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Old 02-10-2012, 02:46 AM   #1
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Wicked While we should have been working...

Tasmaina Day 1 - 9/2/12

After 14 months of planning the day is finally here. We went to work in the morning tying up a few things, then off at 12 noon down the Pacific Highway. Our original plan was to follow the Newell Highway to Melbourne, however the recent flooding around Moree put an end to that.

We left home at 1:45pm with all in good spirits.





Sarah "Vegemite Sandwich" Honda CB400, Cob & Nan "CobNanCo" Honda Goldwing


Scott "TrappedAtWork" Yamaha FJR 1300





A quick stop for fuel at Stapylton BP and we were heading south to Sydney. Looking south toward the Gold Coast we saw a fair amount of rain and took the opportunity to put on our Wet weather suits at Nerang, and not one minute later the rain hit. This kept up until the NSW boarder. We encountered several short showers on the way south, but nothing serious.

Our original aim was to get to Ballina, however we decided we could push on toward Grafton. Finally arriving at Grafton around 7pm local time.

We stayed at the Grafton Lodge which was clean. When we were checking in, we saw a couple of GSs in the carpark. Cob had a chat with one of the riders, who lives in the next suburb over. They were returning from a 1 week trip throught NSW.

The Pacific Highway ran outside our room, there were many trucks passing by during the night. We ate next door at the Espana Motel, the meals there were huge! You get your monnies worth there.


No matter where you go the Goldwing attracts attention....


Meals at the Espana Motor Inn Grafton are not small


Clean and Comfortable at Grafton Lodge Motel


335km for the day.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:57 AM   #2
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That's awesome. I'm looking forward to the rest of your ride report. I've had the idea for a while to ship my bike down to Australia and do a lap around the country. Maybe some day... lol
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:10 PM   #3
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Tasmaina day 2 - 10/2/12

We started the day early with the idea that we would continue down the Pacific highway. This would take us to somewhere between Newcastle an Sydney. However when we heard the news of flooding in Sydney this morning and the potential to cut off southern NSW, we decided to take an inland route. Our initial thoughts were to head toward Coonabarabran and find a motel there.

Grafton in the morning and another person interested in the Goldwing. Sarah tried to point out her bike but to not avail...




We got some petrol and headed west toward Glen Innes along the Gwydir Highway. The ride over the Gibraltar range is fantastic and I was not disappointed to be repeating this ride.

Lookout from the range





Once at Glen Innes we headed south toward Tamworth, passing through Armidale. The road was heavily damaged due to the rains in the past week and we spent most of the morning dodging potholes, especially the section south of Armidale. There were sections of roadworks with several hundred meters of gravel roads and even one water crossing along the way. A real ADV!

By earl afternoon we had reached Tamworth, we grabbed some lunch from a local supermarket and headed off to find the Golden guitar (Tamworth is the country music capital of Australia and this is a "big thing" so we had to get a photo).



We stopped for lunch at a rest stop just near Tamworth airport.

Team parking was not a priority for this stop!!!



While eating lunch we watched the rain head toward us form the west. We put on our wet weather suits and were not disappointed!

After some rain heading out of Tamworth, we hit some fine weather, very fine in fact (33C). However the sky was still threatening rain so we kept our suits on. It was fine all the way into Gilgandra. As soon as we found some shade we got out of our wet weather suits, to collective sigh of relief. All I can say is that I was a boil in the bag meal.... Never again!

We headed further west toward Coonabarabran and the afternoon turned out to be fantastic! Good roads not damaged by rain. Fine weather and about 30C, so comfortable at 100kph.

At Coonabarabran we were all feeling good so decided to push on to Dubbo. This was a great idea as it got us closer to Melbourne and allowed us to enjoy more riding.

We arrived at Dubbo around 7pm and found a motel. Headed for the local bowls club for a meal to finish the day.

731km for the day.
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:11 PM   #4
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That's awesome. I'm looking forward to the rest of your ride report. I've had the idea for a while to ship my bike down to Australia and do a lap around the country. Maybe some day... lol
Sounds like a great idea. We hope to take our bikes to the USA.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:54 PM   #5
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Day 1 we had only done 335 km ... the rain was a bit of a worry first up but the new Pilot Road 3's on the mighty CB400 made me feel a bit better about things. By the time we got to Grafton I was ready for a nap - a few hours sleep the night before (some might say excitement caused it but I think it was really angst for what I had signed up for ...), a half day at work and then 335km on the bike and I could have slept where we parked. Luckily for me I was dragged to dinner and 2 beers later I was really ready for the nap. The preparation that we had done leading up to the trip meant that my butt was only sore for the last 35 km or so.

Day 2 and 731 km ... makes for a very flat and sore bum! I was riding side saddle as we rode into Dubbo. All the preparation in the world but boy did my butt hurt. Due to the recent rains (and empty NSW coffers) there is quite a bit of damage to the roads in parts. After Armidale there was a section that resembles the moon surface. At one point Cob was in front and it looked like he was a pinball getting a high score as he hit "every known fucking pothole in the universe" (direct quote). His story is that he was trying to get Nan to do a triple somersault with reverse pike off the back of the Gold Wing and land on the FJR - and based on the noise out of the scala riders he almost succeeded (and almost succeeded in deafening us too).

A word of warning to fellow ADVers (females particularly) - the toilets at the Dubbo Maccas are sub par. Nan was calmly trying to make use of the facilities (which we had high hopes for being McDonalds) when she was almost bucked off the pan because it wasn't bolted to the floor. It could have been messy but her training in going arse up at any opportunity meant that she was well equipped to deal with the sudden loss of altitude.

The CB400 doesn't get the fuel range of the bigger bikes ... 2 tanks for every one of theirs - but it is smaller so all is forgiven. I'm sure I could get some more kms before each fill but I'm not sure how long the snakey lights go before it is empty and with sometimes 100km between petrol stations I don't want to find out ... pushing a laden bike would not be fun cos it would be me doing it with encouragement from the rest of the team I'm sure (possibly over the scala riders with them in the nearest pub).

Scott has been the oracle in predicting when to put on the wet weathers (not necessarily on when to take them off though ...). Cob has been the oracle in predicting which route would have the most potholes - and usually went that way. Nan has been directionally challenged - pointing out sights or landmarks that are on the left and saying they are at 3 o'clock (WTF?) And my particular skill is picking out the speed cameras - not that we're pushing - so far to go and don't want any problems with the po po (although we haven't seen many yet).
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegemiteSandwich View Post

A word of warning to fellow ADVers (females particularly) - the toilets at the Dubbo Maccas are sub par. Nan was calmly trying to make use of the facilities (which we had high hopes for being McDonalds) when she was almost bucked off the pan because it wasn't bolted to the floor. It could have been messy but her training in going arse up at any opportunity meant that she was well equipped to deal with the sudden loss of altitude.
That was one of the dirtiest Mac as we have been too. When Nan suggested it needed a clean, the attendant at the register burst out laughing. Unbelievable. Needless to say out breakfast choices were different this morning.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:18 AM   #7
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Who's the Kiwi that drinks L&P? Goes great with White Rum...
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:17 AM   #8
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Tasmania Day 3 - 11/3/12

"Exudations" on Day 3 by Cob. [Nan says "bloody excretions".]

Today was the day for a Scientific Experiment, after being blasted by wind from some Heavy Vehicles and getting significantly less from others. It was decided we should analyse the differences between the trucks to see if we could predict which trucks would cause excessive turbulence. After considering "cab over" and "long nose" trucks, height of the bumper, aero dam (on top of truck), the length of the trailer, soft sides v hard sides, we haven't got a fucking clue. I.E. all results are up for debate. After we decided the Australia post truck would be full of wind [any experience of Cob would explain this] to our collective surprise we found the Australia post truck passed no wind.

After repeated warnings of heavy vehicle inspection bays and not using exhaust brakes on the Goldwing, and some comments from the travelling companions [Cob suggested "riff raff"] Cob unleashed a tirade of Tourettes and other language unprintable even on ADVrider! Our vocab has greatly increased. [Cob is also suggesting HV in the registration does not mean Heavy Vehicle, however Hurtfull and Vindictive are used alot]




A very pleasent lunch was purchased from the West Wyalong IGA. We had cheese and crackers as "survival rations" in the car park.



After leaving town, two Devondale Milk B-Double trucks were on the road in front of us. We overtook these trucks quickly, however after sitting on 110kph for a significant period (50km), we could still see them not far behind. When we stopped at Grong Grong we had not been there long before the trucks passed us - 1 to 2 minutes, obviusly not 100kph limited.


Grong Grong for lunch. This is a fantastic little park (and you can free camp)


Finishing our luxurious repast [Nan gesticulates - "oh for FUCKS sake"] and ensuring our fruit and veges were consumed, before passing the fruit fly exclusoin zone. We were approached by a gentleman of European extraction, enquiring as to what produce was allowable through the quanentine zone; the knife (which Crocodile Dundee would be proud of) he was carrying at the time caused temporary concern.... He was dispatched with the knowledge he sought, he was last seen attempting to cook 15 pounds on potatos in a frying pan on an electric barbeque in the Grong Grong rest area, he could well still be there. Poor Bastard.

Nan left a message for the children of the Grong Grong state school, as they requested a thought from passing travellers.


Sarah and Cob having a rest in the shade.... Sarah had obviously had enough by lunch.


Unrelenting [fucking] wind noise in Sarah's surposedly quiet helmet, forced our intrepid travellers to stop in a gravel rest area. Sarah and Nan confronted the long drop there were no flies before or after, even they could not stand the smell!



At the suggestion [by moi] that a certain person was a stroppy Bitch, an unfortunate "fly in the face" incident caused a rather severe outbreak of Tourettes, which entailed much obscene language, at high volume. This was a confluence of fate and curcumstance [Nan - is anybody going to understand this; e.d. fly + face = "fuck off!"].

Sarah just before her Tourettes outburst when a fly flew into her face.


Nan was rather confused by the sign on the Finley museum and log cabin stating "Free Entry to Log Cabin and Museum $5". This seemed to be a contradiction.

We passed the Victorian Border at Tocomwal.

A photo of the Big Strawberry was taken to add to the collection of large items found on our travels.


On attempting to check in at our chosen abode "Quality Hotel Sherbourne Terrace, - Shepparton" we were informed the nightly tariff was $135 or online $109. Ipads were readily deployed and bookings completed from the driveway of said establishment, saving a substantial amount of our hard earned.


We enjoyed a leisurely meal at the local RSL, these were at least half the price of previous nights. We followed this with a few drinks before retiring after a very long day.

660km today.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:45 AM   #9
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The hero of the trip!
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:48 AM   #10
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Who's the Kiwi that drinks L&P? Goes great with White Rum...
Nan - she had never tried L&P, I think they passed a NZ Ice Cream shop in Tamworth.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:59 PM   #11
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Day 4 Shepparton to Melbourne

Chilly morning to set off from Shepparton - started off with the winter gloves, fleece and neck warmers from the start this time. Left at 7am and decided to forgo the usual Maccas brekky in the interests of long term health and safety. We stopped at the first services that we could see on the road, at Wahring we think - a nicely kept roadhouse with a decent brekky meanu - cheap and no one got dysentry. Staff were very friendly and we weren't waiting long.

The next stop was to document the momentous occassion of the CB400 going over 10,000kms. Cob had the idea of Nan putting one foot on the seat of the gold wing, and one on the FJR and I would ride through underneath so she could get the photo but in the end we decided just to pull over ... a bit more boring but probably for the best. There was a fly past by 2 cockatoos so the enormity of the occassion was not lost on the locals. (but it may have been lost on my fellow travellers - this was sarcasm at its best ... )

The FJR also had significant kilometrestone (the metric version of a milestone) of reaching 25,000kms (not bad in 11 months) and the Gold Wing reached a mighty 3000km ... it is only 3 weeks new though.

The Gold Wing's sat nav woke up today (obviously finally decided that Cob and Nan were getting too lost) and decided to blast its instructions to half of north Melbourne - we could hear it through the scala riders as well as around the neighbourhood. All the traffic turned left at the next intersection as instructed :)

Cross winds were chronic today. As well as pushing us across the freeway the noise in the scala riders was at its worst. At some point all of us had our gloves across the bottom of the helmet to try to stop the noise but we never worked out where it was coming from. Our best guess is that it may have been Nan's helmet with her front vent open.

We had an early day - only 306kms - found a caravan park on the beach near Frankston and decided to have a restful afternoon. Had some local fish and chips - not the best - could have done an oil change on all 3 bikes with the residue off the batter. Went for a walk on the beach - where we found Steven Seagull ... poor thing had a fishing lure stuck on his leg. Scott tried to be seagull whisperer to help him out but Steven wasn't interested. There were heaps of seagulls with various anklets of fishing tackle - poor things.




Finally the state of the dirty bikes got to us and we whipped out the Meguiar's kit we'd brought with us and had a go at making them a little bit respectable. There isn't enough bug and tar remover in all of Melbourne to bring them back to show room but we decaked them a bit. I had planned to give the CB a polish but after I saw the end result of the wash decided it would be pointless.



As always the Gold wing drew a crowd.

Finished the day wth aperatifs on the terrace - although being Queenslanders the cold chased us inside very quickly.
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:00 PM   #12
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Tasmania Day 4 (Photos)

Relaxing in the Cabin at Dromana.


Beach huts on Port Phillip Bay.


On the Beach


A Yacht in the bay


Some seagulls around the beach...

I ended up chasing one around for a few minutes trying to get a fishing float off his leg.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:15 PM   #13
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Tasmania Day 5 - 13/2/12

Up early this morning. We had not planned anything specific but had not organised a sleep in either! Stupid! We headed down to Portsea to take a look at the bottom section of Port Phillip bay. Got some coffees and spoke to a fisherman, he had only caught a squid today.



Cob and Sarah pontificating on the price of the Beverages at Sorento...


We road into Port Melbourne about 1pm and spent the afternoon at two different cafes, one for lunch and one for an early dinner.

Then it was queuing up with other motorcyclists for the Spirit of Tasmania. We had a good chat with two couples from Young, they were on a VStar and a XJR (both quality motorcycles).





There was the Old Boar MC and they were the group ahead of us, it took about 20 minutes to check in all 28 members of their group, they had a mix of bikes, but the highlight was a BMW K1600GT. We then checked in with the remaining motorcyclists. In all there were approximately 50 bikes.


Whilest queuing after check in, Sarah got chatting with a young lady on a F650GS (800cc) and scored a sit on. She was very impressed, and offered a straight swap, but was unsuccessful.

We entered the gates on the far left of the pier and went to the end of the pier turned around and queued up along the dock where the ship came in.



A view of the Bolte Bridge



For reference, they tie down the bikes from the handle bars, no longer do they put a trap across the seat. We have a 4 berth cabin (2 cabins) and it has an ensuite shower/toilet room. It is not large, but it is comfortable. (See pictures in a post or two)

The gates opened at 6pm and we were in our room at approximately 8:15pm. A few drinks at the bar and off to bed for an early start.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:12 PM   #14
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Day 6 - Arrive in Taswegia

There was great comaraderie of the "bikies" on the boat - a lot of tales were told I'm sure. Others stayed out much later than us but we met up again with them in the morning and there were many friendly waves amongst us.

After a sleepless night on the Spirit of Tasmania I (although Nan seems to have slept like a baby - could have been something to do with the rather large vino the captain bought her after her room wasn't made up) ... we woke up at 5am to get ready for a 6.30 disembarkation. Right on 6:30 we were directed to go to the garage level. Seeing all the bikes strapped in and secure after the night's crossing was impressive - cruisers, sports bikes, tourers, a ural with side car even a fuoco 3 wheeled scooter - as well as our fleet. As the crew had said the night before, the bikes were secured only by the handlebars - no destructive strap across the seat - and no damage to be seen. Even the gold wing was strapped by the handle bars. Everyone piled onto the garage and stowed their gear on their bikes. We didn't realise initially that you are responsible for untying your own bike from the deck (hard to take off with tie downs strapping you to a ferry). Once unleashed there was a cacophony of exhaust notes (and exhaust fumes) as everyone rushed to get out first - it was quite a spectacle to see. Scott & Cob were blocked by late comers who hadn't yet untied their bikes so I was the first one of our group off the boat (not as scary as I had imagined it could be). A quick check by quarantine to see if I had fruit or veges and I was in Taswegia.






The weather looked ominous.. the sky was starting to lighten with the early morning sun, but there were dark storm clouds all around. Scott (our wet weather gear oracle) determined that the wets were not required and so we begun our trek into the Taswegian wilderness (a.k.a. downtown Devonport). It turns out that Scott has retained his oracle status - we got spat on by about 5 rain drops and then the skies cleared to a magnificent blue sky day.


We didn't have far to go today - from Devonport to Smithton. We took tourist drives where we saw them and went up to lookouts wherever we could find them. Some of them don't deserve their lookout name ... except for "Lookout you are about to be disappointed". We did run into an Ulverstonian local (Scott says it should be Ulverwegian) who offered to sell me her house ... instead Cob dried off a swingset and I had a early morning swing - ATGATT (although I was missing a glove ... bad form on my part).


We had second breakfast (first was on the ferry - a contintental type effort with cereal and rubbery toast) at Wynyard. Noah's cafe was good value with friendly service and their motto is "a smile costs nothing" so Cob ordered two. We made use of the public facilities nearby and regretted being female given the toilets were stainless steel and bloody freezing - heart failure would not have been unexpected!

Table cape lookout was next on our journey. Some great photo opportunities. We turned into the road to go to the lighthouse but not 10m in it turned to gravel so we pulled up short. Scott & Cob dismounted to help me turn around because the off camber coupled with my short legs and laden bike made for a scary manoeuver.


Stanley was the next major stop. We pulled off to a lookout and met up with some fellow Queenslanders. Once again the gold wing was a draw card.

We rode out to Marrawah in an attempt to get to the western most (bitumened) tip of Tasmania. There were some nice sweeping corners but at the end of it there was only a corner store. We stopped for an ice block and decided to head back to Smithton to check in to our accommodation. Tall Timbers motel has some great 2 bedroom self contained apartments on a duck filled lake. Plenty big enough for 4 people and very plush. One of them on a block of dirt somewhere would be excellent. We had dinner in their bistro - the food was good if not a little pricey with vegies sold separately etc. We also took the chance to do some free washing to reduce the impact on the environment.

With relatively few kms done in Tasmania so far we have seen much more road kill than in the 2000kms to get here. Lots of bunnies and small wallaby looking things. We've seen the odd large eagle having a feast on the side of the road and have been thankful they have chosen to fly off away from the road as we approach.

Tomorrow we have ordered a sleep in ... no alarms will be set and any early risers will be shot.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:45 PM   #15
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Tasmania Day 7 - 15/2/12

"Exudations by Cob"

After some serious calculations as to the cost of the breakfast, it was decided that we would have 2 cooked breakfasts between four of us, in our room. The bistro was the alternative at 5 times the price. We enjoyed our breakfast on the terrace and some breakfast was fed to the ducks in the lake.





We departed Tall Timbers soon after for Bernie, back over the same highway we rode the day before. Along the way we stopped at Helyer's Gorge for a short walk to the Gorge. We took a few photos of the Gorge, the team decided that gorge was overstatement, and it was quickly renamed Helyer's tickle.






We headed on toward Queenstown enjoing the ambience of the road kill along the road, this was experienced by all in varing degrees of decay. When riding a motorcycle you experince the full spectrum of awakened senses. (Dead things smell like, or worse than, shit). As was our usual custom, we stopped for a coffee mid morning at Tullah, the pub/cafe offered coffees, home made scones and sauages rolls. These were consumed ravenously by most of the team. After our morning bum break we continuted along pleasent bendy roads towards Queenstown.

Cafe at Tullah


On arriving at our overnight destination, Nan remembered that this is were Nan and Cob had stayed on a previous visit to the Apple Isle, and had neglected to mention that Queenstown Tasmania is a shit hole. [Nan suggests that the town has been beautified somewhat since their visit in 2002, while this may be true, shit it still is.]

Queenstown is only useful for refueling so you can continue to somewhere else.

Its been fucking mined to shit, we just can't decsibed the devistation that is Queenstown, hole in the ground does not begin to describe it. The only three redeambile features of Queenstown are the Mt Lyell Hotel Pub Meal, the friendly people and the road out.

We stayed at the West Coaster Motor Inn, this was a dated motel and had beds like blancmange and a kitenchette that is a micorwave (literally). Not a kitchenette as you might expect - self catering was limited to the three frozen meals you could buy from the local supermarket. As self catering was out of the question, we reviewed the menu at the Empire hotel, however decided to follow the recommendation of the check out chick at the local friendly IGA and hit the Mt Lyell Hotel. Our dinner of roast pork for $10 and meat balls was good value.

Cob and Nan took the long cut back to the room and met a bird from Pietre (Brisbane Queensland). They had an enjoyable chat.
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