Into the Centre. Part One

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Old Queenslander, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. Old Queenslander

    Old Queenslander Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    250
    Location:
    Townsville Queensland
    Last year my friends and I did a ride around Australia sticking mostly to the main route around the outside of the mainland. The ride report from those 17000kms is somewhere on here. This time almost exactly one year on two of us decided to have a squiz at the middle of Australia. We allowed ourselves about three weeks for the trip and Dave was looking forward to riding his latest BM on the trip. He did the last ride on a R75/5 with a R90S tank and it went well apart from a couple of punctures. This time he was mounted on a R1200GS one of the water cooled jobbies. With a bit of experience behind us we were travelling a lot lighter this time. Only equipment for making coffee and a lot less clothing than last time. We carried tools for tyre repairs and camping gear tent etc. I also packed a small chair, luxury.
    The plan was to head straight out to the three ways and turn left and head to Uluru and the Olgas. After that it was down to the Flinders Ranges and the Barossa Valley to try out the red wines before heading back home. [​IMG]IMG_1707 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    We left on the 6th of September and headed west. Our first stop was in Hughenden but the cafe we were after was closed on Thursdays so we headed for a roadhouse to refuel the bikes and ourselves. This is where we met the first group of riders from the Southern Cross Tourers who were doing a run through the west, they'd spent the previous night in Mt. Isa. There were a couple of hundred riders in the group. We arrived in Richmond for lunch and finding the beer cold and a room available at he pub for a fair price decided to stay and have a look at the museum.[​IMG]IMG_1714 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    The museum was very good and well worth the admission price. (Seniors' Discount).[​IMG]42701957_1400981060037393_3394548104135966720_n by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    #1
    Mickalmus likes this.
  2. Old Queenslander

    Old Queenslander Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    250
    Location:
    Townsville Queensland
    We woke early the next morning and had a continental breakfast as the sun came up. By the time we reloaded the bikes dawn was upon us and we proceeded westward at a conservative 90kph. The risk of meeting a kangaroo or emu out here is real. This was going to be a long day and as the sun rose so did the wind and we were heading into strong headwinds. The fuel economy on both bikes suffered as a result with the AT drinking 5.6L/100kms. last year it had blown out to 6.2 in W.A. [​IMG]IMG_1727 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    We arrived in Mt Isa and refuelled our goal for the day was the Barkley Roadhouse a relatively long day of 856kms. We did arrive in time for the happy hour and enjoyed a couple of beers before resorting to a bottle of red with dinner. We were having a good time and somehow another bottle of red ended up evaporating on our table. We slept well. We set off early just after the cafe at the roadhouse opened for coffee with our aim for the day being Alice Springs. We had lunch at Camooweal where we met a possum doing a charity ride on a Royal Enfield. We bumped into him a couple more times in the middle of the country.[​IMG]42734923_1400985620036937_8145659683093348352_n by Drew Jackson, on Flickr.
    We stopped for the photo before crossing into the Northern Territory.[​IMG]42861244_1400985583370274_2866459906335047680_n by Drew Jackson, on Flickr.
    We then rode on westward until arriving at the Three Ways.[​IMG]42803082_1400985546703611_3604555679739674624_n (1) by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    Breakfast was to be in Tennant creek and we were hoping to find a cafe open for a good breakfast of bacon and eggs but none were open so it roadhouse food before heading south again towards Alice Springs. We booked into a cheapish motel for two nights so we could have a bit of a look around this unoffical capital of Central Australia. It's a very interesting place. We went for a look at the Botanical Gardens after crossing the Todd River. Dinner on both night was at the Sports Club and their rump steaks were really good and very reasonably priced. [​IMG]42734930_1400985290036970_7254676341105098752_n by Drew Jackson, on Flickr[​IMG]42730849_1400985416703624_7141567539846316032_n by Drew Jackson, on Flickr Found in one of the watering holes in the Alice.[​IMG]42840785_1400985253370307_1940446115295920128_n (1) by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    #2
    Suncoaster likes this.
  3. Old Queenslander

    Old Queenslander Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    250
    Location:
    Townsville Queensland
    I skipped over a couple of interesting places between the Three Ways and Alice Springs. We stopped at the Devils Marbles and Barrow Creek. At he marbles we met a group of 22 riders on an organised tour all riding BMWs of various sizes, some two up. I can imagine how long a fuel stop would take with a group that size or a toilet stop! The riders came from various countries and I'm sure they would have been pretty impressed with the landscapes they were seeing as were we. The Barrow Creek Hotel is one of those whose walls are decorated with stuff. Most of the stuff was money of various denominations with names on them. A sort of bank where if you run out of drinking money between paydays and you have left a deposit on the wall of the pub you can reclaim it in exchange for a cold beer. hope it never burns down, the decorations are probably worth more than the building.[​IMG]IMG_1740 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr The Pub and servo at Barrow Creek.[​IMG]IMG_1741 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    #3
    Suncoaster likes this.
  4. Old Queenslander

    Old Queenslander Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    250
    Location:
    Townsville Queensland
    We spent two nights in Alice Springs which gave us a break from the headwinds for a while. Our next destination was Yalara the township resort that relies on tourism for its existence. On the way we stopped to take photos of Mt Conner, and we met a couple celebrating their wedding anniversary.[​IMG]42858321_1400985196703646_7763147829832318976_n (2) by [​IMG]IMG_4950 by Drew Jackson, on [email protected]/]Drew Jackson[/url], on Flickr
    We hadn't booked any accommodation but there were plenty of tent sites available and there was shade and tables and a camp kitchen. After putting up the tents we rode out to the entrance to the national park and purchased a three day pass before riding back into town for lunch. Later that afternoon we rode out to the rock to watch the sunset along with hundreds of others. I was surprised how many people are still climbing the rock despite the indigenous owners request that people don't. We did a quick lap of the rock before taking lots of photos.[​IMG]IMG_1824 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr[​IMG]42795979_1400985013370331_5194816382495096832_n (1) by Drew Jackson, on Flickr.
    We returned to our camp and the next morning headed to the Olgas after doing another lap of the rock with the sun hitting the opposite side.[​IMG]42907680_1400984786703687_4988002432903544832_n (1) by Drew Jackson, on Flickr.
    We also took a look at some of the points of interest like waterholes and so on.[​IMG]IMG_4951 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    The Olgas are very different in structure to the rock made up of conglomerate. We stopped at a lookout on the way. The Olgas don't have as many viewing points as the rock. We did a walk up one of the gorges.[​IMG]IMG_4953 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr[​IMG]IMG_4954 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr[​IMG]IMG_4956 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    After another night at Yalara we headed off back to Eridunda where we refuelled again before heading south for the border and our next overnight camp at Marla. The roadhouse was good value. Another early start the next morning saw us arrive at Coober Pedy where we did a tour of a dugout and had some good coffee. After a look around the town we headed off again and ended up in Glendambo. We needed a soft bed so we lashed out on a motel room. We met another rider on a BM who had hit an eagle which had damaged his fairing and destroyed his right hand mirror. The motel was good the food at the servo was good but the pub was too expensive for our tastes, it was too expensive for the locals as well as there were no customers despite it being the only watering hole for miles.
    #4
    Angry Pete and locopostie like this.
  5. Old Queenslander

    Old Queenslander Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    250
    Location:
    Townsville Queensland
    We slept well and headed off to Woomera for breakfast. The cafe there does a very good bacon and eggs for under $10. The display of military hardware is impressive and we spent a fair bit of time looking at the various weapons of mass destruction. [​IMG]IMG_1890 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    Our goal for the day was Blinman where we ha booked a room for two nights. The road down to Port Augusta is bloody long and compared to the Nullabor is more of a challenge. Once refuelled in Port Augusta we headed north to Quorn and then Hawker. [​IMG]IMG_4964 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    Again straight into the jaws of a bloody strong headwind. It was good to arrive in Blinman where we arranged to do a night time tour of the old copper mine. It was very interesting. The Flinders Ranges are spectacular. On the second morning we headed off to find an outpost where Dave could make a phone call. [​IMG]IMG_1910 (1) by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    We then proceeded to get ourselves lost for a while before getting fuel and heading off to Wilpena Pound. Once there we decided to explore more of the dirt roads in the area before heading back to Blinman.https://flic.kr/p/2av5SXh[​IMG]IMG_1917 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_1923 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr[​IMG]IMG_4963 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    After leaving Blinman early the next morning we headed to Tonunda in the Barossa in search of red wine.
    #5
  6. Old Queenslander

    Old Queenslander Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    250
    Location:
    Townsville Queensland
    The final interesting to me part of the ride came next with our tour of the wineries of the Barossa. We did this last year as well and it was enjoyable again. Following our two nights in Tonunda it was time to head home. Dave wa going to Canberra to see his daughter and I was going to Warwick to catch up with mu daughter. We headed off early with the idea of getting to Hay where we were to split up. Dave heading to Canberra and me towards West Wyalong. This was a bit of a marathon ride and by the time I got to Rankin Springs I'd had enough.[​IMG]IMG_1945 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr
    So I booked into the motel now this was probably the worst room I've ever stayed in but I was rooted. I headed a couple of doors down the road to the pub for a beer and dinner. They do a good steak. I went to bed early and woke up at 3am. Now I don't go back to sleep once awake so at 4am I took off for Warwick. 1100kms later I arrived. Warwick is my old home town and i do the Townsville to Warwick run several times a year so it's not one bit interesting to me it just 1400kms that takes a day and a half. There are several ways to do that section but I have a daughter in Mackay so after a few days in Warwick I did the 1100kms to Mackay via the new England Highway, Ban Ban Springs, Gin Gin and Rockhampton. The 110kph section isn't long enough in my humble opinion but I arrived in Mackay safely before dark. One night in mackay and the next morning off home via Mt Ossa and Calen just for the fun of it. The bike didn't miss a beat in the 8400kms, thank goodness as I've got no idea how to fix a bike as complex as the Africa Twin.
    #6