Goldfields - Western Australia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by OzBen, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. OzBen

    OzBen KTM690ER

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    SW Australia
    Seven riders started but unfortunately one came off on the first day and his trip ended there. The Goldfields is about 500km east of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Perth</st1:place></st1:City> and rich in gold and nickel. Gold was discovered in 1893 and mines are still scattered all over the place (many abandoned). It&#8217;s like visiti<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> another planet - thi<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>s are done differently and everyone works and plays hard. There are numerous old ironclad hotels and pubs that were built duri<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> the gold boom and survived all these years in what seems to be the middle of nowhere.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

    6 days &#8211; 2500kms mostly on dirt. Four 1200GS&#8217;s, an R80GS and a KLR650.
    As a result of a cyclone up north some parts of the Goldfields had heavy rain the days before we got there and dirt roads were closed to traffic. We travelled mostly on dirt and some roads were opened the day before, or even on the day we got there. Two riders dented their front rims in washouts and two had punctures. Shane had road tyres on his GS and as a result ended up in the mud twice.

    Day 1 we left Perth and travelled north to Perenjori on sealed roads, then east on dirt to Paynes Find. Kev picked a bad line on a sandy creek crossi<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> and after a spectacular display of motorcycle aerobics, landed pretty hard. For his efforts he got a badly injured shoulder and hip, three broken ribs, one written off bike and one damaged ego - but Kev's a tough one so he lived. The satellite phone came to the rescue and about four hours later an ambulance was on the scene.
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    In the meantime, John had continued on to Paynes Find where he got hold of a truck and came back to collect Kev&#8217;s bike. The rest of us got to Paynes Find tavern at about 9pm that night. The owners had heard about the med-evac and kept the bar open late for a much needed thirst quencher.
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    The next day we continued to Sandstone on dirt...
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    ...and visited the Youanmi abandoned gold mine.
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    Shane got intimate with a mud puddle, but no injuries (emotional maybe?)
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    At Sandstone we repaired a puncture which didn&#8217;t take lo<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> (tubeless tyre).
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    Heading to Agnew we passed &#8216;<st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">London</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Bridge</st1:placeType></st1:place>&#8217;...
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    ...and the old brewery...
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    ...before camping behind the old Agnew ironclad hotel and having a few drinks at the pub - great atmosphere.
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    Day 3 was more challe<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>i<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>. The dirt road to Leonora had been opened for 4wd only that very morni<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> and graders were still doi<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> repairs. There were floodways, sand, mud, clay and water on the road. [​IMG]

    We came across a bogged Land Cruiser and eventually one of the graders pulled it free.
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    Richard and Dren both dented their front rims in washouts and I got my bike bogged.
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    We reached Leonora in time for a pub lunch and then visited the Gwalia open cut mine...
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    ...and the abandoned township...
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    ...before continui<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> on dirt to Kookynie.
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    After a thirst quencher in the beer garden and stocki<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> up on bourbon...
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    ...we travelled a short distance to camp at <st1:place w:st="on">Niagara</st1:place> dam.
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    Day 4 through Menzies and on dirt to Snake Hill for a look at the Outback Art Sculptures on <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Lake</st1:placeType> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Ballard</st1:placeName></st1:place> (there's never water in it).
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    ...and then headed south.
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    Dren got a puncture which took lo<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>er to repair as he has tubes.
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    We stopped for a look at Rowles lagoon (which had water for a cha<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>e).
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    ...and had a few drinks at Ora Banda Historical Inn...
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    ...before campi<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> in the bush.
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    Day 5 took us past Broad Arrow tavern (it was closed when we got there early morni<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>, which was probably a good thi<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>).
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    ...and on to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Kalgoorlie</st1:City></st1:place>, which is the capital of the Goldfields region.

    A quick look at the infamous Hay Street brothel with its pink cubicles...
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    ...and then a look-see at the Kalgoorlie Super Pit, the largest open cut gold mine in Australia.
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    Currently, the Super Pit is 3.5km lo<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>, 1.5km wide and more than 440m deep.
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    Coolgardie next and south on the Victoria Rock dirt road.
    We managed to get about 100km down this road when we found ourselves on the edge of a hail storm.
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    Shane and his beloved road tyres had their second intimate moment with the mud and the rain was maki<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> the road super slippery.
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    We decided to turn back and got rained on all the way back to Coolgardie.
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    The skies started cleari<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>...
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    ...so we pushed on to Karalee dam to camp.
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    We returned to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Perth</st1:City></st1:place> the next day - but for Kev&#8217;s accident, it was a great trip and time well spent (beats worki<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>).
    OzBen
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,034
    Wow, that's quite the muddy adventure! thanks for the report and all those pics!

    Let's hope Kev recovers quickly :thumb
    #2
  3. Digger Deep

    Digger Deep Keep 'er Lit

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    206
    Location:
    in an ever deepening hole...........
    excellent report mate
    looking forward to more
    #3
  4. Bigblu

    Bigblu trail , adventurer.

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Albion Park NSW Australia
    Looks like another great aussie adventure, fella's :thumbup
    #4
  5. RobBD

    RobBD Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    431
    Location:
    Perth Australia
    Great report and pictures OzBen.
    I did a solo on the bottom end of that Holland Track (Victoria Rocks) in similar weather and spent more time lying down beside the GS having little rests than riding I think. That is slippery slippery dirt when wet (especially with Tourances on). Fortunately for my ego my camera battery was dead... sorry guys.
    #5
  6. petefromberkeley

    petefromberkeley -

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,294
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Oh man, i want to do THAT ride
    #6
  7. Kyler

    Kyler Geezer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,805
    Location:
    Keedysville, MD
    Shiite - I just wanna ride OZ!:clap
    #7
  8. gothamAlp

    gothamAlp happy to be here

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    805
    Location:
    flagstaff and/or tucson, az
    well done, brothers! :freaky
    #8
  9. nomiles

    nomiles Sledge-o-matic

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,377
    Location:
    Bay Area ~ NorCal
    :thumb :thumb Cool!

    Thanks for posting.
    #9
  10. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak All roads rider, West Oz.

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,128
    Location:
    Perth.
    Again, a nice report Ben.

    I like the small screen on your bike. John's been trying a much higher one as he bought a new helmet that is really noisy, he's trying to get the air over his head. I suggested he forget about it and take the screen off altogether or try a smaller one.
    I'll have to make sure he reads this report.

    Andrew.
    #10
  11. peter13

    peter13 FJ cruiser

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    338
    Location:
    East of the Blue Mountains. Sydney Australia.
    thats really cool.
    #11
  12. motorradrudi

    motorradrudi tourguide

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    374
    Location:
    Sonthofen, Germany
    Very good pics and RR!:clap:clap:clap

    Thanks for sharing!

    Best greatings from Germany
    Rudi
    #12
  13. pRICK

    pRICK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    333
    Location:
    Pilbara
    Keep 'em coming Ben, good stuff.

    Rick
    #13
  14. kktos

    kktos on a bright side of life

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,368
    Location:
    in front of Mare Nostrum
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    oh yeah !
    What a landscape ! Great :raabia
    you're damned lucky !!
    Cheers to you for this RR !
    /thierry
    #14
  15. rosscoact

    rosscoact need constant supervision

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,503
    Location:
    Canberra ACT
    great stuff blokes, need to get my arse over there
    #15
  16. AUS CRUZER

    AUS CRUZER Lets Cruz

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,409
    Location:
    Geelong
    Realy enjoyed your report.:wave Cant wait to get into the red dirt again.
    #16
  17. Kev1

    Kev1 Live Life

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Yes I kissed the dirt on day one and didn't continue on their adventure. Remote as I was the ambulance took me to the hospital and found a few broken ribs. All better now though. Next year I am going to look at the BMW factory and might bring something back that doesn't fall over. The 1980 K100RT with 45,000 km (about 30K miles) doesn't like dirt. A bad workman always blames his tool. Went to Darwin and back all right though. Might post this trip. I set the GPS in Darwin and it said turn right at the next roundabout in 1436km. Only in Australia. Nice work Ben and thanks for being a buddy (mate) when I went 'gold prospecting'.
    Kev
    #17
  18. OneOff

    OneOff Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    337
    Location:
    S.E.Qld
    pics are not downloading...??
    #18
  19. theMISSIONARY

    theMISSIONARY hunting and riding!!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,898
    Location:
    DeroportTazmania
    You didn't go to Burra rocks(past Coolgardie) by any chance?

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    its an odd place out there in the flat lands......
    #19
  20. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,730
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, CA.
    Very Nice! :clap

    The whole trip looked great.
    The gold mines, the historic hotles, the camping, the good times. :thumb

    One day I'll get to ride Australia. :tb

    Thanks for sharing.
    Q~
    #20