Hans Claus’ Solo Aussie Adventure

If you went to Lake Paika Station you probably met Hans Claus, intrepid Kiwi beekeeper and Les Gardner’s mate, on a solo trip around Australia. Here is his progress report…

My travels are going great. Been through the Victorian High Country, Camerons Corner, Flinders Ranges and Old Andado (Binns Track) to Alice Springs.

I have to say what you know too, it is a huge country. Haven’t been to Ayers Rock as I feel it would take too long to look at all the attractions.

Gone around the Simpsons as I haven’t got the sand skills. Via Plenty Highway, where I was slightly anoyed to see that Binns Track goes there and wonder why I did not take that track. But then my map states that that section is a private track. Later on I found out that there are two tracks more or less parallel to each other.

Gone over Boulia, Bedourie to Birdville to have a look at Big Red. Spend a few days criss-crossing the Diamantina area. Just loved it over there with their wide open spaces and all the floodways I was crossing. Must be a wet place when it rains and most likely impassable to cross.

From there to Mt Isa and Lawn Hill NP from where I had to make my way to Cairns as I would meet my wife there to spend some time together. In Cairns asked the BMW club whether someone had a place to do some work on my bike as it was getting dangerous to ride it. The head bearings were shot by then and needed replacing. Also around Mt Dare the fuel pump stopped working and with some minor repairs I got it going. That all needed some attention and took me over a day to sort it all out. Very thankful to Michele and Jeff in Cairns for letting me use their space.

Gone over the Daintree to as far as Wakooka and Musgrave and crossed Cape York to Karumba and Normanton and followed the Savannah way to Calvert road to make my way down South again to Alice Springs. Plan was to go to Darwin and surrounding areas but thought it would be a race, so cancelled that plan with the hope I can do that another time.

Plan was to go over Barkly Stock Route to Gregory NP but was afraid I would run out of fuel so had a detour to Cape Crawford. Big mistake. There is only the roadhouse on an intersection with a lot of truck movements. A road train parked up next to the camp with a full load of stock whitch were trampling on the steel deck the whole night. I am sure it kept the whole camp awake.

Followed the Carpentaria highway to get me to the Buchanan Highway to Top Springs. Plan was to go over Timber Creek to Gregory NP but about 10 km out of Top Springs I blew the rear tube on a rock. Did not want to go over Lajamanu and Tanami Road without spare tubes so decided to go to Katherine first. Half way blew my last tube and luckily a ute stopped on his way to Katherine. Someone else stopped too and we loaded bike and all my gear onto ute. Was told in Katherine that tyre was alright so only got a new tube.

On my way through Gregory NP, Lajamanu and the Tanami I got four flat rear tyres. Very annoyed with the motorbike mechanics and took me some time to get to Alice Springs.

In Alice Springs at the moment, done a few repairs, stocked up on groceries and have to be back in Sydney early August.

Loving the trip, had a few offs but no damage or injury to bike or rider.

Hans Claus

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