Distance
Day 1: 493km
Day 2: 872km
Day 3: 785km
Day 4: 880km
Day 5: 1000km
Day 6: 370km
Total: 4400km

Fuel Cost
$412

I kept a log of total fuel spend rounded to the nearest dollar, but neglected to keep fuel prices and amounts. I’ll try my best to keep a more accurate log during the full lap.

Flights
Perth to Brisbane: 40800 points (Velocity)
Brisbane to Perth: 30000 points (Velocity)

I opted for business class! It would be less points flying economy. In hindsight, I would fly economy. It really is a waste if you don’t eat and drink the free booze (which I didn’t do on the Perth to Brisbane Leg). If you are flying Virgin, the Economy X seats are much better value for money. Then again, you get your own toilet at the pointy end, which is very nice on a 4+ hour flight!

Accommodation
Moree: $10
Wilcannia: $26
Kimba: $5 (donation).
Mundrabilla water tanks: $0
Southern Cross: $12
Perth: $100

Moree: I stayed at the show grounds. This place is nice, and the care takers are friendly. I only stopped here because I didn’t have enough time to find a free camp before skippy time.

Wilcannia: I cringed at the cost of the camp. It was nice, but expensive considering you are only rolling out a swag. In hindsight, I would have free camped, as the advice on this area being dangerous is totally unjustified in my option. The place might have had a bad rep, but now its a ghost town.

Kimb: This is a free camp. Donations are accepted. I have stayed here before and its a good little spot. They have a hot shower (I think $1 for 2 minutes) and a clean toilet block. Its walking distance to the local pub who will also pick you up on the courtesy bus. They are currently upgrading the site and increasing capacity.

Mundrabilla water tanks: This is not an official camp, its just a place on the Nullabor maybe 50km west of the Mundrabilla roadhouse. Its a good spot, and one of the few places on the Nullabor that is free from rubbish and toilet paper. There is water, but I wouldn’t drink it without boiling it. The local swallows were flying in and out of the water tanks so its probably full of bird shit.

Southern Cross: Recently upgraded caravan park. I stopped here because I needed a shower and I needed to charge the laptop. I highly recommend this place. The camping area is not great, its small, but its clean and tidy and the showers are hot!

Perth: This one was due to lack of experience in the area. I could have stayed at my aunts place, but I was unsure about travel times to the airport. My aunt and uncle own a house in Perth, but live on a cattle station in the Gascoyne area, so they were also unsure. I decided to play it safe and spend the night somewhere near the airport. End result was a night in the Ibis Budget Perth Airport. The place reminded me of budget hotels in South East Asia, but it was perfectly ok! I would stay there again.

Problems with the bike and gear
Mechanically, I had no issues. I also had no issues with my setup for the most part. I have done this a few times now, so have everything working pretty well. I did have some other minor problems with gear on the bike though,

Tank bag harness: The 2 plastic clips are broken. The plastic pins that hold the clips to the tank bag harness have broken on both sides. I suspect UV damage. I will need to replace the whole tank bag harness. UPDATE: Now obsolete, thanks Triumph

Top box cigarette lighter socket: One of the pins that feed power to the top box is broken. Not a real issue, and I knew about before I left. I would like to fix this, because it means I can charge the laptop as I am riding. My internet research suggests that a Triumph replacement is only possible with purchasing a new top box, which is not going to happen. I’ll head to the local dealer this week to confirm. UPDATE: Part is not available in Australia.

My Sena bluetooth unit stopped working with my Earmould’s. Also not a real issue, but its nice to be able to listen to music. This was giving me grief from the start because the plug for the headphones was playing up. I suspect that is what the real problem is. I left the helmet in Perth, so I probably wont get a chance to fix this. I can live with out it, I have done many miles without it in the past. If I can fix it, great. If I can’t, so be it.

Daily Total: 370km
Trip Total: 4400km
Distance to go: 0km

It was a late start today. Possible due to some poor choices the night before? I woke up to a lovely morning, although it was a bit chilly.

After fueling up the bike and myself (red bull and bacon and egg sandwich!) it was time to get moving. By now it had warmed up to a 13 degrees. Its pretty easy to find your way to Perth from the East, you just follow the Golden Pipeline which supplies water to gold fields around Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie.

I opted not to head into Northam, but fuel was getting low next servo I found was at Bakers Hill, so I stopped to fill up the tank for the last time on this trip. Just up the road from the petrol station was a pie shop. They claim their pies are the best. The sign also said they are the ‘pieOneers’. Well it would be rude for me to not stop and test the claim. The pie was pretty good.

The highway was closed around the lakes area due to an early accident. This resulted in a very scenic detour through a small town called Chidlow. The trip into Perth was further slowed by roadworks at Sawers Valley and Mundaring. Then finally, its time to drop down into Perth. Finally made it!

I went via the airport to see if I could find a hotel close by. Nothing real close, but close enough. So I booked in, then rode to my aunts place to leave the bike till I return on the 23rd July to start the Black Dog Ride.

Tomorrows destination: Brisbane!

Daily Total: 1000km
Trip Total: 4030km
Distance to go: 370km

Today was a massive day. Whilst I was sitting back at the campsite at Mundrabilla, I did the math on the remaining journey and figured out I better put in a big day to ensure I got into Perth to catch the plane home. I knew Southern Cross, so I decided that I would try to get there and stay at the caravan park. I needed to charge the laptop and I needed a shower, so it seem like a logical conclusion. Because it was a pretty big day of riding, I did not really get a lot of chances to stop and take many photos.

Early morning start, right on sunset. The plain certainly puts on a show at this time of day. There was still a little bit of cloud around, but it was clearing pretty fast.

Next stop was Madura Pass for fuel. I stopped briefly at the lookout also. Not a bad view, but the camera does not do it justice

The next fuel stop is Caiguna, then onto the longest straight road in Australia. Its also the home the Caiguna Blowhole.

Onward to Balladonia for fuel and a quick bite to eat, then another stop at Norseman for fuel, and a final fuel stop at Coolgardie. It was at this point that I decided to push onto Southern Cross. I still had plenty of daylight, and the GPS suggested a 4:30pm arrival. So Back in the saddle and on the road.

Well I made it to Southern Cross. I booked into the caravan park rather than the free camp. This meant I could have a shower and charge the laptop. With the swag set up, I jumped back on the bike and went to the railway hotel for a 6 pack. Once back and freshly showered, I got chatting to a gang of railway workers around the fire. Well 6 beers, a couple of warm Stones Mac’s and many Captain Morgans later, the updating of the blog didn’t happen.

The temperature dropped to -1 overnight. Thankfully I was wise enough to put on thermals before beers. I even zipped myself into the sleeping bag, which is pretty rare for me. The beverages probably helped tame the cold as well!

Tomorrows Destination is Perth! A short day, less than 400km!

Daily Total: 880km
Trip Total: 3030km
Distance to go: 1364km

It was a bit of a slow start today. I needed some food for the Nullabor plain, and the local grocery store at Kimba did not open till 7.30am. I also needed to fuel. I did not hit the highway till about 8.30.

The day started well. I stocked up on food a Kimba for the next couple off days on the Nullabor. It was bit cold and foggy on departure, but the fog soon burned off and it turned into a lovely day.

There is not a lot too see between Kimba and Ceduna. It’s mostly all grain growing country. Arriving into Ceduna gives you the first idea that you are going toward Perth, as its the first place that has Perth on the distance signs. On the way home, I am going to stop at Ceduna and have a look around. I have blasted through this place to many times now. As you roll over the hill and into the town, you get the first sight of the ocean since Port Augusta.

A quick fuel stop at the Nullabor Roadhouse and one has to stop for the famous photo of the wildlife sign.

The skies were starting to look a bit grim. I stopped at one of the look outs on the Great Australia Bight and took the opportunity to pull out my wet weather gear and get it ready. I could see rain in the distance, but was hoping that it might pass before I got there.

It started to rain about 100km east of the WA border. The odd patchy drizzle started to look more solid, so I pulled over on the side of the road and put on my wet weather gear. Not a minute to soon as the rain came in.

Along with the rain, came the wind. Its was blowing 30knots+ from the left front quarter and made riding really challenging. I was hoping to camp on the Bunda Cliffs, but with the wind and rain just wanted to get away from the coast.

Another quick fuel stop at border town plus the standard quarantine check at the border, and I punched on till I found a camp. I chose the old water tanks so I could escape the rain for the night. Looks like the rain has set in too. Unfortunately where I decided to camp, some caravaner decided to run a generator for about 5 hours. Despite that I think I chose a good spot to spend the night. There is nothing quite like camping out on the Nullabor Plain.

Tomorrow: We’ll see. I am not as far west as I hoped to be, so I might push on to Southern Cross. Coolgardie is the likely destination.

This post will lack many photo’s as I am on my phone and the laptop battery is flat. Grammar will also be sketchy. Its also possibly the last entry I get to write before arriving in Perth, as the mobile coverage on the Nullabor is very limited. I’ll sort it all when I get into Perth.

Daily Total: 785km
Trip Total: 2150km
Distance to go: 2235km

Another cold day. Temps did not manage to get over 15 until Horrocks pass into the Spencer gulf.

An early start today. I was packed and ready to go by 6.30, but there was no sunlight. I sat around for a while and finally rode out at about 7.30. It’s amazing how green this country is right now. Apparently they had good rain at Easter. Wilcannia is a lovely looking town, its just very run down and neglected. Everyone says its sketchy, but there has been no one around, so perhaps old history has resulted in the demise of the place.

It was a short run from Wilcannia the Topar roadhouse. After much stuffing around to get the automated fuel browser going I managed to get a full tank of fuel. A quick bacon and egg sandwich and it was off to broken hill. The skies were threatening to dump on me, but somehow the rain was all north and south, and I only copped a very light sprinkle of rain.

A couple of quick photo stops in broken hill and then onward to Port Augusta. Leaving Broken Hill a sign advised that it was 200km till the next fuel stop, so I decided that it was probably wise to turn back to top off the tank. I could have made it, but it would have been a little too close for comfort. Leaving Wilcannia and you know you are entering into proper desert country. The tree are replaced by the typical desert shrubbery. However, when you cross the border, the desert steps up its game.

There is nothing out here. Another very quick stop for fuel at Yunta I pushed on. Finally I get a glympse of the ocean, or close enough to it. Over the hill from Horrocks Pass and the Spencer Gulf appears.

Leaving Port Augusta for the final run to Kimba I missed the turn off. I have done this before, thankfully I realised this 100m down the road when Kimba was absent from the advisory sign. A quick back track and I was on the right path. It was nice to be riding into Kimba in daylight for once.

The time zone change saw me at the campground before 4pm. I set up camp, then walked into the local pub for a meal. Was nice to eat something of a plate rather than out of a tin.

Tomorrow’s destination? Maybe Bunda Cliffs? Maybe Cocklebidy? I am going to make it up as I go now.

Daily Total: 872km
Trip Total: 1365km
Distance to go: 3003km

Today, whilst not the toughest ride I have ever done, was still not easy. Awake at 5am , I found out that the caretakers lock the camp kitchen at the Moree Showgrounds. Having forgotten to pack my camping cup, I had to get creative with a way to make coffee. It was to early to depart, because they also lock you in the grounds and dont open the gate until 7am. After a small tin of baked beans, I realised that I could use the empty tin as a tiny cup, and make my coffee in the kettle like you would make a pot of tea.

At 7am I was out the gate and on the road. A quick refuel and back onto the highway. I did not last long given it was only 7 degrees. At the first rest stop I pulled over to fit the thermal liner to my jacket, plus I switched into winter gloves. I was a lot warmer but still bitterly cold. The next town was Narrabri, so I decided to stop there for a coffee from the local bakery. I needed to wash down that coffee with a pie. I also took the opportunity to refuel.

Once back on the highway, it started to warm up. That brought the wind, which was a good 15-20knots through out the day, blowing from the left hand side. I pushed on to Cobar, where I got great pleasure from seeing all the Bogan (shire) signs everywhere! Another quick fuel stop, and a bite to eat then back on the road. Its starting to look obvious to me that Broken Hill is (and was never going to) happen today. It never once got about 18degC, and I never got to remove the winter gear.

There is the moment sometime, especially when in areas that are not well serviced by traffic, where you begin to question you fuel planning choices. You have done the math, calculated the distances, added some reserve for error, know your fuel light will be on when you reach the servo. Then the fuel light comes on, and there is some puckering happening. All of a sudden the petrol station appears, and your trip computer says you have 40kms left in the tank. I know the trip computer lies too, because it gives up at a certain point and shows dashes instead to km to run. Ask me how I know!

After refueling at Emmaville, I pushed onto Wilcannia. I was warned multiple times not to stay there as its a bit rough. But I was also told by the lady at Emmaville that there is several safe places to camp along the way, including the caravan park 5km east of Wilcannia, so I decided to try make it there. Failing that, there was several places to stop along the way. At the last camp option I decided to push on. It put me into the camp just outside of Wilcannia about 15 mintues before sunset, but about 45 minutes before my preferred time to be off the road. However, its means a pretty easy day tomorrow and 100km less than today.

Tomorrows planned destination: Kimba. The halfway point. This should be no issue.

Daily Total: 493km
Trip Total: 493km
Distance to go: 3872km

Good to see the feature image in the post has chopped of my mug! Was going to edit in photoshop, then decided that wordpress’ unintended image censoring is probably a good thing!

Pretty short day on the road today. My plan was to leave a bit later, giving me some time to pack the last of the gear needed for about 2 months on the road. Departure time was about 10am, and after a quick fuel stop at Deagon it was time to put some kilometers on the new tyres.

I had brief stop at Aratula to pick up my PLB (personal locating beacon) that managed to somehow escape the pocket on my jacket. Some how it landed in the middle of the lane, and none of the traffic behind me ran over it. I have since tested it and the self test works fine.

The stretch from Brisbane to Moree is so familiar to me, I didn’t really stop to take any photo’s. After a quick break at the Cunningham rest area between Warwick and Inglewood, I pressed on. Another quick stop for fuel at Inglewood and a look the map I figured I could get to Moree as planned well before my self imposed quit time of 4.30 (skippy time). The Garmin Inreach shows me arriving at exactly 4.30pm!

I was hoping to spend the night at Rocky Creek Camp area just to the north of Moree, but a quick survey of the road in and I noped out. To rough and sandy looking, and it looked as if the camp side dropped into the creek bed. So off to the showground in Moree to hang with the grey nomads. Bonus is its next to the Services Club, so no baked beans for dinner!

Tomorrow is probably going to be the biggest day on the road. I would like to make it to Broken Hill. Given I am chasing the sun east to west, I will pick up a few more hours. Its only half an hour on the clock, but its a lot more in daylight hours. I am very skeptical that I will make it. My rule is 4pm look for somewhere to stop. 4.30pm aim to be off the highway. 5pm, camping on the side of the road!