HU Travellers Meeting New South Wales 2014

Horizons Unlimited 1st New South Wales Travellers Meeting -
Riverwood Downs, near Barrington Tops National Park, NSW

Friday Oct 31 - Sunday Nov 2, 2014

It's All About Overland Adventure

Whether you're a seasoned veteran with wisdom to share or a complete novice hungry for ideas and guidance, it doesn't matter if you ride a motorcycle, a bicycle, or drive an expedition vehicle...

Horizons Unlimited meetings are for everyone who dreams of adventure along the road less travelled.

Horizons Unlimited New South Wales Event Schedule

The event is taking place from Friday 31st October to Sunday 2nd November 2014 at Riverwood Downs Resort, in the foothills of Barrington Tops World Heritage Wilderness Area, NSW.

We are organising an exciting range of inspirational speakers and educational workshops.

Arrive early on the Friday (after 12 pm) and make it a great weekend! There will be presentations and workshops starting Friday afternoon, all day Saturday and Sunday morning.

As well as hearing inspiring stories of overlanding adventures from around the world, you'll get the low-down on preparing for your journey, navigation, first-aid, photography, filming and a host of other essential topics. Whatever your past experience or future plans may be, there's something for everyone.

DRAFT Schedule can be downloaded here, and will be posted at the event, but is guaranteed to change.

Presenters at HU New South Wales 2014 so far...

Workshops and Tech Sessions below

Bundy and Tex.

Tex O'Grady

Tex and Bundy - Charity Fundraisers

Tex and his Cattle dog Bundy talk about their charity work, the adventures together as they travel the length and breadth of Australia. Also hear about Tex's successful attempt at the Around Aust' Record in 1978, 15,500 klm's in just under 9 days!

Tex and Bundy, charity fundraisers.

Tex & Bundy are a well known Australian motorcycling, charity fundraising duo. An Aussie bloke (Tex) and his stumpy tailed cattle dog (Bundy) who love & live to ride together, Tex & Bundy have ridden over 600,000km together for charity all around Australia supporting countless charities.

Christophe Barriere-Varju.

Christophe Barriere-Varju

Dream Racer - Dakar rally

"Dream Racer is an inspiring account of the fear of life going by unfulfilled and the pursuit of dreams as the antidote to this fear. The film tells the extraordinary true story of French Australian Business Consultant Christophe Barriere-Varju who defies extreme physical hardship and personal tragedy as he attempts to take on the world's most dangerous motor race, the Dakar Rally, on a motorbike.

Christophe Barriere-Varju.

Simon Lee followed him on his incredible roller coaster journey – from the struggle to find funds to take part and his preparations in the sand dunes of eastern Australia to 10,000 thrilling kilometers across some of the harshest terrains of South America.

The Dream Racer film shows The Dakar Rally in its purest form – no sponsors, no multi-million dollar team, not even a mechanic – just one man, a motorbike, his tool-roll, and the world's most dangerous motor race."

Dreamracer - the movie.

Martin Williams.

Martin Williams

Via Russia with love and Budget Bike Blues

Via Russia with love

In 2011 I realised life was passing by, so I told my two sons, then 19 and 20, not to wreck the house, upset the neighbours too much or kill the dog and went off and spent nearly six months travelling by myself on an old KLR 650 from South Korea through Russia and Mongolia to Scandinavia, and then Europe before finishing in the UK.

The trip was a great success. I had a wonderful time and met fantastic people; and when I came back the house was still there, the dog was still alive and surprisingly the neighbours were still talking to me – even if some of it was about the parties that had happened in my absence (and even more surprisingly my sons had learnt to cook and found the washing machine).

Martin Williams.

Budget Bike Blues

The joys of travelling with a budget bike, what you can do to prepare it, modify it and keep it running through that long trip.

Some people call me frugal, others a cheapskate, but for whatever reason over thirty years of riding I've always chosen to own, and travel with, older bikes that don't owe me a lot of money.

From this I've developed some strong opinions about choosing the bike, modifying it and maintaining it – things that I hope have contributed to the fact, that despite averaging over 25,000km a year over the last three decades, I've been lucky and never had a major failure that stopped me getting home (although there have been some close calls). This presentation outlines some of those opinions and lessons.

Martin Williams has been a motorcyclist and traveller for thirty years. Recent travels by bike have been around Australia and in Russia, Mongolia and Europe. He currently has a bike parked in the UK to make future travels even easier.

Brian and Shirley Hardy-Rix.

Brian and Shirley Hardy-Rix, Aussies Overland

RTW two-up! and Roads Less Travelled London to Melbourne

Two up around the world

Circle to Circle, by Shirley Hardy-Rix and Brian Rix.We rode from the bottom of South America to the top of Alaska. A lap of Western Europe and southern Africa before heading home to Australia. 16 months on the road, more than 82,000 ks through 32 countries. We crossed the Andes, deserts, visited Antarctica and Galapagos. It was the ride of our lives!

London to Melbourne on roads less travelled

We left London with a year to get home to Melbourne. We were on the Isle of Man for the TT and rode the circuit on Mad Sunday. We travelled through the European heatwave and down the Dalmatian coast, through Greece and Turkey. Into Iran and then Pakistan where we had to ride under armed guard on some dangerous roads. We rode high into the Karakoram mountains, then through Nepal, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore and home into Darwin.

Brian and Shirley Hardy-Rix with bison.

Shirley and Brian have written a book about their travels: Circle to Circle - a journey through the Americas and beyond. The book will be available at the event - get your copy signed by the authors!

Evangeline Kannis.

Evangeline Kannis

Living the Dream - Plan B

"Are you travelling alone?" And other questions during 66,000 kms, Solo – USA, Alaska & Canada

An Aussie woman travelling alone riding a BMW F650GS (twin) in countries where she speaks the same language - easy, ey?! Covering the commonly heard questions and challenges encountered from strangers and soon to be friends.

Sharing experiences and perspectives about the why, how and where of travelling solo in some remote and not so remote parts of north america and where else the road might lead...

Evangeline Kannis.

Having travelled much of the eastern half of Australia by motorcycle, then toured East Timor, in 2013 it was time to see Alaska solo which then opened up the time-frame, roads and people in the US and Canada as it emptied the bank account.

Ian Gregory and Michael Jones.Ian Gregory and Michael Jones.

Ian Gregory and Michael Jones

Adventure before Dementia - 20,000 kls in 3 months across Russia and Mongolia

This is a story of a trip across the largest continent Korea, Russia, Mongolia, Finland. A story about the people we met and helped us along the way, how to get your bike there, how to get it home, how to get a Russian visa and border crossings.

Ian Gregory and Michael Jones.

In 2009 Ian Gregory and Michael Jones travelled from South Korea into Russia, Mongolia back into Russia and up through Saint Petersburg into Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

Grant and Susan Johnson.

Grant and Susan Johnson, Horizons Unlimited

How it all began. The story of Grant and Susan's 11-year trip around the world, without a plan or a clue!

Way back in 1987, before the Internet, two young and naive Canadians set out from Vancouver to ride around the world on a motorcycle. The plan (and budget) was for 3 years, but it didn't quite work out that way!

Grant Johnson on pipe bridge in Peru.

Grant crossing a river on a pipe bridge in Peru

11+ years later, they finally made it, through 50 countries - Europe, Africa, New Zealand, Australia, North and South America, with a side trip to Antarctica! Hundreds of great pics and some amazing stories!

Workshops and Educational Sessions

...because Horizons Unlimited meetings are about information, not just inspiration!

Matt Laxton.

Matt Laxton

First Aid for travellers - A brief intro to the world of first aid - from a motorcyclist's perspective.

I'll be talking about basic first aid for travellers - including removing a helmet safely, the recovery position and CPR. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and sharing stories.

I've been an RN for 30 years working in a variety of roles including anaesthetics, recovery and neuroscience. For the last 13 years I have been involved with a motor sport medical team at SBK, MotoGP and V8 Supercars.

Matt Laxton.

I've just finished the first leg of my American adventure on an airhead. Next year's instalment is South America and the year after Central America. I've also done 10000k's through Europe.

Grant Johnson showing tire changing.

Grant Johnson, Horizons Unlimited

Fix that flat! How to change a tyre anytime, anywhere!

Grant's tyre changing seminars are always well attended and appreciated. This seminar covers: how to prevent flats in the first place, and fix them when you get one; the best tools and how to use them for tube and tubeless tires; hands-on practical for beginners to experts, optional tyre changing contest.

Grant Johnson's audience for Tire Changing at HU California meeting.

Grant's tyre changing seminar at HU California meeting.

Mal Cremer.

Mal Cremer

I do not have a lot of time - Can I undertake an adventure ride during my annual holidays? YES you can!

This presentation will look at the issues of planning; time constraints; equipment; accommodation; communications; relationship with your employer and security (personal and equipment) to be considered when doing an adventure ride in annual holidays. These issues differ when time is a constraint.

Mal Cremer.

Mal Cremer has travelled to many countries but has ridden a motorcycle in one country – Australia. He does not commute on a motorcycle but has travelled almost 200,000km in the last ten years on all types of roads on BMW R1150R, Suzuki DR 650 and BMW R1200GS motorcycles. Many of these kilometers have been undertaken on adventure rides during annual holidays.

Christophe Barriere-Varju.

Christophe Barriere-Varju

Riding Technique & Tips

Christophe will share riding techniques and tips from his Dakar experience!

Grant and Susan Johnson.

Grant and Susan Johnson, Horizons Unlimited

4 Easy Steps to Overland Travel! You can do it - we can help! Finding your way around Horizons Unlimited, other resources. Lots of great pics and video clips.

"Grant and Susan Johnson are icons in the round-the-world (RTW) motorcycling community. The Johnsons host - or more appropriately write, edit, produce, manage and coordinate Horizons Unlimited - a global network of motorcycle travelers... and a bona fide adventure motorcycling phenomenon." Dan Hilton, Rider Magazine

This seminar will be an overview of 'How To' travel overland topics. Includes content from the Achievable Dream series and great pics from HU Photo Contest winners!

Get Inspired on Horizons Unlimited.

Charlie Brown.

Charlie Brown

Buying a bike in USA - How To!

Buying and selling a used bike in the USA. Tips on registration and insurance. Happy to pass on my recent experience with regard to getting a bike in Colorado. Rode it for 2 weeks and 2 days in Colorado and Utah. Informal talk with some photos of the trip.

Charlie Brown.

There's a story here!

Cranky old fart is the best discription. Very cheap tourer. Traveled on bike in USA and Europe and Australia. First tour 1989 on a borrowed bike on the west coast, USA.

Grant Johnson.

Grant Johnson, Horizons Unlimited

Bike mods and ergonomics!

Grant will host a bike 'Show and Tell' - bring your bike and show us your favorite travel mods. Critique and discussion.

When you picked up your new bike, did they take the time to make it fit you? You'll learn the amazing difference a properly setup bike makes to your riding fun.

Ergonomics demonstration at HU Canada West meeting.

Ergonomics demonstration at HU Canada West meeting.

LOTS of presentations to come! As people register to present we'll list them here.

How about you? We're all here to learn, and there's LOTS to learn! We want to do more presentations and seminars - but we need volunteers to give them! Any topic you can contribute having to do with motorcycle travel, maintenance, planning etc, lasting 20 minutes or more, would be great. Please contact us here to volunteer.

Panel discussions at most HU events include...

Border crossings - How to get through borders with minimal stress and cost!

Packing light - Tips and techniques from experienced travellers to reduce weight and bulk.

Regional discussions - e.g. travelling in South America or Asia.

For Women Only - A must for the ladies, so be sure to plan on being there! A chance to talk to experienced travelling women without the men around!

Experienced Travellers Panel - ask the experts anything you want!

Walk arounds / Show and tell!

Tents and Bedding discussion (in the camping area) - What works, cheap vs dear and which ones keep you dry, warm and comfy!

Bike mods - Show off your best bike mods - homemade saddle bags, toolbox mounts, GPS mounts, seats, side stands, tank panniers, cup holders, etc.

Facilities for a Fantastic Weekend!

The event is taking place at Riverwood Downs, in the foothills of Barrington Tops World Heritage Wilderness Area, NSW.

"Riverwood Downs is set on the banks of a beautiful mountain river surrounded by 15 acres of manicured parkland and gardens and nestled in a 750 acre cattle and horse property.

Riverwood Downs, NSW, Australia.

The Resort has a licensed a la carte Restaurant, Wilderness Cafe for casual dining, Horseriding, Swimming Pool, Canoeing, Bushwalking, half court Tennis and Games Room, with 5km of River frontage and shady walking trails, for your enjoyment.

Tall mountains, cool mountain pools, crackling log fires, fresh air and bright stars, abundant wildlife, friendly staff and relaxed country hospitality complete the peaceful setting."

Barrington River, Riverwood Downs.

Presentation Facilities

We have a large hall in the main resort complex, called the Woolshed. This room has plenty of natural light, but it can be made dark enough to watch a presentation. We also have the Barrington Room, the Conference Room, the Lounge Room and plenty of outdoor areas to utilize.

There is free wireless internet available.

Walkway at Riverwood Downs.

Night at Riverwood Downs.


Camping (Pre-book when you register)

There are 106 unpowered camp sites. We have negotiated a rate of $11 per person per night if booked in advance. If you are on a bike, we do expect you to share a camp site depending on numbers.

There are 9 powered camp sites. Please contact Riverwood Downs directly to book one of these sites, as they wish to ensure you get the most suitable site for your requirements.

Campground at Riverwood Downs.

There is an on-site restaurant, bar & games room, café, kiosk and function centre as well as two barbeque areas for attendees to make use of.

Outdoor seating area in campground at Riverwood Downs.

Other Accommodation

Riverwood Downs has a range of accommodation options which can be booked directly through them, but please don't delay your booking as we expect to fill up. Please mention Horizons Unlimited to get the best rates. Free phone: 1 800 809 772. Email: or contact them on Facebook.

Interior of cabin at Riverwood Downs.

"We are happy to give your guests a 10% discount off spa cabins, park cabins and resort rooms to put prices for Horizons Unlimited in line with our best advertised prices. After applying the 10% discount, the Horizons Unlimited rate for these rooms would be:

  • Riverside Spa Cabin $430 for two nights, or $520 for three nights
  • Resort Spa Room $332 for two nights, or $422 for three nights
  • Queen Boutique Room $280 for two nights, or $370 for three nights
  • Park Cabin $246 for two nights, or $336 for three nights

Breakfast is not included in these rates."

Cabin at Riverwood Downs.


Dinners (Pre-book when you register)

We have arranged to have buffet dinners for Friday and Saturday nights. Quantities will be limited, and we must give the venue final numbers 14 days before the event, so don't wait to book! Grant is drooling just reading the descriptions! :)

Friday Barbeque Buffet Dinner $25.00

Main course - Beef sausages, scotch fillet steak, marinated chicken wings, platter of grilled seasonal vegetables, fried onion, bread rolls, creamy potato salad, coleslaw, garden salad and condiments.

Dessert - Pavlova with whipped cream and seasonal fruit, warm chocolate self-saucing pudding, Home-made lemon cheese cake and whipped cream.

Saturday Spit Roast Buffet Dinner $25.00

Main course - Leg of pork and leg of lamb slow roasted on a spit, oven roasted beef sirloin, pumpkin and ricotta vegetarian wellington, steamed seasonal vegetables, roast potatoes and pumpkin, cauliflower mornay and condiments.

Dessert - Chocolate mousse, banana pecan bread and butter pudding, platter of fresh fruit, whipped cream.

Cafe interior.

Other Meals (a la carte)

Breakfast - Served as a buffet in the Barrington Restaurant

Unlimited cereals, fruit, yoghurt, toast with spreads, fruit juices, tea, brewed coffee and milo. $12.00 pp

Add a plated hot works breakfast of bacon, eggs, chipolata, hash brown, tomato, to the continental selection. Vegetarian options available $8.00 pp

Hot Chocolates, Milkshakes & Espresso Coffees are available from $3.80

Lunch Sample Menu - Cafeteria-Style Lunch Service

Assorted wrapped sandwiches and wraps $6.60
Vegetarian Spinach and Ricotta Roll $3.00
Whole fruit pieces $1.00
Tempura battered fish fillet $3.50
Hot chips $3.50
Wedges with sweet chili & sour cream $6.50
Assorted fresh salads $8.80
Spring roll or Chiko roll $5.00
Assorted cakes, biscuits and slices $5.50
Penne Carbonara $2.80

Wilderness Cafe menu.

I've already registered - I just want to pay!


Includes admission to all presentations and tech sessions.
Meals and Accommodation are NOT included in the registration price - see below.

Register & Pay before June 30:


Register & Pay between Jul 1 and October 24:


At the Event Pricing (applies after October 24):



Pre-order only - please order when you register so you don't go hungry!

Friday Dinner - BBQ buffet style dinner. Description above.

Saturday Dinner - Spit Roast buffet style dinner. Description above.




Camping - per person per night (Book when you register)

Powered sites, Rooms and Cabins - See descriptions and pricing above. Contact Riverwood Downs to book. Free phone: 1 800 809 772. Email: or contact them on Facebook










days to go!

Join the discussion:

On the HUBB!
On Facebook!

What happens at HU events?

HUBBUK 2013 - Donington Park

Join the Volunteer Crew

From welcoming travellers at the gate, to taking care of the campsite and making sure all the presentations run smoothly, the success of every HU event relies on the enthusiasm of its volunteer crew.

"What a wonderful bunch of people. I had no idea how much fun I'd have by helping out!"

"It was my absolute pleasure to be able to give something back to the HU community and working with such great folks really made the event special."

Volunteering is a great way to make new friends, get more involved with Horizons Unlimited and have loads of fun! You can sign up to volunteer when you register for the meeting, OR click here if you have already registered and want to add volunteering.

Be a Presenter

We're inviting submissions for presentations, so whether you're attending the event or exploring a distant continent, if you've got a story to tell or expertise to share we'd like to hear from you.

We love to hear stories about your travel adventures, especially if you have great pics! Also, practical how-to sessions such as roadside cooking, navigation/GPS, trip prep and planning, adventure motorcycling medicine, packing light, setting your bike up, communications/blogging from the road, self-publishing your story, yoga for bikers, bodging/bike maintenance, self-defense, photography, videography, tire repair, safe riding techniques, how to pick up your bike, off-road riding, all are of interest.

There are 40 and 90 minute sessions available for talks, workshops, demos and live web chats, plus a new Pecha Kucha option (20 slides x 20 seconds each).

Click here to submit your ideas

Comments about HU Events

"I have picked up so much information... and met some new friends and wonderful people."

"A superb event that was really well organised. I found the atmosphere amongst the attendees to be very positive too."

"I have not done much travelling so it was like visiting with a world traveller - Presenters were very approachable."

"Great atmosphere and camaraderie, especially at dinner time, and interesting presentations."

"Folks were all great and the most amazing thing was there was NO ATTITUDE."

"I have learned so much, made some great mates and met some of the best people. I was buzzing by the time I got home. I have a little trip planned and just can't wait to get out there."

For more about HU Events, see some magazine articles here.

You can help!

If you have a few minutes, please download the poster (Adobe pdf format) and print off a few and hand them round your club or your local bike shop or anywhere seems like a good place.

Poster in pdf format (300kb) full colour Event poster:

HU NSW 2014 meeting poster.

You may need to right click and choose "save target as..."


Departing or Returning?

If you're planning an expedition, why not make the Horizons Unlimited meeting your official start point? Or maybe you're nearing the completion of a journey and would like a very public welcome home? Of course you might just be passing through and fancy marking a key stage of your travels?

We'd love to make you a big part of the meeting, so feel free to get in touch and tell us your plans.

NSW 2014 Venue Location

Riverwood Downs
311 Upper Monkerai Rd Monkerai NSW 2415 Australia


Newcastle - 101 km
Sydney - 242 km
Wollongong - 315 km
Canberra - 518 km


Book your camping when you register.

If you prefer not to camp, Riverwood Downs has a range of accommodation options which can be booked directly through them, but please don't delay as we expect to fill up. Please mention Horizons Unlimited to get the best rates.

Free phone: 1 800 809 772


Or contact them on Facebook

Information about the area

Barrington Tops National Park (from the NSW National Parks visitor website):

"The rainforests of Barrington Tops National Park are of international significance; forming part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.

The view from Captain Thunderbolt's lookout over Barrington Tops - courtesy of Wikipedia.

Carved out of ancient volcanic flows, the park rises from near sea level to over 1500m and protects one of the largest temperate rainforests in mainland Australia, along with a host of diverse habitats and wide range of birds and animals.

The Barrington River, courtesy of Wikipedia.

The park is a bushwalker's paradise, with an excellent walking track network that includes short and easy walks to more difficult overnight hikes, with plenty of sites to set up a bush camp for the evening." Walking Tracks.

Hunter Valley Wine Tours

"The Hunter Valley is one of Australia's best-known wine-growing terroirs. Recognised for its rich agricultural land after European settlement, the area became the focus of an emerging wine industry in the 1820s. Now home to more than 150 wineries, the Hunter Valley draws visitors from around Australia and the world."

Barrington Outdoor Adventures
Adventure tours by canoe, kayak or mountain bike near Barrington Tops.

Local tourism sites

Visit Gloucester

Dungog - Things to See and Do

Check out the Visit NSW website for more attractions.

If you know of any other 'must see' attractions in this area, let us know!

Local Hosts

We are grateful to the HUBBers and HU Communities in NSW for helping us to find the venue, and especially Tony Pollard, assisted by Shane Kuhl from sunny Queensland. Great work, guys!

But any HU event needs a team if it's to grow and thrive, so we're hoping you'll consider volunteering when you register and helping to make it succeed! For a list of the types of volunteers we need, see here.

HU Events Refund Policy

We know 'stuff happens', and you know we have financial commitments to venues and caterers!

If you're unable to attend an event, please let us know (by e-mail reply to your confirmation e-mail from us) so we don't worry that something has happened to you...

Up to 30 days prior to event start, we will refund all fees in full less a $10 (or €9 or £8) fee for handling and PayPal charges.

Up to 15 days prior to event start, we will refund camping/accommodation and food packages in full less a $10 (or €9 or £8) handling fee. We will apply your registration fee to any subsequent HU event in the year or following year. If you have purchased a t-shirt, let us know your mailing address and we'll send it out.

Within 15 days of the event start, there will be no refunds, but we will apply your registration fee to any subsequent HU event in the year or following year. If you have purchased a t-shirt, let us know your mailing address and we'll send it out.

New to Horizons Unlimited?

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle. The website, HUBB forum and regular events across the globe have inspired thousands of people to follow their dreams and take the road less travelled.

Susan and Grant Johnson
Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - Show you're proud to be a Horizons Unlimited Traveller!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love overland adventure travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events such as this one (18 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

You can join at a reduced rate as part of your meeting registration. Note that new Memberships with your Meeting Registration are applied as of the Meeting date or as soon as possible thereafter, not earlier, unless you make a special request in the Comments box when you register.

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10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

Check out the previous contest winners!