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Arbo

Bendigo to Cameron Corner - 5 days - 4 states - 3,000km

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I know this wasn't posted in the organise a ride section, but I thought some riders on here might like to have a read anyway. Maybe it could turn into something down the track. I'll start off by posting up day 1's adventure, and hopefully the rest in the next few days.

Day 1. 630km. Bendigo to Tolarno Station.

RedRider1 (I’ll call him Rod from now on) & myself left Bendigo about 7:30am, and it was cold, very cold. We could still see ice on the cars as we were leaving. For the first 1 1/2hrs we would stop about every 20mins and wrap our hands around the crankcase just to warm our fingers up. By the time we got to Swan Hill the weather was getting better. This was to be our first refuel, and Rod managed to get us this far without too much bitumen.

Our next stint was from Swan Hill to Balranald. 100km of bitumen. The new Seat-Concepts Comfort Seat that I had just installed had already paid for itself. It was Coffee/Lunch/Fuel at Balranald.

With sunny blue skies, we set off from Balranald through Mungo National Park to Pooncarie. Most of our riding through Mungo was side-by-side. The tracks alternate between, gravel, hardpack, sand etc. It was an early dinner at Pooncarie, and another refuel before we made our way to Tolarno Station on the Darling River. This was to be our overnight stop. Unfortunately, no water in the Darling here, except for a puddle. This meant no shower tonight. I think we rolled in about 4:30pm.

 

Leaving Bendigo. I know it doesn't look very cold, but it was.

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Stopping to warm up our hands for the last time.

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Here we are about half way through the Mungo National Park.

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First nights stop at Tolarno Station.

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Not enough water in the Darling River for a shower unfortunately.

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Day 2. 615km. Tolarno Station, Menindee, Wilcannia, White Cliffs, Packsaddle & Milparinka.

We couldn’t get fuel before about 7:30am at Menindee, so we didn’t have to leave Tolarno Station too early. I think it was about 7:00am when we left.

The bloke at the Servo reckoned the road to Wilcannia on the West of the Darling was quite rough, so he advised us to take the road to the East of the Darling. This road was about 150km of dirt, with a bit of wildlife to dodge early on.

Fuelled up at Wilcannia, then it was about 70km of bitumen to White Cliffs for more fuel and a late breakfast. Once we left White Cliffs, it was about a 150km stint along a corrugated Henry Roberts Road, and then onto Wonnaminta Road and a short stretch of bitumen into Packsaddle Roadhouse. This was our lunch stop & fuel stop.

After 30kms more of bitumen, we turned off onto Mt. Arrowsmith Road & Mt. Shannon Road into Milparinka. The dirt/sand from Packsaddle to Milparinka was where the good tracks really started. These 2 roads went for about 125km, and were gated every 5-8km, so one would stop, open the gate, let the other through and kept leapfrogging like that until the end.

The Albert Hotel at Milparinka was a welcome sight. Proper bed, cold drinks, hot meals, and even better, a hot shower. Old-School shower though. Hot was on the right. Caught me out for a minute.

 

7:30 at Menindee Servo

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Menindee - Wilcannia Road. Some early morning wildlife along here to keep us awake.

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Wonnaminta Road. Nice flowing undulating dirt road. Plenty of higher speed feet on the pegs drifting could be had on this road.

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The other end of Wonnaminta Road, just before we got to Packsaddle.

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I really liked this road. A lot.

One of the numerous gates that we had to open/close along here and into Milparinka.

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Albert Hotel Milparinka. A welcome sight.

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Day 3. 520km. Milparinka, Tibooburra, Cameron Corner, Tibooburra, Mt. Sturt, Milparinka.

I think we got away about 7:00am and headed up the 40km of bitumen to the Corner Country Store in Tibooburra for fuel and an early morning coffee. The woman in there asked us where we were going, and which way. She said, I would go the other way, as the views through Jump-Up country are better that way and the corrugations are easier coming out of Cameron Corner at the moment. Wherever we have stopped, the locals have been very helpful with information and any questions that we have had.

So we headed up the Silver City Highway (not bitumen, despite the name) and turned onto Jump Up Loop Road. This road was fun, with great views. Then it was onto Middle Road, Toona Gate Road, then Cameron Corner road and into Cameron Corner. We had a coffee, grabbed some fuel ($2 litre) and headed North continuing along Cameron Corner road to Orientos Road, Warry Gate Road to the QLD/NSW border. Once you get through the gate, this turns into the Silver City Highway (still not bitumen) and Sturt National Park. We got back to the Corner Country Store for lunch and fuel.

After lunch we headed out to Mt Sturt, and back to the Albert Hotel at Milparinka via Hawker Gate road. All the tracks today were great. There was one washout which caught me out a bit near the end. When Rod stopped to tell me his experience at the same place, I got off a lot lighter than him. I think we got back at 3:30. Time for a hot shower, and yes, I remembered that hot was on the right this time, and some cold drinks. This was also to be our last hot evening meal, and real bed before heading back to sunny Victoria.

 

Another road I liked a lot.

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Cameron Corner Store. It was a great ride from Tibooburra to here. Great mix of tracks.

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This was taken a few minutes after Rod & I had both got caught out by the same washout.

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Reads up like a great trip, what sort of fuel range did you end up needing, and did you gear up the bikes for a higher cruise speed?

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9 minutes ago, Raff said:

Reads up like a great trip, what sort of fuel range did you end up needing, and did you gear up the bikes for a higher cruise speed?

I think our longest between refuels was about 240km. My bike (CRF450X) was geared up to 14/45.

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1 minute ago, Geoffro said:

Awesome ride report from what would appear an epic trip!!!!

Thanks for sharing mate!

:applauso-01:

I'll try to get the rest of it up tonight. It was fun.

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Day 4. 640km. Milparinka, Packsaddle, White Cliffs, Wilcannia, Menindee, Tolarno Station.

Similar to Day 2 but in reverse, and with 90km less bitumen.
Today was a big day in more ways than one. We left Milparinka at 6:30 in the morning, and we rolled into Tolarno Station just after 6:30pm that night. From Milparinka, the tracks were the same as what we did on day 2 but in reverse. A fuel and coffee stop at Packsaddle. Then onto White Cliffs for lunch and fuel. This time from White Cliffs, we thought we would give the bitumen a miss and travel down the Wilcannia – Wanaaring Road.

We were about ½ way between both towns, about 60km from each when Rod’s bike lost drive. Rod could see the Countershaft turning, but the sprocket wasn’t. We initially thought that the spline in the sprocket was gone. But not so lucky. It was the Countershaft spline. There was about 8mm of spline left on the end of the shaft, so we bent up and placed the lock washer behind it to space the sprocket out, and put the nut back on. Only problem now is keeping the nut on there. Rod was keeping an eye on it while he was riding, and we ended up tightening it about every 30km.

Once we got into Wilcannia, we fuelled up and managed to source a large thick washer to replace where we had placed the lock washer, but the bore was a bit small. It was decided that we would have enough time to make it back to Menindee to the servo and see if we could enlarge the bore somehow. We were going along the Wilcannia-Menindee road, stopping every 30km to check the nut on Rod’s bike, when it was my turn. I look down, and here is the chain hanging out the back. First time I have ever snapped a chain. We were already on a tight schedule to get to Menindee in time before the servo closed, so we didn’t need this. It was quickly out with the chain breaker, some spare links and a joiner, and in about 15 mins we were going again.

We got to Menindee at 4:45pm and fuelled up again, and after 45 minutes of Rod filing with a very 2nd hand round file, the thick washer was on behind the sprocket. This didn’t really leave any spline for the lock washer, but the front sprocket had some lightening holes that we punched some of the lock washer into, and then this allowed us to fold the rest over the nut like it should be. This fix lasted the rest of the trip home.

It was a quick tea at the Redsands Takeaway at Menindee before we left for Tolarno Station. The last 15 mins using headlights, and dodging plenty of Roo’s along the way.

Didn't get any pics today.

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Day 5. Just over 600km. Tolarno Station, Pooncarie, Mungo National Park, Robinvale, Swan Hill, Tresco, Kerang & Bendigo.

We left Tolarno Station about 7:00am and got to Pooncarie about 8:00am for an Egg & Bacon Roll and a Coffee. We got fuel here as well before heading back into Mungo National Park. For some reason, there were Roo’s coming at us from all directions this morning.

This time from Mungo, we were heading home via Robinvale. By the time we got to Robinvale for fuel, the day had cooled considerably. A lot of bitumen work until Tresco, where we managed to go back a similar way to day 1 with a few dirt roads. All was going great, and then we had to ride in the rain for the last 30 mins into Bendigo.

 

All in all, it was a great 5 days.

All credit to Rod for organising this, because all I had to do was just be there.

For the whole trip, we used about 190 litres of fuel each.

I checked the air cleaner daily, and never had to replace it.

Same with the oil, I checked it daily, and it didn’t need topping up. Sure surprised me.

 

Interesting foliage on this tree in the Mungo National Park.

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Great stuff Arbo. We just got back from our Simpson trip and I'm sold on multi day long distance trips.

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On 9/9/2019 at 10:06 PM, BearMX said:

Great stuff Arbo. We just got back from our Simpson trip and I'm sold on multi day long distance trips.

There IS something very addictive about multi-day long-distance trips.

But it must be a combination of things, as for me, there isn't really just one thing that stands out.

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It was very interesting to find out today that counter shafts strip on bikes doing long hard pack rides because of not having a Cush drive hub , I didn’t know that.

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