Perth to Mt Augustus on Tigers

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by TigerNoir, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. TigerNoir

    TigerNoir Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    After meeting the guys at a Triumph Tiger weekend in June, we got together and planned our gravel trip up to Mt Augustus.
    Eddie (Tiger XC), Phil (2000 Tiger 900), Andy (1995 Tiger 900) & I (Tiger 800), the only girl.
    Was I nervous with my limited experience on gravel and the only chick? Hell yeah.
    After our pre trip meeting where we decided who took what in the way of spares & equipment and the route we were taking, I was feeling pretty confident and just
    looking forward to the day we left.

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    The plan was to travel to Beacon on the tar and hit the gravel for the first time at Beacon then thru to Paynes Find, Sandstone, Wiluna, Mingah Springs, Mt Augustus,
    Kennedy Ranges, thru Minnie Creek, Gascoyne Junction, Murchison, Pindar, Mingenew, Coorow then home to Perth.

    Lunch at the Rabbit Proof Fence
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    Unfortunately our plans had to change a little as Andy came to grief on the Beacon-Paynes Find Rd, breaking his back and pelvis in 3 places. The Ambulance took 2 hours
    to get to us, which all things considering, was very good. Thank god we had Eddie’s satellite phone & Phil’s GPS. Once he was loaded and on the way to hospital, we made
    the decision to camp where we were and straighten his bike out and the boys would ride it back to Beacon the next morning and pillion back to camp.
    Phil reckons Eddie spooned him all the way back to camp, which of course he denies. I don’t know, they were both smiling when they got back.

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    Such a good bloke Andy, he left us with his bottle of Makers Rum and Phil & I felt obliged to polish that off as we couldn’t possibly carry more weight, while Eddie made a dent
    in the supply of red wine. Was a great night round the campfire then Phil appeared in his pink pyjamas & Crocs which were the laugh of the whole trip…? Good one Phil…
    So glad I was left to clean up camp the next morning while the boys rode back to Beacon, as it gave me a chance to go back to bed for a while longer.
    Was feeling a bit fuzzy to say the least.
    Due to a bit of lost time and after the local policeman told us there was no fuel at Paynes Find, we decided to review the route and hit the black top at Paynes Find and head
    straight up to Meekatharra. We cut out the detour to Sandstone and Wiluna but would hit the gravel again 10km’s outside of Meeka. We camped in a dry river bed on the
    Meekatharra Mt Clere Rd for the night which was a good spot; apart from the traffic at shift change at the local mine.

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    Up nice and early as we were continuing to travel up the Meekatharra Mt Clere Rd, right into Waldburg Rd then onto the Mt Augustus Woodlands Rd till we hit Mt Augustus.
    The day proved to be the toughest for me with crossing several floodway’s with sand and some massive roads works and lots of sand up on Waldburg Rd. I nearly came off a
    few times but was determined not to stack my bike, locked my arms and just powered thru. Such an adrenaline rush and I had a smile on my face for the rest of the day & night.
    Phil & Eddie made it look easy but they did admit there were a few scary moments, which made me feel good. Glad I wasn’t the only one doing all the work….

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    Lunchtime
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    Wild Dog (not for lunch thou)
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    Refuel Stop – Cnr of Waldburg & Mt Augustus Rd
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    We stayed at Mt Augustus in the campgrounds for 2 nights which gave us a chance to chill out a bit and explore the area. The people at the station were great and we managed
    to get a home grown salad and a meat tray to BBQ for dinner. At a price of course, but much better than canned food.
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    We played tourists the next day and climbed Mt Augustus. It was so hot, Eddie had the need to remove his Draggin jeans, stash them behind a rock and do the walk in his
    boxer shorts. Got to the top at last and Phil bored us to death with trying to set up his time delay on his camera, just to take a shot of the three of us, sitting on a rock.
    After several attempts and I mean several, he finally worked it out.

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    After our walk up a big red hill, we tried to ride out to Kotka Gorge and after about 3 kms, the track turned into a deep sand 4wd track. Another first for me, paddling the bike
    thru 25cm of sand with a huge handful of throttle. We gave up after a while and figure the gorge surely wasn’t worth the effort, so we turned around and went back to the
    station for lunch.
    After lunch we headed out to Cattle Pool which is a permanent pool on the Lyons River. A bit bloody cold and once you swam past the reeds; it was very refreshing and relaxing
    on such a hot day. That was until we encountered a very territorial pelican that did a low flying swoop down on us to try and move us on. He finally hit the water and cruised on by
    giving us the filthiest look. How dare we swim in his river?

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    Back to camp for happy hour and dinner and once again, out came Phil’s pink pyjamas & Crocs for all to see. Such an exhibitionist.
    On the bikes early the next morning and headed out past Cobra Station towards Kennedy Range National Park. The plan was for Phil & me to have a look at the NP while Eddie
    rode ahead into Gascoyne Junction to catch up with a friend, Judy, who lost everything in the floods 2 years ago. They found half her house up a tree while the rest of it washed
    away down the river. She is finally in another house after spending several months sleeping on a camp stretcher under a veranda. It was great to see her back on her feet and the
    town starting to re-build.

    Navigator Phil
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    Phil and I walked Tennant Gorge and decided it was too hot to see anything else in the NP. It was hotter than yesterday, real hot. What we did see was amazing and I would
    love to get back there one day to have a good look around.

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    From Gascoyne Junction we headed for Bilung Pool which is just off the Carnarvon Mullewa Rd. Great place to set up camp but there was hardly any water in the pool
    which just shows how little rain the Mid-West has had this year.

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    We packed up nice and early as the plan was to head straight for Murchison Roadhouse for bacon & eggs. I swear I could smell the bacon cooking 100km’s away. So hungry.

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    After a stroll thru the local museum, which was very interesting to learn about the local history, we headed for Mingenew via Wooleen Station, Twin Peaks Homestead,
    Pindar and Tardun. Some nice country side but you definitely had the feeling of leaving the Mid-West.
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    Great pub meal for our last night’s dinner at the Continental Hotel in Mingenew, a few laughs, a couple of well deserved Bundy’s and I was informed I had ‘passed’ the test
    and was welcome on the next ride. I should think so guys as I was the only one who didn’t drop theirs or someone else’s bike….. LOL

    Tough Tiger’s get tired too….
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    So, 6 days of riding, 34.2 hours in the saddle and 2,738km’s all up, most on gravel. Not a bad effort..

    Thanks Eddie & Phil. I had an absolute blast and have now got the ‘Gravel bug’ well and truly.

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    #1
  2. Oz Nutter

    Oz Nutter Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
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    1,324
    Location:
    Australia - Great Southern Land
    What about Andy??
    #2
  3. zadok

    zadok Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    996
    Location:
    Western Australia
    Awesome ride.:clap Hope Andy is ok.
    #3
  4. TigerNoir

    TigerNoir Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Andy ended up in hospital for about 7 weeks lying flat on his back. He is out now but was going to be on crutches for a while as he wasn't able to put any weight on his pelvis. He said his back was ok now and the pelvis needed a lot more time to repair.
    He was wearing armour which I really think saved him from more damage to his chest & ribs.

    The bike was written off and he did mention he probably won't ride again which is a shame.
    #4
  5. Wal2

    Wal2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    UK Northumberland
    good read.....sad about your friend......whats the story with hanging the dead wild dogs up
    #5
  6. bully1

    bully1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,994
    Location:
    Perth west aussie
    Nice photo's there Wendy, beautiful countryside up that way, you'd think that August would have been the right time to travel there but still too hot.
    #6
  7. philth

    philth philth

    Joined:
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    Location:
    bald knob
    good stuff!
    #7
  8. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    The Dandenong Ranges, Vic
    Another great report.

    Thanks.

    All the best for your mate's recovery.

    Cheers,

    JM.
    #8
  9. farcall

    farcall Bike-a-holic

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,908
    Location:
    Western Australia
    Great RR there TN and look forward to more. I love reading RR's from the Murchison... and the Goldfields, Pilbara & Kimberley too :D... basically if its a red dirt ride, its a winner even before you start!

    Are you going to change to an XC to feed the new habit? :wink:
    #9
  10. TigerNoir

    TigerNoir Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Thanks guys for all the great comments. And yes Farcall, I hope to upgrade to the XC this year sometime. I love the gravel and love the semi isolation up north. That real adventure spirt is calling. I am also hoping to do a trip from Perth to Alice Springs via the Great Central Rd and I figure the XC is a must. It will handle the sand & corregations a little better than the standard Tiger 800. I need that 21" front wheel.
    #10
  11. Gota

    Gota Adventurer

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    Sep 14, 2012
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    83
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Great RR and pics Wendy.
    Glad your mate Andy is going to be OK.
    #11
  12. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger I used to be SCRay

    Joined:
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    you dont call wagga wagga wagga
    Enjoyed that. Hope Andy recovers fully.
    #12
  13. rhino_343

    rhino_343 Southern Explorer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
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    2,133
    Location:
    Yallingup Western Australia
    Nice report, looked like a great ride and one hat I would like to do. Hope Andy recovers well.:freaky
    #13
  14. Koos

    Koos Wheeled Wanderer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    298
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    Perf, Western Australia
    Thanks for sharing....hope to do a similar round trip sometime....

    :clap

    Hope Andy heals well.

    Koos
    #14
  15. hahnelw

    hahnelw Just Mapping Another Ride

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    600
    Location:
    Outer South East Melbourne
    Great report. That country looks fantastic. Our crew have designs on a Pilbara Trip in the future. Looking to trailer to Alice and take the Gunbarrell, do a bit of the Canning and cut across the Pilbara..

    Thanks for sharing Wendy. I reckon the Tiger 800XC is the go. It is on the purchase list this year.

    Cheers


    Warren
    #15
  16. curlysurfer

    curlysurfer in need of a ride

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    Bateau Bay, Orstrayla
    nice read, thanks for sharing!
    #16
  17. Baz131

    Baz131 Adventurer

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    May 12, 2013
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    Location:
    Bunbury Western Australia
    Great report, thanks for sharing. Encouraging for the newbie - me!
    #17