Australia trip dec-jan 2016


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silverado6x6
Posts: 185
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:29 am
Location: Wasilla, Alaska and Adelaide,South Australia
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Aspencade
And 17 other bikes, 5 more Goldwings, 3 Ventures, 2 Vmax

Australia trip dec-jan 2016

Postby silverado6x6 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:11 pm



Hello friends, sorry i have not been here more often, as some of you know me on another forum i lost my back seat partner in july of 2014.

We had dreams of leaving Alaska and taking a tour to Australia with plans of a permanent nature as our Goldwing restoration business was too limited in Alaska and we were not interested in any place in the lower 48, we wanted a new challenge, a new land, a new start.

But Mollie passed away suddenly, i won't go into details all over again but the event neary killed me and since then its been a daily painful uphill battle to live a normal life, especially being a heavy equipment mechanic and a concrete mixer operator.

Fast forward.....i changed jobs, better pay at reduced hours, it was heaven sent though i could see it is not to be permanent for me, but working for this other concrete batch plant blew open the doors to get that dreamed Oz trip to reality, and i only had to sell just one of my bikes the 85 V Max, i still have the other 17 in an insulated semi trailer for storage here in Alaska north of Anchorage near Wasilla.

Sold off some guns, gold and silver, employer bought it all plus he bought the reefer, and gave me traveling funds, he really needs me next season to finish building his plant.

But my dreams and visions led me to choose the area around Adelaide, i think its a good decision, climate is better for me and Adelaide is near enough in size to Anchorage, rented a vacation home just south of there near the beach for 4 weeks, first i leave ANC for HNL dec 2, two night layover in Honolulu, much cheaper flying that route than going to Seattle then LA and then a VERY long flight from LAX to SYD.

Still its 6 hours from Anchorage to Hawaii, 10 hours then to Sydney, short 2 hour hop to Adelaide. Got a Toyota Corolla reserved for 35 days as we will be in Oz 5 weeks, last week will be on the road around Melbourne and a flight then to Brisbane, Hawaii, Anchorage.

Unless i stay.....

Hoping to rent a bike there around Adelaide, i will buy one if needed, my exchange rate was very good recently so i picked already enough Aussie polymer notes, wish our US dollars looked as good as theirs. Bringing along an SJCAM4000 wi fi, same as the go pro, got all the accessories as well, plan to take a lot of video, also some surf fishing gear, i love night fishing, course its gonna be pretty darn hot during the day there, the rental house has a pool, i'm definitely gonna be using it, the many knife wounds i received make my back very stiff, swimming will help, not many places to swim in Alaska.

Cannot bring my modular helmet, Oz has specific standards, but they are not expensive there, what i will miss is my 2 Gl1500 bikes and my Venture Royales, bikes in Oz are more sport types from what i hear. Won't bother me riding a bike there but driving a car on the left side of the road is going to be interesting, i cannot imagine driving a mixer truck there.

So anyway its 3 weeks before i leave, got my trusty Samsung 12 inch Galaxy Pro tablet, a new Sylvania 10 inch portable dvd player, a voltage converter and all the adapter and cables to charge my gear either by the 240 volt they use or in the car. Had to order almost all my summer clothing, even in summer in Alaska the clothing sold in our stores is too heavy. Even my Redwing boots, bought the un insulated ones, i wear the insulated version year round, and some tropical Carhart cargo pants will be in the mailbog tomorrow.

Dunno what to expect there, had a vision last year, by accident i was watching a youtube bike video and the rider drove right past the place i saw in that dream, my rental house is less than 5 miles away from there, will see what my fate has in store for me when i visit that place, its in Port Noarlunga btw, i think its like 22 miles south of Adelaide, has a wonderful beach.

So thats it for now, just waiting for dec 2nd, got my passport, the visa, all the luggage sorted, will arrive in Sydney on Mollies birthday, dec 5th. I know her spirit will be with me.


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Aussie81Interstate
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:34 am
Location: Penrith Australia
Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Re: Australia trip dec-jan 2016

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:06 pm

I like your story so far.

I have friends that live in Sth Australia- although a little bit spread about.
The riding in SA is really good - and weather could be a bit hot.
There are many places you could visit - apart from the "Barossa Valley" - home to some very fine wines.
I may be able to get some local Aussies to show you around - they ride various bikes, CX500 group really - but they have several bikes - TDM, ST1100, CX500 Turbo, Vmax, etc
One place you must visit is Birdwood Museum - they have a great bike/car collection - should fill in a day for you - and is a nice ride out and back. About 75km and a bit over an hour.

Let me know if I can be of assistance in organising anything for you - unfortunately I am located in NSW - bit far to catch up for a ride. :)

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silverado6x6
Posts: 185
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:29 am
Location: Wasilla, Alaska and Adelaide,South Australia
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Aspencade
And 17 other bikes, 5 more Goldwings, 3 Ventures, 2 Vmax

Re: Australia trip dec-jan 2016

Postby silverado6x6 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:57 pm

Yes i know about Birdwood, sent a request to be part of their volunteer staff, will do an in person looky see, i would think with my background i would be a great asset to the museum. Did the same with the National Railroad Museum but they stated thst SA is going through an economic downturn. Though i have been a mechanic for darn near everything i love working on bikes the most, owning 18 at one point the last year, and i have 6 Goldwings, but only 3 are on the road at the moment. Well not at this moment, in winter storage, thats one of the most compelling reasons why i wish to relocate to Oz, here in Alaska riding season is june, july and august, before june its yucky on the roads with too much silt and salts, after august it rains, so just three months if we are lucky, sure you can try riding in april when its cold or in oct when its colder. Sick and tired of the loooooong winters.

With Mollie gone i felt lifeless, aimless, but putting all my energy into this trip has me wound up with enthusiasm, and i honestly believe a major turn of fate will occur there, big time. Every day i think about what to do but i'm not really planning i do want to try some night surf fishing for salmon or shark, and i want to ride up around Hahndorf in the hills east of Adelaide, there is this property i want to see in person cause i had a dream about it it, its called Eurilla, a victorian mansion near Mt Lofty.

Swimming will be the main thing, not in the ocean, i don't care if the locals say its safe, its a pool for me!
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Aussie81Interstate
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:34 am
Location: Penrith Australia
Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Re: Australia trip dec-jan 2016

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:52 pm

smart move on the swimming

the Great Australian Bight - is just what it says - many large white pointers there - as for night fishing - not sure but all round Australia the fishing is pretty good.

keep us in the loop on your progress have fun :)

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silverado6x6
Posts: 185
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:29 am
Location: Wasilla, Alaska and Adelaide,South Australia
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Aspencade
And 17 other bikes, 5 more Goldwings, 3 Ventures, 2 Vmax

Re: Australia trip dec-jan 2016

Postby silverado6x6 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:00 pm

I wish funding could have allowed me to rent a caravan or rv so i could drive the coastal roads from Sydney to Melbourne and then to Adelaide,but i decided to fly into Sydney, will be staying at the airport hotel for two nights and then a flight to Adelaide, no plans yet to venture around Sydney. Almost the whole trip will be around Adelaide with a couple of days around Melbourne as i need to scope out property near Geelong, i buy equipment from the Ritchies Brothers auctions in Alaska and they have auctions in Geelong twice a year.

I made out like a bandit this spring at the auction near me, bought a 40' reefer trailer, a 99 Gmc Envoy, over $10,000 worth of 480volt transformers and switch panels all for $3,300.

Plus i really want to see the Puffing Billy steam train east of Melbourne, trains and bikes i love. My research points out a lot of advantages of centering around Adelaide, climate is more to my liking, city isn't too big but does have affordable living options, Sydney costs way too much to live in, Melbourne actually sounds impressive but what do i read everyday? A fair amount of random violence, more bogans to use the local term and again the too big city thing. I might be genuinely happy living in a small town as long as i can get tools, shop supplies and affordable property.

Obviously with my visa i cannot work there but i'm allowed to discuss or to be part of a business conference, being said i do have an interested party who desires to set up a sand and gravel pit or concrete products, so another reason to look around the rural areas say near a not too big city, too many zone restrictions. Being 58 when i get there my desires are simple, i'm more like a Burt Munro, i like to build my own, i'm known for creating unique solutions for Goldwings, especially the Gl1500. I did a unique touchscreen radio installation on my 93.
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silverado6x6
Posts: 185
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:29 am
Location: Wasilla, Alaska and Adelaide,South Australia
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Aspencade
And 17 other bikes, 5 more Goldwings, 3 Ventures, 2 Vmax

Re: Australia trip dec-jan 2016

Postby silverado6x6 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:53 pm

Unless i am misinformed i was informed that our DOT or SNELL approved helmets may not be Oz approved, they have a specific sticker both in and outside, called a 6 tic or 1698 rating, 6 tic is 6 checkmarks rated. So i bought two on my ebay aus account and they are being shipped to a friend in Oz. I did not realize how expensive Oz helmets are! But i got a pair that are adequite enough and legal. With the exchange rate in my favor i paid $63 each for them. Beats $1,000 for the top end ones.
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silverado6x6
Posts: 185
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:29 am
Location: Wasilla, Alaska and Adelaide,South Australia
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Aspencade
And 17 other bikes, 5 more Goldwings, 3 Ventures, 2 Vmax

Re: Australia trip dec-jan 2016

Postby silverado6x6 » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:59 am

I really must apologize to everyone here, the trip to Oz?

I went, i saw, i came back a week ago, i forgot i even started this thread plus i was posting on the other forum, and now being home after almost 6 weeks gone i logged in here and realized i had started this thread, i will write up a condensed version right now.

Dec 2nd departed Anchorage on an Alaska Airlines 737-800, 6 hour flight to Honolulu, cramped hard seat in economy, used the GoGo in flight wifi to watch movies on my Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 tablet, of which i used to take most videos and pics, worked out easier than the SJCAM gopro type camera i brought along.

Due to a heath issue of massive back and side pains i got the year before i cancelled a tour of the battleship Missouri, stayed at a very close cheap airport motel that had free shuttle for two nights, never left it, had a great chinese resturant right there, so dec 4th, my birthday boarded a Jetstar 787 bound for Sydney, a 10 hour flight, the aircraft was excellant, because its composite they keep a higher cabin pressure, entertainment was good as well as food but you pay extra for everything with Jetstar including the seat choice, it would not surprise me if they charge you to use the restrooms next, terrible service by Jetstar later on when flying from Sydney to Adelaide, they have weight restrictions on luggage.

So not getting ahead and upon arrival it was a breeze past customs, the hotel was on site and just across the street, spent two nights there, very upscale, food was expensive, checked out on the 7th, it was a royal hassle getting from there to the domestic terminal, and a nightmare just checking in, i will avoid Sydney in the future, better to take a train in than trying to fly in or out. Brisbane later on the return has the best airport i have ever seen, it was paradise!

It was just a 2 hour flight to Adelaide, but at about 40 miles out from landing i started sneezing non stop for over 5 minutes, i have no clue other than there was a major fire on the ground below the week before. Adelaide was hot, dry with wind, its a coastal town, not a big city.

Managed to finally rent a car from Hertz, here is advice, DO NOT rent a car through Expedia, i paid for insurance on Expedia but then Hertz says i still had to buy THEIR insurance, so i had double insurance, good if i had a problem, but i didn't, wasted money. Rented a right hand drive no frills Toyota Camry Altise. It was actually what they call full sized, most cars in Oz are small, most are Toyota, lots of them are diesel, you won't see pickups like in America either, biggest one i saw was a Ford Ranger, gas was between $1.08 to $1.21a litre, but you can get a great exchange rate on the US dollar then, its even better now, was .77 when i bought my Oz cash, this last week its been below .70, it means one Aussie dollar is bought for around .75 usd on average.

Left Hertz at around 5pm local, rush hour traffic, first time i ever drove opposite side of the road, drove about 18 miles south to Christies Beach where we had accomodations set up, for the first two weeks a 2 bedroom cottage with a pool, loved the pool, the temps started to get near 100f then, record breaking temps for half the trip, i cancelled going out bike riding because it was just way too hot. While staying there i just cannot say enough just how good the food was, from eggs to milk, the honey, the meat, most is organic, its cheap. They will not sell foods full of preservatives there, so it was interesting buying at the supermarket, i never found a decent can of chili. I ate kangaroo steak, very good! And 2 days later went to a conservation park and fed them...very polite roos, made me feel sad, but you can buy roo meat at the markets.

Went to a very large auto and bike museum in Birdwood, they had just a single 1975 Goldwing, their jaws dropped when i told them i owned 6....and my pics of my customized gl1500's. Went to the railroad, naritime and aviation museums in Adelaide, drove down to an awesome quaint seaside town called Victor Harbor, loved it there, rode the oldest live steam train in Australia, the Cockle Train. Rode a horse drawn tram to an island as well in Victor Harbour. Drove up to the top of Mt. Lofty east of Adelaide and visited Eurilla, a very large old historical mansion Mollie and i saw while she was alive, we had dreams and aspirations to live there, it had a large botanical garden all around it, house looks like a castle, but all the surrounding parts of the mountain was scorched brown, they had a total fire ban that day as well.

But i kept my word with Mollie, that i would visit Eurilla, i believe part of her spirit is still there right now.

Did a lot of beachwalking, the third property we rented was across the street from the beach, but the sun is so brutal there! Much stronger than Hawaii, got bad sunburn on my feet, had to soak them in ice water just to get my boots back on the day we left. So jan 10th left Adelaide, flew Qantas to Brisbane, spent two nights there in a motel, left on the 12th by Hawaiian Airlines to Honolulu, best plane, best service by far, it was the Airbus A330-200, seats were 2-4-2, free unlimited premium seat back entertainment, i watched 4 newer movies on the 9.5 hour trip, great food, free booze, greater service, it was like first class. Left Brisbane around 10:pm, arrived in Honolulu around 11am.

Spent an uneventful night and the next day at the same motel, left on the 13th by Alaska Airlines on a 10pm flight to Anchorage, terrible service, they just throw a single snack and extra straw at you, arrived in Anchorage around 5am the 14th. I really hate long trips on the 737, two hours i can handle, but not 5 or 6 hours, if i ever go back to Hawaii i won't fly direct from Anchorage to there on Alaska Airlines, too uncomfortable and terrible service, would rather go different plane to Seattle and take Hawaiian then to the island. And now i'm planning a trip to Orlando, and if its a 737 i'm not booking, so far best bets will be the Delta 757 Extra Comfort, between economy and business.

So i have been home here in Alaska a week now, do i miss Oz? Sorta, definitely the food, not the tv, most shows are from the 90's, most originate from Britain, half are cooking shows. You can hardly find dvds in the stores, sure they sell a couple dozen but most are older ones, very very few Bluray, Aussies would rather be jogging, surfing or cooking than watching tv it appears, nicest most polite people i have ever met, its not bad driving there but the roads are very narrow, all of them, roundabouts are common, very few stop signs. Most don't speed either, cameras everywhere. No junkers on the roads either, if its not certified safe they pull the plates.

So that about sums up the trip, i have some short vids posted on my thread at goldwingfacts in the Left Side of the Road mate! thread. They are being uploaded to my youtube account as well in time.
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Aussie81Interstate
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:34 am
Location: Penrith Australia
Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Re: Australia trip dec-jan 2016

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:23 am

Nice report,

Pity you didn't get to have a ride while in Sth Oz - did you manage to catch up with anyone while you were here ?

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silverado6x6
Posts: 185
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:29 am
Location: Wasilla, Alaska and Adelaide,South Australia
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Aspencade
And 17 other bikes, 5 more Goldwings, 3 Ventures, 2 Vmax

Re: Australia trip dec-jan 2016

Postby silverado6x6 » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:42 am

I talked to Dave, he lives in Taplan, he offered to loan me one of his bikes but the unusually hot weather combined with my back problems told me i just could not safely ride, before i even left Alaska i bought a pair of helmets on the Aus ebay site and had them shipped to him, never got the chance to drive out to meet him, the heat really changed my plans. So they were my gift to him for even offering the possible use of one of his Goldwings. I only saw one Goldwing trike the whole time i was there, mostly it was Ducatis and postie bikes. A few cruisers and the occasional Harley.
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DarthJ
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Location: El Paso, TX
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: Australia trip dec-jan 2016

Postby DarthJ » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:37 am

Even though your body kept you off a bike, still sounds like you had a good time.
If my gal ain't happy, I ain't happy. Thank God she loves bikes.

User avatar
silverado6x6
Posts: 185
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:29 am
Location: Wasilla, Alaska and Adelaide,South Australia
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Aspencade
And 17 other bikes, 5 more Goldwings, 3 Ventures, 2 Vmax

Re: Australia trip dec-jan 2016

Postby silverado6x6 » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:55 am

It was a trip of a lifetime, i say that cause you could not drag me screaming to Europe or any non english country. My regards to any of our friends there but it was hard enough trying to understand the woman in Oz, they really get the strine out.

Its a shame i'm 59, its a land for the young.
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Aussie81Interstate
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:34 am
Location: Penrith Australia
Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Re: Australia trip dec-jan 2016

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:29 pm

Well I'm older than you - and have no problems with the language (probably because I grew up here) lol

cheers




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