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  #1  
Old 24 Oct 2007
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Talking First Trip to Oz -- planning & road questions!

Hello all,
I am doing my first trip to Oz! I'm excited but I have loads of questions. Here's the plan: I'm shipping my '07 GS1200 Adventure with all my riding and skydiving gear to Sydney next month. I'm flying down to pick it up on Christmas eve. I plan on staying in the Sydney area for a week or so with one of my friends. Then I'm going to start riding. My plan is to visit as many friends as I can. They live in Sydney, Canberra, Melborne, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Townsville, Brisbane & Newcastle. After consulting a map (several times -- my oz geography isn't much...), I'm considering riding the GS on that exact routing. Problem is, i don't know much about the road conditions or of any stops along the way. (specifically the stretch from Adelaide to Alice and Alice to Townsville).

I don't want to overplan, but I'd like to have an idea of what I'm looking at here. I've done 1000 mile days before, but that was in the US. (although I squeeked out just under 800 on an Aprilia Mille R a few years ago in the German mountains...) Sorry, i digress... I can put in a long day's ride (several in a row if need be). I usually camp when I travel by bike. I'm wondering:

What is the condition of the Stuart Highway from Adelaide to Alice?
How long should I give myself to travel that distance?
Is there petrol available on the route?
Anywhere to camp/stay along the route?
(same questions for the route to Townsville)

I know that it will be hot and I need to carry lots of water, etc... What other tips/info can people offer me?



Thanks!
Ben
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  #2  
Old 24 Oct 2007
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Check out the following website. It should answer your questions.

Stuart Highway

If I were you, the Oodnadatta track would be far more interesting, especially if you are riding a GSA.
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  #3  
Old 24 Oct 2007
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Hi Ben, all the places u are considering going are all easily done and the roads are all bitument and in great condition, not including general repairs and maintenance that may occur. The fuel ranges are not more than 250klm as a general rule. Keep talking to people and ask questions as some places/times there may be a shortage. But generally speaking travel in Australia, other than the real outback roads/tracks you will find Fuel, Food, Beds, TV, BEER, ETC, ETC. Some remoter places have intermitant probs with Power supplys but that all makes the trip more FUN. Adelaide to Alice is about/aprox 1500klms. Travel times depend on u, the wild life and the BEER u want to enjoy on the way. Lots of places to Camp/Sleep on all the routes that u meantion. All the best Brian B.
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  #4  
Old 24 Oct 2007
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Skydive!

Hi Ben,
As above, keep reading and planning as you have picked the hottest time of the year. I personally wouldn't go off the beaten track too far on my own (especially without a satlelite phone) - too many stories of breakdowns or injuries in unforgiving outback. But that's only me.

Last I heard, a nephew runs a fuel stop between Alice Springs and Mount Isa, so as you get closer you may want his contact details for emergency purposes. the only thing to add that immediately comes to mind on our outback roads is the wildlife you must avoid (dead, stunned and alive). Hitting a kangaroo, emu or wombat will be serious, so is often better not to travel at break-neck speeds just to cover big miles.

We are happy to provide a bed for you while in Brisbane and put you in touch with local jumpers.

I jumped a Perris Valley boogie (all RW) back in about 1983 when I backpacked around the USA and Canada. I was mainly involved in the Queensland jump scene from 1980 to 1990 (Toogoolawah/Ramblers, Tully, Townsvile and Cairns). Still know a few around but haven't jumped since 1991. From memory, our Australian National Championships are held in January each year. I may be wrong and I couldn't find anything on the Aussie web sites, but I am sure if you catch up with Sydney Skydivers (early) they'll fill you in on when and where.

Will you have a GPS? Either way, there are quite a few alternative and lovely routes from Sydney to Melbourne and then the Great Ocean Road to start the sector to Adelaide.
Cheers
John
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  #5  
Old 24 Oct 2007
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Ben,

Sent you a message, let me know if you'd like to catch up in Sydney when you arrive. All the best.



Cheers,
Dave
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  #6  
Old 24 Oct 2007
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Thanks everyone!

KennyE: Great link, now at least I know what i'm looking at. Not too bad! I grew up racing street, never really got into dirt. I'm easing myself into it, so I wouldn't mind trying an easy track or two, but if I'm solo.... maybe not the best time to start trying it. Thanks for the info.

Outthere: Thanks, just the kind of info I was looking for re: roads, etc.

John: Thanks for the offer on a place to stay, I'll be in touch for sure. I've jumped Perris, it's a tandem factory! (actually I did a tandem there a long time ago). I'd love info on jumping around Brisbane. I'm talking to a DZ in Sydney that is having a big Christmas/New Year boogie (that's actually why I'm staying in Sydney so long). I do have a GPS, Zumo 550. I've DL'd tracks4australia and the shocky maps. Any other suggestions?

Davest: Got the message, thanks and I'll be in touch as well.

Again, thanks to all and I'd love any additional info you guys can think of!

Ben
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  #7  
Old 25 Oct 2007
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Ben,
My best mate/riding buddy has a GS too (yellow 11). How long are you planning to be in Australia?
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilEagle View Post
I'd love info on jumping around Brisbane. I'm talking to a DZ in Sydney that is having a big Christmas/New Year boogie (that's actually why I'm staying in Sydney so long)
The jumping community in this country is quite small and experienced jumpers can usually all advise on good DZs. Some Brissie people probably at the Sydney DZ at that time - ask them too. I am sure that bewteen the riding and jumping communities you'll have ptenty of good advice and offers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilEagle View Post
I do have a GPS, Zumo 550. I've DL'd tracks4australia and the shocky maps. Any other suggestions?
I too have the Zumo 550 - it was brilliant for our recent 5 months around western Europe. A couple of sites have downloadable data now for our better routes (GPS Motorcycle Rides | Australia | SundayMorningRides.com and BestBikingRoads.com Motorcycle Travel, Motorcycle Touring, Motorcycle Routes, Motorcycle Roads but you may need to register. then log-in to get to them). I have supplied a couple of these routes but more and more are being uploaded all the time.

As I am not off-road, I am not sure what "tracks4australia" is? Do you already have Australian MapSource base mapping? Apparently the latest Zumos being sold here are now being supplied with City Navigator Australia 2008. My unit is only 7 months old and came with 2007 maps, so I may upgrade; but if you need it, it probably means secondhand CD-ROM base mapping will become available (rather than buying new).
Cheers
John
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  #8  
Old 27 Oct 2007
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Easy!

Ben,

Really mate, Australia must be the easiest country in the world to tour around. I ahve been around it 4 times and if you don't want, you don't have to get of the tar for anything!

Yes it will be hot, but hey all of Oz is hot at different times of the year. You won't need a Sat phone and really you won't need a GPS. Remember you can't get lost, your on an Island so you can't stray! Don't waste your money on that gear, use it for fuel and instead. (you will NEED )!

You can camp just about anywhere in Oz as well, just stay away for the rivers in the North. Big lizards up there! Carry a small swag and you won't need a tent. I do carry one but don't use it all the time. I haven't even used it in Africa yet, just the swag and you can tie this to your bike too for a humpy. You know if someone is fooling with your bike in the middle of the night too.....lol

Anyway mate, get down there and enjoy.

Cheers
Ivan
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  #9  
Old 5 Nov 2007
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they are easy

those legs are a peice of piss ,not the hard rugged outback like you think ,but smooth easy roads with shit loads of traffic and plenty of fuel stops ,now getting off the pavement is a different story ,yes do the oodanadatta track ,its great i did it years ago on a super tenere,the road from alice to townsville ,you could do it on a postie bike ,and they do ,aussie is easy travelling ,its only the remote you have to be careful and then you have to be VERY careful
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  #10  
Old 6 Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyE View Post
If I were you, the Oodnadatta track would be far more interesting, especially if you are riding a GSA.
I have just completed the Oodnadatta & Strzelecki tracks last month in a 4WD and in some places the dirt road is 4 lanes wide. Minor corrugations in some spots but nothing serious. Excellent riding for a GSA.
Here is another site to check out Welcome to the William Creek Hotel
Stay away from the Stuart Highway as it is frequented by road trains (18 wheelers with up to 3 trailers) fun to pass, unless they are carrying a 150 shitting, pissing cattle, even more of a challenge if it is raining. Seriously there is heaps to see on the tracks, Lake Eyre, the old Ghan Railway line and disused stations, Talc Alf at Lyndhurst (eccentric old bloke thats carves figures out of talc rocks and has an opinion on how to solve all the worlds problems), Marree Hotel (great food & accomodation) William Creek Hotel (a classic outback pub, scenic flights avail over the "Marree Man"), Coward Springs (thermal pool & shady camping) and the Pink Roadhouse at Oodnadatta Pink Roadhouse - Oodnadatta Track (South Australia). Plenty of fuel avail at most towns, well within range of bikes.
There was even underground camping at Coober Pedy (Riba's underground camping & caravan park), don't knock it 'til you try it. Constant temp 24 hours a day and pitch black at night, great for the best sleep ever.
Only common animals that you will encounter on the highway or tracks are Roo's and Emu's, both were standing behind the door when road sense was being handed out.
I can email some recent pics of terrain and roads if you would like, let me know if you want 'em.

Be sure to contact the Brisbane Community when you get closer, as like John said we are always keen to meet travellers.

Take your time, stay off the normal tourist routes and you will see the real Australia

I spent some time in Idaho last year riding my CBR1100XX around your fantastic roads, had a ball. Hope you have as much fun in my country as I had in yours!

Glen
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Last edited by loxsmith; 6 Nov 2007 at 03:33.
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  #11  
Old 6 Nov 2007
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Travel in Oz

Ben,

Have a look here, it is one of the better places to seek and find answers about travel in Oz, the forum will give lots of results. There are also other places on exploroz that lets you know about places and road conditions.

4WDing, Camping & Caravanning around Australia @ ExplorOz

Let me know if I can assist with other info. Before you are in Newcastle drop me a line.

Chris
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  #12  
Old 31 Dec 2007
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hi Ben. Just joined HU .i'm on the sunshine coast about !hour north of brisbane. I jump regularly at Ramblers at Toogoolawah, if you want somewhere to stop a few days i have plenty of room here. I ride my1150gsa out to jump About an Hour away its a good ride and a great drop zone ,my email is pgibbins54@gmail.com.au. have a good ride. Paul
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  #13  
Old 1 Jan 2008
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Hoi Ben,

I've got nothing for ya. Victoria has perhaps the highest concentration of towns out of all the states so you can't get lost here and it's been said before. You can't really get lost in this country. All the destinations you're after are major population centres and there's a main highway between them.

No 8 lane super highways but A roads all the same.

If you're interested in a in Melburne then drop me a line.

justalaway@hotmail.com
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  #14  
Old 1 Jan 2008
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Further re jumping Ben, ramblers is the biggest and the best drop zone around brisbane. caravan loads to 14000ft always on weekends can be a bit quiet during the week. There are some tandem operations on the coast but...you may get a jump there .Also Byron Bay a couple of hours south does caravan loads to ,nice place to stay for a few days.
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