Monday, December 28, 2015

28 December - Mt Baw Baw

Mt Baw Baw is part of Australia's Great Dividing Range and is the nearest ski resort to my home in Traralgon. As you would expect the access road is a winding black ribbon which climbs up the mountain through farmland in the lower stretches and then through forests of eucalypts and giant tree ferns. The mountain is part of a plateau about 1,500m above sea level and visible from just about anywhere in the Latrobe Valley. The forecast today was for a fine hot day and so a ride up to a ski resort seemed the ideal choice and it was. Riding a seemingly endless succession of horseshoe and hairpin bends on the BMW was a sheer pleasure. Temperatures started in the mid 20's at the bottom dropping to 13ºC by the time I reached the top.
There were plenty of cyclists on the road tackling the steep climbs of around 12% and even reaching 20% for short stretches. I'll stick with motorcycling. Adding to the sheer pleasure of this ride in summer are the abundant wild flowers growing on the roadside, and the endless flocks of crimson rosellas darting across the road at times passing within inches of my visor. The alpine village at Baw Baw was quite busy with day trippers and the local cafe was serving great coffee and doing steady business. Quite a few motorcycles around too.
On the return trip I stopped off at the little village of Tanjil Bren, which started life as a gold prospector's camp site more than a century ago. There isn't much to look at here but I did spot a wigwam which is not a common sight in Australia, or maybe it's a teepee - not sure. 
I was hoping to see a sign explaining its presence but no such luck. It was nice to get to the bottom of the mountain again and to return to summer temperatures.

Total Distance 245km 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

22 December - Paynesville

After a four day heatwave today promised to be a milder day and I decided to ride the cruiser to Paynesville on the Gippsland Lakes and home of our close friends John and Sandra. Despite a fairly strong wind, the ride was enjoyable and it was great to catch up over lunch. On the way back I called in to St Mary's church in Bairnsdale, not for any devotional purpose but to get some exposure bracketed photos to try out new HDR software called Aurora HD by Macphun. I chose this building because it promised high dynamic range of light but also because the church is famous for its frescoes, painted in 1931-4 by Italian artist Francesco Floreani who was out of work and commissioned by the parish priest. The church now receives up to 80,000 visitors per year which is a lot in a regional town some 300km from Melbourne.

The technique here is to combine three photos (over, under and correctly exposed) which are then merged and tone mapped to capture the full dynamic range. The compressed version here in blogger doesn't do it justice of course but the original can be viewed by clicking here.

The return ride from Bairnsdale was very pleasant with temperatures around 20ºC.  My route often takes me past an old abandoned farm house and last year I photographed it.
I've noticed lately that it is starting to fall apart rather rapidly and I have been hoping to catch up with the owner to gain permission to take some night photos. The idea is to photograph it at dusk with lighting inside the actual building. As luck would have it I caught up with the elderly farmer Steve, showed him this photo and asked his permission to take the night shots. He was delighted with my interest and very impressed that I actually spoke to him first. Anyway he told me to do whatever I wanted - so that's a project immediately after Christmas. I found out the house was abandoned in 1957! I will catch up with Steve again to give him prints of my work and to chat some more about the history of this area. 

Total Distance 280 km

Thursday, December 17, 2015

16 December - Photography

During my motorcycle outings I try to incorporate my interest in photography in these activities and mostly try to include images to illustrate the description of my rides. Photography is an all absorbing hobby of mine and through the blog, over the years I have corresponded with visitors interested more in the images than the actual motorcycling. I always enjoy this kind of feedback and that has led me to develop a photographic presence on Flickr where I post my dabbling with the camera which are mostly non motorcycle related.

For anyone reading this who would like to see some of my photographic output I have included a link called My Flickr Images on the sidebar of this page, and I regularly update this collections with new material.

Here is an additional link to My Flickr Images.

Monday, December 7, 2015

4 December - Wilsons Prom

Rode to Wilsons Prom today. A fine still day and not too hot so I was able to wear my mesh jacket without the liner. Discovered an new cafe in Fish Creek called Nine Acres and had an early lunch there. Fantastic place, excellent coffee and great food. Then, on to the prom to take a few photos and the first was at Whiskey Bay.
A bit of a walk from the car park (especially in motorbike gear) but well worth it. Quite a few people enjoying themselves sun baking and frolicking the blue waters.
Felt like an ice-cream by then so on to Tidal River before starting the trip home. On the way back I wanted to take some photos on Squeaky Beach but the tide was out and the shots I wanted will have to wait for another day. Quite a serious beach cricket match going on though and sat and watched that for a while.
Returned home around 4:30 after a very enjoyable ride of 320 km on the Beemer.

It's that time of the year again and I thought I would include a picture of our Christmas tree as I wish everyone a great Christmas and a Happy 2016.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

17 November - No ride - just a picture

During the recent Snowy Ride photographers captured photos of various riders during the weekend. Went to the web site and found a picture of me, so here it is.

Monday, November 16, 2015

16 November - Warburton and Upper Yarra Reservoir

On a beautiful spring day Luke and I rode to Warburton via Powelltown and Yarra Junction. Lunch was at the bakery - where else? As we'd got there quite early we then carried on past Warburton for a visit to the Upper Yarra Reservoir. After refuelling the Vulcan in Warburton we then returned home through the bush (Powelltown, Noojee, Hill End, Willow Grove and Moe). Luke's riding well and the Vulcan has now clocked up around 1000 km and due for its first service. Got home just after 5 after a very relaxing ride.

Distance 330km

Friday, November 13, 2015

13 November - Update on my last blog

In my last blog and during my rant regarding the idiotic behaviour of a small minority of riders, I referred to the fact that three fatalities occurred last year, i.e. 2014. I made this statement on the basis of a conversation I had with two police officers in Jindabyne.

Today I received an email which appears to have more accurate information and I reproduce it here as it was sent. My thanks to Glen for the information.

Hi Theo,

Regarding your article about the Snowy Ride. 

While there have been a minority of idiots that do exactly what you describe, and even though there have been accidents, they have not been the cause of any recorded fatalities. 

The three deaths you mention were:

In 2013, not 2014

One was on the Friday, a lady riding tail in a group on their way to the Snowy Ride. unfortunately she left the road on a very tight corner and was not found until the next morning. 

The second was on the Saturday itself, and was a single vehicle accident as the rider swerved to avoid foxes with no indication of speeding at fault. The older rider died on the way to hospital from a heart attack. 

The third was much further away down near Bega and was not associated with the Snowy Ride other than to coincidentally happen on the same day.  

Hopefully you can update your piece to accurately reflect this. 



Monday, November 9, 2015

9 November - Home from the Snowy Ride

After a couple of miserable days (weather wise) yesterday was brilliant. All the gear had pretty well dried out, the sun was out, hardly any wind and the ride home promised to be an enjoyable one. After a quick breakfast in Jindabyne I rode out towards Dalgety and Bombala. Of course, hundreds of other riders had the same plan so for the first hour or so there were bikes everywhere. This is the first time I've shared the road, over a number of days with hundreds of other riders. Based on this sample I'm of the opinion that while 90% of motorcyclists are rational and considerate riders, on this occasion at least about 10% seem to be idiots with no consideration for anyone else on the road. On many occasions I was passed by riders at 130-140 km/hr over double lines, over crests and around blind corners. Then, when confronted by the inevitable oncoming vehicle they expect to push back into the left lane endangering those of us who are riding lawfully. I'm not an experienced rider, but I have clocked up over 100,000 km in the past five years and I can honestly say I have never been frightened by a car or truck, but I've had many potentially dangerous situations caused by other motorcyclists. It is no wonder that during the 2014 Snowy Ride, there were numerous accidents including three fatalities. So much for my little rant - feel better now. After an hour or so I had the road pretty well to myself and it was a sheer pleasure to ride to Bombala (with a fuel stop) and then on to Cann River and lunch. Then, back on the bike again and heading west on Highway 1 towards Orbost. Had a quick detour to have a look at Marlo and then it was on to Paynesville where I was staying with friends.

The following map gives an overview of the whole trip. (Double click to make it legible)
and this map shows the actual Snowy ride component.
This morning, after a very pleasant visit with friends I left Paynesville to return home just after noon.
Despite some inclement weather, looking back on it the whole ride was a blast. I rode with a group and we really enjoyed our coffee stops, lunches and dinners and plenty of bottles of red wine. Thanks guys.

The total distance was 1400 km

Saturday, November 7, 2015

7 November - Day 3 of Snowy Ride

Over the past couple of days, thousands of motorcycles have been arriving in preparation for the actual 'Ride' day which is today. The ride all occurs within the Snowy Mountains national park area, and the idea is that riders can choose their own route(s) individually and in groups. To have officially participated, and to enter the draw for various prizes, participating riders must collect a minimum of three stamps in the ride 'passport' from one of a number of official checkpoints.
One of the checkpoints is here in Jindabyne, and so our group was able to get their first stamp straight away after breakfast. By 10 o'clock we were off on our way to Dalgety, on the Snowy River, to collect stamp number 2. Once again we were in the company of hundreds of riders who were all there  for a coffee and a chat and to get their stamp too.
From there we rode to Berridale, sharing the road with hundreds of other riders. Our next checkpoint and planned lunch stop was Cooma. This little township really turned on quite a show for the ride event. The centre of the town was totally closed to traffic, and the now pedestrian precinct became an entertainment centre for dozens of buskers.

It was a fantastic atmosphere, and the town park had been set up as an art and craft market. Families everywhere were now enjoying the increasingly sunny weather.

Food stalls and cafes were all doing a roaring trade and face painting was also very popular.
We spent a couple of hours in Cooma where we got our third and final stamp and handed our passports in - job done. During these events strange sights should be expected. My strange sight of the day was a man walking two ferrets on leashes. Caused quite a sensation and particularly when bystanders were invited to stroke the little rodents.
I resisted the temptation no matter how cute it looked.
Just after 1 pm it was time to make the return trip back to Jindabyne. A brilliant day, and finally the weather has started to improve. Hoping for a fine day for the ride home tomorrow.

Distance 200km

Friday, November 6, 2015

6 November, Jindabyne, Day 2 of the Snowy Ride

After a breakfast of toasted sandwiches at the local bakery in Tallangatta this morning we set off into the Snowy Mountains at around 8:30. It was spitting a bit but I felt comfortable after drying all my gear overnight. The view of the mountains looked ominous though - all dark clouds and mist and sure enough as we started to climb it got wetter and darker and foggier. Another challenging ride made more so by the fact that scores of other bikers were arriving from other parts of the state to participate in the ride. It was a welcome relief to reach Khancoban for a toilet and coffee stop but soon it was time to mount up again and to climb the Alpine way to Thredbo Ski Resort. The closer we got the the more motorcycles we saw. Certainly one of the biggest concentration of bikes I've seen. Fuelled up in Thredbo ($1.85/l) and after 30 minutes or so we continued on to Jindabyne, our home for the next couple of nights. I'm staying in a little cabin in the local lakeside caravan park.
This is my little cabin in the sky and it was nice to have a shower and spread all my gear which is again soaking wet, out to dry. The view from the front of my cabin is pretty spectacular.
I'll wander into town soon for a look around and to catch up with the rest of my group which is staying at a local motel.

Total Distance 210 km

Thursday, November 5, 2015

5 November - Snowy Mountains Ride - Tallangatta

Took off this morning at 08:00 to join a small group travelling to the Snowy Mountains to join the annual Snowy Mountains ride which is a fund raiser for Childhood Cancer Research. Skies were overcast and a gentle drizzle created a somber atmosphere as we left Traralgon. The first stop was in Bairnsdale for fuel and then on to Bruthen for morning coffee. By now the skies had brightened and we were tempted to discard our rain gear but glad we didn't. The run to Omeo along the Tambo River was fine but in Omeo it was raining steadily. Added some more fuel to the tank and after lunch at the bakery it was off to Angler's Rest and then on to Mitta Mitta. This section which crosses a mountain range proved to be one of the most challenging rides I've had. Not only did the rain become heavy but as we gained altitude it became quite foggy. Add to this 80 km of very winding mountain roads and very soon riding became quite serious business with total concentration required. The winding foggy road was relentless and it was with a collective sigh of relief that we pulled up for drink at the pub in Mitta Mitta. By now it was bucketing down, but at least the fog was gone and we were out of the mountains. We finally reached our destination in Tallangatta where we were booked in to the Victoria hotel. My room has two beds one of which has an electric blanket. Turned the blanket to high and placed all my damp riding gear on top of it.
Hopefully it will be dry by the morning. Tomorrow we join the actual ride which takes us through Khancoban and Mt Thredbo, before finishing up in Jindabyne for two nights.

Total Distance 400 km.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

1 November - New biker in the family

My younger brother Luke has been thinking about buying a bike for a while now and last Friday he took the plunge. After getting his learners permit earlier in the week he picked up his brand new Kawasaki Vulcan S 650cc Cruiser.
It's a beautiful bike and while it is approved for beginner riders, it seems to have enough power and features to become a 'keeper'. After picking up the bike on Friday we took off on a little 90km ride to make sure everything was OK, but today we had the chance to take if for a real ride. We headed off  from Moe at around 10:30.
Took the road to Mirboo Nth through Trafalgar and Thorpdale. First stop was fuel in Mirboo Nth and then a quick coffee at the Inline 4 Biker Cafe just up the road. Plenty of bikes and riders around and the Inline 4 is alway good for a chat with other riders. Now fully replenished we continued on to the beach resort town of Inverloch and had lunch at the bakery (Tom the Pieman). The weather forecast promised late showers and thunderstorms and in Inverloch they didn't look to far away, and with the temperature quickly dropping we mounted up for the ride to Meeniyan and then home through Mirboo Nth, Thorpdale and Trafalgar. As I'm typing this I heard a big thunderclap so the weather is closing in. Got home just in time after a great ride.

Total Distance 250km

Saturday, October 31, 2015

30 October - Update on the Morgan

Did a bit of on line research today on the Morgan I spotted the other day while out on the motorbike. Turns out it's a brand new car and not only that, it is a 3 wheeler. You can buy these brand new here in Australia for around A$100,000.

Check out the web site here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

29 October - Spring is here

Spring is here and there are more riding opportunities each week. Over the past few weeks I've ridden both bikes all over my local stomping grounds including Walhalla and down the coast. Flowers and blossoms are out everywhere and the bees are busy making honey and unwittingly pollinating all over the place.

Today, I rode the F650GS down to the little village of Loch near Korumburra which has one of my favourite cafes. After a very enjoyable lunch - a BLT and an excellent coffee,
it was time to move on. Just as I was leaving a couple of guys rode into town in one of the most unusual cars I've ever seen. It obviously started life as a Morgan two seater many decades ago but it has experienced a few serious upgrades since then.
Fortunately I had a camera with me and was able to take a few snaps. I posted the my best picture on Flickr - it's worth a look by clicking here. It looks like it would be almost as much fun as a motorcycle. The trip home was through Yarram (for supplies from the Bakery) and then home via Mt Tassie up the Tarra Valley road, where I stopped for a few more photos.
Arrived home around 4:30 after a wonderful day out.

Total Distance 320km.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

8 October - Melbourne and Glenmaggie

The Beemer went to Melbourne yesterday for a chain and sprocket replacement. Everyone I've spoken to is amazed that I reached 36,000 km before needing replacements, I guess that's the benefit of fairly sedate riding and regular lubrication. I checked the local BMW dealer and was quoted nearly $800 which seemed a bit steep when you look up the prices of the chain and sprockets online, and after a bit of investigation I found BM Motorcycles in Ringwood which is an independent BMW repair business which gets generally good reviews. Their quote was $440 and estimated it would take 1.5 hours. I also checked with Southbank BMW (where I bought the bike) and didn't even get a reply to my request for a quote but I'm guessing it would have been at the high end as well. So, I rode down to Melbourne Tuesday night so that I could be there bright and early at 08:30. I was immediately impressed with BM Motorcycles and felt confident that my bike was in expert hands while I had breakfast at a place next door. Whenever I drop a car or a bike off for a service I always dread that phone call to advise you that there are additional issues which require to be fixed. Sure enough, just as I was finishing my breakfast the phone rang. It seems that my rear wheel bearings were also on the way out, and it seemed expedient to get them done while the wheel was out of the bike. Even with that job the total bill was still nearly $300 cheaper than the BMW quote for the chain and sprockets alone. So, by 10am I was on the road again and as it was a reasonable day I had plenty of time to return via Lilydale, Launching Place etc. - a nice ride. On the basis of my experience I'm very happy to recommend BM Motorcycles of Heatherdale Rd, Ringwood.

Today was another great day and while I hadn't planned to ride, on impulse I decided to take the Shadow out for a quick spin this afternoon. Rode to the nearby Glenmaggie dam which has been the major source of irrigation water in this part of the country since the 1930's. Creation of the dam required the flooding of a town and back in the 80's during a severe drought, the water level got so low that houses and fences started to emerge from the diminishing water level. Also recovered was the remains of an aircraft and pilot which crashed into the lake in the early 1940's. Bits of the plane are on display nearby. The training aircraft was a Wirraway similar to this one.
From a riding point of view the next few months will be interesting. Emergency Service here are bracing themselves for a hot dry summer and this means we may actually have days where it is too hot to ride. Time will tell.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

2 October - San Remo

The past few weeks have been a mixed bag. Managed a few rides in less than ideal weather, more out of desperation than a real desire, but today changed all that. The weather bureau promised a 25ºC day and delivered. Started off with the aim of taking the BMW to Cowes on Phillip island but today was a public holiday (celebrating the football Grand Final Match tomorrow) and the endless throng of long weekend holiday makers got the better of me. By the time I reached the San Remo bridge to the island, traffic was down to walking speed so I decided to stop for lunch. By now it really was a beautiful day and it was great sitting in the park and watching the bridge traffic moving very slowly. Lots of bikes around including large groups of HD riders who seem to enjoy nothing more than riding through a town slowly making a great deal of noise. After an hour or so of relaxing and a few photos it was time for a leisurely ride home through Leongatha and Mirboo Nth, with a brief coffee stop at the In Line 4 cafe in Mirboo Nth. A very enjoyable ride of 340 km.

It was interesting to note that here in Victoria we have just witnessed a 'test' court case of a motorcyclist who challenged a traffic fine handed to him for the heinous crime of having a camera mounted on his helmet. As someone who is frequently guilty of this outrage I followed the case hoping to see it thrown out on the grounds of 'silliness' but to many people's surprise the case was lost. Australian road laws work on a state basis and we now have the ridiculous situation where in Victoria the court has affirmed that mounting a small cam on a helmet renders it unsafe, while in some other in states the police use helmet cams to document their own activities. This provides food for thought in my case. I've found that the helmet mount is the only way to keep vibration to a minimum, so now I'll have to decide whether to stop using it or take a risk of a significant fine.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

19 September - Tulips from .... Silvan

Spring is well underway and all of a sudden our trees have sprung blossoms and started growing the next lot of leaves which we'll spend all of next winter cleaning up. In the nearby Dandenongs, a range of hills to the East of Melbourne, it's tulip time. For the past 62 years, the Tesselaar family, who like my parents were part of the Dutch post war migration boom, have hosted a tulip festival on their farm located in Silvan, in the Dandenongs.
Over the years, what was originally a farm visit has now turned into a full blown cultural festival occurring over a few weeks featuring as well as lots of tulips of course, Dutch delicacies, live music, folk dancing etc. A great family day out, and today it co-incided with one of the few sunny, mild days on the horizon, so I took the Shadow for a lovely meander through the hills to see the tulips.
Quite a few thousand other people had the same idea and one of the advantages of going by bike became immediately clear - no issue with parking!
The atmosphere was fantastic. A locally manufactured street organ was belting out the well know fairground tunes and the smell of poffertjes, german sausages and espresso coffee was everywhere - what's not to like. After attending this event sporadically over a few decades, I was fascinated to see that the festival appeals to such a diverse group of people, young, old and originating from every part of the world. Everywhere, people were squatting between the dazzling tulips to have their photos taken and the number of 'selfie' sticks rivalled the number of tulips.
The range of colours on display is really astounding and the overall effect is quite stunning.

In every direction there were parents trying to get their little ones to pose with the pretty flowers, some with more success than others.
The return trip was via Yarra Junction, Powelltown and Neerim South and the weather held out all the way. A great day out.

The Beemer had it's 36,000 km service on Wednesday. It's supposed to be serviced every 10,000 km but in this case the instrument panel insisted that too much time had elapsed since the last service and in the end I relented. I'm in two minds about this time based aspect of servicing, and I probably would have let it go until I reached 40,000 km but I've found that in the past 12 months I've had to adjust the chain 3 or 4 times, indicating it is stretching, and I really wanted a professional advice on whether to replace it or not. Some owners on the Web report changing chain and sprockets after only 20,000 km and some of the published photos lead me to think that those bikes have a much harder life than mine. Looking at my sprockets I can't see much in the way of wear, but the verdict from the BMW service tech was that I should replace the whole chain set, so I'm getting a few quotes on that.

Total Distance today - 320km

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

1 September - Back in the Saddle

The first day of spring and the first decent weather for a long time so finally an opportunity to ride a motorcycle. After the two month break the Honda proved the hardest to start so it needed a good battery charge. After towing a caravan around for 7 weeks and nearly 10,000km the sense of freedom on the bike was incredible and it didn't take very long to get back in the groove. And so I took the familiar road to Meeniyan through Mirboo North to have lunch at the Chess cafe operated by my Norwegian friend Gunnar. Hadn't seen him for a long time so we had a good chat about the state of the world, and my travels over a fantastic roast beef sandwich and the usual great coffee. The ride home was fantastic too, with the sun beating down on my back and hardly any traffic. It's great to be back on the bike and I'm looking forward to the next spring day to take the Beemer for a spin.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

27 August - Home Sweet Home

Amazingly we are home. This wasn't the plan but just the way things worked out. We left Toukley Service Centre, north of Sydney at 02:00 after catching a few hours of sleep. This enabled us to navigate around Sydney and on to the M7 with very little traffic. Unfortunately we encountered a fair bit of fog but by 04:00 we reached the next large service centre about 40 km along the Hume Highway. Once again we parked the rig amongst all the large trucks and some other caravans and caught another couple of hours sleep. By 7:00 we were on the road again expecting to reach Bombala or maybe Cann River. We were expecting heavy rain but did not really encounter much more than fine drizzle. Our friends John and Sandra who were travelling from their home in Paynesville to Sydney got in touch and we were able to have a coffee together in Cooma which was great. By the time we reached the coast at Cann River the weather was quite good and we carried on to Lakes Entrance. At Lakes were within 150 km of home and although it meant arriving in the dark the temptation to continue on home was too good to resist. All went well until we reached Stratford. At that point it became dark and the heavens opened to some of the heaviest rain I've experienced. This made the final 60km ride home a 'white knuckle' experience as there are long stretches of roadwork in progress.
So, after a very long day which really started in Nambucca Heads in NSW we made it home. It is cold and wet here and something we haven't experienced for quite a while. Still it is nice to be home. There will be a motorcycle ride the minute this damn rain stops.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

25 August - Nambucca Heads NSW

A glorious day here in Nambucca Heads, NSW, probably our last and against all expectation given the rain and thunderstorms yesterday. This beautiful little town is located on the mouth of the Nambucca river about 60km south of Coffs Harbour. Our caravan park is situated in what must be one of the most beautiful spots on earth. In the above photo the park is in the foreground.
We're using the warm weather to dry out all the damp gear from yesterday which gave us plenty of time to drive into town and up to the local lookout for some great views of the surroundings.
Managed to capture some stunning panoramas which I will process properly when we get home. The limited space and resolution available in Blogger would not do them justice.
As we resume our trek south tomorrow we expect the weather to get much colder and wetter so our stay here in Nambucca is our last real holiday destination. Our progress home will be dictated somewhat by the weather.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

23 August - Yamba - New South Wales

After a little bit of rain overnight, we woke to a beautiful sunny day here in Yamba. For our last Sunday on this trip we enjoyed a 'bacon and eggs' breakfast before setting of to explore this wonderful little seaside town.
After a good look around we decided that this must be one of the best holiday destinations in Australia. Being located on the mouth of the Clarence river, the estuarine environment is absolutely superb and the town has experienced just enough development to make it attractive to a wide range of holiday makers including families and fishermen.
As well as quiet protected beaches there was also plenty of action for surfers, and the more adventurous holiday makers. Add to this beautiful parks and some interesting historical buildings and you have a place we could easily spend a week or two.

Our caravan park is located on the waterfront and the area is a favoured haunt of the local pelicans who no doubt get plenty of food from the local fisherman cleaning their catch. By mid afternoon these wonderful birds are busy enjoying the sea breezes and spend hours riding the winds just above our heads. Later in the afternoon when the fishing boats are expected to return they all flock to the fish cleaning stations for their supper. They seem to be very tame and approachable and I had no trouble taking lots of closeup photos of them.
I really enjoyed just sitting there and watching them wait patiently for the evening catch.

According to the weather bureau, today brings a long run of fine weather to an end. It seems we should expect rain all the way down the east coast for the next few days. Accordingly, I think our adventure is drawing to a close. Tomorrow after we get our windscreen fixed in Coffs Harbour, we will continue to make our way south and re-assess our plans on a daily basis. If cold and wet weather persists we'll put in some longer drives and go home.