Tasmania Feb 2008

Pic by Martin Owen
Lining up to board the Spirit of Tasmania in Melbourne.

On 30th Jan 2008 we headed off for 10 days of touring Tasmania. Marty (ZX9 Kawasaki), Terry (VFR800) and I (VFR800) had done this trip together previously in 2004. Joining us this time was Bill (ZZR1220) – who had previously done the Snowy Mountains with us, and Tony (Buell Ulysses). We met at the Spirit of Tasmania terminal around 6.00pm, then headed up to Bay St for a delicious gourmet pizza before we embarked. We had cabins booked on the Spirit for the overnight trip across Bass Straight.

Thanks to Marty and Bill for the use of some of their photos in this blog.

View of the Melbourne waterfront at dusk from the Spirit.

Map of where we went

We disembarked the Spirit and it immediately started raining! The rain continued as we rode up along the beautiful Tamar valley and continued until we arrived in Beaconsfield. It cleared up after Low Head and down to St Helens via Bridport & Scottsdale.

VFR at Low Head

The afternoon run down the east coast to Swansea was great with quite a bit of sunshine and very light traffic.

Swansea Tavern, the digs were behind this building which was really convenient. The Swansea backpackers is very new and has a pub virtually attached. We found it to be a great place to stay.

Campbell Town for breakfast after a brisk run up the Lake Leake Road.

Below – Tony on the Buell near Bisheno.

On day 3 we headed inland to travel to Hobart via the inland lakes. Diesel Corner not far from Paotina.

Why so happy guys? This place is a dive – we are outa here!

Joe’s Garage in Hobart. A unique bar in Australia.

Good times at Joe’s Garage in Hobart. Not to mention the “Hen’s Night”, hence the labels on the boys. Mine said Casey Stoner – how blind was the chick who wrote that?

At Mt Wellington – great views of Hobart. Pic by Martin Owen

Below: Jules & Tony Pic by Bill Roder
Pic by Bill Roder
At Tahune air walk south of Hobart, via Huonville. A good day trip from the capital.

Bikes lined up at Gordon Dam. From front – VFR800, ZX9, ZZR1200, VFR800 & also young couple’s (very overloaded) ZZR600.

Pic by Bill Roder
Jules & Marty at Gordon Dam.

Rode up to Gordon dam. This was a 200 klm detour up and down the same road on our way from Hobart to Strahan. It was well worth it with some really spectacular scenery along the way up there. Fortunately fuel was available at Chalet nearby, howver we didn’t know that and Tony was concerned about the Buell’s capacity to get there and back after the k’s we had already covered from Hobart.

You can walk down these steps and out onto the dam wall. The view is awesome.

Road to Mordor (aka Queenstown).

Pic by Martin Owen
We headed on to Strahan. Last time we did the big boat trip and Sarah Island gig. This time we just kicked back a bit, ate and drank and did the the jet boat trip up the King River and FWD trip up into the Huon Pine forest. Here’s Tony & I in the jetboat heading off.

King River, from Macquarie Harbour.

Marty & I ran at a pretty good pace from Strahan to here – and beyond. When we were here last in 2004 clear felling had just finished and it looked like a thermonuclear landscape. Amazing how the Aussie bush can recover.

Dove Lake at Cradle Mtn. Within minutes of this photo, the weather turned really wet & cold. Only Marty & I had paid to ride the last few klms down through the National park to the lake. It was so bad that I was concerned that my VFR was going to get blown over. We didn’t even take our helmets off as it was so wet & cold. An hour and a half later in Sheffield we were covering up so as not to get sunburnt! See the beer garden pic below.

One of the Sheffield murals.

Sheffield Hotel. Digs for our last night.

We took a day sail back to Melbourne- which saved the cost of a cabin, but was basically a waste of a day. Within 24 hours of disembarking I was heading for Tullamarine airport to fly to England.

We keep passing unseen through little moments of other people’s lives.
Robert M. Pirsig


I’m currently enjoying London’s unseasonally mild weather.

Trafalgar Square is the focal point for huge celebrations for Kosovo indepence, thousands are here, tooting horns and waving flags. It’s been going on all day and is deafening!

Today I went to the Churchill museum and underground war office bunker which was great – hearing Winston’s speaches and seeing all the wartime images of London.

You can’t actually walk down Downing St – let alone go past No.10

Well armed police behind the gates at the entrace to Downing St.

Saw the Queen’s cavalry and walked in St James’s park, which was magnificent on a day like this. Also a brush with (past) fame – I literally just about bumped into Bryan Ferry as he got out of a taxi.

Yesterday I visited the Tower of London, went on a Thames river cruise down to the London Eye, and went on the Eye – which was incredible. Also visited Buckingham palace etc.

I’m really enjoying London and the sunny weather and blue skys are are making it all the more enjoyable.


The Great Ocean Road 2008

Some pics from this morning’s ride (actually Fri 25th Jan).

Memorial plaque at Mt Defiance.
Pic of me taken by placing the camera on a post & using the timer.

View from Mt Defiance roadside lookout.

The Arab in Lorne has a new Cafe beside it named Indian 201 mph.

It’s a motorcycle themed cafe with actual motorcycles around the walls inside & lots of memorabilia about.

More Great Ocean Road pics

These pics were not all taken on the same day, but they were all shot in Jan 2008 and are within 10 kms of each other.

Above: VFR at Big Hill
Below: Overlooking St Georges River mouth & the Great Ocean Road.

Koala with cub at Cumberland River.

Kookaburra pic courtesy of TJ Pearce.

Pete called in today on his 07 Fireblade. He’s done some tasteful mods such as Pazzo levers, Jardine pipe, braided brake lines and after market rear sets.

Hot New Year

Three of the West Coast Procrastinators got together to begin 2008 with a celebratory ride. That meant they needed to behave on New Year’s Eve, however, a good night’s sleep was not enjoyed by all as we experienced the hottest New Year’s Eve ever recorded in Geelong.

Yesterday it was 43C (yes, that’s 109F) during the day and incredibly was still 38C at midnight.

I rode solo from Geelong to just near Colac where Steve’s property is.

Despite being a total fireban day again, Jan 1st 2008 was, however, a good day to head to the hills as a cool change was on its way.

After last summer’s bushfires people are edgynow that it is getting hot – some Gov.t awareness advertising. I hope it works.

I headed from Geelong to Colac. When I left at 9.00am it was already 30C, but I felt OK once I got moving. Andy trailered his bike down from Ballarat. After a brief chat we fired up the bikes and headed off towards Laver’s Hill. Here’s the route we took (click on map to enlarge), travelling the loop in a clockwise direction.

Two Norton Commandos

Steve on the Gellibrand to Laver’s Hill road – on a down hill, negative camber curve that he enjoys so much!

Here’s Andy following

We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Lavers Hill. (I had the foccacia though).

As we hit the Great Ocean Road there was a bank of frontal cloud which dropped the temp about 10C and made for really pleasant riding conditions.

We pulled up at the 12 Apostles helicopters helipad – just a paddock with a portable office really. You can get quite close to the choppers though.

We stopped for a breather on The Carlisle River road. Andy

Yours truly. Sorry Steve – pic of you didn’t work out.

This is the road we took home, riding in the uphill direction.