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South Australia on the back of a bike

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by Exportswede, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. I just have to post something because I'm so excited about this!

    Tomorrow morning, I'm heading out for a 5 day solo trip to South Australia, on the back of my trusty steed Henrietta - a bright yellow 2008 Honda CB400.
    I'll be going inland to Lavers Hill, and then continue down the Great Ocean Road and the coast all the way to Mt Gambier. From there, onwards to Cape Jervis and the Kangaroo Island ferry. Following a blat of the island, I'm cruising on up through Adelaide and heading north to the Barossa Valley where I'm celebrating my birthday (but not too much, as I have to ride again the next morning).
    Then, another weave through the valley and down to Naracoorte for a peek at the caves, before finally heading home again, probably via the second half of the GOR. There might even be an extra night's stop somewhere along the coast...

    So yeah, hoping I'll remember to stop and take some pictures, and write something up when I get back, so I can share the adventure with y'all.

    Until then, stay upright. That's what I'll be trying to do for the next five days. :D
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  2. Have a nice trip and hope you enjoy Barrosa Valley. They do some awesome wines down there...

    And take lots of pics..

    A fellow Libran? Eh... ;)

    What day does your birthday fall on?
  3. Excellent :D have a great trip
  4. Enjoy the trip, stay safe. Watch out for the gravel roads on KI, some are like riding on ball bearings, or at least they were the last time I was there, but that was 10 years ago.
  5. Happy Birthday ExportswedeExportswede! All the best, have fun adventure and remember to share with us all :) Let me know if you might ride through Halls Gap, and, of course, remember you are most welcome to stay the night here if you want, before hitting the GOR on your way back home. Looking forward to your write up and some stunning shots ;)
  6. Have a great trip ExportswedeExportswede and moreimportantly a great birthday!

    What a way to celebrate!

    Yes, must... stop... to... take... photos...
  7. So how was day 1? Did you cop any hail? Looking forward to your ride report and piccies of your trip. Hoping the weather is kind and it all goes without any dramas.

    Have an awesome time!!!
  8. Have fun ExportswedeExportswede !! Dont forget to take lots of piccies and have an amazing time !!

    P.s dont forget to swing by mine en route home to pick up your birthday cake :p
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  9. very jealous! stay safe and post lots of pictures when you can!

    lol! I always thought your username was lazy librarian
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  10. lucky you. very envivous. look forward to reading about and seeing what i am unlikely to do.
  11. Awesome way to celebrate your Bday. Have a safe and exciting trip plenty of pics when you get back.
  12. Awesome! Just got a CB400 (upgrade from Ninja 300)! Love her, there is no turning back! Would love to do a trip like that! Have fun!!!!
  13. Enjoy the ride ExportswedeExportswede , stay safe! And have an awesome birthday to boot!
  14. Happy birthday ExportswedeExportswede your adventure sounds awsome, pics or it never happened ;)
  15. Sounds fantastic. There's nothing like a few days away on the bike. Safe & happy riding.
  16. Belated happy birthday ExportswedeExportswede and hope you are having an awesome adventure! Can't wait to see the pics. :happy:
  17. Great ride, have a blast - but the cost of the ferry to Kang. Island is really painful though!
  18. Thanks everyone for the birthday messages and for all the well-wishes. I finally got back home late last night and have spent the day so far cleaning the bugs off the bike. She's now nice and shiny again!
    Will post a bunch of pictures and a proper write-up of the trip as soon as I get myself sorted. Stay posted everyone.

    For now, I'll begin by saying that I did a total of 2 984km over the whole trip, with the longest day being the last, when I did 682km in one day.

    Stuff I learnt on the ride?
    1. Windscreens are your friends. I wish I had one.
    2. Bugs make your visor very colorful if left on there long enough. Think I collected about 400 of each species between Melbourne and Adelaide.
    3. Logging trucks go very fast in South Australia. Much faster than in Victoria.
    4. It is entirely possibly to take a bike on a ferry and not drop it. Unless you untie the rope on the wrong side first.
    5. Fur seals are a horrible distraction when you're late for your ferry back to the mainland.

    More details coming soon...
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  19. Day 1, Friday, Melbourne to Mt Gambier:

    Time for take-off. I've been looking forward to this trip for quite a long time, and have spent what feels like days looking at maps, planning routes, sorting out places to stay, things to see...
    Now it is finally time.
    Bags packed, bike filled up with both petrol and air, and travel buddy Randy firmly shoved into his usual place next to the camera that I will try to make some use of. 1.

    I head off down Hoddle street to get on the freeway out of town as soon as possible, passing all the suckers on their way to work, already grinning in my helmet. Traffic going out of the city is pretty good so before i know it, I'm halfway to Geelong and already feeling the holiday mode setting in. As I have a fairly long day to ride, I figure it's best to go inland for the first stretch, so I head off down the A1 to Colac and turn off towards Lavers Hill once I've topped up the tank a bit.
    Son enough the road starts getting a bit more interesting and scenic, and I feel myself starting to forget all about the city and work and all that other stuff once I get to that part of the road right before Gellibrand, with all the nice twisties.
    As I've promised to take photos, and it's such a nice day and I'm in no hurry (yet), I pull over to snap some pics of all the fun to come. 2.

    Finally make it to Port Campbell where I stop for yet another picture and some food.

    Keep going down the Great Ocean Road but don't make it too far before I have to stop again. I't just too damn pretty down here, especially on a day like this, with no traffic and gorgeous sunshine, and me on my bright yellow bike and all.
    With views like this, it's no wonder it takes forever to get anywhere on the bike!

    Following a suggestion I got from a fellow rider at a recent First Aid event, I decide to keep going along the coast past Portland, and head up towards Nelson. I've never been down this way before, so from here on it's all an adventure.
    Still no traffic, and a nice open road gently curving it's way through tree plantations and the odd gum tree. I'm happy right now. Cruising along and singing to myself I finally manage to catch up to a car with a boat trailer. No dramas, I slow down and look for the first opportunity to overtake when suddenly, he slams on the brakes. A couple of emus have decided to make a sudden dash across the road, with one of them stopping and then going and then stopping again, seemingly unable to make up it's mind whether or not to go for it. Laughing at the silliness of these birds, I decide it's probably better to stay behind the boat guy for a bit longer. Turns out that's not a bad idea, as there's another emu leisurely strolling across the road a few kilometres further down.
    This time we both see him in time, so no need for any panicked braking.

    After another half an hour or so of trailing the trailer, as it were, I make into the town of Nelson, and decide to top up the fuel again along with my own tank. It's also time to clean the visor, for the third time today, as it's smeared with so many bugs and gunk that I can barely see anything.
    (Picture doesn't do it justice, but you get the idea)

    As I'm getting close to the border, I figure I might as well keep going. Hop back on the bike and zoom along the fairly straight road until I get to the sign, which naturally, I have to stop and take a picture of.

    It's still nice and warm and an absolutely gorgeous day to start the trip on, so even though the road is starting to straighten out and get a bit less exciting, it's still fun. If nothing else, the speed limit increases by 10km/h so there's always that.
    Before I know it, I reach my final destination for the day, Mt Gambier and old gaol where I'll be spending the night in a prison cell. The gaol was built sometime in the 1800s and kept in use as a prison until 1995. The owner, James and family, runs a tight ship and they're all very passionate about the history of the place. As such, I spend the last few hours of sunlight going on a guided mini-tour of the place, learning that I'll be sleeping in the cell next to the one where the three prisoners hanged at the jail spent their last night alive. A little creepy to spend the night in an old prison cell perhaps, but then again, it definitely makes for a good night's sleep knowing that there are fifteen feet of stone wall keeping anyone out.

    A long day finally ending, it's time to hit the hay as I have to up early in the morning to do it all over again. This time tomorrow, we'll be heading to Kangaroo Island!
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  20. That sounds like the perfect 1st day ExportswedeExportswede . As a kid we used to go camping at Nelson. It's a beautiful place, and there used to be an old abandoned bus with a veranda that we used to play on by the river. Never was game enough to go inside though.

    Those bugs! Wow.....:LOL:
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