Australia 2004: Second Annual HU Travellers Meeting

Why Come to a Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers Meeting?

You can meet people who don't think you're crazy for wanting to ride your bike to South America or Africa or across Asia, or even around the world! Admit it, all your 'normal' friends and most of your family fears for your sanity! So, this is your opportunity to meet the people who will encourage you in that craziness, share their experiences and advice on how to do it, and maybe you'll meet them again in Mongolia or Timbuktu!

Ulmarra NSW, Australia, October 1-3, 2004

The Plan

Rally Location - Where was it?

2005 Meeting information here

The Plan

The general plan is simple. Show up Friday or Saturday, have a beer, tell some lies, have another beer, eat at a reasonable hour, then slide shows are planned.

2004 speakers:

  • Ken and Carol Duval, Australia, and RTW - on Asia
  • Kerstin Gäckle and Volker Aldinger, Germany, around the world

2nd Annual Australian Horizons Unlimited Traveller's Meeting Report

by Ken and Carol Duval, lead organisers

"The Commercial Hotel Ulmarra NSW was once again the venue for the 2nd Horizons Unlimited Traveller's Meeting. The 1st meeting was a particularly damp affair, but a change of dates to October saw brilliant weather for the complete event.

Travellers began arriving on Friday with Mark Hosking from Ballarat heading the list of helpers. Mark took care of pre-registrations this year. Many thanks Mark. A dozen or more early arrivers enjoyed exchanging travel stories. Leading story teller was Alec Simpson who has had his recent Europe, Russian and Central Asia tour published in Two Wheels magazine.

The bulk of the travellers arrived on Saturday with bikers from as far afield as Tasmania (approx 1800km) and Victoria (approx 1500km). International travellers included Volker & Kerstin from Germany on two Yamaha XT660's who rode across Europe, Russia, South East Asia to Australia. Kai & Ulrike from Germany on BMW R1100GS and F650 who rode overland through Europe, Central Asia, South East Asia to Australia. Jochen & Cordula from Germany (is there anyone left at home?) travelling in a Land Rover towing a trailer with two BMW R80G/S's. They travelled overland from Europe and were fortunate enough to battle their way through the bureaucracy and made their way across Mayanmar to South East Asia and Australia.

The Group gathered in the covered beer garden around 3pm where discussions ranged from bike suitability to carnets, politics, safety after 9/11 and difficulties experienced by various travellers due to the Iraqi war. Contributions from recent overlanders included our six German guests, and from Australia, Niva Williams, who rode a BMW F650 Dakar from India to Europe, Dave Sawtell who rode a Triumph Tiger through Iceland, Europe, Russia and Japan, Alec Simpson who travelled through Europe to Russia and Central Asia on a BMW R80G/S (great bike but we are biased!).

Future overlanders included Wendy Gill and Andrew Owens on BMW F650GS and F650 Dakar, who recently completed a round Australia trip with Wendy's father, Eric, on an F650 Dakar. (Wendy and Andrew are currently in South East Asia.) Their journey is a direct result of the 1st HU meeting where Wendy's apprehension to motorcycle travel was converted to 'I can do this'. As a new rider and bike owner she is now heading overland to the UK under the watchful eye of Andrew! Steve and Genelle Baldwin riding a BMW R1150 Adventurer are hoping to ship their bike to the UK and ride overland back to Australia. Since the meeting their horizons have grown to possibly include Russia. There were probably more budding overlanders there that we cannot recall, our appologies.

A break for a BBQ dinner preceded our slide show. Carol and I kicked off proceedings with our slide show of Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal. Kerstin and Volker were next with their photos of Europe, Russia, South East Asia and Australia. Unfortunately Alec Simpsons photo file was to large for the laptop so we have seconded him to appear next year to relay his journey through Russia.

It was a great night with plenty of laughs, exchanges of knowledge and experiences with like minded people.

A special thanks go to all our helpers.

Ron and Judy Durkin for supplying the laptop and expertise to work it.
Sam Gowland for ogranizing the data projector.
Mark Hosking for organizing the pre-registrations.
Bob and Sandra Farrell for carrying all the gear down to Ulmarra. Bob and Sandra are bicycle riders we met in Ireland in 1998 who we have recently converted from pedal-power to horsepower via a BMW R100RT. After the weekend Bob was contemplating the attributes of a G/S!!

Considering the short lead time for preparation (6 weeks) we feel the event was a success and everyone had a great time.

Is there anyone out there who would like to have a go at this next year? We can help.

Ken and Carol Duval"

I think the weekend was an outstanding success!

MANY thanks go to Ken and Carol, who stepped up when needed and made it happen!

2005 Meeting

If you can take the lead for next year, it would be much appreciated! Lots of people each with one small task makes it easy to get the meeting going, so please let me know if you can help with a particular task. The meeting doesn't have to be in Ulmarra, the location is flexible - reasonably easy for most Aussies to get to, good riding in the area, good campground and a place for slide shows and food is all we need.

Thanks, Grant

Click for a large picture.

The Meeting location, the Commercial Hotel, Ulmarra, and attendees


more bikes...

and still more bikes...

Camping area behind the hotel

Erik Gill and Andrew Owens

Jeff Wan Wan?

Judy and Ron Durkin

Kai and Ulrike, Germany

Jump to top

Ulrike's Kathmandu T-shirt

Ulrike's T-shirt back

Ken Mateit and Mark Odgaard

Photo display

Volker, Ulrike, Kai, Kerstin

Jump to top

Australia 2004 Travellers Meeting Poster (high quality .pdf - 878kb)

The Rally Location

The Commercial Hotel, (Ulmarra pub) 12 kms from Grafton, NSW, on the Clarence river

The Commercial Hotel, Ulmarra

Getting There - GPS, Maps

GPS location: 29° 37' South 153° 02' East map. Zoom in for more detail.

if you have any links or details or better maps for the area for the area please let us know

Frank Warner sent us some links to great info on Ulmarra from, and the pub we're going to be at. Also Government of Australia, Ulmarra info here.


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