Australia, across and back and points of interest

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gavo, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    The reason this ride report is so late is----I'm slack and was otherwise occupied.
    The idea was to ride from Gympie in Queensland west on as much dirt as possible to Perth WA via a few beauty spots including the Simpson desert to Gympie. Sound simple doesn't it. :huh
    Doug our Navigator/Slavemaster a regular dirt rider. DR 650
    Pete a regular road rider but not much dirt. Dr 650
    Graham a regular road and race rider but dirt virgin. Husky 610
    Gavin (me) regular road rider and extensive dirt rider but no dirt for 20+ years. Dr 650
    We left on a Friday afternoon 06/05/2010 just to get a few kms under the belt and plan to stay at the golden spurs hotel in Proston
    The route and where it splits eg Perth to Esperance, me the inland route the other three the coast. Because I used to live in WA and I wanted to go that way.
    And from Ceduna, Doug still wanted to go inland despite extensive flooding and rain, Pete and I couldn't risk getting stuck and Graham had flown home after mechanical failure.
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    Next morning Doug bike won't start, dead battery. After trying to jump start, tow start, no joy I ride to Kingaroy to buy a new battery round trip approx 120kms Shit.
    After a late start and no further drama's we head west for Injune
    straight forward dirt roads and a pub and beds
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    We leave Injune nice and early heading for Isiford via Womblebank gap
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    the husky sidestand retired
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    Don't ask where this was Pete took the pic, maybe near Blackall
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    A lot of roos between Blackall and Isisford
    and the pub, Great place, unfortunately a big hangover the next day :puke1
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    Heading out towards Boulia
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    About 100kms short of Boulia it was getting dark so we decided to camp at a place called Slashers creek/Pioneer creek.
    The mosquitoes were horrific they were even biting through my gloves :eek1 apart from that a pretty spot
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    #1
  2. zadok

    zadok Long timer

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    Looks like a lot of fun so far.:clap
    #2
  3. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Up early ,a cuppa and into Boulia for fuel
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    and out on the donohue hwy
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    then Plenty hwy
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    rest under the trees:lol3
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    the border crossing into the Northern Territory
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    The road were in good condition, ruts not too bad around 120kph seem to be a smooth speed on the more open stuff until we hit Jervios station. filled up the bike$62 and pitched camp, great little spot.
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    #3
  4. nzrian

    nzrian Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    what tyres were you running.
    i did a simpson crossing last year from brissy on a dr650 with the mitas eo9 front and back, 6500km no worries, the rear was rooted though when we got home.
    the dr is a good weapon for these type of trips i reckon.

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    IMG_0460 by Rian2008, on Flickr[/IMG]

    you might recognise this from the plenty highway near jervios.
    #4
  5. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    I was using a dunlop 606 front and Mitas eo9 rear Changed rear at Perth
    doug had a 606 front TKC rear , rear changed at Alice
    Graham had Bridgestone motocross front and TKC rear changed rear at Alice changed front at Esperance
    Pete had 606 front and Metezlar sahara rear changed rear at Esperance
    I remember that termite mound it was huge but for some reason no one stopped to take a pic:lol3
    #5
  6. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Left Jervios station headed for Alice springs. good speed, straight forward. About 10km before the road becomes sealed Doug turns of to the left, one of his sidetracks:lol3 special stages as he likes to call them, the name , Cattlewater pass:eek1 Actually a really good track, sand, rocks etc. trouble is the sand is super soft, I think this track gave Graham a lifetime sand phobia:lol3 and me a badly twisted ankle that got caught under the bike.So after a very strenuous time on Cattle water pass with much sweat and off's we hit the Alice for 2 days bike maintenance and an X-ray for me.
    A previous victim of the pass
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    And stopping for some repairs on the plasti's of the Husky
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    #6
  7. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    After a couple of days r&r in Alice we headed out, some with new tyres some with tyre's on the rack to fit later.
    So the plan was Hermannsburg, Kings canyon to Curtain springs.
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    Hermannsburg
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    There's a good 4wd track cuts across the Canyon loop but Doug was the only one willing or able so too dangerous alone so a bit of disappointment.
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    Artistic recycling
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    From the lookout
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    And the pump attendant at Curtain springs
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    Curtain spring , very popular, Free camping around 50ks from the rock. shits all over the prices at the rock.
    #7
  8. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Left Curtain springs fairly early and as Graham had been suffering pain for a couple of days after an off on Cattlewater pass we decided to stop at the medical centre at Uluru so he could get checked out.
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    After Graham got the all clear we pressed on and as some of our crew had been to the rock before and others were put off by the entry price we pressed on. making a stop at the Olga's
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    some more of the local traffic hazards
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    We stopped for a look at lasseter's cave at Hull's creek
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    wide open country
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    We stayed the night at Warakurna, bunkhouses, camp kitchen, even a TV.
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    Funny thing , there was some bloke staying there and working on housing and a couple of grey nomads stayed the night one group wanted to watch AFL the others League it was getting touchy, shit it's only football get a life:lol3
    #8
  9. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Morning comes and we're away
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    I'll have to say although the scenery is vast and a camera doesn't do justice, sometimes it just gets boring:lol3
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    another traffic hazard
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    and smoko
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    and a fuel stop I've never seen a pump so well protected.
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    we stopped about about 200km from Laverton and 80km from Cosmo. There's just something about camping in the middle of nowhere :thumbup
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    and another early start
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    #9
  10. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi

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    Thank you for taking us along. Great read!
    #10
  11. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

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    The Dandenong Ranges, Vic
    Love 'ya work.

    Great trip and pics.

    Thanks,

    JM.
    #11
  12. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    thank you all encouragement welcome:lol3
    #12
  13. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Thanks after so long it's lucky I took a bit of a diary
    #13
  14. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    We headed south, now Doug our intrepid navigator knows this area pretty well having worked in various mines so he took us to the Grand hotel in Kookynie
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    It's a hard life but someone has to do it
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    and across to Niagara Dam reserve
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    We were told all the cement to build this dam wall was brought in by camel
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    So through a few back roads to Ora banda a nice pub with a terrific sunset but the gravel strewn rock hard tent site in the pubs campground
    was crap and overpriced.
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    #14
  15. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    left Ora Banda for Kalgoorlie next morning went past a couple of Doug's old haunts and stopped at the Super pit for a looky
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    See the ute following the dump truck up the hill
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    and Kal's skyline
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    next to Coolgardie and down the Holland track heading for Hyden
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    and to Wave rock with the obligatory surf pose:lol3
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    and on top of Wave rock
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    And we stayed at Tressie's museum and caravan park Kalgarin, great little place.good clean accommodation at a
    good price but no beer :cry
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    #15
  16. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Well the trip from Hyden to Perth was straight forward and we split up when we hit town, I went to stay at a mate's house in Inglewood and the rest went to stay at Doug's mum's place up Woodvale way.A couple of days r&r and bike service and back on the road. Doug , pete and Graham going the coast route and me going through Pinjarra, waroona , Harvey.
    Some of the others photo's
    looks like Busselton
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    not sure about this
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    I went from Bunbury Bridgetown, manjimup and stayed at the Rocky gully Pub, wouldn't recommended it.
    On towards Mt Barker
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    Through the porongarups
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    Used to stay at this place sometimes when I lived in WA
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    then on through Chillinup
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    and on to Esperance.
    #16
  17. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    I arrived in Esperance and for the first night stayed in the caravan park near the rail line.apart from being expensive, $25 for tent site the trains kept me awake.
    Moved to the van park around near the jettyand got a cabin and waited for the rest to arrive. Heavy rain , storms, they arrived the next day, really foul weather, so another cabin and another day. 24/5/2010
    Left next morning, still raining, off towards Israelite bay.
    Graham had been spooked by the sand on cattlewater pass so as soon as we saw sand towards Israelite bay he opted to take the Balladonia road and meet at Caiguna.
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    the tracks toward the old telegragh station were great,if a bit muddy
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    And our nights camp on the edge of a mud flat
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    #17
  18. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    On our second day around Israelite bay some more good riding plus some sections that were so slippery if you leaned 1 degree off the vertical you went down. Needless to say this took a while :lol3
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    Finally we hit some sand again and as a earlier fire had cleared the place visability was good
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    Then up away from the coast just before the bight starts
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    We were still basicly following the old telegraph line with some very sticky mud forcing us to stop periodically to clear the rear wheel.
    We were looking for an old smugglers cove in the bight but were running out of time and daylight plus I had run out of water. So we headed for the Eyre highway which was about 20 or 30 kms away and then rode 60kms on the highway in the dark, not good, lots of roos, camels etc.
    We made it into Caiguna safely to meet up with Graham who had his own tale of getting bogged on the Balladonia road and having to unload to extract the bike and throwing a chain about 50kms from Caiguna and cracking the cases on the husky hiding the bike and hitching into town.
    Caiguna motel
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    #18
  19. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    In the morning we left Graham waiting for a salvage truck to arrive from Norseman to take he and bike back and in the end he was flown home and bike shipped to his place all through the RACQ breakdown service free of charge to him :D
    We headed out to Cocklebiddycave
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    At Madura pass
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    We took the old coach rode on top of the escarpment through Madura and Munderabilla stations
    checking out some more caves
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    But caught running out of daylight again
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    We arrive in Eucla at about 8: pm after riding around on muddy tracks in the dark for around 2 hours with several falls and doug riding into a large wombat hole in the dark.
    And to add insult to injury by the time we got cleaned up and back to the bar the closed it at 9 and wouldn't sell us 1 bloody beer, NOT happy.
    Next day the plan was the old Eyre highway which is dirt from Eucla to Ceduna around 300ks
    I remember travelling the road in a car with my parents when it was the main highway east-west
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    And where it comes back to the newer highway at Nullarbor
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    After a couple of goods seasons there was plenty of widlife
    and the stop of Ivy Tanks which is not the place it used to be:lol3
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    We arrived in Ceduna and found a cabin and went to the post office to pick up the tyre I had posted to myself. Plus it had started raining.
    #19
  20. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    We went to the pub by the waterfront in Ceduna for diner, excellent meal and a few beers. We had been studying the weather, the panned route up Goog's track to Coober Pedy then on to Mt dare and the Simpson was not looking good,
    the Simpson was still closed due to flooding various other areas were cut off and the radar showed a large front moving across, damn.Doug wanted to go anyway while Pete and myself were worried about being cut off and not getting back for work. we decided to go for a ride up Goog's the next day unloaded for a look see.
    We were the only one's out there no other track on the wet sand:clap
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    We went as far as the lake, about 80k's each way then headed back to Ceduna to think about our next move.
    Checked out the weather radar again and Pete and I decided not to go to the interior. Doug being a bit gun ho said fuck ya I'm going, so we made sure he had enough spares, tubes etc and the spot tracker.
    The next morning It was still raining so we split up ,Doug heading north and Pete and I on the Hyway.
    Around Iron Knob
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    then coming into Pt Augusta
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    This is the last of the photo's we rode in just about non stop rain heading towards Peterborough the cross winds and the pelting rain made me feel I was at a constant 45 deg angle and it was dark. A top meal at the pub and a room made us feel better.
    Next day heading towards Broken hill it at Broken hill more gear it was freezing.
    Wanted to take the dirt road from Wilcannia to Tilpa but was closed due to flooding so on to Cobar, rain most of the way lots of feral goats and roo's>
    Stayed at the caravan park in a cabin. The fact that the family were having a domestic while we were signing in should have told us something. The word dive comes to mind.
    North thru Bourke,Brewarrina,Walgett Lightning Ridge stopped in to buy the Mrs something and had a long talk to Herman the German before buying something. Then pushed on to St George, funny how the rain stopped when we got to QLD its the bloody opposite atm . Motel in St George were Pete managed to break the new tv.
    Last day 2/6/2010 straight dry ride home arrived late afternoon all up around 12000 ks.
    Doug told us he didn't have much trouble and put in a big last day of around 1100 ks plus not much rain it seems to have followed Pete and me :lol3
    2 years later we got to do The Simpson but still not all of Googs track.
    #20