Exploring Australia - Where the hell am I?

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by der-Seppel, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. der-Seppel

    der-Seppel Dominik

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    384
    Location:
    Germany
    Hey everybody
    My Name is Dominik, I am from Germany and right now I am on my first big trip. The country to visit: Australia.
    I have one year to explore the shit out of OZ :)
    My plan so far: arrive in Perth and go around Australia anticlockwise.

    This will be my first ride report ever so please excuse any mistakes especially my grammar as I am not a native speaker.



    Lets start with the last preparations in Germany.
    The last few weeks before leaving to Australia turned out to be a bit hectic. On my list were the following things to be done:


    • A motorcycle maintenance with oil changes, tire and wheel baring replacement, replacement of the chain set

    • As Australia has very strict quarantine regulations there had to be an extensive cleaning of the machine

    *
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    Without the front panel



    • The bike had to be packed for shipment, luckily I had some help from friends and neighbors

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    Construction of the transport crate

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    Ready to go

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    Help from neighbour



    • Obtain all necessary travel documents, including among other things a Carnet de Passage, International vehicle papers and drivers license, a health insurance



    • 80th birthday from Grandpa

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    • My sister's wedding in Hamburg
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    • A visit to the doctor for vaccination and to renew my diving medical examination, after which I also had an ultrasound of my heart but everything is alright


    Greetings from down under.
    Dominik
    #1
  2. der-Seppel

    der-Seppel Dominik

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    384
    Location:
    Germany
    Departing and Arriving


    The 9th of October was the official beginning of my journey. My bike had already gone onto the journey without me 10 day upfront. The bike had gone by truck to Hamburg and the by plane via Dubai to Perth. The transport of the motorcycle was*settled by*the company*InTime from Hamburg.
On my starting day I went by train to Hamburg. On the ride a little chat with New Zealand couple came up because they needed help with the S-Bahn trains in Hamburg. Resulting from the chat I got handed a business card of their son and i was told to call him as soon as I had arrived on Australia's east coast because he might have a job for me or know somebody - great! Arriving in Hamburg, I was first taken to delicious kebab by my sister Steffi and her husband Markus and later they drove me to the airport.

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    Hamburg airport just before*
departure



    The first flight I mainly spent eating and watching movies.
Arrived in Dubai I had 3 hours to explore Terminal 3, which was pretty boring. Luckily there was a free WiFi so I could surf the net a little. The second flight consisted of more food, more movies and a small night's sleep.
When I finally arrived in Perth I got all my bags pretty quickly although now due to a small duty free shopping in Dubai my luggage consisted*of three checked baggage. Despite an extra questioning by customs and quarantine inspection of my luggage through a Beagle I had already left the airport 30 minutes after landing. In the arrivals area, John and Gael lovely welcomed me. John(Inmate JayBo1) had offered me at Advrider that I could stay at their house for the first days. What a great offer, right? After a light dinner, i could go to bed without any jet lag in normal times and I slept through the whole night.

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    Just before boarding

    

On Friday my daily plan was to free my bike out of the Emirates warehouse. I was*feared this could take several days to complete because the bike has to be released by customs first, then you have to book an appointment with the AQIS quarantine authorities and in the end you finally get the motorcycle examined at warehouse by an inspector.
So Gael drove me back to the airport with a short stop at the ATM. Since I slept late and the streets were quite full we arrived at 10:40 am at the Emirates warehouse. In there I was handed the documents needed just after a few minutes and I given directions to the customs building. Fortunately, the customs is in sight and only about 300 meters away.
My stamped carnet was handed back to me within minutes and I got the*instruction I*should now go to the AQIS.I had*already*spotted the AQIS building on my way to customs because it was just halfway. At the AQIS it took me longer to wait for a free agent than the actual recording of my request. After paying a processing fee I was told to take a seat next to a phone so another agent could call me for an appointment .The phone rang and I was asked if I wanted an appointment immediately - not bad.

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    AQIS office



    So I went quickly back to warehouse and just waited on the inspection lady.
When my box was then moved to us by forklift it was just a big relief my D.I.Y. crate had not*collapse*nor has it been damaged in any way. The quarantine inspection itself was just to easy. I cut the foil at the top of box so that*

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    Looks good :)


    the inspection lady *could have an unobstructed view on my bike. She checked the VIN with the papers and felt under the fender if there was any dirt, that was it.*
    The time everything took until I got the crate delivered to the yard of the warehouse was less then two hours.*

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    My workplace



    The forklift driver I still got me the hint when I wanted to dispose my garbage in their container, it would cost money, so I should just do it when no one was watching me :)
    
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Without foil


    
So I quickly cut the whole foil off to stuff it into the container, but then another warehouse worker came by to help me. To get it done quicker and no one can see you doing it, he said. It then took a really long time to unscrew the frame of crate apart because otherwise it did not fit into the container. The removed front wheel could quite easily be reinstalled with the help of a forklift. It raised the whole motorcycle so I could just put the wheel into the right*position. By the time I finished the front wheel, it started to rain: (

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    Work goes on


    
So first I*sought*shelter to wait until the rain stops. Unfortunately, the rain did not like me, so I had to get the bike under the roof as well.
    When I had everything loaded onto the bike I remembered my friends told me I should always take pictures with my mascot - so here's one.

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    First motorcycle wash from above

    Meanwhile, it was almost 4 pm and my first Australian roads led me to a gas station to fill up the tank and buy an Australian SIM card. Actually, I would now want to go directly to a*licensing center*but unfortunately it was already too late. So I rode my bike illegally without insurance or a license back to Gael and John. The*licensing*of the motorcycle had to wait until Monday.

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    Mascot

    At the weekend I took it easy all the time. Saturday, there was first a few tweaks to the bike, I visited a settlement with model homes with Gael and in the afternoon I tried driving a tractor for the first time - is not that hard :)
    Sunday continued like that, I went*grocery shopping*with Gael. The rest of the day I spend time with John in his garage or chasing the dog in the garden.

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    My first ride


    Greetings from down under.
    Dominik
    #2
  3. Hunter-Douglas

    Hunter-Douglas rube

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    367
    Location:
    Truckee-Tahoe Int.
    sweet! in.
    #3
  4. jtb

    jtb Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,228
    Location:
    Hawkesbury NSW Australia
    I've subscribed, looking forward to more of your adventures here in Australia...:clap
    #4
  5. werewasi

    werewasi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    475
    Location:
    Lismore NSW. Orrrstrayleeya
    You said:

    The transport of the motorcycle was*settled by*the company*

    so does this mean that someone else paid the bill.

    If not, can you tell us how much the freight was to Aust.
    #5
  6. der-Seppel

    der-Seppel Dominik

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    384
    Location:
    Germany
    I may have used the wrong word :)

    I paid ~1900€
    #6
  7. mart´n

    mart´n Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    The westcoast of Denmark
    ...looking forward to follow your journey.
    :D
    #7
  8. Balanda

    Balanda on any sunday

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Australia
    Looking forward to this one
    #8
  9. Earache

    Earache Hola!

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    251
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    I'm gonna need a few more pictures of your sister, please.:evil

    Looking forward to the rest of your report!
    #9
  10. Golden_Cliff

    Golden_Cliff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    25
    This will be interesting adventure with German Quality. Have a safe ride and be careful with the kangaroos.
    #10
  11. OKlr

    OKlr 25mph gate inpector

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    843
    Location:
    Ponca City Oklahoma
    watching!
    #11
  12. rootsy

    rootsy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    126
    Sounds like an adventure to me! Glad your bike made the first leg of the journey safely.

    Thanks for taking us along for the ride! :freaky
    #12
  13. Finch.

    Finch. Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia.
    Welcome to sunny Australia. Have fun, stay safe, and thanks for taking us along with you :freaky
    #13
  14. qvasic

    qvasic Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Oddometer:
    184
    Location:
    Ukraine
    Thanks for the story, I have subscribed. :)

    I have a question: isn't it a problem to change side of the road on which you drive? I want to go to Australia and NZ someday, but I am scared by this a little bit. I have been to India couple of years ago, and I was bumping into people on sidewalks because I instinctively walked on the right side. And I don't want to bump into anything while I'm riding a bike...
    #14
  15. der-Seppel

    der-Seppel Dominik

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    384
    Location:
    Germany
    First Kilometers

    After a relaxing weekend, my goal for Monday morning was to get my motorcycle officially licensed. First I had to phone the Department of Transportation to get 48 hours insurance to drive my bike to a safety inspection. There it was to pass the Roadworthy Inspection, which was no problem. Unfortunately, the result still had to be confirmed by the central and since pretty much all the staff was sick I had to wait for four hours.

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    When I finally had the necessary paperwork I was able to drive to the Licensing Center in Rockingham. There I had to wait one more time because apparently I have been the first one who wanted to register a foreign vehicle that is temporarily imported under a carnet at this Licensing Center. But after one and a half hours the last doubts were removed and I was allowed to ride my bike for a year on Australia roads.


    On Tuesday, I went to a motorcycle tire dealer John suggested to go to since my front tire felt weird.

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    After the problem was sorted out I went to visit the City of Perth to buy some last camping gear.

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    I left Gael and John on Wednesday to go camping for the first night. I am so glad I got all their help and I will miss Gaels super cooking skills!

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    Thanks to the app Wikicamps a free campground was quickly found just north of Perth.
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    The following day I went a bit further north and settled down at a campground in Cervantes.

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    He got a name: Outback Otto

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    Take these signs serious

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    Since I've somehow taken too much clothing my first trip in Cervantes was to visit the local post office to send a parcel with my things to Adelaide.

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    Since I wanted to go to the Horizons Unlimited Travelers Meeting in Yanchep National Park near Perth I had to go back South on Friday. On the way back I visited the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park.

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    The weekend at the HU meeting was great, I met so many nice people, got advice for my trip and even got invited to see some them again on my travel route.

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    At the end I got an official send off to start my journey.


    <object height="315" width="420">


    <embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/-C5mdvPfgos?version=3&hl=de_DE&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="315" width="420"></object>
    Thx Ewen Macgregor (not the Charley Boorman one)
    for the Video

    It was already quite late at the end of the meeting so I accepted the offer by Nathan to stay the night in their shared flat in Fremantle.

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    Me, Nathan and Duncan



    Since I wanted to buy a lock for my bike, among some other things one night become a second.

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    I was super catered and we had a few nice beers - thanks Nathan and Duncan.

    I was back to camping and found a nice spot for a night near Dwellingup.

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    #15
  16. der-Seppel

    der-Seppel Dominik

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    384
    Location:
    Germany
    No problem at all riding the bike

    but i am walking on the right side all the time
    #16
  17. Maggno

    Maggno Ride hard...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    273
    Location:
    North Queensland Australia
    I'm in. :lurk
    #17
  18. der-Seppel

    der-Seppel Dominik

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    384
    Location:
    Germany
    Back and forth

    The next day, it should once again go back to John and Gael, as John had asked me if I wanted to see the movie "Dream Racer", about an Australian Guy taking part in the Dakar Rally. As the movie should only start in the evening I had time to explore the surroundings of my tent spot in Dellingup the whole first half of the day. According to a sign there should be a waterfall and a POW camp.


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    First a walk to the waterfalls. It took me longer than I expected but I was back at the campsite after approximately 3 hours.

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    After this I preferred to drive to the POW camp by my motorcycle.
    I packed up all my stuff and off I went. After 4 minutes, I was already in the camp. Hmm - Somehow I could have done it the other way around.

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    Out of the forest I choose the longest possible detour along more or less well-developed gravel roads, good they are all located on my GPS maps.
    In the evening the movie was really well done and entertaining. After the movie John and I went to have something to eat with a few of his friends.
    If you ever have the chance to use a washing machine while you are travelling, you should do it. So when we came back this was what I did :)
    The next morning I set off to go camping in the Yalgorup National Park.

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    I stayed there for three nights, although mosquitoes almost ate me.
    On the first afternoon I got a text message from Gael telling me I had forgotten some of my washings - oh no! So my further planning for the next days was a third visit at John and Gaels house :)
    I although visited the nearby Preston Beach and it was time for me to test the sea if it suitable for swimming.

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    Moreover, there was also a circular bird watch trail and since I was awake at 6 o’clock the second morning I wanted to give it a try before breakfast.
    Reported way should be 6 km long and you should need 2 hours. Sounded unrealistic to me.
    After 2 hours I had no finished the trail, so it dawned on me that I probably had a wrong turn somewhere. Of course I neither had a map nor my GPS with my and my cell phone battery was empty. So there was nothing left to go all the way back again. By 10 clock I was back at the campsite.

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    The next morning I decamped to go back and collect my laundry. I did a small detour to the "main attraction" of the national park - the living stones.

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    Arrived at Gael and John, I collected my laundry and asked them for advise on the best mosquito repellent. And then I went shopping. I bought the two most powerful versions of what they had recommended to me.

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    On my next campground the chemistry was sorely needed since there where Ross River Virus warnings signs everywhere - a disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes.
    John told me about this virus just the same day. There is no cure and the progress of disease can last over 3 years in extreme cases even over 10 years.
    Due to the new repellent, I did not get a single stitch.
    After I crawled into my tent I heard steps around the tent all the time but it was the wallabies I had previously seen.

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    The next day led me to Bunbury the largest city in Western Australia outside the metropolitan region of Perth.

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    For the next day I had an invitation from the HUBB by Helgo to go to Busselton about 50km away from Bunbury.

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    He lives there with his wife Helga and they enjoy their retirement. On a little motorcycle ride Helgo showed me some nice routes and places that I would otherwise have certainly not seen.

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    The next morning I tried to clean the coarsest dirt off the motorcycle.

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    After that it I still had enough time for exploring the area of Busselton. Among other things, I was at Cape Naturalist, at Bunker Bay Beach and again at Meelup Beach wich Helgo had shown me the day before.

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    On Meelup Beach I was wondering why so many people were sitting there with binoculars until I noticed that you could see whales with the naked eye from the beach - great experience, I've never seen them before.
    I the evening we had, like the day before, a great BBQ and I could listen to some exciting stories from Helga & Helgos travel past - among other things, they drove a VW bus in 70s from Germany to Australia.
    I said goodbye to Helga the next morning and went off with Helgo to another motorcycle tour. We went to Augusta the most southwestern city of Australia. For our way back north we chose the Caves Road, one of the most beautifully roads of Australia I have seen so far. When we got to the Jewel Cave it was time for me to say goodbye to Helgo as well, because he had to go back home and I wanted visit the cave.

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    Along the Caves Road there are so many limestone caves, but I was told the Jewel Cave should be the most beautiful one. What’s for sure it is the biggest Cave in Western Australia.

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    For my night rest I found a really nice arrange campground in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.

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    The next day took me back further north one the Caves Road to the town of Dunsborough, I went there because next days attraction would be wrack diving.

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    [[url]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Q6QqrhQQcUM/UnnY2LmWM1I/AAAAAAAAdoM/ZTMiRHeNJBI/s700/DSCI0108.JPG/IMG][/url]

    The target was the HMAS Swan a 110-meter former ship of the Australian navy. After its exemption from military services the ship was sunken near Dunsborough as a diving spot. The dive was sensational. We went through the wrack on its full length.
    There were so many fishes and corals it was amazing.
    As a little add-on there even was whales that came as close as 5 meters to our diving boat. Even when we were in the water the whales came closely to us.

    The next day brought the next attraction: Australians giant trees the Karris

    [IMG]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uXxdp-Xz2co/UnnY423yi6I/AAAAAAAAdoU/0Ykp5Pr8Dsc/s700/IMG_6759.JPG

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    Some of these trees have been modified to be used as lookouts to spot forest fires in the past. Now they can be climbed and I had to get up the highest one :)
    You have to climb up on steal bars that are pushed into the wood around the tree. The gape between two bars is round about 30 cm and there is no safety so even I could fall through :)

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    I planed to spend some time at the nice beach of really quietly village of Peaceful Bay, but the weather had different plans it got rainy and cold.

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    Greetings
    Dominik
    #18
  19. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,791
    Location:
    palm harbor, fla
    more, please?.....:deal
    #19
  20. antipode

    antipode Wanderer

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    Berowra, Australia
    Subscribed.
    Safe travels Dominik.
    #20