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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by TheDecepticon, Apr 18, 2016.
Nice Post, helps get me through the winter blues. Love the DR, great bikes for this kinda stuff.
Hi Black Cat Co, thanks for stopping by. Winter is a biatch, I hear it is quite cold over there at the moment, so stay warm. Yep, go the mighty DR! It has been a great bike and has covered a lot of terrain with a lot of weight on it with no probs. On the weekend it clocked 83,000km, of which I have covered 42,000km as I purchased it 2nd hand and built it up from there.
G'day, looks like a nice ride, pretty dry, where about is the graveyard, looks interesting.
It is located halfway along Heintze Rd, Moppa. 246 Heintze is the actual address, and Heintze Rd runs between Golf Course Rd and Truro Rd, Koonunga.
And, yes, very dry. Was out again this morning. Even more dry!
Been a long time since I did a ride report and I must finish our NSW trip some time, too! Stalling on that as there is not a lot of good video as one of the cameras crapped out and the others have shot batteries. Anyway, thought I would throw up something to keep this thread alive.
I had a day off on the 3rd of August as I had some family stuff to do in the morning and the plan was to get away in the arvo and head to one of our favourite places in the world for a quick camping/riding/4WDing getaway - Murray Sunset National Park and Lindsay River.
The plan was to head to Kulcurna Cliffs on Lindsay Island to camp and strike out from there. Well, the weather put paid to that and after trying to get some local info from my dad on the Friday morning I learned that he had gone to hospital in an ambo on Thursday night as he though he was having a heart attack. Turns out OK as he had been bitten by a spider that day and his stroke and heart attack tests all came back negative, so a reaction to the spider bite it must have been. He also said it was one helluva bite from a spider less than 10mm long that got under his watch while ferreting in the garden.
We took off about 11.30 ish and it drizzled on and off and rained a bit at times until we were just the other side of Blanchetown, where we had stopped for some hot food and a hot cuppa tea. Much needed and appreciated for me on the bike. My son was in his old Rodeo and was toasty warm and dry! Once we were heading for Waikerie, a blue sky and sunshine sucker hole opened above us and we got off the black top and followed the dirt as far as Kingston and onto my dad's place. We had a bit of a catch up and he said he was all good, just had pain in his arms, shoulders and chest and that we shouldn't worry and to go camping. We said we may be back, depends on the Old Mail Rd and how wet and slippery it is. Needless to say that after a 100 km-ish round trip we were back at dad's place and getting dinner ready and hitting the scotch as the Old Mail Rd was a "forget it" job. Maybe if we were in Mongolia and had to be in Uulanbata we might have continued, but being a local weekend trip, nah, aint goin to happen!!
Saturday dawned and we snoozed, getting up about 9.30 and fanging on some bacon and eggs before heading off to see what the tracks might look like. Dad said he felt much better and wanted to go see his bowls mates roll a few down and have a grappa or two so we all trundled off. The weather Saturday was awesome and the tracks and roads dry out very quick. I had left the bike at dad's and was with my lad in his Rodeo and a bit of 4WDing was cool. We worked our way up to the Lindsay Island turn off then stopped to look at a few of the attractions along the way to Kolcurna Cliffs, where we stopped and had a cuppa and some snacks before heading back home. One thing on our list was to find the other side of the river to a camp site we go to alot and that turned into a pretty cool bit of track and some foot exploration.
It was getting late so we hustled back to my dad's place and cranked up the barbie for a feast and downed quite a few more scotches and some of the port I had left, before dad cranked out some 20 year old plum brandy for samples and a very merry time was had by all.
Sunday was up and packed and ready to go by 8.30 with the bike and car all packed. Dad felt really good and the spider bite had reduced to quite a small lump on his wrist so we bid him goodbye and hit the dirt outside of Kingston/Morook and followed it all the way back to Angaston before stopping for morning tea and slabbing it to Tanunda and home to dreary old Adelaide!
We had a great time, had some good riding and some great roads and scenery and will do it again at the earliest possible time. Hopefully before our 2 weeks in Tassie, see how we go.
A campsite called the caravan.
An old wreck we found out there, maybe an old Chev?
And about 100 meters away, the remains of an old ferry, probably used by wood cutters back in the day.
Love this place, Australia.
The sandbar on our side
Having a cuppa
And a bit of video for fun
Thanks for dropping by.
I though it was time to update this thread as it has been a while so I will start with a rewind to our East Coast trip in Oct 2017. I did a bit of video for this and then we had camera battery issues and one camera died so I will make a video of the rest as soon as I can.
Soooo....Day 1 saw us leaving home with Pooncarie as the destination for today. We headed out via the bitumen through Gawler and then up through the Riverland to get on the Old Mail Road and head for Wentworth. We fuelled up there and headed out of town for the run up to Pooncarie. I thnk we went up on the western side of the river and once there we went to the pub and paid for our campsite for the night. After getting settled in it was time for a scotch and coke or two and some hearty BBQ dinner.
Will this black stuff ever end?
Time to air down the tyres.
A well earned drink after a warm,hard days ride/drive.
Dinner is ready..come and get it!
Day 2's plan was to make it to Tipla and camp at the Weir. Traveling along the western side of the river again sees us run into some poor terrain. The funny road base through Kashinga National Park with the big red sand stone paver effect on the road was quite hard for the 4wd and a bit tiring on me as well. We made it to Menindie and topped up with fuel and headed back out on the western side of the river. It wasn't too far along this stretch of road that it turned into shite. The road had the clay top falling apart and there were quite large, deep holes in the road and it became very rough and very slow going. The aerial mount snapped off the bull bar on the 4wd and we had to stop and try to fix it. With a few strategic cable ties we set off again but it was no good. This time it came right off. We pulled the aerial off and cable tied the rest of the mount to the bull bar and moved along again after a quick on the bonnet map session. As two way communication was important to us, we decided to turn right at Willcannia and head for Cobar to find someone that could sell us a new bolt on mount or weld the old one back again with a brace. That meant the upper part of the Darling Run was lost to us although we could get back on track for our trip after leaving Cobar.
I have never seen so many animals on the side of the road as the stretch from Willcannia to Cobar. I have been up that way before and knew there was lots of goats and 'roos, but this took the cake. We were traveling at about 80kp in some spots in the middle of the road as there were that many wild pigs, kangaroo, sheep , emus and goats it was not funny. And they did not give a shit. They hardly blinked an eye when you tooted them and kept on munching the grass. It was quite a relief to make it to Cobar without one of the clowns running onto the road and plowing into us.
We set up camp at the caravan park which has a nice lawn area down the back for tents and swags with good showers and camp kitchen/BBQ for about $10.00 each. After setting up and fanging down a nice BBQ and some more scotch and coke, we all had nice long showers and hit the sack. Tomorrow we need to find somewhere to fix the aerial.
Some of the locals between Pooncarie and Menindie.
In the middle of nowhere was someone offering campsites.
A quick selfie in Kashinga National Park
A lonely roadside grave for Kim Marie Bugmy, 24 years old. RIP.
Roadside rest break a little way out or Cobar.
Day 3 is a bit of a mixed bag. After leaving our nice little campsite in Cobar, we find the radio shop and buy a new mount to bolt on. Then we need someone to drill a hole in the bull bar and put a screw in to stop the mount from rotating. This is done by a very helpful and friendly local mechanic and his team all for the paltry sum of $13.00. It wasn't much of a tip but I gave him $20 and said keep the change as they did it straight away and without even raising an eyebrow. After getting a few km's out of Cobar we realised we had not remembered to get fuel which would put a bit of a kink in our already altered plans.
Stopping to put some fuel in from our small reserve we realised we would have to go to Nyngan to fill up. With that in mind we set off again and rode a few cool tracks while admiring the unusual letter boxes that people around the area use, old fridges. As we were pulling onto a bitumen road I noticed the tyre was going down on the back left of the 4wd. We pulled up on the side of the road and pulled it off to check it. It was knackered. All the side wall was melted in and in a wave formation. We fitted the spare tyre and set off for Nyngan with the need to buy a new tyre as well now. While we were on the side of the road, a young bloke in a semi pulled up and checked if we were OK and hung out with us for a while and chatted. A lady in an old Commodore came out of the dirt road we were just on and asked if we were OK as she went past and another truckie saw my bike parked by the 4wd and stopped to see if a rider had been hurt and if we needed help. Kind of restored our faith in humanity a bit!
We set off and soon we were in Nyngan and pulled up to find a tyre shop. There was one across the way which we rang thinking "here we go, tourist tax coming right up!" To our surprise after talking to Ron I think it was at Nyngan Tyre Store and explaining what we needed he said he had a muddie for $180 fitted and balanced, he can do it right away. We went over and he loaned us a couple of jacks and a rattle gun and we set about swapping spares and stuff while he fitted the new tyre and we were done pretty quick. Ron was a no nonsense sorta guy who we got on with straight away and spent some time chatting to him before apologising that we had to move on, which we did. By this time it was pretty late in the day so it was a trip up the black top to Gilgandra after getting fuel. We pulled into Gilgandra not long before the butcher was shutting and grabbed some chicken schnitty and bacon to make dinner with. The butcher was asking straight away if that was a DR and all of them were hanging on to every word about our trip so far. They even came out to look at my piggy with lipstick and it was revealed that they were DR riders as well.
We were directed to a quiet little caravan park sort of in the main street which had a BBQ hut with old number plates on one wall and had a few well earned drinks and some dinner after setting up camp. It was not long and we were all ready for bed. What a day!
Nice tent/swag area at Cobar Caravan Park.
I'm going to need one of these letter boxes!
BBQ hut with number plate wall.
Gilgandra Caravan Pk ornaments. (I'm a sucker for a windmill)
Day 4 was supposed to be a push towards Wallabadah, which we made in easy time so decided to push on. Why, you may ask, would we want to visit this little place? Well, I liked the name. It sounded exotic like Uulanbatar and I wanted to make that our eastern most point before heading south to start the return phase of the trip.
We got away well and didn't experience any dramas. The weather was beautiful, the roads and tracks were nice with great scenery. We went through Pandora's Pass and were a bit disappointed that it was dry, would have made a fun creek crossing, aah well,you get that. Along the way we climbed to 1000m which isn't too high but seems higher than anything we have here in Adelaide. It was cool looking out over the mountains and riding the tracks.
As we got towards Quirindi we noticed that there were three fires burning out of control and were even more visible from the Quirindi look out. We tried to find the local copper to see if he had any info on exactly where they were in case we needed to detour. Alas, they were no where to be found. We pressed on and got pretty close to one of them although our selected route went around, luckily. We pushed on through the Hunter Region which was also very dry and made Scone around 6 pm. There doesn't seem to be a decent park here and the one we went to was way dodgy. We pitched camp in the spot he showed us, had something to eat and then some pissed mindas showed up and proceeded to wreck everyone's night by playing loud music, swearing, shouting and generally behaving badly.
The manager came down and told them off asked them to pack it in to which they started whinging and began mouthing off. Being the shy, reserved fella that I am, that was the last straw. I stuck my head around the corner and said that I agreed with the manager and myself and all the others in the park didn't need to listen to their crap so shut up and f**k off. Well, you coulda heard a pin drop and off they slunk with their tails between their legs. Luckily for me as I don't need my nose or more of my teeth broken any more than they are already.
Now that we could finally get some sleep we drifted off and all three of us woke up a bit after 4 am with semi trailers exhaust braking it up and down the street. By this time we had had enough and wanted out. As quietly as possible we packed up and took off. As we were so early, even the servo and Maccas was not open. We waited at the servo until 6 and fueled up then headed to Maccas for breakfast. All good, we were heading for The Mountain, that mecca of motorsport madness, Bathurst!
Aaaahh...the wide open spaces.
Give me more of this!
Fires outside of Quirindi.
Who'd-a-thought-it lookout, Quirindi.
We made it - Wallabadah.
My daughter loved this little local!
Getting a bit closer to the fires now!
Hill top hooligan.
Day 5 was pretty uneventful really. Plenty to see and do, but nothing bad, or unusual happened. We tootled along towards Bathurst, never before having traveled up and down so many hills. The scenery was once again gorgeous, if not quite dry. I spied a bearded dragon laying along the side of the road, trying to pretend no one could see it. When I stopped to take a photo of him he looked at me as to say "this is not the lizard you are looking for"!
We turned of before getting to Muswellbrook and took the back roads towards Mudgee. As it was early in the day, we had very little traffic
One of the tracks/road we had decided to ride/drive went through a very cool conservation park. Only barely two wheels wide in place and quite rough, it was a lot of fun. We popped out next to some farm land and I had to stop and admire the scenery with my little piggy in it!
The weather had become quite overcast and had even rained at one stage so I stopped to throw on the wet gear. All that did was make the rain go away and become very overcast and tropical, it felt very humid. As we were hooking along a back road we came across the sign for Mudgee Observatory. Being into astronomy and astrophotography myself, we decided to go in and see if we could have a look around. The owner was more than happy to stop his whipper snipping and took us up to the domes and showed us through them all. It helped being able to talk the talk so he knew we were genuine and spent a lot of time with us.
We made it to Bathurst about 2.00pm. As it was the week before the race the track was a hive of activity however; not too busy for some rubberneckers from South Aus. We rode around the track about 5 times, two of them backwards because, well, you can! the tracks normal life is an ordinary road on the outskirts of the town.
After the laps, we tried to find somewhere to camp for the night. We ended up at the show grounds for $20.00 including a hot shower and a flushing toilet. We did not cook tonight, we decided to get some take away instead, washed down with a few drinks.
Day 6 was a short day as it was supposed to be a rest day. This involved getting from Bathurst to Parkes to see the Dish as astronomy/astrophotography is my other hobby.
I was not disappointed. The hardest part was the unbelievable amount of traffic on the bitumen through Bathurst-Orange-Parkes.
After visiting The Dish we headed for a caravan park for showers and a few creature comforts for an afternoon off and the chance to to relax for a while. We ended up at the Spicer Caravan Park which was ultra clean and very well run. We ended up with a bit of a discount (must like Sth Aussies, but really probably as we had one tent and one swag) and then setup up camp. Once we were setup it was off to the butcher in town to get something for dinner and an afternoon of drinking and shenanigan!
Getting a bit of Monkey on the Shoulder!
I think, therefore I am!
After a few it was into some serious relaxing.
After dinner on the ultra clean BBQ's we met a few of the locals and they were kinda friendly.
Day 7 was quite a ride. We set off from Parkes fairly early and pushed towards Griffith through Rankin Springs. Most of the morning stuff was pretty easy with a mix of bitumen and dirt roads. Outside of Forbes and not long after we set off we spied the sign to Ben Hall the Bushrangers camp site where he was ambushed by police and killed. Good bit of Aussie history as good as Ned Kelly I reckon and for the farmer to be willing to let you use a gate and go into his paddock to read the signs etc was very cool. I also remember seeing the docu/drama on Ben Hall many years ago as a kid on the ABC.
Ben hall's shooting site.
After we came back down the road from the shooting site we turned right into a bit of unknown territory and it turns out it was the driveway to a farmers home stead. We though it might have been although there were no signs to say otherwise. Turns out the local council did some road repairs after the flooding and never put back the Private Property sign. When we realised that it was private property we pulled up to a group of people working sheep. Turns out it was the land owner. We offered the info that the GPS and the map show a thorough-fare and apologised and offered to turn around. All he wanted was a bit of a chat with a few wandering Sth Aussies and after about 15- 20 mins of yarning discussing the floods the previous years and the dry they were having then, he said go through, you are most welcome. He was a good guy and the chat was awesome.
We continued on until Rankin Springs where we turned off on to the Whitton Stock Route. What a ride! Some of it was wide easy dirt road, other was narrower and very stony and some parts the grader had just gone through and pulled a heap of big rocks outta the ground and left them sitting on the surface. I remember clipping one with the front wheel trying to negotiate a sandy, difficult up hill left turn and it was brown trousers all round. I stayed upright though!
As the day was late and I was hot and tired on the bike, I asked my son and daughter in the 4wd to find a campsite for the night. My lad said yep, found one, it's just up ahead. He didn't want to tell me how far it was as he knew I was fatigued so he kept me going. I hit my second wind and and after about 40 km we pulled into Woolshed Flat campground in Cocoparra National Park. What a lovely spot to end the day of great riding and sightseeing. The kids cooked up the last of the eggs and bacon we had left as we needed to use it up and had a great dinner with a lovely camp fire.
Day 8 was a pretty big day in the end. We left Woolshed Flat and went through Griffith to get fuel and a few supplies and headed towards Mildura, on the northern side of the Murrumbidgee. We followed this lazy, beautiful strip of water for a long time, having lunch by it later in the day.
As we traveled westward we passed out the back of Balranald and then towards Arumpo and Mungo National Park. It was a good mix of dirt and slab making for good variety. The plan was to get near to Mildura and find a campsite in the scrub for the night. 3pm found us looking for a camp site which was way too early as it had turned daylight saving last night so we had about 5 hours of daylight left. After talking to one of the locals we found wandering around out there, we decided to head for Mildura and get on the Old Mail Rd and find a campsite along the Murray.
Shingle Back or Sleepy lizard
We made it with about an hour of daylight to spare and quickly set up camp and cooked up some grub and got a nice campfire going. We awoke next morning, Day 9, to a beautiful place to be and slowly packed up as we had a short trip to my dad's place in the Riverland which was about 160 km away.
On the way along the Old Mail Rd we came across a very large fenced off area that is being cleaned up of feral flora and fauna so local species can be regrown and flourish. We met the ranger and pulled up for a chat about it, seems like a good plan.
Some more of the locals. Any body would think these guys were a common species!!
Once at my Dad's place the pace really wound down. We had a rest day and went for a bit of a bushwalk before another BBQ and a slow trip back home with a few geocaches along the way for a bit of last day fun.
All in all, it was an extremely cool trip and as always was over too quick and back to work/school.
Next year it is going to be Tassie!
To keep the momentum going, the trip of 2018 was to Van Diemens Land. The plan was to ride/drive to Melbourne, get on the boat and meet my wife and daughter at my wife's sister's place in southern Tassy and spend a couple of days there before heading off. On Friday the 5th I left work at about 4.30 and met my son in Crafers about 6ish after getting through the Friday night traffic. From there it was a straight run to Coonalpyn where we stayed at the hotel for the night. This was to get us out of town and cut our run to Melbourne a bit shorter on the Saturday.
We had some dinner in the servo restaurant in Tailem Bend on the way through.
I am grateful that we had somewhere to sleep and keep our gear secure so we didn't have to camp first night out, although the accommodation could have been better. It was warm and dry.
The next day saw us up early-ish is as we didn't have a big run to Melbourne and had a bit of breakfast provided by the hotel. We stopped for a break at Bordertown before heading off again.
As we approached and passed the Grampians and headed for Ararat for some reason my eyes were getting very irriatable and making it hard to see. I don't remember but I must have copped some rubbish in them. We pulled up at this beautiful lookout and I tried to rinse them out.
Unfortunately that did not work so we went into the town to find a chemist open on a Saturday arvo, good luck with that. I rode the rest of the way to the boat with irritable eyes and it stayed that way until Monday when I found a chemist in Snug in Tassie to get some visine. We managed to get on the boat easily and early enough and dumped our gear near our recliners and headed to the bar. The boat was away on time and off we chugged!
We were greeted with a beautiful sunrise on Sunday morning after a very calm and relaxed night.
We have arrived! After getting off the boat and out of Devonport we headed for the in-laws place that is south/west of Hobart as fast as the speed limit and tired brains would let us so we could watch the end of Bathurst when we got there. They live in a lovely spot with a beautiful view of the little harbour.
Monday saw us doing a walk and BBQ at Russell Falls. We met one of the nephews and wife with kiddly-winks in tow and did the walk from the car park up to Russell Falls and then right up to Horseshoe Falls. No too strenuous but when your an old fat fecker it was almost enough. Back to the BBQ huts to cook lunch and have a few brews.
It is hard to know what to photograph and when to stop, most of the place is like a postcard.
Tuesday was spent farting around trying to fix my helmet comms, which kept cutting out unless I turned my head to the left or pressed on the wires. We though it was broken wires and chopped into and soldered with our bits we bought from Jaycar in Kingston. Turns out it was a loose connector in the microphone terminal block, easy fix. The head set packed up on the last couple of days, I still had one speaker and the mike worked, so all good.
Wednesday we headed off on our own with the promise to meet our brother in law in Queenstown on Thursday night as he wanted to come camping with us. In his own words, "I'm not saying home with the women if you guys are camping!" We headed west towards Cygnet and then up to Huonville and through the forests to the Styx Tall Tree Reserve and then to Maydena. We were totally on our own most of the time, it was glorious. We stopped earlyish in the morning in a beautiful spot for a cuppa and a bite to eat and to revel in the wonder of Tassie, how beautiful it is nearly everywhere.
Time for some posing, too!
There are beautiful creeks and rivers to cross and the striknig thing to how green it is was how dusty and dry the roads were.
We saw snow capped mountains (that's big for a South Aussie) and beautiful scenery.
We stopped on the way through the Styx region and had a look at some of the tall trees. Another beautiful place.
Around Maydena we wanted to find a camp site and the old dear in the Maydena General Store was pretty clueless about where we could camp although it always pays to get local knowledge. We had researched it and we could camp in the forest and even have a fire so we set off to find a spot. We split up and checked a couple at a time until I got 2/3 the way up one and tried to get over a fallen tree and come off the bike. Every time the rear wheel hit the trunk, it spun and slid out from under me. Went over twice. That was until my son turned up with the chainsaw. Nasty old tree got a shock.
We set up camp there and lit a fire and made chicken schnitzel, mashed potatoes, carrots and gravy. Was a good end to the day with a couple of nice scotches to wash everything down.
After a good nights sleep we had a cup of tea and packed up. We set off reasonably early, exploring different forest trails all while basing our run on Florentine Rd heading north from Maydena with the idea of making Wayatinah and then heading to Strahan via Queenstown (is there any other way to go? ) and hooking up with the brother in law. On the way along the early stretch of the road, I saw an unusual, very large black shape appear out of the forest about 3m off the ground, followed by two crows about 200m in front of me. I was stunned. What the fuck is that, I thought? It then turned towards me and that is when I realised it was a Wedge Tail Eagle and it was huge! It flew down the track towards me while I rode towards it and as we got close we made eye contact with each other, it was astounding! It watched me ride under it and I swear it was about 1 1/2 m above my head. No photos, no video, just this awesome memory imprinted on my brain I will never forget!
Our luck ran out at the Derwent River crossing on Florentine Rd. Why? For some reason, the bridge was laying in the bottom of the river, with no way to get through. Oh dear! This is awkward! With no way to cross that we could see via maps and GPS, we had no alternative to turn around. By the time we made Wayatinah, including riding up Florentine Rd in the first place, it was about a 190km back track. Annoyed? Pissed off? Naaah, that eagle was so awesome it still overrides all my other emotions! We hightailed it to Queenstown, as fast as you can through "Surprise Valley" and made it to Queenstown by about 3 pm. What a ride down into Queenstown, I don't think Ive ever covered 80km so slowly!
By the time we got there and had a look at the sand footy field as no grass grow in Queenstown, I was as crook as. I was finding it hard to swallow, felt unsteady and nauseous and had a throbber of a head ache. We chuffed of to Strahan, got some food to cook for dinner at the local shop IGA and then to the chemist for some pick me ups.
We headed out towards Ocean Beach and found a side track to camp down and made a home for the night. My brother in law went and got some wood while I had a couple of pills and tried to feel good sitting in my camp chair. We decided the best thing for me was a cracking fire, some good tucker and plenty of straight scotch before a good nights sleep.
It must have worked because the next morning I felt great again and popped up for a cuppa and couldn't wait to get going. We tried various tracks along the side of the roads, exploring our way along until we made Trial Harbour, another beautiful location with beautiful coloured water and postcard perfect.
We found this cool little side road that went over the top of these mountains and all the way down to a lake that seems to be man made. It was a weird little place with logs seemingly cut down from the dead trees that were standing in the lake and then tied to the shore and looks like being turned into firewood. It was a bit creepy down there so we collected some fire wood and high tailed it outta there! Que the banjos! Going across the top was cool as it was like tundra, with brown short grass and not much else. And no one else for miles, such serenity! No faint hum of the city in the back ground, no planes, no distant throb of a b double clawing its way up a hill!
We trundled along and had a look at Granville Harbour as well, another postcard location and a few more along the way heading north to the Pieman Conservation Area and Corinna.
We paid for our ferry rides and the found a nice camp spot for the night.
We had settled down and were making dinner when a sea eagle turned up and roosted in tree branches by the river. Another magical sight! Not a great shot but you get the idea.
When my son went down to the river after dark there were eels in the river, hiding under the log we were using to get water on. No pics, it was too dark, but another awesome nature experience we have never had before. Soon it was time for bed on another great day in Tassie!
After a leisurely start we continued up Norfolk Rd through the Arthur-Pieman Conservation area. That was a good bit of riding and although you are never too far from anywhere in Tassie, some bits of it felt quite remote. I mean, there is literally no one out there. We found the entrance to the Balfour Track which looked way too hard with a massive hole full of water 5 m in from the entrance and water holes as far down the track as we could see, so we took a right and followed a little used track leading into a valley. We found a disused mine that was gated off to some and had a rest break and a look around. Typical of Tassie, people come and dig stuff up and make a mess and then just walk away.
After looking at the mine we turned uphill to follow the track along and came across an almost hillbilly village type place with guys riding quads wearing bib and brace overalls and funny hats. It was a strange scene. I could almost here the banjos again! When we stopped to say hello, they were drooling over my bike and wanted to know "how big that tank is, mister?" Needless to say, no photos and we left pretty quick. Funny thing was, on the way in we had noticed that someone had left a trail or lost these cut logs on the track in, LOL! so we collected them for firewood on the way out. If your reading this ride report we're sorry, we're suckers for easy firewood! After getting back onto Norfolk Rd we followed it around to Rebecca Rd and had a look at Couta Rocks them up the tar to see the Edge of the World. This is where the Arthur River dumps into the ocean and sweeps a lot of the old logs out that fall in and the build up around the mouth. There was a cool poem on a plaque at the look out.
We continued north to Marrawah looking at the scenery, topped up with fuel and supplies and headed inland again in search of a forest camp. Stooping at a random "public" campsite we were treated to another postcard scene with a beautiful little stream trickling along down the back.
Around Julius River we found a nice little spot in the forest and set up camp. Dinner tonight was not a gourmet affair although quite passable.
After another nice fire and campsite in the forest, I decided that being 5 days without a shower, the baby wipe clean up was wearing thin. We decided to head for the north coast and find somewhere to clean up, do some laundry and relax for a bit. We headed east on Sumac Rd and followed it round to Dempster Lookout. The look out is a short walk up the hill to a viewing platform that looks out over the button grass plains. These plains were created by the aborigines to make it easier for them to move around the landscape for hunting and food gathering and the view from the platform was awesome.
As we wanted to head north, we turned around and headed back the way we came, taking a right onto Rapid River Rd and following this along through the forests. Cue more postcard scenery.
We stopped for a bit to eat at a small secluded location with a lovely little river crossing and beautiful man-ferns.
Continuing in a north-easterly type of direction we worked our way through as much forest as we could before really hitting the cleared land and populated areas. Near the coast, we bid farewell to the brother in law who head back south to home and we hit the tar for an early finish in Burnie. We ended up getting a nice room at a hotel and caravan park place. We spent about an hour in the heated pool doing a few laps and generally lazing about like tourists. We hit the shop for some booze and bbq meat and had rather nice end to the day.
When we woke up the next morning we decided to have bacon and eggs for breakfast. We tried using the stove but it wouldn't burn my foreskin turned on flat out! LOL, we decided to use the two burner Companion camp stove on top of the cooker. All was going well until the fire alarm went off. We managed to get that turned off pretty quick and because it was pretty windy that morning we opened the door and the window down the other end and ~viola~ we had our own wind tunnel! F1 testing right this way! Needless to say that we cooked the rest of the bacon and eggs with no dramas and a hearty breakfast was devoured!
Unbeknown to us at the time this would be our real last day in Tassie. We had been blessed with pretty good weather for a week and a half and we could sense the weather closing in although we made the most of what we had. We packed up and trundled off, the plan to sort of head east as we wanted to get over to Ben Lomond and do Jacobs Ladder. We headed south to get away from the coast and the traffic. Our first stop was Preston Falls about 25km south of Ulverstone. It was not spectacular when we were there although you can get a sense that it could be quite magnificent if the water was flowing heavily.
Maybe it was better than we thought as we certainly took some pics there!
We meandered on a bit further and came to the "Valley of Views". This was to me what some of England must look like on a summers day, it certainly was a view. If you look carefully in the pic at the little garden area, just in front of the reddish bush, you can see what appear to be ashes shrines of people at rest, forever looking out over the valley.
Continuing along through more beautiful scenery and coming around towards Cradle Mountain and down some of Cradle Mountain Rd we wandered in and had a bit of a squizz at Lake Barrington before we came around to see Mt Roland, spectacular in its own right.
Can't forget the money shot!
As we continued we rode right past Mount Roland and through the park it is in, enjoying more postcard scenery, damn that's hard to take! By this time it was starting to get late and we were starting to think of a camp for the night. We found a few campsites bundled together that were part of the national park along the Mersey River and as we did not have a park pass, technically we could not stay there. There was a couple fly fishing so we asked them about the camp site and they said the had seen the ranger around so we decided we had better not stay. We were quite prepared to pay the fees but we had no reception as I think you needed to do it on line. Bugger.
We were both ready to call it a day but we took off and followed the Mersey along a bit further and we were glad we did. We found a spot by Lake Parangana which was an absolute magic spot. We sussed out the sign that said varying water levels and as they were in a drought and we were well above the highest perceivable water line, we decided to down stumps.
There was plenty of wood to pick from for the fire, and some really big logs too! They burnt pretty quick as it was not really hard wood but that didn't matter.
What a view, what a campsite!
We hit the turps pretty much as soon as we got there. I finished one bit of a bottle while my son started on another. By the time it came to make some dinner we were both rockin' along pretty well. Maybe we knew it was our last night. We had some grub and polished off the rest of the scotch. After watching the sun set and the fire burn down, we both staggered off to our beds for the night.
We woke in the morning quite early to the sound of rain hitting canvas. We popped up as best you can after a night on the scotch and pretty much packed everything up. We then slept in the 4wd for another couple of hours and the weather was not improving, but what a beautiful morning view it was.
After we woke up and decided we weren't too seedy to move off, we assessed the weather and decided we needed to get somewhere for phone reception for a weather update. We slowly moved north then east until we had decent reception. Considering the weather at the time and the forecast for 15-20 mm of rain over the last two days of our trip, we needed to decide what we were going to do.
1)stay in a hotel/park in a cabin so we didn't have wet gear plus food and drinks or
2)see if we could get on the boat that day or the next and head for home
It was no point being holed up somewhere and not be able do do anything on the last couple of days. In the end it was decided to say bugger the cost, we will get on the boat tonight and that we did. It was a sad ride back to Devonport, we had only scratched the surface of Tassie and although we didn't do so much dirt and 4wdriving as we would have liked, plenty of the smaller back roads were very pretty with lots of wild life, and although the weather was on the turn, Tassie was still turning it on
Pretty soon we were in the bar on the boat, having raspberries tonight after last nights effort, heading north for the mainland.