Australia and New Zealand

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

  1. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    461
    Day 66

    Had a good sleep and woke up trying to decide what I was going to do for the day.

    Had a nice shower and then had coffee and a muffin for breakfast along with my nice mango. The mango was really good, but could have been riper.

    Finally decided I would stay another day and went downstairs and booked the room for another night.

    I had multiple reasons: seeing more of Melbourne; the weather - was nice in the morning but expecting big rain in the afternoon; and the difficulty golf finding accommodation around the coast until cup match is over.

    I walked over to The Queen Victoria Markets, but they weren’t open today, so I headed downtown along Elizabeth St.

    I found a bi motorcycle dealership and had a look around. They even had a couple of new KLRs on the floor. I was thinking about possibly buying a new pair of gloves, bud I didn’t find any I liked. I did wind up buying a rain suit that goes over my riding gear. I’d lost the waterproof liner for my riding pants with the rest of my clothes and I was tired of my jacket being wet. The rain will probably be around for much of the rest of my time in Aus and is also a strong possibility for NZ.

    I continued on Dow past a camping surplus place where I bought a tent pole repair kit - something else that went missing.

    As I got Dow to the bottom of the city, it was clear something was going on, and sure enough I found myself in the midst of the Melbourne Cup parade.

    Pretty interesting to have a holiday for a horse race and also to close off part of the downtown for a parade for that horse race.

    I watched the parade and also did a little shopping for the Ugg slippers my wife wants - conclusion is the price isn’t much different in Canada which saves me hauling them around for the next month and a half.

    I continued across the city, arriving at the ornate Flinders Street Terminal and walked along for a bit, ducking into some of the interesting alleyways that are lined with small cafes. It was lunchtime, so I stopped and had a panini and a coffee.

    I was going to walk further after lunch, but realized if I wanted to go to the Melbourne Museum, I needed to get back.

    I took the free tram up to the Queen Victoria Markets, then walked the short distance back to my hotel where I dropped off my purchases.

    I walked over to the museum and spent a couple of enjoyable hours going through the indigenous exhibit and the Melbourne history exhibit. Two of the more interesting items were a life sized Australian coat of arms with a stuffed kangaroo and a stuffed emu, and an exhibit about the famous late 29s/early 30s race horse Phar Lap which included the actual horse stuffed and in a display case.

    I walked back to the hotel and stopped and had a beer at the pub on the corner.

    I was debating going back to the Marquis if Lorne for dinner, but decided to go instead to a Thai restaurant I had walked past.

    I had a very nice green curry chicken for dinner, then walked back to the hotel through a heavy thunderstorm and called it a night. Soaked again.


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  2. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2001
    Oddometer:
    6,578
    Location:
    New Zealand
    You should bring Phar Lap to NZ with you - he's ours. Put that skin back on his skeleton which is in Te Papa, the museum in Wellington.
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  3. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    461
    Day 67

    Up early, showered, and had coffee in the room.

    Packed up everything and started taking it down to the bike - took 3 trips!

    I headed out across the city and down through St. Kildas.

    Rode for a while, then turned off for Arthur’s Seat to have a look - great views of the South Bay.

    I carried on down to Phillip Island and rode out to the end. There was an attraction there called Penguin Parade where several thousand penguins return to a beach each night. Unfortunately this doesn’t happen until after 8 PM and it was just 3. Also the site was highly commercialized and I could picture the dozens if tour buses arriving.

    I rode back, stopping at the Grand Prix track and I paid my $15 for a “gold token” that let me go out on a path where you could see the track. The path went through some nice gardens and there were some magnificent peacocks.

    I talked with a couple from Tasmania who were touring the southwest of Australia. They were disappointed I wasn’t going to get over to Tasmania.

    I watched the bikes doing practice runs for a while, then got back on the road.

    I decided I would try and get to Wilson Promontory for the night. It was a couple of hours away and I had a nice ride through the back roads of South Gippsland.

    I arrived at the park just before 6. The park office was closed and a sign said the Tidal River campground was completely full. It didn’t say anything about the Stockyard Camp which is just around the corner from the office.

    I went online and was able to book a site at Stockyard and rode over. There were only a few other campers there and I set up for the night.

    I started out to walk one of the trails, but partway I decided it would be dark before I completed the walk so I turned back.

    I hadn’t picked up food so I got out one of my dehydrated meals and boiled water in the Kelly kettle. Oddly, it was Thai chicken curry - the same as I had last night.

    As I prepared and ate my dinner I talked to a couple from Melbourne who had been camped there for a couple of days. He was a teacher and a researcher who specialized in abalone and was a psychologist.

    The one male toilet at the campsite was badly clogged, so I found a flexible branch and used that to clear the drain - that made me some friends.

    Afterwards climbed into my tent for a good sleep.

    My sleep was delayed a bit as one of the local farmers was setting off bangers in a field to chase a way a flock of birds. A series of what sounded like gunshots, followed by the sound of a huge flock of birds passing overhead and calling loudly.

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  4. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    461
    Day 68

    I woke up to the sounds of the birds including emus squawking in the background. i made my coffee, then did the 2 km walk out to the big drift. This is a massive inland sand dune that rises a hundred feet or more above the surrounding landscape.

    I climbed up the drift and walked for a distance across it. Just before the drift, there were signs warning it was easy to get disoriented or lost on the drift, and sure enough, the path back was not where I expected. I had to walk quite a distance along the rim of the drift to find it.

    I had hoped to spot a wombat in my walk as I am curious what they look like when they’re the right way up, but I didn’t see one. Lots of tracks and signs of digging though.

    I walked back and turned up the path towards the little historic cemetery. The sign said there were 3 graves, but I only saw 2. Perhaps the third one isn’t mark. The stories on the sign told of the difficulties of early European settlement in the area.

    My neighbours had forgotten to bring coffee and had been without for 3 days. It had started to rain and when I got back to the campsite, they were already packed up. We decided to go ahead with the coffee anyway and went over to the shelter by the path where I used the Kelly Kettle to boil water and make coffee.

    After coffee, they headed out and I went over to the amenities block to have a shower. It was still raining when I went in, but when I came out after a short shower it was sunny and clear.

    Everything dried up quickly and I packed up and headed out.

    I rode out to the end of the promontory to have a look at Tidal River, stopping along the way to look at a couple of beautiful beaches.

    When I got to Tidal River it was a nice enough spot, but it was like a big commercial campground and I was glad I had stayed at Stockade.

    I got a fish burger and a cold drink from the little cafe and then headed back off the peninsula.

    I saw a lovely echidna along the way and stopped to try and get a picture, but it was gone before I got a chance.

    I rode along the coast ducking in and out to see the ocean.

    When I got to Bairnsdale I stopped to buy some groceries. When I came out I had a bit of trouble getting the bike vertical because of the slope of the road. I gave it a good pull to the right and it went all the way over. I got off and lifted it back up again and rode off. I don’t think anyone even noticed.

    I headed towards my campsite which was on the Gippsland Lakes and checked in. Nice little campground. The couple who own it had just taken over in July and were doing their best to restore it from a somewhat rundown state.

    All campgrounds in Australia seem to have some sort of resident animals, and here it was a pair of black swans with two cygnets, as well as countless bunnies across the grassy area.

    I set up my tent and it started to rain. I went over to cook my dinner in the camp kitchen and sat there watching the news while I ate.

    The rain ended and I was just getting everything organized when it started again - quite heavily.

    I crawled into my dry and comfy tent and fell asleep listening to the rain.

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  5. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    461
    Day 69

    Got up and had my coffee, muffin, and mango and started to pack up. Everything was dry in spite of the heavy rain last night.

    Had a shower and finished packing up and was on my way.

    I had decided I would ride up through Snowy River National oark and programmed a destination into google maps. I rode until Buchanan along a beautiful twisty road. It was a bit unclear which way I should go, so I got out my map book and had a look.

    I discovered Google wanted me to take the McKillops Road across the park. My map showed it as an unsealed road so I did a web search. I found a site describing it as the most dangerous road in Australia and advising people not to go in unless they had a chainsaw to remove fallen trees and a winch for extrication.

    It’s funny because Road signs all along the way show it as a tourist route.

    I decided not to go that way. I’m not sure if that was a mistake or not. I’ve ridden some tough roads including the famous Death Road in Bolivia and another in Souther Colombia referred to as “The Trampoline of Death”, so I’m not afraid of a difficult road. Definitely didn’t have a chainsaw with me, though.

    I was rewarded for my decision by a beautiful ride along the Buchanan Orbost Road. It’s a beautiful narrow paved road full of tight corners and sweeping views. There was a lot of tree debris on the road and some corners had fallen rock.

    From Orbost I took the Bonang Road and it was more of the same with the added feature of logging trucks coming barreling at you. There’s a long stretch of unsealed road just after the park and I had one of the logging trucks come around a corner towards me leaving me only about 2 feet of road to get through.

    When the logging trucks go past in an unsealed road they stir up a lot of dust and you have to stop until the dust clears so you can see where you’re going.

    I’ll try and post some video of the road later.

    I got to Bonang and decided to carry on to the coast. I bought groceries and then headed off towards Pamula where there is a scout camp that rents sites when the camp is not in use.

    I got there and picked a spot and then walked over towards the beach. It was farther than I expected, but it’s a very pretty beach. The path is line with many large Banksias.

    On the way back I stopped to talk to a couple in a caravan, then went back to set up my tent. I decided to move into the lower area and set up there. I had asked about fires when I came in and was told they were allowed, so I built a nice fire in the fire ring and let it build up coals while I set up my tent.

    I cooked my dinner on the fire and sat in the sandy ground to eat it.

    The couple came over later and we sat around my fire and chatted. They brought over a bottle of wine that was like a light port and offered me a sample which I accepted.

    We chatted for a while and then called it a night and I got into my tent and fell asleep to the sound of the waves.

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  6. Adventurepig

    Adventurepig the bike, not me !

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Maitland, NSW
    Hey djeady..enjoying your adventure. Rode these roads in the opposite direction on the way to Philip is motoGp 2 weeks ago. Mckillops is ok if you take your time. Very narrow in places. Awesome views, bit of same you missed it. The logging trucks are just plane frightening. On other words if you come across them at the wrong place in loose heavy gravel. 2way radio comms is the only way.
    Youve almost completed your lap of oz. Best of luck with the last few days.safe travels.
  7. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    461
    Day 70

    Got up and made coffee and started to pack up. I went up and used the shower. It was actually pretty good, in spite of the lack of light, and enough light was seeping in that I was able to shave at the little sink.

    I walked out to the beach for a few minutes and then came back and said my goodbyes and headed out.

    I started up the Snowy River Way again with thoughts of going to Jindabyne.

    It started to get very windy and rain was threatening.

    It did rain, but not for long.

    I looked at the weather forecast for Jindabyne and it was for a high of 6 C and rain, so I turned north towards the Snowy Mountains Highway.

    I stopped in Benboka at a little bakery for lunch and had a nice steak and kidney pie. I also managed to snag the last Beesting which was very tasty, but a bit messy to eat.

    I continued up the highway and the wind was fierce, moving the bike back and forth across the road. Even where it was sheltered, the backwind was very strong.

    I finally made it into Canberra.

    The weather was still quite nasty, so after having a brief look around I made a snap decision to head back out to the coast.

    I got in the Kings Highway and headed out. The ride was mostly uneventful. The last bit of the highway before the coast is a spectacular descent down from the mountains with lots of switchbacks and spectacular views. No where to stop and take a picture though.

    I got in to Batemans Bay and bought food, then headed south towards a caravan park in Nakua Bay that had camping sites.

    There were just a few sites in one area - most of the park was permanent caravans. I set up my tent and walked out to the beach to take a picture of the sunset.

    I gathered up my food and went over to the camp kitchen to cook and eat my dinner, then went back to my tent and went to sleep.

    It rained while I was IMG_2101.jpg IMG_2097.jpg IMG_2096.jpg IMG_2095.jpg IMG_2093.jpg IMG_2091.jpg IMG_2089.jpg IMG_2087.jpg IMG_2086.jpg IMG_2085.jpg
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  8. Gone Troppo

    Gone Troppo Somewhat bemused observer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Oddometer:
    18,211
    Location:
    Over the bridge of sighs..
    Fantastic pics and a good story. Thanks.
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  9. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,874
    Location:
    Rotoiti, North Is, New Zealand
    Enjoy the rest of your Oz travels!

    If you want a bed near Rotorua in NZ get in touch, we are 20km east of town & always enjoy hosting passing adventurers. Will be away Xmas/NY though.

    Cheers
    Clint
  10. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    461
    Day 71

    Got up early and had a shower, then went to the camp kitchen and made my coffee which I enjoyed with a muffin and a mango while watching the news on TV. Haven’t watched much TV for the last couple of months.

    I debated staying for another night, but instead decided to bumble around up the coast and finish up somewhere around Jervis Bay.

    I rode back out to the Princes Highway and stopped for a coffee at a little food wagon. I also poke around the adjacent antique and curio store for a few minutes.

    I had learned at the coffee shop that I could go back in and ride along the coast to Batemans Bay, so I rode the short distance back in and headed up along the coast.

    I got to Batemans Bay and started to look for a place to eat, but found I got very quickly dumped back on to the Princes Highway. I had planned to go into Murramarang National Park and ride some of the back roads, but I rode quite a piece past the road in before I finally found food at a little roadside stop.

    I had a nice mixed plate of seafood with some chips.

    Afterwards I turned back towards Murramarang and rode in to have a look at the roads that led to little bays and beaches. They were fairly rutted and rough, but I had fun poking around and looking at the coast.

    I rode back up to the highway and headed towards Jervis Bay.

    I had picked what I thought was a commercial campground for the night and had picked up food for dinner. When I got to the campground it was actually in a park and ITV was completely full. I rode around to a couple of different campgrounds before finally finding a place to stay before finally finding a place in Huskisson that had room in an overflow lot.

    It was the first time I’ve had a problem finding a campsite and at $50 it was the most expensive campsite of the trip.

    The place was full of younger travellers and there was a group that played Brazilian country music quite late at the camp kitchen until somebody finally shut them down, but it was ok otherwise and the facilities were good.

    I set up my tent and cooked my dinner, then tried to get some sleep and was finally successful.

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  11. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    461
    Day 72

    Got up and had my breakfast, then I had a shower, then packed up and loaded everything on the bike.

    It was still early, so I went out for a little walk along the beach

    Met the guy I’d chatted with while cooking dinner the night before. He was actually from just a little bit further north and had just brought his family down for the weekend. I walked back to the campground with him and then brought him over a sticker.

    I got in the bike and headed out towards Wollongong.

    I got there quite a bit faster than I expected, so Graham wasn’t home and I sat in the front steps and did my updates until he got back.

    When he arrived, I started to unload the bike and remove the accessories that I was going to take with me.

    His brother Peter was with him and we chatted for a while before heading out for some lunch.

    After lunch we dropped Peter off and went back to the house. Russell has returned from his ride and we all talked while I continued to unload the bike.

    Graham cooked a nice stir fry for dinner and afterwards we went for a drive - thought we might be able find an upright wombat on Mount Keira, but no success. Afterwards called it a night and I went off to sleep in their spare room. IMG_2133.jpg IMG_2132.jpg
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  12. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    461
  13. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    461
    Days 73-75

    I’ve been staying with Graham and Russell in Wollongong. My time has been focused on getting the bike ready for sale and getting repacked for onward travel.

    I removed all the accessories that I’m taking with me (ram mounts, throttle lock, phone holder) and installed a new power outlet on the bike.

    Russell and I went to Motor City and I ordered a replacement shifter seal which was to arrive on Wednesday. I also bought a pair of warmer gloves for New Zealand.

    On Monday night we tried to go to a Lebanese restaurant, but it was closed so we had a nice Thai dinner instead.

    Tuesday I started repacking and went to both an office supply store and Bunnings to try and get a plastic ‘For Sale’ sign to put on the bike, but the prices were outrageous - $25 for a little plastic sign. Russell printed a couple out instead.

    I went to the beach for a couple of hours in the afternoon and had a brief swim in the cold water before warming up on the beach. There were quite a few people surfing and swimming.

    It was lovely and warm, but by late afternoon the winds brought a wall of smoke down from the bush fires up north and it got a bit unpleasant.

    I headed back and Russell and I puttered for a while waiting for Graham to come home. Graham an I went up the street and picked up a barbecued chicken and some salads and that made a nice dinner.

    Tuesday we went chasing around for a bolt to replace one of the front engine mount bolts that had sheared. Took a while to find one long enough, but the installation was easy.

    On Tuesday afternoon I got a message from someone who was interested in the bike and was trying to haggle in price. His tactic was to send me a picture of a bike he thought was a better deal. The funny thing was the picture he sent was of a bike Russell has for sale.

    I messaged him back and said to come and look and he could see both bikes at the same time. He said he would try and get over Wednesday morning.

    Wednesday morning we wheeled the bikes out and got them ready for him to see. He finally showed up around lunch and it was clear he had no idea what he wanted.

    Russell and I went over to Motor City and I picked up the replacement shifter seal and we went back to the house where I installed it.

    Graham was coming home late due to a union meeting, so we ordered a couple of pizzas and they arrived just after he did.

    I had planned to visit a friend of a friend north of Sydney and I messaged her on Wednesday. She was busy with a visitor and said she would get back to me Thursday morning.

    We talked Thursday and agreed that going up Friday made the most sense.

    Graham came home and we decided to try going to the Lebanese restaurant again and this time it was open and we had an excellent meal. IMG_2149.jpg IMG_2148.jpg IMG_2147.jpg IMG_2146.jpg IMG_2143.jpg IMG_2141.jpg IMG_2140.jpg IMG_2139.jpg IMG_2138.jpg IMG_2136.jpg IMG_2134.jpg
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  14. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    461
    Days 76-79

    When I first arrived in Australia, my friend Michael Wing King introduced me to his friend Liz Hayes who he went to school within South Africa.

    We were going to get together at the beginning of my trip, but I wound up riding with Russell through the Blue Mountains and we went around the area where Liz lives.

    I let her know I was back in the Sydney area and we agreed to meet Friday afternoon.

    I got up and had coffee and sorted out the things I needed to take with me as I was planning to stay in Sydney for a few days.

    I spent the early part of morning at the beach in Wollongong, then headed out with a brief stop at the bank to get more cash.

    I got to Liz’s place in Cherrybrook around 1 and met her and her husband Charles. We sat and chatted for a while and she prepared a nice lunch of rolls and meats for sandwiches.

    She invited me to stay for a few days and I accepted.

    Her brother, Elliott came over and I got to meet him.

    We were planning to go out for dinner, but Elliott called and invited us over to his place for South African sausages.

    We had a lovely evening and I got to meet his family.

    The next morning I was invited to a birthday party for Liz’s nephew’s wife who was turning 30. Liz drive us over to Palm Beach. Charles decided not to come as he was not feeling well.

    The party was in a park right on the beach and I got to meet many of their friends.

    Elliott was there, of course, and he suggested if I wanted to do a harbour cruise, the cheap way to do it was to go to Manly Beach and then take the ferry across to Circular Quay in Sydney.

    Liz drive me to Manly and I spent a while there before walking across the peninsula and catching the ferry.

    The ferry ride was quite pleasant with great views of the outer harbour and of the opera house and harbour bridge.

    When I got off the ferry I walked back along the water front and got a nice cream cone, then headed towards the train station where I was going to catch a train back to Cherrybrook. This turned out to be a bit of a confusing exercise as Google Maps kept directing me to take a bus outside the station. I finally figured out the train line wasn’t running and you had to take a shuttle bus, so I boarded the bus and headed out. At the transfer point in Chatswood you had to walk a couple of blocks up the street to get to the train station.

    I got on the train and messaged Liz that I was on my way. She insisted on coming and picking me up, even though I was perfectly happy to walk.

    We decided to go out for dinner, and went to an Italian restaurant at the Castle Hills Mall and then walked around for a while before heading back.

    Sunday morning I decided to go in to Sydney and go to the Sydney Fish Markets and then to Bondi Beach.

    I rode in over the Harbour Bridge and went to the Fish Markets where I walked around and had a look at all of the things on offer. It was nice because there was a huge selection of fresh fish and you could also get a variety of seafood to eat in the spot. I considered having the sea urchin but decided instead on a dozen oysters washed down with a small bottle of Chardonnay. It was a great choice - probably the best oysters I’ve ever had. Incredibly creamy.

    I headed off to Bondi and parked the bike. One of the nice things about riding a motorcycle is that parking is generally free.

    It was a cool day and the beach wasn’t very busy. It’s also a lot smaller than it looks on the tv shows. I sat for a while and then went for a quick swim in the cool water just to say I’d done it.

    After a couple of hours at the beach I headed out and went thriugh the tunnel and a bit if the northern suburbs before heading back towards Cherrybrook. Google Maps in my phone was acting up for some reason - it kept stopping navigation - so I wound up taking a bit of a roundabout route but still got back at the time I said I would be there.

    Liz had invited her friends Crystal and Brian who had lived for a while in Canada and we had a lovely dinner of roast beef and chicken with lots of wine.

    Monday morning I said my goodbyes and headed back to Wollongong. There was a lot of smoke in the air from the bush fires all the way down. I got there around noon and went to the beach for the afternoon as I knew Graham and Russ would be out.

    I got a nice flathead burger from the takeout along with a coffee and spent a nice afternoon at the beach.

    Around 5 I rode back to Graham and Russell’s place. I spent some time organizing all my stuff so I would be ready to leave in the morning.

    Russell cooked a nice dinner - a concoction he called it, of chicken and vegetables. It was quite tasty.

    The third brother, Peter, came over for a bit and we all chatted.

    I had a quick shower and then headed off to be ready for an early start. IMG_2286.jpg IMG_2277.jpg IMG_2267.jpg IMG_2266.jpg
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  15. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    461
    Day 80

    Travel to New Zealand

    I was up very early and had a coffee, then did my last little bits of packing.

    I said my goodbyes to Graham as he headed off to work, then Russell drove me to the train station. He took me to the next station over as he said the Wollongong stations were very busy, but as it turned out I could have got on in Wollongong without a problem.

    I had a pleasant ride to Wolli Creek where I switched trains to go the last stop to the airport.

    Check in was pretty straightforward, except when I told them about my cooking stove. They weren’t going to allow it, but I persuaded them it had been properly prepared and they put it through and put a tag on the bag for inspection and warned me it might be confiscated.

    As it turned out, the stove made it through fine - I’m not certain they even looked at it.

    I settled in to my seat for the fligh and read for a bit, then watched most of the movie “Rocket Man” about Elton John. It was even goofier than “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

    Because my trip was booked as part of my travel from Canada, my boarding pass showed that I was entitled to “The Lot” which turned out to be a nice Morrocan lamb stew and a glass of wine.

    The flight went quickly and as we landed in New Zealand I got my first glimpse of the spectacular scenery.

    I got off the plane and picked up my bags and went through the line for inspection.

    Since I had declared camping equipment, I was directed to a secondary inspection and they took my tent for inspection and possible fumigation. I could pick it up at a window outside the secure area.

    I went out and met Chris (Griz2) on Adventure Rider who had very kindly offered to pick me up and host me for the night.

    My tent wasn’t ready yet, so we went over to the Spark kiosk and I picked up a SIM card for my phone. A little more expensive than Australia, and not as much data and International calling, but still a better deal than what we get in Canada.

    We walked back over to the inspection window and my tent was ready, but I had to repackage it as they had just folded everything together.

    Chris told me to meet him on the pickup island and went to get his vehicle which turned out to be a small school bus.

    I had phoned the motorcycle dealer and everything was ready, but he suggested I pick it up in the morning.

    We headed back to Chris’s place and he served me a lovely goat curry that he had made in the slow cooker, along with some beer, of course.

    We chatted about travels - he is interested in riding some of the route I rode in Australia and I was interested in his input on New Zealand, and soon it was time to call it a night.

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    B10Dave, mb8, Suncoaster and 4 others like this.
  16. griz2

    griz2 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Oddometer:
    39
    It was a pleasure having you to stay Dave . Enjoy your travels and hopefully we can catch up in a few days .

    If anyone is in a position to host Dave during his tour , do so , he's house trained !
    B10Dave and Suncoaster like this.
  17. chambo

    chambo n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2019
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Canterbury New Zealand
    Hi Dave,
    Get in touch if you want a bed and beer in Canterbury NZ.Can ride some local places of interest with you also if keen .Great trip report !!,Safe travels
  18. djeady

    djeady Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Oddometer:
    461
    Day 81

    Chris had to leave early to do his school run, so he’d shown me where the coffee and bread were and said to help myself and that he would be back around 8:30.

    I slept in a bit with the 2 hour time change and got up around 7 and had a shower and made coffee and toast for breakfast.

    Chris came back at 8:30 and we chatted for a bit before we headed off to pick up the bike. We loaded all my gear into his truck in case there was room to set the bike up at the dealer.

    I got my first real introduction to Aukland traffic as we headed up the expressway, starting with a metered on ramp and continuing with stop and go traffic just like Toronto.

    We got to the dealer and the bike was all set to go. We straightened out the details of the final payment first. They couldn’t do the transfer on-line because of my Canadian license, so we had to go over to an AA office to do the transfer, but it was quick and easy.

    Back at the dealership we spend some time looking for the spare keys for the bike with no success. It’s a chipped key, so I really wanted to have the spare.

    Chris headed back to his place and I would meet him there because there was no space at the dealership to work on the bike.

    I bought a can of chain lube and a tubeless tire repair kit, then put Chris’s address into my phone and stuck it in my pocket and put my headset on. I‘m finding it surprisingly easy to navigate this way. I usually have the phone in its mount on the handlebars so I can see it.

    First impressions of the bike were great - lots of power and very light handling. It’s the same weight as the KLR, but feels much lighter. I looked it up and 50% more horsepower and 50% better mileage. Hard to argue with that.

    I got back to Chris’s place and job one was to install the phone mount which went very quickly.

    I spent some time figuring out how to adjust the small windshield to get a tiny bit more protection. A bit fiddly, but eventually I was successful.

    The next challenge was loading the bike. The panniers are a bit smaller than on the KLR, but with the top box everything fit nicely except for my tent, sleeping pad and bag which fit in nicely in a dry bag across the back seat. A bit inconvenient because you have to lift the seat to put fuel in, but not a big deal. I strapped my little baggage carrier on top of the dry sac. My tank bag slid into the big front storage bin where the gas tank is normally and all was done.

    All this took some time. Chris had to head off for his afternoon run and it wasn’t until almost 3 that I was ready to go.

    It was a long ride out of the city on the expressway and I finally turned off on Highway 16 and headed towards the coast. Chris had told me about a section of the old highway to ride and I took that route. Beautiful motorcycle road with lots of twists and dips. Really let me get the feel of the bike.

    I then turned back towards the west coast. I stopped in a town to buy food, beer, and other essentials then headed towards a little commercial campground in Mangawhai where I checked in and set up my tent. I cooked my dinner in the camp kitchen. There was a fellow next to me cooking fish which turned out to be Mako shark that he had caught off the beach the day before. He offered me a taste and it was very good.

    I had to run out to take a picture of the sunset mid-dinner, then I finished up and went back to sleep in my tent. It had been very windy, but the wind dropped off nicely at dusk.

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    KLRalph, Meriwether, mb8 and 5 others like this.
  19. nerrrd

    nerrrd Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    NZ
    Kia ora and welcome to NZ! I've been enjoying your photos and reports so far, keep up the good work (and thanks).
  20. vfxdog

    vfxdog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    786
    Location:
    Santa Monica or London, depending on work.
    By the look of it you have headed north and gone towards the east coast. You may have ridden past Gibbs Farm which is one of the most phenomenal large scale art installations in the world. Access by invite only but you can get a good glimpse of it from the road.

    People sometimes ask where you should park in Auckland- I usually reply "on any motorway". The traffic is dreadful and you did well to slip though it on an unfamiliar bike heading somewhere strange. Auckland and surrounding councils must have gone out of their way to hire the worst transportation planners in the world.

    One benefit (maybe the only one) of the Australian bush fires is that for weeks in NZ you will get the most spectacular sunsets from all the ash and smoke in the upper atmosphere.

    Enjoying your report.