Getting to know Victoria - Australia

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by dogsbody, May 16, 2008.

  1. dogsbody

    dogsbody Occasionally lucid

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    Adelaide Hills-South Oz
    Welcome humble colleagues....

    Sitting here in the subdued incandescent light of my drawing room, sumptuously cradled by the studded leather of my chesterfield suite while unrestrictively attired in my leopard skin smoking jacket and fez, I feel the time is now appropriate to regale the world with my tale of high adventure and daring....




    Well...ok, it's really just a few pictures of me and some mates blatting around Victoria, drinking beer and generally raising our cholesterol levels. :rolleyes

    The rough outline was:

    Left Adelaide in late February and headed over to the second round of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Isand, Victoria with three mates.
    Then headed off in no particular direction to "discover" the delights of this wonderful southern state of Oz.
    9000 kilometres of dirt & tar and almost four weeks later, I returned home, sent my pastel blue crimpolene safari suit to the dry cleaners and booked in for an ass-cheek transplant......

    A long time in a small state, I know, but it was worth every minute. :nod



    Here's how it went.......

    I met up with Jason (CBR 1100XX) and George (CBR 1000) at a bakery to the south of Adelaide, fully prepped and keen to do some miles.
    Jason had recently met another rider, Mel, who was heading over to the races with another group of three so we decide to team up for the trip and share our enthusiasm.

    Out of suburbia, over the Wellington ferry across the lower Murray river and on toward our digs for the night over the border at Warrnambool. (around 600 kms)

    I learnt a lesson early in the journey here: be cautious when riding in close company with others you're not familiar with. :patch

    Headed out across the backroads, Johno, who had just come off night shift, came oh so close to splattering his good self all over the front of an oncoming truck. A combo of warm afternoon cruising, attempting to read a map on the go and weariness, led him into the opposite lane at precisely the wrong time.
    When he looked up with a scant few yards between himself and the truck (that was already half off the road) only the most radical turn I've seen at highway speed saved his ass. :eek1
    Had Johno not been cranked over hard his knee would have collected the bullbar....it was that close!
    Positioned in close quarters to this, the vision remained imprinted on my mind for the rest of the trip.....(which was probably not a bad thing, really)

    The bikes parked in Apsley, with my trusty KTM on the far left:
    [​IMG]

    We'd been led to Apsley by the now wide awake Johno, in search of the reputedly fantastic food at the local pub.
    When we pulled up it didn't look too special, which was when we realized that we should have been at Frances instead...oh well...push on after a steak sandwich & beer. (and a shitload of taunts..... :razor Not having a good day the old chap!)


    Up early the next day and it was off down the Great Ocean Road and the many miles of beautifully winding tarmac carved into the hillsides that could easily be the subject of a ride report in itself. Rainforest, ridges, and miles of beautiful blue ocean.

    A brief stop at Lorne:
    [​IMG]

    And then onwards to catch the Queenscliff to Sorrento ferry:
    [​IMG]

    Saw some blokes out on the bay in their dinghy:
    [​IMG]

    The main aim today, apart from getting to the track, was to heal the scars of not having the promised cullinary delights at Apsley (Frances) yesterday.
    So I decided to lead the pack on a headlong charge to the best vanilla slice in Oz. :drif :drif :drif :bow

    Sorrento:
    [​IMG]

    Having visited this fine establishment previously I knew that "the slice" would be a big hit.....despite the $7 price tag per chunk!
    ("That's about the same price as one Jack Daniels & Coke you tight-asses so stop whinging and get it into 'ya.")

    Slice of heaven:
    [​IMG]

    Smiles all 'round:
    [​IMG]

    After a quick calculation, we reckoned that the slab of vanilla slice in the shop front window, from which our pieces were removed, would be worth about $500.
    I wasn't too far away from getting Jason to do a ram raid with the Honda and splitting the difference on the black market. But with astute judgement he pointed out some flaws in my plan....so we decided to ride on.


    At the track:

    Pretty soon we were at the track and in our luxuriously appointed accomodation.

    George displaying unbridled glee while enjoying his $19:95 investment! (New tent):

    [​IMG]

    For the first day of practice the weather was starting to warm up at The Island, perfect for enjoying the exotica (bikes and girls) and the spectacularly unhealthy food.

    Practice:
    [​IMG]

    Two team mechanics plying their trade:
    [​IMG]

    "Would you care to see my etchings?"
    [​IMG]

    Off to the catering caravans for tea.
    Lisa, in the background, gladly provided all of out dietary needs for the weekend.....even if they were a bit 20W/50.

    Professional hat models:
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. dogsbody

    dogsbody Occasionally lucid

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    Adelaide Hills-South Oz
    Up early and down to the display pavillion.

    Shiny stuff:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. dogsbody

    dogsbody Occasionally lucid

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    Adelaide Hills-South Oz
    A bit more track action:
    [​IMG]

    The Adelaide chapter of the Paparazzi:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Clean that pit garage up a little will 'ya, son!
    ....kids these days, bloody irresponsible.

    [​IMG]

    The sun finally set on another great day of performance biking so there was only one thing to do. Head to the food van/skid pad area, eat grease and breathe rubber...

    High performance machines:
    [​IMG]
    This was the only postie bike that I've ever seen hook up enough to wheelie out of control into the crowd! Laughs all round. :rofl

    A better attempt from this pristine old Kwakka. This guy really gave it the berries. (Probably not the owner!):
    [​IMG]

    Glowing:
    [​IMG]

    Some creative individuals leave their mark.

    Quite a likeness don't 'ya think?
    Except for the hair, gut & knob.....

    [​IMG]
    Got the facial likeness close 'though.
    #3
  4. dogsbody

    dogsbody Occasionally lucid

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    Adelaide Hills-South Oz
    It really is a beautiful race track, Phillip Island.
    Set in a natural amphitheater with good views of the track from all sides, you can even ride your bike around the outside of the track (with the racing in sight) at any time to access all the good spots.
    There were thousands of bikes track-side and the amenities were generally pretty good.
    So it was with some surprise that I discovered that the communal showers have clear curtains...an odd twist I thought...but one that was soon forgotten when I discovered a sizable turd on the sodden floor of my selected cubicle. :topes
    A quiet retreat to an upstream cubicle was in order.
    (I'd have brought you some photos of this peculiar phenomena but carrying a camera into the mens showers does not come highly recommended...)


    So race day got under way with the usual fanfare.
    [​IMG]

    Troy Bayliss signing autographs at his last race on home soil before retiring:
    [​IMG]

    The man of the moment on the start grid:
    (Old guy in the background saying " You know, if I was a bit younger..."

    [​IMG]

    Also the eventual winner in a weekend plagued with some spectacular accidents:
    [​IMG]

    Those Ducati boys can jump!
    [​IMG]

    A great weekend's racing just about over, we headed back to the campsite to discuss the fun and sink a few ales with George as he'd be heading back to Adelaide tomorrow while Jason & I would take off in search of adventure....or vanilla slices & beer....which ever came first.

    On the turps:
    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. zadok

    zadok Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    996
    Location:
    Western Australia
    Great report and pics mate. I'm looking forward to my ride over (from Perth) for the MotoGP in October.:D
    #5
  6. NikonVT

    NikonVT Gettin Bruced Again

    Joined:
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    awesome
    #6
  7. Siva

    Siva Canberra ACT OZ GSer

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    697
    Location:
    Canberra
    damn........

    u lucky @#$%^&*!

    :evil
    Two team mechanics plying their trade:
    [​IMG]

    "Would you care to see my etchings?"
    [​IMG]




    GOOD report and pics guys... :clap.....
    #7
  8. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Melbourne Australia
    An excellent introduction there Dogsbody.. :clap

    Now lets see the rest.. :wink:
    #8
  9. auRoscoe

    auRoscoe Cerebral Failure!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    460
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    :clap ahahah awesome write up, thanks!
    #9
  10. dogsbody

    dogsbody Occasionally lucid

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    Adelaide Hills-South Oz
    Up early the next morning, and after a tentative and somewhat cautious visit to the shower block :patch , we said goodbye to George, finished our packing and rolled out of the track headed in no particular direction.

    Jason and I had decided that we'd make this journey up as we went along, preferring to ask locals what the hot tips were and generally following our noses.
    In this world where the pressures of life & work demand prior consideration, it was totally refreshing to just head off without a plan. It's this sort of travel that really gets me excited.


    Before we'd left Adelaide, Sandy, my better half, had given me a beautifully written card reminding me to have a great time and be careful.
    We agreed that the little guy on the left was the most like me as I usually have that same look on my face in the weeks leading up to a big trip.
    Hey, why hide your emotion? :ricky

    Go #1!
    [​IMG]

    We headed east along the coast making our way towards the pristine Wilsons Promontory National Park, the most southerly chunk of land on the Australian mainland.
    Pausing on the way at a little town called Walkerville we discovered the views across Waratah Bay to the Prom were obscured by the drifting smoke from a bush-fire on Snake Island.

    The peaks of the Prom poking through the haze:
    [​IMG]

    As we cruised south into the park passing beautiful beaches and rugged headlands, we were both hatching plans to come back at some point in the future to take the time to really get to know the place. No wonder it's so popular with serious bush walkers and day trippers. Absolutely stunning.

    Jason on "Squeaky Beach" happy to be on tour, and totally oblivious to the fact that we were dressed slightly "different" to the other beach goers.
    [​IMG]

    The view from the rocks:
    [​IMG]

    We scooted further south into the park and headed up the road to Mt Oberon hoping to take in the expansive views from the top only to discover that it was still a considerable walk to the peak from the car park. Deciding that the hike was not a palatable option in riding boots & kevlar jeans on a hot day (fungal issues abound :rolleyes ), we decided to keep riding, which was a real blast on the roads down this way.

    We left the Prom behind heading east through Yarram and up through Loy Yang past the massive coal mine and power station. This is one very large power plant, supplying one third of Victoria's electricity, consuming up to 60,000 tonnes of coal a day!
    As happens, I was enjoying the riding too much to stop for piccies so if you're interested see the link:

    http://www.loyyangpower.com.au/

    It was a massive contrast to the beauty of the Prom, but one that society currently demands.
    I don't have polarized views on the subject, as I currently work for a resource company, but at some point in the future humankind needs to move to a more sustainable approach to power generation.
    How? Dunno.
    But what's gonna power my bike? Dunno, but it's sure to be faster and lighter because thats just the way we are.


    After a brief team meeting with Big J we decided to head to Taralgon then on to the old gold mining town of Walhalla for the night.
    Unfortunately I failed to realize that Taralgon is diametrically opposed on the earth's fragile crust to the Bermuda triangle and as such exhibits some of it's disorienting properties.
    In an effort to get out of here I led us through a housing estate, the town centre (twice!) and an industrial area before my traveling companion, Captain Sensible, stopped to ask a cabbie how to get the hell out of here.

    Winding our way out of town (past a flight of TBM Avengers.......:huh ), I soon put my navigational faux pas behind me as we hit the beautifully winding road up through the hills to Walhalla.

    Weaving our way into the narrow valley late in the day we thought it might be an idea to hit the pub first to seek out some accommodation and a feed.

    The Wally Pub:
    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. dogsbody

    dogsbody Occasionally lucid

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    Adelaide Hills-South Oz
    Good fortune seems to come your way when you're in an upbeat mood and so it was when we rolled into the pub and asked about accommodation.
    Mick, who we found out later is the closest thing that Walhalla has to a mining magnate & land baron, was leaning on the bar next to us and offered cheap digs for the night in an old schoolhouse that had been converted into a bunk house.
    First we shoveled down a fine meal cooked expertly by Deb the publican then headed up the valley a bit to the school house for a scrub before walking back down to the pub for a few "light refreshments" :wink:

    Home for the evening:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There's a heap of beds and common rooms available in this little complex and it looks like a great place to use as a base for local rides.


    Walking back down to the pub the pace quickened noticeably as we got closer until we burst through the door side by side absolutely tonguing for an ale!
    Much gum flapping ensued with Jason taking on part time bar duties under the watchful eye of Deb.

    [​IMG]

    A couple of blokes that were working on bridge restoration in the area were there as well, Matt (red hair) & "Precious" (red cap). Their older and somewhat wiser mate shot through early when Matt suggested that it might be good fun to set his hair on fire....

    Matt & Precious:
    [​IMG]

    As the night progressed the cheesy 80's music got louder and louder and Deb was insistent on dancing with someone. With the rest of us being totally unco, Matt took up the challenge.
    What ensued was at least a half hour solid of bladder relieving laughter as he trotted out every classic 80's dance move in a polished, choreographed frenzy! With exaggerated facial expressions included.:rofl :rofl :rofl
    Matt really has talent beyond belief.
    The funniest thing I've seen in a pub in a long time.

    The night continued on with lots of strangely appropriate hugging of everyone in the pub, a few smashed glasses, attempts at patting the pub dog (who had the temperament of a white pointer on amphetamines), much more philosophizing and yet more hugging.

    Brad & Snorkel Head behind the bar, discussing drinking tactics:
    [​IMG]

    Emerging from the pub at the end of the night for the walk back up the road to the school house in the cool night air was refreshing to say the least. But strangely welcome after the mayhem of the pub!
    #11
  12. TouringDave

    TouringDave Tri Moto Veritas

    Joined:
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    Frankston, Vic, Aust.
    :lol3 Brilliant guys, brilliant:clap
    #12
  13. dirtypumpkin

    dirtypumpkin "Monster Truck Bike"

    Joined:
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    Good stuff.:freaky
    #13
  14. muncie

    muncie Tennessee Squire

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Adelaide-South Oz
    Great story Tony,:clap

    It is very entertaining, hanging out for the rest of the ride report.

    Catch up with you later mate.:freaky

    Garry
    #14
  15. dogsbody

    dogsbody Occasionally lucid

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    Adelaide Hills-South Oz
    After the walk back we sat around outside finishing off a "roadie" and reflecting on how great life is and a whole lot of other crap that has now slipped my mind....:scratch Then, :snore

    Big J pictured here about 10 minutes before sucking in the curtains while snoring:
    [​IMG]



    Climbed out of bed early the next morning, predominantly due to a cacophony of flatulence in the bunk house. :shog
    I was feeling surprisingly healthy this morning so after a short trip to the shower to scrub the goolies, it was off for a walk around this beaut little town looking for a bite for brekky.

    The Grey Horse had the goods & was the only place open anyway.
    [​IMG]

    They really were keen to build the fire station close to the water source:
    [​IMG]

    Quite surprising that it hadn't been washed away in a flood, considering the size of the catchment area around here.

    This town really is easy on the eye. I hear it gets overrun on holiday weekends 'though. Must be a pain in the proverbial for the locals.

    This neat little pad had their own trout swimming around in the stream out front.

    Jase! Go and move that wheelie bin out of the picture for me will 'ya......Jase? Where the bloody hell has he wandered off to now?....Hard to get good help these days....
    [​IMG]

    After a good look around town we packed the bikes and headed out, stopping at the pub for a brief yak with Brad and thanking them for a great night. (No hugging this morning.....) Deb was still in bed and, judging by the state she was in when we'd left last night, was likely to be staying there for some time! :sick :puke1

    Headed out of town we stopped for a look at the old train station and the track cut into the step sided valley. Then stopped at the bridge over the Thompson river for a few photos.

    [​IMG]

    The odd couple:
    [​IMG]

    Then it was a short run up through Rawson to take a look at the Thompson Dam and a few k's past the dam wall on the dirt until it got a bit too rough for the Honda.

    Headed back down from the dam we diverted up a dirt road into Mt Baw Baw national park where we discovered a walk among the ferns and trees....all very good even if I can't tell one species from another. (Shoulda paid more attention at school. :dunno )

    [​IMG]

    The mighty "CBR1100XX Adventure":
    [​IMG]

    Me, standing, 'cos, well....that's what you do....isn't it?
    Seen it in the magazines anyway.....:nod

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. dogsbody

    dogsbody Occasionally lucid

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    Adelaide Hills-South Oz
    A bit further down the road we noticed a sign to Coopers Creek. This held some fascination for us as we both work in the vicinity of Cooper Creek in the north east of South Australia. So off we headed down the mountain track to see what was there.
    Surprise, surprise, it was nothing like the desert environment of its namesake. And, even more surprisingly it sported a great little restored pub.....that was NOT OPEN! :huh

    I was inconsolable for some time and found it hard to quell the tears and pull it all together. :cry
    But I did manage to get it together to pose briefly for this photo before having a relapse.

    High reflectivity ratio on the old head this morning:
    [​IMG]

    A great little pub this one but we couldn't work out if it was actually trading or in the process of being re-established as a working pub.
    Probably just as well it wasn't open as i suspect that might have signaled an early end to the day's traveling.
    It was situated on a flat by itself at the bottom of the valley and when we came upon it bathed in direct sunlight I thought I was seeing divine intervention in my life. No wonder I felt so down when it was obvious it was not open.

    Whadda ya mean "drinking problem"?:
    [​IMG]

    Some details here in this link:

    http://www.gdaypubs.com.au/VIC/coopers+creek.html

    Looks like it may be a private residence now, but as the link says, stay tuned.
    #16
  17. dogsbody

    dogsbody Occasionally lucid

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    Adelaide Hills-South Oz
    Moving on from Coopers Creek we continued down out of the hills then on through Toongabbie to Heyfield.

    I was conscious that we were starting to be accompanied by an "interesting" odour of the sort that could be excused if you were a world traveller with some sort of exotic accent and a beat up vintage bike.
    Unfortunately (as much as I like to dream) we didn't fit the bill. So in an effort to regain social acceptance we took a break for a couple of hours and hit the laundromat.

    Many dollar coins later, we were on our way to Maffra where we decided to call it quits for the day and grab a room at the Backpackers.

    [​IMG]

    We trotted in and organized a room with Marg, the proprietor and a lock up out back for the bikes. There was a large common room and bar at the front of the building that was quite inviting and comfortable so we grabbed some chinese tucker from next door and stuffed our faces. :dg ....and washed it all down with a bottle of vino and a few ales. :dutch

    We shared a room with some young blokes that evening who I'm sure appreciated the night long respiratory tunes and occasional rumbling from beneath the sheets.....:snore

    Leaving Maffra early next morning we were headed up into the hills again to Dargo.
    I'd seen a lot of photos of this place on this site and in various magazines and was keen to know it a little better.
    A great road full of twisties led us over the hills down into the valley on a bright sunny day where we stopped for fuel and a bite to eat at the Dargo Store.

    It was here we met "Dargo Dan - The World's Friendliest Man" at least that's what we retrospectively dubbed him. The little town itself is beautiful and we were fortunate enough to be there on a beaut summery day, but Dan's enthusiasm for life just topped it off.
    He came scooting out when we pulled up saying that he thought he heard a 990 Adventure with Akropovics!
    "Bloody well tuned ears!" I said.
    Dan went on to explain that he doesn't actually have amazing powers of perception, its just that he owns one as well.

    Dan yakking on the verandah with Big J:
    [​IMG]

    We discussed the local trails at length, with Dan offering a us lend of his personally marked up maps, but unfortunately he could not offer an opinion on where we could get a set of knobbies for the Honda Blackbird so we had to be content with a scoot through town and up the mountain to the start of the trails.

    We were so taken with this place and the personality that was lent to it by Dan, that we new we'd be back some time later in this journey.

    Dargo Pub:
    [​IMG]

    Note: I don't know why they label the roofs of their buildings in country Victoria, but I like it so much that I'm contemplating painting my roof with "HOUSE", the toolshed with "SHED" and the outside toilet with "SHITTER" ,though I might need to extend the roof for that one...

    The outdoor furniture at the pub is built to go the distance:
    [​IMG]

    The start of some of the trails about 10 kms up the mountain past Dargo
    And a dirt bike with no dirt on it::ddog

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. dogsbody

    dogsbody Occasionally lucid

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    Adelaide Hills-South Oz
    As it was still early in the day I wasn't too emotionally shattered when my travel director suggested we shoot through without testing the beer at the pub, which was still in the process of opening its doors for the day.

    We rode out of the valley headed for Bruthen at the southern end of the Great Alpine Road, a stretch of blacktop that winds its way up over the Great Dividing Range via Omeo.

    Note: Another Victorian curiosity. Placing the word "Great" before the subject...
    I'm now considering having the street signs at the end of my road modified. :scratch
    Great idea.


    This road is always spoken about with a certain reverence in touring circles and is a really fun ride but there was a shitload of roadworks going on along various sections when we went through. No big deal 'though. At least VicRoads spends $ where required and we had plenty of good (great :wink: ) riding ahead of us.

    We cruised through Omeo headed for another place that we'd heard a lot about, Angler's Rest, the home of the Blue Duck Inn. (Yes.....another pub)
    It's about 30 kms north out of Omeo and the road really tightens up as it takes you through some spectacular country.
    This is a popular area for trout fishing in the pristine high country streams with the pub walls displaying a lot of history attached to this sometimes frustrating endeavour.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hotel Security on duty:
    [​IMG]

    After a couple of thirst quenchers we putted across the bridge and set up in the camping area next to the crystal clear stream only a few hundred yards away from the hotel.

    Top little spot!:
    [​IMG]

    Trout are a perceptive and timid fish and react quickly to the slightest movement. Some people turn the act of stalking their prize into an art form.

    Not us, we tried to frighten them out of the water.
    [​IMG]
    No soap used - we're eco conscious :nod

    Feeling rather immaculate after our dip in possibly the cleanest water I've ever bathed in, we put our best threads on and headed over the bridge again in search of some of the fine food and wine that this gem of a place is renowned for.

    "Hey, Knackers! Turn around for the photo."
    "Bugger you T.H.... Man's not a camel. I'm thirsty." :nah
    ......No respect for the creative process this bloke
    . :rolleyes
    [​IMG]

    "Fred" doing "The Thinker" on the pub lawns.
    (Thought lubricant close at hand.)

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,070
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    :rofl :rofl

    It hasn`t taken off very well in South Australia, they can`t find any painters that can spell.. :lol3

    Enjoying it so far Dogsbody.. :clap
    #19
  20. dancin yohanson

    dancin yohanson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    403
    Location:
    3rd rock from the sun
    #20