Motorcycle Gourmet

Some of the best meals I've ever had have been while traveling Australia on my numerous Motorcycle tours, be they escorting others or exploring new destinations on my own.

Some simple, some extravagant but most importantly, all the meals I review here contain quality fresh food prepared with care and skill.

Join me as I eat, ride, and review my way around Australia!

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Monday, August 31, 2009
Halls Creek.
The main street of what is now known as Halls Creek is also the Great Northern Highway. It stretches for about 1 KM end to end.
Actually this is new Halls Creek. The site of the Old Halls Creek is about 15 KM out of town on a red dirt road. Charley Hall found a large gold nugget hence the name and very short lived fame of Old Halls Creek.
This discovery prefaced a surge in population to about 15,000 people which ultimately lasted only a few months before the hot and rugged conditions in and around Halls Creek deterred all but the most determined miners in pursuit of similar finds.
With the present population of about 1400 the town and regions economy is a mix of pastoral and some tourism.
Halls Creek is the place to get flights into the Bungle Bungles but not hosted 4WD trips as I learned the hard way. Unless you are looking to rent a self drive 4WD (for which there is a waiting list of pre bookings) you need to catch these 4WD excursions at Warmun otherwise known as Turkey Creek about 200 KM back towards Kununurra!
As for Halls Creek flights... watch for passenger minimums on flights or of course you can book the whole plane for yourself....$ouch!
Either way if you are planning on renting, being driven, or flying book ahead as far as you can. As for names and numbers of the companies providing these services, well you'll just have to buy my book to find out! Go to to be included on the release date eMail list.
I stayed in the Best Western in town which is on the plus side of a 3 Star motel with a somewhat out of character glass, chrome, huge projector screen TV, and disco balled restaurant named after Russian Jack a local explorer/miner who played a significant part in the towns history. Seemed Jack being of tough Russian stock, carried his sick mate 300 KM's in a wheel Barrow to get him medical attention! As for me I'd have to think twice about giving a mate cab fare to get to a hospital, but then again there are no restaurants named after me or statues of me in a town centre!
Another regional attraction that Halls Creek plays 4WD gateway to is the Wolfe Creek Meteor Crater. First discovered in 1947 by cartographers doing a fly over it is said to be some 2 million years old and up to 950 metres in diameter making it the second largest crater world... bet you didn't know that!
The remarkable China Wall is also about 6 KM out of town. It is a 6 metre high wall of quartz protruding from the earth. You will of course have to taker a dip in the Caroline Pool nearby as long as you're there.
For more info on this and other interesting places go to and we'll let you know when the release date is nigh!
Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm in Derby and heading to Broome.

It feels like forever since I've had an espresso coffee or Internet access and I'm not sure which is giving me worse withdrawals... the lack of caffeine or the lack if bits and bytes!!

The last dose of both was in Katherine NT. about 2000 KM from here.

Derby is a sleepy little town with a population about the same size as the total passengers allowable in some high rise elevators! The streets are lined with Boabs and there is a micro CBD. Art galleries, motels, beach front bays, an airport for transit to points north such as the horizontal waterfalls and other very cool places you have to fly to, boat to, or trek 500 or so KM's to!

I'm only about 220 clicks to Broome where I'm planning to stay for a few days to gather my thoughts and notes for the next long leg of the trip... down the west coast to Perth!

Adios for now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Took a pic at the first fuel stop out of Darwin on day 1 in Adelaide River.

Doing the math you will see I started the trip at 69770 on the clock

The road is pretty straight and very hot. Seems there are only 2 seasons out here... the wet season and the dry season and both are hot as!

Not far out of Darwin you pass over a number of WWII Airstrips. Attack aircraft was hidden along the roadside and using the highway as their runway they helped defend the city of Darwin as it withstood 64 bombings by the Japanese.

There are many memorials along the way commemorating those who fought including a cemetery in Adelaide River.

Now I've not been on the road that long and while it's hot I've been in hotter BUT somewhere south of Adelaide River a dog ran across the road. I of course hit the breaks and before the bike really got too unsettled it had been and good. One might think ah yes well we've probably all seen dogs run across the road at sometime in our life, however.... this dog sure looked like a dingo to me! Yes I'm talkin a 'Dingo ate my baby'.., Dingo!

I was only about 250 KLM out of Darwin and frankly it seemed a bit close to civilisation to be a Dingo. I don't know really know enough about them or their habitat but I'll do some research and let you know. If anyone out there is up on their 'Dingo-ology' then please add a comment. I'd be interested in learning if what I saw was a Dingo or not!

Back to the road...

There are things you forget between trips that come back to you in quick reminders. The flying retreads that litter the roadside is one of them. They zip off and bounce along like dancing pigs along the highway providing the occasional challenge for me to duck and weave... just to keep me awake in the heat.

I passed what would have been the longest and largest bunch of sheep I have ever seen. Unfortunately for them they were in trucks heading to our dinner tables. There would have been at least 15 road Trains filled with sheep, each train had 3 or more payloads on it! It was an intersting site. I caught them on the high def camera so I'll upload the pics as soon as I get to a conventional computer. At the moment I'm eMailing my posts from my mobile phone/computer and there's just not enough bandwidth in Katherine to upload fat photo's.

I'm sleeping in Katherine tonight...

Every time I've been to Katherine I get the same vibe. Lovely place to visit, incredible scenery and sites to marvel but the population is so polarised. White Australia and aboriginal Australia may both live here but at least on the surface the Aboriginals you see are a drunken, screaming, fighting wreck of a people. Not allot of Didgeridoo playing okra painted dancing happening around this place.

I walked into a pub and found I was the only non aboriginal in there. There were no lights on other than at the bar and the room was so thick with cigarette smoke I thought for sure the pub was on fire!

On the other hand there are some great restaurants and motels here. The natural sites include the incredible Katherine Gorge (of which there are actually 13 gorges, guess they couldn't call them Katherine 13 Gorges). Last year I did the helicopter trip into the gorgeous gorges. Go to to see the pics.

Well that's it for tonight. I just booked a water front cabin on Lake Argyle in WA. It's about 400 KLM's from here. I'll also stop at Victoria River Road House which, in my opinion has the best hamburgers in the world!

I'm taking to go orders so just let me know.


Sunday, August 23, 2009
It's been interesting to watch the changes here over the 6 or so years that I have been visiting this place. Seems all roads lead to (or from) Darwin for me.

With the exception of last year, there are more and more things to do, places to eat, and tourism excursions to go on. The tourists seem to come from further away each year and in droves.

in my humble opinion the true measure on any tourism based economy has to be the taxi driver... the 'cabbie' if you're a New Yorker. They often know something is happening even before the conventional economic indicators do.

Last year I cut a planned motorcycle trip from Oregon to NYC down to a flight and a quick business week in Chicago and NYC. The Global meltdown thing was just starting to swing and not wanting to get hit on the head by the potential hailstorm of investment bankers doing a 60 story double gainer... rather than bear the stigma of driving a used car, I had my bike meet me here in Darwin.

Upon arriving I found the driver of every taxi I climbed into complaining of famine, doom and gloom due to the seriously slow tourist trade. It was only then that I realised we were in for a global economic ride. I reckon they should add 'The Cabbie Index' in the Economic Indices in the Wall St Journal, The Economist or the IHT.

Forget about expensive economists, in depth studies, government indices, and the rest.... just call a Cabbie in Darwin and ask how he's doing. No tourists = no disposable spending = economic problems! Done.

Fortunately this year the cabbies are happily enjoying a roaring tourist trade. Seems the global economic crises is over.

In any case I'm off to get the bike in a few hours and I'll hit the road in the morning. The next bunch of posts should be from the road. I'll be in Katherine by nightfall Tuesday night and then point myself north west into WA and Kununurra for a few days.

As for sitting and waiting for my bike in Darwin I guess I can truly say that 'I spent a year here this weekend!'

Adios for now.

Downtown Darwin 8.30 Monday morning. It's already in the 30's this cold winter morning!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
No One Here's from Here!

I'm in Darwin and it's 34C on this cool winters day!

i'm in an an open air - air conditioned cafe located on 'The Esplande' so I'm enjoying an ocean view, 5 Star service and a fair bit less sweat than most.

I just might find myself sleeping rough for a few nights over the coming weeks so I figure I'll take care of myself for the few days I'm here waiting on the local BMW to uncrate the bike. I shipped it up from Sydney last week. Should be ready Tuesday they say.

I really enjoy Darwin everytime I'm here. It is home to a squillion Irish back packers each winter, the US Military and just about every enthic group on the planet. Oh yeah there are some Australians here too.

Before I forget, i'll be patched into HighlandFM with John Sider driving the mic on each Monday at 1.00 PM until I get back to Sydney in October. Tune into 107.1FM if you are near the Southern Highlands or south of sydney (as opposed to the Southern Highlands near Vegas) and have a listen.

John has promised me not to ask any difficult questions... like where are you or what time is it? Once out of Darwin I tend to lose all sence of time and space out here as it is truly a step back into geographic time.

More posts to follow.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thought I’d post something from last year’s trip from Darwin straight down the centre to Adelaide.

GeeDay... Another news flash from your 4en CorroSPINdant... AKA ... A NewYorkerDownUnder... latest haps and mishaps on the road including a sleep in an old Opal mine, a look at a 120 Mill Year Old fossilised Opal fish [very cool], and a dust storm so thick I could only see the headlights of oncoming cars... all in the land of the Opal Miner and Greek Diner... Coober Pedy! [there are 5 restaurants in Coober of which 3 are Greek and the other 2 are closed!].

When in Alice I tried to do the Reptile and Croc park but it was closed... seems a local psycho kid went on a rampage last week killing most of the smaller reptiles and feeding them to the Crocs! In a weird way I was amused to learn that acts of depraved indifference are not only the province of urban existence!

Then there was the Police Escort after the gang fight in Todd Mall in Alice and as luck would have it... right outside the restaurant I was dining in! Seems one drunken mob of Aboriginals had a score to settle with another drunken mob of Aboriginals. I think someone stole someone's beer or something like that. Whatever it was these poor people are in one major state of mess and misery. I learned early on in this long ride game that drunken into oblivion they come stumbling into you in the pursuit of a hand out. The locals say the military intervention was a waste of time because it did not get to the root of the problems. Oh well you'll never never know if you never never go!

I had an interesting experience on my way into Alice. I met some northern bound travelers in Tennant Creek who told me about a flash cyclone storm in Alice that day that lasted for about 30 minutes. They said it leveled trees, raised roofs and threw debris all around the Alice. They said the locals insisted there had never been anything like it, with winds so fierce the rain was falling almost on the horizontal! Thinking this storm had had its 30 minutes of fame [storms get more] I continued heading into Alice. However, about 100 clicks out I rode into winds so hard the bike was leaning over like it was going around a corner on the track at Phillip island... only I was going in a straight line!

The wind then started changing direction hitting me from the left, then the right, then behind... kind of like the invisible wall of wind you hit when coming up inside the wind draft directly behind a road train that's moving at a decent pace... Only there was no Road train!!!! I was slapped from side to side and in less than a heart beat found myself sitting in the right hand side of the right hand lane [I started my little flight on the left in the left] and not knowing how I got there!!!

I had been picked up by a whirly whirly and dropped right across the road in a heartbeat! I watched it continue off into the scrub ahead. I thought about stopping but of course there is nowhere to stop! I slowed right down and watched as Road trains weaved like the drivers were new years eve drunks, meandering from side to side and back again,... i was sure one in particular was going to topple as the tail payload of its 4 payload long train kept weaving on and off the shoulder into the dirt and back on again!

That's one experience I don't want to live thru again!


I've been on what feels like a never ending ride thru the Great Victoria Desert (it’s in SA mate, do a Google!) which in parts is some 80m BELOW sea level. However now I'm marooned in a lovely place called Pimba SA... "Where the Bloody Hell is Pimba you say?, well for those who don't know their .au geography as well as I do, (ahem) it’s in at the southern end of the Great Victorian Desert and just a few KLM's from Woomera where the refugee detention centre and USA nuke testing is (bet you didn't know that)!

At dinner last night I sat at a table with a bunch of contract pilots who fly around Australia for the Fed to bring the illegal’s from local authorities back here to be detained! Woomera is also home to the USA military base they used to use to test nuclear bombs in the past and according to the Pimbinians - the ones with 6 fingers on each hand...they still do! Could be why the T in my T Bone steak had an interesting green glow. This glow also matched the colour of the slime in the local water!

I've been in the world famous Spuds Roadhouse in Pimba since Sunday afternoon. It's next to the world famous Pimba junk yard. I was lucky enough to get the Honeymoon Suite - $40 a night buys me 3 single beds and a queen bed... go figure! Housekeeping has to come in every morning to vacuum the red earth that blows in under the door during the dust storms at night. Luckily for me the roof of the motel hasn't been nailed down well so every time there's a wind blast under the door the roof raises then flaps rattles and clangs like someone dropped a load of pots and pans down a flight of stairs.

The TV's gone - stolen or commandeered for another room so there's not much to do but write this while I'm waiting on my wheel with its new tire to come back from a Port Augusta motorcycle shop, I think about 400KLM away from here. I sure hope it actually comes back!

Seems the rear tire doesn't like the 6-800 KLM days at 150-180 KPH I've been tracking to make up for lost time (storms, helicopter crashes, broken thumb, and dropping my bike) so it melted from the heat and split open in the middle right down to the wire weave on the inside of the rubber! As there was nothing around but the road ahead, the road back, and the curvature of the earth in every other direction I slowed down to a brisk 50 KPH to avoid a blow out and the inevitable grating of my skin along the road like the shaving of a big Romano cheese for a pasta party... until I stop sliding of course. Would've been pretty ugly at 160 KPH!

Fortunately Pimba [population 26, me included] was only about 50 KLM away when I first noticed the rear tire. Interesting thing is I had just checked the tire about 300 KLM’s before. I think under these extreme conditions when they fail, they fail and it happens real sudden.

As luck would have it this happened on a Sunday and Monday was yet another Australian holiday (I love Australia) and no one other then the barmaid at the roadhouse was working and thank God for that. Tuesday morning I awoke at the crack of noon, dropped the wheel from the drive hub and sent it to the motorcycle shop in Port Augusta via the cargo hold in a Greyhound tourist bus! They changed the tire at the shop and sent it back on the next bus so it arrives here tomorrow morning (I hope)... so I should be back on my merry way soon!

Oh I almost forgot, seems the pub is out of bottled water, but not beer or bourbon so I thought it best not to drink the green slimy tap water that matched my green glowing T bone ... seemed like a good choice at the time tho my head hurts a bit now.

Funny but for some reason I'm not really that concerned now how long it takes my wheel and new tire to get back here!! As my fellow Pimbinians have been saying to me ...

'She'll be right mate, she'll be right!'
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The bike... a BMW K1200Rs was crated up yesterday by BMW in Wollongong and is on the truck as we speak heading to Darwin!

I'll fly to Darwin to meet it on 21 August, take it out of the crate and ride off. First leg of the Journey is Darwin to Katherine only about 325 KLM's.

I'll no doubt need to acclimatise during this leg after spending the last few months in the cold of the Southern Highlands... the temp in Darwin today was 31C. the temp in Bowral today was 12C but it felt much colder!!

Last year I trucked the bike and flew to Darwin and shot straight down from Darwin to Adelaide after a few weeks in the Kimberley. I made the mistake of leaving in late September so by the time I was hit the center of NT it was already over 40C!

It was so hot that I bought bags of ice cubes at the some of the Roadhouse's on the route (they are usually a few hundred KLM's apart). I dumped half the bag into the hydra pack on my back, covered it with my jacket and then stuffed the remaining plastic bag of ice cubes down the front of my jacket so I could reach in while riding, grab a few cubes to stick in my mouth to stay hydrated!

My next little brain storm came along... I ripped off the corners of the bag so as the ice melted it drained out into my lap! Talk about cool and soothing! I was smiling for miles!

It did get a bit comedic when I stopped to fill the gas tank and found myself standing in a pool of water!

You can imagine the looks and laughs from locals and tourists as I stood there smiling and dripping!
Hi, I'm blogging my way from Darwin thru The Kimberley down the West Coast to Perth then along The Nullarbor to Adelaide and back to Sydney via The Great Ocean Road, Melbourne and around the coast!