Looking back on last year’s trip to Cairns we were really keen for another epic trip on the bike to explore more Australian countryside.
Plan A – head to WA and visit Deb’s brother. The plan was fairly simple I’d ride straight to Perth and pick Deb up from the airport, then head south following the coastline and camping along the way.
Initial planning looking at the distances involved, where we wanted to go, and limiting the distances we travel on transport legs we’d need over 4 weeks to make it worth our while. That was going to be a stretch. And then there was the uncertainty about getting into WA due to their hard border at the time.
Scratch that idea.
Plan B – Tassie. Tasmania has been on our riding list since before we had kids and now we are grandparents. Everytime we planned to get to Tassie something has come up and we’ve never made it.
This time we had everything planned, routes, side trips, things we wanted to see and do. In total we had planned for about 17 days exploring Tassie. All we needed to do was to book the ferry…
However looking over the plan and the budget it just wasn’t going to work this year and we just weren’t prepared to cut the trip any shorter. So we will put that plan back on the shelf for another year.
Plan C – one of the things working against both those plans was the amount of riding to just sitting and relaxing ratio. These last few years have taken a bit out of us and so a plan was hatched to find a nice location on the north coast of NSW, set up the tent and just chill.
Just sitting and doing nothing sounded really good.
With accommodation booked, new tyre on the bike, and trailer prepped we were looking forward to just getting away. Relaxing at home just isn’t the same as sitting by the ocean, lake or pool.
And then mother nature had other plans with some areas in that region receiving a large proportion of their annual rainfall within a few days and putting many communities from north of Brisbane to south of Sydney under water, many smashing previous flood levels.
And with no apparent end to the rain and extensive clean up activities underway along the coastline we were intending on visiting … plan C was washed away.
Plan D – hitch up the trailer and head south and find a camp ground on the south coast, along the Murray River, or Victorian high country.
Within days of us departing the storm that lashed the south east of Queensland and north coast of NSW was making its way down the south coast and another storm front moving across the Victorian border region.
At the same time Deb wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t even put a helmet on. Between the two we decided to just hang out at home for the week and see what happened.
Feeling defeated the cover went back on the trailer acknowledging that we wouldn’t be camping this holidays.
Plan E – take the car and head north to visit Deb’s mum in Inverell. This time we don’t have a plan other than a destination. We won’t need to change plans if we don’t have a plan…!!
Unlike previous trips we split the trip over a couple of days which meant we had time to stop along the way.
From Narrabri we stopped to check out Sawn Rocks in the Mt Kaputar National Park between Narrabri and Bingara. We have driven passed this on many occasions and never stopped. From the car park it is a relatively easy 1.5km walk (round trip) to the rock formation and worth the effort.
The uniformity of the fallen rocks was quite amazing and reminded me of the man made Roman ruins.
From Inverell we did a day trip to see another rock formation in the Torrington National Park just west of Deepwater called Mystery Face. From the car park it’s just over a 2km walk (round trip). A nice walk in recovering fire affected bush and over huge granite boulders. Glad that the path was well marked as you could get disorientated quite easily.
From Torrington National Park we took to the dirt back roads to the little town of Emmaville. For years I’ve passed the turn off and always wanted to see what was there as it is meant to have a nice little pub.
Emmaville was larger than I expected being a 2 pub town and a nice old Post Office. The area has a rich history in mining from tin to gem stones and clearly an active lapidary club with a mining museum including a large display from local club members. The town also has a clear proud military history with a newly opened military section in their museum.
Many small towns have an active car culture with many having dedicated premises to present all the vehicles that have been collected and/or restored. Inverell has the National Transport Museum which is situated on the outskirts of town with a large range of vehicles covering from the early 1900s to fairly recent. It is certainly worth the price of admission.
I love these old Honda’s and would love to have one of these in my shed. I dug up this old photo from 1982 of me sitting on a new one, just before I had my bike licence.
And Deb just commented that the bike is now in a museum. I’m not sure what she is insinuating?!
Sitting on the back deck looking at blue skies it seems crazy at the level of rainfall and flood devestation only hours from here.
We are heading off in the next few days, so we’ll need to keep an eye on the weather and road conditions before we decide on a route.