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July 2017 Club News

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The Ride Around Oz Part 1

by Antoinet

Antoinet and Ronnie in the comfy touring seat.
We had a nice stay at Coronation Beach, just north of Geraldton. We have been going there for a couple of years now in December/January. At that time of the year it is great for windsurfing and Ronnie and his mates love going there for a week or longer.

Itís a great camping spot and the sixth time Iíve been here, it feels a bit like home. We also caught up with some friends while we were there which was great. The next day we rode to Kalbarri, not a big day of riding but there will be plenty of big days coming up when travelling more north so we make the most of the short distances while we can.

Ronnie keeps trying to catch fish for tea/dinner but it just doesnít happen so off to the small supermarkets to get some supplies. We canít carry that much on the bike so have to stock up every second day or so.

We left Kalbarri and turned left to go north. The last time we were here it was 2010 when we travelled half around Australia, 2 up on the Moto Guzzi California 2. A bit more luxury now with 2 bikes.

We made our way to Hamelin Pool where we camped the night before heading to Denham for two nights. The colour of the water is absolutely amazing and there are a lot of great 4 wheel drive tracks around here so we have to go back in the car one day.

Antoinet with beers and hat.
When we arrived in Denham a German guy came over to see us. He loved my BMW and gave us two beers and a BMW club cap from Germany! See, thatís what happens if you ride a BMW.

We had a nice stay in Denham. We went for some rides through the area and went to the weigh-in of the fish that were caught in the Denham fishing comp. Unbelievable, so much fish!

This competition runs for a week and we were both a bit shocked at the amount of fish that was brought in that evening. And then to think it was only one day out of eight. Anyway, it was nice to see the different kinds of fish that had been caught.

We had some drizzle the next day but it wasnít much at all. Weíve been so lucky with the weather. Not cold or hot, just right for riding a motorbike. We had a look at Shell Beach which is just amazing.

Then off to Carnarvon to get fuel and supplies. We caught up with Julie whoís also from Albany. She rides her 1942 Indian around Australia raising awareness for the most vulnerable. Sheís doing a great job, all by herself riding around this huge country.

Then off to Minilya for a free rest stop, this was our biggest day: 458 km it says when I Google it. I did have enough of riding that day but now we didnít have to go far the next day. The plan was to stay at the caravan park in Exmouth for a couple of days to snorkel and explore.

We had some great days snorkelling at Turquoise Bay and Oyster Stacks. As soon as you walk into the water there is fish around you. We saw two white tip reef sharks and loads of other fish.

And then yesterday was a huge day. We swam with the whale sharks. Ronnie really wanted to do it while we were here and I was just going to chill out in Exmouth. We heard so many great stories though and people who had done it were all so excited about it so I decided to go on a tour.

Ready to swim with the whale sharks, Exmouth.
I was very nervous, excited and scared at the same time. Didnít sleep much of course the night before but we had the best day. After getting over my fear after the first snorkel I was ok and had a swim with the whale shark.

Ronnie held my hand and dragged me through the water right along side this amazing creature: the largest shark in the world! We also saw a hammerhead shark, turtles, heaps of fish, sting rays, manta rays, flying fish and they thought a minke whale. Today they said it might have been a rare omuraís whale.

After a very good sleep last night we had a relaxing day. Ronnie has gone to try and catch fish, he hasnít caught anything yet since weíve been on this trip. Maybe today is his lucky day. Every day we meet new people or catch up with people we met somewhere along the way. I think thatís the best part of this whole adventure.

We are slowly heading to Broome where we want to be for the long weekend. We left Exmouth on a Sunday morning. It had been nice to spend some time in one place and not having to pack up every day. Even though it doesnít take us long to get everything back on the bikes, weíve both got our own jobs and it works well.

The temperature has gone up and it is pretty windy. We rode to Nanutarra roadhouse to fill up and kept going towards Paraburdoo and Tom Price. This road is absolutely amazing, no traffic, good sealed roads and amazing views. Red rock formations and itís so green! They had a very good wet season up here and itís really nice to see it like that. The spinifex grass is green.

We found a rest area and after a chat to the other travellers we set up and cooked dinner. It cooled down quite a bit that night because we are back inland now. Near the coast it had been quite warm.

We rode to Tom Price the next day where we booked into a caravan park, got some supplies and got organized to go to Karijini national park. We camped at Dales Gorge and did the beautiful walks there. This was our fourth time in Karijini but it is still very beautiful.

The next day was not a very pleasant one. Riding from Auski (Dusty) roadhouse to Port Hedland is not fun with all the big trucks. It is still very windy too and the temperature had gone up to the mid 30ís. I was very glad to arrive at the caravan park in Port Hedland although it is ridiculously expensive. We did washing and got more supplies for our next stretch where there wonít be any shops.

We stayed at Eighty Mile Beach for three nights, a big caravan park right near the beach where the sunsets are absolutely amazing. At low tide you can see whatever is left of a Toyota Hilux. Some crazy guys drove it out to the water edge which is a long way out and they got stuck big time. It only happened on the 4th of January but there is not much left of the car. The whole roof is gone, you can see a bit of the bonnet and the head rests are sticking out of the sticky mud.

We are still meeting some great people and keep catching up with people that we have met along the way.
From Eighty Mile we went to Barn Hill station, 130 km south of Broome. We have been here twice before but always in the car so I couldnít remember the road in was so sandy.

Luckily some friends were happy to drive my gear to the end and then the struggle started. It looked like I was dancing through the sand, no control what so ever. I didnít come off though but it took for ever to get there. We stayed at the station for two nights. Ronnie trying again to catch fish. No luck. We do get lucky with the sunsets though they are amazing!

Increasing air after sandy Barn Hill road.
The next morning we packed up early ready to hit the sand. We had only just left and I was feeling confident, Ronnie had let the tyres down and off we went. It got really sandy in a small spot and there the bike went slowly so I hopped off and the bike was on its side.

Boab tree near Broome.
One of the pannier brackets was broken already but now it had completely snapped. It's good we are nearly in Broome where Ronnie can fix things up. After nine kilometres of slip-sliding away we got to the end and Ronnie pumped up the tyres again so we could do the last 130 kilometres to Broome.

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