2 Week Tassie Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bull600, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Summer holidays in South Australia always throw up the problem of where to take a bike trip without expiring, in what can be the exceptional heat of summer.

    For quite some time I'd been eyeing off the notion of taking our DR650's over to Tasmania for a lap of the island during January. So with some dates locked in, planning began;

    The first phase of organising the trip involved putting together an intended route that met a few criteria. In general these were:

    • seeing as much as we could in the time we had,
    • sticking to the dirt wherever possible and
    • making it a circuit as much as we could.

    I put out feelers to the Tasmanian Riders Hub via the forum and got lots of good suggestions and I poured over many interesting ride reports from those who had been to Tassie before. I also purchased this book

    [​IMG]

    which provided some great ideas for 4x4 tracks that we could possibly incorporate into our circuit.

    So, as a way of reliving our trip I'm putting together a fairly comprehensive ride report with plenty of photos of our travels. I'll include maps in the report, and the gps logs will be posted to this great site:

    http://transaustraliatrail.com.au

    for downloading.

    Bikes and Riders

    One 2010 in stock standard form, bar the factory lowering option and the other a 2003 model with a number of mods (Jet kit, Staintune, Front springs, screen etc).

    As for the riders, despite a few others showing interest it came down to the old duo of Paul - the man made famous for the homemade barmuffs last winter see here
    (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=708222)

    [​IMG]

    And me (Greg)

    [​IMG]

    two riders of average ability but with a motto of giving things a go :evil:evil:evil

    Pre departure

    To maximize the use of our time we decided to trailer the bikes to Victoria where the car and trailer would be left in Geelong with a mate. With packing complete, it then dawned on us as we began loading up the bikes the night before departure that we'd never actually put the two DR650's on the trailer before (only one and a smaller bike). After a few adjustments to the barkbusters and handlebars to make things fit,

    [​IMG]

    all was ready for the drive across the border

    [​IMG]

    After an early start we planned it beautifully for a stop at a great bakery in Bordertown for brunch


    [​IMG]

    The rest of the trip was pretty mundane except for a swaying trailer that was cured after we moved some weighty bags off the rear of the bikes to the front of the trailer and filled up the car with fuel.

    Day 2


    After a good night sleep we awoke to the sound of steady rain. Well, we were in Victoria after all :rofl:rofl Not the ideal start but a teaser for what lay ahead.

    After leaving the safety of the dry garage and with all our wet weather gear on we left Geelong at around 6:30am for a wet and windy run up the M1 Freeway to Port

    [​IMG]

    After missing the turnoff and weaving our way around we eventually hit the line for boarding of the Spirit of Tasmania ferry.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The bikes were tied down with a few others, including a Cagiva Lucky Explorer

    [​IMG]

    And then, right on time, the ferry departed the rain swept Port of Melbourne.

    [​IMG]

    For the journey over we had a daytime sailing, 9 hours to cover the 430km to Devonport. There were plenty of bars, live music, TV's and even a theatre on board but a fair majority just ignored the signs and sprawled out to sleep wherever they could

    [​IMG]

    Of course as we were a bit more sophisticated we instead chose to stuff our faces at the "all you can pile on the one plate" restaurant :lol3

    [​IMG]

    After passing through Pt Phillip Heads the only real bit of excitement was when the sister ship crossed paths with us half way across heading the other way.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, Devonport came into view

    [​IMG]

    and we disembarked, only to find gridlock at the quarantine inspection centre. Luckily for us they waved us to the front of the line and we were soon on our way

    [​IMG]

    By the time we got going it was around 6:30pm. Our plan for the trip was to bush camp as much as possible, with the occasional stay in a caravan park to grab a shower and do some washing. I'd checked Google Earth as part of my planning and spied what looked like a likely area for a stealth camp about 14km out of town on the Mersey River. We found the area pretty easily but the campsites near the track didn't look great. Then we came to this track blocked by a broken down tree

    [​IMG]
    after a bit of branch rearrangement

    [​IMG]

    We snuck the bikes through

    [​IMG]

    and continued along the track down to the river where we found a bit of a "Deliverance" campsite, complete with a homemade bar and burnt out old Magna :eekers:eekers

    [​IMG]

    It wasn't long before we had camp set up (that bar made a great table :evil)

    [​IMG]

    and Paul was lucky to see a platypus after we went down to check out the Mersey River which was just below the campsite.

    [​IMG]

    Despite keeping one ear out for the camp owners returning in the middle of the night, I heard nobody squealing like a pig and slept well :rofl:rofl:rofl

    <iframe src="http://ridewithgps.com/trips/495787/embed" height="500px" width="100%" frameborder="0"></iframe>

    To be continued...
    #1
  2. antipode

    antipode Wanderer

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    577
    Location:
    Berowra, Australia
    This is going to be good :lurk
    #2
  3. 59DEN

    59DEN Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,177
    Location:
    Albany, Western Australia
    What was the shipping charges for your bike and yourself ?
    #3
  4. boy60

    boy60 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    718
    Location:
    Toowoomba, Queensland Australia
    looking forward to the rest of this.:clap
    #4
  5. Ockrocket

    Ockrocket Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,746
    Location:
    Windsor NSW [near enough]
    I'm in. :lurk

    Tassie is on my Bucket List, right near the top. :deal
    #5
  6. TerryK

    TerryK Ulysses

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,828
    Location:
    adelaide South Australia
    +1

    Cheers Terry
    #6
  7. Arek Kontrol

    Arek Kontrol Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    270
    Location:
    Ex-pat Poles in Adelaide Hills, South Australia
    :lurk
    #7
  8. Muddler

    Muddler Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    900
    Location:
    Dardanup, Western Australia
    Looking good :clap
    The sound of devils screaming in the middle of the night can be a bit off putting hey!
    #8
  9. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    The total cost for the ferry worked out to be a little over $500 each. This was for a day sail one way, shared 4 berth sleeper on the return and the two bikes. Of that, the bikes were only about $56 each one way.

    Cheers :thumb
    #9
  10. theMISSIONARY

    theMISSIONARY hunting and riding!!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,488
    Location:
    Hobart Tazmania
    :rofl that camp site is only just up the road........i should have got the Banjo out :evil
    #10
  11. Billy Pilgrim

    Billy Pilgrim Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    182
    Location:
    Caught in the ACT, Australia
    + another 1 :lurk
    #11
  12. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    I knew that was really the Cahulawassee River :lol3:lol3
    #12
  13. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Day 3

    It didn't take long to pack up camp and head back towards Devonport to start our loop around the island. The weather forecast wasn't great but we decided on a anticlockwise route so hit the Bass Highway and headed west along the northern coastline
    Soon we hopped off the freeway and followed the coast road that ran adjacent to the railway line

    [​IMG]

    until we entered the small township of Penguin. Where of course there is a

    [​IMG]

    Then it was on through Burnie (you wouldn't be seen dead here for a weekend :rofl:rofl:rofl ) and Wynyard. From there we diverted over to Table Cape where a great view back towards Wynyard could be had


    [​IMG]


    It was here we saw the first sign of a rather unusual crop grown uniquely in Tasmania


    [​IMG]


    apparently they are the world's largest producer of opium alkaloids for the pharmaceutical market. They look cool to :nod


    [​IMG]

    After checking out the lighthouse we continued on past Boat Harbor Beach


    [​IMG]


    and then on to the small town of Stanley where the stump of an old volcano, known locally as "The Nut" dominates the skyline


    [​IMG]


    This rather quaint little town provided a us a bit of a break and snack as the threatening rainclouds started to move in


    [​IMG]


    Once out of Stanley our route aimed to take us along some dirt starting down Tierney's road past South Forest, Mengah, Lileah and Nabageena before joining Roger River Road. We stopped for our last fuel for some time just out of Stanley and the heavens opened up, prompting Paul to pull out his secret weapon - waterproof (supposedly) green, industrial gloves used in the printing industry (aka big dishwashing gloves :rofl:rofl



    [​IMG]


    The rain was off and on for most of the way but it was a pleasant ride through farm and forest countryside


    [​IMG]


    One of the things I'd found when researching the trip was that the popular South Arthur Forest Drive loop was not available due to the Tayatea bridge still not having been rebuilt (Rapid River Bridge is also washed out). A bit slack seeing it was washed away in the floods of 2007. I guess the lack of logging opportunities in there may have something to do with the delay :wink


    [​IMG]


    The Kanunnah Bridge over the Arthur River was a great spot


    [​IMG]


    A few kms up the hill from the river crossing along Sumac Road we found the lookout


    [​IMG]


    Where a great view of the river is found after a short walk


    [​IMG]


    It was then back to the main road and off towards the beginning of the Western Explorer


    [​IMG]


    It was at this spot that we stopped to take a few photos and the first car we'd seen since Stanley came towards us from the direction of Corrina. As it approached the T-junction it's brakes squealed terribly and it slowly to a stop. Next minute a rather concerned elderly gent with a bad case of kyphosis alighted to see what the racket was. It sounded like a stone had become wedged in the brake rotor. After a bit of digging around with a pocket knife Paul was able to get it out much to their relief.


    [​IMG]


    After many thanks the guy then asked.. "Do you know where we are on the map?" Needless to say we sent them off towards their next destination of Stanley

    The Western Explorer traverses through the famous wilderness area of North West Tasmania known as the Tarkine. The gravel road itself is quite a good surface and winds through a variety of different terrain. From rainforests


    [​IMG]


    Over pristine rivers like the Lindsey and Donaldson


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    and through a mixture of plains and forests


    [​IMG]


    At one point we stopped to take a few photos at a high point on the road


    [​IMG]


    Imagine our disgust when we got off the bikes to find the area was not just a photo point but a full blown toilet, complete with shit covered paper spread far and wide :arg You've got to love those tourists:baldy:baldy


    [​IMG]


    How ironic that not long after we come across this


    [​IMG]


    Bushfire damage from 2008 was also evident as we got closer to Corrina


    [​IMG]


    By now the rain had started up again so we thought it might be good to start looking for a camp as we reached some old logged forest closer to Corrina. It wasn't long before Paul's keen eye spotted a disused track heading into the forest


    [​IMG]


    We split up at a junction a little further in and went looking for a clearing


    [​IMG]


    A few minutes later - jackpot. A nice cleared spot with plenty of room for our camp


    [​IMG]


    Our constant companion of rain meant the first thing we did was set up a shelter and start drying out some soggy wood


    [​IMG]


    With a break in the rain we both scurried out of the shelter to put our tents up, only to find a major hurdle


    [​IMG]


    The reason the area was clear now became obvious. It must have been an old dump area for rock when making the logging roads. Try as we might we could not get those fucking pegs in more than a few inches. Of course half way through the exercise of trying every square of the clearing the rain would start and we would have to cover the tents with a tarp


    [​IMG]


    Finally, after quite a bit of trying we conceded we'd have to move the tents into the forest and luckily found some flat spots not far in from the clearing


    [​IMG]


    Getting some extra water certainly wasn't a problem with a 4lt container taking about a minute to fill off the back of the shelter


    [​IMG]


    As the evening wore on we got a feed cooked


    [​IMG]


    and then retired to the sound of rain pummeling the tents in the forest. Ahhh summer on the west coast of Tassie :rofl:rofl:rofl


    [​IMG]



    <iframe src="http://ridewithgps.com/trips/495788/embed" height="500px" width="100%" frameborder="0"></iframe>

    To be continued[/URL]...
    #13
  14. Dash65

    Dash65 wherethefarkarewe?

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    304
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    Nice RR, look forward to more. :D

    Cheers,
    Dash
    #14
  15. theMISSIONARY

    theMISSIONARY hunting and riding!!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,488
    Location:
    Hobart Tazmania
    well at least the Link rd was wet or you two would love the Dust you get on there :lol3

    .......the Tarkine seems to have grown lots and lots since the 60's and 70's.........so much so it covers huge area's :rolleyes

    much of the original Tarkine was logged in the 60's by the Ellis Brothers (the same ones that own or owned much of cradle valley) the old man had a lot to do with them in the old days as they had the best vehicles to go over the button grass.........to pull him out of the bog :rofl

    But then the Greenies know much better than those that live on the west coast :rolleyes
    #15
  16. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    881
    Location:
    Down-under Down-under
    I've been looking forward to this... You certainly know how to write a good ride report :clap
    #16
  17. BTBW 01

    BTBW 01 BTBW 01

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    SOUTH OZ
    Great RR, keep it coming :D
    Rode from Adelaide to Tassie (clockwise) back in 2005, with my partner on back seat of my Davidson.
    One of my best rides ever, was very lucky with weather, only rained in Victoria.
    Would love to get back there one day on DR650!!
    #17
  18. Steamy Moose

    Steamy Moose Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    Taswegians
    Loving the report so far mate, can't wait to read the rest of it!
    #18
  19. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Day 4

    The dawn brought with it an unexpected surprise &#8211; sunshine poking through the treetops :D


    [​IMG]


    Alas.. by the time we&#8217;d started to pack up camp the rain was back and we departed in the wet


    [​IMG]


    As luck would have it the rained cleared up for a while as we reached Corrina, a nice little spot on the banks of the Pieman River


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    We had a look around and took a short stroll along the boardwalk to check out a very uninspiring remnant Huon Pine at the end before the famous &#8216;fatman barge&#8217; came across to collect us and, for $10 each, take us across (we resisted Chris De Burgh&#8217;s idea of not paying the ferryman until the other side :rofl:rofl:rofl)


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Once past Corrina the rain began in earnest and followed us for the rest of the day. Our next stop was Granville Harbour, which was a rugged rain swept bay


    [​IMG]


    We poked around the settlement a little then checked out a sandy track that led out to the point


    [​IMG]


    Were we were able to watch the big swells roll in, we heard later they had been 8mts during the week


    [​IMG]


    I&#8217;m sure in fine weather it would be a completely different place but the boat ramp did nothing to inspire us today :eek1


    [​IMG]


    After deciding against trying Climies Track in the poor weather we headed back to the main road and pressed on. Not far out of Zeehan we then took the dirt road out to have a look at Trial Harbour. It was barely visible through the rain as we came down the hill towards the coast


    [​IMG]


    We wondered to ourselves what this &#8220;summer hideaway by the sea&#8221; must be like in winter, as two old guys trudged past us in their fluro waterproofs. By this stage the weather was pretty bleak and Paul was starting to freeze, so it was off to the only dry place around - and batman suddenly appeared :eek1:eek1


    [​IMG]


    Finding a camp site for the night was now very much on our minds. We headed into Zeehan to plan our next strategy and suddenly realised how hungry we were. With not a lot of choice we ended up at a very friendly take away shop where Paul quite radically declared &#8220;that was the best hamburger I&#8217;ve ever had - ever&#8221; (and I can tell you he would know :evil)


    [​IMG]


    As peristalsis slowly took its course we sat back and struck a conversation with a local guy who had taken an interest in our bikes. Bob (yes his real name) had lived his whole life in Zeehan and when we raised the question of possible campsites nearby he offered to take us for drive around town and show us a few possibilities. He then charged back into the rain to grab his car &#8220;as I just live around the corner&#8221;. Still unsure if he was serial killer or just being friendly we soon bundled into his VN Commodore (still in our waterproofs) &#8230; the lure of that heated car was just too strong to ignore
    It was only a minute or so later that Paul piped up from the back seat when he spied one of these


    [​IMG]


    &#8220;Hey Bob, is this a real Gurkha&#8217;s knife?&#8221; &#8220;Sure is&#8221; he replied, &#8220;I just got it, I&#8217;ve got a collection of 100&#8217;s of knives, it&#8217;s a real hobby of mine&#8221;. Mmmmm&#8230; with thoughts of Ivan Milat foremost in our minds Bob then swung the old Commodore up a dirt track out the back of the &#8216;golf course&#8217;.
    True to his word Bob did show us the sights of Zeehan, including the Spray Tunnel, an abandoned hut that looked like it was about to collapse, the back way around the museum and even a an old slag pile a few kms out of town that apparently was going to be re-mined (although this was quite hard to see through the torrential rain on the window). Finally, he dropped us back to the take away shop and our bikes, with the offer of coming around for a shower later on if we liked. &#8220;You won&#8217;t miss my place, it&#8217;s got a stack of signs out the front
    So, with a few ideas in mind we headed off on the bikes to check out a few option out towards the Spray Tunnel.


    [​IMG]


    mmmmm&#8230;.not this time :poser


    [​IMG]


    Soon we arrived at the Spray Tunnel itself. It&#8217;s an old abandoned railway tunnel about 100mt long that was used when trains hauled material from the nearby Spray Mine. The surrounding area has recently been &#8216;beautified&#8217; by the council and bollards now prevent cars driving through (lucky DR650&#8217;s aren&#8217;t cars :wink::wink:)


    [​IMG]


    After considering all our options, and with the rain unrelenting, we decided that a flattish area adjacent to the car park of the tunnel provided a spot to set up camp. It was unlikely anyone in their right mind would be coming up there that night. So up went the shelter and a fire was quickly lit


    [​IMG]


    Then, as the afternoon turned to evening the rain finally let up. So close to town and no rain could only mean one thing&#8230; a beer! We thought we&#8217;d pop in and see if our new mate Bob would like to join us for a coldie at the pub so went searching for his house (we thought we&#8217;d pass on the shower). It didn&#8217;t take long


    [​IMG]


    But despite our knocking on the door no sign of Bob could be found (he probably had reconsidered his shower offer). The town was pretty well deserted and the pub was a very quiet affair, in fact it closed when we left after a couple of beers


    [​IMG]


    What was interesting was one of the old road distance markers in the main street. No doubt how many miles to Queenstown


    [​IMG]


    Now, without casting any aspersions on the residents of Zeehan, wouldn&#8217;t you know when you were actually there :scratch:scratch


    [​IMG]


    Once back at camp we took full advantage of the break in the weather and finally got a fire going with some warmth to it. Then a few ports certainly went down well :1drink:1drink


    [​IMG]


    <IFRAME height=500 src="http://ridewithgps.com/trips/495789/embed" frameBorder=0 width="100%"></IFRAME>


    To be continued&#8230;
    #19
  20. El Toad Man

    El Toad Man Offroad adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    637
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    Nice ride report, you found some great spots!:thumb
    #20