1. eNewsletter Sign Up

Australia - that's one big island

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by -Z-, Dec 27, 2019.

  1. -Z-

    -Z- Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Aix en Provence
    On a freezing morning of January (2017) I flew from Nice (France) to Perth (Australia AKA straya)

    I was 22, broke, and dumb, nothing as change as of today, except that i'm a lil more wise and I can understand the Aussie slang now!

    The plan was to work, buy a 4x4 and explore the country.
    But plans are made to be change isn't it...?

    I quickly realized that I wouldn't be able to afford a proper 4X4, and bought a cheap 1989 Ford Capri instead.

    At that time I was working lots of hours in Bunbury, saving precious $$$ for the rest of my trip.

    One morning I found a 2007 250 Ninja ( called GPX in OZ ) for $1500 with only 7000kms, sounds like an absolute bargain!!
    Rang the seller and offer him 1200$ (800€) he said "Yes"
    I replied "Cool mate see you on sunday morning"
    Banzai
    Next Sunday by 8am I was in the bus, going to pick the bike in Perth.
    Rode it down to my town for 3hrs under the pouring rain, but it doesn't matter I was happy.

    IMG_20170312_125705.jpg

    Moreless 5 months after I bought the bike, the bank account was full enough, I had explore enough the region, and it start to get too cold. It was time to move on...

    I sold the car and make the decision to keep the bike, after all, I had been riding my 600XT back home to several countries in Europe and even Morocco.
    The 250 ninja was in very good condition, I had time ahead and I wanted to ride.

    I then jumped on Ebay, buy the cheapest saddle bag / tang bag and topbox I could find.

    Then went to a yamaha dealership and asked them if they got any rear rack to fit a topbox, He replied;
    - "yup, brand new that's 400 bucks mate"
    - "Wow, any cheapest or second hand solution ??"
    - "Well, we got a wrecked Triumph 1050, you could probably pick the rack from it.."

    I asked the manager if I could have it in exchange of a carton of beer, he laugh at me and said "only if it's Corona"

    Indeed, to make my bike adventure ready, it cost me 90$ for bags / top box & a carton of beer. Not bad !

    Then I proceed of a general check over the bike, change coolant, oil, air filter, tighten everything up, new front tyre, fuel her up and Gaz!!

    The plan was to make a " trial loop " for a week, See how the bike was handling and running on long distance. Remember it's a small 250cc that makes barely 30hp

    I headed from Bunbury towards Collie, Hyden for Wave Rock and then Kalgoorlie, very famous for the gold rush.
    After Kalgoorlie I rode down to Esperance, Albany, Margaret River and back to Bunbury.
    Catch up with some friends on the way, but unfortunately, lots of rain on the way.


    Fully loaded! got too much crap with me, computer, winter jacket, hiking shoes...
    Notice the 10$ tent under the topbox!
    IMG_20170704_093406.jpg

    IMG_20170706_094958.jpg

    IMG_20170705_095812.jpg

    IMG_20170709_093730.jpg
    IMG_20170709_123853.jpg IMG_20170711_115144.jpg
    IMG_20170707_145324.jpg
    IMG_20170708_115138.jpg
    IMG_20170711_103544.jpg

    After that 10 days / 3500kms loop, I got back to Bunbury, check again the bike to make sure everything was still alright, and get rid of all the stuff that was taking to much space in my luggage.

    I was now ready for the "real" trip. Head North.
    Find the Sun, and the Heat...

    I'll try to write more later in the evening.

    :wave
    #1
  2. motorhead748

    motorhead748 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    Not where I'd like to be
    Epic man.
    #2
  3. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    20,939
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    This looks good.
    #3
  4. Hopey

    Hopey Hopey

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    256
    Location:
    Australia
    For more than 30 years I’ve been wanting to do this but have been running a family.
    I feel it’s time before my time is up.
    Watching this with a lot of interest and envy
    Hopey
    #4
    9w6vx likes this.
  5. -Z-

    -Z- Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Aix en Provence
    So, after that lil loop, I figured out that I would need to travel much lighter..

    Quite hard as I was in Australia for 2 years, which means that I had a lot of clothes, pair of shoes, camera lenses, a computer...
    Anyway I gave all the working clothes to some friends and the rest went to the Red Cross.

    DSC_0375.JPG
    DSC_0410.JPG
    DSC_0423.JPG
    DSC_0430.JPG
    DSC_0462.JPG


    Few days laters I finally Head North.

    The route was quite easy "North along the coast!"

    I First went to Mandurah, then Perth, and spend a night with some friends about 100kms north of the city.
    Weather was already 5° warmer than Bunbury, really enjoyable!

    The next day I head towards the Pinnacle Desert, a wonderful "desert" with green, gray and orange colors, lot's of friends told me it was overrated but luckily I got there on a week day and it was Cloudy / raining, very quiet, not touristy this day.
    It's a national park with an entrance fee, Once inside you can drive around following a specific path, take some pictures, use the lookout...

    DSC_0561.JPG
    DSC_0576.JPG
    DSC_0588.JPG
    DSC_0592.JPG
    DSC_0596.JPG

    Only wish I had a proper enduro bike this day :gun1


    Spend the night in a Hostel in Cervantes ( cost is between 15 to 25 USD for a night in Australia )

    The next day, I drove to Kalbarri NP, further north on the Coast, road was quite boring as it's just a straight line, and you don't go thru many towns, except for refuelling, you don't have the opportunity to talk to much people.

    (pictures are coming)
    #5
  6. -Z-

    -Z- Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Aix en Provence
    Australia is so big, too hard to do a "small loop".
    I hope you'll have the opportunity to do it, it's amazing and i've met so many nice peoples on the way!

    Attached Files:

    #6
  7. Traveller13

    Traveller13 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    West Oz, Flat road Central
    Going to follow this one.
    Will doing the lap from Perth next year (August/Sept 2020) heading in the same direction, big difference is I'll be on a 1200GS Bimmer :)
    #7
  8. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Yeah, right!

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,113
    Location:
    Rolleston
    Yep, it's a big place......looking forward to the rest of it.
    #8
  9. manshoon

    manshoon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    533
    Location:
    Pnw
    Wow, that was one huge mine. Is that a copper mine they had going on there ?
    #9
  10. Martin_D

    Martin_D n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Montréal , Québec
    Did the loop in 2017 , and half a loop in 2018 .
    Some of my best memories on a motorcycle . Too bad my ride report was lost when I-BMW shut down .
    I'll be following this thread !


    In the snowy mountains , Victoria
    IMG_1556.jpg


    Some of you may remember this guy ...
    IMG_1904.jpg

    Nullarbor plains
    IMG_2347.jpg

    The colors were simply stunning !!!
    IMG_3013.jpg
    #10
    Oznay, Joris van O, chudzikb and 4 others like this.
  11. James59

    James59 n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    Formidable!
    #11
  12. -Z-

    -Z- Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Aix en Provence
    That's a gold mine called "superpit" I think it's the 2nd biggest open sky mine in the world, quite impressive to see all the machinery in action! There's a gold museum in Kalgoorlie and 90% of the peoples in the region are living from that industry.
    Lot's of foreigners comes here and look for a job, trying to make a fortune..

    Nice pics Martin D !! Loved the snowy's / alpin region, my favorite rides too!




    Here's a few pics of Kalbarri NP, it was off season so the park was closed... Only way was to go with a Tour Agency I don't really like to do organise stuff but no other solutions and the price was really fair.
    On the way back to town ( gravel road ) it was dust and at least 20 kangaroos jumped right in front of the bumper of the minivan... Glad I didn't came with my bike! I would have hit/eat one for sure!

    IMG_20170717_152730.jpg
    IMG_20170717_155403.jpg IMG_20170717_164007.jpg

    Place was called lookout and Z bend if I remember well... Stunning place, pics don't do justice

    As the park was supposed to be close I couldn't do any hike, we only spend a couple of hours and drove back.

    Kalbarri is a nice little town, some great spots for camping out there..!

    Next day I hit the road again, went to Denham, Couldn't get inside François Perron NP as it was 4wd only, and quite a soft sand, next time... Another good reason to come back to Australia!

    After that I drove north again towards Carnavon, A friend was living there so I paid him a visit and went camping.
    That was actually my first ever night camping, hate it and took me 1hr to fold that cr** back in it's bag... Nowadays I can't imagine a trip without camping, absolutely love it!


    My camping gears ;
    10$ tent from Kmart
    19$ inflatable mattress from Kmart
    19$ sleeping bag from Kmart

    1 knife, and no cooking gears, I would just by fresh bread, cheese and tuna on the way and eat fruits. Or grab a burger / fish n chips if in town

    IMG_20170720_080835.jpg
    IMG_20170720_081922.jpg

    Prices for camping in Australia may vary a lot, I had paid up to 43AUD a night ( around 30USD ) which is ridiculously expensive from my point of view but not choice at that time, and others places are around 8 to 15 USD.. Many times it works out cheaper to go to a cheap hostel.


    Temperature was getting better as I was already 1000kms north of Perth.
    Bike was going surprisingly well, I would lube the chain every morning and check oil, coolant level etc..
    Doing 4L/100kms and I would sit at 100-110km/h cruising at 8.000rpm
    Red zone is at 14.000rpm

    Attached Files:

    #12
  13. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    20,939
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I've got first-class gear but have simply gotten too old and too tired to crawl on my hands and knees in the rain into a tent in the dark. I travel the hostel way now with a Hostels International lifetime membership. High and dry with an equipped kitchen at my disposal. Many in the Rockies and elsewhere have private rooms. Like hotels, many (Chicago, New York, Boston) include breakfast.
    #13
  14. -Z-

    -Z- Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Aix en Provence
    A few in australia are top comfort, swimming pool, bicycle free of use.. Plus the fact that you can meet lots of other travelers!
    Even after several nights camping, I find it hard to have a proper night while in a tent.. Maybe it depends with the quality of gears.
    #14
    RedDogAlberta likes this.
  15. -Z-

    -Z- Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Aix en Provence
    After a quick breakky I ride up to Exmouth & Cape Range NP.
    An easy 360kms ride
    Got there just after lunch and settle in a Hostel for a couple of nights.

    I decided to stay 2 days to visit the National Park and enjoy the kitchen facilities!

    The National Park is absolutely STUNNING, cristal clear water, nice walks and very quiet.
    I didn't knew but it's possible to camp inside the NP, Right in front of the beach, Awesome

    IMG_20170720_120520.jpg IMG_20170720_120548.jpg IMG_20170720_162234.jpg IMG_20170721_095011.jpg IMG_20170721_121937.jpg IMG_20170721_144157.jpg IMG_20170721_145137.jpg
    #15
  16. Martin_D

    Martin_D n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Montréal , Québec
    " 1 knife, and no cooking gears, I would just by fresh bread, cheese and tuna on the way and eat fruits. Or grab a burger / fish n chips if in town "

    Do yourself a favor and quit the burgers , Have a pie !

    IMG_4288.jpg

    By the way , Australia's best pies can be had here : https://www.oldfernvalebakery.com

    And the road to get there , going through Mt Glorious from Brisbane , is quite fun ...
    #16
    GutsyGibbon, africanjon and -Z- like this.
  17. -Z-

    -Z- Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Aix en Provence
    I had to much of theses! I love pies...

    Don't remember if I went to oldfernbakery or no, but Pie In the Sky, on the way down to Sydney is quite nice too
    #17
    Martin_D likes this.
  18. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,100
    Pro tip for comfort, air mattress is not going to cut it! Need something with some insulation, unless it is real warm down there, you will be conducting the temp from the ground into your body. That only works for so long, then comfort goes out the window! Thermarest or equal will make you literally a happy camper!
    #18
    -Z- likes this.
  19. 9w6vx

    9w6vx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Sabah
    I hear you!
    Hoping to do an adventure on bike before I go silent key.
    #19
  20. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Netherlands
    This looks brilliant (mate!). Keep it coming :)
    #20
    -Z- likes this.