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Sydney to Airlie Beach return

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by duncanp, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. 5000 km in a month or so.
    The legs were:-
    1. Sydney to North Haven (40km South of Port Macquarie)
    2. Southport
    3. Childers
    4. Yeppoon (Rockhampton)
    5. Mackay
    6. Airlie Beach and back in a day to Mackay.

    on a Honda VTR 250 which went like a beauty (serviced by Lloyd Penn who aren't sponsoring me). I'd stick it in 4th to overtake if I was doing 100-120 and into top at 120 at which there was nothing left in 4th.

    I had a 6kg overnight bag with me and got around 24 km/l. I was staying with friends or rellies in all stops except Childers so didn't take a tent.

    Interestingly enough I got my best fuel consumption from one load of ethanol added to premium petrol which also was the cheapest of the trip and cheaper than the regular unleaded at that pump. That was $1.11 a litre and I got more than 25 km/l from it.
    The worst consumption was a tankful done at 120 kph from which I got about 19 km/l.

    I got absolutely saturated three times, the worst being a long section of road works when we were on a dirt road when I could barely see 50m cos of the mud being thrown up.

    Only saw one live kangaroo but I had made sure I was always off the road by dusk although I know that is no guarantee of not meeting them. The roads were in fantastic nick and I really can say I only saw a couple of potholes.

    I did have to deal with a 4km section of dirt road a couple of times a day for a week in Yeppoon. Luckily Toecutter had told me not to touch the front brake when on the dirt so I survived that experience without mishap but only at 50 kph.

    The only incident of bad driving I saw was at Yeppoon when a hoon on a roundabout was trying to leave his mark while I was going around in front of him hoping like hell it wouldn't be on me.

    On the way home (South) from Taree I went inland and couldn't resist a run through Wollombi for a burger. It sure was more enjoyable than the Hway and F3 to finish off my trip.

    All up spent $300 on petrol in 24 fuel stops. Longest leg just under 600km, most legs 300-400km. The sheepskin kept my bum happy and after I'd wacked on a few rubber bands on the throttle and brake fluid container to free up my carpal tunnel I can say it was a painless.

    I'd do it all again. September was a great month to do it in. Luckily I took a thermal which I really needed when I got soaked but the rest of the time I had a short sleeved shirt under my fabric bike jacket with my Draggin' jeans. Sadly I lost one of my knee protectors I bought with the draggins so if anyone has one they don't want ......

    I'm thinking of adding a tent on my next trip but I think I want a bit more oompah to carry that and still have plenty of overtaking safety margin.

    then maybe I can go with Toecutter but I think he's found the dirt too much fun and I'm not ready for that yet ....
  2. Geezzz its a long trip and on a 250 ,sounds like you enjoyed your trip and a safe one.
    Got any pic's
  3. Big decision not to take a camera. Didn't know how wet things would get, how shook up etc. Next time - yes.
  4. Great write up Duncan, very enjoyable read :cool:

    You can use your front brake on dirt, especially before a corner and in a straight line but also use your back brake to help wipe off speed. Be very careful at slow speeds on dirt when turning and trailing rear is much better.

    In relation to the camera getting wet - I use two glad sandwich bags with the locking slides, works for me and have survied a few rainstorms.

    And I'd say you'd be ready for an upgrade soon after that trip, maybe look at getting something like a DR400/650, still pretty light and go better than the 250 on the highway. There are plenty of dirt tracks within 30 mins of Hornsby :wink:
  5. What a great trip and a great write-up, mate! It's amazing what you can do on a 250, ain't it??
  6. Well done Duncan, I always love reading about people getting off their butts and seeing Australia. On a 250 you did good.

    I have traveled far and wide with my (rather expensive I might add) digital camera in its camera bag and in my tank bag, 50C temps to -5C and rain, storms you name it with never a problem (well I tell a fib it did fog the lens once but cleared)

    Where you going next ? Nullarbor is nice :cool:
  7. sounds like an amazing trip.

    wat was airlie beach like? im goin there for a week in january, not riding thought catching plane. did u spend long there, anything u suggest doing?
  8. Niall, we were up there a few weeks ago. It's a great place, old fart here with wife and kids we still had a good time, but for younger ones like you its awsome as there are heaps of backpackers and can you say parrrrrtayyyy
  9. Niall, Davo's got it in one. You'll have a ball. The average age is 20-25. There is a great looking lagoon/swimming/wading pool behind the shops where you can lounge around all day. It's free of charge and is just a great spot to get through the day with a hangover (I would think).
  10. ... and the lagoon is close to the best drinking hole, just don't drown when you are pi$$ed.