Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

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Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby Aushiker » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:26 pm

Hi

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I have long service leave due to me and well in a year or so, it will have built up some more so I am thinking of riding from Darwin to Perth. My idea based on the rather interesting and inspiring GJ Coop's riding is to do the ride staying off the highways as much as possible.

I reckon I will have around two months or so for the ride which will give me "partner time" in Darwin and enroute. Oh it will be a July start I suspect due to the way work is.

At this early stage the following is pencilled in:

(1) Litchfield National Park (ferry across the harbour in Darwin) and then on the bike into Litchfield NP;
(2) Gibb River Road
(3) South from Geraldton will more inland as I have ridden the coastal route
(4) Dirt roads are fine
(5) Mode of transport will be the Surly Long Haul Trucker pulling the Bob Ibex.

If any one has suggestions on routes, maps to get, books/websites to read and so please let me know.

Thanks
Andrew
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by BNA » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:04 am

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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby rifraf » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:04 am

Reading from that book I recommended to you:
Darwin Dam is 6km off the road to Berry Springs.
There are also a few other places to see in Litchfield NP on walking/fire trails
(some require a permit - ring ahead) including Bamboo Ck Tin Mine, Tjenya Falls,
Bine-jeruk Falls, Walwalgiyn Falls and Stapleton Falls. Contact the park to find out
if these are accessible.

Actually theres heaps in this book with regards to sidetrips, route descriptions, water level and croc warnings.
Distances between landmarks, Caravan Parks, NP Campsites, Rest areas, Bushcamps, Water on Tap, Other Water, Shade and places of interest (their directions and distances.

I think "Cycling Outback Australia" Craig Bagnall and Nikki Brown is for you and this tour.
Cant wait to hear more about it and your planning and execution of it.
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby Aushiker » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:08 am

rifraf wrote:I think "Cycling Outback Australia" Craig Bagnall and Nikki Brown is for you and this tour.


Its on the to buy list :)

Andrew
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby jet-ski » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:53 pm

Sounds awesome! Ah, to have long service leave!
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby Aushiker » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:11 pm

jet-ski wrote:Sounds awesome! Ah, to have long service leave!

There are trade offs ... you have to work at the same place for way to long :)

BTW does anyone have any thoughts or experiences crossing the Pentecost River with bikes? This is the only part that really worries me; well that and sharing Litchfield NP with salties.

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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby il padrone » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:42 pm

Our very own Detail has some info up on his Cycletrails site about the Gibb River Road

Cycletrails wrote:The Pentecost Crossing sounds ominous but it’s just above the tidal affected area and is not a huge issue during the Dry Season. There are plenty of 4WDers visiting both heading down the GRR and day trippers from Kununurra. Once through the knee deep water the road itself is quite variable


Cycletrails wrote:Saltwater crocs are possible at any waterhole, camp 50m from the water’s edge is the recommendation.




Some good photos are here

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fishwrecked wrote:Pentecost river crossing. Everyone warned me about crocs but upon arrival i figured that the stream of 4wds would have scared them all away. it was pretty shallow too. Being a fisherman my other logic was match the hatch..with so may prados and landcruisers to feet on why would a croc want a skinny cyclist? I carried half my bags accross and then was wading back for the rest when a 'kimberly wild' bus pulled up and all the people climbed off and started taking photos of me! just what i wasn't in the mood for. i had already had my photo taken 15000 times and was getting a little bored of it. the khaki clad tour guide marched over and said " you're not going to ride that thing across are you?" i was a bit put out to her refering to my bike as a 'thing' but managed to keep my cool and reply that no i was going to carry it across. at that point in an almost hysterical voice she said " what about the crocodiles" so i replied that we had an understading as i put the bike on my shoulder and marched off across the river! think she must have been building up the croc thing to all her tourists and i put a spanner in the works! the funniest bit was that as i walked across my arse was hanging out as my shorts were completely torn and in pieces! well at least the tourists were entertained and got some good photos!

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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby Aushiker » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:12 pm

Hi

Thanks @il padrone I was aware of fishwrecked comments and of the Cycletrails website. Just clicked that Cycletrails is written by GJ Coop. His journals at CGOAB are a great read. Highly recommended.

The camping advice (pretty standard) does not help with the river crossing but :) Plus I suspect I will camp a bit further away from a waterhole anyway :) I was hoping for a bit more feedback from others as most of what I can find is from 4WD drivers and some of the crossing reports suggest fairly reasonable depths.

Thanks
Andrew
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby boyracer » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:29 pm

When motorcycle touring in FNQ we carried a largish tyre tube (truck?) for river crossings. Inflate, lay 'bike on it, paddle across, deflate,stash and ride off into sunset.Repeat as required. This help?
Looks to be an awesome ride. If you wanna make this a group thing.....
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby Aushiker » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:57 pm

boyracer wrote:When motorcycle touring in FNQ we carried a largish tyre tube (truck?) for river crossings. Inflate, lay 'bike on it, paddle across, deflate,stash and ride off into sunset.Repeat as required. This help?
Looks to be an awesome ride. If you wanna make this a group thing.....


Good idea but probably over kill for the only river crossing on the whole ride.

You or anyone else is welcome to come along for all or part as it suits.

Time frame is a bit fluid at the moment. Will be in the second half of 2012 or 2013 depending on work.

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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby Baalzamon » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:06 pm

If you want to you can borrow my spot tracker for this tour andrew.
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby RonK » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:35 pm

I noticed this recent article on CGOAB with comments about the GRR and other desert routes...
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby Aushiker » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:37 pm

RonK wrote:I noticed this recent article on CGOAB with comments about the GRR and other desert routes...


Great stuff; thanks. I missed this as it was not tagged Western Australia so appreciate the heads-up.

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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby Aushiker » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:13 am

RonK wrote:I noticed this recent article on CGOAB with comments about the GRR and other desert routes...


Found Aaron's description of crossing the Pentecost River. Does not sound to bad given he crossed in late June.

When I reach the river it is Big and deeper than I thought it might be, I take off my shoes and put on my Chaco Sandals for the crossing my Arkel bags are water proof and high up on the racks so I don't take them off to cross I just plow through, the bottom of the river is rocky and loose and the going is slow in the deep water which come up to my knees in places making progress slow and tiring. When I finally cross after a long slog I turn around to see where I came from and the sun is just starting to go down with the reflection on the water it is a Beautiful sight. I sigh with relief that in made it across and didn't get eaten. I push my bike up the sandy hill and find people camped out on an overlook; I ask if it is OK to camp there as well. As the sun sets it turns the sky a beautiful red reflecting on the River Below. I set up camp eat dinner and fall fast asleep.


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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby rifraf » Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:44 pm

Aushiker wrote:Hi

Thanks @il padrone I was aware of fishwrecked comments and of the Cycletrails website. Just clicked that Cycletrails is written by GJ Coop. His journals at CGOAB are a great read. Highly recommended.
Thanks
Andrew


Just reading his "Adelaide to Darwin (and beyond) offroad" and am thoroughly enthralled.
Thanks for the pointer
I imagine Cycletrails will be next and enjoyed just as much. :D
Thanks to all for the great links and reading/pics
Cheers
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby il padrone » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:09 pm

rifraf wrote:Just reading his "Adelaide to Darwin (and beyond) offroad" and am thoroughly enthralled.

Make sure you read his epic 5-6 days of wilderness touring following tracks through the Gregory National Park. Stunning stuff!
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby rifraf » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:35 pm

il padrone wrote:
rifraf wrote:Just reading his "Adelaide to Darwin (and beyond) offroad" and am thoroughly enthralled.

Make sure you read his epic 5-6 days of wilderness touring following tracks through the Gregory National Park. Stunning stuff!


Shall do!
Where is it? - a quick peruse of Cycletrails and it hasn't leapt out at me.
Ah - spotted it http://www.cycletrailsaustralia.com/2_t ... al-park-nt
The Jutpurra title threw me. :oops:
Ok on the to read list next. :D
Thanks for the heads up!
Cheers
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby il padrone » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:51 pm

Yes, that's the place. But I meant his CGOAB account of it, from here and the next 6 or 7 days. It defines the concept of remote cycle touring.
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby rifraf » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:25 pm

il padrone wrote:Yes, that's the place. But I meant his CGOAB account of it, from here and the next 6 or 7 days. It defines the concept of remote cycle touring.

Yes magic. :!:
Not five minutes ago I just finished reading the last page of his 394 pages finishing in Perth.
Much to the detriment of my prepay internet account I might add :lol:
Great to read his "about the journey - not about the bike or destination" account.
A lot of humour in his works and I relate to appreciation of a wine or three and a few beers.
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby Aushiker » Sat Oct 08, 2011 6:22 pm

Hi

A little update on the planning. This ride is now officially the "Dreaming Tour" :) and is planned (subject to LSL) for July - September 2012 or thereabouts. Have roughed out the route now for those interested or looking for ideas:

Section 1: Darwin to Katherine via Litchfield National Park
Section 2: Katherine to Kununurra via the highway
Section 3: Kununurra to Derby via the Gibb River Road
Section 4: Derby to Broom via the highway
Section 5: Broom to Roebourne/Millstream-Chichester National Park - Taking the longer option to visit Millstream-Chichester National Park
Section 6: Millstream-Chichester National Park - Karijini National Park - Carnarvon - Taking the longer option to visit Karijini NP

Rest time in Carnarvon. Will meet up with Anne to explore a little bit including Mt Augustus (will have a car for this)

Section 7: Carnarvon - Gascoyne Junction - Murchison Settlement - Mullewa. Will be following the Wool Wagon Pathway from Gascoyne Junction.

Section 8: Mullewa - Mingenew - Three Springs - Coorow - Moora and then onto Perth (not sure of this last leg as yet ... a number of options into the city). This section is basically back in wheat country now so towns much closer together.

Now to estimate days to get an idea of the time frame. I have 13 week of leave plus normal leave so should be okay.

Approximately 5, 100 to 5,500 km. Outline map can be found here.

Suggestions suggestions suggestions are always welcome.

Andrew
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby V17L » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:28 pm

Hi andrew
jealousy all over.

You might consider taking the ferry fro m Darwin to Mandorah, Cox Peninsula (wagait beach) and ride down the Cox Pen road.

To long ago to give details of facilities, but is the main road for all the people living on Cox Peninsula.

Many people live there and catch the feery to Darwin to work and go home each night.
cheers
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby Aushiker » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:32 pm

V17L wrote:You might consider taking the ferry fro m Darwin to Mandorah, Cox Peninsula (wagait beach) and ride down the Cox Pen road.


I see GJ Cole did that but he mentioned a fair few steps ... the thought of a load bike plus trailer + steps didn't sound to good. Is that your experience? I will be in Darwin about a week before I ride so will go check it out for sure.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Andrew
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Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby Wingnut » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:55 pm

Hey Aushiker,

How do you find the Bob Ibex after having it for a while now?

I'm going to buy one this week, I'm keen on doing a short tour with it to Wilsons Prom in late Nov...


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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby V17L » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:30 am

Hi Andrew
WRT to the number of steps, to be honest it has been to many years since I have been over to cox Pen, (1980's).
I can ask some friends in Darwin what the score is for you.
cheers
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby RonK » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:32 am

Aushiker wrote:I see GJ Cole did that but he mentioned a fair few steps ... the thought of a load bike plus trailer + steps didn't sound to good. Is that your experience?

Coop actually - GJ Coop. GJ Coles is the guy that started the retail food chain when he open his first store in Wilmot, Tasmania. :roll:

I haven't been to Mandorah for more than 40 years, but some things never change. Darwin Harbour experiences 8m tides and jetties are built acordingly. So depending on the time and tide you may well have to lug your bike and gear up lots of steps. :(
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Re: Long Term Dreaming: Darwin to Perth

Postby Aushiker » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:37 am

V17L wrote:Hi Andrew
WRT to the number of steps, to be honest it has been to many years since I have been over to cox Pen, (1980's).
I can ask some friends in Darwin what the score is for you.
cheers
steve


Thanks for the offer Steve but I should be good. I will be staying with Anne's sister for the week before I go so plenty of time to go check it out and make a decision. I am easy as to which way I go but I must admit the ferry does sound more exciting :)

Andrew
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