Pilbara gorges - Western Australia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by OzBen, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. OzBen

    OzBen KTM690ER

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    SW Australia
    Four 1200GS&#8217;s on a 7 day - 3,500km ride to the gorges in the Pilbara region of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Western Australia</st1:place></st1:State>. The Pilbara is a hard, rocky, tyre destroyi<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> landscape about 1,500km north of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Perth</st1:place></st1:City>. It&#8217;s rich in iron ore, red dirt and spinifex and known for its beautiful gorges, natural pools and spinifex fairies (local jargon &#8211; I won&#8217;t explain that one). We walked and swam the gorges, made up the itinerary on the run, rode tracks we hadn&#8217;t planned for and lots of dirt. Jono lay down with his bike in soft sand, Gavin hit a sheep and I broke my folding chair, but otherwise thi<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>s went well.

    The first two days were relatively dull as we headed north on the West Coast highway to get to Nanutarra road house, about 1,300kms north of Perth. From there we would turn inland into the heart of the Pilbara. Day 1 we did 600km and camped at a nice spot on the banks of the <st1:place w:st="on">Murchison River</st1:place>.
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    Day 2 we did 800km and after turni<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> east at Nanutarra, camped in a not-so-nice clearing in the spinifex about 1km off the road. At least we were now in the Pilbara amo<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>st the red dirt, the spinifex and the wildflowers so it was all good.
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    How many kilometres back to the main road Gavin?
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    The next morni<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>, on our way back to the main road, Jono had a lie-down with his bike in some soft sand. Fortunately his 1200Adv was too heavy to get back up before we got photographic evidence.
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    We fuelled up in Tom Price and headed for Hamersley gorge, where we spent most of the afternoon in the pools.
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    A good way to relax after two days ridi<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>...
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    It was all dirt now and we were where we wanted to be.
    We did a 100km burst on dirt late in the afternoon (ka<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>aroo time - keeps you on your toes).
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    We found a clearing in the spinifex to camp.
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    The bourbon facilitated a great eveni<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> around the campfire. My foldi<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> chair broke somehow (maybe we shouldn't have finished all the bourbon...) but in amongst the spinifex I found a toilet seat mounted on a milk crate, so I had a comfortable seat. We spent the night under the stars...
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    Taking the toilet seat with me was tempting but after mounti<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> it on the bike I decided it was too big and clumsy so I reluctantly left it behind for the next lucky adventurer...
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    The next day we walked and swam the gorges. Some of them are close together so we could do Oxer, Weano and Knox gorge.
    ...Oxer&#8230;
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    ...Weano&#8230;
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    ...and Knox gorge.
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    A dirt ride in the afternoon to get to Dales Gorge where we spent the rest of the day in the pools.
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    Another late afternoon burst on the dirt before we camped near Auski road house.

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    The next morning, after breakfast at Auski <st1:personName w:st="on">we</st1:personName> tackled the 230km dirt stretch alo<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> the Roy Hill road to Newman.
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    My GS with its budget panniers...
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    A pub lunch was in order at the Red Sands tavern in Newman.
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    We continued south alo<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> the Great Northern highway to Meekatharra, where we camped the night.
    Day 6 saw us travelli<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> a little further south to Cue where we turned south west, back onto dirt towards Yalgoo.
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    On to Morowa from Yalgoo. Gavin hit a sheep but managed to stay upright so all was well (except the poor sheep that hobbled off into the bush with a damaged back leg). We stopped at an abandoned homestead&#8230;
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    ...Walgahna Rock&#8230;
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    ...and Dalgara<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>a.
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    That afternoon we struck rain sheltered in the old Morawa convent where we got cheap, clean rooms and a shower.
    Back to <st1:City w:st="on">Perth</st1:City> the next day alo<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> the Three Spri<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName>s&#8211;Moora road, taki<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName> the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Chitteri<st1:personName w:st="on">ng</st1:personName></st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Valley</st1:placeType></st1:place> loop for more a more scenic ride.
    Cheers
    OzBen
    #1
  2. dwestmodesto

    dwestmodesto Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Modesto


    Ride sounds great, but for some reason, all your pics are not coming in.
    Dave
    #2
  3. mrazekan

    mrazekan Long timer

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    Location:
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    Pics came through for me.

    Nice pictures and WOW! Those pools are awesome!

    Folding chair huh? You guys pack light I see.

    Thanks for sharing.
    #3
  4. selkins

    selkins Gotta light?

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    A few days of riding and swimming in those gorges sounds like a good-sized chunk of heaven! Thanks for posting.
    #4
  5. BigX

    BigX n00b - Yeah, right

    Joined:
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    Don't fence me in
    Nicely done!
    #5
  6. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Location:
    South Africa
    Geat thanks for sharing, it looks lot like a part in South Africa.

    BTW how do you guys like the Heindies, we also get them in South Africa now, seems like a excellent tyre?
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    Your first ride report looks great, thanks showing us the Pilbara gorges, and welcome aboard :thumb
    #7
  8. zadok

    zadok Long timer

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    Nice one, Ben.:clapGotta love that toilet.:D
    #8
  9. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 .

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    Melbourne Australia
    Welcome to the forum OzBen.. :wave

    Excellent first post with this ride report mate.. Beautiful part of the World you visited and only wish I had enough time to take it all in when I was there in 2007.. :thumb
    #9
  10. gatling

    gatling Long timer

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    Nicely done!
    #10
  11. Stiner

    Stiner Son of Dakardad

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    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    great report, looks like you had alot of fun! hopefully someday i can go down and ride those roads!
    #11
  12. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak All roads rider, West Oz.

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    Perth.
    Hi Ben, nice to see you on the site. (I'm sure we met when my mate John bought some bits of your mate in Attadale).

    Good report by the way, nice to see all the red dirt on the bikes.

    Andrew Linton.
    #12
  13. AUS CRUZER

    AUS CRUZER Lets Cruz

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    Great report and welcome OzBen.That gorge is great:clap :wave
    #13
  14. LC8TY

    LC8TY must......find........fuel

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    Bloody good stuff mate, you got the words/pic ratio spot on I reckon.

    Karijini is a great spot to ride, good dirt roads and great scenery. :thumb
    #14
  15. guzzimike

    guzzimike Long timer

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    Where do you get them Ben? (The tyres)
    Great report mate, bit of a killer photographer too!
    #15
  16. Clancy

    Clancy Long timer

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    Thanks Ben. Great report. you're a lucky lucky man, and I hate you:lol3 :thumb
    #16
  17. Sofa King

    Sofa King Been here awhile

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    The Hills area, Sydney, Australia
    Great lookin trip.:clap
    #17
  18. Andrew2

    Andrew2 Long timer

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    Top report Ben.I should be over your way next year so looking forward to seeing it myself.

    Cheers
    A2
    #18
  19. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

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    magic !!!, I got to get up there one of these days:thumbup
    #19
  20. Shmerel

    Shmerel

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    brilliant! you can be proud of that ride and report.:clap
    #20