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The Excellent Adventure - Hobart to Brisbane (with pics)

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by darklightBoy, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. Hey folks! Ten days time I'm hitting the north island. In to melbourne on the 6th, head out on the 8th via Myrtleford, Tallangatta, Khancoban, Jindabyne and up to Canberra. (map)

    After a day in Canberra I'm heading north through Yass, Boorowa, Wyangala to Bathurst. Then in via Bells Line to Sydney. (map)

    Day in Sydney, then comes the big run to Brisbane. Gonna spend a couple of days there then back down via the coast to Gippy, PI etc. Heading back to Hobart on the 26th.

    Anyone who wants to join in, or would be willing to put up a fellow rider in Albury, Sydney and Canberra areas (got accommodation in others sorted) it'd be great to hear from you.
  2. DLB, Wollongong is only 80 kays south of Sydney, and my place is only a couple of kays off the main Princes Highway; you'd be welcome to sleep here if you wanted to....
  3. Hey are you on the Ferry for the day trip on the 26th Jan??

    if so catch you on the boat
    we are heading over, 2 V-Stroms with kids on back.
    heading down West Coast to Hobart

    Stay safe on your big trip and have lots of fun filled days!!

  4. There's a group ride, followed by a coffee meet in Brissie on the 13th. Will you be up here by then?

    Have a safe trip. :grin:
  5. Looks like a great ride and you're taking some good routes. Have fun, looking forward to lots of pictures and a huge ride report :)
  6. Hey mate I can put you up when you're in Canberra if you like :)
  7. Stromer - I'm on the night sailing for the ferry sorry, but no doubt will see you and crew at Joe's Garage on the Tuesday night! (you better be there :p )

    Cookee - probably not. At this stage it looks like I'll hit Brisbane on the 14th. But I'll be spending a day or two about if you have a bunch free for riding :)

    Hornet/Ricecooker - Thanks for the offers :grin: I'll PM you through my mobile number and when I'll expect to be around your way. Always glad to meet new riders.
  8. I am on the Gold Coast so if you need somewhere to drop in or somewhere to do any work on your bike just let me know
  9. Being mid-week, most people will have to work. However, I'm off until the 29th, so I'll be able to ride any day.
  10. So here is the first update from our young tassie friend, a txt @ 5:41pm on the very "FIRST" day off his journey :LOL:

    Nate txt'ed: "Well an interesting first twist to the adventure, my sleeping bag is somewhere between Scottsdale and Launceston..."

    hehe, it was tied on the back of his bag rack, seemed to stay on for the better part of the ride up the east coast, but i didnt follow all the way up so i didnt get to see it fall off :)

    Oh well hope you found it Nate, keep us updated with your trip
  11. The Trip Begins

    Here we go! A running commentary as I go.

    Day One - Hobart to Launceston.

    Couldn't have been a nicer day to start the adventure. Warm, plenty of sun, and a ripper of a breeze (read: very strong wind). I had the bike packed the night before I left, so it was only a case of double checking everything, and heading off to Sorell to meet with the guys heading up the coast that day as well.

    It was definitely the day for biking, while waiting for the others I had a chat to another bunch of about 20 bikes, they were heading down Port Arthur way for the day. A nice collection too, some cruisers, nice matte(ish) silver ZX-10, Speed Triple...

    Left Sorell for Orford just after ten. Only three of us in the end, with Leigh (Techno) on his Monster, plus Chris (DonDock) and Leecy (bit_of_alright) on the ninja. Apparently half of Hobart had the same idea as us, lots of traffic heading out east. Got stuck in a first-gear crawl up a hill behind a horse float, then a semi, then a learner on a bike. Techno and myself got round it all pretty quickly (what are double white lines again?), the two on the ninja a bit later, but caught up before by about Buckland..

    Quick stop in Orford for a drink and the first of many visor cleaning sessions for the day. Decided our next stop would be Swansea, where we had lunch at a place called "The Ugly Duckout." I paid $15 for a chicken burger for lunch (in it's defence, it was worth it). A few jokes about east coast drinking water and it's alternatives (such as dirt), and we got back on the road.



    A quick discussion decided the Ninja wouldn't make it to St Helens on the fuel it had left, but we'd barely gone anywhere since Sorell, so we'd stop at Bicheno for petrol. The wind picked up on the run to Bicheno, nothing short of very strong (the kind of wind where you're angled over just to go straight). Hot as well, it was a bit like having a fan heater in your jacket. Made it to Bicheno, filled up, looked at the map and time. Chris and Leecy decided not to continue on to St Helens as they had to be back in Hobart by the end of th day, so they turned off at St Mary's to head south via Avoca, while Leigh and myself headed on to St Helens.

    We were overtaken just past Scamander by this KTM motard that we'd been overlapping all day. Damn those things look funky. Tall though, bit like riding a giraffe. Stopped at St Helens where the oil light on the Monster decided it would light up despite plenty of oil being in the engine. Maybe that's just a Ducati thing. Leigh went and got oil while I got food and petrol. Next stop Derby, where I would go on to Launceston and Leigh would fill up and head back St Helens way to do some exploring. This meant we got to head through one of the best roads in the state (IMO), the road through Weldborough.

    It's a forest road, full of corners ranging from sweepers, to switchbacks and a few nice S-bends. Plenty of variety, I highly recommend it. Just outside Weldborough I looked in the mirror to see the headlight from Leigh's Monster had turned into a convoy of about ten. We were progressively overtaken by a bunch of sports riders. Took it easy through that section to give them a chance, and also because my visor was covered in a few smeared bugs. That combined with the tricky dark-light-dark fored shading made it hard to see the corners. A fair bit of gravel through there.

    5 minutes out of Derby I spotted a farm sprinkler going full tilt. Didn't take long to realise it was throwing a shower of water across the road. Just like having a water balloon thrown at you, one moment you're dry, then SPLAT! On the upside my visor was clean! Had all dried out by the time we hit Derby, given that riding in Saturday's wind was a bit like your own tumble drier. Stopped for a quick drink in Derby, and Leigh and myself parted ways.

    The trip to Launceston was rather uneventful, I got to go through the Sidling, another fantastic bit of road. Arrived in Launceston, only to find a dangly cargo strap and an empty space where my sleeping bag had been an hour before. Obviously it had fallen off somewhere in the last 80 kilometres. :? Can't expect a trip this big to go off without a hitch, although that wasn't the kind of hitch I was expecting. Shopping in Melbourne for a new sleeping bag and an extra cargo strap then. Cruise out to Bec's house in Exeter for a lovely meal and bed for the night.

    Day Two - The Boat

    Not much to expect today, given I was going to be spending a good eleven hours on a floating bar. Which is all the place is really when you take out the restaurant and the cabins. It's just a big floating bar. Mind you I didn't take advantage of that. I spent most of the day just wandering around the ship, sitting down here and there to read my magazine I'd brought with me. Did buy a proper atlas though, which should help me more than a few grainy google maps printouts.

    Having a bit of a chat to the other riders while we were waiting to board, a guy from Sydney on an old CB750 who'd spent a few days up around the North-west, and a bunch of Harley riders (plus a Triumph America) who had been down for two weeks. Somehow, they hadn't heard of Joe's Garage. :shock: I told them they needed to check it out next time, of course. One of them points to my bike and says "have you noticed your chain guard's coming off?" Great. The bolts for it are missing, so it's just sitting there. Off it comes, wedged into the bag straps. Looks like a bit more Shopping in Melbourne. Maybe I should call this my "what's gonna fall off next?" tour. Actually, I think I will. With my luck I can just see more happening.

    I'd looked at my map as we were getting into Melbourne, I thought I had a general idea of where I was going. I think I was wrong. It took me a whole of 15 minutes before I had to stop and refer again. The problem was, I was just out of the area of the detailed map, and the closest map I had only showed major roads. Basically I had no idea where I was. Kept riding for a bit, found another major road, and looked at the map again. Headed off on one road which I thought was right, looking for my next turn off, only to find after a few sets of lights that it had become a different road! What's with this city turning one road straight into another without notice? I'd been in Melbourne a whole of half hour and gotten lost twice! A quick call to my brother and he gave me the good directions. Finally found my way to my friend's place I was staying at (after numerous U-turns, thankyou Melbourne's wide roads), unpacked the bike and walked into South Yarra for pizza and a drink.

    There's the first two days. What lies in store for me? Who knows, that's part of the adventure. I've heard I have bushfires and floods in my way, let's hope they clear up. Today was going to be a trip to Point Cook to see the RAAF museum, but I just discovered they don't open on Monday. :evil: Looks like a trip to check out the Black Spur with Tim (vtr_rida) from SA is in order.
  12. We are an hour from Albury. Yarrawonga / Mulwala, if you still need a place 2 crash
  13. Awesome. Thanks for the updates
  14. i'm in canberra/queanbeyan for the next two weeks :evil:
    when you gonna be there...err, here?
  15. joel and you didnt come to our coffee meet tonight? :eek:
  16. if you need a good sleeping back etc cheap PM me - I work at Kathmandu
  17. Joel - I'm hoping to hit Canberra today, and I'll be hanging around for another day.

    Day Three - A trip to the Spurs

    I met up with Tim (vtr_rida) and a friend of his who were over from Adelaide for a run out to the spurs, see just what the reputation of these two roads was about. It was easy enough to get out there, as we just had to run down the road I was staying on for a few K's then off onto the eastern freeway. One thing that amazed me that we spent nearly an hour just riding to get to Healesville and hadn't hit anything remotely twisty. That just doesn't happen in Tasmania. We stopped in Healesville to grab a morning snack, loaded back up, Tim turned on his camera and we headed up the road.


    I can see why people rave about these roads, they're great! One thing I've been finding about Victorian roads is that the surface itself is infinitely better than anything we've got on the south island. We got caught behind vehicles about halfway up the hill, so took it easy for most of the way through to Narbethong.

    We relied on my proven navigation skills, and we decided to head to Marysville and through to Reefton and back to Warburton. So off we go, only to find ourselves back at Narbethong. :? After a bit of head-scratching and referring to the map, I realised what I'd done, so with a correction in hand we went the right way through the Reefton Spur.

    I actually preferred Reefton to the black spur, something about the way it just kept going left, right, left, right, constantly made it a more enjoyable road for myself. Each to their own I guess. Bugger all traffic too means it's a lot easier to go your own pace.

    The confusing part was going past a sign saying "Welcome to Reefton," and not seeing a thing at all until a sign saying "Welcome to McMahons Creek." Bit of an invisible township? :p Nevertheless, we headed back through to Warburton, through some 45k s-bends at full tilt because they were missing an advisory sign, and stopped at a café to let Tim's mate catch back up. Back into the city via a stop at a motorcycle store to get some chain lube and learn the art of lubricating the VTR's chain with a sidestand and three people. I'm glad I've got a centrestand I'll tell you that!

    We found our way back into the city were Tim and Julian were staying, which happened to be on the corner of Flinders and Spencer Streets. After a quick stop our next destination was Williamstown to meet the coffee night crew. Should be easy right? Just head down Spencer and turn onto the freeway. We ended up in Albert Park. :? I'm beginning to think I've got worse navigation skills than MickyB....Found our way back there eventually. It was good to meet the crew down there, I had a good night. Thanks to Robsalvv, Lefty, Port80, Loz, Cheng, Dr Who, MVRog, Ali, Clairebear, G and anyone else whose name I've forgotten. Hope to see you all again some time!
  18. Day Four - Towards the Border

    My plan today was to reach NSW. I wasn't too fussed if I didn't, but it would be good to get there. Leaving Melbourne via a very boring trip along the Ring Rd and headed out to Kinglake. I started picking up on Victoria's way of identifying good motorcycling roads. They have the signs saying "Motorcycle High-risk Area." See one of them and you know you've got some fun up ahead it would seem :grin: The road to Kinglake is just one of them. From there I went through Kinglake West, to Flowerdale, Yea, and stopped at Mansfield. I think I may have taken the wrong route at some stage, because there was no end of long, straight, boring roads.


    It picked up for a bit after Mansfield, taking the road through to Whitfield. Nice tight road up around the side of a mountain(hill?) and back down. I was getting very hot by this stage so an ice cream was in order, amongst a small chat to a local. I was all set on Albury, so it was up to Wangaratta and out to Beechworth. Once again, very long and straight. This country's got some flat distances, I'll tell you that. Makes me understand why people go to Tassie :p

    I got a call while at Beechworth from Mr and Mrs Charmed (aka Peter and Simone), who had offered me somewhere to stay. Realising I'd gone the wrong way, it was back into Wangaratta, up to Yarrawonga and over the border (yay!) into Mulwala. I'd been hoping to get a picture of the border sign but typically, it was in the middle of a bridge. Ah well. It had been a long day and it was good to relax with their good hospitality. Dave (Tramp) and Kylie (boots) came over as well for a nice evening.

    Day Five - Mulwala to Canberra

    Into the mountains I say! Now this was the part I'd been looking forward to. The ride through Alpine Way around the Snowies. The day started with Peter kindly reattaching my chain guard, and we geared up and headed off to Albury. Stopped in at Online Motorcycles to get some new gloves as my old ones are a bit tired and some extra oil for the ZZR, a bite to eat, then it's parting ways and back off south(ish) again, finding my way back into Victoria and discovering the road between Hume Weir and Walwa. Now that's a fun road, nice and open, plenty of high speed corners. No one about either it would seem. I saw a couple of bikes heading back the other way and the odd car, but mainly had the 90-something km stretch to myself. Stopped at Walwa for some petrol, and got talking to a couple of riders who were also stopped there. They were actually from Queensland, and had been down in Tassie and were on their way back north. A bit like my trip in reverse. They'd actually managed to lose two other bikes they were with and their support vehicle (the ones I'd seen heading back to Albury). Aah the joys of big trips hey? We were all heading through the mountains, but different planned ways and different stopping points, so I wished them well and headed on my way.


    Skipped through Khancoban and kept going towards Jindabyne, this was where the fun began. I've never seen so much continual twisties! I had a ball! You get the idea that the NSW government wants to spoil things for people though, with the speed limit posted at 60 for half of it. Not that a few signs stop you from having fun :p Left, right, left, right, up, down, you get the idea. Anyone who hasn't gone that way, DO IT! I'm thinking of going back that way again on the way south, but will have to see what happens. The scenery is fantastic too, with Mt Kosciuszko towering above. I should have stopped for a photo. Yep, going there on the way back.

    I made it to Jindabyne in once piece, stopped for a pie and to have a look around. Beautiful lake they have there, doesn't look like your usual "snow town." I'd like to go back in winter just to see what that whole region is like. We get snow in Tassie, but I can't imagine it would be anything in comparison. I'd planned to go from Jindabyne up to Tumut and through to Yass, but time was getting late, so I took the straight road from Jindabyne out to Cooma, then straight up the Monaro to Canberra, where I got a guided tour round the outskirts of the city, and a place to crash, thanks to Mel (ricecooker).

    5 days down, and I've clocked up around 1,800kms. Still alive, and the ZZR hasn't skipped a beat. :)

  19. Very glad to read that your trip is going well d'light Boy!

    Shame about the sleeping bag..just have to find a nice girl each night to snuggle up to!!

    Booo Yeah!

    :LOL: :grin:

    Actually, I'm a little jealous....I miss the Great Alpine way..
  20. Good trip so far young tiger. Carry on.