Trails Down Under

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Burren Rider, May 22, 2005.

  1. rosscoact

    rosscoact need constant supervision

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    hey mate, what's the stable look like now?

    I've just bought a 690e on impluse, yet to ride it becuase it's in Victoria and I'm in the ACT. Hopefully next weekend

    ross
  2. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    We stayed at the Dorrigo Hotel on Friday night and met up with Rod in the morning at Hernani.

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    The high country air was crisp and it was a great day for riding.

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    As we dropped down off the mountain things warmed up in a hurry so we went looking for water and plenty of it.

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    After lunch by the river and a quick dip to quell the dust, we made our way north on a series of flowing dirt roads.

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    After an altercation with an errant tree root, we stopped briefly to air up the DL's front tyre with Rod's onboard compressor (those BM's have everything) and were on our way to Riders Rest near Drake. Bob, the owner, looked after us in grand fashion and it turned out to be a great place to stay.

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    The plan for Sunday was originally to work our way north via Tenterfield but a call from home changed the plans a little. Tam rang to say the little fella was crook and off to hospital so I bolted for home. I was dissapointed to leave Damon and Rod prior to the end of the ride but family comes first and I am sure those tracks will be there for another day.

    I was relieved to see Clay on the mend when I got back to town and it was a strange sense of irony to walk into outpatients with my riding gear on and not need medical attention.
  3. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    G'day Ross,

    Nothing worse than a bike in one state and a rider in another hey!. Have you had a chance to take one for a spin yet? I reckon you will like it, the motor is smooth and they feel nice and compact to ride. With a bit of sorting I think it would make a good all rounder.

    I picked the 400 this week and slipped the Renazco in place this morning. Hopefully she will be dialed in and ready for action early next week :thumb.

    Cheers,

    Danny
  4. Oz-Strom

    Oz-Strom Still trying

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    Which beach is this and from where do you access it please?

    We are planning some more ride time in your neck of the woods, so any suggestions of trails less travelled would be appreciated.

    Thanks
  5. oziexplorer

    oziexplorer fugarewe tribe member

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    unreal scenery. Thanks for sharing the pics Burren!

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  6. oziexplorer

    oziexplorer fugarewe tribe member

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    Danny,
    what saddlebags are your mate on the BMW (Rob?) Using ?
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  7. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    G'Day Dave,

    Sorry I didn't see this question, haven't checked this thread for a while. They are push bike panniers (Deuters?) and seem to work really well. Rod made up a bracket for his BM so they click on and off in no time at all.

    Cheers,

    Danny
  8. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    A few photo's from a trip to New Zealand last year. Fortunately we did a bit of reading (primarily on Advrider :thumb) to find some of the more out of the way trails before we left and it paid off in a big way. Absolutely amazing country.

    Lees Valley, north of Christchurch.

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    Pat seemed all too familiar with the NZ locals! He reckoned he was just freeing it from the fence but I am not convinced :lol3

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    An afternoon run through the Rainbow Track revealed one sensational panorama after another. The spactacular scenery wasn't the only reason for it being memorable though.

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    The second point of recollection was this bloody gate :huh

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    We had orgnaised permission from the owners to traverse the track before leaving Australia but the key was handed to the wrong group by the information centre in Hamner Springs and despite assurances that it would be left unlocked by them, it wasn't. We contemplated our options but figured it would be a cold night in the bush when there was still snow on the adjacent hill.

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    Took us a couple of back breaking hours to inch the 800 around the gate without dropping it into the river below, we even used a tow strap to brace it to the gate should we slip in the loose scree. The next morning when we spoke to the station managers, they said that the cows aren't even game enough to go around it. I guess it has now been attempted by at least one barvarian bovine :evil.

    We had to do a quick fix on Pat's bike in St Arnaud the next morning after it got caught on a strap. The front brake setup on the 800 seems pretty exposed for an adventure bike :dunno. We tracked down some parts at the servo (namely the lid off a tube of superglue and a biro tube) and fabricated a repair using quicksteel and some precision filing with the Leatherman. The funny part is, I think it worked better than the original.

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    There are definately worse spots to be completing running repairs on a hire bike!

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  9. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    The Port Underwood road is a beauty. It was slippery due to recent rain and logging traffic but a lot of fun and the secluded bays and water vista's are just amazing.

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    We stayed in Havelock that night before heading to Nelson via the Maungapautu Track the next morning.

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    As it climbed quickly into the clouds the weather closed in and we spent most of the ride peering through the grey mist as we slid around on red clay.

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    We had lunch at the Boathouse in Nelson and the tucker was so good we contemplated hanging around for tea. There were places we needed to be though.
  10. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    Bike parking at Lake Rotorua.

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    Which conveniently links onto the Braeburn track, the home of loose gravel and big skids, braaap!

    The Maruia Saddle was next and it was the highlight of the trip so far. With creeks so clear they looked like glass, the ancient forest and sandy berms on each corner made for an awesome track.

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    Pat had a close call as he rounded a corner to see the reversing lights of a small 4WD occupying the track as it headed his direction. Luckily the Conti's came to the fore as he roosted through the leaf litter to the side of the road, leaving a couple of startled tourists in his wake.

    We pulled up to discuss the trail and his narrow escape only to find a bit of Kiwi humour by the side of the track.

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    But wait theres more :wink:

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    We stayed at The Formerly Blackball Hilton for the night after reading about it in one of ClintNZ's ride reports (thanks Clint :thumb)
  11. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    We were up early the next morning as we had a plane to catch on the other side of the country. We quietly made our way past assortment of sinister looking manequins in the hallway and out into the misty grey of an eery dawn.

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    Our brief stay in NZ had revealed a strong outdoors culture with seemingly everybody passionate about exploring the amazing countryside with a mountain bike, paddle or pair of hiking boots. One group had even gone all poetic, sprouting the virtues of being at one with the surroundings as they huffed and puffed their way over a mountain pass at a relative snails pace. The road hummed beneath a pair of worn knobbies and I quietly pondered this notion as we approached the start of Arthurs Pass.

    The clouds were lifting to reveal a vista of steep sided mountains illuminated by a shimmering morning sun and it was possible to imagine travelling on a more primitive level. The headphones grew strangely quiet for a brief second or two and the world seemed to stand still. And then, as if the adventure riding gods stepped in to sort out this irrational thought process, the iPod clicked over to Nickelback, the back end drifted wide under power on a patch of loose gravel and the growling exhaust of an agitated twin echoed to the chorus of Amen, I'm alive. It was an almost spritual moment and made me acutely aware of the freedom to chase distant horizon's on knobby shod bikes.

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  12. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    We had brekky along the way and found as many back tracks as we could on our way to the airport for the flight home.

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  13. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    Checking out the damage from bushfires before Christmas. This used to be a one lane single track that we carved by hand a few years ago. Bet the Dozer had an easier time of it than we did :D

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  14. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    Chaos in the Condamine

    A shimmering silver glow illuminated the narrow valley of the Condamine Gorge, framed by imposing storm clouds and steep sided cliffs. Slithering along the muddy track, I assumed the slender tunnel of light to be an omen of safe passage. As we approached the first and reportedly most treacherous river crossing though, I realised it was more likely the reflection from a stranded 4WD’s bonnet. We were indeed heading for dark and turbulent waters.

    On a sunny day, the Condamine River Road meanders through sandstone cliffs and is a pleasant ride, known for its lush surrounds and thirteen shallow crossings of the Condamine River, just down stream from where it originates on Mount Superbus. On this particular day, storms over the Christmas period had turned the usually sedate trickle into a raging torrent. Naturally this made for interesting times as the field of big bore adventurers made their way across the ominous looking crossing. Things started well enough with most riders paddling their way to the other side in one way or another and then it was time for the mighty Austrian battle ship to enter the fray. In a flick of the bars, a slippery boulder below tilted the big girl starboard (things were getting pretty nautical by this stage) as the Condamine fought to claim its first victim. Seeing the inevitable drowning, I waded back through the relentless current to lend a hand but it was too late. The 990 got sucked under by the wall of water heading its way and down she went, Ralph valiantly clinging to the bars as it bobbed below the surface.

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    A group of riders quickly gathered round and started dismantling the bike with the hope that it only took a little sip and not a great big gulp of the muddy water below. The airbox came up clean, which was encouraging, but unfortunately even with our pooled resources, and those of a passing 4WD, we couldn’t find a spark plug spanner that would reach into the depths of the big twin. With things looking grim, we stood the bike on its back wheel and watched as a stream of water flowed out the dual Akarapovic’s that would fill a small towns’ reservoir. It was to no avail though and with few other options, Mike graciously offered to ride back to Brisbane, collect his car and conduct an impromptu rescue mission. Legend :thumb.

    With time ticking away and another twelve crossings still to come, the rest of the pack soldiered on. Although the subsequent water passages were easier, they were by no means easy and this is where Perry stepped in. While I was able to wade back through and offer encouragement and a helping hand on some of the tricker crossings, Perry took the bull by the horns and rode quite a few bikes through for some very grateful riders. Tackling these kinds of depths on big bikes can be intimidating so it was good to see the riders pitch in and get the pack through to Killarney in time for a late lunch.

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  15. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    Lunch passed on the veranda of the Killarney Hotel with conversation topics ranging from the merits of wet weather gear in flooded streams to the intricacies of opal trading. It was a great way to pass the time but eventually it was time to get going. For most of the group this meant heading north east back to Beaudesert but for me, due to the late hour, it was time to make my way back into New South Wales.

    The return trip started with a detour over the Acacia Plateau and its neon green pastures before making my way through to Tooloom Falls just out of Urbenville. It is a really pretty spot and the recent rain had the falls flowing again. It is one of the few spots around where forestry trails beckon by crossing edge of a waterfall too.

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    Continuing east, I reached the dirt bike Mecca of Woodenbong and its myriad of single-track. The opportunity to get amongst trails scattered with leaf litter was too much and I diverted in looking for a bit of fun on the way home.

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  16. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    Trail riding in the Coffs region is always great and we have endeavoured to get down there and link a few tracks together in recent months :ricky.

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  17. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    A scouting run for the Motorcycling Against Cancer - Northern Rivers relay stage. It had been a while since I used some of these tracks and unfortunately they are well on the way to being reclaimed by the rainforest.

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  18. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    Motorcycling Against Cancer - Northern Rivers Relay Stage​


    Moonlight filtered through the forest canopy above but it was no substitute for daylight. A trio of exhausts rumbled in the darkness as three strands of light struggled to light up the next obstacle. On a rocky descent, feeble dirt bike headlights shone out into the night sky as we crested a series of overgrown erosion mounds. Blind faith was required for those brief few seconds until the lights returned to terra firma and illuminated a path through the ruts and boulders. I glanced over at Matt and his newly acquired WR, wondering what he must be thinking. Due to our creative navigation and my distinct lack of time management skills on the trail, Damon and I are used to riding in the dark but Matt was new to the idea. The L plate taped to the plastic fuel container on the back of his bike confirmed that he was a recent convert to road riding and I suspect his prior dirt riding experience was mostly conducted during daylight hours. Concerned that we may be over stepping the boundaries on his maiden adventure ride, I stopped to check on his progress and was happily surprised to see a helmet full of bright eyes and silly grin. Looks like we have another convert!

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  19. raycam01_au

    raycam01_au Sir Ray!

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    this is what i juss bought the klr650 for to get out in the bush, get dirty, i know im gunna drop the mongrel a few times, but thats why i bought the old girl 88 model 1100 Bucks, this post is awesome, i am a virgin rider at the age of 43, these posts are juss huge, your pictures will take me to those places unitl i can ge tthere soon, 3 weeks and im onroad :)

    cant wait till i can post up some of my own pics n posts :) everyone thus far i have met on this site have been legends :)

    thanks for the post.
    ray:freaky
  20. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    Like anything new, an initiation into adventure riding can come with a steep learning curve. It started early in the morning as we caught him picking up his bike on a particularly tricky left hander on the crest of a dirt road. The skid marks told the tale as Matt looked up sheepishly. He had hit the anchors on the approach but once he run out of track, the slick wet grass took over and a slow speed low side quickly followed. As we straightened a misaligned hand guard, I offered that the run off wasn’t too bad if you stand it up and go straight on down over the bank. Damon looked up at me with a grin and I realised that with this simple statement I may have given away a previous misdemeanour :D.

    Continuing on with the ‘expect the unexpected’ theme, his next slip up occurred when the track in front him disappeared into a four foot hole, full of trail shrapnel and debris. Matt took evasive action but it was all in vein as the 250 again flicked him to the ground.

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    Another lesson came at the hands of a wayward logging truck on a winding stretch of dirt road. I was following Matt as he disappeared around a blind corner and when I saw the whites of the drivers’ eyes a split second later as he barrelled past in the middle of the road it was clear that the left wheel rut was the place to be. Learning quickly he was later caught out by a slippery wheel rut but it was clear that his trail skills were rapidly on the improve :thumb.

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    It was obvious though throughout the day that the benefits far outweighed the couple of spills early in the piece. We started with the handover by the Queensland contingent of the Motorcycling Against Cancer baton in Tabulam. We had originally organised to lead a ride south through to Nymboida, before handing it over for the next leg of the relay. They seemed like a great bunch of riders and it was unfortunate that niggling mechanical issues and a lack of time prevented them from completing the Northern Rivers stage with us. The concept of this event is great with plenty of funds being raised for Cancer research and support services so it would be great to see it build momentum in years to come.

    We pulled in for lunch beside the Clarence and seeing as though we were travelling light as a trio of dirt bikes, we opted for a big loop over the Washpool that I had scouted in the weeks before the relay.

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    Rain in recent years has really taken its toll on this area with ruts forming in the traditionally good quality 4WD track that would swallow an enduro bike, ans it's rider! We tip toed our way down through the greasy red mud and crossed the river at Lionsville.

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    With the rate of regrowth along the trail, it won’t be long before it is consumed by the forest, just like the remnants of the Malara Tops township that used to sit atop the ridge and be home for many thousands during the gold rush era.

    While it was certainly an interesting trek down the mountain, surrounded by lush rainforest and the sound of a lone whip bird, it did consume some time and as a result the sun was drawing low by the time we reached Jackadgery for fuel.

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    Fuel and jacket liners went in at the servo as we set off in the dark for Nymboida via a weathered forest road. As luck would have it, we turned up in time to get a solid feed and a comfy bed at the Coaching Station. We have stayed here a couple of times in the past due to it’s proximity to some great riding and have always been impressed by the service and facilities.

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