikes and rode up the Hwy to
Tibooburra . This change in route was due to not having quite enough fuel to go the intended route with
no fuel being available at Milparinka . At Tibooburra we again fueled up , Steve found a replacement
globe for his low beam which had failed and Glenn filled his fuel tanks and bladders to Capacity as
there was a sign on the door stating that Fenn had called through and said his unleaded
bowser pump was not working so he could only supply Diesel at Cameron Corner .
We then set off along the most common route out to Cameron Corner . We again spread out as the dust
was thick , but at least now there was a stiff breeze to blow it away from the road when the road was
not running in the same direction as the wind . I pulled up at the first intersection where you need
to turn left , muddie stopped and waited for Steve and I went on in an attempt to avoid too large a
dust plume forming in front of Steve . At the following turn I had to wait a fair while , I took some
pics and waited . When Muddie pulled up and I was getting ready to go I noticed fuel leaking down
onto the ground below Muddies left mounted fuel bladder , I pointed this out to muddie and he
released the lid thinking that the pressure had built up inside the bladder , this caused a much larger
leak and it was leaking onto his exhaust pipe in front of the Muffler ! It turned out that the bladder
had expanded being in direct sunlight for about an hour and pushed the back surface onto the exhaust
pipe causing the bladder to burn through and begin to leak . Glenn removed the leaking bladder and
topped up his tank with what remained and put the last few drops into my tank as his was now full .
With a possible disaster averted we then rode off chasing Steve who had ridden past us as I was
pointing out Glenn's leaking issue . The road was in great nick , it was obvious that it had been
recently graded . a few k's on I rode over a dune and had one of those
" fuck ...where does the track go ? " moments , there was a large clay pan in front of me and it was
rather obvious that the middle section where the road normally goes was very wet , I looked right and
then left and saw Steve's Tenere parked about 1/2 way across the Clay pan edge , Steve had his camera out
waiting for us to ride by . So I of course went left before the bottom of the sand dune and rode past
Steve and his camera , by the time I went by Steve my heart rate had returned to almost normal , yep
that clay pan being wet sure got the blood pumping a bit on first glance .
I waited about 50 meters from the Gate into South Australia to get a pic of Glenn opening it as this
ride actually came about as Glenn had been trying to get to Cameron Corner for a few years and it
was high on his Bucket list ,so I helped make it happen as our annual leave coincided for this 2 weeks .
We rode over to the Corner store and booked into a room each , had a celebratory beer and then made our
way to our " Rooms " . The rooms are more or less just a bed in a donga , clean and tidy but very basic .
Once cleaned up we went back over to the store and had a few more beers , a feed and a chat to a couple
of fellow Dirt Tourers , they were on a KLR 650 and DR 650 respectively and hailed from Tamworth &
Bingara respectively . We were into bed by about 9 pm , happy that we were at the Corner almost incident
Day 5 Friday 30 / 8 / 2014
We were all up again before dawn , packing , taking pics and doing the things you do first thing in
the morning . We had a bit of time to kill before breakfast was available so we wondered over to the
corner post and took the obligatory snaps . We then wandered back over to our mates from the previous
night who were packing up the Taj Mahal Tenere tent and tried to help out with a missing nut , but
none of us had the correct size and thread required . We said our good byes to them and went inside
for our cooked breakfast . Breakfast done we were ready for the road and once Glenn fueled up at the
dodgy pump we left . The Merty Merty rd was a bit average for condition , it had many spots with red
flags marking the soft spots on the top or near to the top of dunes . The sand was not real deep in
most parts , but the odd section was a bit sandy and a challenge to ride straight through without a
pucker of the sphincter type moment .
We turned off at the Old Strzeleki Track and went North , I had not done this road / track before so
it was all new to me , it was in pretty good nick as there was some gas and drilling / pumping sites
along the first section but it deteriorated through the middle section and then improved a fair bit
towards the Northern end due to more work sites .
The linking Northern end of the old Strzeleki into Innamincka is not directly across the Main rd
intersection , we had to turn right and travel along the dirt super hwy about 400m East to find our
turn . There were some truck rigs of mammoth proportions using this rd , with dust clouds to match .
We regrouped at the head of the last section of the Old Strzeleki in Innamincka and then rode on into
the sand pit . The sign that proclaims the track an unmaintained 4WD track tells the story , sand ,
bulldust and corrugations for it's entire length . We all escaped the track unscathed and rode into
the Trading Post Bowsers to fuel up and get some food as well as inquire about accommodation . After
fueling up and eating we rode down to the Cooper Creek banks to find a camp spot after nearly choking
on the price of accommodation . Once we had set up our respective camps we rode out to Bourkes grave to
check out the historic site .
Once that was done we rode back into Innamincka and duly reported to the
bar for a dust settler or three , we only drank until sunset , but we sure made a good show of drinking ,
Steve and Glenn were drinking 150 Lashes by James Squire , they probably copped 1500 lashes each . I
purchased a bottle of Red to go with Dinner just before sunset and we then walked back down the hill
to our camps and made dinner from our Dehydrated packets . The red was consumed and the food was eaten
and the Worlds most pressing problems were solved by serious discussion . We each went off to bed at
quite an early hour and I personally , just crashed out , however , I woke up some hours later and had
trouble going back to sleep due to a raging party happening up in front of the Pub , band playing , drunken
people shouting and laughing , the whole very loud and sorry tale .
To be continued .
KTM 950 SE
Yamaha WR 450 F ( + Rally spec )
Oldfatbeerman screwed with this post 10-17-2014 at 07:14 PM
|09-27-2014, 05:11 AM||#2|
Enroute to a PUB
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Lake Macquarie , NSW, Australia
Day 6 , Saturday 30/8/2014 .
We all were up and moving around the time the sun hit the ground around us , dunno what the time was
cause we were in a different time zone and I didn't adjust my watch so I also didn't look at it much .
None of us were real flash feeling being Saturday and having endured the noise of the Pub party last
night / early morning .
We had coffee and muesli bars , topped up the 990 's fuel and bade farewell
to Innamincka via the Adventure Way , the South Australian end is all dirt and a wide super highway
, once over the Queensland border the tar starts and is a bit of a relief at first , due to not having
to concentrate on your line and the corrugations and rocks . After a while the tar gets boring , but
thankfully , Just before we reached the Nappa Merrie Station turn off , we took
the right turn heading for Orientos and then Santos stations .
This rd also starts out as a dirt super
highway , wide straight and firm , then as the hills are reached turns winding and interesting while
still wide and firm , after about 80 or 90 km the road deteriorates to a rougher sandier wide road then
gets progressively rougher and narrower while also getting sandier for the most of it . Narrow (one lane )
cattle grids also become prevalent before the junction with the Bransby - Tikelara rd . We encountered
a fair bit of oncoming traffic along this road , plenty of utes with dirt bikes and swags in the tray ,
apparently there was some kind of dirt bike event on to the North of us and every cowboy who owned a
dirt bike and ute was heading there to ride it. Most of them were not too well versed on dirt rd
travelers etiquete either .
We had a few breaks along this rd for a drink and a few pics but it was a bit of a boring run really ,
not too much about it sticks in my memory . Once we joined the Warri gate rd it became a relatively
more boring run to the border .
Once back in NSW the terrain changes to the Jump up terrain , the road again has some curves and ups
and downs , somebody had made a mess of this stretch with a truck in the wet , long stretches of grooves
about 6 -12 inches deep going for kilometer after kilometer and many times they bounced back onto the road
from the drain / edge , probably stretching for 15 km + .
We arrived in Tibooburra mid arvo , had a quick bite to eat at the general store and went over to the
Family Hotel to get a room , after finding our rooms and getting our bikes around the back I put some
effort into finding out why my GPS mount was not powering up my GPS , I thought I found the problem
but the GPS still was not powering up , so I reassembled the front nacelle and ran my GPS on it's
internal battery for the rest of the ride , I know the route well for most of the way home any way .
We settled into the pace of life at the Family Hotel rather quickly , sinking a few dust settlers as
the afternoon wore on and ordering Dinner once the kitchen staff arrived . Dinner was great and good value
and with our wine loving majority present , we also had a bottle or 2 of red to keep the wine / beer
ratio balanced .
The fire out the front of the pub was magic , burning Gidgee which burns very hot and
leaves very hot , glowing coals in the fire . We all were in bed quite early really , the previous Nights
noisy partying taking it's toll on us .
Day 7 Sunday 31 - 8 - 2014
After a great sleep I was awake early , but didn't feel like getting up early so
I stayed in bed dozing , after all , it was Sunday . I got up around 7 ish and
Steve and Glenn were both up and about , we had the bikes packed by about 7 45 so
we went over the road to the Corner Country Store (I think that is what it is named )
for Fuel and Breakfast . The fuel was not coming out of the bowser ( cactus pump ), so we just
did breaky there and then went down the road to the servo for a fuel fill up.
That done , we hit the road about 0830 , the Cut line to Wanaaring and then Bourke .
There was a bit of Wild life about ,as I was in front , I had to remain vigilant as
the roo's were a bit suicidal at first , scared me quite a bit when the first one
decided my SE looked like a great way to die . The subsequent encounters were more
or less expected so my blood pressure didn't rise up too high . We stopped and had
a regroup just on the rundown to the first clay pan , with it's tar section laid so
as to avoid the road being impassable for weeks on end after rain . I was mildly
surprised to see this Clay Pan under water for the most part , tells the story of
how much recent rain has fallen in the Tibooburra area .
The most amazing thing about this road is the country it passes through , it's ever
changing vegetation and topography , it goes from heavily wooded scrub through to barren
rocky vegetation free desert and can happen in all of a couple of Kilometers .
We made reasonably good time across to Wanaaring , the shop there has all a bike traveler
needs , fuel , coffee , food , tyres , tubes and most other essentials , a top spot to
stop , fuel up bike and body and chat to the shops owners , so we did .
We got away from Wanaaring in the early afternoon and it was quite warm , I had to stop
not too far down the road to remove a layer of clothing , we were about 1/2 way to Bourke
so I made it a recovery stop . It was here that I learned that the wood that was burned in
the fire at Tibooburra was Gidgee tree , there was a drive way a few meters behind where I stopped
and after I had removed my jacket and a layer , an old Land Cruiser Ute towing a trailer full of wood
came out of the drive way , opened the gate and stopped next to my bike to have a bit of a chat , the
wood in the trailer was the same stuff I had seen the staff at Tiboo pub putting on the fire , so I
asked him about it , he being a timber supplier for burning purposes , knew all the answers to my questions
, unlike the staff and patrons of the pub the night before , a bit of serendipity happened there . Muddie
turned up first , then Steve , both shortly after old mate in the Ute had departed . We took pics and
walked about getting the circulation going again and had a bit of a chin wag about nothing in
particular , and a few things in particular too .
We got going again and had an uneventful run into Bourke , I led the Crew to the Port of Bourke Hotel
and went in to see if they had rooms available , we scored well , a single room each for $50 , but ,
the kitchen does not operate on a Sunday Night , upshot of that was though , the Bowlo has a Chinese
restaurant and it is just up the road on the next corner . The Pub has changed hands since I last
stayed there , the new owners appear to be as switched on as the previous owner and a bit more pub Proud ,
which is great for us patrons as the are spending money on upgrades and still keeping prices real and
service friendly and welcoming . I can't recommend this place highly enough , top place to stay .
After a few beers we went for a walk over to the old Bourke wharf , yep , once upon a time Bourke was a
busy port , a River port of course . Right beside the old Wharf is a display of an old oil burner engine
the Crossley engine , Seahorse ( Steve ) got a bit of a stiffy over this one . Steve likes his engineering
history and appreciates what the forefathers of today's engineers could do with the limited tooling and
metallurgy available at the time . We also checked out the Wharf and the structure of it while making our
way to the Bowlo for a feed .
The Menu at the bowlo was great , what to have was the main problem , we made our decisions and ordered
our meals . We got a bottle of red between us and were set for a feast . The meals duly arrived and were
consumed with gusto , not a single little complaint . We decided that a second bottle of red was in order
and the pubs balcony was the best place to drink it . A slightly sneaky maneuver was accomplished getting
the bottle and 3 glasses out of the Bowlo , but we are adventurers , noting if not resourceful .
Back on the balcony we drank the red and chatted for the time it took before bading each other a good night
and retiring to our beds .
Day 8 Monday 1 / 9 / 2014
Monday started early again , we were in the dining area eating Breakfast by 0730 and on the bikes by 0800 .
After fueling up we scarped out of Bourke along the Highway , about 20 k's out we swung onto the dirt , this
road is part of the old Cobb and co route to Bourke , it is still mostly dirt through to Carinda .
At Carinda we fueled up and had a bite to eat , this was our only stop for the day at a town ,
so although a bit early for lunch , we had to eat if we wanted to eat at all today .
Once the fuel and food was sorted , we got on the bikes and headed out , the roads here
change quickly , from Black soil to loam and to sand and back to Black soil over a few
Kilometers. There was one scared erratic Emu through this section , it was caught in the
long Paddock by good fencing on either side of the road and we each had to wait for the
right opportunity patiently to get past it as it ran along darting all over the road in
front of us , I probably had to chase it for 2 or 3 K's before I could pass it . Just
before you reach the Castlereagh Highway , the horizon opens up to show just how big the
scale of the land , farming here is on a grand scale , it is mind boggling just how big
each paddock is , let alone the size of the total farming operation must be . Muddy put
it like this , " Hey love , I am just going out to slash the back paddock , see ya in
a week or two. "
Big sky country this place !
Before Pilliga we turned off into the Pilliga West State Forest . We had a stop and chat
as well as a drink a little way down the road , then got going again , just a bit further
along , I came down a straightish sandy road and could see something moving in the scrub off
to the right of the road , then a Palomino Gelding , an absolutely beautiful animal came
out of the scub and proceeded to run down the road about 50 meters in front of me , it's head
was up high and proud , it appeared to be having the time of it's life running ahead of me and
darting from one side of the road to the other and then back again at random times , I followed
this Horse for about a Kilometer before he went to the left into the scrub that had thinned out a bit ,
I took this opportunity to open the throttle a bit and slip past the Horse , he had been keeping up
a fair speed as I followed him , somewhere around 40 kph I'd reckon . Kinda weird bit was , we were on
Brumby Lane , but I am sure that this horse was no Brumby , it's coat was too well looked after and it's
condition seemed way to good for a wild animal out in that country . Steve , who was riding sweep said he
followed it for a long way before it swung off the road and through a gap in a fence into a paddock ,
which sort of backs up my supposition of not being wild .
We crossed the Pilliga - Coonamble Rd and wound our way through to Gwabegar , there
is not much to see in Gwabegar , kind of blink and ya miss it type scenario .
We continued on out of Gwabegar on the Cuttabri rd before turning into the forest again to head East
towards the Newell Hwy . Through this part of the forest there was some water laying around as
evidence of the previous weeks weather that caused us to cut and run South of here . After a
snack and fuel top up for Glenn stop , we continued East through to the Newell , crossed the tar and
continued on in the Pilliga East SF . I was a little concerned that this leg may be a problem as parts
of the Pilliga East SF are closed due to Coal Seam Gas drilling work but my research suggested that
the drilling was to the North of where I intended to pass through . As it turned out , I was right , we
passed one site that appeared to be a pumping station for the gas but that was the only real evidence we saw
of the work being carried out except for the roads and track were graded . This grading kind of spoiled the
fun a bit but made it easy to keep a good pace up through there . It was pretty late in the day when I got to the
exit gate out of the Forest , I waited for Glenn and Steve to arrive and led them through the track out . This
track was more eroded and cut up than any I've ever seen out there , it appears that the Coal Seam Gas Protesters
had destroyed it . It would be a real challenge to get a car , 4x4 or not , through there when we went through .
Gas pumping station PSF .
Nandewar ranges .
The last 15 km into Boggabri is mostly dirt , but about 5 km out the tar starts and you come over a rise and
there on your left is a new satellite town , Hundreds of cars around about 50 buildings that seem to have just popped
up in the paddock .It seems the Coal mine at Mauls creek and the Coal seam gas drilling has added a huge population
increase to this area , though mostly they are not domiciled locally permanently . We had a bit of a time
finding Accommodation in Boggabri , but eventually we found a couple of rooms , Muddy and I had to share a room
but that still beats camping . Rooms sorted we had a few beers and dinner was ordered , the place really filled up ,
strange that a pub has 30 odd people ordering Dinner on a Monday night , again tells the story of workers not at
home I guess . It was a good feed , the fire was great and the beer went down well . I had had enough pretty early ,
so bed was welcome and lights out was agreed without issue by Glenn .
Tuesday 2 / 9 / 2014
We were up early , bikes packed and looking for a cafe for Breakfast by about 8 am , Steve spotted one
and waved us over , we ordered and waited . The food came out and so did the coffee , it was great , another
good choice for us . As we were suiting up to leave , a few large rain drops fell on us so we put our wets on .
The run past the Mining area saw lots of trucks and traffic and the road is now tarred , once past the mine
area the dirt is still there , we rode through to Manilla and onto Halls Creek rd , this one winds along a valley
with a creek through farms , really nice scenic ride . Along towards the Eastern end we encountered an
Eighteen wheeler with a dozer on the back , the road was a bit narrow along this section and the Truck was
having some issues with making the turns due to it's width , needing helpers to slowly creep it's way forward
making sure it did not hit the rock's protruding from the rock wall and avoid putting a wheel over the edge
into the creek . As we crested the rise at the top of the hill overlooking the Valley that Bendemeer lies in we
could see some nasty looking cloud off to the South East .
Halls CK rd .
At Bendemeer we refueled and then got moving , after about a Kilometer down the Highway we were back on the
dirt again , this road winds through the Farms East of Bendemeer through to Woolbrook and is a great run ,
with just one danger spot , there is a cattle grid towards the end that is raised up a fair way and the up
ramp coming from West to East is very steep , if hit with any speed , air time is the result , it caught
Fish out last year ending with a stay in hospital and a long stretch in plaster .
where we are headed .
Fish's Cattle Grid
We again could see the nasty weather to the sth East , now it was obvious to me , as I knew where we were going ,
that we would be riding through the rain before too long . We rolled through the sleepy village of Woolbrook and
turned South on a fun dirt rd Heading for Niangala , before too long we caught up with the rain , it was
flogging down and the temperature dropped a fair amount too . Before we had reached the tar section we had to
ride , I was sure we would be altering our plans as the stock route is a bit soft and boggy in the dry , so with
the rain we were experiencing it was a no brainer to veto that section . The new plan was through Niangala on
the tar and down Port Stephens Cutting to Woolamin and then Nundle . The rain didn't back off until we had got
most of the way the cutting and the temperature rose as the altitude dropped , by the time we had ridden through
Woolamin my hands were starting to have feeling in them again .
Port Stephens Cutting misery .
I did a quick stop a Chafey Dam for a few pics
and had some fun sliding the big girl through the dirt on the back road into Nundle before lobbing at the Peel inn
and booking a room each . Seeing as it was our last night on the road we started our celebrating a bit early , I was
glowing by dinner time and Steve and Glenn had a shine up too , I recall a couple of drinks in the bar after dinner
and then going to bed as my traveling companions had both decided to retire .
Wednesday 3 / 9 / 2014
Last day blues set in for me the minute I woke up , lethargy was my bodies response to it .
I struggled to get out of bed and get my shit together , pack up and load the bike . I got
it done but it was a chore . I was still ready before the dining room was open for breakfast
, it sure was worth hanging around for breaky though , a bacon , eggs , mushrooms , toast ,
with grilled tomato and cheese melted on top , man , that breaky was a $25 breaky and it was
included in the room price of $45 , I seriously don't know how the are making money at the
level they provide the services they do at the price they charge . The best value place we
stayed without a doubt .
We got on the bikes after eating and rode down to the servo to fuel up , after filling up and
paying I realized I didn't have my sunglasses , so I raced back up to the pub car park to
find my sunnies on the ground , smashed and broken . They were prescription sunnies so my
vision for the day was going to be less than optimal . That crisis dealt with we set off
South out of town along the Crawney rd . A short distance out of town we could see over our
left shoulders the peaks to the East were blanketed with snow , no wonder it was so freakin cold !
Crawney pass .
The Road was in pretty good condition considering the recent weather in the area and that allowed
us to make good time , we were at Crawney pass in no time and then dropped down the Southern side
into the Isis river valley feeling the temps warm up and the vegetation become less lush as there had
obviously been less rain falling through there as had been falling a bit to the North .
Snow on background peak .
We kept heading South along this road as it passed through the Timor region and then into Gundy .
The road took us South and East through towards scone before we swung East over towards Glenbawn Dam
and then East again to link up with Albano Rd throught that magic farmland with vista after vista
opening out in front of us . Sadly , this was the last bit of Dirt we would see on this trip , the
fun was over , once we reached Bridgeman Rd the taffic became routine and then we turned onto the New
England Hwy , reality hit big time . We made our way into Singleton for a bite to eat for lunch and a
debrief , and 2 out of 3 of us nearly got flattened by speeding , aggressive and impatient truckies ,
welcome back to the rat race .
Lunch was done and we said our good byes , hit the Highway and we each were back home within about an
hour and a half .
Ride done and dusted .
KTM 950 SE
Yamaha WR 450 F ( + Rally spec )
|09-27-2014, 04:00 PM||#6|
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Wollondilly Shire, NSW, Oz
Great photos and a good read :-)
Have done most of that trip in a 4 wheeler - would love to do it on the bike.
Current: Yamaha XT1200Z
Previous: Honda 90s, Suzuki 250 Hustler, Kawasaki 500 Mach III, Honda 750 four, Honda XL250, Yamaha XS500, Kawasaki 500 Mach III, Kawasaki 550 four, Honda XL185, Kawasaki GPz900, Honda ST1100, Honda NX650, Honda XL600V Transalp, Honda ST1100, Yamaha TDM900
|09-27-2014, 05:36 PM||#7|
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: hole shaven area
Best Aussie RR this year Al,well done!!
You're gonna have to take me on a ride some time
I live more in 5 minutes on my motorcycle than some people live in a lifetime...............
Using a feather is kinky,using the whole chook is just wrong!!!!
www.buyabale.com.au.. Our farmers thank you!
|09-28-2014, 03:09 AM||#10|
Enroute to a PUB
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Lake Macquarie , NSW, Australia
Sorry to anyone wanting to read the RR and look at the pics , My Bandwidth resets on the 30 th of each month , so a couple of days to wait to see the pics is all the issue is .
KTM 950 SE
Yamaha WR 450 F ( + Rally spec )
|10-05-2014, 11:29 PM||#11|
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Armidale, NSW
Great Report, thanks! Went out that way myself in June, great country
When in doubt, PIN IT! It may not help, but it'll sure end the suspense...
|10-06-2014, 03:42 AM||#13|
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Wide Bay, Queensland, Australia
Good stuff guys, top photos & story.
I've often thought that
Not a Member of the......Quorn Schnitzel Club
|10-17-2014, 08:12 PM||#14|
Enroute to a PUB
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Lake Macquarie , NSW, Australia
I have fixed the bandwidth problem , paid up for a year , the things I do for you people .
KTM 950 SE
Yamaha WR 450 F ( + Rally spec )
|10-18-2014, 12:13 PM||#15|
Joined: Jul 2007
That was a fantastic report. Australia always looks like a great place for adventure touring. Not knowing about Burke's grave, I looked it up and thought I'd post a link for those not from Australia.
Thanks for the report.
I prefer a short life with width to a narrow one with length-Avicenna
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=810149 Ouray Adv
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=800723 Cortez & Moab
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