Have Toys, Will Travel.

Discussion in 'The Bar' started by Bernie, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    After 46 years of grubbing around in the internal workings of aircraft too numerous to mention, I decided that I had had enough, so I told my boss to stick his job up his ass, and I retired,,, about 6 weeks ago. I ordered myself a new Jayco Basestation, Toyhauler caravan, and soon my girl and I will hit the road and join the ranks of the Grey Nomads who circulate endlessly around Australia, never to be seen again.

    Today, amidst great excitement, and the exchange of a huge wad of cash, we took delivery of the new caravan. Below are a few pictures to celebrate the event. We still have a lot of setting up to do, and will take a few short practice runs to iron out the bugs. We also have to move out of the house which we are renting, and get rid of a life times accumulation of junk. Space is a bit limited in a caravan, especially when half of it is a garage. Then we will set off, probably in mid January.

    You didn't think I would abandon my bike did You??? But what I'm looking for now, is one of those 20mm cannons to mount on the back of my ute, so that I can shoot at any aircraft that happen to fly over my camp. There should be plenty of them lying around in Iraq about now.

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  2. Steve

    Steve Administrator Staff Member

    well I'll be buggered. Your tape measure is better than mine. I always thought the FJR wouldn't fit in the back of a base station. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

    Now for the true feelings...jealous as you bar steward. Having done a couple of trips in ours (12 days and then 5 weeks), I can only say...you have a wonderful time ahead of you. Anything we can help with re ideas, tips, tricks etc...sing out. AND....congrats on the retirement :)

    Any chance of a throttle body balance before you go (for the Canuck & I)?

    Looking forward to following your travels. Congrats mate :)
     
  3. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yeah, the FJR fits easily, even with the top box sticking out the back, there is still about 9 inches spare. I didn't think to measure the Basestation before ordering it, I just eyeballed it. :doh:

    Bring the bikes around any time, I am no longer constrained by working hours. :dance:
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Administrator Staff Member

    yeah...but I am :(
     
  5. M Roadster

    M Roadster Member

    Congrats Bernie, rig looks great - jealous as hell :)
     
  6. AHAMAY

    AHAMAY Member

    Dammit Bernie!!! I'm as jealous as hell :eek:

    That is a sweet looking toy. Congrats on your retirement :dance:
     
  7. Ken Fraser

    Ken Fraser Riding on

    Bloody brilliant :dance: :dance: :dance:
     
  8. Shoey

    Shoey Active Member

    Beautifull thing, :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
    Shoey & Lola
     
  9. Martyn

    Martyn Member

    Fantastic Mate. Good for you. Make sure you keep posting on your travels so we can live vicariously through your exploits and dream
     
  10. Qtr Horse

    Qtr Horse Member

    What can I say :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
    Love the bunk beds and I must say giving me ideas but the misses .... :think:
    Looking forward to your travel journal :dance:
     
  11. Qtr Horse

    Qtr Horse Member

    Okay, I had a look at the website:
    http://www.jayco.com.au/range/toy-haulers/basestation/
    and it looks like the 21ft van. Very nice!
    Not that it would bother me but from the misses perspective, where's the shower? :whistle:

    Ooops! Just had a look through the photos ..... it's there. Just have to stand in the toilet bowl :lol: :lol:
     
  12. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    It has a shower and dunny built in, about mid ship. That's one of the main reasons that I decided to go for a caravan, I hate the communal dunny blocks, and having to stumble across a park in the dark and rain for my scheduled 2AM piddle. Otherwise, I may have gone with a large tent, they make some very nice ones these days.
     
  13. BlueW

    BlueW Member

    I like it. It looks a good way to travel.
    How is the balance with the FJR and trailer in the back half?
     
  14. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    I don't know yet, I've been busy trying to mount one of those ride-on front wheel clamps for the bike, but I keep on getting interrupted by visitors coming to look at the trailer. The bike forms such a small part of the overall weight that I don't think it will effect the handling of the van much.
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Administrator Staff Member

    Bernie...do you know the various weights of the van?
    ATM?
    GVM?
    etc.

    Just be careful in regard to Insurance. If the van is found to be o'weight, and in an accident....ba-bow. Not a good outcome.

    FWIW....most vans will provide a payload of 400kg. In that 400kg you need to allow for water being carried, food, gas, clothes, utensils, bedding etc....and the 270kg FJR and the trailer.
    Now...how's that weight total going? ;-)
     
  16. BlueW

    BlueW Member

    Just a thought Bernie, it would make a great support vehicle for the Assault !!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
     
  17. mikeg_capel

    mikeg_capel New Member

    Well done Bernie, it looks like you've got the mix real good.

    All the best with your adventures.

    :grin: mikeg
     
  18. The White Tiger

    The White Tiger Administrator Staff Member

    Love it, very jealous mate :mrgreen:
     
  19. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Here are some inside Pics of the Toy Hauler. Since the last pics, I have added a ride-on front wheel chock which supports the front end of the bike, and stops fore and aft movement, so the tie-down straps only have to stop side to side rocking of the bike.

    The trailer has a kick down stand at the front, and 2 removable vertical stands at the back, so it cannot roll around on it's own wheels, so it should only need a single tie-down strap at the front.

    I hope that is enough to keep things steady in there.

    Steve, the weight of the van is 2200 Kg, so I should have 800 Kg to play with before I hit my weight limit.

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  20. Steve

    Steve Administrator Staff Member

    that's a good payload allowance Bernie. You should be fine mate.

    The front wheel 'lock' is the same as the one we had in the trailer I borrowed to get Laurie's bike from Kal. We can assure you that it does lock the bike in nicely. As long as your tie down straps prevent the bike suspension from compressing/jumping, you'll be fine.
     
  21. Ken Fraser

    Ken Fraser Riding on

    What a great setup !!!!

    So it's the 4th pivot position, forth hole of 6, for a 17" wheel.
    Bought a Supercheap chock on sale yesterday.
     
  22. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yes, I also got the chock from Supercheap. Note that it takes a very vigorous push/pull to get the bike on/off the chock. Of course, you can use the motor to drive it on, but not off.

    And don't make the mistake of trying it out before you bolt it down, I made that mistake. :doh:
     
  23. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Well, today is the first day of the rest of our lives. At last, we finished packing up the house, loading the caravan, final inspection and handed the keys back to the landlord.

    We didn't go far, only about 50 Km out to a caravan park at Serpentine where we have booked in for a week. Arrived at midday, and it was stinking hot without a breath of wind, we set up the van, switched on the aircon, went inside, and stayed there until sunset. It must have been above 40C all afternoon.

    When it was safe, we had a stroll, a couple of iced Scotches, a feed of grilled Barramundi, and settled in for the evening. There is no TV signal here, so we are both busy surfing the net.
    Here is a picture of Lynn gasping for breath in the stifling heat.

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  24. graham downunder

    graham downunder New Member

    Looks good How good is the AC ?? By the way have a look at the tie down straps that go over the rear tire so the suspension can move but the tire stays put .Dirt bike riders use them a lot .
     
  25. M Roadster

    M Roadster Member

    Enjoy Bernie,

    I would love to do what you're doing, jealous as hell :)
     
  26. gainsi

    gainsi New Member

    Fantastic set-up, well done. You might be sooo laid back by April that you can't be bothered coming over for the Assault !! :lol:
     
  27. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The aircon is very good, chills down the interior nicely, but it is a bit noisy. I don't pull the straps down very tight at all, so the suspension can still move. The straps are purely to stop side to side rocking of the bike, the front wheel chock stops any fore and aft movement, so I don't think it would be worth going to the tire straps.
     
  28. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yeah, we have not planned to go on the assault. The logistics and cost of storing the caravan and ute for 2 weeks is too hard, and we will be touring all through that area soon anyway.
     
  29. jwm

    jwm New Member

    800kg payload? That's a lot of payload Bernie. Just keep in mind what Steve said earlier, check your tow ball weight , GVM and ATM's and make sure you are within limits. Also make sure of the rating of your tow bar, tow ball and D Shackles. If they aren't rated and stamped, not only might you be in trouble with the authorities but Insurance Comapnies will crucify you if your involved an accident.

    Other than that mate, a lovely rig, a huge adventure in front of you and there's always a bed or a patch of grass to park the van over here at my place.
     
  30. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We've been camped up at the Dwellingup Caravan Park for 9 days now, and what a busy time it has been. We had Lynn's 2
    grand children stay with us for a week, and their parents for a night, then Lynn's inlaws for another night. This weekend,
    another mob of friends are arriving, and we will be going up to Quindanning for a "Casey Chambers" concert on Saturday
    night.

    On top of that, we had a series of dry lightning storms come over, which started some 100 bushfires in the forests along the escarpment above Perth. The closest was at Waroona, about 30 Km from us, and the fire fighting choppers used the sports field at Dwellingup to fuel up for a couple of days, which caused much excitement in the village. Crop spraying
    aircraft converted for fire fighting, were also using the local airstrip for refueling, and their approach route was right over our caravan, noisy buggers.

    Today, we finally managed to drag the bike out for a ride, and we went down to Waroona to check out the damage, and also went to check out the caravan park at Logue Brook Dam, but there was a fresh fire flareup near Logue Brook, and the road in was closed. A huge storm cloud formed above the fire, which was most impressive in the otherwise clear blue sky. We have decided to go to Augusta next week instead.

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  31. Steve

    Steve Administrator Staff Member

    so...breakfast at the Blue Wren on Sunday morning?

    Just wondering if Laurie wants to go for a ride?
     
  32. Helixxx

    Helixxx Member

    Where's that???
     
  33. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    At Dwellingup of course. We would love to see you guys again, but you should aim to get here between 07:30 and 08:00 as the place can get very busy after that. We may have some friends with us, as they will be staying over after the concert at Quindanning.
     
  34. Ken Fraser

    Ken Fraser Riding on

  35. Helixxx

    Helixxx Member

    I'm up for it, have to be back in town for lunch at 1400, in the Valley

    Steve, are you capable of dragging your sorry rose outta for that? :whistle: :whistle: :whistle:
     
  36. Helixxx

    Helixxx Member

    That should have been orse :roll: :roll:
     
  37. Steve

    Steve Administrator Staff Member

    145kms via Kwinana carpark....or 139kms via the Reid earthworks/sandpit.

    I say FWY.

    6.15am at Reid hwy Mitchell Fwy interchange?
     
  38. Helixxx

    Helixxx Member

    Works for me, I'll see you on Saturday am and finalize then
     
  39. MildThing

    MildThing Member

    Play it safe, Bernie. Enjoy the good life and avoid the danger zones.

    Except if they involve corners, of course. :)
     
  40. Qtr Horse

    Qtr Horse Member

    I'm going to let that one go through to the keeper...... :whistle: :whistle:
     
  41. BlueW

    BlueW Member

    Interesting, I will see what time I get home from Moora on Saturday evening.
     
  42. BlueW

    BlueW Member

    Maybe not Bernie as this afternoons news had Quindanning under threat from the Lower Hotham fire front.
     
  43. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yeah, we've been watching that fire on the web all day. Grrrrrr. All the fire fighting choppers were back on the Dwellingup footy oval again today.
     
  44. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    After 2 weeks at Dwellingup we have moved down to Augusta, and what a relief that has been. Although Dwellingup
    is lovely, it's March Fly (Horse Fly) season there, and it was a constant battle from dawn to dusk, to stop the
    damn things biting us. They have a painful sting which iches for days afterwards, and the weather was still hot.

    Augusta is generally 5 to 7 degrees C cooler, and there are no March Flies or Mosquitoes to bother us. There are
    4 caravan parks here, and they are surprisingly busy, but we managed to get a good spot. We dragged the bike out
    this morning and took a ride up to Yallingup for lunch and a bit of sight seeing. The air was a bit smokey from
    the bush fires which are still raging a hundred miles away at Walpole and Windy Harbour.

    Here are some photos of the day. I would have liked to take a lot more, but it's so difficult on the bike, having
    to stop, take off helmet and gloves, open top box, take out camera, take pictures, then re-pack it all.

    BIKE & VAN AT AUGUSTA
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    LYNN AT HAMELIN BAY
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    HAMELIN BEACH
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    DOCK AT HAMELIN BAY
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    FISHING AT HAMELIN
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    THE CATHEDRAL, CAVES ROAD
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    THE CATHEDRAL, CAVES ROAD
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    THE BIKE
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    MARGARET RIVER MOUTH
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    MARGARET RIVER
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    MARGARET RIVER MOUTH, CLOSE UP
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    YALLINGUP BEACH
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  45. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The peace of our afternoon siesta was disturbed when a wasp dragged a defeated Huntsman spider across our front carpet.
    It was difficult to get nicely focused pictures because the wasp wouldn't stop, at one stage I thought it was going to
    have a go at me when I got too close to it's dinner.

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  46. mark1963

    mark1963 New Member

    Wow Bernie travaling must agree with you and your wife , you look younger in the fishing photos hahahahahaha cheers for the photos , enjoy mate
     
  47. Shoey

    Shoey Active Member

    Love the photos Bernie, enjoy the great outdoors.
    Shoey & Lola
     
  48. Charley Farley

    Charley Farley New Member

    As our old mate Toura would say

    B A R S T E W A R D

    :lol: :lol:
     
  49. Silverado6x6

    Silverado6x6 New Member

    I have been looking at your Gumtree ads for the last month or so, I too have a situation of retirement, spent 19 years driving a concrete mixer in Alaska, and from what I can tell they are much larger than the Australian versions. Been trying to ascertain what part of your country to set up a base of operations, for me it's just a shop on a parcel of land removed from a big city, seems like around Melbourne could be acceptable, just turned 58 in December, I own 18 motorcycles including 6 Goldwings, 3 Ventures, 2 Yamaha Vmax bikes, I say I own all but over half are projects, I can hop on at least seven bikes at any time if the batteries are up, I would really love to start a bike shop in Oz, not a big Harley shop, just picking up local discarded bikes, restoring them, especially the touring bikes.
    Just tired of too long winters here in Alaska.
    Your motorhome prices are unreal! I hate to say the obvious but it's the truth, I have an idea about working around that, first off my goal is possibly permanent residence so if all goes according to plans I'll fly down soon, seen quite a few heavy rigid trucks as you call them, one in particular is a three axle curtain side with a lift gate, cabover with a sleeper, would not be hard at all to attach side panels and interior trim to make a work truck camper, would have sleeping, cooking, toilet, shower, work shop, lift gate would help load any bikes, being a welder and fabricator I could even design a special hitch that won't interfere with the lift so then a trailer could be pulled along.
    This particular truck I saw in the Sydney area has a very long bed, must have hauled bottled gas cylinders.

    Looking forward to seeing the country on a touring bike, I know Goldwings very well, not that I love them the most, my 1989 Yamaha Venture Royale is actually my best bike with the 1985 Vmax in second, but it's too tiring to ride long distance.
     
  50. The White Tiger

    The White Tiger Administrator Staff Member

    Australia's average wage is over double what it is in the USA so if you just look at the prices it does look expensive. The same goes for bikes....a new FJR will cost you $15,000 in the USA and they are $25,000 here.
     
  51. Silverado6x6

    Silverado6x6 New Member

    That sounds optimistic, I was making $24 an hour driving a concrete mixer, Slightly less than normal for where I live, a family owned non union no benefit, no health-care job.They have fallen on hard times and I left them last fall.
    From what I have heard the same job in most of Oz would pay $37 an hour, I just spent this morning being interviewed at another concrete company that pays more and has benefits, it's seasonal work and it's very much still winter here, they are sending concrete out but not enough to hire any new drivers, even myself and I'm not just a journeyman mixer driver I am also an instructor, before that I built the plant and modernized it, plus doing all the repairs on the equipment.
    I think at 58 I'm too old to be hired in Oz, my best bet it appears is to just set up my own shop and stay with working on bikes.
    I even have some loose ideas of a modified sidecar like the Ural uses, except this one has an electric motor and battery, for low speeds say in town or a quick hop to the store use the battery, on down hill grades use the dynamic braking to recharge the battery, or use them both for extended mileage.

    Or skip the side car and use a trike, easier still to make a hybrid, use your at home solar panel to charge up your battery bank, give yourself some free miles. Don't need to pack in a hundred pounds of batteries not with the new stuff out. This I think would be a very acceptable concept in Australia with the high petrol prices.

    On my Goldwing Forums everyone knows I have been talking about moving to Oz, I have had lots of positive comments and support, hardest decision is selling off my collection here, maybe not all, keep one Goldwing the 93 and the 85 Vmax, pay the shipping and entry fees for those two.
     
  52. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Have you checked out your plans with an Australian embassy? Emigrating to Australia is not an easy process, at your age it may well be impossible to obtain permanent residency in Australia. Visiting is no problem, but living here is extremely difficult. Good luck.
     
  53. Silverado6x6

    Silverado6x6 New Member

    I'm aware of that, I'll drop into Brisbane I suspect and see what options are available, it's funny here in the states your best option is to actually be an illegal immigrant, you get a license, you can vote, you get healthcare. Go figure that out, not that I'm supporting it mind you. It's a political thing.
    I could always claim I'm a refugee, oppressed and persecuted by my Christian beliefs, yes I've seen a Visa for that condition at the Immigration website.
     
  54. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    After 3 weeks in Augusta, we were unable to extend our reservation at the caravan park, and so we have moved to Pemberton. The stay at Augusta was very enjoyable, though for the last 4 days, a strong Southerly wind sprang up and wouldn't stop. It was nice and cool during the day, but at night became cold, and the constant rocking of the van, and flapping of the annex became irritating after a while.

    Lynn's inlaws joined us for the last weekend, and were very comfortable on the bunk beds in the garage section of the van, especially as they could close the inter leading door for privacy. The caravan park at Pemberton is in a lovely setting down by a stream, and surrounded by huge trees in a forest. The trees break up the wind, but the night was surprisingly cold, good for sleeping.

    Today, we took a drive down to Northcliffe and Walpole to check out the caravan parks, and to have a look at the damage from the recent bush fires. The fires have been out for 3 weeks now, but there are still logs and stumps smoldering among the devastation. This fire was the biggest and worst in the recorded history of the area. Here is a link to photos of the day.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... e%20Damage
     
  55. Steve

    Steve Administrator Staff Member

    Watch out for parking under trees in windy conditions Bernie. Loose branches generally travel in one direction only. :pray:
     
  56. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Bernie, don't you have Anti Flappers for your awning?? In stronger winds, it best to fold the awning away. There are many many instances where people have lost there awnings in strong winds and it doesn't matter how big or heavy a caravan is, a flapping awning inevitably rocks the van.
     
  57. AHAMAY

    AHAMAY Member

    If it's rockin'... ;-)
     
  58. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yeah, I do have Anti Flappers, but it wasn't bad enough to prompt me to put them on, I'm a lazy bastid.
     
  59. mark1963

    mark1963 New Member

    NOT LAZY BERNIE RETIED :dance: :dance:
     
  60. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today we took out the bike and tried to get down to Windy Harbour to check out the caravan park and fire damage, but the road is being repaired after the fire, and it was all muddy. I hate getting mud on my bike, so we gave up and turned back.

    We then went to the Karri Valley Resort for a look. Lovely place, but the caravan park has been closed, and only cabins and rooms are available. The dining room and bar are beautifully layed out overlooking the lake, but of course, not open for lunch, so we left and had a look at the local Beedelup falls instead, very little water flowing.

    The last 2 photos are of a Bandikoot which was feeding behind our caravan this afternoon.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... y%20Resort
     
  61. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We've been in the Pemberton caravan park for 5 days now, and while the park is beautiful, our particular bay
    had no shade, and the van and annex were getting terribly hot during the middle of the day, so we renegotiated
    for a nice shady spot for the next 10 days.

    We moved this morning, only about 100 Meters, and as soon as we arrived, the local gangs of Parakeets, Magpies,
    and ducks descended on us for a feed, they had completely ignored us at the other site. So we had to stop work
    for half an hour to feed them. What a relief, the new site is in the shade all day.

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  62. The White Tiger

    The White Tiger Administrator Staff Member

    Very cool :!: :clap:
     
  63. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

  64. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today we took a 250 Km ride to check out the Muirs Highway from Manjimup to Rocky Gully, which I have never seen before. Along the way we stopped at Lake Muirs, which is mostly a shallow swamp that dries out in summer, and at the Frankland River. We were hoping for lunch and a cold beer at Rocky Gully, but the pub is closed, so we had to return to Pemberton.

    Only had one fright today, a bloody Emu suddenly darted out of the bush in front of us as we were cruising at about 140 Kph, but it turned back into the bush thank God.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ke%20Muirs
     
  65. Gus

    Gus Member

    that's a shame , stayed there last year on a FarRide and had a good night
     
  66. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

  67. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Keep a logical approach Bernie, I promise you that there are even bigger rigs out there. On the positive side, imagine what his fuel bill is? Keep in mind that there are a lot of locations, camps, caravan parks out there that that he won't get into because he can't fit in and also lots of places he won't be able to go, for the same reason. I have seen rigs that size in caravan parks where they have to pay for 2 sites because of the amount of Real Estate that they cover.

    Honestly Bernie, I've been touring in a caravan for about 8 years now and and have done a lot miles throughout Australia. Last year it really surprised me how big the vans were becoming, I saw lots and lots of tri axle rigs on the road last year, many more than previous years where you would just see the odd one or two. The No. of caravans touring has also increased alarmingly, it's like people are reaching 55, 60, 65 years old and deeming it a right of passage that they now have to buy a 4 wheel drive and a caravan and tour Australia. And the really scary thing is that the biggest thing these people had driven before buying the 4 wheel drive and caravan was probably a Nissan Micra.

    Sth Australia, Western Australia and the Nth Territory weren't to bad,as long as your not there in peak season, but coming down the eastern seaboard from Cairns back to Sydney last year in earl;y June really scared me. I promise you, there were no prisoners being taken. We had a family in a Base Station like yours pass us and numerous other vehicles (including an unmarked police car, who susequently pulled him over) on the Bruce Hwy and I guarantee he was doing 140kph and still accelerating.
     
  68. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    I hear you Jim. In my circumnavigations of Aus on the bike, I have seen them, thousands upon thousands of caravans, and I must confess that I am secretly worried about how I am going to deal with them. Imagine what it must be like in Europe and North America where the population density is 10 to 15 times greater than here.

    Since I bought my van, I have naturally become interested in the industry, and I have been astounded how big the industry is. In the van parks, I have noticed how many different manufacturers there are, so today, I did a Google search to try and find out exactly, and I was gob smacked, this site http://rvma.com.au/manufacturers-3/ lists 90% of them, and the 2 biggest, JAYCO and CORAMAL are not on it.

    There are too many to count, and this is just in Australia. (Roughly 100)
     
  69. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We've had a couple of days of light rain here in Pemberton, which damped down the dusty dirt roads nicely, so we did a little 4 wheel driving in the mighty Ford. First we went out to the Yeagarup Lake and Dunes, but I was too scared to drive onto the dunes because we were all alone, and getting bogged in that bottomless sand, would be a bad experience.

    Then we drove along the Warren River on a rugged track called Heartbreak Loop, and were overawed by the mighty trees, and we stopped at an old fire lookout tree called the "Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree", but I am too old to try and climb the thing, my pump would stop about half way up.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... p%20Warren
     
  70. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Last Sunday, we went up to the beautiful Quindanning Inn with some friends, to see the Kasey Chambers concert, and very good it was too.

    We left there as it was getting dark, and I drove very cautiously because that's the time when the Roos start to move about, but it didn't help, I still hit one. An oncoming car blinded me with it's headlights, and as it passed, I flicked my lights to High, and there it was right in front of me. I managed to brake my speed down to about 80Kph before the impact, but it was still a very substantial thump.

    Fortunately, I have an ARB Sahara Bar on the front, and that took the impact with no damage except to a plastic insert. That was $1600 well spent, without it we would have been stuck on the side of the road with smashed radiators.

    In other news, I found that the rear of the caravan has a slotted awning rail, so I bought a shade cloth awning, and a couple of tent poles to make a shaded area for the bike when it is not in the garage. It will also shade the rear door when it is down to make a good work platform.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  71. Steve

    Steve Administrator Staff Member

    heh heh heh...I know only too well the endless road that is caravan modding. "oooh, that's a good idea...might have/do that!" :lol:
     
  72. mark1963

    mark1963 New Member

    Hi Bernie , hope you guys are enjoying yourselfs , went to the caravan and camping show last weekend and seen a van like yours , but with a pop up bedroom on top , wow that's impressive, and it's a add on mmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  73. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yeah, we had a look at those vans last year, but the thought of climbing up and down a ladder to the bedroom when you're old and drunk was too much, you would end up with a broken leg, or caved in skull in no time. :snooty:
     
  74. mark1963

    mark1963 New Member

    Hahahaha your not old mate but I know we're your comming from with the Friday night on the rum hahahaha
     
  75. Steve

    Steve Administrator Staff Member

    Bernie,

    Laurie and I are doing a "Southern Run" to Norseman next week. Perth to Ravensthorpe (Thursday) then on to Norseman and Caiguna on Friday.

    Back that way 2 weeks later, Norseman on Friday night 17th April.

    You be anywhere around that area?
     
  76. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yeah, there is a good chance we will be in Esperance by then. We will be departing the Perth area just after Easter. :think:
     
  77. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    After our last stay at Dwellingup, we moved down to Perth for a week to finalize our affairs and say goodby to friends and relatives, and then we were off.

    Our first stop was at the Porongurup caravan park where we stayed for 3 nights. We managed to get the bike out for a ride up to the Stirling Ranges and Bluff Knoll, but the next day the weather turned nasty, so we went into Albany and had a look at the new National ANZAC Centre. Very good, but spoilt by too many people.

    The weather finally chased us out of the Porongurups, and we are now at Ravensthorpe for 2 nights. Thankfully the weather has eased.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... C%20Centre
     
  78. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We took a ride down to Hopetoun South of Ravensthorpe for a look see and a cup of tea. Nice place if you're into fishing, but not much to do otherwise.

    Hopetoun is the smallest, remotest, village on the South coast of Australia, and we found this Car/Boat/Caravan wash bay. I have never seen a facility like this ever, anywhere.

    That LandRover on top of the pub, is a Series 1 Short Wheel Base. It is probably about the same age as me.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... y/Hopetoun
     
  79. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    A gloomy, drizzly, typically English day, made the perfect opportunity to visit the replica Stonehenge site near the town of Esperance in WA. This is a truly awesome structure as it is made to full size in quarried granite, and is aligned to the summer and winter solstice.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Stonehenge

    It can be seen on Google Earth at co-ordinates
    33 47 16,31S, 122 01 46.45E. The original 4000 year old Stonehenge can be seen at
    51 10 43.87N, 01 49 34.24W.

    http://esperancestonehenge.com.au/
     
  80. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

  81. BlueW

    BlueW Member

    Not a bit jealous Bernie just a bloody lot!!!
     
  82. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday the weather was horrible, but today it was lovely again, so we dragged out the bike and took a ride to Cape Le Grand National Park to the East of Esperance. A couple of Emus scared the poop out of us on the way there, but the rest of the ride was delightful.

    Enjoy the pictures.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Le%20Grand
     
  83. Steve

    Steve Administrator Staff Member

    sorry we didn't turn left @ Norseman to come and see you Bernie, but the temptation of an 'almost completed' Great Eastern Hwy between Southern Cross and Coolgardie was too much to resist.
     
  84. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    No worries, I know what it's like when you are nearly home, you don't want to stop for anything. See you next time. :dance:
     
  85. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Caught while doing an unauthorized service on the mighty beast in the annex of our caravan
    in Esperance caravan park.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  86. AHAMAY

    AHAMAY Member

    Oh, the horror! The horror! My eyes - they burn!
     
  87. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Bad bad boy Bernie, you know 99% of Caravan Parks have a 'No servicing Vehicles in the park' policy.
     
  88. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    That's why I was hiding in my annex, what the eye doesn't see......... :mrgreen:
     
  89. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    I've been a bit slack in keeping up with the photos over the last few days, so here are a few
    which I copied off Lynn's Facebook, and a few of my own. They show us packing up to leave Esperance,
    our first night at Salmon Gums, second night at Fraser Range Station, and third night at Caiguna.

    The caravan gave us a bit of trouble somewhere on the 90 Mile Straight, which is about as isolated as
    you can get, with no phone coverage. The van electric brakes suddenly started to jerk on and off
    by themselves. I quickly isolated the fault to the van, and not the car, and spent the next 2 hours
    tearing into the wiring with a multimeter. It turned out to be the emergency Breakaway unit, which
    applies the van brakes if the van should become detached from the tow vehicle. I couldn't fix it, so
    I disabled the unit by pulling it's fuses. I will fix it later when I am not stuck on the side of the
    road. Thank God I have some electrical knowledge, the average punter would have had a very bad, and
    expensive, time, getting help out there.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 0Esperance
     
  90. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    At Madura Pass, you drop down off a low escarpment onto a coastal plain which stretches all the way to Eucla. It is exceedingly flat, bare, and heavily populated with Roos and Emus

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ura%20Pass

    The view and memorials at Eucla, back up on the escarpment

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBernie/library/Eucla

    These ruins are directly below the Eucla settlement and are easily accessible by road, but the jetty is about half a mile away through the sand dunes. The mighty Ford negotiated these with ease.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... on%20Ruins

    Left Eucla this morning in very pleasant conditions, cool, isolated showers, and very little wind. Had a great day taking pictures along the cliffs, and at the Head of the Bight.
    Unfortunately, this is not the whale season, so we didn't see any, but we saw a pair of massive Eagles with white bellies fly over, I have no idea what type they were, but they were bigger than Wedgetails. We are spending the night at Nullarbor Road House.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... an%20Bight

    I found the eagles using Google, they are White Bellied Sea Eagles. This is the first time I have ever seen them, or been aware of their existence.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-bellied_sea_eagle
     
  91. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We left Nullarbor Station and motored straight through to Streaky Bay. Nothing much to see along the way except Ceduna, which is a dump. Stayed 3 nights in Streaky Bay, And have now moved down to Elliston for another 3 nights. Elliston village is smaller than Streaky, but it is delightfully clean and tidy with a lovely coast line.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 20Elliston

    Today we took a drive out to see the Woolshed Cave, and later a trip around the Cliff Top Drive. While at the cave, I lost my footing on an incline while trying to get a picture, slid down the incline and over a 6 foot cliff onto large boulders. See picture 2, 34, 35
    I landed with a dreadfull thump, and my camera went clattering down among the rocks. My camera survived the drop, though I lost my lense cap, and I sustained scrapes and a bruise to my left shin and ego, otherwise, all OK. But I had a bad time climbing out of there.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... op%20Drive
     
  92. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Bernie, you be careful out there, your not a young man anymore. :naughty: :naughty: :naughty:

    Glad you survived reasonably unscathed. :oops: :oops: :oops:
     
  93. AHAMAY

    AHAMAY Member

    Dammit Bernie! If you hurt yourself we will miss out on your entertaining travelogue! Stay Safe! :grin:
     
  94. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yes, I probably needed that reality check, I was very lucky.
     
  95. Steve

    Steve Administrator Staff Member

    maaaate. Please. Be safe.

    Great photos, but so glad you weren't hurt.
     
  96. Helixxx

    Helixxx Member

    Klutz, take more water with it
     
  97. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Dragged the bike out today and gave it a run, mainly to charge the battery up, from Elliston to Lock on the Eyre Peninsula. We haven't been using the bike for sight seeing around here because most of the local roads are rough dirt.

    The town of Lock was almost completely dead on a Saturday morning, the only place open was the local IGA supermarket which had a coffee shop in it. Even the pub was closed. The road from Elliston to Lock is brilliant, very smooth with nice bends and little traffic, but bush right up to the edges meant the danger of Roo ambush was great in places, so I kept the speed down, even though I was itching to open her up.

    [​IMG]
     
  98. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Had a good run down to Coffin Bay, but the weather has turned nasy. Went into Port Lincoln yesterday to do some shopping, in a hot, gusting wind which kicked up dust and dirt. Last night, we had very violent, gusting winds and heavy rain squalls, but it has eased off this morning. Found a family of 4 Emus in the park this morning, 2 adults and 2 chicks.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ffin%20Bay
     
  99. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We took the bike for a ride from Coffin Bay to Cummins to Tumby Bay to Port Lincoln and back. The road from Cummins to Tumby Bay is a very nice stretch that winds down a beautiful valley. Had some Oompa Galoompa food at Tumby Bay, and a photo shoot at the Winter Hill Lookout above Port Lincoln. Saw plenty of Emus again.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Lincoln
     
  100. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We left Coffin Bay, stayed overnight in Cowell, then drove on to Port Augusta where we will spend 3 nights and do some shopping before heading out into the desert, Coober Pedy, Ayers Rock, and Alice Springs. We're planning a bike ride into the Flinders Range tomorrow, Horrocks Pass, Wilmington, Quorn and back. Hope the weather stays OK.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Augusta
     
  101. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Struggled to get Lynn out of bed this morning, but got going eventually and had a great ride from Augusta, up Horrocks Pass to Wilmington, then down the Flinders Range to Quorn, and back to Port Augusta.

    I tried to find Davo's memorial plaque for a look, but no luck. Photos on the Farriders site show it being planted on the side of the road going up to Horrocks Pass, but it does not appear to be sign posted in any way. WTH use is putting down a plaque if only a few sheep are ever going to see it.

    Missed getting pictures of the old steam train because it was rolling out of town as we rolled in to Quorn, but there were lots of historic old buildings, and some great oompa galoompa food. The ride back to Augusta was spoiled when we got stuck in a slow moving convoy right through the best part of the mountain pass road.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ks%20Quorn

    [​IMG]
     
  102. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We were going to head off to Coober Pedy today, but then we found out that the road to Wilpena Pound is sealed, so we decided to go there instead. I've always wanted to see the Pound. Unfortunately, we have now found that there are no roads into the Pound, only walk tracks, serious walk tracks, and my days of serious walking are long gone. Tomorrow we will drive some of the tracks around the outside of the Pound, and I will post more pictures.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... na%20Pound

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilpena_Pound
     
  103. AHAMAY

    AHAMAY Member

    Thanks Bernie - sound like you are having a great time of it. I knew nothing of the Pound until you posted details.
     
  104. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Bernie, if your not into serious walking, I suggest that you cross Kings Canyon of your list also. You can still go there and walk into the canyon but if you don't or can't walk the rim of the canyon, your wasting your time and petrol. A very steep climb to get to the rim and several hours walking around the rim.

    We went there and walked into the canyon but couldn't do the rim as we had the dog in the car and the wife wouldn't leave him for that length of time in the car in the heat. We didn't see much.

    I suspect on your journey of discovery that you will find more than a few places that are physically demanding.
     
  105. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    I went to King's Canyon many years ago, and I didn't climb the rim then either, but I think it's still worth a look. I've long had a policy of avoiding any place that cannot be accessed by motorized transport.
     
  106. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The weather was overcast with an icy wind this morning, but that didn't stop us, we kicked the mighty Ford into life and set off to explore the gorges and mountains around Wilpena Pound.
    The roads were very rough, I had to drop the tire pressures to 25 PSI to avoid shaking the car to bits, but the scenery was awesome, and the whole area teamed with wildlife, even saw a wild Dingo.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... a%20Gorges
     
  107. Firedoc

    Firedoc New Member

    Hello Bernie,
    The walking track into the pound and onto the hut is a very easy walk. Mostly flat road and well maintained. There is an alternative route which is a little more difficult. At the hut there is a lookout to the north. Again this is relatively easy if you take your time. It gives you an impressive view of the internals of the pound and is well worth the effort. Take it easy mate and thanks for the invite into your journey, the pictures and story is really something to remember

    John and Jenni
     
  108. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Woke to a clear morning in Wilpena this morning, but freezing cold. Had an easy drive back to Port Augusta, then North into the desert, and this area is really bleak, no wonder they chose it for rocket research and atom bomb testing. Rolled into Woomera at about 3PM and set up camp. Will tour Woomera tomorrow.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Woomera
     
  109. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The Woomera Test Range is now shut down, and the village is mostly deserted, but the exibits are very interesting, though the outside items need a lick of paint. The caravan park is nicely setup and well run, much better than the facilities at the nearby village of Pimba.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ry/Woomera
     
  110. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Drove up to the opal mining town of Coober Pedy today through some really bleak desert, though we still saw plenty of Emu's wandering around. Got into the caravan park just before the rush, and got a good spot under the shade cloth. The heat can be so intense here in summer that shade is mandatory for survival, but not necessary at this time of year.

    [​IMG]
     
  111. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Spent the day touring the town of Coober Pedy today. Most of the residents here live under ground in caves which were excavated during Opal mining. They do this because the caves remain beautifully cool during the fierce heat of summer, and because there are thousands of them. These pictures were taken at the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Umoona Opal mine & museum, and Faye's Underground Historic Home.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ber%20Pedy
     
  112. AHAMAY

    AHAMAY Member

    Thanks yet again Bernie. I'm really enjoying your travelogue - always wanted to see Coober Pedy.
     
  113. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    An easy drive today from Coober Pedy to Marla, which is a Road House in the middle of a vast expance of FA, with a small caravan park behind it. Dinner tonight was Pork Hocks slow cooked overnight in a thermo cooker, the meat was delicious, and so tender we didn't need knives to eat it. This starvation diet might kill me. :mrgreen:

    Tomorrow, we will cross into the Northern Territory on the way to Erldunda, to overnight before heading to Ayers Rock.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... at%20Marla
     
  114. BlueW

    BlueW Member

    Good to see you are not starving in the wilderness.

    It's great to see you are enjoying your travels and keep the updates coming.
     
  115. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Another easy drive to the Erldunda Roadhouse which is at the turn off to Ayers Rock. This is a very busy Roadhouse which suffers because it doesn't have a dump point, grey water drains, or pottable water. At sundown, a big flock of Pink & Grey Galahs arrived and started arguing over roosting sites, and the sunset was beautiful as ever. This far North, there has been a welcome increase in temperatures to a comfortable level.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... y/Erldunda
     
  116. Ken Fraser

    Ken Fraser Riding on

    Keep them coming Bernie :dance:
     
  117. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Bernie, your walking in my footsteps. It's just over 12 months ago that I traveled these same roads and destinations. Good memories.
     
  118. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

  119. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    A beautiful clear blue sky today, but a cold wind blowing which didn't warm up until after midday. Took a ride out to the Olgas rock formations, and walked up the Walpa Gorge, most impressive, but nearly froze to death. There is another walk you can do up the Valley of the Winds, but one walk was enough for these old farts.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBernie/library/Olgas
     
  120. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Took a gentle stroll up Kings Canyon this morning, and later out to Kathleen Springs. We concidered the more arduous climb up to the rim of the canyon, but after looking at the initial climb, photo 1, decided, nah, too long and steep for us old farts. We're staying at the Kings Creek Station (ranch) for 2 nights, not bad, but the place is a hive of activity with helicopter rides, quad bike rides, and camel rides, all very expensive. Lots of young people milling around.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... s%20Canyon
     
  121. Qtr Horse

    Qtr Horse Member

    Guess you'll fit right in then! ;-)
    Thanks for the photos and commentary. Really appreciate you sharing the journey :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
     
  122. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We've been in Alice Springs for two days now. The first day was taken up getting the Ford serviced, it's done 10,000Km since leaving Perth, and getting to the doctor for new scripts. Today, we went to the Desert Park near Alice, and out to Standley Chasm. The Park put on a truly excellent bird flying display, and the Owl twice flew so close to my head that it brushed through my hair. The rest of the park is very good, but you need a whole day to see it all.
    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ert%20Park

    The Standley Chasm is awesome, you can't capture the true size of it with a camera. The walk in is quite short, but very rocky. You really have to watch your step, which makes looking at the view dangerous.
    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ey%20Chasm

    John Flynn's Grave is near the Desert Park in Alice. He founded the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, which I suppose made him my boss for the last 21 years of my working life.
    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ns%20Grave
     
  123. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We dragged the bike out this morning to give it a run, haven't run it since leaving Port Augusta. We went West out of Alice for about 100 Km down the magnificant MacDonnell Range to Ellery Creek. The last 2 Km in was down a really rough, stony track, didn't get out of first gear. The pool is lovely, in a stunning rocky mountain setting. It was a bit too cool for swimming, so we headed back to town to do some shopping, and re-stocking the van as we are leaving tomorrow morning.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Bighole
     
  124. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Since leaving Alice Springs we have been travelling fairly hard, with one night stops. We get on the road early, and stop in the early afternoon, we have to do that in order to get a place in the caravan parks. There are so many caravans on the road, that if you stop too late, you may not get a place in the park. There are free camping sites along the roads, but even those are full by the early afternoon.

    Our first stop was at a Roadhouse called Wycliffe, quite a nice place, but spoilt by groups of drunk/drugged Aboriginies rampaging up and down the road late into the night. This annoyed me and made Lynn nervous.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... y/Wycliffe

    Our second night was at the Barkly Roadhouse. This place has recently been revamped, and is very nice indeed. There was a group of Aboriginies here as well, but they were better mannered. The place was alive with bird life, including hundreds of Whistling Kites, and a flock of Guinea Fowl in the garden, though they looked as if they may have been crossed with chickens. The weather was warm enough for me to have a swim, even though winter is only a couple of days away.
    Tonight, we are in the village of Camooweal, just across the border in Queensland.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ary/Barkly
     
  125. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We're in Mount Isa for 3 nights R&R and restocking the van. It was overcast and humid the day we arrived, but today is beautiful with the temp at 25C for the second day of winter. This morning we went out to the local Lake Moondarra where the country looks very much like Kariba in Rhodesia, then went into town, visited the Outback Tourist Center, did some shopping, and took a few pics from the lookout.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 0Moondarra
     
  126. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Hey Bernie, while your at mt Isa, take a drive out to the old urnanium town of Mary kathleen, well worth the experience.
     
  127. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yes, we are going to do that on the bike tomorrow. :dance:
     
  128. jwm

    jwm New Member

    On the bike? When we were out there last year in May, the access road into Mary Kathleen from the Hwy was in extremely poor condition and I mean extremely poor. Not sure I would even attempt it on an FJR.
     
  129. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Now you tell me. :doh: We had a delightful ride out there, but when we turned onto the access road, oh dear. :eek: It's a tar road that hasn't been maintained since the mine closed 30 years ago, and it's now just a series of monster pot holes connected by tiny bits of tar. We struggled down there for about 6 Km until we found some old mine machinery buildings, no sign posts, and assumed that the big hole would be near, so we got off the bike and climbed up and down some monster ore dumps to no avail, until we got tired and gave up. When we started the ride out, I spotted the road that must go to the big hole, but we had lost interest by then.

    Back on the main road, we continued on a few miles to have a look at the free camping area, Clem Walton Park, quite nice, we may stay there, haven't made up our minds yet.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ton%20Park
     
  130. jwm

    jwm New Member

    The land where Mary Kathleen is located was sold off to a local beef farmer when the site closed. While he is happy to allow the public access to the site, he does nothing to facilitate their entry by maintenance of the access road. When we were there last year, we actually towed the van into Mary Kathleen, I promise you, that was exciting.

    There was actually some talk last year about re opening the mine. Not sure what has happened with that.
     
  131. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We're in Cloncurry for 3 nights in a very nice caravan park. We had to slow down our charge across the continent because it costs $80+ a day in fuel. This is a very historic place, particularly for the RFDS and QANTAS, both of which were born here. The winter weather is absolutely beautiful.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... /Cloncurry
     
  132. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Where are you headed next Bernie? It's an interesting drive up to Normanton and Karumba.

    I understand what your saying about fuel costs, that is the most expensive part of the journey by a long way.
     
  133. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yes, we're going North, but are going to divert to Gregory Downs, leave the van there, and do a day trip into Adels Grove. I'm really not keen on towing the van on dirt roads because of the dust and corrugations. I will probably do the same at Normanton because Karumba will be jam packed full. I simply can't believe how many vans there are on the roads. The parks fill to over capacity every night, empty out in the morning, then fill up again at night. I estimate that at least 70% of all vehicles that we see out on the roads, are pulling vans or campers. :eek:
     
  134. jwm

    jwm New Member

    We had heard wonderful things about Adels Grove and thought seriously about doing it. At the end of the day, it was so far off the beaten track that we decided against it. Like you, we stayed at Normanton and did a day trip to Karumba, it's a lovely part of the world but there isn't much there unless your a fisherman. After we left Normanton we traveled across to the Atherton Tablelands via Croydon and Georgetown, they're lovely little towns.

    I know what you mean about the No. of caravans on the road, that's why we always traveled before peak season, which is obviously now. The No. of caravans on the road is also the reason that we decided that we had seen everything that we wanted to see at this stage and sold our big van when we got home last year. Competing for road space and caravan sites just isn't my idea of enjoying myself.
     
  135. GlennE

    GlennE Member

    Hi Bernie
    While your at Greogery you need to go out to Lawn Hill, and paddle up the gorge.
     
  136. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We headed North out of Cloncurry into Indian Territory. Our first stop was the Burke & Wills Roadhouse for fuel, but the camp ground looked so rough that we decided to press on to Gregory Downs Station. There is a little pub with a camp ground behind it which looked reasonable, so we booked in for 2 nights, no phone, internet, or TV coverage here.

    The whole of outback Queensland has had 3 years of severe drought, so the bush is thin and dusty, and all the creeks are bone dry, but there are several rivers in the area which are fed by underground springs which run permanently, regardless of drought or flood, and one of them is the Gregory River, only about 500 meters from the pub. The water runs strong and crystal clear, and the riverine bush is dense and beautiful. You can free camp there, and the place was jammed with caravans and campers, but the trouble with free camping, is there are no facilities for getting rid of waste water and sewage, no power and they don't like you to run generators, so the whole business becomes irksome. It's easier to stay in a proper camp ground.

    The next day, we left the van at Gregory Downs, and headed out to Lawn Hill Gorge and Adels Grove. The first half of the road is poorly sealed, and the second half is dirt in poor condition, rocky, dusty, and heavily corrugated in places. I ended up dropping my tire pressures to 25 PSI to try and get a softer ride. Thank God I didn't bring my van, though lots of other people did, they will be fixing things and cleaning out dust for weeks no doubt. Lawn Hill Creek, which flows through the gorge and Adels Grove, is another spring fed river which never dries out. The water is clean, but gets a green tinge because of a heavy calcium load. Adels Grove is a privately owned camp site, and is very beautiful, but has no power available for campers.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ll%20Gorge
     
  137. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Leaving Gregory Downs we drove back to the Burke & Wills roadhouse, and then North up to Normanton where we booked in for 3 nights. The road up is one of the notorious Queensland "Developmental" roads, which means that it hasn't been developed in the last 50 years, and it was positively dangerous in places.

    Normanton is a very old historic place dating back to around 1867, and the weather was unpleasantly hot, even though it's winter here. Karumba has nothing going for it except fishing, yet it has 4 caravan parks, all full. We rode up there on the bike, had a cool drink, and rode straight back out. This whole area is usually an extensive marsh, but it has now dried out to a dusty plain due to the drought.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Karumba
     
  138. jwm

    jwm New Member

    I thought the Fish and Chips in Karumba was very good.
     
  139. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The next stop was Croydon, a leisurly 148 Km from Normanton, for 2 nights. The caravan park is very nice, and the weather is cooler and less humid. Croydon is very old and historic, but the place is almost deserted, very few people here, which is most relaxing. About half the buildings here have been converted to museums which are well presented, and free for a change. The country, vegetation, and weather around here is so similar to Kariba that it makes me quite homesick, I keep scanning the bush looking for the dark shapes of elephant or buffalos hidden in the shade.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ry/Croydon
     
  140. GregW

    GregW Active Member

    Gee, your sleeping quarters look a bit rough Bernie :lol: :lol: Hope the tariff was cheap :lol: :lol:

    [​IMG]
     
  141. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    They've got a sensor on that display, and when you get up close to the jail door, the prisoner suddenly coughs and asks, "who are you?" I nearly wet my pants. :lol:
     
  142. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Left Croyden this morning for a short drive to Georgetown, 149 Km. This is on another of the QLD "Developmental" roads, which has been under development for 50 years or more. I thought it was scary on a motorbike 20 years ago, but you should try it when pulling a 3 ton van which is 30 inches wider than your truck. Road trains simply will not get off the single lane sections at all, forcing you to get completely off the tar, often at very short notice. It's very frightening. Why is it that the 2 richest states, QLD and NSW, have such shyte roads, the other states manage to build decent roads. The van park in Georgetown is delightful, with shady trees, green lawns, and lots of bird life.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Georgetown
     
  143. The White Tiger

    The White Tiger Administrator Staff Member

    Totally agree, we got the worst roads in Australia :(
     
  144. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    I found this photo on Google Earth and stole it. It shows someone who has obviously been forced off the road by the approaching behemoth. It's one thing if you can see the bastid coming, but the road is often winding or undulating, and it pops into view at short range and gives you very little time to get off the road.

    There are sections of this road which have been developed. On this mornings drive, we were on a beautiful stretch of tar road, dual lane, nice and smooth, clearly marked with white lines in the middle and on the edges. But there was a section about 200 meters long, where the left hand white edge line was only 3 inches from the edge of the tar, and the edge of the tar was directly on the edge of a vertical, 10 foot, drop into a rocky creek bed. There was no fence or ARMCO barrier, nothing, if you dropped a wheel off the tar, your vehicle would be upside down before you hit the ground again. WTF, how does shyte like this get passed the safety inspectors. Obviously, there was nowhere I could stop and take pictures of this nonsense.

    [​IMG]
     
  145. GregW

    GregW Active Member

    I would hate to be on a bike travelling in the opposite direction with one of those big buggers coming :eek: :?
     
  146. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We left the caravan in Georgetown, and drove out to Cobbold Gorge in the Ford, and thank God we did. About 3/4 of the distance was dirt road, very dusty, heavily corrugated, and there were several creek crossings where the approach and departure angles were too steep for our long van, it would have grounded itself with the wheels in the air. The tour itself was quite good, but very expensive, $82 each. The guides were very knowledgible, but the Gorge itself was not as impressive as I thought it would be.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ld%20Gorge
     
  147. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Bernie, $82.00 each scared me away from a tour of Cobbold Gorge last year. You obviously have more of the folding stuff than I do.


    Actually, from memory, $82.00 was only for the short basic tour, the price of the other tours was far more expensive.
     
  148. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We're camped at Mount Surprise for 3 nights, and this morning we took a ride out to the Undara National Park to take a tour of the Lava Tubes. We had to leave Mount Surprise in the pre-dawn darkness to make the 8 AM start of the tour, and it was a terrifying ride as this is when wildlife and cattle are most likely to be on the roads, but we got there without incident. The facilities at Undara were an eye opener, they are very extensive, and very well done. The tour of the Lava tubes was also first class, most impressive and informative. This was money well spent for a change.

    http://undara.com.au/

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... va%20Tubes
     
  149. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Finally, after several months in the desert, we have emerged onto the Atherton Tableland above Cairns. What a pleasure to once again see green trees and grass, water in the creeks and rivers instead of just sand and stones, and breath the fresh, clean, cool air of the mountains.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 0Tableland
     
  150. AHAMAY

    AHAMAY Member

    Bernie, could you hear or 'feel' the wind farm?
     
  151. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We were too far away, I zoomed the camera to get the picture.
     
  152. Totgas

    Totgas New Member

    Bernie,
    Love your adventure and the great pictures - Thanks for sharing.
    Keep it up!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
    A.
     
  153. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    A perfect day on the Tableland today, so we dragged out the bike and rode basically the same route as we did yesterday with the Ford and van, only this time it was a lot less frightening, a couple of times yesterday I thought we were dead. This time, we were able to stop and admire the view, and gawk at the marvels of nature, though walking around on mountain tracks in bikie gear makes you very hot. Enjoy.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ton%20Loop
     
  154. The White Tiger

    The White Tiger Administrator Staff Member

    Thought you were touring oz for the rest of your life mate....you've done heaps already, have to slow down a bit
     
  155. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Another perfect day, another great ride, this time down to Innisfail on the coast. We saw some great scenery, but will have to return with the Ford to explore some of the tracks along the way, which were not suitable for the bike. Innisfail itself is a dump, we won't bother going there again. We wanted to get our first glimps of the Pacific Ocean, but it was too hard from Innisfail which is very near the coast.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 0Innisfail
     
  156. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We started out this morning with a 3Km walk through the rain forest right next to the Malanda caravan park. The trees are absolutely awesome, it's impossible to capture how big they are with a camera. After lunch, we took a drive around the waterfall circuit and saw the Millaa Millaa falls, Zillie falls, Ellinjaa falls, and the Mungalli falls. The last involved driving down a very steep, narrow road which was partially washed away. I'm sure my tyres were overhanging the edge on both sides in places. Only 10 more falls to see.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Circuit
     
  157. Totgas

    Totgas New Member

    Can you post up a picture (Map of Ozstalia) that shows your journey so far and where you hope to travel to.
    Thanks,
    Adrian
     
  158. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    From the Atherton, we will go as far North as Cooktown, then work our way South down the Great Dividing Range as summer progresses. I am not keen on coastal resorts, too crowded. We hope to cross over to Tas, but that is a very costly and difficult exercise with such a big caravan.

    [​IMG]
     
  159. Totgas

    Totgas New Member

    Fantastic. I was able to take the bike over on the ferry a few years ago. It is a great state to ride around (depending on the time of the year).
    Is it your intent to do the WA coast north?
    Cheers,
    A.
     
  160. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yes, I no longer have a home to go back to, so we will be on the road for some time yet. I've actually been around Australia and Tas and NZ by bike already, so I've seen most of it many times already.
     
  161. Totgas

    Totgas New Member

    Serious envy.... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
     
  162. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    It's been raining here non stop for 3 days. As it's perfect tea growing weather, we decided to go and have a look at a tea estate, and very nice it was too. We had a Devonshire Tea and a look around the estate, it reminded me so much of the Aberfoyle tea estate in Rhodesia. Later, we had a look at the volcanic crater lake, Lake Eacham.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... e%20Eacham
     
  163. GregW

    GregW Active Member

    When I was a lad (not that long ago) we used to swim in Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham :dance:
     
  164. Shoey

    Shoey Active Member

    Ay Gweegie, being thrown into the lake with a rope tied around your waist then dragged back thats not swimming. :character-ariel:
    Shoey & Lola.
     
  165. Steve

    Steve Administrator Staff Member

    :laughing-rolling: :teasing-whipyellow:
     
  166. GregW

    GregW Active Member

    :clap: :clap: :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  167. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We dropped down to Cairns on the Gillies Highway this morning, mainly to pick up a new back tyre for the bike which I had ordered last week. The Gillies Highway has a breathtaking section which drops 2500 feet in 19 Km, and has so many tight bends that I never got above third gear in the Ford, without the van, and I certainly won't attempt to tow it down there. Cairns is a lot bigger than I remember from my visit 17 years ago, the city center seems at least as big as Perth. After I got the bike tyre put on, we went down to the Marina and spent a couple of hours looking around there and getting a drink. Most impressive, there must be at least a dozen big restaurants along the harbour front.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Highway
     
  168. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We had a big day today, the weather was lovely, so we took the Ford out because we planned to do a lot of dirt road exploring. I took so many pictures that I am going to split them up into 7 different folders. The Atherton Tablelands has so much to look at, it's just fantastic.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Barrine

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Fig%20Tree

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... k%20Crater

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Euramoo

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... g-On%20Bay

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Tinaroo

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Yungaburra
     
  169. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We were in bikie heaven today, I needed to go back down to Cairns to pick up some new back brake pads for the FJR, which I discovered I needed when fitting the tyre yesterday, so we decided to make a day of it. We left Malanda after breakfast, and rode up to Atherton, Mareeba, and Kuranda, where we stopped to see the Barron Falls and gorge. Most impressive, but it was murder walking around in our heavy riding gear. Then, it was down the escarpment on a very wiggily road, and straight back up it on an even tighter road to the Copperlode Dam which is in the mountains above Cairns. Then, back to Cairns, picked up the pads, and back to Malanda via the Gillies Highway again, which is the best bikie road in Queensland. We had two bits of luck on the Gillies, I saw a highway patrol car leaving it just as we started up, and we didn't get held up by any cars or trucks until we were nearly at the top. We came up behind a SS Commodore with one guy in it, but much to my surprise, he gave up after a couple of corners and let me through. Only 237 Km today, but I was a tired boy when we got back.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... lode%20Dam
     
  170. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    It was a lovely day for a ride today, but the trouble is that when you get somewhere that involves a bit of walking to see the sights, you overheat in all that bikie gear, so we took the Ford. Today we visited the Mamu Skywalk which is on the Palmerston Highway near Innisfail. Well worth the $18 each to get in.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Skywalk
     
  171. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Hey Bernie, make sure you do the Palmerston Hwy on the bike from Goondi to Milla Milla Falls. I did it in the Prado last year, from Goondi on the coast up the ranges, and I reckon it would be a great bike road. Lots and lots and lots and lots of twists and turns.
     
  172. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yeah, we've done it several times by car and bike, but unfortunately there is a section which is badly potholed at the moment, and in typical QLD fashion, they fix it by putting up a sign, "Danger, rough road ahead", and that's it, job done until next year, maybe the year after. Also, it only takes one slow truck or caravan, and that's it, ride spoilt, it can be so irritating.
     
  173. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    I managed to get Lynn out of bed by 9AM this morning, so we dragged the bike out and took a ride to the historic village of Herberton. They have a portion of the original village setup as a museum display, and we were about to go in and see it when we saw the entry cost, $27 each, we didn't even have to dicuss it, we just turned around and walked out. We then stopped in the real village, which itself is historic, and had a coffee and oompa galoompa food. The hotel in the third picture was established in 1880, and there was a Camera Museum next to the cafe, but again he wanted $20 each for a tour of the display. I just can't get my head around prices like this. I'm sure they would make more money if they charged less. Still, we had a great ride through the forests and mountains of the Tableland.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... /Herberton
     
  174. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Lynn wanted to look at a van park in Mossman today, so once again the mighty FJR was pressed into service. We left Malanda and rode through Atherton, Mareeba, Mount Molloy, and down the Rex Range Road to Mossman. The Rex road is another very curvy bit of road dropping off the Tableland down to the coast, great for motorbikes. The van park in Mossman was OK, but very crowded, and the weather down there was hot and humid. We were now so close to the Daintree River Resort that we decided to pop up there and have a look.

    Well, that was a disappointment, the place is very small, but it was crawling with tourists, we didn't even stop and get off the bike, we rode straight out. Further up the road is a little Tea Room, so we dropped in there for a break, but the owner came rushing out and told us to piss off as the place was fully booked, great. Then, I decided to have a look at the ferry which crosses the Daintree River, there is no bridge, to see if I would be able to get my caravan on it, but when we got there, we found about 200 vehicles waiting to get on it, and the que was 1/2 a mile long. Another failure. So, we headed back to Malanda and the cool mountain air. 350 Km for the day.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ry/Mossman
     
  175. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Bernie, it's the damn tourist season, the buggers are everywhere. Go to Melbourne, I've heard that's almost empty at this time of year.
     
  176. Steve

    Steve Administrator Staff Member

    fixed for you
     
  177. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

  178. Qtr Horse

    Qtr Horse Member

    While you're looking for rare Australian creatures in trees, don't forget the Drop Bear, cousin to the koala but larger and ferocious! ;-)
    As for the platypus, the local Reptile Park claims to have a couple. While I have looked for ages, I've never managed to spot them. Apparently they are shy creatures.
    My son worked at the Park for a while and claims to have only seen them once but I'm not sure I believe him. :whistle: So, thanks for sharing :clap:
     
  179. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The Platypus are indeed very shy creatures, however, the owner at Tarzali Lakes instructed us not to sneak around quietly in our efforts to see them, he said to walk out in the open and continue talking normally amongst ourselves, or the Platypus would take the sneaky behavior as that of a predator. He was right. The Platypus are kept in a large natural pond, about 150 meters long, with nothing to enforce their presence except a regular food supply.

    As for the Drop Bear, :naughty:
     
  180. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We had been assured that if we went to Etty Bay, just South of Innisfail, we would almost certainly see Cassowary, so this morning we jumped in the Ford, it was raining, and drove 100 Km down to Etty Bay. This is a lovely looking beach with rain forest coming right down to the sand, and a small caravan park at one end, full of course. But it's a fools paradice.

    If you are so foolish as to get in the water, you could be stung to death by a Box Jellyfish, eaten by a crocodile, or a big shark, or all 3. So, Lynn and I took a walk along the beach. Down at the far end, I walked up close to the trees to look into the undergrowth, and suddenly felt a prickling all over my skin. I looked down and I was covered by mosquitoes, hundreds of them. This area is rife with Dengue Fever and Malaria, so I rushed away from the forest desperately trying to brush the things off, but they are persistant bastids, I thought I might have to jump into the sea to get rid of them. And, to top off a perfect day, the Cassowaries which normally appear every day, didn't.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Etty%20Bay
     
  181. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Bernie, they're very unfair biased comments your've made about Qld. How could you not believe that Qld is 'Beautiful one day, perfect the next'.
     
  182. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Actually, The Atherton Table land is really beautiful, and I love the weather as it is now, it would be perfect if they brought the roads up to first world standards. Mind you, I haven't been through the "wet" yet, or a cyclone. The rainfall figures are truly awesome. I don't like the coast though, too hot, humid, and bug infested. :think:
     
  183. jwm

    jwm New Member

    I agree Bernie, the Atherton Tablelands are spectacular. The coast is lovely also but why the damn would anybody want to live there with all those bugs and creatures.
     
  184. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Having been up to the Tully Falls and Lake Koombooloomba previously, this morning we decided to ride into the lower Gorge for a look see. This involved riding down to the coast along the Palmerston Highway, then South to the town of Tully, then up the Tully River and into the gorge. We also detoured into some sugar cane and banana growing areas, mainly to avoid the main highways. Unfortunately, stopping to take pictures on the bike is very difficult, so this is not a good selection of pictures. They are taken at the top of the gorge where there is a hydro power station, and where boats are launched for shooting the rapids. On the ride back, it was late afternoon, and we were hammering up the Palmerston Highway, climbing into the mountains, with little traffic, when we came round a bend and spotted a huge wild black pig, rooting in the grass right next to the road. Fortunately, it ran into the bush, and not in front of us, but we have seen several dead pigs around here, I would hate to hit one on the bike or the car, they are huge. 375 Km for the day.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ly%20Gorge
     
  185. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today we took a drive to paradise, or rather, the Wooroonooran national park which lies up the Goldsborough Valley. It's situated at the bottom of the Gillies Range, and I've posted pictures looking down into it before. The Mulgrave River flows down this valley and is fed by numerous tributaries, all with crystal clear water. The place is awesomely beautiful, with lush rain forest, huge mountains, and tumbling waterfalls. The National Parks have provided stunning camping areas along the river, but they are not suitable for caravans unfortunately. Lynn & I spent a wonderful morning exploring the area.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... h%20Valley

    After exploring the Goldsborough Valley, Lynn & I stopped for a late lunch at the Mountain View Hotel at the bottom of the Gillies Highway. The place is very old, and looks a bit rough from the front, but out the back, they have a lovely, shaded garden area, backed by a beautiful river, the Little Mulgrave I think. The food was sensational, we had Crispy Belly Pork with Papaya Salad, and Sago Plum Pudding for desert. YUM.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ew%20Hotel
     
  186. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    It's been raining for 3 days straight in Malanda, but today it stopped and the sun came out, so we dragged the bike out and went for a short ride to Ravenshoe for coffee and some oompa galoompa food. Of course, we had to stop in front of the local pub for a photo shoot, but the place is a bit rough, so we didn't go in. The roads were still wet and muddy in places, so my beautiful bike is covered in mud, again, but it was great to get out. I suppose you have to expect a bit of rain when you're staying in a rain forest.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... /Ravenshoe
     
  187. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    A couple of Lynn's girl friends have come up to Cairns on holiday, and we arranged to meet them in Kuranda. We went from Cairns up to Kuranda and back on the Skyrail, and they went up on the train, and back with us on the Skyrail. We left Malanda at 7AM on Sunday morning, and drove down the Gillies Highway to Cairns, I didn't use the bike because I didn't want to leave it unguarded in a car park all day while we went on the Skyrail.

    Well, the Gillies Highway was a surprise, it was like the Isle of Mann race track during the TT week. I fully expected to have an R1 embedded in my bull bar before we reached the bottom. There were hundreds of them, and not a plod in sight, which is no doubt why the bikes were there at such an early hour on Sunday. We also saw heaps of bikes from the Skyrail on the Cairns Kuranda Highway. The main twisty bit on the Gillies is 19 Km long, and it is impossible to get above third gear in a car or bike, going up or down.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Skyrail
     
  188. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Lovely day today, so we took the bike out for a ride to check out the Captain Cook Highway between Cairns and Mossman, and for a look at Port Douglas. Both were a dissapointment as far as I am concerned. The Captain Cook Highway would be nice if you had it for yourself, but just add one dick and you're immediately stuck in a slow convoy with no passing opportunities.

    Port Douglas is very pretty, but it has been massively over developed with huge, expensive, resorts all over the place, not something that I like. The map and elevation graph are taken from my GPS, and illustrate the very steep gradients as you drop from the Tableland down to the coast. The first drop at 100 Km is from Kuranda down to Smithfield near Cairns, and the climb at 180 Km is up the Rex Range Road near Mossman. Both are great for bikes, but I would be terrified to tow my van up or down them.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... las%20Ride
     
  189. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Here are some pictures that Lynn took as we were packing up the van in Malanda prior to leaving for Cooktown. I'm really pleased with my push hitch, it makes getting the van into, and out of, tight parking spots, so much easier.

    We left Malanda this morning in light drizzle, and motored up to Cooktown with brief stops at Mt Molloy and Palmer River Roadhouse. The Mulligan Highway from Molloy to Cooktown is damn scary in places because it is very narrow, and has some very steep gradients. My van completely fills the lane in places, with only 3 inches clearance between the edge of the road, and from the center white line.

    When a vehicle of similar width comes passed the other way, there may only be 6 inches space between the vehicles. At an approach speed of 200 Kph, your vehicle placement in the lane has to be very accurate and steady, or a collision will occur. How the Queensland Government get away with making such dangerous roads, is beyond me.

    Black Mountain, shown in the pictures, lies about 50 Km out of Cooktown, and is a mountain sized heap of black boulders. Apparantly, people who attempt to climb it, simply disappear. You can imagine the number of snakes that could hide amongst those boulders.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 20Cooktown
     
  190. Ken Fraser

    Ken Fraser Riding on

    Bad JuJu at Black Mountain :shock:
     
  191. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We arrived safely in Cooktown and setup camp in the very nice Big4 caravan park. We soon found out the main problem in Cooktown, the wind, it blows and blows, non stop for weeks at a time. Even Captain Cook complained about it, see picture number 17. For our first day, Lynn treated me to breakfast in town, Eggs Benedict on Salmon, delicious, and then we took a few photos around town, and up on the local hill overlooking the harbour. I spent the afternoon cleaning all the bird and bat shyte off my car, our van site is right under a huge flowering gum tree which attracts hundreds of birds during the day, and hundreds of huge Flying Foxes (bats) at night. I wont park the car under the tree again, but the van is stuck there.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... y/Cooktown
     
  192. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Hey Bernie, I see the sign in your photo's for James Cook 1770. When you head south down the Qld coast, make sure you call into the town called 1770. A lovely little spot, a bit touristy and expensive but worth the visit, very pretty. We didn't stay there as we heard the sand fly's were terrible but lots of people set up camp there.
     
  193. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Will do, thanks.
     
  194. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today we decided to go on 4X4 adventure through the Daintree National Park. We set off South from Cooktown at 8AM, and turned off the main road towards Wujal Wujal, an Aboriginal Community. This part of the road is sealed, but goes through magnificant mountains and Rain Forest. The next section to Cape Tribulation is called the Bloomfield Track, it's 30Km long, and is the most demanding bit of 4X4 driving that I have ever done. That section took us 3 hours, and I was exhausted at the end. We now had a choice, go back over the track again, or continue on and see some more of the Park, and go back to Cooktown via the main road. We chose the latter, but were a bit disappointed. This part of the Park is over commercialized, and there were hundreds upon hundreds of tourists milling around. All in all, a good day, 427 Km covered.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Bloomfield

    http://www.destinationdaintree.com/loca ... ield-track
     
  195. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today we decided to return to the top section of the Bloomfield Track and stop at the Lions Den Hotel for lunch, and then have a more leisurely drive down to Wujal Wujal to do some more sight seeing. Lunch consisted of a huge Pizza, but we could only eat half of it, so we gave the rest to a group of young guys who devoured it in seconds. We then drove on and got to see a couple of crocodiles and the Bloomfield Falls.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... al%20Wujal
     
  196. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We dragged the bike out today, which caused a lot of twittering in the Van Park, and took a ride out to Laura, which is the end of the sealed road in Far North Queensland. On the way, we stopped at the Split Rock Aboriginal Art Site, where the pictures are up to 30,000 years old. This involved a steep climb up the side of a mountain in +30C winter heat, exhausting. I found the general skill level of the art poor in comparison to the Bushman Rock paintings of Southern Africa. That over, we rode on into the village of Laura, and had a cool drink at the historic Quinkan Hotel. Then, it was a fast blast back to Cooktown, though my speed was moderated by the number of Roo carcasses on the road, all attended by numerous Crows, Hawks, and Eagles.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBernie/library/Laura
     
  197. GregW

    GregW Active Member

    Thanks Bernie, having worked at Laura 40 years ago (flew in flew out) it's good to know that the road from Lakeland to Laura is bitumen, been wanting to go back for a visit for a while now. :grin:
     
  198. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    After a pleasant, but expensive, stay in Cooktown, $45 per night, we motored back to Malanda for some R&R at $25 per night. The weather is so much cooler up on the Table Land, and the van park is nicer. This morning, we dragged the bike out again and had another attempt at finding the mythical Cassowary birds. We rode down to Mission Beach and looked and looked, but no success, so after a tasty lunch, we returned to Etty Bay, and joy, we found 2, one on the road in, and another wandering around on the beach, completely unconcerned by all the people photographing it. Mission accomplished, we returned to Malanda up the Palmerstone Highway, and more luck, we weren't held up at all by any traffic. It was lovely listening to the mighty FJR snarl defiance as it climbed in 4th gear at high revs.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... /Cassowary
     
  199. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Another lovely day in Malanda, so we took the bike out and rode a route that we have done several times, but this time I took my helmet video cam along and recorded the ride from Millaa Millaa to Ravenshoe along the old Palmerston Highway. This road has now been bypassed by a new road which keeps most of the traffic off it, and makes it ideal for motorbikes, though it is very narrow and bumpy. This is just half the ride, I still have to upload the second half, enjoy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paM4aRE ... e=youtu.be

    Here is the second half of the video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jt43yI ... load_owner
     
  200. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today we took a 5.4 Km walk through some stunning rain forest to view a couple more falls on our Tablelands list. The trees here are absolutely immence, the trunks on some go up 100 feet before the first branches start, and the tops are lost in the canopy. The path went along the edge of a seriously deep chasm, which we couldn't see into because of the trees, but you knew it was there. The first falls we came to, Silver Falls, are on a small stream, quite pretty, but the second falls, Nandroya, are truly awesome. As usual, it is impossible to capture the true scale of the place in photographs. The cliff face is solid, vertical rock, at least 500 feet high.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ya%20Falls
     
  201. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    After 7 weeks in Malanda, with a 1 week break in Cooktown, it was time to move on and head South down the East Coast of Australia. So, we sadly packed up and motored through to Ingham where we booked into a caravan park for 2 nights. This morning, we treated ourselves to breakfast in a cafe in town, then drove up the Seaview Mountain Range outside Ingham to visit Wallaman Falls. These falls are the highest in Australia, and the road up to them is very steep and winding indeed. After the requisite photos were taken, we headed back down the range to Forrest Beach, and had a cool drink in the local hotel. Tomorrow, we continue on to Townsville.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... st%20Beach
     
  202. Silverado6x6

    Silverado6x6 New Member

    I am searching for different means of living while i will be in Oz from early dec to mid jan in a few months, for the first two weeks i have booked a vacation house in Christies Beach SA, more than likely i will buy Holden Commodore wagon and turn it into a campervan for the following three weeks.
     
  203. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    It would be much easier to rent a campervan all fitted out and ready to go. Thousands upon thousands of people do it all the time.
     
  204. Silverado6x6

    Silverado6x6 New Member

    Costs more to rent, though i am planning of being there 5 weeks i think it will be a bit longer, up to the 90 days of the visa.
     
  205. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We're spending 3 nights in Townsville, and today we had a look arond the city, went to the Aquarium and Museum, and then up Castle hill in the middle of the city for some pics. Unfortunately, a bush fire to the South was causing a lot of smoke and haze. Tomorrow, we are taking a ferry to Magnetic Island to meet some friends, we will take the bike because it is a lot cheaper.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Townsville
     
  206. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    As planned, we were up early this morning to catch the vehicle ferry to Magnetic Island. The weather was terribly humid today, with bad haze and smoke, which made for an uncomfortable day and poor pictures. I'm sure this Island would be stunning on a clear sunny day. There is only about 15 Km of main road on the Island, with 4 main centers, and a number of small bays, which we soon explored. We met our friends for lunch, then spent the afternoon relaxing on a small secluded beach. On the way back to the ferry, we stopped at a tavern for a coffee, and found several Bush Stone-Curlews wandering around among the patrons, which was unusual because these are normally nocturnal birds, and very shy. They have a shrill cry which we often hear at night.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... c%20Island
     
  207. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday we moved down the coast from Townsville to Proserpine where we have booked in for 2 nights. The country around here is unbelievably dry after the lush rainforests of the Cairns area, and the main road, the Bruce Highway, is the worst, most dangerous, bit of goat track I have ever had the misfortune to drive on. Today, we took a ride down to Airlie Beach and the surrounding area, and while it is very picturesque, I don't quite see the attraction. For a start, there is no beach, and even if there were, you can't swim in the sea for fear of crocodiles, sharks, and deadly jelly fish. To enjoy yourself here, you need to be a millionair with a huge yacht, or a beautiful young Sheila with big appendages.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ie%20Beach
     
  208. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    I haven't got many pictures today because we have been travelling hard. We left Proserpine in some early morning mist, and continued South on the Bruce Goat Track (Highway 1). Some 100 Km further on, I was sufficiently terrified to consider getting off it and try an inland road to get away from the impatient truckers and bumbling caravaners.

    So we turned off the highway at Sarina and took the loop to Marlborough, some 260 Km away. Well, what a bad mistake that was. We went from Goat Track to Motocross Track. The road is a very narrow, dual lane, sealed road, with no verges, and a speed limit of 100 Kph. But, it is so rough that at no stage could I exceed 80 Kph, and for about half of it, I had to reduce my speed to around 60 Kph. Had I tried to travel at the speed limit, I would have undoubtedly crashed, even on the straight sections. I can't believe how bad the roads are in Queensland, I've never seen anything like it, even in darkest Africa.

    We stopped for the night in Marlborough where I had a couple of Scotches to calm my nerves. Today, we continued on to Gladstone, with a diversion through Yeppoon to see the coast. This is quite a pretty area with some nice beaches, but I didn't see anyone swimming, even though the temperature was up at 25C. We will be staying in Gladstone for a week while I get the Ford serviced and we see some friends and relatives.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Emu%20Park
     
  209. Gus

    Gus Member

    I did the Sarina - Marlborough road a few years ago on the GTR and stayed at the Marlborough pub.
    had to dodge a few trucks that day as well, defiantly not a road for a van.
     
  210. jwm

    jwm New Member

    I agree fully with you Bernie, the Bruce Hwy is an absolute goat track and the truckies just get up your arse and try and intimidate you or just push you and push you until you pull off or crash. It is not am enjoyable experience at all and one of the reasons I swore I would never travel that way again.

    Queensland, beautiful one day, perfect the next - bullshit. Queensland, a step back in time to third world road conditions. For god sake, this is supposed to be a National hwy.
     
  211. AHAMAY

    AHAMAY Member

    I'd really like to be able to defend my State with some witty, smart alec comments and sterling words of defence, but... I've got nuthin'. It's all shamefully true... :oops:
     
  212. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Woke this morning to find the van and car covered with a combination of flying fox poop, bird poop, and tree litter. The birds twitter and poop all day, and the bats twitter and poop all night. Oh well, we got the bike out and went for a ride down to the seaside village of 1770. Apparently Captain Cook landed here at some point in his voyages. It's a very pretty place, so we stopped and had a delicious lunch, and strolled around to take the obligatory photos. There is a very nice van park right on the shore, but of course, it was jam packed full. Another park up on the hill had some space, but I don't think we will actually stay here. By coincidence, we met some people there who had camped right next to us in the Cooktown van park. Back in Gladstone, Lynn managed to contact a relative that she had last seen in South Africa 40 years ago, and he came around for a visit this evening.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Seventy
     
  213. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    I've just noticed in my photos, that James Cook landed here in May 1770 with the rank of Lieutenant, then proceeded to Cooktown where he landed in June 1770 with the rank of Captain? Did he get promoted by E-mail or what?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  214. The White Tiger

    The White Tiger Administrator Staff Member

    Well spotted Bernie :clap: He was only promoted to captain when he returned to England after this voyage.
     
  215. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Do you think I should E-mail these pictures to the mayor of Cooktown, and spoil his day. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
     
  216. BlueW

    BlueW Member

    Not a bad effort skipping 2 ranks in a matter of a little over 1 month.
     
  217. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday we went to Tannum Sands where we took a few photos down at the beach, and then we went on to Lynn's relatives home where we had a superb BBQ lunch and spent a lazy afternoon chatting about the good old days. This morning we did a bit of shopping to re-stock the van, and then took a run out to Lake Awoonga which is just inland from Gladstone. This is a very beautiful dam with a good caravan park and excellent picnic areas. I guess it would also be good for boating and fishing as it is stocked with fish.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Awoonga
     
  218. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We were up early this morning to see Lynn's son off at the local airport. He is a FIFO worker (fly in, fly out) at a giant natural gas production site on Curtis Island near Gladstone. After breakfast at the airport, we jumped on the bike and took a ride down to Turkey Beach, South of Gladstone. This is a delightful little fishing village with nothing more than a few houses and a single general store, where we were able to get a great cup of coffee.

    Then it was back to the van park for a little snooze, and to prepare for departure tomorrow. I had the Ford serviced yesterday, we have done over 20,000 Km on this trip already.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ey%20Beach
     
  219. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday we motored down from Gladstone to Hervey Bay, with a short stop in Bundaberg to get a new battery for Lynn's Iphone. We arrived in Hervey Bay just a heavy rain storm passed out to sea, and we were able to set up camp in comfort. Last night, we had a delicious dinner with Lynn's friend, Suzanne, and this morning we got the bike out and took a ride down to Rainbow Beach, near Tin Can Bay.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ow%20Beach
     
  220. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Found these Flying Foxes (Bats) roosting only a few hundred meters up the road from our caravan park. Horrible things, every day I have to clean their poop off my car and van. Wish I could shoot them with something other than my camera.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ng%20Foxes
     
  221. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Lovely morning once again in Hervey Bay, so after morning coffee with Suzanne, we dragged out the bike and took a little ride out to Burrum Heads, a small fishing village, then across to Childers for lunch. On the way, we came across a little country cottage for sale called Salisbury Manor, but thought it may be a little pretentious for our taste, so we decided not to buy it.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... um%20Heads
     
  222. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We arrived in Esk, just inland of Brisbane, on Thursday afternoon and set up the van in Esk caravan Park. Had a quiet day on Friday, then this morning we took a ride around the back of Lake Wivenhoe and up the back of Mount Glorious. This is a very steep and winding road, which naturally attracts all the local bikies, which in turn attracts the local cops. We arrived safely at the Mount Glorious Cafe, without being T-boned by an over excited bikie, or having our photograph taken (I hope). Had a very good cup of coffee, then rode back down the mountain and completed the circuit of Lake Wivenhoe back to Esk.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 20Glorious
     
  223. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The Toowoomba and Brisbane members of the FJR Forum kindly arranged to meet Lynn & I in Esk and take us for a ride around the local area. We met at the Enigmas Cafe in Esk where we had breakfast, and then rode from Esk to Toogoolawah, Blackbutt, Yarraman, Cooyar, Crows Nest, Hampton, and back to Esk.

    At the stop in Hampton, we were suddenly surrounded by an Ambulance and 2 Cop cars, it turned out that some lady was having a baby near by. Everyone went their own way after leaving Hampton, and Lynn and I stopped at the Sketches Golf Course on the way down to Esk, and had a coffee as we enjoyed the view over the Brisbane Valley.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Esk%20Ride
     
  224. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    While all you poor people were working, we were out on the bike having a wonderful ride. We left Esk at about 9:30, rode down passed Lake Wivenhoe, then up Mount Glorious to the same cafe we visited a few days ago. There we had Eggs Benedict for breakfast, then continued on down the other side of Mount Glorious into the Brisbane suburbs.

    This is an impressively steep and beautiful ride. Then we turned North and rode through Dayboro and up to the Mount Mee view point. From here you overlook the Glasshouse Mountains and the ocean in the distance. There is also a war memorial here with a Pine tree grown from a seed of the Lone Pine at Gallipoli. We then rode back to Esk passed the beautiful Lake Somerset, though this particular stretch of road is a disgrace and very dangerous.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Mee%20Ride
     
  225. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today we rode down to Boonah to meet David Eagle, an old friend from the FJR Forum. We met at the Flavours Cafe and partook of some delicious Oompagaloompa food while catching up on years of gossip. Then David took us on an exciting ride around Lake Moogerah where he showed us the scene of his recent crash, followed by another exciting blast along the shore of Wyaralong Dam. Then we rode up to Tamborine Mountain to inspect the Thunderbird Park with a view to moving our caravan there next week, but it was jam packed full due to the local school holidays being on. David left us there, and we proceeded onto the mountain top for some piccies and another coffee. Then, it was the long ride back to Esk, and the dam GPS got us onto a Toll Way for which we have no pass, so I don't know what will happen now.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... nah%20Ride
     
  226. Dusty

    Dusty New Member

    Gotta love a toll road :roll: . You can log onto govia.com.au to pay a casual toll.
    Just enter a card number and rego and a date period.
     
  227. The White Tiger

    The White Tiger Administrator Staff Member

    A crash??? He kept that quiet, thanks for dobbing him in :lol:
     
  228. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today we moved the caravan down to Canungra where we will stay for another week, departing next Monday. We are camped at the Canungra Showground which is a few hundred meters up the O'Reillys Road. If anyone wishes to visit, give Lynn a call on 0410 910 349.
     
  229. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday we moved the caravan down to Canungra, where we setup in the Showground campsite for a week. Zea and David Eagle met us at the Cafe Metz for lunch, then we did some shopping and had a lazy afternoon. This morning, I dragged the bike out of the garage, and Lynn out of bed, and we took a ride up the mountain to O'Reillys Guesthouse, in the Lamington National Park, where we had lunch and fed the birds. The road up the mountain is awesomely dangerous, being narrow single lane in places, right on the edge of cliffs, dozens of blind 180 degree turns, and having to cope with 2 way traffic all the way. But it's worth it for the views.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Guesthouse
     
  230. GregW

    GregW Active Member

    Plus the road is dangerous with the slime and mould on the road as the overhanging trees do not let the sunlight in :?
     
  231. The White Tiger

    The White Tiger Administrator Staff Member

    David's probably told you mate, there's some awesome roads around there....
    Springbrook mountain, the East climb up Mount Tamborine, the lap to Beechmont, the Nerang-Murwillumbah road (better known as the Hinze raceway). Uki road from Murwillumbah to Kyogle is a little bumpy in parts but still a lot of fun. Another 3-4 hour circuit from Beaudesert to Rathdowney to Kyogle on the Summerland Way and return to Rathdowney via Running Creek Rd (better known as the Lions Road) is one of my favourites :)

    P.S. Probably best to do most of these roads mid week or after 2-3pm to avoid plod's patrols. A lot of bikers have been killed in this area, especially on the raceway, pushing their abilities too far.
     
  232. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    That's why I am here. I've already done most of these rides on previous trips, but now I am showing Lynn around, and enjoying the area at a more leisurely pace. :dance:
     
  233. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Took a short ride this morning, up to Binna Burra Teahouse for some oompagaloompa food, then down that mountain and up to Mount Tamborine for some photos of the Gold Coast. That was an exercise in frustration. Saw a sign to Laheys Lookout, so we went there and found a lovely park, but no lookout. Found a plaque instead that explained that in 1857, Lahey had erected a 3 story wooden structure so that people could see out over the trees. But that burnt down in a bush fire, so the council erected a steel structure, but they didn't use galvanized steel, so that rusted out and fell down. So, they gave up. But the place is on top of a mountain, all they had to do, is clear out some of the undergrowth, and you would be able to see perfectly well, you wouldn't even have to cut down the big trees. These Queenslanders make me grit my teeth sometimes.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... rra%20Ride
     
  234. stevew

    stevew Member

  235. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    This morning we met David Eagle and Vanessa as arranged at the Hinze Dam Cafe, had a yummy breakfast, then set off on a ride up the local mountains. This time, I managed to keep up without loosing my pants, and Dave took us to the Purling Brook Falls Lookout, where he left us with a couple of recomendations of places to see. Lynn and I continued onwards, and were rewarded with some magnificent scenery and roads. As you can see from the graphs in the last picture, we went to some astonishing heights, and dizzying depths, and our average speed for the day was about 70 Kph, which was not for want of trying. I am now sipping a delicious Scotch as a reward for surviving the day without crashing.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Dam%20Ride
     
  236. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday we moved the van from Canungra to Nimbin in NSW. I chose to take the Mount Lindsay Highway through Kyogle, rather than the Pacific Highway through Nerang and the Gold Coast, mainly to avoid the traffic and madding crowds. The mighty Ford handled the mountain passes and narrow roads rather well.

    Nimbin is an interesting place, it was taken over by the hippies many years ago, and is now filled by young people on the drugs, and old farts who are trying to re-live their glory days, and make a few bucks from the tourists coming to photograph them. This morning, Nimbin was covered by mist, but it soon cleared to reveal a beautiful day, and we took a stroll around the village, took some piccies, and had a coffee with the animals.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ary/Nimbin
     
  237. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Shit Bernie, at this rate you'll be home in WA by Christmas. Then what will you do with the rest of your retirement??????????????????????????????.
     
  238. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Another beautiful morning in Nimbin, so I got Lynn out of bed early, and we took a ride out to the Tyalgum area in the Border Ranges between NSW and QLD. This is spectacular country with volcanic mountains, thick forest, and many streams and rivers. Stopped at the Flutterbies Cafe in Tyalgum for some oompagaloompa food, and were visited by a Water Dragon. On the way back, we stopped at the Uki Cafe for lunch, turned out it was a hippie, organic place, so we ended up with Moroccan pies for lunch, I will probably set off the smoke detectors in the dunny tomorrow morning.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... gum%20Ride
     
  239. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Well, it's my 65th birthday today, I'm officially an old fart, now the government can start paying me instead of me paying them. Cheers and thanks for all the kind wishes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  240. GregW

    GregW Active Member

    Congrats Bernie :clap: "Happy Birthday" may you be a drain on the guberment with a long life :dance: :dance:


    [​IMG]
     
  241. Ken Fraser

    Ken Fraser Riding on

    :eek:ccasion-birthday:
     
  242. Tallin

    Tallin Member

    Happy birthday matey :) :auto-layrubber:
     
  243. Shoey

    Shoey Active Member

    Congradulations Bernie, hope it was good. :clap:
    Shoey & Lol.
     
  244. BlueW

    BlueW Member

    Happy Birthday Bernie may you enjoy many more. :character-oldtimer:
     
  245. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday, we took the Ford out for a run to see if we could get some good pictures of the local area. There is a big mountain, Mount Nardi, to the North of Nimbin, with a microwave relay station on top, and we figured this would provide a good view. So, after grinding up a very steep track to an altitude of 830 Meters, we reached the very top where the radio masts are, and sure enough, could hardly see anything because of the tall trees and thick undergrowth all around. It's so annoying, If the local council would just clear out a little undergrowth, there would be magnificent views, they wouldn't even have to cut down the large trees, but no, they haven't got the gumption to think of something like that.

    Anyway, we did get a few piccies, then continued exploring until we eventually found a nice pub at "The Channon" village, and stopped for lunch. There was a group of vintage Indian motorcycle riders there, so we got a few piccies of the bikes.
    While we were eating lunch, another family came in for lunch, normal looking people, a bloke, his wife and a couple of kids. But they had brought granny bogan along, what a sight for sore eyes. She was wearing floral shorts and a red T shirt, bare feet, and nothing else. Her grey hair was done up in plaits, but the front fringe was dyed bright blue. But the whole effect was ruined by a prominent goatee beard!! True. This is a beautiful area to explore, but sometimes I feel that I should have a copy of the Dueling Banjos playing on the radio while I drive.

    Today, we did a short circuit on the bike, from Nimbin to Kyogle on a very steep and rough road, had a coffee, then on to Casino on much better roads, and back to Nimbin. It's a holiday weekend in NSW with double demerit points, so we were very careful of our speed.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... bin%20Area
     
  246. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Went on a short ride today because it's been getting quite hot in the afternoons recently, and because we need to pack up this afternoon ready to move out tomorrow. We stopped at a little dam near Uki called Clarrie Hall Dam, very beautiful area, but the place was infested with horse flies, so we took a few piccies and departed in a hurry. Had to stop again a few meters later and rip my helmet off because I had trapped a horse fly inside my helmet. Stopped at the Phoenix Rising Cafe on the way back, and were met by some beautiful big roosters wandering around amongst the patrons. There was also the Bringabong store there, where you could stock up on your smoking implements. https://www.bringabong.com/shop/index.php

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Hall%20Dam
     
  247. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday, we moved the caravan from Nimbin to Dorrigo. The drive from Nimbin to Grafton was fairly uneventful, but from Grafton to Dorrigo, we encountered some goat track that was as bad as the roads in Queensland. There was also a long, very winding climb, up to around 1000 Meters at Clouds Creek, and to make matters worse, there was a large bush fire in the area that was making me nervous. The smoke did make for a pretty sunset at Dorrigo though.

    This morning, we got the bike out and rode down the Waterfall Way to Bellingen, but there was still a lot of smoke around, spoiling the views, and it was hot and humid in Bellingen, so we had a quick coffee and scooted back up the mountain to Dorrigo, it's cooler here. No more piccies today I'm afraid.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... o%20Sunset
     
  248. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Had bad luck at Dorrigo, the first day was hot, humid, and smoky from bush fires, and the second we had our heads in the clouds and it drizzled all day. This morning as we left, it was still overcast, but the drizzle had stopped. We moved the caravan to Tamworth, and on the way we stopped at the Wollomombi Gorge for piccies and a bit of a walk. The weather has cleared up, and tommorow we will have a look around Tamworth.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... bi%20Gorge
     
  249. Ken Fraser

    Ken Fraser Riding on

    Give the Tamworth FJR Sub Branch a hoy, a club within a club.
     
  250. Charley Farley

    Charley Farley New Member

    The Tamworth Sub Forum is alive Bernie.
    Bit of a show n shine on at Bunnings tomorrow (Sunday) from 9 AM & a ride following if you are up for it

    You can contact me on 0481099994 if you would like to catch up. Leave a message as dont always have the phone with me. I am not working so can catch up nearly any time
     
  251. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    OK, we will see you down at Bunnings tomorrow. Is it just FJR's going for a ride, or will there be hundreds of bikes? I don't particularly like mass rides. :naughty:

    We are at the Tamworth North Holiday Park for the rest of the afternoon if you want to pop in. 4 Somerset Place, Nemingha.
    0410 910 349.
     
  252. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Had a look around the Tamworth Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum today. This is a private collection, with about 60 bikes on display, but the guy has many more out at his farm apparently. Only found 2 of my old bikes there, the CB350 and CB750K Hondas. Brought a tear to my eye. From there, we went on to the Golden Guitar Tourist Center, which wasn't quite so interesting.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... c%20Museum
     
  253. Charley Farley

    Charley Farley New Member

    Hi Bernie. Sunday is the Monthly Shannons show N Shine. Usually get about 15 or more cars of all types and some vintage motorcycles. I will be with the VJMC boys & will have my '85 SRX250 there. Its always a bit of pot luck as to who turns up.
    Sometimes we get 3 or 4 ride afterwards & sometimes 10
    Yesterday I was umpiring Cricket (its what I do :) ) so couldnt call in.

    [​IMG]
     
  254. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    A local FJR forum member, Charley Farley, invited us to an informal show and shine in the Bunnings carpark, followed by a ride in the hills. This turned out to be a very enjoyable day, with some stunning scenery, but the roads, dear oh dear, the roads are so shyte in places. I often found myself getting distracted from the business of riding the road, estimating speed and corner lines and so forth, by looking out for the next pot hole, lump, dip, hump, washout, gravel patch, and so on.

    There was an old guy on his Rickman Kawasaki, following us on 2 FJR's, and he could keep up with us on the good bits of road, but on the bad bits he dropped way back. He said he was having to stand on the pegs like a motocross rider to keep control. By chance, our route took us passed Casey Stoners estate near Dungowan, and while we were stopped at the Dungowan pub, the great man himself drove passed in his Mercedes. Tomorrow, we are moving on towards the Blue Mountains.

    Many thanks to Charley Farley and his wife.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... rth%20Ride
     
  255. jwm

    jwm New Member

    Hey Bernie, it won't be long and you will arrive in Paradise, the NSW South Coast. I'm about 20kms outside of Nowra. I'll be away from 26/10 to about the 10/11, but it would be good to catch up, if the stars align. Sorry mate, most of the roads down here aren't much better than what you described at Tamworth.
     
  256. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Thanks jwm, I will keep that in mind, though we haven't planned that far ahead yet.
     
  257. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We left Tamworth on Monday morning, travelled down the New England Highway to Muswellbrook, then cut across to the Golden Highway and up to Merriwa where we spent the night in a tiny caravan park. Today, we continued through Mudgee and down to Lithgow where we have booked in for a week. From here we will explore the local area by 4 wheel drive or bike as required. We got the following pictures in a quick stroll around the Lithgow caravan park.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ry/Lithgow
     
  258. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    On our first day in the Blue Mountains, we took a drive out to the Jenolan Caves, which are situated in a very deep valley with two approach roads. They are both extremely steep, narrow, winding roads, such that I had to climb out in first gear in many places. The risk of a collision around a blind corner is very high. The resort is like something you would see in Switzerland, very beautiful, but the cave tours are ridiculously expensive, in the range of $40 per person, so we just strolled around the limited free access places, and to hell with their tours.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 20Caves002

    From Jenolan Caves, we drove deep into the Kanangra Boyd National Park to view the Kanangra Walls. This was on 31 Km of dirt road which was mostly in good condition. The walk to the Lookout was easy, and the views fantastic, but the other two walks looked like heart stoppers, so we declined. From there, we drove back to Lithgow via Oberon, and through some very pretty country.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ra%20Walls
     
  259. Jimw

    Jimw Member

    If I were a betting man,

    2017 Assault country

    Jenolan is usually a tourist trap which is a real pity because it's a nice area. Abercrombie is a more laid back system with some great roads getting in and out. The road from Bathurst to Goulburn and back to Orange is a ripper. Fast and flowing with about 10klm of dirt. 2 hours each way and it flirts both sides of Abercrombie.

    Enjoy the area Bernie!
     
  260. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Had an exhausting but thrilling day today. We started out early on the short drive between Lithgow and Katoomba. This wins my vote as the worst bit of road in the whole of Australia. Nearly the whole length, about 40Km, is undergoing road works at the moment, but bear in mind that this is one of the oldest, major routes out of Sydney, connecting with the hinterland of NSW. The speed limit is down to 40Kph for long sections, and never goes above 80Kph. I will concede that this is very rugged country, but even so, the road is disgusting.

    But, it's worth it once you get to Katoomba. The scenery is beyond awesome, and the rides in the cable cars and railway to the bottom of the gorge, are breathtaking. I will let the pictures tell the tale, and see www.scenicworld.com.au Katoomba town and suburbs are also very picturesque. Then, we were faced with that awful drive back to Lithgow.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... y/Katoomba
     
  261. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday, we took the bike and rode the "Bells Line of Road", and stopped at the Blue Mountains Botanical Gardens for a look and coffee. This is a very beautiful area, but from a riders point of view, it is hopeless. Too many heavily enforced speed restrictions, and as usual, road works everywhere. Today, we got a new tyre for the caravan, visited the Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum, visited a couple of local view points, and got the car washed.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... gow%20Area

    The visit to the Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum was very interesting, particularly because many of the weapons used by the Rhodesian Army in the early days, were manufactured in this factory. These include the Martini Henry, Lee Metford, Lee Enfield, FN.FAL, and MAG machine guns.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... s%20Museum
     
  262. jwm

    jwm New Member

    The Bells Line of Road was a great road, a bit of a raceway actually, up until 6 or 7 years ago when they lowered the speed limit to 80kph. Now it is heavily policed and has lots of traffic. There has been talk for many years about upgrading the road and making it the major Hwy over the Mountains but nothing has ever happened.
    I remember going to Lithgow during my apprenticeship back in the 60's to do some work at the old Steam Loco works up there, Lithgow at that stage was a dirty, filthy, sooty, Railway town. I remember thinking, "who in their right mind would would want to live in this shit hole', but i It's cleaned up considerably since the days of the steam loco depot and is now a pretty good country town.
    While your up that way Bernie you should hop on the bike and take a run out to Milthorpe and Orange, that's a nice part of the world.
     
  263. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today Lynn & I took a ride to Bathurst to check out the Mount Panorama race track and the National Motor Racing Museum. The museum has an excellent display, and imagine our surprise when we found an ex Rhodesian Mini Cooper S, which was raced by Ivan Glasby, in the display. We have both almost certainly seen this car being raced back then, though I do not have a particular memory of it. Of course, I do remember the Glasby name.

    We also had a ride around the race track, but unfortunately, there is a 60 Kph limit on the track when it is open to the public. On the way back, we detoured through Oberon to make sure the road is OK for our caravan, as we intend to use that route tomorrow when we depart Lithgow.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 20Panorama
     
  264. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today we visited the Canberra War Memorial and Museum, and we were very impressed, it is truly a magnificant building and well laid out museum, it is also huge. The Museum has a number of halls, each dedicated to a different aspect of war, or campaign. The lighting throughout the museum is very subdued, which creates the right mood for viewing, but it makes photography very difficult, especially if the items are behind glass panels, or very large. The glass reflects the camera flash, and large objects are not completely illuminated. Unfortunately, my camera batteries went flat from using the flash too much, long before we had seen the whole display. Anyway, here are the piccies which I did get.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... r%20Museum

    This afternoon we returned to the war museum to complete our photo survey, armed with fresh batteries. We found that we had missed 3 entire halls of the displays. We also got some pics of the walls of rememberance where the names of all the war dead are recorded. The numbers are simply mind blowing, and very sobering.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Museum%202

    This morning, Lynn dragged me out to try and drum some culture into me by visiting various galleries and museums around Canberra. I did get some pics of the High Court and the new and old Parliament buildings, but most of the time, Lynn said I had an expression on my face like I had just stepped on a fresh dog turd, bare foot. One thing I did discover about the High Court, is that they work on a 2 weeks ON, 2 weeks OFF cycle, and even then, only 1 of the 3 courts is active at any time. Hard life isn't it.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... gh%20Court
     
  265. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today we motored from Canberra down to Tumut, and booked into the Riverglade Caravan Park, which backs onto the beautiful Tumut River. From here we intend to ride the bike around the Snowy Mountains if the Weather permits, or use the Ford if it's bad. The route down to Tumut was mostly on the Hume Highway, which was actually quite good for towing the van on, it's the best bit of road we have seen in about the last 6 months, and we only hit road works in 3 places this morning, which is exceptionally good for NSW.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBernie/library/Tumut
     
  266. Jimw

    Jimw Member

    A quick dash from Tumut to Adaminaby and back will be well worth while. Stop at Yarangobilly caves and go for a swim in the hot springs. There are a zillion roads around there that are primo. You do have a wet weather front moving through over the next week, so check weather zone daily

    Enjoy
     
  267. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The weather forcast for the Snowy Mountains was good today, so we got the bike out and got ready for a ride up the mountains, plenty of warm gear was donned. But, just before we left, there was a complete electrical power failure in the entire Tumut region, which meant that we couldn't cook breakfast or refuel the bike, so we took a chance and departed anyway.

    There was only 2 bars showing on the bike's fuel guage when we set off. The next town, Talbingo, also had no power, but I calculated that we could reach Adaminaby, just. Lynn phoned the fuel station in Adaminaby and confirmed that they had power and fuel. So we continued, and rode the last 83 Km with the low fuel indicator blinking at me, it was nerve wracking. But, we got there and filled up with food and fuel, the bike took 22.6 Liters. From there, we continued on to Jindabyne and Charlottes Pass. The temperature up there was +11C, with a chilly breeze, but there was not much snow around after the warmest October in recorded history. We returned to Tumut by the same route.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 0Mountains
     
  268. Ken Fraser

    Ken Fraser Riding on

    Hi Bernie,
    You have to ride to Batlow, Tumbarumba and Elliots Way to Cabramurra
    Visit the 4 Bears Cafe in Tumbarumba, good coffee.

    Also Khancoan to Cabramurra is a blast :dance:

    Sooooooo many roads.
     
  269. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    It was one of those perfect days, blue sky, warm sun, no wind, guts full of food, and bike full of fuel. Soon we were listening to the muted snarl of the FJR as it effortlessly hurled our combined mass of half a ton up the steep grades of the Snowy mountains.

    We followed Ken's suggested route from Tumut to Batlow, Tumbarumba, Cabramurra, Kiandra, and back to Tumut, but the 4 Bears cafe in Tumbarumba was closed on Sunday, so we had coffee at the place next door. It was a wonderful ride, saw 2 wild horses, a kangaroo, an Emu, and many piles of horse shyte. Somewhere along the Snowy Mountains Highway, a miniature wild bee went straight down one of the vent intakes of my helmet, and survived the impact. It crawled around on my head for a while, but then became angry and started to sting me. I had to screech to a halt, rip my helmet off, and evict the little bastid.

    While I was doing this, a group of Harley riders came passed, I caught up to them just as we began the steep drop off the Snowy escarpment, What a pathetic display of motorcycle riding that was. I soon became bored, and was forced to shoulder them aside as I passed on the steepest, narrowest, most winding section of road. Once I had passed the leader, they disappeared out of my mirrors within 2 more bends, and I never saw them again.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ntains%202
     
  270. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    This morning we moved the van from Tumut to Corryong. We set off with some trepidation because the GPS had chosen a route through the mountains, some of which we had ridden on the bike yesterday, so we knew it was OK, but the rest was unknown. We hoped we wouldn't come across any really steep inclines because there is little more frightening than being pushed by a 3 ton van down a steep, zig-zag slope, or towing up one for that matter. But all was well, nothing we couldn't handle. We are now setup in Corryong, ready for more exciting rides around the mountains.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Lookout
     
  271. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We were blessed with another perfect day today, so once again, the mighty FJR was pressed into service, and we rode forth to the mountains. Passed the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric power station, Tom Groggin Station, Dead Horse Gap, to Thredbo Alpine village. There, we had coffee and a meat pie before ascending to the top of the mountain on a ski lift chair.

    Fairly cold up there, about +10C, but the views were breath taking. Of course, the Mountain Bistro at the top, which should have been open, wasn't, so we took our pics and descended again. Then it was back on the bike, and back to Corryong by the same route. Only 212 Km for the day, but it was all hard work, no cruisey sections at all. Wish we could have taken a lot more photos, but it's so hard on the bike to stop and take them.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ry/Thredbo
     
  272. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Took a drive from Corryong to Benambra today over the Sassafrass Gap. We used the Ford because the road over the Gap is 65 Km of dirt with very steep climbs and descents, and very tight zig-zags. I first rode this route about 26 years ago on a XJ900 Yamaha which I hired in Melbourne, and I wanted to see it again, and show it to Lynn.

    Once again, we were lucky with the weather, it was a beautiful day. From the top of the range, it seems as though you can see for a hundred miles, the views are awesome. In Benambra, which is a small village, the only place that we could get something to eat, was the General Store, but they served up some delicious toasted sandwiches and coffee. Then we returned to Corryong via the same route because the alternative was too long. On the way, we passed some fool towing a large caravan with a ute similar to mine, who looked as though he was going to attempt the Sassafrass Gap. We will probably hear about it on the 6 O'clock news tomorrow.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... rass%20Gap
     
  273. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We left Corryong a couple of days ago, and are now parked in Myrtleford in a reasonable caravan park, but the weather has turned nasty. The first night we had very heavy rain, followed by 2 days of showers and lightning storms. This morning we took a short drive up Mount Buffalo, and passed numerous cyclists having a wonderful time pedalling uphill in the pissing rain. We managed to get some good views from the top, but a lot was obscurred by cloud, and there was a freezing cold wind. we will have to return on a clear day to get some good shots. On the way back, we popped into the village of Bright, but the place was jam packed with tourists, we couldn't even find a place to park the car, so we gave up and returned to Myrtleford. Pictures from 1 to 46 are mine, and 47 to 56 are from Lynn's Iphone.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Buffalo
     
  274. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The weather forecast today was half reasonable, so we donned our winter gear and set off for Mount Hotham on the bike. Our route took us through the villages of Bright and Harrietville, which must be the prettiest villages in the whole of Australia, but we didn't stop.

    Just after Harrietville, we began the climb up Mount Hotham, and our troubles began. We ran into thick cloud, wet roads, and hundreds of pedal cyclists trying to stop their hearts on the long climb up the mountain. You can see on the speed graph that my speed stayed between 20 and 70 Kph for the whole climb. We arrived at the top, cold, wet, tired, and hungry. Fortunately, we found a restaurant open, so we stopped for a big breakfast.

    Leaving Hotham, the cloud cleared across Dinner Plain, but we ran into it again about 20 Km out of Omeo, but it cleared again after Omeo. From there, we ran down the Omeo valley, passed Anglers Rest, then began the long climb up to the Bogong High Plains and Falls Creek. Then, it was down to the village of Mount Beauty, a cup of tea, and the run home. This run must be the most beautiful, the most demanding, and the most dangerous that I have ever done, it was a tank full of fuel well spent.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... t%20Hotham
     
  275. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We are staying on a private farm near Harrietville at the moment, and the owners sister owns the Trout Farm a few miles up the road. We were taken on a tour of the Trout Farm this morning, which was very interesting, and we were then allowed to catch a bucket full of fresh trout for our dinner tonight. The yellow coloured trout in the last pictures are a breed of trout from America, called Golden Trout, and they are being bred for the Asian market. Some of them were trying to swim up the water inlet pipe, and doing quite well.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... out%20Farm
     
  276. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We went into the town of Bright, Victoria, to have a look at the Hot Rods which are assembling for the Iconic Rod Run. Here is a small selection of photos of the many cars that are present, it is impossible to photograph them all.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Hot%20Rods
     
  277. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today dawned clear and beautiful after about a week of rain and overcast weather, so we decided to do a quick run up Mount Hotham again to see the views which were obscured the last time. It was well worth it, the views are magnificant. All those dead trees were killed by a forest fire about 2 years ago. The ski resort is closed for summer of course, so there was a pleasant lack of crowds.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Hotham%202
     
  278. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Third time lucky, the first 2 attempts to get good photos from The Horn on Mount Buffalo were thwarted by cloud, and it's a long difficult climb up there. But today we scored another beautiful day, and I got the photos that I wanted. Enjoy.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... uffalo%202
     
  279. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today was hot, humid, and overcast, but the clouds were up high and not resting on the mountain tops, so we decided to go to Mount Buller, which is the last of the ski resorts on our must see list. There is heavy rain forecast for the next 2 days. We had a good ride with very light traffic, and the climb up the mountain was just awesome on the bike. Surprisingly, there were heaps of flies up at this resort, which we haven't seen at any of the other ski resorts, but they didn't spoil the day.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... t%20Buller
     
  280. stevew

    stevew Member

    Hi Bernie,

    I was in the pub at Bright when you took those pictures out the front. If I had known you were there I would have shouted you both a drink. :)
    The red Mustang in a couple of your pictures belongs to my brother-in-law's brother, which was one of the reason's we were in Bright that weekend.
    Hope you enjoyed the spectacle and nice weather.

    Steve.
     
  281. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yes, we enjoyed the show, there certainly were some awesome machines there, though I doubt many would pass the present pollution laws. A couple of times I thought I would choke to death on the fumes and unburnt fuel. :naughty: :mrgreen:
     
  282. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Took a gentle drive around the local area in the Ford today to celebrate Rememberance Day and the 50th anniversary of Rhodesia's UDI. Stopped in Yackandandah and had a moment of reflection in their Memorial Park, and coffee with oompa galoompa food in the local cafe. Then we drove up to the picturesque village of Mount Beauty, which lies at the foot of Mount Bogong, and returned to Myrtleford via the Tawonga Gap, Bright, and the Buckland Valley.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... t%20Beauty
     
  283. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Took a short ride up Bogong Mountain again to visit the Falls Creek ski resort and get a few piccies, we shot straight through here last time without stopping. I love riding up these mountain roads, but unfortunately, so do the lycra boys, I had to dodge dozens of the bastids. We also got passed by half a dozen guys on liter sports bikes, but in my defense, they weren't carrying pillion riders, but it did show me what it must be like for the pedal guys when I blast passed them. We had a coffee at the ski resort, then went back half way down the mountain and stopped at Bogong Village for lunch. Then it was the ride down the beautiful Kiewa Valley and back to Myrtleford.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Village
     
  284. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday, we moved the caravan from Myrtleford to Marysville, which is near Melbourne. This village and surrounding area was completely wiped out by the "Black Saturday Fires" in 2009, and 179 people lost their lives. The village has been almost totally rebuilt, and is regaining it's former beauty, but most of the large trees in the surrounding forests were killed, and now their white skeletons stick up out of the green re-growth in a ghostly horror show, and lie in a tangle of corpses in the stream channels. The caravan park however, is delightful, with a fresh stream running through the middle, and lots of very tame birds going from camp to camp and demanding handouts. They soon winkled out my supply of Sunflower seeds and are busy skoffing the lot. This morning, we took a drive up to Lake Mountain Ski Resort, Keppel Falls, Steavenson Falls, and finished up with some Oompa Galoompa food in Marysville.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Marysville
    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBernie/library/Birds
     
  285. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The morning started with a King Parrot sitting on my bike and demanding some breakfast, he had already pooped on the top box in a show of disapproval at my lack of haste. That sorted, I got Lynn out of bed, and we set off on a ride from Marysville to Warburton via the Reefton Spur road.

    What a beauty, 60 Km of heaven, tight, twisting road the whole way, narrow but with a perfect surface, unlike the roads in QLD and NSW. We stopped at Warburton for coffee and oompa galoompa, then rode up Donna Buang Mountain for some piccies from the lookout.

    From there, we took the Acheron road back towards Marysville. The first 13 Km is narrow, winding, gravel road, and we had only gone about 2 Km when we came across two young men walking, they were not happy, having just rolled their car off the road and down an almost vertical cliff. We couldn't help them as there was no phone reception in the area, we had to leave them to continue their walk. I continued in trepidation as I fully expected another idiot pretend rally driver to come skidding around a corner at any moment. However, we made it back onto the sealed road without incident, and completed the ride back to Marysville. A wonderfull ride, life is hard doing this retirement thing.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ang%20Ride
     
  286. M Roadster

    M Roadster Member

    Good to see you enjoying our neck of the woods, mid week ride was always Reefton Spur, Marysville for coffee, then back to Melbourne via the Black Spur. Too many tourists on the weekends for it to be safe, same goes for the Great Ocean Road.

    Jealous as buggery, enjoy retirement Bernie :)
     
  287. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    I have been blocked from posting on this site for some time due to a technical issue, which has now been resolved thanks to Thommo and Steve, so here is 3 posts in one hit.

    Lynn is away in Perth at the moment, visiting her grand kids, so, in order to keep myself amused, I jumped on the bike and took a ride out to Eildon, which is on the edge of the Eildon dam. Quite a nice ride, but nothing special, but, on the way into Eildon, I saw a turn off to Jamieson, which isn't marked on my paper map. The road sign said it was only 60 Km away, and that it was a dangerous ride for motorcycles, and not recommended for caravans.

    This naturally picqued my interest, so, on the way out of Eildon, I took it. Well, the signs weren't wrong, what an awesome ride, 60 Km of non stop tight twisties, mountain passes, river valleys, thick forest, and almost no traffic. At Jamieson, I stopped at a small pub for a drink, but it was closed. However, the local Blue Healer dog was there, and he trotted out and insisted that I throw a stick for him to chase, and gave me a bite on the leg to encourage me. Luckily, I was wearing leather pants. The road was so nice, I decided to ride back the same way.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... son%20Ride

    Yesterday we moved the caravan to a nice park on a farm near a village called Neerim South. This morning the weather was cool but reasonable, so we took the bike on a ride up to the Ski Resort on Mount Baw Baw. This means that we have now ridden up to all the Ski Resorts in the Alpine region of Australia, a total of eleven I believe. The road up Baw Baw was very steep and twisty, but was in surprising bad condition for Victoria, all the other Vic ones have been quite good. On the way down from Baw Baw, we stopped at a delightful pub in Noojee and had lunch, then had a look at an historical Trestle Rail Bridge.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Baw%20Ride

    We were sitting in the bakery in Neerim when we heard that it was snowing on Mount Baw Baw, so, as neither of us has ever seen snow falling, we decided to drive up there again, and see this magical stuff. The mighty Ford soon had us up there, and sure enough, it was snowing, but most of it was melting almost immediately, but still, it was snow, in summer, when the rest of Australia is experiencing record heat.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 0Baw%20Baw
     
  288. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We moved down to Sale in Victoria yesterday, and found a really nice caravan park at only $17 per night, half the normal price. This morning was beautiful and warm, so we took a ride out to the tiny village of Licola. What an awesome ride, good road, fantastic scenery, and hardly any traffic. I am surprised that I have never heard anyone mention this place before.

    Licola only has one general store attached to a small caravan park, and a Lions camp for kids. The store and park are for sale, which gave me pause for thought, what a wonderful place to retire. The road after Licola only goes for 13 Km before the tar ends, so we rode up there for a look see, and were rewarded with a steep winding climb up to 900 Meters, and fantastic views across the mountains. Unfortunately, the road was too steep to stop and park the bike so we could take piccies of the best views, but we did get some. I was not interested in thrashing the FJR up the dirt road, so we turned around and returned to Sale.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ola%20Ride
     
  289. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Another day, another ride, this time up to Dargo. The ride started with a boring run up the cop infested Princes Highway, but soon improved when we turned off towards the mountains. The road basically follows the Dargo River valley into the mountains until you reach the village of Dargo. There is a lovely old pub there where we stopped for a cool drink as the day was very warm, I saw 35C at one point. After Dargo, the road climbs very steeply, 1000 Meters in 17 Km, up onto the Dargo High Plains. This is where off road drivers and riders come to play, but not this FJR rider. The tar came to an end after 20 Km, so we turned around and retraced our route back to Sale, having enjoyed another picturesque and exciting ride.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... rgo%20Ride
     
  290. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We moved the van up to Bruthen Victoria yesterday, and this morning got the bike out for a ride through Buchan and up into the mountains near the NSW border. Once again, this is a good road through some stunning scenery, but once you get up into the high country, the tar comes to an end and you are faced with dusty, gravelly, corrugated, dirt road. Not the sort of road that I want to trash my expensive FJR on. But we expected this, and we turned around, happy with the ride so far.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... han%20Ride
     
  291. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Another lovely day in Bruthen, so once more the mighty FJR was pressed into service for a short ride up to the village of Omeo to visit an old friend who now lives there. I rode this road many years ago, and I had forgotten how good it is. It follows the Tambo river Gorge into the mountains, then climbs sharply up to Omeo. It's nice and winding the whole way with a very good surface, you can confidently sweep into a bend knowing that you are not going to hit a pothole or road zit in the middle of the bend. We had a long chat and lunch with the friend, then returned to the van for a well deserved Scotch.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... meo%20Ride
     
  292. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    This morning was overcast and a bit drizzly, so we decided to take the Ford and complete the drive from Bruthen, through Buchan, Butchers Ridge, to the Little River Gorge where we stopped to take some photos of this mighty ditch. From there we drove to Wheelers Saddle where we began the perilous descent down into the Snowy River valley.

    The road down was truly frightening, very steep and winding, and so narrow that, if you met another vehicle coming up, you couldn't pass, one of you would have to reverse, possibly for Kilometers. With great good luck, we had this part to ourselves. At the bottom, we crossed the historic McKillops Bridge, over the Snowy River, and continued through Deddick, Tubbut, Bonang, and down a very winding road to Orbost. In fact, there wasn't a straight bit of road on the entire drive. We had a coffee and oompa galoompa food, then shot through back to the van for a well deserved Scotch.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... dge%20Ride
     
  293. Thommo

    Thommo Administrator Staff Member

    The bonang road is a superb road on a bike. McKillops bridge is worth the trip I reckon. Where you veered right down towards mckillops if you went straight ahead that takes you up the Barry way and the run down to the valley there is a simile road with some pretty big drop offs too. Great road and scenery.
     
  294. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yes, I rode down the Barry Way from Jindabyne on a FJ1200 about 27 years ago, and still remember it well. That's why I am spending so much time exploring the area now, I love the mountains. But I'm not going to thrash my expensive FJR over the damn dirt roads, the corrugations shake the thing to bits, and the dirt and dust get in everywhere. :naughty:
     
  295. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Just a short ride this morning, down to Lakes Entrance for a look see. Very nice place if you are into boating and fishing, but not much use otherwise. I'm sure that, if you were so foolish as to swim in that water, you would be turned into shark shyte in short order.

    We then carried on into Bairnsdale because I wanted to buy a spray can of electronic switch cleaner/lubricant. The ABS on my bike is playing up, and I think it may be the brake switches need cleaning. We found a Dick Smith electronics shop, and went in to ask for a can, but the salesman looked at me like I had lost my mind, so we went to an Auto Parts shop and found what I wanted. By then, it was getting hot and humid, so we returned to the aircon in the caravan.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 20Entrance
     
  296. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Another day, another adventure. Today we decided to complete the Dargo ride in the Ford, which we abandoned on the FJR due to dirt roads. We had a fast drive up to Dargo and stopped for a coffee, thank God the Ford has aircon because it was hot.

    We then climbed up onto the Dargo High Plains, and where the tar ends at 1200 Meters, I stopped to deflate the tyres and persuade the GPS to navigate in Off Road Mode, dam'n obstinate things. We then climbed higher and higher on the rough, dusty road until we hit the tar road near Hotham. From there, we had an easy ride to Dinner Plain where we stopped for lunch, then onwards to Omeo, and home to Bruthen for my usual Scotch.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... eo%20Drive
     
  297. AHAMAY

    AHAMAY Member

    Bernie, I've mentioned you travels to a few folk looking to do similar (without a bike though) and they were wondering if you have a blog or looking to publish something about your trip in some form?
     
  298. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    I am running these posts on 3 forums and facebook, but that's all. I don't have a separate blog or any other publication. I didn't think that what I am doing is all that interesting, there are tens of thousands of other people out here doing similar things, though not many are carting a motorcycle around. :whistle:
     
  299. AHAMAY

    AHAMAY Member

    Thanks Bernie. What's the Facebook address so I can pass it on? (I don't 'do' Facebook)
     
  300. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

  301. AHAMAY

    AHAMAY Member

    Thanks Bernie. I'll pass it on. Don't be too modest about your travel stories - they are very informative.
     
  302. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We moved back to the van park in Sale on the 20th of Dec in order to put us closer to Melbourne, ready for our departure to Tasmania on New Years day. This is an excellent park because it is half the price, and has good grounds, ablutions, TV reception, internet, power, water, dump point, and is close to town.

    Today, the weather was nice and reasonably cool, so we took a ride down to the Wilsons Promontory National Park. This is the third time I have tried to get into this park, but the first two times I was beaten back by bad weather. The scenery is very similar to Esperance in WA, but the crowds, oh dear, the crowds. Every place of any interest was jam packed with cars, campers, and people. We took a few happy snaps, had a cup of coffee and a bite to eat, and got the hell out of there.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Promontory
     
  303. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Took a short ride out to the Tarra Bulga National Park this morning, with a stop at the Yarram Bakery to try out a huge piece of Black Forest Cake, I won't be able to eat again for the next 2 days. The park lies on the Tarra stream as it tumbles down from a mountain range. The vegetation and scenery is very beautiful, but the road is extremely narrow and twisty, which makes the danger of a head on collision very real, so I had to keep my speed very low.

    The road from Sale to Yarram, the A440 South Gipsland Highway, is however, straight, flat, and in good condition, and you could easily cruise at speeds over 100Mph, but I didn't dare due to the risk of plods. I just had to set the cruise control at 100Kph, and grin and bear it.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Bulga%20NP
     
  304. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Took a short ride out to the historic town of Briagolong this morning. The leg along the A1 Princes Highway was a nightmare of holiday traffic, but once we were off that, the roads were nice and quiet. The shop in the first picture was built in 1884, but I don't know when the village was established. We had a nice Devonshire Tea in the cafe, then rode out to a couple of picturesque swimming holes along the Freestone Creek. A very pleasant ride on a nice cool day.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ong%20Ride
     
  305. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We arrived in Frankston, Melbourne this morning in preparation for bording the ferry to Tasmania on New Years Day. This afternoon we took a drive up to Arthurs Seat, which is a hill overlooking Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula, The Heads, and Geelong. There is a nice restaurant at the top where we had a cool drink, there should be a good view of the fire works in Melbourne from here on New Years Eve, but I don't think we will bother, no doubt the place will be jam packed.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... urs%20Seat
     
  306. Focil

    Focil Member

    Looking forward to your travels around Tasmania. We are off on a motorcycling trip around the Apple Isle, courtesy of MotoAdventure, in mid February. Every little bit of information helps.

    Safe travels

    Focil :eek:bscene-drinkingcheers:
     
  307. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We are now safely camped in a caravan park in Devonport, Tasmania, after a relatively trouble free trip on the ferry. It was a stroke of genius leaving Melbourne early on New Years Day, because the whole city was still sleeping, and there was almost no traffic on the roads, so much easier when towing a large van. I had no trouble getting the van onto the ferry, but getting off, I grounded the van quite heavily on the off ramp, but no damage done. Here are some more photos to add to Lynns excellent collection.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 20Tasmania
     
  308. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Took a short ride from Devonport to Port Sorell and Exeter yesterday, and to Mole Creek today, with a stop at the Anvers Chocolate Factory for tasting and oompa galoompa food. The roads are good, and the traffic light, we are going to enjoy our stay here, I can tell. I've got the Ford booked in for a service on Wednesday, and we will leave Devonport after that.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ie%20Rides
     
  309. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The weather was overcast and drizzly today, so we took a drive to the Hellyers Whisky distillery in the hills above the town of Burnie. The factory and visitors center are very professionally done, in a picturesque location, but the prices are a bit more than I was willing to pay. While I do like a good Whisky, people tend to get over excited when it comes to the true value of the stuff. Never the less, Lynn did buy me a small sample pack of whisky which I will try tonight.

    I only recently found out that there are several Whisky distilleries in Tasmania, but we also found that Tasmania is a major producer of opium poppies, and supplies 50% of the worlds medicinal opiates. :eek:

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... s%20Whisky
     
  310. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday we moved the van from Devonport to a caravan park at Crayfish Creek near Stanley.

    Today,we went into the historic town of Stanley to do some shopping, climb the Nut, and of course, partake of some oompa galoompa food, though in this case we chickened out and had a healthy prawn and avocado salad instead. Stanley is a lovely little town, I could happily live here.

    As we left Stanley, we saw a blue FJR with silver stripe, rolling in.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 0The%20Nut
     
  311. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Lynn wanted to see Cradle Mountain, and it was a perfect day, so we dragged out the mighty FJR and set off. I wanted to check out the routes from Wynyard, and from Burnie, into the interior, with a view to dragging the van through to Strahan next week. I remembered from previous visits that there were some very steep and sharp corners through the Hellyer Gorge, nice on the bike, but terrifying when towing a 3 ton van. I confirmed that the Burnie route is much easier.

    It was a delightful ride through to Cradle Mountain, lovely roads and hardly any traffic, But when we got there, oh dear, the crowds. They have put in a car park for tourist vehicles that measures 300 X 40 Meters, = 12,000 Sq Meters, and it was full. We didn't even try to get in, just clicked a few piccies and got the hell out of there. We will have to try again when the silly season is over.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ain%20Ride
     
  312. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We went on a boat cruise up the Arthur River today, which is on the remote North West coast of Tasmania. This is one of the few pristine rivers in the World, in that it has never been dammed, and it's banks have never been logged, cleared, mined, or farmed.

    The lower reaches are dominated by a breeding pair of White Bellied Sea Eagles, and the upper reaches by a pair of Wedge Tail Eagles. Apparently they sometimes engage in aerial combat. The Sea Eagles can be enticed down by offerings of fish, and I got some photos of them, but the Wedge Tails are not interested, and although we saw them, they were not close enough for photos.

    The cruise was made more interesting when the boat hit and stuck on a submerged log, but after about an hour, a water level rise due to the ocean tide, floated us free, and we proceed on to a walk in the rain forest, and a BBQ lunch with wine, and wild Paddy Melons (miniature Wallabys) to eat the scraps. A most enjoyable day.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ur%20River
     
  313. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today we took the Ford out to do some more exploring in the upper Arthur River area, and discovered the Tarkine Drive, which is a route especially developed for tourists. It takes you through some stunning forest areas, and is a loop which starts and ends at Smithton, or you could extend it to go through the coastal village of Arthur River where we went yesterday.

    But, what particularly caught my attention, is that the whole route is on a new sealed road, in good condition, with 115 Km of tight, twisty, curves and hills, and very little traffic. It would make a perfect race track on a bike, though you would never get above third gear. I bet there are very few bikies who know about this road because it goes nowhere.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ne%20Drive
     
  314. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

  315. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday we moved the van from Crayfish Creek, shown in the first 3 pictures at high tide, to Queenstown. We will base up here for a week while we explore the local area. This morning we drove to Strahan, pronounced Strawn, to book a ride on a tour boat, which will take us around the Macquarie Harbour inlet, and up the Gordon River. This place was initially used as a British penal colony where the prisoners were treated with the most unbelievable savagery, worse than anything I have ever heard about before, well, maybe Stalin's death camps were worse, but not much.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ry/Strahan
     
  316. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Well, we went on the boat cruise today, and had a great time. We had carefully chosen a day with a good weather forecast, but of course, Sod's law intervened and there was a bush fire half way down Macquarie Harbour which covered half the area with a thick smoke haze, I was so annoyed.

    The cruise first went to Hells Gate, which is the entrance to the harbour. Many ships were lost trying to get through this tiny gap. Note the rock wall stretching for miles through the water, this was made by hand by the convicts, imagine doing that in winter, working up to your neck in freezing water.

    Then we went to tiny Sarah Island where up to 1200 prisoners were based while they cut Huon Pine trees out of the forest up the Gordon River, and constructed ships out of the wood. Then we went up the Gordon River and went for a walk in the forest, fortunately, the air was clear here. All up, an excellent cruise and well worth the money.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... r%20Cruise
     
  317. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    This morning we took the train ride from Queenstown to a small station about half way to Strahan, called Dubbil Barril, and back. There is another ride that goes the whole way, but then you have to catch a bus back to Queenstown. The railway uses a Rack and Pinion drive system up and down the steeper grades because there is not enough traction from the normal steel wheels.

    The King River Gorge is simply awesome, it was a considerable feat of engineering to build a railway through here in the eighteen hundreds. The orange discolouration of the river is caused by run off from the copper mine in Queenstown. Once again, this was well worth the money for the ride, and was only slightly spoilt by the smoke of local bush fires.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ain%20ride
     
  318. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Day one in Queenstown, a 4X4 drive, day two, a boat ride, day three, a train ride, day four, a motorcycle ride, all in stunning scenery. This retirement business is hard work, I need a rest.

    Todays bike ride was mainly to check out the road out of Queenstown to Derwent Bridge, to see if I would be able to drag my caravan up the initial steep, very twisty, climb. I think we should be OK, though I hope we don't meet any big vehicles coming down. We then went on to Lake Burbury, which is very low, then back to Zeehan for coffee, round to Rosebery for a look, passed Lake Plimsoll, and back to Queenstown.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ike%20Ride
     
  319. Ken Fraser

    Ken Fraser Riding on

    Some real nice roads and scenery there, quite envious.
     
  320. Focil

    Focil Member

     
  321. Ken Fraser

    Ken Fraser Riding on

    Used to work remotely in Cradle Mountain / Lake Sinclair a Ranger.
    Was quite common to have several helicopter flights each year, absolutely fantastic and scary.
    Landed on top of Cradle to remove the old trig point, was a highlight.
     
  322. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    There are 2 boats doing cruises, but they are virtually identical, and they do identical cruises, separated only by half an hour. Buy the cheapest seats available because you can go anywhere you want on the boat, and the food is just as good, it's just if you sit in the cabin, it has to be in your allocated seat. Take a warm, water proof jacket, because these boats are very fast, and if you go out on deck, there will be a howling wind, and being Tas, it could rain.

    The Cradle Mountain area has just had bush fires through it, so it is probably not at it's best, it is closed at the moment.
     
  323. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We left Queenstown yesterday morning, and all my worrying about the climb up the pass was for nothing. The mighty Ford pulled our 3 ton van up the hill in second gear all the way, and the engine temperature didn't move above normal, jeez, that engine has got some torque.

    We stopped for the night at the Derwent Bridge Hotel, where they allow you to free camp in the parking lot. It's a lovely old Hotel, but we forgot to take any pictures of it. We took a short drive out to Lake St Clair where they have a huge visitors centre, and charge you lots of money for everything. We also visited The Wall, which is a massive mural carved out of Huon Pine. This is a truly impressive artistic endevour, and must not be missed. Unfortunately, they do not allow any pictures to be taken of it. http://www.thewalltasmania.com/

    We are now in the Left of Field caravan park, just out of the Mount Field National Park, which we will visit tomorrow.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... nt%20Clair
     
  324. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Here are some pics from the Mount Field National Park. We arrived in the park early and drove up to Lake Dobson at around 1100 Meters altitude, and walked around the Lake. The temperature was about 10C with a chilly, damp wind. Then we took a stroll through the tall forest, and returned to the visitors center with the intention of walking up to the falls, but by that time, there was such a big crowd that we couldn't park the car, so we went and had coffee and scones in Westerway at a delightful cafe next to a river.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Field%20NP
     
  325. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    As promised, here are a few pictures of Russell Falls in the Mount Field NP. It was a real knee trembler walking up over 300 steps to get to the top, but we were rewarded by catching a pair of White Sulpher Crested Cockatoos having a drink right on the top edge of the falls, they're obviously not afraid of heights. We also caught a Paddy Mellon (Wallaby) foraging in the forest. There are thousands of them in Tas, and unfortunately, dozens of them get squashed on the roads.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ll%20Falls
     
  326. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We had a lovely drive to New Norfolk in the Derwent Valley to do our weekly food shopping. Loved all the crops we saw growing, cherries under netting, hops and raspberries. Not forgetting the salmon and trout farm.

    Here are some pictures of Salmon Ponds. Fish are very difficult to photograph due to the shine on the water. This is a beautiful place with lots of big, breeding size Trout and Salmon, but there didn't seem to be much commercial production going on, and you couldn't catch or buy any fresh fish, unlike the Trout farm that we visited in Harrietville.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... on%20Ponds

    A short walk today, only half an hour each way, but some steep ups and downs soon had us old farts puffing. The falls were a bit of a disappointment, a much smaller version of the Russel falls, but the trees and forest are just awesome, those trees are HUGE. A couple of days ago, we heard a monstrous crack and crash in the forest as one of them went down.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... on%20Falls
     
  327. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We drove into Hobart this morning to visit some old friends, then on the way back we could see that the summit of Mount Wellington was clear of cloud, so we shot up there and got a few piccies, enjoy.

    I've just done some measurements on Google Earth, and found that Mount Wellington is about 750 Ft higher than Table Mountain at Cape Town in SA. I've been there too.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Wellington
     
  328. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We drove into Hobart this morning with the intention of going to the Salamanca Market, but after circling the area for half an hour looking for somewhere to park the Ford, we gave up and went to the MONA (Museum of old and new art).

    This is a very impressive structure, with 3 huge under ground display halls, one under the other. However, the present exhibition by two old poofs called Gilbert & George is beyond belief, I found it to be like something you would find in a weird insane asylum, or a bad trip on magic mushrooms.

    From there we went to the historic town of Richmond, where we had a great lunch in the pub, then toured the old jail.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Est%201807
     
  329. dmsantam

    dmsantam New Member


    what did you think of the "poop" machine? :lol:

    the stench in that room when i visited was horrible :shifty:
     
  330. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    It still stinks. :whistle:
     
  331. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    It's so annoying, for the first time since we've been in Hobart, the weather today is absolutely perfect, clear blue sky, no wind, and max temperature 23C. But the whole of Tasmania is covered by a pall of smoke.

    Tasmania is a small island, roughly triangular in shape, and 190 miles on each side, but the Eastern side has had recent flooding rain, while the Western side is suffering severe drought and around 100 ongoing bush fires which have been burning for a month now.

    Never the less, we took a bike ride up Mount Wellington, and then Mount Nelson to try and get some decent photographs, but it was hardly worth it due to the smoke. However, we did get a consolation prize of a lovely feed of scones and coffee at Mount Nelson.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... n%20Nelson
     
  332. Jimw

    Jimw Member

    Bernie,

    That map of Tasmania is renowned and revered by true Aussies for a very different reason and is rarely referred to as a triangle.

    TFIC
    Jim
     
  333. Sulphur

    Sulphur Member

    :laughing-rolling:
     
  334. Focil

    Focil Member

    Two weeks from today and we start our own trip around the Map of Tassie. Can't wait. Thanks Bernie, your ongoing commentary and pics are appreciated.
     
  335. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Dropped into the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary this morning, which is a hospital and recuperation centre for injured or sick animals, located in Brighton near Hobart. This is a large and well run facility where we spent a pleasant couple of hours wandering among the animals. Entry fees are high, but of course, it takes a lot of money to run the place. The Eastern Rosellas and Cape Barren Geese in my pictures were blow in's, and free to come and go.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 0Sanctuary
     
  336. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Took a gentle ride down the Huon trail again today, on the bike, and stopped at the Joseph Moir Shot Tower. This tower was used to make shotgun pellets in the old days. Molten Lead was poured through a small hole at the top of the tower, and allowed to free fall to the bottom into a pool of water. On the way down, the Lead solidified into perfectly round balls suitable for packing into shotgun shells.

    We could have climbed to the top of the tower, but after careful consideration, decided to partake of a feed of scones and coffee instead. Our usual route from New Norfolk to Hobart is along the A10 highway, but today we tried a detour through Malbina, Molesworth, and Chigwell. This turned out to be a delightful little road that climbs up and down Mount Faulkner, 400 Meters in 12 Km with great views. Pity it's so hard to stop and take photos on the bike.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ot%20Tower
     
  337. Head_Mechanic

    Head_Mechanic Member

    You been riding around my back yards lived in Huonville for 30 something years then moved to New Norfolk 12 years ago If you get sick of the A10 cross over to the Boyer Rd that will take you down to Bridge Water It's 80 k an hour and still tacks the same time. I spend a lot of time on the bike. I am acting Ride Captain for Ulysses Hobart branch. You are more than welcome to ride with us if would like to
    Reg
     
  338. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Thanks for the offer Reg, but I'm not keen on riding with big groups any more. We drove down the Boyer road a couple of days ago. Drop in for a cup of tea sometime if you want, we are down in the caravan park.
     
  339. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Early start today to walk, walk and walk. We drove the couple of hours to the Tahune Air Walk, including a breakfast stop on the way, and then walked the Air Walk - 50 minutes. We then walked the track over the two swinging bridges back to the visitors center - 60 minutes.

    The Air Walk is situated near the confluence of the Picton and Huon rivers, and the swing bridges are over those two rivers.

    Reg and Michelle dropped into our caravan this evening, and we had a cup of tea and a very pleasant conversation. It's great to meet the local members.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Air%20Walk
     
  340. Gus

    Gus Member

    No pics of the ten foot red head :lol: (FarRider Michelle's nickname)

    should get on the bike and ride down to Southport while your there, a real good ride.
     
  341. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    A real busy day today, left the van in New Norfolk at 07:30, motored South through the Hobart rush hour traffic to Kettering, where we caught the ferry to Bruny Island. We then toured the whole Island, North and South, clicking the camera like mad at the awesome views. A day is only long enough for a general tour of the Island, you would need at least 2 full days to look at everything. Also, about half of the roads are dirt, which would make touring on a road bike uncomfortable, though not impossible. We left the Island at 15:30 and arrived back at the van at 17:00, tired but happy.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... y%20Island

    On our tour of Bruny Island, we stopped in at the Bligh Museum. This is a tiny place, but it has a fantastic collection, including many original documents, letters, logs, and journals of explorers such as Tasman, Furneaux, Cook, Bligh, D'Entrecasteaux, Flinders, Baudin, and others. Well worth a look.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... h%20Museum
     
  342. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    A pleasant ride down to Southport on the bike today. This is the most Southerly village in Tasmania and Australia, 43 degrees South, next stop, Antartica. We had lunch in the Southport Tavern, chatted to some fellow bikers, and returned to New Norfolk.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... /Southport
     
  343. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Lynn finally managed to drag me into Hobart to visit the Salamanka Markets, but fortunately, I found plenty of other things to interest me. There was an Australian Navy ship in docks, and many other yachts and launches. The Mustang and Jaguar car clubs had their cars on display, and it was interesting to compare the British and American technologies from that era. Then we stumbled across the Mawson's Hut Replica Museum and had a look at that. Finally, we found the Lark Distillery Pub, where they had a truly impressive collection of Whisky, but I was forbidden from partaking.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Markets
     
  344. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    A few piccies taken from Pulpit Rock, overlooking the Derwent River and New Norfolk Town. There is also a paper mill here owned by Norske Skog.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Norfolk

    A stormy day in Tas today, so we took a short drive in the Ford through Elderslie to Hamilton, had coffee and scones in the Glen Clyde House cafe, then visited the historic church. We could hear the banjos playing up in the hills around Elderslie, lots of bogans up there.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... y/Hamilton
     
  345. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The stormy day yesterday was followed by a cold front which caused snow above 1000 Meters, so this morning we went up Mount Wellington for the third time for a look see. Sure enough, it was snowing, with a howling wind and the temperature at 1C, though it certainly felt much lower than that. Fortunately, we had taken our big bikie jackets along, though I had forgotten gloves, so we were soon back in the Ford with the heater going. From there, we carried on to Opossum Bay, where it was much warmer, 15C, but still stormy.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ton%20Snow
     
  346. Focil

    Focil Member

    Man, you are certainly painting a graphic picture of the current weather conditions in Tassie. We are in the final stages of packing and can't decide whether to pack t-shirts or long johns :lol: . Might be fun to take the hire bike up above the snow line???

    Can you please arrange for fine warm weather from Thursday onwards.
     
  347. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Will do. :liar: :whistle:
     
  348. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Had a very pleasant ride out to the historic village of Oatlands today, in nice cool weather for a change. Visited the old windmill where they were actually grinding wheat, then had coffee and pancakes with Maple Syrup and icecream, and a stroll around town. We were going to ride back on Highway 1, but there was road works near Oatlands which had caused a huge jam in the traffic, so we used the same route to go home.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... y/Oatlands
     
  349. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Having a slow day in New Norfolk, so we went to town to do some shopping, then dropped into the local antique dealers to browse through the junk. The place is huge, and the amount and range of junk is amazing, and scattered through all this rubbish is a collection of old restored bikes. I took some photos of them to keep you amused. These things are worth a fortune.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... lk%20Bikes
     
  350. The White Tiger

    The White Tiger Administrator Staff Member

    The bikes don't surprise me, Tassie has the biggest number of bikes per population in Australia
     
  351. Head_Mechanic

    Head_Mechanic Member

    Did you visit all 6 local antique dealers in New Norfolk . One junk shop is the same as the other to me. :lol:
     
  352. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday, after 4 weeks in New Norfolk, we moved the van to the Seven Mile Beach, on the other side of Hobart. Today we took a drive down the Tasman Peninsula, and had a tour around the Port Arthur Historic Penal Colony. It's a big place, so half way through, we stopped for coffee and scones, but then the rain came, and we didn't get to finish the tour.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... t%20Arthur
     
  353. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    It's so nice having the bike and a 4X4 available. Yesterday we took the bike on a ride to Orford and Triabunna, the weather was cool and overcast, so no good for photos, but the road was good and the ride most enjoyable.

    Today, we took the Ford and again drove to Orford, but this time, we went along the Wielangta Forest Drive, which required a 4X4, and did some exploring and sight seeing, again, a most enjoyable day.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... a%20Island
     
  354. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Yesterday we moved the caravan to the Triabunna Caravan Park, and this morning we took a ferry ride out to Maria Island, and spent the day exploring on foot. Unfortunately, being old farts, we had run out of steam by the afternoon, and spent the rest of the day lazing in the shade, so we missed quite a lot. Maria Island was the first Penal establishment in Tasmania, and pre-dates Port Arthur, which was built because of numerous escapes from Maria Island. Perfect weather and a great day.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... and%20Trip
     
  355. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Today we moved the van a massive 50Km from Triabunna to Swansea where we have booked in for 4 nights. The coastline is breathtakingly beautiful here, and our van is only a few feet from the beach and a magnificent view. This afternoon we drove out along the 9 mile beach to Bagot point for a stroll and a few piccies, enjoy.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ry/Swansea
     
  356. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Swansea was completely covered in mist when we woke up this morning, but the rising sun quickly burnt it off and revealed a perfect day. We got moving early to avoid the heat, and drove to Coles bay, with a stop at a Winery for piccies and coffee.

    From Coles Bay, we climbed up a mountain pass on foot, to the Wineglass view point, and let me tell you, it's a heart stopping climb for us old farts, but the view is worth it. The walk back down the pass is almost worse than the climb up, but we rewarded ourselves with a cool drink and lunch at Coles Bay.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... lass%20Bay
     
  357. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Got the bike out today and took a short ride up to the historic Ross Village. The weather was cool and overcast, but no rain, and the road was an absolute delight, nice and winding, in good condition, and almost no traffic or plods. Stopped at a lovely bakery for coffee, but no oompa galoompa, we're getting too fat.

    The annual Ulysses Club AGM has just finished, and thousands of old fart bikies are now spreading out over Tasmania. We spoke to an old couple and asked them how the AGM/Rally went, OK they said, but unfortunately, their Harley had to spend the first 3 days in Harley Hospital getting fixed. It was a terrible struggle for me to keep a straight face and not laugh out loud.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Village
     
  358. Ken Fraser

    Ken Fraser Riding on

    The Lake Leake Rd is one of THE best roads in Tassie. :auto-dirtbike:
     
  359. GregW

    GregW Active Member

    :lol: Love your work Bernie :clap: :clap:
     
  360. dhpinkerton

    dhpinkerton New Member

    I rode it last March - nice road but I preferred the west coast (Burnie down to Strahan). The coast roads are bloody murder on tyres but.... shreded my rear.
     
  361. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    A stunning sunrise at Swansea this morning, but it was our signal to get moving. We moved the van another 43Km up the coast to the tiny village of Bicheno. We rode up here on the bike yesterday to check out the caravan parks, there are 3 of them, and we found the 2 big ones were full, which left the third one up on a hill as our last hope. It's a tiny park with only 8 powered van sites. We checked them out, and there was only one site which was suitable for our van, we need a lot of space so that I can open the back door and get the bike out. Fortunately, we were able to book this site for a whole week.

    Well, we are here now, and we have fallen with our bums in the butter. The park is nice and quiet, our site is nice and flat, has good shade, good water and power, very good internet and TV coverage, and a good view over the sea. It's very seldom that all those things come together in one go.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... sea%20Dawn

    [​IMG]
     
  362. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    A cool gloomy day in Bicheno today, but no rain, so we took a short bike ride from Bicheno, up Elephant Pass to St Marys village, with a stop at the famous Mount Elephant Pancake Barn for oompa galoompa food, then down St Marys Pass to the coast, and back to Bicheno. Then we had to do some grocery shopping for the van, an afternoon snooze, and an evening watching TV. Life is tough, but someone has to do it.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... nts%20Pass
     
  363. Focil

    Focil Member

    Bernie,

    While in Bicheno be sure to give Pasinis Cafe a try. We absolutely loved the food and the service. Also, and most importantly down a few of the local Hazards Ale (available at Pasinis) - supurb.
     
  364. Focil

    Focil Member

    You have probably mentioned this before, but what app are you using?:

    [​IMG]
     
  365. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    This is the Garmin BaseCamp program, and we have been to Pasinis Cafe, though only for a coffee so far.
     
  366. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

  367. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The rain finally stopped last night, so the mighty FJR was once again pressed into service this morning. There aren't many sealed roads around here, so we headed up through St Marys again, then did a loop up the mountains through Rossarden. Scary place that, could definitely hear the banjos playing, I reckon if you stopped there, you would end up in a cooking pot.

    Had a few encounters along the way, first was a mob of sheep going for a walk by themselves, then a bit later, a premonition about Kangaroos suddenly popped into my head, and around the very next bend, there they were. But all our problems were soothed away by another stop at the Pancake Barn and a good serve of comfort food.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... St%20Marys
     
  368. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We moved the van to St Helens yesterday for a week, we're in the Big 4 park which is very nice, and even better in that we got in for $20 per night just by mentioning WikiCamps, which is an APP for finding van parks. This morning we got out the bike and took a short pub tour in the local hinterland.

    First stop was the Pub in the Paddock, which is just that, a pub on some guy's farm. The next stop was the historic Weldborough pub, which is in a tiny village which has unfortunately died. There are only about half a dozen people living there. Then it was back home for lunch. We have seen at least a dozen FJR's touring around in the last few days, but haven't been able to talk to any of them.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Paddock
     
  369. Head_Mechanic

    Head_Mechanic Member

    I was in St Helens for lunch yesterday with Michelle 0n her GTR 1400 2 BMWs and a Bandit. Then overthe Weldborough pass to Scottsdale for Coffee. Then over the sideling and home to New Norfolk 600ks It filled in the day
    Reg
     
  370. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    At last the rain stopped and we woke up to a clear day, though it was windy and cool, +15C. We took the Ford because there are dirt roads on part of our route, and got an early start. We stopped at Binalong for a coffee at a delightful beach side cafe, then drove up the Bay of Fires, which has the most beautiful beaches of the finest white sand. At The Gardens, we had to turn inland to get to Ansons Bay. This stretch was on dirt roads which were in good condition and great to drive on. Ansons Bay is not particularly picturesque, and we turned for the return to St Helens.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... of%20Fires
     
  371. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Another nice day and again we took the Ford to have a look at 3 waterfalls in the local area, these being Halls, St Columba, and Ralphs Falls. The first two involved walking up and down some steep tracks, but on the way to Ralphs Falls, we found the road blocked by a large fallen tree. Some guys had arrived there ahead of us, and were trying to clear the tree with a chain saw, and pulling it with a Toyota 4X4 and snatch straps, but they were farting in the wind, the log was far too big. So we had to turn back and return to St Helens.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ba%20Falls
     
  372. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

  373. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    A huge expedition today, all the way up to the North East Tip of Tasmania. This place is well off the normal tourist routes and there are very few people or facilities up here. There is however a wind power farm here with about 50 wind turbines. The area is quite flat and marshy, but you can see large mountains off the coast on Clarke Island, Cape Barren Island, and Flinders Island behind them. The return trip was mostly on dirt roads, some of them quite rough and pot holed.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... East%20Tip
     
  374. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Had another go at getting up to Ralphs Falls today. The fallen tree which blocked us last time, had been cleared just enough to squeeze passed with inches to spare. Parked the Ford at 830 Meters altitude, and walked the rest of the way to view the Falls and Gorge. Saw an Echidna nosing around in the leaf litter for grubs, but it was not in the least interested in our presence. It's great to see wild animals so close and free.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... hs%20Gorge
     
  375. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

  376. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    We moved the caravan to Hadspen yesterday, near Launceston, and our first adventure today was a trip out to the Ski Village on Ben Lomond, about 50 Km out. The route up the mountain included a climb up the famous Jacobs Ladder, which is so steep and rocky that I felt it necessary to engage 4 wheel drive, low range to climb it in the Ford. Of course, on the way down, we passed a little old lady in a Toyota Camry coming up like a rally driver. The Ski Village was completely closed as the winter season is still months away, but the views up there are so spectacular, it's worth the drive up. We were very lucky to find it cloud free.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... n%20Lomond
     
  377. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

  378. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Very windy and a bit of rain last night, but nice and sunny this morning, and quite cool. Dragged the bike out and rode the loop through Scottsdale and Lilydale, with coffee and scones at Scottsdale, and a stop at the Bridestowe Lavender Farm for piccies. Heard the distinctive call of Guinea Fowl at the farm, and found a flock of nearly white birds scratching in the garden. I don't know why they are so white, maybe they have been crossed with chickens. A very nice ride, I bet this is a favourite with the Launceston boys.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ale%20Loop
     
  379. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Another sunny day, another great ride. Today we rode up onto the Central Plateau of Tasmania via the hydro power station at Poatina, I've never been on this road before. The climb up the escarpment at Poatina is very steep and winding, but the road is in good condition and made for an exciting ride. Up on the plateau at 1200 Meters, the temperature was down to +7C, but fortunately we had the proper gear on and didn't get cold. The tyres are worn out on the bike again, but I have been unable to get the Michelin PR4 GT's that I want, why are the dam things so hard to get in Australia.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... ry/Poatina
     
  380. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    I've been trying to get a set of Michelin PR4GT tyres for my bike, but every time I speak to a dealer, their eyes glaze over, and they start talking about weeks of delay. So, eventually in desperation, I dropped into the local Harley place, which has a "Motorcycle Warehouse" dealer behind it, and ordered a set of Pirelli Angel tyres instead. While there, we popped into the Harley dealership, which also has a museum and restaurant incorporated, and had a look around. I have to admit that I was most impressed, and I can see how the dickheads get sucked into the Harley cult, though I am totally immune myself.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... Launceston
     
  381. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Woke to a lovely sunny morning with the temperature at +1C, so we decided to ride to Cradle Mountain again, and test out the new Pirelli Tyres. Well, the sunshine only lasted to the nearest mountain, then we were into the clouds with a light intermittent drizzle, and the temp around 5C to 7C.

    The ride was still most enjoyable through the forests and mountains, but Cradle mountain was hidden in the clouds, and it was absolutely freezing at Dove Lake. On the way back, we stopped at Moina Tavern for hot soup and a warm up by the fire, then a stop at Lake Cethana for piccies. The tyres were wonderful, wouldn't it be nice if the tyre fairy would pop on a new set every weekend.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 20Ride%202
     
  382. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Another awesome ride up onto the Central Plateau today, but by a different route. This time we picked up the Lake Highway between Deloraine and the Great Lake. It's a simply breath taking road that climbs a thousand meters between Golden Valley and the view point over the Lake. Unfortunately, at this point the tar changes to dirt, and I am simply not interested in riding my bike over miles of dirt, so we turned around and rode down to Deloraine where we had a delicious feed of salt and pepper squid. Deloraine is another very pretty village, which you can see from the piccies. Delilah, the one with a furry face, tried to hypnotize me into giving her a piece of squid, she succeeded.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... %20Highway
     
  383. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    The Targa Tasmania car rally starts tomorrow, and runs for 6 days. This evening, the cars were on display in the Silverdome, Launceston, and Lynn and I went along to see the cars, and take a few piccies for your viewing pleasure. It's amazing to see cars worth millions of dollars are going to be raced against cars worth hundreds of dollars. Hopefully, we will get to see them in action.

    https://targa.com.au/tc/

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... 20Tasmania
     
  384. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    A delightful sunny day today, and the Targa rabble have departed to the East coast, so we took a quiet ride up to Bridport on the North coast. Good roads and hardly any traffic except for the bit through Launceston. We did see a Targa car, possibly a Ferrari, in Bridport, don't know what he was doing there, must have been lost.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... y/Bridport
     
  385. Bernie

    Bernie Active Member

    Took the Ford today on a run down the Tamar valley to the river mouth at Low Head, where there is an historic Lighthouse. From there we crossed the river at the Batman Bridge, and went up to Beaconsfield where 2 miners were trapped under ground for 2 weeks in 2006. We returned to the van through the hills in order to avoid driving through Launceston again.

    http://s1116.photobucket.com/user/BBern ... r%20Valley