Tasmanian Domination Tour – November 2022

“Lucky, you and me…” Nige began.

” I ” interrupted Lucky


“It’s I, Nige. You and I”

“Shutup Numbnuts. Where was I? Oh right. Big announcement. You and ME are going to Tasmania with Rocky and Boris on what I’m calling our Tasmanian Domination Tour. Don’t tell me that’s pretentious either ‘cos it’s not”

“Roll call at Jerry’s on Wednesday morning the 9th of November at 10 o’clock sharp. Moey and David will ride with us down to the Melrose hotel in Mittagong for a night of drinking and fine dining before riding home up the big road the next day. We shall carry on to Bowral and meet up with Rocky and Boris and head south. I know that doesn’t give us a lot of time to prepare. What’s the date today?”

“The 8th of November”

“OK, that’s plenty. Pack a bag. I’ve got yesterday’s undies on so they’ll last till the 20th. If it rains, they could go a bit longer. That’ll do me” 

So with that, Lucky arrived ten minutes early at Jerry’s with three large bags of undies, socks, shirts, spare jeans, more spare jeans, jackets, jumpers, and a dressing gown. Nige had less.

“What’s that hanging out of your pocket Nige? asked Lucky.

“Dunno. A spare sock I think. Best to be prepared.”

The usual arguments about who would be ride leader. Lucky, of course, since they were planning a route through Wisemans Ferry then Windsor, Penrith, Wallacia to Mittagong. All went pretty well although ride leader Lucky (self-appointed) did overshoot one turn-off by 5 kilometres whilst everybody else GPS’ kept telling them to turn towards Mulgoa Rd. Lunch was at the roadside servo in Wallacia where Lucky had tentatively arranged for his brother, Richard, to meet them. Unfortunately, he had got caught up in a business meeting so couldn’t make it. Nige, of course, couldn’t let this go.

“Your brother must really despise you Lucky. He only lives around the corner for f@#$%s sake.” Crestfallen, Lucky blinked back the tears welling behind his eyes and with a brave face saying,

“C’mon fellas let’s go. Not you Nige. You can go f@#$% yourself.”

Anyway, dealing with all the naysayers easily, Lucky, RLSA, eventually and blindly led them to The Melrose Hotel in Mittagong via Warragamba, etc. There were a few wrong turns involved but the occasional, “If we’re heading south, why is the sun, which is supposed to be in the west, in my eyes?” sorted things out. Generally.

“Nine more days of this.” moaned Nige

“Ten if you count today!” laughed Moey, imagining the horrors to come that he had avoided.

“We’re here but” Lucky pointed out. “Time for a quiet drink”.

It was a pleasant enough evening. Nige understood he may have overstepped a line somewhere so turned his attention to Moey and Moey’s friends whose names I do not recall, something like Sloth and Mrs Sloth. Their hearty laughter at the next table was cruelly mimicked by Nige and then Lucky joined in too having forgiven Nige his earlier insults.

Day 1 and nearly everyone is happy.

The next morning we all rode the 7 minutes to Bowral to meet up with Boris and Rocky. We (not Nige) walked around their cafe about eight times before they came and got us but breakfast went well and was lovely and wonderful, especially for David who ate Boris’ breakfast out from under his nose and then managed to eat his own while Boris waited for the kitchen to make him another one which they did and everybody was happy, especially David.

Oh that David!! He’s incorrigible says Lucky slapping his knee with laughter.

Pass the leftovers here if it’s all the same to you two. That would be glorious!!

So with his victory breakfast slowly working its way to his nether regions, David and Moey turned northward towards home whilst RLSA headed south towards Corryong in Victoria. A bit of a mix in roads here but some freeway and glassy-eyed staring at asphalt for a few hours.

We arrived in Gundagai for lunch where Lucky helped Rocky organise his intercom. This allowed for more ‘Hurrahs” via mesh for the rest of the trip.

“It’s working now Lucky, Hurrah”.

A bit more freeway. Not much but enough for Nige to threaten mutiny “I’ll go home right now” kind of thing. We had a quick break at Lade Vale (wherever that is) where everybody calmed down once Rocky announced we were turning off the freeway “In two shakes of a lamb’s tail lads. Hurrah!!” But we didn’t. And then we eventually did. The pub in Corryong was good and served excellent meals. Nige went on and on and on and on and on and on about how juicy and moist his chicken was.

The next morning we headed south and breakfasted in Tallangatta. We were all very excited to be heading to Geelong to catch the ferry. But then it rained. Heavily. So turning off the highway and sheltering under the overpass to get wet gear on. This done, back on the highway towards Geelong. It rained heavily all the way.

We arrived as the rain eased a little and quickly decided who should board first according to merit.

“I’ll board first as I am the president,” announced Nige

“Nuh-uh,” said Lucky. “I’m the RLSA so I go first”

“Well I’m holding the boarding passes lads so I’m in front. Hurrah” Rocky announced triumphantly.

“I’m going first” Boris replied quietly. ” I know people who know other people of nefarious natures”

Boris led us onto the ferry with no further opposition. “Hurrah.” Whispered Rocky to the others.

Here we are just before Boris gave a very sound argument as to why he should board first.

The Spirit of Tasmania was big and fitted all four bikes and some cars as well. We parked them where we were told and a couple of valets, I assume, strapped them securely onto the deck. 

“Hey, you, boy, don’t strap that big ugly red Triumph too close to my magnificent presidential BMW or it might get germs and break down” shouted Nige to one of the valets. This, of course, hurt Lucky’s feelings but he moved it up next to Rocky’s and Rocky was relatively pleasant about the whole thing. 

I should mention here that Rocky’s Beemer had problems of its own. You see when he wheeled it out of his garage on day one a warning popped up on his screen telling him to not go to Tasmania but instead ride carefully to his local dealer so they could pull it to bits for thousands of dollars. He ignored this and watched with interest for the rest of the trip how many, many other warning signs came up:











“All good thanks fellas, hurrah, and she hasn’t missed a beat, hurrah” And we all marvelled at his stoicism. “Might be a bit of an issue when we hit the monsoonal mud trails though. You must be looking forward to that Lucky” He said giving Lucky a wry grin. Now lucky smiled back politely but knew that as he had been appointed unofficial RLRE (Ride Leader Rocky Elected) there was no way in hell that Redboy’s Michelin Pilot 6 road tyres would be tasting the wet clay of Tasmania’s wilderness back roads.

“You betcha Rocky. Can’t wait. I’ve set my GPS to avoid asphalt so we should be sliding and breaking bones in no time at all!!” He assured him.

“Hurrah. No wait.. double hurrah to you Lucky. Lead on!!. Good man!!”

And that’s how we never saw, let alone ride, any dirt roads in Tasmania.

The further we went, the more dire the information.

I mentioned before how big the ship was but should mention how small the cabin was. We all shared a four-berth cabin and spent the night like four squirrels stuck in a stormwater pipe. “No bowel movements in the en-suite” was Lucky’s only request but that was ignored. Except for Lucky who snuck out early to visit one of the many public facilities. He received no gratitude for this.

“That’s right. I’ll choose my own bunk and you three can fight over the rest. Now somebody get me a drink for God’s sake” And we all rushed off to do that.


On board luxury. All good downstairs too. “I’ll hold it for as long as I want”

The next morning, after smooth sailing, we pulled into Devenport. 

“Who shall have the honour to lead us onto Tasmanian soil?”

“Nefarious people gentlemen” Boris’ reminded us.

“YOU GO FIRST BORIS!!” We all exclaimed in unison.


Heading west to Stanley in the rain, we found a sample of dirt as we rode through road works and found ourselves at the Brown Dog cafe. One of the locals told us the dirt section through the rainforest was awful so we thought better of that section much to Rocky’s chagrin. We all pretended to sympathise and headed back the way we came and then south west to Strahan.

A bit wet but the worst was coming.

The roads to Strahan were fantastic. Long, winding and no potholes anywhere. The sun came out for a few hours and the asphalt was drying. Strahan itself was ok but the town itself wasn’t very impressive. “Why is the water so black here” Lucky asked Nige, looking northward up the river. “It’s symbolic of Australia’s dark history of racial abuse and how whitey has taken advantage of my people for over two hundred years Lucky. It represents the struggles of my people.” Nige replied quietly.

“So you’re indegenerous Nige?” asked a shocked Lucky. ” I never knew that. You have a very white bottom but. I saw it in the Ship’s cabin. How do you explain that?”

“I’m part indigenous Lucky. Just my arms up to the t-shirt line, legs up to the pants line, head down to my neck line, are coloured. The rest of me is British White. I’m a half-caste Lucky but still a proud Bateau Bay man inside!!”

Somehow this made perfect sense to Lucky but he wished Uncy Momo was there to explain it some more. Meanwhile, jaws agape, Rocky and Boris could only stand and stare dumbfounded at what they had witnessed. ” Colonials !!” Boris smiled at Rocky. “How did they ever invent the rotary clothesline?” 

Blue skies in Strahan.

All happy with the roads so far.

Leaving Strahan we headed east toward Queenstown. By now it was starting to drizzle but we arrived around 4. We stayed in a nice motel and went in search of food and drinks. There were two pubs that we found. The first seemed popular with a crowded bar but that was because there was no bar-staff. Just one sad local who was very slow but purposeful. “Who’s next?” he asked and thirty-odd individual patrons shouted their assurances that it was definitely their turn. Rocky stood amongst them and definitely scored 30th place in that order. So we left. The next pub was better and we drank and ate there. 

The next morning we wandered down to the train museum for breakfast which was surprisingly good. An assortment of mixed grills and porridges found their way to our table. Good coffee too. Then a quick look around the renovated railway station museum with tracks that went nowhere. Lucky of course was confused about this but was more worried about how they adhere to a regular timetable and if they accepted OPAL cards. 

Train to nowhere.

Time to leave and head up and around Cradle Mountain. The weather had returned to nasty as we headed in the wrong direction. Eventually, we found our way high above Queenstown looking down through heavy rain at the desolate rock faces surrounding the town. It was actually very striking in a cold harsh way.

Up in the mountains above Queenstown as the rain increased.

Finally, we headed the right way northwards towards Cradle Mountain. The rain got heavier but Lucky (RLRA) set a sensible pace higher into the mountains where ice on the road signs suggested we were all doomed. Heavy winds also suggested we did not have much time left but we soldiered on anyway. The rain was blowing in hard from the west ahead of a forecast rain event and filled Rocky and Boris’ boots with water but they were used to that by now. Northwest to Deloroiane and then south on the A3 towards Hobart. Steady rain. For some unknown reason, Boris and Rocky thought this was a good time to get on the gas and took off ahead. “Hey!!!” yelled Lucky “I’m the ride leader. This is insuborbinest” But the two Englishmen disregarded this and continued with their intercom comparisons between Tasmanian landscapes and the UK countryside until they were no more to Lucky and Nige than the slow searching beeps of the Senas trying to reconnect. By now Lucky’s GPS had run out of battery and Nige’s Intercom had drowned in the rain so we were reduced to hand signals and road signs to find our way haltingly toward Hobart. Eventually, we found the others and rejoined as a group. “You can lead again now Lucky” Rocky announced gratuitously. “Oh boy, I’m the boss again. RLRA!!!” Replacing his failed charging lead with a fresh one, Lucky took his rightful spot out front. Through Hobart and into New Town where they would spend the next two nights.

Rocky took the lead as we approached the vicinity of the Motel. “Follow me, lads. I know the way. I won’t be needing GPS either Lucky. Haha and hurrah for me!!” 

We circumnavigated the block about four times and then found the entrance. It was practically opposite the road we first rode in on. “Sorry lads but here we are now.” For some reason, we all thought about the same trouble we always had finding the Knickerbocker in Bathurst.

“Hey, Boris” yells Rocky. “We’re not actually up to this part of the story yet!!” “We’re still in New Town and it’s raining!!”

That night, between showers, we found our way down to the local pub for a few beers. Dinner was a few pizzas delivered to Nige’s room. They were pretty good though. The next morning it was raining again so we headed down to the local motorcycle shop to look for Pinlock© visor inserts which supposedly would cure our condensation woes. Lucky and Boris were able to get their models whilst Rocky and Nige could not. From this point Boris and Lucky had clear vision of the road ahead whilst Rocky and Nige continued to peer desperately through their cloudy visors struggling to see the landscape like they were peering through Elle McPherson’s shower screen praying for a glimpse of something wonderful. “I thought we’d have seen more bush this far south Nige but everything was pretty bare.” Lucky pointed out which didn’t help at all.

Anyway, with some time to spare, we Ubered into down to the Hobart docks for lunch and a few beers. The rain had eased a bit so we could wander around pretty freely. 

“The only thing missing from Salamanca is a fruit market” “I could really go for a banana bread”

Unfortunately for the rest of us, Nige kept pointing out how we could have been riding instead of Ubering but we did get to a Supercheap Auto where Rocky was able to buy a bendable extension rod with a small but strong magnet on the end so he could reach down into the internals of his BMW and recover a lost spanner that he had dropped and assumed was the cause of his multiple on-screen warning messages.


“That bendy rod will solve all our problems lads. Probably clear up the rain too haha.”

So returning to the motel Rocky went into mechanic mode. First, he expertly removed the seat using his key.

“How did he do that Boris?” asked Lucky in awe. “Has he been ‘In the business’ like Uncy Momo?”

“No mate” replied Boris “He’s an Englishman and we conquered the world remember”

“Did you?” Lucky the High School History teacher replied. “I’ll be darned. When? Recently?”

Boris had no time to respond as we were all staring like medical students around a heart surgeon going about his business with the confidence that only comes from years of experience. 

“Now lads watch closely as I reach down deep into the internal workings of this complex German machinery and extract the errant spanner” He began. “Easy now lads,… easy…easy. I’m approaching the cavity where I believe the spanner will lie. Once I’ve made the extraction we can close.” Nige mopped Rocky’s brow at this point. “Thank you, Nige. Almost there. I think I can feel it now” He said to the oohs and aghs from those around him.

“What’s that there?” asked Lucky spotting a small spanner lying on its side in a small tray next to the battery. A stony silence followed as Rocky realised this was the errant spanner. “Here you are” said a Jubilant Lucky picking up one end of the spanner between finger and thumb only to feel the sting of Rocky’s extender across his knuckles. “Leave it there Lucky. I’ll use my special tool to get that” and with that, he reached high into the air so he could bring the magnet end of the still-extended rod down onto the spanner’s end that Lucky had just been holding and lifted the errant spanner clear.

“There you are lads!! Hurrah! I did it. Nige you can close now” So Nige put the seat back on. Now, sadly, even though the operation was a success, the error messages continued for the rest of the trip. On a positive note, Rocky got his BMW stamped spanner 13mm (Retail price $648) back as well as a new magnetised rod to pick up his wife’s hatpins or whatnot if they fall on the floor.

“We could cure cancer given the time Nige”

Eventually, the self congratulations ended and the rains got heavier as the Western low moved in.

Morning broke and it was way more than raining. What should have been a quick trip to the same bike shop we walked to the previous day was a nightmare of circuits and back tracking because the one road to the shop was one-way in the wrong direction. Anyway, we got there and Rocky bought the very same pair of boots as Lucky to solve his issues with waterlogged BMW boots and the associated foot-rot that went with it. Boris also bought a pair of top-of-the-line waterproof gloves guaranteed to a depth of three miles or so for similar reasons. The gloves stayed relatively dry until he walked outside and then they also filled up with water. He was muttering something about nefarious friends again and Yakuza something or other for the rest of the day. 

Breakfast up the road in a very fancy and woke cafe where everything came with garnish. Wait staff was very friendly and Bohemian but not so much as to be annoying. They may have annoyed Nige a bit but he held his tongue.

Then, as the monsoon grew, we headed out. “You lead Lucky. Hurrah” 

“Oh, Bewdy!I I was hoping I could. Thanks for your confidence, Rocky. I won’t let you down. Does anyone know which way is north?”

Anyway, nipping along with Pinlock© related clear vision, Lucky led the foursome north-east up the coast towards Swansea. The roads through the ranges were inches deep in water as the cascading overflows on their right formed heavy waterfalls sending endless torrents of water across the road in their path and into a raging river of assorted torn shrubbery and broken trees off the drop-off to their left. The temperature hovered around 6 degrees but, in the high winds exposed to the sea, it felt much colder.

“What’s happening up there Lucky? Are we nearly there?” Asked a slightly concerned and shivering Nige from his position in second spot. “I can’t see nothing.” 

“Try to avoid double-negatives please Nige. I find it troubling. I can see lots of water and we are about three hundred kilometers short of where we need to be.” 

“Carry on brave soldier. You are the greatest man here today” said nobody, but Lucky thought it anyway. “They’re right you know” he affirmed quietly. To himself.

Stopping in Swansea, the local owners of a pretty swank cafe overlooking the sea allowed us to trudge inside and remove our helmets and wet gear on the polished floorboards. 

“Look at this Lucky I’ve tucked one of my wet weather pants inside my boot and the other outside my other boot. Can you guess which one is full of water?” asked Nige. Without waiting he said, “It’s the one I tucked inside. I’m like a genius scientist testing the physics of water soakeridgeness. It’s this kind of couragability that makes me such a great president. I’m right aren’t I!!” Now Lucky squatted down and examined both boots carefully and saw that one was in fact much wetter. “You’ll win a Pushitzer Prize for that Nige. No argument.”

“Pulitzer, old boy.” Corrected Boris.

“Mmmm well maybe one of those too.” agreed Lucky

Anyway, lunch was delicious. Most of us had the seafood chowder with fresh rolls. But then as the rains seemed to intensify even further, we put on helmets and zipped up every zip we could find and headed out again. Having now pulled his pant leg from inside his boot, Nige picked up a small black rock covered in a red moss. 

“This is the kind of rock that you find in the Bay of Fires Lucky. It’s how it got its name.” 

“Oh really. That’s disappointing. I thought it was somewhere where we could warm up. Let’s not go there then.” And they didn’t.

Lucky (RLRA) continued north and as they finally approached their overnight stop in St Helens, the rain began to ease. Rocky of course continued to despair of the missed wet dirt road adventures that Lucky dismissed as RLRA but was gracious when we finally arrived. Strangely, when Lucky turned off his ignition on Redboy, the screen stayed dead when he tried to switch it back on. Unlike Rocky whose stoic press-on regardless attitude towards his Beemers foibles vis-a-vis its dire threats to fall apart, Lucky was about to push Redboy off the nearest cliff when it came back to life just in time. “Lucky for you Redboy he muttered” ceasing his online search for flights home. It still gave him a bit of angst every now and then as it cut out and cut back in again.

The Panorama Hotel was very nice and only lacked the air conditioning that was needed to dry out some very wet gear and Nige’s boot and sock. Boris’ gloves still looked like they’d been recovered from the Lusitania. He was later heard speaking Chinese in muffled tones over his mobile to an unknown listener. Something about “warranty” and “honour” and such. Not sure where he was going with that but there might be a young man in New Town who should sleep with one eye open I think. Rocky’s new boots did stay dry.

“This is how we dry out old school” Nige explains and manages a nap at the same time. Poor little fella was exhausted from the long haul.

Eventually, everything dried out and the next morning the skies were a bit nicer. Heading north through Gladstone and Bridgeport on to Georgetown then Frankford and, finally, Devonport. Back on board the ferry around 4.30. 

“After you Boris,” we all said.

“Of course”  He replied, all smiles now. 

Back into another stormwater pipe and quickly upstairs for a drink. A nice roast dinner from the bistro and Boris and Rocky headed beddy-byes at a respectable hour. Nige and Lucky stayed up so as not to disturb their settling time and had a wander around the upper decks where it was windy at sea but very smooth sailing. Off to bed as quiet as a mouse (squirrel) and asleep soon after that. 

“Look at us Lucky. We’re up way later than the grownups.”

“I’m a bit tired Lucky. We should have gone to bed earlier.”

Another very smooth trip north and disembarked around 6.30 the next morning in Geelong. From here, Boris headed off to look at a pre WW1 14cylinder sports tourer. So we said our teary goodbyes at the dock and the remaining three headed to Queenscliffe for another ferry trip across the bay to Sorento. This took about an hour but is so smooth you don’t need to tie the bikes down. 

“I miss Boris already,” Rocky noted looking at the two remaining travellers then gazed wistfully out to sea.

“You can have an intellectual conversation with us if you like mate.” Offered Lucky but this didn’t appear to gain much traction.

“Thank you lads but I’m not sure how much we have to discuss. Perhaps I could teach you table manners since we will be dining at the local RSL club in Cooma this evening.”

At this, both Nige and Lucky quietly slid their respective feet off the small coffee table between them and Luck stopped cleaning his ear with the handle of a tea spoon. “Yeah nuh. we’re good there thanks Rocky.” Nige muttered awkwardly.

Leaving Boris and Queenscliffe behind.

Breakfast (vanilla slices for breakfast dessert. Yes. It’s a thing) in a small cafe in Sorento which was very good. From here it was a very long and tiring ride through the middle of Victoria and inland from Lakes Entrance and onto Cann River. Great roads along here and then up the Monaro Highway through Bombala and Nimmitabel and into Cooma. This was the longest stretch of several hundred kilometres so we were happy to finally see the grand pillars of the White Manor Motel. Our long day’s journey didn’t end there with, what felt like, a five kilometre walk back the way we came to the local RSL club. A few ‘Are we there yets’ from Lucky and a few ‘Yeah nuhs’ from Nige and we were there.

The White Manor Hotel in Cooma. Nice rooms.

The club was busy but had plenty of room for us. We ordered a few drinks and dinner and Rocky assured us the food there was excellent. He was correct but there were a few issues.

“Lads,” said Rocky. “We’ve been waiting ten minutes at least and I’m hungry. It’s time to take out the trash!!” And, rolling up his sleeves, Rocky headed towards the counter.

“Does Rocky know they’ll spit in our dinners if he rouses on the cook?’ asked a worried Lucky.

At this point, Rocky reached across the countertop and pulled the cook by his left ear close to him.

“Yeah, we’re getting’ saliva stew Lucky. Count on it” Nige whispered back.

“Now see here you!!” Rocky began. “If you don’t prepare me and my friend’s meals right bloody now I shall take you outside for a sound thrashing.” The frightened and confused young man retreated quickly to his pots and pans firing machine-gun apologies at the angry Englishman. “Yes sir, of course, sir, right away sir.” Promptly coughing a nasty sounding phlegm ball in the direction of Rocky’s Steak-well-done as he marched triumphantly back to the table.

“There you are, lads. That’s how an Englishman deals with riff-raff.”

And that’s how Rocky was the only one of us who came home with Covid.

Anyway, the slow trudge home began the next morning. Rocky said his final “Hurrahs” and there were hugs all around. He had not given up on the dirt so headed off towards a dust storm despite the ongoing complaints from his screen.



and so on and so forth.

Meanwhile Nige and Lucky headed north up the Hume and onto the M1, parting ways along Peats Ridge Rd. Nige kept going down through Glenning Valley and home. Meanwhile Lucky arrived at his front gate and Redboy, as if knowing the ordeal was over, promptly cut out again. “OH FOR F@#$%’s SAKE YOU USELESS PIECE OF BRITISH CRAP!!!!! I HATE YOU SO MUCH YOU MOTHERLESS SON OF A..but at this point, the instrument panel again lit up and the engine fired up as usual.” “Sorry, Redboy I was overtired. I love you.” and Lucky rode up his driveway and into the garage.

Now, all in all, Rocky organised a great ride despite some terrible weather. All his Beemer’s various dire warning signs turned out to be a faulty battery and Redboy simply had a loose battery terminal. Oops.

“Hurrah!! Dirt at last” I win!!!







4 Responses to “Tasmanian Domination Tour – November 2022”

  1. What a character that Nige sounds like eh? What a great friend to have.

  2. Stop changing my report. I’ll tell Boris on you and he knows people who know people…

  3. But at least it worked and you were able to leave a comment.

  4. Great report Lucky Philip Leo Mark Witton. War and Peace trembles in your wake.
    Thanks for taking the time to pull all this together, not a trivial task.
    May the sun shine on all your travels.

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