12/08/2017 Broadbeach to Brisbane (final leg)

3 nights in Broadbeach was very nice. 24-27 deg each day, clear blue skies and little wind. Stayed with Mum and Dad which was a good catch up. We explored the shopping mall Pacific Fair which is very impressive and modern. Lazy days relaxing, eating , drinking and walking. On the road this morning for Brisbane. We arrived here with ease and after off loading our bags, rode out to Morgan and Wacker, the Harley shop to drop the bikes off. We stowed our leathers and boots on the bikes and left them in the good hands of the guys there, ready to ship back to Auckland. We walked back to Fortitude Valley carrying our helmets. A nice final walk through Brisbane, then back to […]

09/08/2017 Byron Bay to Broadbeach

We had a lazy day in Byron Bay. Such a nice place, it’s got a vibe all of its own. Good weather and a nice hotel, it was a relaxing break. On our day off we walked up to the lighthouse. It was a harder walk than I remembered, or perhaps it’s just that I’m older! The lighthouse was built in 1901 and really is a fine example of great architecture. This is Australia’s eastern most point. We spent a while up on the hill just watching the whales frolicking. They are moving south with their babies but stay around the region to mate so they can give birth in the warm pacific waters the following year. The mother is constantly on the move either […]

07/08/2017 Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay

We had a lovely day off from riding in Coffs Harbour. The harbour is similar to Hervey Bay, Byron Bay, Port Macquarie-they all look alike with a similar layout. When we were at Coffs Harbour a few years ago the winds had whipped the sea up and a huge swell was rolling in. This time the place felt different-we had great weather-no wind and a calm sea. We walked along the sea front to the marina which joins up to Mutton Bird Island. We walked over the island and looked out to see. I was looking for whales and dolphins and within 5 minutes saw both. Buying a naughty french pastry at Dorrigo-great cafe!   Whale watching The weather is really great over here-24-26 deg […]

04/08/2017 Port Macquarie to Armidale

We rode out of Port Macquarie this morning after a super breakfast and coffee. We basically had a backtrack day today up to Armidale. It’s one of the best and most technical roads we’ve done on this whole trip-climbing up a winding hill, lots of 25Km corners, 1000 meters up on to the tablelands. At the bottom of the hill, on pretty much the first corner I lost sight of husband and didn’t see him until near the top where he had been waiting-quite a while. He rode up fast and efficiently, I rode up cautiously and fairly slowly-I should have had what he had for breakfast! Some days you can really get in the groove of the bikes, and some days not. Today I […]

3/8/2017 A day in Port Macquarie

We had a day off today. We went out for a lovely breakfast and had a few errands to run, then we went off for a walk. There is a lighthouse 9K’s away so we made that our goal. We walked along a lovely coastal track which occasionally goes down onto the beach, then back on the track which winds over the headlands, always running along the coast with great views of the big waves rolling in. We had lunch at the lighthouse. It was built in 1879 and still looks in very good condition.   The old ruins of the original cottage can be seen. It was accepted that some men that managed the lighthouses might have wives and so cottages were built for couples. […]

2/8/2017 Hunter Valley to Port Macquarie

The breakfast where we stayed last night was $32 each-very expensive so we decided to go to one of the nearby vineyards. The closest one had nothing open so we walked back to our room and got on the bikes and road to Pokolbin village where one café was open.   I ordered a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon and it was the most dreadful breakfast I’ve ever had. If a chef can’t scramble eggs they should change to a different profession. We have found that when we are in small town Australia a lot of places are closed, or choices are few for food and accommodation. I guess you would encounter that a lot once you head off the east coast. Last evening […]

01/08/2017 Sydney to the Hunter Valley

We stayed in Sydney an extra day because we needed to get our 16,000km bike service. We were staying in North Sydney at Chatswood, and needed to take our bikes out to near the airport in South Sydney-I wasn’t looking forward to this day. We got up early so we could get ahead of the Monday morning rush hour. We were on the road by 7am. We got over to the Harley shop with ease, the rain hadn’t come, the navigation was good and the traffic still hadn’t built. The Harley shop said our bikes would be first up so that was all good. We caught a courtesy shuttle and then the train back to Chatwood-all pretty simple. The Harley shop said they would ring […]

30/07/2017 Sydney

We had a good ride into Sydney. The weather was good and apart from one glitch with the Garman navigation was good. The traffic was heavy and it moves very fast so lane changing has to be done very carefully. Stuart used to live in Chatswood and so knows this area quite well. Once we were in the vicinity he knew where to go. I’m so lucky to be able to follow someone that is so good with navigation. Coming into a big city on my own would be very daunting and having no sense of direction at all, I would be sure to get lost which would be a major drama on the bike. The apartment we are staying in is very well located […]

28/07/2017 Newcastle to Sydney

We had lots of cafes to choose from this morning in Newcastle. We went to a café called Monkey’s and I had the most fabulous breakfast of our whole trip. Once I was able to move, we returned to our hotel to pack for our ride to Sydney. I enjoyed Newcastle. It looks a bit like the UK in places, terraced housing and old architecture, but mostly it looks like Australia. For a heavy industry city, like Gladstone, it’s very well presented. I guess I compare these places to similar cities in the UK, but here you have good weather, palm trees and a beautiful coast. Husband did very well to navigate us out of Newcastle and soon we were on our way. We rode […]

27/07/2017 Port Macquarie to Newcastle

I’ve got three movies up on Youtube of rides we’ve done-we don’t always have the wifi capacity for uploading such big file https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4thhKzcLBxlb2hmJde_ILg We had a nice relaxing day wandering around Port Macquarie. There’s some lovely buildings there but lots of high rises which I don’t really like to see. The area was setup early on as a penal colony and the prisoners were harshly treated. The convicts were not just from the UK, but from Aust too, and all the disabled convicts were sent to Port Macquarie. They had special jobs for men with one leg, one arm etc and the blind were put to work at night time. There’s a very nice church that was built by the convicts. It’s interesting that when […]

25/07/2017 Armidale to Port Macquarie

We woke to a very cold morning in Armidale. It was forecasted to be -3 overnight but was -6 with a visible white frost over everything. We had put covers over our bikes. We walked into town for breakfast on icy paths but the skies were blue and before long the sun had warmed the day up. We lingered for as long as we could but by 9:30 we were on the road feeling confident that the ice would have melted. We rode out to Walcha and had a cup of tea to warm up, it was cold riding, but today we were better prepared for it with our woolly layers on. Long straight roads to start with which was good. After an hour or […]

24/07/2017 Coffs Harbour to Armidale

We had to have breakfast at the resort in Coff’s Harbour as we were quite a way from anywhere else.  The room rate at this place was pretty low for the nice room we had, but our burger and chip dinner last night and our breakfast this morning is where these resorts make their money-or take our’s as the case may be.  Still we knew this would happen before we stayed there.  Still we enjoyed listening to the pounding surf all night-it’s the closest we have stayed to the ocean and the view was great too. We woke to a beautiful blue sky again and no cold wind blowing.  We set out on a ride called the waterfall way.  Soon we were climbing up high […]

23/07/2017 Lismore to Coffs Harbour

It wasn’t easy to find a place for breakfast in Lismore this morning (Sunday). We found one place but they could only make toast, no eggs. The other place was very busy, so it was obviously the place to be. We had great coffee and food. I was surprised at how friendly the people were. Two separate groups of people came over to tell us how they love the bikes and wanted to know where we had been and where we were heading. Such nice people here. The road out of Lismore to Grafton was very dull with lots of roadworks. It turned out this was not the road we had programmed into the Garmin, but it decided to take us that way anyway. Very […]

22/07/2017 Coolangatta to Lismore

We got out our winter jackets in Coolangatta last night for dinner and again this morning for breakfast. A very cold wind blowing. At the beginning and end of the day it is the same temperature as Auckland, but during the day it gets upto 21 deg with blue skies. We got on the road and headed north, then west to do a nice back road south to Lismore. The Hinterland out the back of the gold coast is full of locals selling organic veggies, massages, natural therapies, hand made soap etc-quite a wide spread ‘alternative’ area. The Hinterland is pretty with the Tweed River running through it, lots of green pasture with cattle and sheep grazing. All along the journey today I was aware […]

21/07/2017 Brisbane to Coolangatta

We enjoyed our day off from riding in Brisbane. We enjoyed a bit of a sleep in and a lazy morning making our own breakfast and getting a coffee from Mrs Tuppy’s store downstairs just across from the apartment block. She’s an old Chinese lady and makes a fine coffee. I asked for two big coffee’s, each with an extra shot. This seemed to offend her-you sure you wan an ex sha? I make werry go coffee, no ex sha needed. She was right. This morning I ordered another two and told her the coffee’s were very good yesterday she said, they be jus same today-as if I was stupid! It was a great apartment and good value for money. We got all our laundry […]

19/07/2017 Noosa to Brisbane

Got the Gladstone to Yeppoon video uploaded if you want to see it…: https://youtu.be/kfJJiAr2ypY We had an early start from Noosa. Had a fabulous breakfast at a French bakery that made the best coffee! Then on the road to Brisbane. Stuart had spent time mapping out a convoluted journey on backroads so we could have a fun ride, but the Garmin let him down early on and in the end we just got on the M3 and rode directly here. There’s a lot of motorway to ride coming into Brisbane from the North. The traffic is much like NZ-slow buggers in the fast lane holding everyone up and big trucks to contend with. The ride was a hard one as there was a very strong, […]

18/07/2017 Hervey Bay to Noosa

A nice breakfast in Hervey Bay. We are now in sub tropical weather and no longer parallel to the reef-we are now on the Fraser Coast. Hervey Bay is a place where the humpback whales stop to frolic on their way from the Pacific to Antarctica and lots of the tourism is based on whale watching. Hervey Bay is otherwise a quiet town with an average age of 42, 10 years older than any other town, in other words, quite a few oldies here. We had few hours of riding and on the 2nd half of the ride Stuart had us riding on windy country roads that he had found and mapped out. From this point heading south we are hoping the riding will improve-we […]

17/07/2017 Agnes Water to Hervey Bay

We rode out to 1770 for breakfast which was acceptable…At 10ish we got on the road for Hervey Bay. We were on woodland roads today which is a welcome change from the A1 which I think we are both all done with for now. Having heard there are hundreds of kangeroos on the 60k’s out from 1770/Agnes water we took it easy. I’m not sure how well we would fare with a big red leaping out of the wood into our path but you cant ride for that risk, you just have to look logically at the reported cases of motorcyclists killed by leaping kangeroos-there are none. We did see them resting/sleeping in the fields though-they are there, but they are nocturnal, luckily. We were […]

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