Rohde Trip – Hunter Valley, NSW to Beenleigh, QLD
Due to Burp and Giggles having a rather bad 2013, we did not manage a Rohde Trip at all and were very disappointed, however that’s life and it could have been much worse.
Day 1 – December 21, 2014
Time: 12hr (approx)
Departure: Hunter Valley, NSW
Destination: Beenleigh, QLD
This was not the Rohde Trip that Burp and Giggles had planned for the year, however any Rohde Trip was better than none at all.
Burp and Giggles wanted an early start so they were up at 0330, showered (Giggles then wasted time putting on make-up) , had coffee, fed Sheldon (our tropical fish). The pannier bags and luggage rack bag had been packed the night before and just needed to go on the Nomad. As per usual, Giggles sorted out what would be taken whilst Burp packed it in the bags. It was time to leave so the house was shut up and at 5am, Burp and Giggles were off on their 2014 Rohde Trip.
As you can tell by the photo below of Hexham, it was too dark to be able to take any photo’s between home and our first stop.
After riding for approximately 30 minutes, the first stop was McDonald’s at Heatherbrae. It’s common knowledge that Giggles will not ever pass up the opportunity for Macca’s breakfast and Burp had resigned himself to the fact that they would have to stop at Heatherbrae. Burp was not impressed with having to share his pancakes with Giggles but again, had resigned himself to do so. Neither were happy that instead of getting flat white coffees as had been ordered, Cappucino’s were served up. As you can imagine, Giggles took them both back and asked for the coffee they had ordered. Considering the time of morning it was, there were a lot of people at McDonald’s.
Back on the road at 0600 and it was not light enough for Giggles to start taking photo’s as they rode down the highway.
By 0709 the Nomad was thirsty (so was Giggles) so a stop at the Caltex at Nabiac to top up the tank was a necessity. Burp had planned the fuel stops so that the Nomad would not run too low on fuel at any time during the journey. This is because Giggles has a fear of the Nomad running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere. By this stage it was still extremely cold and Giggles was very well rugged up.
Giggles had packed a thermos of coffee to drink along the way at the fuel stops but typically, she had made the coffee way too strong. Still, it was a cheaper alternative than buying coffees at the service stations.
At 0735 Burp and Giggles said a “Goodbye” to Nabiac and back on the road.
It had been a fairly good ride from Nabiac to Macksville (our next stop) but had been a bit slow with unavoidable roadworks. The Vulcan Nomad was going like a dream, purring non stop and cruising the highway as if she owned it.
The next stop for a break and another top up for the Nomad was at the Caltex at Macksville. Burp and Giggles were surprised at the very long lines of vehicles waiting to fuel up. Giggles would recommend this particular rest stop to anyone travelling along the Pacific Highway. It is a truly great setting for weary travellers and their is a beautiful little lake and picnic tables, as well as being a home to a large number of Ibis’ which you can see in the below photo’s).
After Burp had fuelled up, he joined Giggles at the picnic table for what was obviously a much needed coffee because Burp, upon pretense at being exhausted, managed to spill the coffee all over himself.
After enjoying their break at Macksville, Burp and Giggles were on the bike and heading up the Pacific Highway again at 1013. As they were approaching the beautiful Coffs Harbour, Burp wanted to know why Giggles was constantly using his helmet as a tripod. Giggles, who attempts to take photo’s whilst sitting on the back of the Nomad, doing 110kph on what can be bumpy roads, thought the answer was fairly obvious!
The traffic throughout Coffs Harbour was really heavy but Burp and Giggles had expected that. Giggles does keep promising herself that when they next go anywhere via Coffs Harbour, they will stop and do at least 2 touristy things as opposed to driving or riding through without stopping at all. Coffs Harbour is a beautiful area.
A very light and unexpected shower occurred about 50klm South of Grafton, not enough to be more than maybe 6 sprinkles. Burp and Giggles had been incredibly blessed with the weather on this Rohde Trip.
Just outside the town of Grafton, Giggles realised that her camera was on manual focus instead of automatic. She was a tad annoyed to say the least and was just hoping that when they stopped at Grafton for lunch she could see if ANY of the photo’s she had taken so far on this trip were any good. People may not understand that taking photo’s from the back of a motorbike is not an easy feat at times and Giggles relies on the automatic focus function on the camera.
Lunch time had arrived so Burp and Giggles stopped at Hungry Jacks in Grafton. The food was fine, but they were constantly amazed by the incredibly long queues for the drive through. Giggles has never been able to figure out why, when people are travelling long distances with families, that they don’t take the time to stop and eat, have a break, as opposed to going through a drive through so that they can reach their destination quicker. Fatigue is one of the biggest killers on Australian roads. Why are people in such a hurry that they can’t stop for 1/2 hour to have a meal and rest????
Giggles called her Mum, as she had been doing (well mainly texting) along the way so that her parents wouldn’t panic thinking they’d been in an accident.
Everyone has their own personal preference for scenery however Giggles has to say that the stretch between Grafton and Broadwater is so incredibly boring. Nothing other than cane-fields which Giggles has a personal hatred of. This stems from being in a truck with Burp travelling from Brisbane to Cairns every week. Having said that, the Clarence River is absolutely beautiful.
Woodburn is a gorgeous little town! Burp and Giggles had previously stopped here a month or two earlier when they had to come to the Gold Coast (they took the car, not the bike), and had the most amazing hamburger in the country (more on that later).
The reason for having stopped this time was not for food but for fuel so the BP Woodburn it was. Burp decided to put Premium in the Nomad at this fuel stop because in all honesty, the girl runs much better on Premium than E10. She tends to idle very sporadically when fuelled with E10.
This stay was a little longer than planned because there was a young guy on a bike who had also pulled in whilst Burp and Giggles were having a break and he was obviously having mechanical issues. Burp, being the great guy that he is, went over to see if the young guy needed help while Giggles went to the shop to get a cold drink. Giggles was NOT impressed at having to pay $4.30 at Woodburn BP for a 600ml Coca Cola! Disgusting!!!! If she hadn’t been so thirsty she would have waited until they came into a major town with a supermarket!
Having left Woodburn at 1425 they had to be getting closer to their destination now surely? Remember of course that their is a 1 hour time difference between NSW and QLD due to daylight saving.
So close to their destination, Burp and Giggles stopped in the middle of a road, so to speak, for a break.
1544 (which in our NSW time is 1644), arrived at our destination………..
Click Here to continue on to Day 2 of our Vulcan Nomad Rohde Trip