Riding around Australia – Touring on the VFR1200F in 2010 – Part 5
By Trevor Hedge
Well it’s all over. I returned the VFR1200F to Honda 25 days after picking the machine up and setting out on my around Australia jaunt.
With three days off in the Hunter Valley, the same in Townsville, a weekend in Darwin, a few days exploring Kununurra and Lake Argyle, I had a two to one mix of on and off the bike adventure. Around 10 days off the bike exploring, and 15 days on the bike for a total of just under 16,000km.
My previous update left me in Perth where my arrival coincided with a storm of biblical proportions hitting, to break their hottest and driest start to the year on record.
I headed south out of Perth via one of my favourite old weekend haunts, the Quindanning Hotel via a run up Del Park Road before continuing through Dwellingup and onto Pinjarra-Williams Road to rekindle some old memories over lunch. I then continued south towards Mount Barker to catch up with an old friend.
The next morning’s ride included the Mount Barker – Porongorup Road. This is one of the most picturesque roads in Western Australia as it scythes a line between the Stirling Ranges and the Porongorups.
I continued on to Esperance before heading north towards Norseman and then starting the trek east across what most people call the Nullarbor. The WA stretch from Norseman through to South Australia is generally referred to as the Nullarbor, but in fact the Nullarbor Plain only officially starts in South Australia.
I made it as far as Mundrabilla before running out of light. Riding too much at night in outback Australia is not as quite far as my stupidity meter reads.
Mundrabilla consists of a roadhouse with some basic motel accommodation, and that’s it. I managed to score the only remaining room and caught up with some other motorcyclists that had been stranded for a few days while they awaited a new tyre to arrive from Ceduna.
From Mundrabilla I pointed the VFR1200F east into South Australia for another 1370km day in the saddle that saw me arriving in Adelaide that evening.
A slow start to the final day saw me meander my way out through the Adelaide hills to Melbourne for the final 750km to Honda HQ in Campbellfield to cap off a long 3500km final three days of the trip.
Certainly the last half of the trip was the hardest. The sweltering heat on the run from Kununurra down to Perth made for some tough going. That said though, I certainly did enjoy Argyle and Kununurra with the cruise along the Ord River very satisfying.
If I had more time in Western Australia I would have spent an expensive week cruising the Buccaneer Archipelago. In Perth I would have took the cheap but fantastic cruise from Perth to Fremantle along the Swan River that I have enjoyed so many times before. I would have also ridden the Balingup-Nannup-Bridgetown triangle that I frequented while living in WA, and also headed out for some quiet time at Augusta, but it was time to get back home and back to work. I was glad to get home but after nearly a month on the road it does take some adapting to get back into the normal rhythm of life.
The run across the bottom paddock (Nullarbor), provided its normal vast vistas and the same feeling of complacent solitude that always characterises that particular journey. I have done that Nullarbor run on almost every major brand of motorcycle, and more than a dozen times all up.
See you on the highway, next time. But for now, use the links below to join the trip from the beginning, where I detail my experience of the VFR1200F, and chronicle the interesting places it took me along the way. There are a lot more interesting images in those previous parts, and a lot more information, but for this last leg I just wanted to get home!