View Full Version : Ride to Recovery ( Australian High Country )

08-04-2008, 05:27 PM
I found myself with some unexpected time off work and decided to make use of it with a 3 week trip.But where to go in February in Oz,our hottest time of the year.I would have liked to hit the desert country but with temperatures exceeding 45C that was'nt really an option,so off to the Victorian High Country it was.
Things did'nt start out well when the night before departure I thought I'd check the tyre pressures on the Pegaso only to notice very little brake pad on the rear caliper.Definately not enough for the next 5,000kms.No problem,I'll get a set tomorrow and delay my departure 1 day.Wrong.I could'nt find a set to fit anywhere.There was only 1 option left,move all my gear onto the GSA.I did'nt have a problem with the GSA except it being a rather,how can I put it without being rude,portly fellow.This would reduce my options on some of the harder tracks I wanted to take but 3 weeks in the big girls saddle actually made me realise what she could do as long as took her for a ride and not vice/versa.Muscle that big beast and she's not to bad.
So morning arrives and off I go.First destination is Mogood Lookout.But some interesting signs along The Clyde Ridge Road.

This one was interesting to say the least.

08-04-2008, 05:28 PM
Too tyred:rofl.

Onward to Mogood Lookout.I had'nt been up here since I first started dual sporting and remember riding up and wondering how I was going to get back down.How things change:nod.Does'nt look steep and is'nt really but it seemed like it all those years ago.

Dial a beer.

The views up here are awsome but there was much better to come in the following weeks.

Pigeon House Mountain.Maybe it's me but I can't help seeing a naked woman lying down in that mountain photo (to long on the road me thinks:rofl )

08-04-2008, 05:33 PM
I spotted a few of these for those that are interested.

08-04-2008, 05:34 PM
Spent my first night at Big Hole.The good thing about travelling late February is the lack of touristy types.Needless to say I had the whole campground to my self.Well almost.

Up leisurly the next day and headed down towards Nimitabel.This fella (Water dragon)was enjoying the sun and had no intention of moving.Fair enough I say.We eyeballed for a while but he got the better of me and I moved on (can't even out stare a critter:shog)

The open road,a beautiful day and no where to be in particular.The most relaxed I had been in a long while.

08-04-2008, 05:34 PM
There's some excellent country down Bomballa way.My next camp would be McKillops Bridge.And guess what,not a soul in sight.Bliss.

08-04-2008, 05:36 PM
After setting up camp I decided to take a walk and check out the scenery.It can be a bit spooky being alone in the bush but I like it that way.It keeps me relaxed and allows me to focus more on my surroundings and what nature has to offer.Unfortunately nature seems to present itself when I don't have my camera handy.While at this spot later in the day I spent a good 15 minutes watching a Platypus go about it's buisness, to scared to take my eyes off it in case I missed something special.Just seeing it(the 6th one I had seen in the wild in the last 3 months) was enough.


There were hundreds of these little buggers around but they kept to themselves and seemed happy with the odd handout.

08-04-2008, 05:37 PM
There must have been some rain upstream as the water was a bit muddy.Only a week ago I was swimming in this spot but figured I would probably get out dirtier than I got in so gave it a miss this time around.

08-04-2008, 05:38 PM
Ever get the feeling your being stalked.He can't be the same fella that was at Big Hole last night surely.This one landed on my table not an arms length away from me later in the day.No camera closeby again.

A highly recomended spot although not a lot of grass.

I usually pull up stumps around 3.00pm which gives me plenty of time to walk around and just ponder life in general.Dark soon sets in and if you don't like being alone in the bush it could worry you I guess



Eat,drink and....well read a while I s'pose.

08-04-2008, 05:38 PM
After another terrific sleep it's time to pack up and move on.The road out of McKillops Bridge is one of my favourites and with these guys making the road even better what more could I ask for.

08-04-2008, 05:39 PM
Now this spot looks familiar.Here's where my riding partner from the week before,Edge,went over the edge:rofl.

More photos soon

08-04-2008, 05:40 PM
That was an interesting day.Luckily some workers were nearby fixing a bridge
(a photo from a trip one year earlier.The bridge does'nt look much different now:rofl )

and were happy to help out.





08-04-2008, 05:40 PM
Enough reminising,time to move on:lol3.Next stop The Barry Way,then a run over Black Mountain/Limestone Track to Benambra.I could'nt ask for a better day,the sun was shining and the birds were singing.

Half way along the Black Mountain Rd is a place called Native Dog Flat which is where my son and I saw wild brumbies last November.It's a beautiful spot to camp.I would have loved to stay here agin but the day was young.


A nice place to sit and have a cuppa.Again not a soul in site.In fact while travelling this road and the Mt Birregun road later that day I never saw 1 other vehicle.

08-04-2008, 05:41 PM
Unfortunately I had to leave this tranquil place and keep moving.Although if I had'nt I would'nt have seen 3 of the most beautiful mountain horses I had ever witnessed trot across the road in front of me.With the sun behind me their coats absolutely shone.By the time I stopped and got the camera out they had dissapeared into the bush.I quietly walked into the bush to get a photo but ot no avail so here a photo on my way back.Probably what they would have seen:lol3.

Next stop Bennambra.It's a great dirt road with nice scenery along the way.Between Bennambra and Omeo is an aerodrome which last year saw Oz and Canadian firefighters being air lifter to fire some of the more remote fires.

This time I found a different sort of fire fighter.This looked awsome in the flesh.All I know about it is it's made in Poland.


08-04-2008, 05:41 PM
On to Omeo,but first a stop at McMillans Lookout.

I love this country:nod.A quick stop at Omeo ( actually nothing was quick about this ride so we'll say very liesurely ) then onward to the Dogs Grave along the Mt Birregun Rd.This is another fantastic road with great views.
The Dogs Grave itself.A memorial to a mans best friend.



I would later freeze while camping here in the rain

08-04-2008, 05:46 PM
Onward to Mt Birregun and what a view.A bit rocky get up to it.It was only when I reached the top that I noticed the easy way up:huh

And full phone reception so I thought I'd give Nev a call to sort out meeting arrangments with him and Ian later in the trip when there was an almighty crack.I thought drop and roll,drop and roll.But I just dropped the phone and crapped myself.A big old Gum had decided to drop not more than 50metres away.Even Nev asked what the hell that was.I thought some one was taking a shot at me with a shotgun.

08-04-2008, 05:47 PM
The road I had just travelled (Birregun Rd) from Mt Birregun.You can see the road a couple of ridges back if you look close.

Now the heart rate had got back to some thing like normal it was time to move on,Dargo awaits.I reckon I was about 30 minutes up the road when,coming around a corner I spied a stick on the road.Now I make it a habit of not running over sticks and other objects on the road and am grateful I do.
And it had no intention of moving.That photo was taken after I had passed it.Luckily I passed it on the tail end ,as you can see it was poised to strike.Needles to say I did'nt turn the engine off when I took this photo.Actually I did'nt even get off the bike.

08-04-2008, 05:47 PM
The end off Birregun Rd.A right turn and I'm onto Jones Rd and heading to Dargo.

It's a nice ride down from the mountains to the valley with drop offs to the right and great views.Nice little river at the bottom.



Straight ahead


And not 1 vehicle from the Birregun turnoff to Dargo.Yeehaaa

08-04-2008, 05:48 PM
My camp for the night,Ollies Jump up.


After setting up camp it's time for another walk with the camera.One thing I did notice around this end of the country was the lack of wild life due to the recent fires.I was talking to some road workers later in the trip who told me the fire front near the Pinnacles was 65kms wide and 3 storeys high and everything up to a half Km ahead of the the fire was already dead due to the intense heat.Scary stuff.

08-04-2008, 05:49 PM
The beauty of nature always amazes me.The ability of nature to recover from adversity always amazes me more.




We just need to take the time to look at it with a clear mind.

08-04-2008, 05:49 PM
I always sleep well in the bush (if I'm not cold.Must buy a new sleeping bag),so I got up when I felt like it and made my plans for the day.I could feel myself relaxing by the hour and with only 3 days gone things could only get better.I thought I would go to Dargo which was only 15 minutes away then head down to Talbotville for the day.I love Dargo.I spent hours over the next 3 weeks chatting to the locals.In fact I passed through Dargo 3 times and spent 4 days on and off camping at Ollies Jump Up.It suits me there,they live by a different clock.The real clock of life.
I had to make myself get up and ride.Talbotville here I come.The road in.


Bulltown Spur.I've come up this track in a 4 wheel drive but I'm not taking the big girl down here today:(:


08-04-2008, 05:50 PM
Talbotville.Not a soul in sight.Can you believe it.A lot of Ozzie is like that.Big country,small population.


It was hot so I decided to check out the river.




What?.I could'nt believe it.Company.An older couple in a 4 wheel drive towing a camper turned up.I walked over and started chatting and ended up talking for over an hour about our travels.It's amazing how travellers come together on the road.I met heaps of great people on this trip.

08-04-2008, 05:51 PM
Time to leave.Next stop Grant.


Grant was a thriving mining town.Virtually nothing remains now but ghosts of the past.



08-04-2008, 05:51 PM
Back to Dargo for a bit of country chatting again:rofl .The next day I was heading for The Pinnacle,or so I thought.The road between my camp and Dargo.



The Dargo general store where I spent many an hour chatting to the locals.


Main street.

Dargo Hotel.The young girl behind the bar was less than friendly.But not a local from what I could gather.

Lyne,GSXR1000 and KTM 450 rider and really nice person out for a morning walk.

08-04-2008, 05:53 PM
Thanks must gp to Lynne and Kevin for charging up my camera batteries while I waited for my adaptor to arrive from home(why do BMW use that small power plug:rofl).
Next stop,The Pinnacles.or so I thought.Unfortunately the weather was to stop me but there are plenty of other things to see.On advice from Lynne I took the Freestone Rd to Briagalong.What a sensational road that follows Sportsman and Frestone Creeks.

Oh no,a tree across the track:eek1




I was planning to head up Marathon Rd to The Pinnacles but with low cloud cover it was'nt worth going in that direction so I kept going West to Cowwarr with intentions of looping around Walhalla and back to Licola for another crack at it tomorrow.
The road from Cowwar to Coopers Creek.

These were beautiful.I do know the "old" name for them but don't wish to offend anyone.I think they are now call Australian Native Grass but not sure.


08-04-2008, 05:53 PM
By now it had started raining lightly so I took the opportunity to put my wet weather gear on and call home which I try to do if I change my plans while riding solo.I took a detour down to Coopers Creek and found a beautifully restored pub.Unfortunately it was closed.It always amazes me finding these things in the most unexpected places.


I also found a great campground down there but it was still early so after a bit of a walk around I moved on to Walhalla.I'd often seen photos of Walhalla on the net and in bike magazines and every photo I had seen of the place it was raining.Guess what...:rofl


...so I found a shelter for some lunch.

08-04-2008, 05:54 PM
My intended route through to Beardmore was closed (according to the sign on the road) so I backtracked through Walhalla to Rawson and on to Thomson Dam.
They look like models but are real.


After a bit of "directional instability" at Rawson I finally found the right road to Thomson Dam,but first I took a detour up to Mt Erica.I did take some photos of this road but not sure where they went:dunno.Anyhow,after 15 minutes I still had'nt reach the campground and I was climbing into the cloud.It was absolutely stunning riding in these conditions but visibility was getting low so I turned back.
Thomson Dam supplies most of Melbournes water and it was down to 24%.The guy working there told me if it gets down to 23% it can't supply any more water(later I was told 18%).Either way it's getting low.



08-04-2008, 05:54 PM
Time to find that campsite.My map showed a campground acrcos the Dam to Beardmore then a right hand turn back down the (supposedly closed.I was later told a bridge was down but a road through a shallow river was still there) road to Walalla.I could'nt find it and the weather was closing in.

Visor up.

Visor down.

I spied a picnic area surprisingly called the "Thomson Dam Picnic Area" with a spot that had my name on it.After talking to a couple of the Dam workers and looking at the weather I concluded that I would'nt be disturbing anyone by camping there.
Dry for the night.


08-04-2008, 05:55 PM
It was still damp when I got up the next morning but I had plenty of options.After another leisurely pack up I decided to hit the dirt to Licola for another crack at The Pinnacles before heading back to Dargo to meet up with NevGriff and Racketeer for the weekend.First stop was a lookout between Beardmore and Aberfeldy.

Then another.


A bit further along I came upon a grave.

I felt sadness at being alone out here even though it was a nice place to be at rest.


A tough life back in those days but an interesting story none the less.

08-04-2008, 05:56 PM
Still drizzly but just enough to keep the dust down.

The higher I climbed the thicker the fog which gave a sureal feeling to the ride.I love it.

I saw a fair bit of logging on my ride.A lot of it was for Mountain Ash which died in the fires.They only have a 2 year window to get what they can but after that the timber starts to crack and become useless.


They do leave a bit of a mess though.

Coming down out of the mountains and back into farmland country.I love this type of riding.

The road on the opposite side of the river is Tamboritha Rd,the road I would eventually take from Licola to The Pinnacles.

It was'nt until I reached Licola that I realised the damage caused by the recent floods.

08-04-2008, 05:57 PM
Licola,another lovely town with great people who have suffered enormously but show no remorse.
They just get on with life with a smile.First they had the bushfires followed by a mudslide then flood all within 6 months.Devastating.




08-04-2008, 05:58 PM
It was still raining so The Pinnacles would have to wait.I always look at it as an omen or guardian spirit looking after me.There's always tomorrow:thumb.Onward to my happy place,Dargo, and Ollies jump up for the night.Looks like a I'll be sleeping with the pitter/patter of rain tonight.Cool:thumb

After setting up camp I thought I would take a walk and look for some wildlife.This area took a pounding with the fires and probably had the least amount of wildlife of the whole trip.At least the Kookaburras kept a smile on my face every sunset and sunrise.




Because of the overcast conditions I could'nt lay down and look at the stars so it looked like an early night.I got a bit of a surprise the next morning though.This definately was'nt there last night.


It must have fallen down through the night and missed my tent by 7m.I did'nt hear a thing:eek1



08-04-2008, 06:09 PM
The showers had eased the next day so I packed up early as I wanted to check out the Crooked River Rd before meeting up with Ian and Nev around lunch time.
The Crooked River Rd is a wonderful scenic ride.I wanted to ride to the bottom of Billy Goat Bluff but stopped when I came to some road works.A nice ride all the same.




I got back to Dargo and hardly had time to put the bike on the centrestand when the boys pulled up.I had'nt seen Nev or the tent bitch:viking :rofl for a while and was good to catch up again.We saddled up and headed back to Jonses Rd and on to Swifts Creek.

08-04-2008, 06:10 PM
15 kms past the Birregun turnoff we were met by a river but no bridge.It must have been washed away by floods.After a bit of thought I decided I would give it a go if the boys were prepared to catch me if I tossed it away (not much of a river crosser),they were'nt so I did'nt.It was getting late and I did'nt feel much like taking a chance and possibly having to de-water the big girl,but not before Ian had a go.He made it look fairly easy and I was half impressed..



...until he bogged himself on the far shore:rofl


08-04-2008, 06:10 PM
Where was I.The water crossing.Ian finally got himself unstuck so Nev and I waited with cameras ready for the return ride.Unfortunately...I mean fortunately he made it withot incident.We backtracked to the Birregun Rd turnoff.It sure seemed to take a lot less time than it did to get to the river.Ian and Nev had never done this road before and although I had only a week previous,it's a road you can do often and not get bored on.Next stop Mt Birregun.

Light was fading so we bolted to our camp for the night,The Dogs Grave.

Now I've had the odd person tell me I snore but of course I don't believe them(I've never heard it) but I was getting a bit concerned when the guys would'nt let me put my tent up next to them.

The track in.

Not long after retiring it started to rain.Thank goodness I bought that tarp at Dargo as my tent leaked badly.Something I had'nt noticed before because of the drought.It's been a while since I've camped in the rain.One other thing I noticed,my sleeping bag has lost it's warming qualities.It was rated to -8 but now it would be lucky to be +5.Needless to say I froze.A new sleeping bag will be on the list when I hit Melbourne for the World Superbikes in a weeks time.
The next day was overcast with the boys a little worried as they had dual purpose tyres on,but their worries were ill founded as the dirt was nice and grippy.
Coming to the end of BirregunRd.

Only a short distance to Omeo and fuel from here.

08-04-2008, 06:11 PM
Our destination was Corryong,Tintaldra to meet up with some ADVers and pick up "The Pudding" then back down to Geehi for the night.The Benambra/Corryong Rd is brilliant.I particularly enjoyed the southern end but the whole road in general is great.A little bit of tar at the southern end before the fun started.


All that's left of a Doctors house from the 1800s.

We were looking for a place for lunch and passed a large open paddock on our left a few kms back so it was decided to backtrack.What a terrific spot for lunch,quiet,secluded and a river for the kids to play in.

It's amazing how much weight a thin piece of rope can hold...unfortunately.

08-04-2008, 06:11 PM
We had lunch on the remains of the old house with an old couple who must have thought this was a great place also.The only downside were Blackberry bushes with plenty of fruit on them which i believe was,a little later,to play havock on the tummies of the 2 kids I had with me.I'm glad I did'nt eat many.



It was with great effort that we put our gear on and got back on the bikes.We could have easily put our tents up right there and just chill out but it was only midday and th guys only had 3 days to get as much riding in as possible.
Further along the road.



A stop in Coryong to pick up some supplies then on to Tintaldra.

08-04-2008, 06:12 PM

I did'nt take any photos of The Horizons Meeting at Tintaldra so I've pinched some of S2W's ordinary type photos:rofl .Hi Stevie:wave




Oh,and one of Stevie before I took the Pudding off him.


08-04-2008, 06:12 PM
We only stayed at Tintaldra for an hour or so as they were a rough looking bunch and "The tent bitch" was getting a little worried so onward to Geehi for the night.
As you can see I was made to camp away from the others again:nod.

This little fella was very friendly.In fact he ended up eating the best part of an apple.

The Pudding is now protected by a Kangaroo skin cover..

....as well as it's resin skin

Boy has this thing done some miles and to be honest I was glad to pass it on after taking it for a ride.This thing has legendary status and I did'nt want to be the one to lose it:shog


08-04-2008, 06:13 PM
We had a great night chatting and laughing and as with any good company the time flew and it was time to hit the sack.I decided not to leave with Ian and Nev the next day as I wanted to kick back for a another day before moving on.I'd meet up with them in Melbourne in 4 or 5 days for the Superbikes anyway.Thanks for the good company guys:thumb.

I did some washing and relaxing the next day.This is pretty much how I was too.

Got talking to a nice couple who camped next to us the previous night.Turns out they're ADVriders also,small world.Also found out that the wild dogs that were howling the night before were in fact Dingos so I slept a little better that night:rofl.
The river behind my tent.



The old air strip.

Only a short walk to the river.

Did I mention I like rivers and creeks:thumb

08-04-2008, 06:15 PM
Some of my friends for the day.





It took me ages to inch towards the roos.There's a lot less there now as they culled quite a few so I guess they're a bit wary.



08-04-2008, 06:16 PM
I woke up to beautiful Monday morning...or was it Tuesday?.Did'nt really matter.I thought I might head out to Geehi Dam for a look.stopped off at Olsens Lookout on the way.It's another fabulous view that would be even better in the late afternoon sun.


Further along.


The road in was'nt bad either.

08-04-2008, 06:16 PM
As you can see by the blue skies and still water it was an absolutely stunning day to be alive.

The round thing in the foreground is for overflow.I wanted to have a look in but could'nt get near it.

All was good in the world and I was sitting there taking it all in when an almighty noise started up.I quckly found the source and went and had a look.It was coming from here.

It was water.I don't know where it was going but there was a lot of it and it was hammering.For some reason I had to stand on the grate even though it scared me doing it.If it gave way that would have been it for me.That got the heart going for a minute or two.

08-04-2008, 06:16 PM
I saw a little track leading off to the left on the way in and thought I would see where it went on the way out.It did'nt go far but was a nice detour anyway.I found a few old campfires that I'm guessing are from Trout fishermen.

Some more photos on my way back to the main Road.


Next stop was back toward Kancoban and the Murray1 Power Station.I did'nt stay to long here a I wanted to get back into the bush but found it quite amazing all the same.
Inside the station.

Water comes down these pipes,spins the turbines then goes out the other side.It then goes to other power stations further along to do the same thing.Quite amazing really.

08-04-2008, 06:17 PM
From here I backtracked towardsTom Groggin,Jyndabine then turned right towards the Barry Way and my camp for the night at Pinch River.You have to be careful going down the Barry Way as it can be a bit skatey in places.Not far along I came across this poor fellow.

Snakes are everywhere in Australia but you don't actually have many close encounters with them.They usually bolt when they hear anyone coming.Unfortunately this fella did'nt bolt quick enough.P.S.I did'nt run over him,he was there when I arrived.

The lookout before descending the Barry Way to the Snowy River.

08-04-2008, 06:17 PM
The Barry Way is always a favourite to ride on.It was a bit rutted this time but riding next to the Snowy River made up for it.I pulled into my campspot for the night but found it occupied by an elderly couple who did'nt seem to want me there.Seems they were here last year when we all turned up for The Cold Flame Rally.The first thing the lady said to me was "are you the only one or are more coming":rofl.She was'nt real friendly about it either:rofl.Anyway,I thought I would have look at what was on offer on the other side of the river.Turns out there was a lot.My camp for the night.

I must be getting used to the big BM as I don't think I would have come down here on my own before.

After setting up camp I went for a ride further along 9 Mile Rd and found even more good spots to camp.

With plenty of water frontage.

I slept well that night to the relaxing sound of water.

08-04-2008, 06:33 PM
Today was to prove very interesting.Again another leisurely start to the day as I headed south along the Barry Way.Not more than 15kms down the road I came across these.One was only young with a hairdo that really had me laughing.The other is it's mother I would say.

Hip young dude.

They were very inquisitive and came within 6m for a look.They are rather stupid though:jump .I stayed for about 15 minutes then pushed on.
Next I came across a track on the right.It may have been called McPharlanes Track but not sure.I'd stopped there a couple of weeks earlier with Edge and met another ADV member there who told us there was a helipad not far along it.I remember not really wanting to go up it on the Pegaso but was feeling a bit more confident after a week and a half on the BM so thought I would go and look for it.
It does'nt look to bad in the photo.

So up I went.After a couple of kms I had'nt found the helipad and did'nt want to go to far alone as it was getting a bit too knarly so I turned around and came back feeling rather satisfied with myself.


There's some spectacular views all along The Barry Way.

08-04-2008, 06:33 PM
Ah yes,Seldom Seen.Looks like a set out of Deliverence does'nt it.The guy who runs the place is lucky to be alive.He stayed to protect his home when the bush fires came through and nearly lost his life doing it.He had to jump into a dam while fireballs went overhead,very scary.The place was burnt to the ground but he's rebuilding it in his own sort of way.While i was talking to him I saw a number of cars slow down for fuel then speed up when they saw the place.I even know of an ADVrider who won't stop there ( you know who you are:rofl ).

Onward to Buchan but not straight down the main road.I turned off onto the Tulloch Ard Rd and what a beautiful Road it turned out to be.

I remembered Chris McCardle's thread about a stand of massive trees that he had been to with GSDane a while back.I knew it was off the Tulloch Ard Rd but was'nt sure where.I did'nt find the trees but found something that I found just as interesting.

This may look like a guy shooting at something in the trees and you would be half right.
Can you see it.

It's this big I tell ya:nod .

I spent 2 hours with these guys until they got what they were after.Mountain Ash seeds.Yep Mountain Ash seeds.Because Mountain Ash don't recover as well from the fires these guys drive around looking for donar trees with plenty of seeds.When they find one he gets the trusty 308 out and shoots a branch down,marks the location on a GPS then sends the seeds off to make sure they are good enough to sow.If all is good "tree climbers" come back and get as many seeds as they can for growing after which they are planted higher up in the high country where the fires have gone through.By the way these trees are huge and the climbers are only allowed to use shanghis to get their ropes up the trees and are not allowed to use spikes to climb with.Nutters:rofl.As an aside the guy with the gun takes a long time to pick the right branch so as not to get it snagged on the way down and usually gets his target down in 6 shots or less but because I was there with the camera it took about 3 dozen rounds to get the branch he wanted:rofl :rofl.

08-04-2008, 06:34 PM
I did find a big Messmite Tree though.


I could have talked to those guys all day.Real interesting work.I often wondered where the bullets came down though:huh.I rode on to Buchan through more stunning scenery.Talked to a couple of guys taking The Barry Way to Jindabyne (2 on roadies) then kept going to my destination for the night Moscow Villa.
Leaving Buchan

A few kms south of Buchan I turned right onto Nunnet Road.This turned out to be a rough bit of road.The road surface had large rocks rolled into it which caused a rough ride if your speed was not kept up so what else could I do but go faster:lol3.I found some abandoned workers huts along the way and some interesting tracks.


I also managed to get a little lost when the map did'nt correspond with the road direction.A lack of road signs did'nt help either.Nothing to panic about though,I had sufficient water,food and camping gear with me.
I finally arrived at my destination,Moscow Villa.

It was'nt what I had expected but had an interesting story behind it.



08-04-2008, 06:35 PM
It was tempting to stay in the villa itself as it was spotless inside and had a cosy loft but I chose to stay at another hut 400m down the road.The sign does'nt say anything about a couple of porkers.


Set up camp then went for a walk along a trail behind Moscow Villa.It was only an 800m walk but it was cut through the bush on a natural type path and was stunning.


Big trees.


Great little creeks.

And beautiful ferns.The path is a little vague in places.

It was amazing,I could hear a 4 wheel drive not 100m away but could'nt see it for the life of me because of the density of the bush.In fact I got a little worried at one stage as the track got a bit vague and I was'nt sure I was still on it but all was good in the end.Fantastic:thumb.

08-04-2008, 06:35 PM
I was up early this morning as I wanted to be at Mt Nugong to catch the morning rays.I think it was worth it.


The fire tower at the top.

The track was like this for quite a while.I don't mind going up but not keen going down.

Next stop,The Washington.

08-04-2008, 06:36 PM
This thing is amazing.It was used to haul logs up the mountain side and is still in great condition.It's awesome being alone in places like this,you really get a feeling for what it must have been like back then.I can't count the number of times I just sat down and contemplated what was around me.


As you can see it is a big concern.And no jokes about needing a winch that big to lift the BM thanks:rofl


Some info if your interested.If it's hard to read just save it and zoom in.




08-04-2008, 06:37 PM
I continued along Nunniong Rd through lush vegetation.
To the left.

To the right.

Onward to my destinatin for the night,Ollies Jump Up near Dargo:shog.I seemed to end up here 3 times over the trip but I loved the camp spot and I love Dargo.My philosophy is cover small distances and feel the countryside.Although I covered 5,000kms on the trip it only averages out to 227kms a day.Probably a little more with rest days but small mileages all the same.

08-04-2008, 06:37 PM
I thought I would take a different route to Dargo this time,up to Mt Hotham then the dirt to Dargo.I had another wonderful clear day although a little brisk towards the top.

Kind of makes you feel small.



Turning left onto The Dargo High Plains Rd( I love the sound of that name:rofl )I was still contemplating having a go at Blue Rag.I was told not to with a fully loaded BM.Stopping at the start of the track I was undecided and ran with my gut feeling and kept on going down The Dargo High Plains Rd.Next time:thumb.

I stopped here to remember Sally who's ashes were scattered last year..

...she must have been smiling on me as I slept in the sun for 30 minutes.

I forced myself up and continued on.This road runs through some spectacular country but something told me to slow down and sure enough a few kms later the road turned to sand with me and the bike going in all directions:lol3.Roadworks.And these guys were just grading it.Further along I hit the tar.I'm sure the tar started further along than this.Looks like the High Plains Rd is slowly being tarred.
I got to Dargo and sat on the verandah talking to the locals for a while before moving on to Ollies for the night.A good day with a few hours of daylight left for a bit of a walk later on.:thumb

08-04-2008, 06:38 PM
Back at Ollies Jump Up I had plenty of time for a walk with the camera.


You can just see my tent in the middle of the photo.As you can see the place was packed:lol3.

Is'nt it amazing how plants that appear to be dead still have life in them.


08-04-2008, 06:38 PM
An early night for an early start in the morning.It was time to leave the mountains for a few days and head to Nev's at Melbourne for the World Superbikes at Phillip Island.
Some roadworks.
Civilisation:cry .

And the open cut mine that provides the fuel.

I met Scottmoto there as he was over to pick up his new toy.Hi Scott:wave.

Scott and Nev about to go for a test on the 950's.

I did'nt take to many photo's in Melbourne so this part will be short.I did attend a Melbourne beer night ( second in 3 months:rofl ) and it was nice to meet a few of you there.Picked up a new topbox for the bike.Oh yeah,after freezing at The Dogs Grave I bought a new sleeping bag.It was down from $400 to $200 and when it was swiped at the checkout it came up as $100.Bargain:thumb. So let's go straight to the Super bike photos.

Voodsy (Hui),Nev and myself rode the 100 odd boring kms to the track.
Pitstop.Voodsy's DR650 in the forground.

Troy the boy:clap


08-04-2008, 06:39 PM
Random shots.





Garry McCoy on the Trumpy.Legend:thumb.He rode the wheels off that thing to get from the rear of the pack up to the front boys and were'nt the crowd cheering him on.


I like Bevels,even Darmahs.


Time to move on.Thanks to Nev,Michelle,Shannon and Brandon for putting up with me while in Melbourne.I enjoyed my stay there:thumb

08-04-2008, 06:40 PM
My destination for the day is Wilsons Prom.I headed straight for the coast and Cape Liptrap sounded interesting.The weather was still overcast but I was enjoying being back in the country so it did'nt really matter.The coastline was spectactular and the smell of the ocean soothing.



The road to the lighthouse was a bit corrugated but ok if you kept your speed up.

Cape Liptrap lighthouse.

Further around the coast at Walkerville I think.Nice all the same.


I sat here for quite a while watching the waves roll in.

I even had a little ride on the beach until some greenies tried to roll the big girl back into the ocean:lol3


08-04-2008, 06:40 PM
Moving on to Wilsons Prom I had a couple of surprises ahead of me.One was the $21.50 camping fee.After a couple of weeks of camping where ever I felt like pulling up in the High Country this came as a bit of a shock.Second was how touristy it was with all the things that go with it.

But this was soon forgiven in part by this.

And this.




Absolutely stunning coastline.I even ventured down one of the few tracks that your allowed on.


I could spend a lot of time here except for all the rules and tourists.
This beach is bigger than it looks and there are actually people walking on it in the middle of the photo.

08-04-2008, 06:41 PM
My little corner for the night.


Like everywhere else here you had to walk the last bit to get to the top of this mountain.Not old age/disabled friendly which is wrong in my opinion as the older you get the more you appreciate what nature has to offer and to not be allowed to get to it is a crime.

A little company for dinner.

A few more shots before the sun went down.



The weather had cleared and I was hoping tomorrow would be the same as it was my last chance to get to The Pinnacles.

08-04-2008, 06:41 PM
I awoke to slightly overcast skies and a bit windy but that was to work in my favour a bit later in the morning when I visited the wind farm at Toora?.These things were absolutely flying and it was quite exilerating standing underneath one.The sound was awsome.


The skies were clearing and I was hoping to get to The Pinnacles today while the weather held.
Looking down on the McAllister River from The Devils Elbow.

I stopped at Licola where I met a couple on their 80GS's.We chatted for an hour or so about their travels through the middle east and down to the 100th anniversary of the Isle of Man.I was hoping they were going my way as I could have listened to their stories for hours.I had to leave as time was getting on.It was because of my enthusiasm for their stories that I did'nt make The Pinnacles today and was hoping that I had'nt blown my chance.Back over the bridge and turn left up Tamboritha Rd which had only just been reopened after the floods and I was soon to find out what damage the rains had caused.




First bush fires,then mud slides and finally floods all within 6 months.Devastating.

As I climbed back into the High Country the views became absolutely stunning.
Bennison Lookout.

More views along Tamboritha Road

I'd left my run too late and with my usual stopping at every view I was'nt going to make The Pinnacles today so I started looking for a campsite.I turned onto Moroka Rd and found a nice spot at McParlane Saddle.

My home for the night and once again all alone ( and free:D ).


Tomorrow I'll be at The Pinnacles.

08-04-2008, 06:42 PM
I awoke to a beatiful day,the sun was shining and The Pinacles were only 30 odd kms up the road.I did'nt make The Pinacles my destination at the start of the trip but as each attempt failed because of the weather it became a bit of a challenge.But not today.Everything was in my favour.
On the way there.


No one said anything about a climb to get there.

There's the fire tower.Nearly there.

Looking back at where the guy in the fire tower stays when he's up here.

08-04-2008, 06:44 PM
And there's what I've been waiting for.What an unbelievable panorama.





There's Billy Goats Bluff.Looks pretty harmless from this distance does'nt it.


I stayed here for 2 hours chatting to the guy in the fire tower and soaking in the views.Absolutely stunning and I could'nt ask for a better day.

08-04-2008, 06:45 PM
My destination was Dargo. so I had to make myself leave this magic place.
Billy Goats Bluff turnoff.Will I or won't I.

Nope I'm a chicken,I'll head down Marathon Road instead.The start of this road turned out to be a bit steeper than I had been told.Well ,for a fully loaded 1150 anyway.Needless to say I did'nt take any photos as I was a bit busy hanging on.

The rest of the road to Briagalong was brilliant though with great views and a good gravel road.
Leaving Briagalong I once again hit Freestone Creek Rd.I was enjoying the ride when out of the blue this fella bolted across the road and up the nearest tree.


He was only a little one but had claws big enough to do some damage if he tried to climb you.
Back to Dargo ( again ) and another night at Ollies Jump up.The next morning was overcast and threatening rain so I took my time packing.As I climbed the mountainside the cloud began to break up (for the time being).


I was thankful for my window of opportunity the previous day at The Pinacles.

08-04-2008, 06:45 PM
Jones Rd.Magic.

I arrived at Omeo to what looked like a BMW convention but in fact turned out to be the BMW Safari.
A small selection of the Safari as most were at the garage in the middle of town.


"Umm which way are you guys heading" I enquiring expecting the worst."Black Mountain Rd" was the reply.Bugga,the same way as me."How many of you are there"."180" was the reply again.Double bugga.So I waited until most had moved on.They make a great vegie roll at the bakery and as it was my birthday also I splurged with a custard slice:D.Most of the gaggle had left so I thought that I would too.Trouble was I caught up with the tailenders and boy was it dusty.After passing a half dozen I came up to one in particular who was slower than me but sped up every time I tried to pass.Not good.Native Dog Flat was just up the road so I thought this time I would let them all get far enough ahead to keep out of their dust.

Native Dog Flat.A favourite camping ground with the odd wild brumby.

After 30 minutes since the last rider went through I thought it safe to move on.By this stage it had started to rain lightly which kept the dust down nicely.It also made the road a bit slippery for the unwary as one of the Safari crew found out.


Another broken collar bone.I continued on while keeping an eye out for the ambulance which was supposed to be coming.Reaching the end of Black Mountain Rd and the rain was getting heavier with parts of the road looking very slippery.

I found the rain made the High Country in a different sort of way.

As I descended down to the Snowy River the rain eased and the road became perfect for riding.400m short of The Pinch River turnoff something ran across the road up ahead.Then another and another.By the time I got the camera out there was just one last straggler.


08-04-2008, 06:46 PM
It was Friday and most of the rallyers would'nt arrive until tomorrow.Great thinks me,I get to put my tent where ever I want.Things would change the next day.This was the biggest gathering I had seen at The Cold Flame and soon found myself with plenty of neighbours.

This was early on Saturday.The numbers would double.

I spent a quiet Friday night with a dozen other rallyers.In fact not being a crowd person I found Friday night to be the most pleasant.After virtually 3 weeks alone I was a bit at odds on Saturday with the number of people around and could easily have gone back to the bush the next day:lol3.
This is Claudes bike.Claude does huge miles on this bike (including crossing the country in '06 for the O.C.R in W.A.)and I have high admiration for him for keeping things as simple as he does.Good onya Claude.


08-04-2008, 06:46 PM
I never like the first day away from home or the last day coming back.It seems that I'm travelling on roads I've done many times before and find it a bit boring.So with that in mind I got up early and was first away with the intent of just cruising home.I thought I would have brekkie at the lookout at the top of The Barry Way.What a fantastic view to be eating breakfast at.


I'm always amazed at how people stop at places like these but only spend a couple of minutes then take off again without taking it all in.My advice would be to keep your breaky or lunch in your tankbag until you find somewhere you like then stop and have a feed while relaxing and soaking up the view:thumb.

I saw a lot of these guys on my trip.They always make me laugh.


Beatiful country out the back of Braidwood.It was near here that I passed the "Victorian High Country Adventure" crew heading to where I had just come from.Luckily we did'nt stop to chat or I more than likely would have turned around and gone with them.

One last shot heading home and again the weather turned on a good one for me.

My trip was nearly over and although I was keen to see my family again I could have kept going.I learnt a lot,as always,while I was away.Having been a little crook lately I recovered for 3 short glorious weeks but that's 3 weeks I will always cherish.I learnt that the country is where I should be and that crowds and cities are alien to me.I learnt what true friendliness is really like,where people live by a different clock and have time to stop and talk.For the first time in years I did'nt feel stressed or have any ill feeling toward anyone.I spent the first 12 days camping alone often in the middle of nowhere and truely felt free with plenty of time to embrace what nature has to offer.
I hope you have enjoyed my little ride to recovery and may your own future rides be as enlightening as my own.

Ride safe

08-04-2008, 09:57 PM
Looks a great trip. I'll need to find some time to read it all. Well done.

08-04-2008, 10:36 PM
Brilliant stuff.

09-04-2008, 12:19 PM
Hi mate....

Thanks for posting this, it's an absolute GEM !!!

Love the pics, Google Maps/ earth is smoking away....and the way it's written, it's a hell of a lot more than "just a ride-report"... the impressions and the "feel" showing through give it very "comfy" note.


I'll go back tonight and read/ gawk it all again :so

09-04-2008, 03:33 PM
Best time of the day, I reckon....


09-04-2008, 03:37 PM
Moving on to Mornington Peninsular I had a couple of surprises ahead of me.]

Hi mate
....what follows from the above (post 58/ pg12) is not the Mornington Peninsula but the Wilsons Promotory Nat. Park :cool:

09-04-2008, 09:33 PM
Great post Andrew,thanks for sharing your ride:clap:

10-04-2008, 01:03 PM
Thanks guys,I had an absolute ball for those 3 weeks and must admit I'm planning another trip in a few weeks out to the desert so I could possibly have another report in the pipeline.
It was indeed Wilsons Prom and not Mornington Peninsular Pete.Corrected now.


10-04-2008, 04:56 PM
Andrew2 - thumbs up for your report!! :thumbs:
I enjoyed your ride report tremendously, read it twice already. Some of the areas you've gone through I know from previous rides I've been on; some I don't. Your photos are great!!
I can fully understand your hesitation in tackling the Billy Goat Bluff on your own on a biggish bike.
We've done it in a 4-wheel drive a few years ago and it was quite - hair raising, to say the least!
Cant wait for your next ride report

11-04-2008, 08:33 PM
Andrew2 - thumbs up for your report!! :thumbs:
I enjoyed your ride report tremendously, read it twice already. Some of the areas you've gone through I know from previous rides I've been on; some I don't. Your photos are great!!
I can fully understand your hesitation in tackling the Billy Goat Bluff on your own on a biggish bike.
We've done it in a 4-wheel drive a few years ago and it was quite - hair raising, to say the least!
Cant wait for your next ride report

Thanks.I was tempted with Billy Goat as I was feeling confident on the big girl after almost 3 weeks of riding but in hindsight I'm glad I did'nt take it on.


11-04-2008, 08:47 PM
Nice one Andrew.

My turn Wednesday but somehow I don't think 3 days will compare with 3 weeks

12-04-2008, 06:31 PM
what a great read, thanks for that.

15-04-2008, 09:32 PM
That is a great holiday, To die for. Thankyou for sharing.

16-04-2008, 09:17 PM
Hi Andrew,

an big thanks from Germany!


Great pics!

Best greatings

21-05-2008, 02:46 PM
A great write up.. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

21-05-2008, 09:46 PM
:so thoroughly enjoyed that!! :chug: