Australia and New Zealand

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by djeady, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    In less than three weeks I'm heading out to do a 2.5 month ride in Australia and then a month n New Zealand.

    I've already acquired a 2010 KLR for Australia (huge shout out to grub61 for his assistance with this).

    My plan is to go around the continent counterclockwise starting in Sydney with some time in the middle as well and possibly a side trip to Tamania. Keeping it pretty flexible though.

    Afterwards heading to New Zealand to see as much of both islands as I can in a month.

    Stayed tuned for updates and the start of the adventure.
    #1
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  2. BOOTLACE

    BOOTLACE Bikie Scum. Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
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    9,971
    Location:
    Methane Central..(Sth Gippsland)
    Shed and bed at my place.

    Have fun!
    #2
  3. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    Do you have a plan for NZ???
    #3
  4. Brad Russell

    Brad Russell n00b

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    May 30, 2019
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    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    Queenstown is a must, not to mention Taupo! Enjoy the trip
    #4
  5. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    IMG_8823.JPG Guess the trip is official - got my stickers.
    #5
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  6. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    On my way today - leave early evening.
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  7. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Day One

    Kind of a boring post. I got in to Sydney just before 8 this morning and after clearing Immigration and Customs took the train into the city.

    I tried to pack as little as possible and have two dry bags, one with my camping gear and the other with my bike gear and clothes. I also have a small backpack and my helmet in a helmet bag. The bag with my bike gear feels like it is full of bricks and I really struggled to get everything to the train and then from the train to the hotel. Trying to decide whether I should buy a folding luggage cart or even a big wheelie bag but, of course, that's more stuff.

    I have a lot less than I took to South America and once the bike gear is in the panniers and on me, I'm hoping I'll just have the dry bag with the camping gear on the carrier and it isn't all that heavy.

    Got a SIM card for my phone - it's a lot cheaper here than in Canada. $40 Aus for 35gb of data and unlimited calling here and to home, and the unused data rolls over!

    They have a nice app to manage your plan as well, but unfortunately it won't run on my Iphone5. I'm putting it on my tablet to see if that will work.

    Other than that I just wandered around Chinatown for a bit and had a late lunch of a prawn stir fry.

    I also found a branch of the bank that has a partnership with my bank so I can withdraw cash without any ATM fees.

    Went back to the hotel and slept for a bit, then went out and got a couple of cans of iced tea and a bag of chips at the convenient store next door - very expensive - could probably have got a proper meal for less. IMG_8829.JPG IMG_8830.JPG IMG_8831.JPG
    #7
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  8. GSbyname

    GSbyname Adventurer

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    Jun 15, 2019
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    Location:
    Melbourne-ish, sometimes
    welcome to Oz!
    Don't eat from convenience stores. The food here is much better than that.
    Do you have a rough plan/itinerary yet, week-by-week, or are you just going with the flow?
    #8
  9. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Definitely won't be eating from convenience stores. Was just dog tired and wanted a cold drink and a snack.

    I'm picking up the bike this morning and either Sunday or Monday will begin heading north. Plant to go counterclockwise and pick up the middle from either both top and bottom or just the bottom.
    #9
  10. Nudie

    Nudie Rusty not rusty

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
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    Naughty corner
    Subscribed (please don’t pee the bed with excitement)!
    #10
  11. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Day Two

    Another cool rainy day in Sydney.

    Got up early and got a coffee and a breakfast bun in the mall across the street.

    Afterwards I went down to Paddys Markets and bought a small luggage cart to help in hauling all my bags. I took the cart back to the hotel and worked in my plans for the day.

    I had picked up a tourist guide and saw that they had 3 self guided tours of the city laid out so decided that was how I would spend my day.

    My hotel was pretty much in the middle of the first tour so I started from there and went over past Chinatown again, down past the Chinese Peace Garden and the along Darling Harbour. Nice area, but heavily developed and there is a massive new building being built at the end of the harbour.

    I then walked across the Pyrmont bridge into the downtown core. I passed on going to the aquarium and Madame Tussaud's. The next tour started at the north end of the downtown. I had to do a bit of a detour as the street at the end of the bridge was closed off with a big police presence. Not sure if there had been an accident or if it was construction related.

    The next tour started at the Customs House at Circular Quay. I went in to have a look at the city model and discovered they were having a big exhibit on the history of the city, so I walked through the exhibit which gave me the opportunity to warm up and dry off a bit.

    Afterwards I walked back around Circular Quay where there were great views of the Sydney Harbour bridge and the Opera House. There was also a massive cruise ship in port.

    I then walked around underneath the bridge, then along Walsh Bay which is an arts district and then did the loop around the Barangaroo Reserve and then stopped for lunch at a nice little cafe where I had a very good fish burger.

    On the way back through the City I stopped at The Rocks Museum which as well as being an interesting historical building gave an interesting overview of the pre European and early European history of the area.

    I then walked back to Circular Quay and around to the Opera House. It really is a spectacular building. I had always thought the tiles were pure white, but they're actually a mosaic of cream and white.

    I then did a walk around the Royal Botanical Gardens, had a sit in Mrs. Macquarie'a chair and then walked back towards the city past some massive military transport ships.

    I like Sydney a lot. Much to see and do and very people friendly. There are even lots of public toilets which are pretty rare in most cities. They've also managed to preserve some of the older buildings which gives a nice contrast to all of the modern construction.

    Got back to the hotel about 5:30, cold and wet, and rested for a bit before going out for a nice roast beef dinner at a pub down the road.



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    #11
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  12. Bounty1

    Bounty1 Been here awhile

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    Oct 19, 2014
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    Location:
    ACT Australia
    Welcome to Australia, have fun.
    #12
  13. mekros

    mekros Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    70
    Welcome, you should have travelled to the Blue Mountains yesterday, beautiful and dry. It's also got some great views you would have liked.

    Feel free to get in contact if you need a place to crash in the mountains.
    #13
  14. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Days 3 and 4

    I got up early, had a coffee in the room, then checked out and hauled all my gear to the Museum station to catch the train to Wollongong. The little luggage cart helped immensely and I actually wound up being almost 40 minutes early, so I just sat on a bench on the platform until the train came.

    It was a pleasant ride to Wollongong, took about an hour and forty minutes. Graham met me at the station and we headed to the registry office so I could transfer the bike. He had to go back to the car and grab my knapsack with my passport as they needed that to set me up with a New South Wales customer number. $88 dollars later and I was the proud owner of a 2010 KLR 650 that I hadn't even seen yet.

    We grabbed a quick lunch and then drove up Mount Keira to a lookout where you got a great panoramic view of Wollongong.

    Afterwards we went back to his went back to his house and I got a look at the bike. It's in good condition and has a set of nice solid aluminum panniers.

    I added on my ram mounts for the phone and started to do a trial pack.

    I was pretty tired - still trying to adapt to the 14 hour time change so we went out for an early dinner at the Collegians Rugby Football League Club. We both had a steak with corn and french fries and it was pretty good although the steaks were a bit cool by the time we got them.

    The club is pretty impressive with several restaurants and it was very busy with lots of people out for dinner. Sure makes the Tranzac look bush league.

    The next morning we went out and had a nice breakfast and I found a Westpac ATM. Westpac is affiliated with Scotiabank so I don't have to pay any fees. I got out the first chunk of cash to pay for the bike and we did a bit of grocery shopping - I needed coffee and a few other things for my trip.

    Afterwards we came back and the went for a ride up Macquarie Pass, Graham on his Triumph Tiger and me on the KLR. Nice twisty road with a small water crossing on the way there. At the top we stopped at Robertson Pie Shop and had a nice meat pie and a bottle of water. We rode back down the same way and went back to the house. I'd mentioned that something had smelled a bit hot on the bike and a quick check over showed the rear brake disc was quite hot so we spent some time cleaning up the pistons and cleaning and lubricating the pins and it seems fine now.

    We had a nice Thai dinner and went back and explored various ways of getting the remains funds for the bike to Graham. I had hoped to use PayPal, but it didn't seem to want to let me transfer money easily. I could have used Western Union, but the limit was the same as what I could draw at the ATM and there was a fairly high fee.

    I got up in the morning and Graham's brother Russ had come back late the previous evening. He works with a crew that travels around Australia unloading bulk carriers.

    He had wanted to go for s ride when he got back so he's going to ride with me for a couple of days and I'm going to see some of the back country I'd probably never see on my own.

    Sunday was the first day of Spring here and it was also Father's Day so he wanted to have a visit with his dad. We had breakfast at a little cafe up the road and then went into town where I was going to go into the Westpac branch and see if I could transfer a larger sum of money. They were very nice but said I needed my Passport, so back to the house to get it. Russ dropped me off and I went back into the bank. Try two was unsuccessful and they said my card had been declined and I needed to phone my bank.

    I have unlimited international calling on my phone plan here so I called Scotiabank and after jumping through some hoops with authentication, everything was good. My card was fine and they were able to temporarily raise my ATM limit and I left with cash in hand.

    I walked back to the house and worked on a couple of small things on the bike. There was only one key for the panniers and we stopped at a locksmith in the way into town. He was able to make up a key but wouldn't take any payment because he wasn't sure it would work. It didn't at first, but after a few adjustments with a file and sandpaper I was able to get it working.

    Russ came back and started to get his 1200 GS ready, but it was already mid afternoon and we decided it would make more sense to start out the next morning.

    We spent some time planning a route for the next couple of days, then went out to the Fig Tree Hotel for dinner. IMG_8941.JPG IMG_8943.JPG IMG_8945.JPG IMG_8949.JPG IMG_8951.JPG IMG_8952.JPG
    #14
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  15. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Day 5 September 3

    First day on the road!

    Got up and had a coffee and we finished loading the bikes and headed out. We went north through Wollongong and then took a road along the coast that had quite scenic views and the very dramatic Sea Cliff Bridge. We stopped for a minute hoping to get breakfast at a little cafe at the top of a lookout point, but it was closed. While we were in the park we had a policeman on a motorcycle come in and check us out and we chatted with him for a few minutes.

    We then rode through the Royal National Park which is the second oldest national park in the world. Nice twisty roads through the trees.

    We stopped at a little cafe to get a coffee and a breakfast sandwich before heading north on the expressway. Further up we exited and spent the rest of the day riding through the Blue Mountains and the wine country in Hunter Valley. Russ gave me a choice of routes, one of which included a ferry ride. Since every good motorcycle trip includes a ferry ride I chose that one and we took the Wisemans Ferry across the Hawkesbury river before stopping at an interesting old pub for a cold drink (lemonade).

    We then rode 30 k up a gravel road before getting back on to pavement. We stopped for a quick lunch before heading off through Yengo National Park, wine country in the Hunter Valley and Barrington Tops National Park before arriving in Gloucester for the night. The first pub we tried didn't have any rooms, but the second one did and we stayed there - basic, but comfortable. I had a nice dinner of breaded lamb chops and a couple of beers and we called it a night. Saw my first kangaroos, both live and dead as well as various other wildlife.

    About 420 km of riding. IMG_8971.JPG IMG_8953.JPG IMG_8955.JPG IMG_8956.JPG IMG_8959.JPG IMG_8966.JPG IMG_8963.JPG IMG_8970.JPG
    #15
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  16. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Day 6

    Up early and got packed up and fiddled with my rear brake a bit as it is still running hot. We went across the road for a breakfast bun and coffee and then headed out for another day's riding in the hills and fire trails.

    In the afternoon we went in to Port Macquarie because Russ need a new rear tire. While we were there I had them take a look at the rear brake and they couldn't find anything wrong but adjusted the free play in the pedal a bit more and that seems to have resolved the problem.

    We headed up the freeway, planning to get to Dorrigo, but the freeway was closed south of Nambucca, so we wound up going into Nambucca Heads and spent the night there. It was a bit hard to find a place to stay but we finally found a motel that had rooms and it was very nice, but a bit pricey.

    We had a nice fish dinner (flatheads), then called it a night. I've mostly adjusted to the time change, but am still going to bed early and waking up at 5. IMG_8972.JPG IMG_8975.JPG IMG_8976.JPG IMG_8977.JPG IMG_8978.JPG IMG_8408.JPG IMG_8980.JPG
    #16
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  17. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Day 7 - September 5

    Up early again. I had a couple of coffees in the room, did my posting, the started to get organized.

    Decided to lube the chain and tipped the bike over getting it onto the center stand. No harm done and being a KLR it was going to happen sooner, rather than later.

    Russ and I left motel just before 8 and rode to Raleigh where we stopped and had breakfast.

    After breakfast, he headed off into the hills and I continued north.

    I can't say enough about the hospitality and assistance I've had from Graham and Russ and I hope they decide to visit Canada so I can reciprocate.

    I rode along the Old Pacific Highway for a while before being forced onto the main road. It was quick for a while, but became a slow grind as a large portion of it is still under construction.

    I stopped for a few roadside attractions (big banana) and then stopped and had lunch at the New Italy rest stop which has a nice little cafe and an interesting museum about the early Italian settlers in the area. Quite a story about them being persuaded by a French aristocrat to move to a non-existent colony called New France. After a harsh voyage where 9 children and one adult died, they made it to New Caledonia, but couldn't make a life there and headed to Australia with 75 more duping on the way before they reached land and the Australian government condemned their ship.

    They were eventually given asylum in spite of a very strong policy of limiting immigration to British citizens and they settled in the area that became New Italy. It was a hard life there as well, because the land was marginal and the settlement eventually collapsed.

    I continue on the highway and was very happy to turn off and ride the River Road along the Richmond River to Ballina and eventually Byron Bay.

    Along the way the main crop was initially bananas, but quickly changed to sugar cane and I passed one large sugar refinery.

    I stopped at one lookout to see an beautiful vista along the coast and also watch the hang-gliders soaring over the bluff.

    At Byron Bay I went out to the lighthouse which is the most easterly point in Australia and is spectacular to look at and has amazing views along the coast.

    I then found a campsite just in the edge of Byron Bay and checked in and set up my tent.

    Once everything was set up I headed to the Sun Bistro and had a nice dinner. I picked up a couple of cold beers at the attached bottle shop and went back to my campsite and read for a while before calling it a night. View attachment 1875173 IMG_8982.JPG View attachment 1875181 IMG_8984.JPG View attachment 1875186 IMG_8993.JPG IMG_8997.JPG IMG_9007.JPG IMG_9004.JPG IMG_9017.JPG IMG_9017.JPG

    Attached Files:

    #17
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  18. Suncoaster

    Suncoaster Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Oddometer:
    855
    Location:
    Where the girls are green and the grass is pretty.
    There's a bike show in the Sunshine Coast hinterland (about 80km north of Brisbane) this Sunday 8 Sept-
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community/Obi-Obi-Motorcycle-Show-1793915267498562/
    It's a small country show, but on the local Sunday ride loop (Maleny- Kenilworth) so plenty of all types of riders, and dirt roads through the forests in the ranges too.
    Kenilworth has a few cafes and a bakery that are well patronised by riders.
    There's also a rock n roll theme cafe/bar (Rick's Garage) in Palmwoods that hosts classic cars and bikers all weekend.
    There are a few bushfires and smoke about.
    Let us know if you're in the area.
    Enjoy your ride !
    #18
  19. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Day 8

    Decided to stay in Byron Bay an extra day. I got up and had my coffee and went for a walk. When I came back I had another coffee and a slice of banana bread from the little cafe just next to the park.

    I checked in for an additional night and was happy to find they were having a promo and my second night was half price.

    I walked over to the beach and had a nice long walk up Belongil Beach. I stopped for a few minutes and had a brief swim before turning around and walking back towards town. The water was cool (20C) but refreshing. It is just the start of spring here.

    I phoned my cousin Jeri in California as I hadn't heard from her and was a bit worried. Turned out she was just back from visiting her daughter Kristen in Australia and her computer wasn't working so she hadn't seen my email.

    I got Kristen's number and called her - will drop in for a visit on my way through Brisbane.

    I explored town a bit and had a burrito and a beer at a little cafe and also stopped to pick up some sun screen and another USB charger for the bike to see if that will help my charging problem. Google Naps seems to drain my phone in no time and the charger I have can't keep up.

    There was a strong on/shore wind in the afternoon and the beaches were pretty quiet.

    I walked back past the campground to the IGA where I bought a frozen dinner and some muffins for breakfast, then back to the campground.

    I probably walked 20 km in total so I had a brief rest before heading over to the camp kitchen to heat up my dinner.

    After that I read for a while, then called it a night. IMG_9036.JPG IMG_9037.JPG IMG_9038.JPG IMG_9039.JPG IMG_9041.JPG IMG_9042.JPG IMG_9043.JPG IMG_9045.JPG l IMG_9046.JPG
    #19
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  20. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

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    Day 9

    Got up and made my coffee and packed up my tent.

    I headed north, staying as close to the coast as I could. That meant I wound up going through Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise. It was very much like driving along A1A in Florida, miles and miles of condos with the occasional glimpse of a long sweep of sandy beach. There was lots of traffic and it was very slow going.

    I got back on the M1 and headed towards Brisbane. I stopped just outside the city to fuel up and have a sandwich and then carried on.

    Got to Kristen's place about 1:30. We had a nice visit and I met her husband John and their 3 kids. We all chatted for a while and then John had to take the kids to a party. I stayed and chatted with Kristen - she's very interested in Genealogy as is her mother, and I was able to fill in a few holes in her family tree.

    Someone had posted on ADVRider about a small bike show in Obi Obi and I headed out there - about 1.5 hours north of Brisbane.

    Last stretch of road was interesting - narrow dirt track up and over a steep hill with great views and lots of tight corners.

    I got to Obi Obi hall and paid my admission of $5 plus $10 for camping and started to set up for the night.

    I'd asked about food on the way in and was told there was just coffee and biscuits, so I was going to have ramen and tuna from my travel supplies. Turned out there was a food truck onsite selling fish or calamari and chips so I had a nice plate of fish and chips. A bit salty but very tasty.

    I also found out that they were selling beer inside the hall, so all food groups were covered.

    Finished setting up and then sat around a huge campfire for a while chatting with other riders. Much of the conversation revolved around a large wolf spider that had been sitting on the rocks around the fire pit. Someone mashed it with a flip flop resulting in someone else getting a face full of spider goo.

    Headed off to sleep in my tent under a very clear sky - temp was probably 10 degrees. IMG_9048.JPG IMG_9052.JPG IMG_9053.JPG IMG_9054.JPG IMG_9055.JPG IMG_9057.JPG IMG_9047.JPG
    #20