Touring Australia

Follow me as I blog my way around Australia.

The motorcycle leg of this journey started in Darwin. I had the bike trucked there and flew to meet it from Sydney. I rode solo through The Kimberley, The Pilbara, Shark Bay, Monkey Mia, Kalbarri, New Norcia, Perth, Fremantle, Margaret River, Esperance, The Nullarbor Plain and back to Sydney via the Adelaide Region and The Great Ocean Road.

As you might imagine the whole trip was an incredible experience .... I'm ready to do it again!

Another Website by...

Another Website by...
Online Business, Software, and Website Development

TwoWheelTouring Subscribe

Visitors to date

Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Paraburdoo to Exmouth, but first...
More about The Pilbara.
I used to think THE place in WA was The Kimberley however after cruising through Broome to The Pilbara I must admit this whole region is worth a huge exploration.
A few stats before we start...
The Pilbara starts about 1600 KM's north of Perth and consists of about 500,000 square KM's, yes you read right, 500,000 square KM's. That's the size of some small countries! Forgetting about tourists for the moment there is a population of around 2 Million in the whole of WA! Now to put it into perspective... WA is about half the size of Australia or roughly half the size of the USA. Again there are only about 2 million people living here!
There are almost 45,000 people living in The Pilbara mostly in the main towns which are Port Hedland, Karratha, Tom Price and Newman.
You can traverse The Pilbara on all sealed roads however like The Kimberley the story of the regions really starts when you get out and get dirty.
For the motorcyclist there are a number of ways to do this. One is buy a cross breed bike like the BMW R1200GS Adventure. The problem there is that you need a set of nobby tires that resemble golf shoes turned out and placed end to end! Spikes everywhere and about as useful on paved surfaces as your golf shoes are!
Now these nobby tires are great when you are OFF ROAD but the are terrible when you are buzzing from burb to burb or up to the Hunter Valley or down the NSW coast or just about everywhere you go for the vast majority of your riding you are on sealed roads.
Regardless of the suspension set up or the engine design of the industrial gear you can carry on your bike the reality is... these nobby golf spikes are terrible on sealed roads. I would be so bold as to suggest the are as bad on the sealed road as road tires are on the dirt (I'm talking real dirt there and not that bit of gravel you encounter during road renovations).
Did I mention that riding one of the lighter enduro type bikes can also get you blown all over the road?

This trip I rode my BMW K1200RS which consisted of 500 Kilo's of ballast =  me, my luggage, and my in-line 4 rocket ship so when confronted by a 4 payload long (almost 36 metres) road train with a combined speed between the 2 of us of about 300 KPH in the middle of no where I was happy to have the stability of all this weight and power to outrun the slower trucks, cars, or the army of caravans you encounter regularly!
So what's the answer...?
I like a road bike!
Ride in comfort and safety AND GO OUT AND EXPLORE. To do the off road parts of your journey rent a 4WD at the numerous little hubs you find everywhere in Australia. I'm talkin places like Port Hedland, Kununurra, Halls Creek, Broome, etc etc. Local police, pubs, motels, and roadhouses will gladly help you rent a 4WD and store your bike in lock up while you are away.
For more info on tourism via motorbike go to www.twowheeltouring.com.au/contact-us.html and tick the box that says you wish to be contacted when our Ride Guides are released.
OK back to The Pilbara. Undoubtedly the Pilbara experience centres around Karijini Park where there are places that must be seen such as Weano Gorge, Fern Pool, Dales Gorge, Fortesque Falls, Circular Pool, Hancock Gorge, Joffre Falls, Handrail Pool, Oxer Lookout, Knox Gorge, and Hamersly Gorge. The names of these places only begin to tell the experience of being there.
While everything has that pervasive red hue from the high oxidized iron content of the earth in and around The Pilbara there are still numerous colours of a myriad of minerals and breathtaking shapes and forms that geologists say are from the era of the earth's formation when Australia's central was the ocean bottom. They also say that the high iron and salt content is from oxidization that occurred while all this was under water!
As I was cruising to Nunuturra from Paraburdoo I came across another first for me. Off in the distance I could see not one, but 2 helicopters doing roundy rounds, up then down, forward then back. I had no idea what they were doing until I I came closer and realized there were hundreds if not thousands of cattle on the ground under them.
They were mustering the heard!
There was an old USA Army type Jeep in on the act as well as a chook chaser bringing up the rear. There was plenty of dust, noise, and moo-ing from the cattle huddled by these modern day sheep dogs in the direction the cattlemen wanted.
Tons of Photo's on the way but again they are in my camera and not my phone so you will have to wait till I get home to upload.
Tomorrow its onward to Exmouth.

0 comments: