Australia and New Zealand

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

  1. Portly

    Portly Plodder

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    782
    Location:
    North coast NSW Aus
    Good to see you can keep travelling.
    Hopefully you are a positive thinker and can let it go and enjoy the rest of your trip.
    From my side of it your experience has given me a wake up call to be a bit more security conscious.
  2. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2001
    Oddometer:
    6,441
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Bloody hopeless aren't they ? They call it Strine, but it's a real strain trying to understand them. You'll be able to talk real English when you get over here.
  3. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    417
    Kind of the way I was in South America. I had enough Spanish to deal with the basics, but a proper conversation was beyond me. I have a lot of sympathy for immigrants. They have to work hard and they have to try and learn a new language.
  4. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    417
    Day 49

    Got up and puttered with the bike a bit, put the side cover I’d glued together back on, installed the new cell phone holder, and oiled the chain and topped up the oil.

    My neighbours here have been so nice. Yesterday my one neighbour offered to loan me is 250 Yamaha if I needed to go anywhere to get parts and this morning a nice lady from one of the little cabins across from me brought me a cup of coffee while I was working in the bike. She is travelling with her husband who has ALS and is completely paralyzed, but they’ve decided they would rather be out seeing the country than sitting at home. He has long outlived his prognosis.

    I had a shower and then got ready to go to the Rottnest ferry. I went into the park office to extend my stay and the lady at the desk booked a ticket on the ferry for me so I would be sure to get on.

    I wasn’t sure about parking the bike, but I found free motorcycle parking right next to the little cafe a the terminal and I parked the bike, put the alarm on, and locked my coat and helmet to the bike.

    I went in to the ferry office and added a bicycle to my booking and then got a coffee and a muffin. I also bought a sandwich for lunch and put it in my knapsack.

    The ferry ride over was a bit longer than expected, but very pleasant. I chatted with some ladies from Perth who were going over for a girls weekend. You can stay on Rottnest in a variety of accommodations ranging from “glamping” to cabins and there’s even a hotel.

    It’s a bit hard to describe Rottnest. It’s kind of like the Toronto Islands for Perth and Fremantle, although it is a bit further out and the ferry ride is more expensive. The island is quite pretty and ringed with beautiful beaches and reefs. And the there are the quokka!

    I walked over to the rental place and picked up my bicycle and also decided to rent a mask and fins. I was a little unsure of this due to the water temperature, but decided to give it a try. Carrying the gear and my knapsack was a bid awkward, but I was able to tie the equipment bag to my knapsack and it sort of worked.

    I headed off to try and see as much of the island as possible.

    As I rode through the settlement I sighted my first quokkas - a mother with a young one in the pouch. I got some good pictures including the obligatory selfie with quokka.

    First stop was the lighthouse which had some great views, then I carried on past Pinky Beach to a place call The Basin which I was told had some good snorkeling. When I got there two of the ladies from the ferry were sitting in the age of the water and we chatted for a few minutes. It looked nice and I went into the water and had a cool, but surprisingly nice swim. The reef was a mixture of coral and sea grass. There were a few small fish and quite a few drums.

    After my snorkel I got out and warmed up, before continuing on my ride.

    The roads in the settlement were a bit confusing and I wound up circling around through some of the accommodation areas and winding up back at the lighthouse.

    I finally got on the right road and followed it around the north shore, stopping to look at the various beaches.

    I stopped to eat my lunch at Armstrong Bay, then had another snorkel there and it was fabulous. All kinds of ledges and walls interspersed with large patches of sea grass. There were lots of fish. I wish I’d thought to bring my GoPro.

    I climbed back up to the top of the hill and call the ferry office to extend my stay until the last return trip at 5:45.

    I continued around the island. There were some quite steep hills, but the rental bike had really good gearing including a very low “granny gear” so I was able to ride up them no problem.

    I crossed over to the south side which else’s the windward side and rode back towards the settlement, continuing to stop at the various beaches and lookouts.

    As I got closer to town I got to spend some more time with quokkas and took more pictures.

    When I reached the rental facility I was quite tired so I returned my snorkelling gear and bicycle and then spent some time walking through The Settlement.

    I wanted to go to the bakery - heard the jam donuts were fabulous - but it was closed when I got there and I settled for a burnt caramel ice cream cone.

    The little pedestrian mall was just crawling with quokkas. Some of the stores had even built special gates to keep them out. I got some more pictures, then wandered back to the ferry dock.

    The ride back was faster and a bit tougher. I sat in front of a couple from the UK and their adult son and chatted with them a bit. She had a cough and the attendant cane over with a seasick back a couple of times thinking she might need it, but it was just a cough.

    When the boat arrived I got up to get off and both legs cramped so I hobbled off. Guess that’s the price I had to pay for the riding and snorkelling.

    The sun was setting as we arrived, so I took a few pictures, then unlocked my gear and the bike and headed to the Fremantle Markets.

    I lucked out with another free motorcycle parking spot just behind the markets and locked everything up again.

    I wandered through the markets looking at the stalls. Everything from food stalks to vegetables to arts and crafts.

    Afterwards I had a nice dinner at a nearby pub.

    I then unlocked the bike again and headed back to the caravan park where I locked the bike up and called it a night.

    IMG_0617.JPG IMG_0618.JPG IMG_0621.JPG IMG_0625.JPG IMG_0627.JPG IMG_0641.JPG IMG_0644.JPG IMG_0648.JPG IMG_0652.JPG IMG_0657.JPG IMG_0659.JPG IMG_0661.JPG IMG_0670.JPG IMG_0673.JPG IMG_0682.JPG IMG_0695.JPG IMG_0714.JPG IMG_0721.JPG IMG_0724.JPG IMG_0726.JPG IMG_0728.JPG IMG_0729.JPG IMG_0730.JPG IMG_0732.JPG IMG_0733.JPG IMG_0734.JPG
    B10Dave, Suncoaster, chudzikb and 5 others like this.
  5. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    417
    Day 50

    Got up and started to re-assemble everything.

    I walked over to the little cafe, but being a weekend morning they weren’t open.

    I walked back via the camp kitchen to verify there was a kettle there and wonder of wonders they IMG_0735.JPG IMG_0736.JPG IMG_0737.JPG IMG_0739.JPG IMG_0740.JPG IMG_0743.JPG IMG_0744.JPG IMG_0745.JPG IMG_0746.JPG IMG_0748.JPG IMG_0749.JPG IMG_0751.JPG IMG_0752.JPG had an automatic coffee machine that dispensed a half decent flat while for $3.

    I sat and drank my coffee and did my updates, then headed back to finish packing up. When I was mostly ready I had a quick shower then did the final bit of packing while my towel dried in the sun.

    First stop was Super-cheap Auto where I bought an inexpensive set of metric wrenches to replace my missing tools and also a new litre of oil as I’d finished the one I had this morning.

    Next stop was the shopping mall. I needed a new phone case. The one I was using had a scratch by the camera lens - you might have notice a bit of blunting on the left side of some of my pictures.

    I also bought a pencil case to act as a tool case so I could organize my tools a bit and also some new razors, soap and toothpaste. It was far cheaper to buy 4 bars of soap than to buy 1 and the largest toothpaste size was half the price of a travel one. Weird economics.

    I had a quick lunch at a Chinese place in the food court, then I was on my way.

    I hopped on the expressway to try and get down to the Margaret River area as quickly as possible.

    A lot of people have asked me how drivers in Australia compare to those in Canada. My answer is they are generally much better. They drive more slowly and are generally much more respectful of other vehicles on the road.

    The drivers in Fremantle were definitely more aggressive. Crossing the two lane road in front of the caravan park was extremely difficult and no one would slow down for pedestrians. You had to cross a street on the other side to get to the little cafe and cars would come blasting through even when you were in the middle of the road.

    At one point on the freeway I was in the right (passing) lane and had some idiot pass me half in my lane and half in the shoulder. I was passing someone else and was not really holding him up in any way.

    I continued on to Margaret River where I stopped and had a pastry at a little bakery and worked on my final destination for the night.

    I went in to the grocery store and bought some food for dinner and then headed off.

    A bit further on I stopped at a bottle store to buy a couple of cans of beer (Emu Bitter) and got chatting with the young man behind the counter and he was adamant that instead of continuing on the highway I should turn right at a road just up ahead and go down to the coast.

    He was right. The road took me down to Red Gate Beach which offered some fabulous vistas of the ocean.

    There was no place to camp though. I chatted with a a lady in the parking lot who told me to just go down to the next beach - Conto - and there was camping there.

    I rode down to Conto and was just about to turn in - turn signal on and all when another idiot passed my on the the right. Good thing I was watching.

    I drove in to the campground and after some effort navigating the Western Australia Parks site was able to book a campsite for the night.

    It turned out to be one of the nicest campsites I have stayed at. It was a big site and I Han no one near me. The trees and ground cover were amazing and there was a ready supply of firewood. There was also a drop toilet a couple of hundred feet away which was a bonus as the website had said there were no facilities.

    The only thing that would have made it better is if it was in the beach, but you had to go back out and follow a different road to get to the beach.

    I set up my tent and built a fire and cooked my dinner. While I was scrounging for firewood I took pictures of some of the amazing plant life.

    Afterwards crawled into my tent for a great sleep under starry skies.
    mb8, B10Dave, chudzikb and 5 others like this.
  6. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    417
    Day 51

    Woke up to the sound of the birds. That is the shrieking of the cockatoos and the loud cawing of the crows.

    Made my breakfast and started to pack up. My breakfast included the nicest mango I’ve ever had. Perfectly ripe and buttery smooth.

    I rode the dirt road down to Conto Beach - it was several kilometres from the campsite turnoff. I parked the bike and then walked along a little trail down to a huge empty beach. The path was lined with all sorts of wildflowers - it is spring here.

    I had a quick swim in one of the rock pools - there were signs warning of an undertow and strong currents.

    I then rode back out to the main road, stopping at the Lake Cave Centre to find out about the caves in the area. There were several and I decided Mammoth Cave best suited my time and interests, so I rode the 5km to the entrance and paid my admission fee. They provided a headset that you could use to get information about the cave.

    I was totally surprised by how nice this cave was. It was the first cave opened up for visitors in the area and when they prepared it for visitor access they found all kinds of animal bones that were the first evidence of the megafauna that used to live in the area.

    The cave was huge and full of stalactite a stalagmite formations, some joining together to form huge columns.

    I walked through the cave listening to the audio tracks and admiring the beauty.

    There was the option of a 700M nature track on the way back to the Centre and I followed that, taking pictures of various wildflowers, as well as a large lizard that was in the path.

    I then started my journey back towards the east.

    The Caves Road and the roads I followed for the rest of the day were lined with huge tingle trees, some of which would have require 3 or 4 people with outstretched arms to encircle them. The tingle is a type of eucalyptus and they were mixed in with Karri trees which are another type of eucalyptus. There were also some pine trees and so the air was scented with the sweet medicinal smell of the eucalyptus with the occasional whiff of the cat-Pee smell of the pine.

    These roads came very close to being as nice as the valley of the giant redwoods in Oregon.

    The roads were nice and twisty and wound their way through rolling hills, many covered either vineyards as this is wine country.

    I stopped in Walpole and bought supplies for dinner. I was going to try a little unofficial campsite by the river, but then I saw a sign for the Coal Beach Campground and decided to go there instead. It would be nice to do some laundry and have a hot shower.

    I drove into the campground and there were kangaroos everywhere. They let you get reasonably close., but one large kangaroo made a growling sound as I approached. Guess I can cross getting grilled at by a kangaroo off my bucket list.

    The office was closed so I phoned the manager and booked a site.

    I walked down for a look at the beach, then cooked and ate my dinner, pausing to take a picture of a friendly kookaburra.

    Afterwards I did some laundry and hung it out to dry before heading back to my tent for a peaceful sleep. IMG_0756.JPG IMG_0757.JPG IMG_0758.JPG IMG_0759.JPG IMG_0762.JPG IMG_0763.JPG IMG_0767.JPG IMG_0769.JPG IMG_0774.JPG IMG_0781.JPG IMG_0791.JPG IMG_0806.JPG IMG_0808.JPG IMG_0811.JPG IMG_0812.JPG IMG_0826.JPG IMG_0828.JPG IMG_0837.JPG IMG_0832.JPG IMG_0839.JPG IMG_0850.JPG IMG_0844.JPG IMG_0851.JPG
    ferals5, mb8, Adventurepig and 6 others like this.
  7. Kiwiscoot

    Kiwiscoot Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Let me know when you are in Christchurch. I could show you some of the back roads of Banks Peninsula.
  8. mb8

    mb8 One planet, no option.

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks for the story and pics! How awesome is Australia right.

    Looks like you are headed to Albany, you won't be disappointed, gorgeous place. (Esperance as well)

    Then the mighty Nullarbor......so good. may I suggest sitting (carefully) on the edge of a cliff and contemplating life.

    (watch out for the roos but I'm sure you know that by now)
  9. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    417
    Day 52

    Up early and went over to camp kitchen to make my coffee which I enjoyed with a scone and a mango.

    I’d put my laundry out on the line overnight, but it was nowhere near dry, so I put it in the dryer to finish up.

    Afterwards I walked down to the beach to see what was happening.

    I had just finished taking pictures of a couple of large pelicans that were sitting on the beach grooming themselves when my phone rang.

    It was the Fremantle Police wanting details on what it had cost to get the bike repaired and information on the tools that were taken. They sent me an email I could respond to and I sent them back the information later in the day.

    I got packed up and headed out, stopping in Denmark to have a coffee and a cookie and then a swim at one of the beaches.

    I continued to ride, taking a nice road along the coast that came out at Albany, the carried on to Ravensthorpe where I bought food, then I carried on to Munglinup where I found a nice little campground and stopped for the night. I cooked my dinner on the electric barbecue in the camp kitchen, then called it a night. It had cooled off quite a bit and I put my coat over the bottom of my sleeping bag for extra warmth. IMG_0857.JPG IMG_0863.JPG IMG_0867.JPG IMG_0870.JPG IMG_0873.JPG IMG_0874.JPG
  10. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi backwards & upsidedown Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    13,415
    Location:
    New Zealand
    You ate your coffee, man that must be some strong brew :lol3. I like your style.

    Enjoying your RR. If you need a place to stay in Wellington (New Zealand) as you pass through let me know (PM me). Happy to host you, help you save a few dollars on accommodation. Cheers...
  11. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    417
    Day 53

    Got up and showered and made coffee, then in my way.

    Stopped at a little fuel station that had some amazing gardens.

    I turned off to follow the coast road into Esperanto and it was amazing. First stop was Pink Lake which isn’t pink anymore - read the sign.

    Afterwards I stopped at a series of gorgeous beaches and lookouts.

    I went down and had a swim at one place - it was cool, but very refreshing and sat in the sun for a while to drive off.

    Had a really nice sandwich in a deli in Esperance, then headed north away from the coast.

    The ride up to Norseman was through a mixture of different landscapes including gum forests, scrublands and some mixed forest as well. All along the way there were salt flats of several acres or more - the soil must be very salty.

    I got to Norseman and decided I could ride for another hour or so.

    I got to Fraser Station which is a working station that also has camping. Lovely spot and you could buy dinner in the dining hall which I did - very nice chicken Parma.

    Afterwards back to my tent under a beautiful starry sky with kangaroos grazing all around me. IMG_0876.JPG IMG_0877.JPG IMG_0879.JPG IMG_0881.JPG IMG_0884.JPG IMG_0896.JPG IMG_0902.JPG IMG_0903.JPG IMG_0904.JPG IMG_0908.JPG IMG_0918.JPG IMG_0919.JPG IMG_0920.JPG IMG_0921.JPG IMG_0924.JPG IMG_0930.JPG IMG_0931.JPG IMG_0932.JPG
  12. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    417
    Day 54

    Up early, had my shower and did a wander around taking pictures. Made my coffee in the camp kitchen, then finished packing up.

    Not much to say about a day riding through the desert. Did get a bit of a startle when the road train in front of me started to swerve wildly - turned out there were 2 emus in the road.

    Got up to the mid 39s then cooled down at night.

    Camped for the night at the Bordertown Roadhouse which is right on the border between Western Australia and South Australia. Some weird 45 minute time changes, but still 2 hours earlier than Adelaide time.

    Had a nice roast beef dinner then climbed into my tent and read for a while before falling asleep. IMG_0933.JPG IMG_0934.JPG IMG_0935.JPG IMG_0936.JPG IMG_0937.JPG IMG_0938.JPG IMG_0940.JPG IMG_0941.JPG IMG_0946.JPG IMG_0947.JPG IMG_0948.JPG IMG_0950.JPG IMG_0957.JPG IMG_0958.JPG IMG_0959.JPG IMG_0960.JPG IMG_0966.JPG IMG_0967.JPG IMG_0968.JPG
    B10Dave, chudzikb, MrKiwi and 3 others like this.
  13. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    417
  14. sages

    sages Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    314
    Location:
    Perth, West Australia
    KLR650 for sale
    Two recent owners (one only for a short while) :jack

    Too soon? :-)
  15. Suncoaster

    Suncoaster Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Oddometer:
    942
    Location:
    Where the girls are green and the grass is pretty.
    Is the KLR advertised on Gumtree too ?
  16. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    417
    Yes, also on Gumtree
    Suncoaster likes this.
  17. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    417
    Day 55

    Bit of a fussy morning - had a container of margarine melt and leak inside my bag so had some cleaning up to do.

    Went out and had a coffee and muffin at the roadhouse and then on the road.

    Cloudy and cool this morning and fairly windy.

    Continued across the Eyrie Highway. About 45 minutes out of Bordertown I came across an accident where a road train had hit a group of 3 camels. Truck was heavily damaged and front tires were completely off the rims - I’m guessing from braking hard.

    In places there are stretches of road marked off as emergency runways for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and that breaks the monotony a bit. Otherwise it’s just constant scrubland and keeping a watchful eye for camels, emus, kangaroos and wombats.

    As I reached the edge of the Nullarbor proper, the wind intensified and I spent the rest of the afternoon fighting crosswinds that gusted up to 80 kilometres across wide sweeping wheat fields.

    I arrived in Ceduna and found all place to camp. It was raining very lightly as I set up my tent. Not enough to even wet the ground. I walked down to the pub where I had a nice dinner of whiting. I ate with a couple from Victoria that I’d met at one of the lookouts along the Nullarbor. They were staying in the same campground. They were retired farmers from Victoria and wanted to make it very clear they were just on a holiday and they were not grey nomads.

    Went back to my tent and started posting ads to sell the bike. It was still very windy and the temperature was going down to 7 C. IMG_0969.JPG IMG_0971.JPG IMG_0972.JPG IMG_0974.JPG IMG_0976.JPG IMG_0983.JPG IMG_1168.JPG IMG_1171.JPG IMG_1172.JPG IMG_1173.JPG IMG_1174.JPG IMG_1176.JPG IMG_1179.JPG IMG_1180.JPG IMG_1182.JPG IMG_1183.JPG IMG_1184.JPG
    ferals5, B10Dave, Suncoaster and 5 others like this.
  18. mb8

    mb8 One planet, no option.

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Australia
    Damn, I hope the Camels are OK.
  19. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    417
    Did you want your camel burger with just lettuce and tomato or the lot?
    Renegade6 likes this.
  20. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    417
    Day 56

    Up early and had a nice shower, then used the kettle in the camp kitchen to make my coffee.

    I topped up my fuel and headed towards Streaky Bay.

    It was still cool and windy and there were a few drops of rain.

    I stopped in Streaky Bay and had a coffee, then fiddle around with the loose ignition switch for a bit. Realized both screws are now gone, so will put some electrical tape around it until I have the next service done. It’s fine the way it is except every now and then if you hit a bump just the right way it will cut out for a second. Should be and easy fix, 2 screws and some loctite.

    I rode out along a beautiful dirt road along the coast and stopped to look at some very scenic spots and take pictures. One place had a couple of really nice blowholes as well as rocks along the shore that whistled when the waves came in - see video.

    I thought the road would take me further down the coast, but instead it returned me to the bottom end of town.

    I stopped for lunch - a seafood pizza and then headed out, trying to decide whether to go down to Port Lincoln or cut across to Arno Bay.

    The winds were fierce and I decided to head across to Arno Bay in the hope that the wind would be behind me. It didn’t work out that way and I was beat by the time I got there.

    They were having happy hour in the camp kitchen so I had a beer there and then set up my tent in the lee of a large camper. The winds are supposed to die down later tonight.

    I headed across the road to the pub for a nice dinner and then back to my tent for the night. At least it won’t be as cold as last night.
    IMG_1184.JPG IMG_1188.JPG IMG_1189.JPG IMG_1200.JPG IMG_1212.JPG IMG_1190.JPG
    IMG_1191.JPG IMG_1197.JPG

    IMG_1223.JPG IMG_1224.JPG IMG_1225.JPG IMG_1226.JPG IMG_1228.JPG IMG_1227.JPG IMG_1230.JPG IMG_1234.JPG IMG_1240.JPG
    ferals5, B10Dave, mb8 and 5 others like this.