Betoota or Bust 2020

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by sitdownman, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. sitdownman

    sitdownman Been here awhile

    Sep 3, 2009
    Longreach Central Western Qld
    Betoota or Bust
    With the first weekend in October being a long weekend I mentioned to a few riding buddies about trying to do a ride to Betoota to check it out. I had been there 2 years ago when it was still being renovated and recent reports from people that had been there, including riders, were praising the place for having a go and offering good old fashioned hospitality at a reasonable price.
    A number of people said they were keen so I volunteered to do the trip planning. Once put together I confirmed accommodation options and emailed the others.:cromag

    Day 1 Saturday 3/10/20

    Longreach – Stonehenge via Tocal Rd 154
    Stonehenge – Jundah via Warbreccan 113 267
    Jundah – Windorah via Retreat 123 390
    Windorah – Betoota 120 510
    Accommodation Betoota Pub

    Day 2 Sunday 4/10/20
    Betoota - Diamantina Lakes via Monkira and Davenport Downs 313
    Diamantina Lakes – Boulia via Coorabulka 216 539
    Accommodation Desert Sands Motel

    Day 3 Monday 5/10/20
    Boulia – Old Cork via Lilydale 234
    Old Cork – Winton Via Cork 165 399
    Winton – Longreach 177 576

    With a chorus of yeses and a maybe in reply, accommodation bookings were made and arrangements made for refuelling.:clap

    As the weekend got closer numbers dwindled until it was just Rod and myself who were going to do it anyway. :( Paul from Mt Isa saw the preparations on Facebook and rang to enquire if he could tag along. Of course he could , so we arranged to meet him the first night at Betoota.

    My bike preparation for this trip was the addition of a new Dunlop Rally Rear Tyre to replace the Anakee Wild that had been on for 5000+ kms + the addition of a 3 litre rotopax for water which would sit on top of my Fuel Rotopax via their custom extension handles.

    Rod would be mounted on a black Tenere 700 with Givi tank bag, Rotopax fuel and water storage and Nelson Rigg soft panniers.

    Camping gear would not be needed this trip.

    Saturday 3/10/20 Total Distance Travelled 730kms
    We set off about 10 mins to 7 and made our way along the planned rote to Jundah where we refilled at the roadhouse and had a coffee. We also took the opportunity to catch up with a mate of Rods who mentioned that the bottom river road might be a better option than the Retreat Rd to Windorah.

    Armed with this local knowledge we took the bottom river road which crossed the Thomson River just outside of Jundah and brought us out before Windorah. There was water over the crossing and over the road in a number of places but nothing to deter us.
    Along the way we veered off the track to ride up a dune that gave us a birds eye view of the surrounding countryside.
    At Windorah we topped up the tanks on the bikes and grabbed a burger for lunch. Also on their way to Betoota were Rob and Alison mounted on well set up XT250s.

    With time up our sleeve we ducked down the Arrabury Rd to Haddons Corner. I had been there earlier this year but it was the first time for Rod. Remembering the advice I was given I was maintaining momentum and standing on the pegs leaning back when I crested the first dune then everything went awry. The front wheel seeming to have a mind of its own swapping left to right before tucking in to the right and bringing me to a standstill – me face first into the sand and the bike taking a little nap on its side. :muuttI didn’t even try to lift it by myself but got couple of pictures and waited for Rod to walk back and give a hand. Rod was grinning as he videotaped the scene and asked me what I was doing. This would no doubt provide some great entertainment for those that see it. With both of us in the job the Tenere was righted but I did manage to aggravate my back which I would pay for later that night.
    Back on the Birdsville Development Rd we detoured in to Deons Lookout for a few pictures and were just leaving when we ran into Paul who had continued on after not finding us at Betoota.
    Back at Betoota we refulled the bikes and Rotopax which we had used and booked into our room. Over a few beers :beerwe caught up with Paul then chatted with Rob and Alison who had followed us in from Haddons Corner. Rob and Alison have been all over the place over the years and are proof you don’t need a big capacity bike to have an adventure ride. :ricky
    Dinner that night was vegies, pumpkin, potato ,rissoles and gravy and was delicious as was the bacon and eggs breakfast the next morning. A big thank you to Robyn and Roach who were looking after the place while Robbo was away.

    Sunday 4/10/20 Total Distance Travelled 650kms

    Pausing for photos of the moon still up in the west and sunrise to the east we backtracked to the Windorah Bedourie rd as the shortcut north from Betoota was cut at Farrah Creek. The wind today was howling and made large clouds of dust that swirled on the road as well as gave you a pain in the neck (literally) :( as you tried to push back against it all the while your bike is leaning away. This combined with the dead ground following the recent rains played havoc with the fuel economy so speeds were kept down as we tried to be frugal.
    At Diamantina National Park we could see evidence of the recent rains as we visited Hunters Gorge, Gum Hole and the Green Tank. There was water lying in big sheets off the sides of the roads and it was obvious a grader had been used to make the roads passable in certain areas.
    Boulia was a welcome sight and we arrived at the Deserts Sands Motel to a note on the door with a message stating my name and that the key to our room (3) was in the door. It doesn’t get much more country than that! :lol3

    Dinner that night was at the pub where we all enjoyed the pork roast special which for $20 was great value for money and quite filling with heaps of meat, vegies and gravy piled up on the plate.

    Monday 5/10/20 Total Distance Travelled 646kms

    Up with the sparrows we scorned breakfast opting instead for a coffee and a muslie bar before setting off as the sun rose - Paul heading back to the Isa :waveand Rod and I making our way home.

    Once again the wind would see us take it easy to conserve fuel as we made our way through the back roads to old cork station, then the old cork mail road to Winton refuelling form the Rotopax on the way. We also crossed the dusty Diamantina – no longer dusty thanks to the recent rains.

    After refuelling and grabbing a burger at the Roadhouse in Winton we pointed the bokes towards home detouring slightly form Chorregon where we followed the stock route almost all the way back to Longreach where we arrived at 10 mins to three

    Total for the trip 2026Kms

    GSDane, BygDaddee, Chop Chop and 8 others like this.
  2. UncleGra

    UncleGra Road Grime

    Jan 16, 2008
    'neath the Southern Cross
    In good company there Sitdownman.. 2020-10-06.png
    sitdownman likes this.
  3. BygDaddee

    BygDaddee Where do I get a pie

    Oct 26, 2012
    Brisbane Northside, OZ
    Alison sent me pics of you having dinner with them, nice ride report, I know they are hold up in Birdsville tonight with the rain :clap

    sitdownman likes this.
  4. KIZ

    KIZ Marty

    Oct 7, 2011
    Gawler South Australia
    My son and I had a good night at Betoota on the way to OCR, before riding through Diamontina Lakes. Wouldn't have been able to go that way if the hotel did not have petrol available after travelling from Innaminka through Cordillo Downs. Nice trip report.