Port Macquarie, NSW: Following our annual Compass Expeditions Reunion Weekend we will be having an amazing week of riding through Port Macquarie Region
After the success of the 2018 Compass Expeditions 5-day ride out in Merimbula, we will once again be inviting all riders and pillions to join us for a week of exceptional dirt and sealed road rides, socialising, dining, fun and relaxation. Each day you will have your choice of riding dirt or sealed road routes, planned for your pleasure, led out and supported by the Compass Expeditions crew.
The Port Macquarie region has riding options galore with runs north and south along the coast as well as many routes heading inland across the Great Dividing Range, through bushland, national parks and reserves and onto the rural plains on the western side of the range.
As always, we will be searching, researching and planning ride routes that highlight the different aspects of this beautiful region, the mountains, the bush and the coast for our daily rides. If you feel like a day off the bike, then the beach is a short stroll away, or the swimming pool is at your door. A shopping centre is right across the road and the street is lined with cafes. Within walking distance of town is a lighthouse, the bayside promenade, a native zoo, an elevated rainforest walkway and a museum.
Port Macquarie boasts many fine restaurants and dining options, so each night we will be experiencing a new local culinary offering.
Come and join Compass Expeditions from Sunday 23rd March to Friday 29th March 2019, immediately after our annual weekend reunion for a week of amazing riding, relaxation and socialising with others who like to ride, like to travel and preferably do both at the same time.
Dates & Prices
At a Glance
- We will base ourselves at Port Macquarie for all six nights, eliminating the need to pack/unpack every day and allow for partners who choose not to ride, or those who want a day off the bike, to enjoy the beaches, bushwalking, shopping, go fishing or simply relax in the hotel pool. Each day’s ride will offer a new route with differing terrain and challenges.
- 6 nights accommodation
- 6 breakfasts & dinners
- GPS Tracklog and track indicators
- Services of support vehicle
- Ride leader and sweep rider
- Personal Health/Travel Insurance
For those not wanting to ride their own bikes riders can rent a Compass Expeditions BMW F700, F800, R1200 RT & R1200 GS or Suzuki DR 650. Please contact us early at email@example.com as bikes are limited.
For those needing assistance to ship their bikes from interstate please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A light breakfast is included each day, a full breakfast is also available along with real coffee from the on-site Cafe all day.
We will brief both Road and Off Road groups around 8 am before departing on a day of excellent riding.
Each ride day will have an On Road and Off Road route option:
The Road option will be all on sealed roads
The Off Road option will be predominantly on unsealed roads and tracks with limited sealed sections.
There will be a lunch stop each day somewhere with a decent selection of lunch options. Lunch is not provided.
Each afternoon on returning to the El Paso Motor Inn In Port Macquarie there will be time to relax, rest and clean up before we head to dinner.
Enjoy and repeat each day.
- The Road option will be all on sealed roads
- The Off Road option will be predominantly on unsealed roads and tracks with limited sealed sections.
- 6 Nights in 4.5 Star Motel Style Accommodation
- On every day of the tour we include breakfast: 6 Breakfasts
- We include all dinners: 6 Dinners
- You will need to be in Port Macquarie on the Sunday prior to the start of ride, for your joining day (a bonus nights accommodation is included) If you have joined us for the Compass Expeditions Reunion Weekend you will already be in the right place for a great week of riding.
- All riders must have a valid motorcycle license.
- It is a requirement that all clients have appropriate insurance for this type of expedition.
TRIP EXTENSIONS – AUSTRALIA
Compass Expeditions is based in Australia our HQ is on the western outskirts of Melbourne. We have all ridden and travelled this wide brown land extensively and have a few suggestions of places to see and things to do while you are in the country.
First of all, Australia is big, really big, which means that there is an amazing variety of ride opportunities to ponder.
If after your Compass Expeditions Guided Motorcycle Tour you would like to take in even more of the sights we can arrange Motorcycle Hire, Self Guided Tours and make suggestions as to the best way to use your available time in our enormous back yard.
We are also able to arrange excursions to a plethora of amazing attractions either before you join one of our tours or after.
Here are just a few suggestions, please use the form below to contact us for more information or to see how we can assist with your Australian adventure.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Iconic Great Barrier Reef includes over 900 islands and stretches more than 2,600 kilometers along the coast of Queensland. It is worlds largest reef system and a Mecca for diving, snorkeling, boating and beach lovers.
We can arrange dive trips, resort accommodation and any number of amazing activities. Or we can find you a beach to relax, rest and revitalize on. The choice is yours.
Swimming with Whale Sharks
Exmouth on the remote northern coast of Western Australia is the jumping off point for another incredible reef experience. Ningaloo Reef is not only a world-class diving destination it is also the most accessible place to allow you to swim with the world’s largest sharks.
To experience Whale Sharks up close and in the wild is an experience that you will never forget. The calm majesty and sheer size of these gentle giants will stun you and with the right tour operator you will likely see a number of other amazing sights and sea life including humpback whales, blue whales, manta rays, dolphins, dugongs, turtles, spectacular corals and fish of all shapes and sizes.
The tropical rainforest ecosystem of the Daintree Rainforest is one of the most complex on Earth. It contains 30% of the frog, reptile and marsupial species in Australia, and 90% of Australia’s bat and butterfly species. 7% of bird species in the country can be found in this area. There are also over 12,000 species of insects in the rainforest.
Apart from the astounding biodiversity of this stunning coastal region of far northern Queensland it is also home to some of the countries most beautiful beaches and a delightful place to wind down.
Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park is an enormous, biodiverse nature reserve in Australia’s Northern Territory. With terrain encompassing wetlands, rivers and sandstone escarpments, it’s home to some 2,000 plant species and wildlife from saltwater crocodiles and flatback turtles to an astounding variety of birds. Aboriginal rock paintings, dating to prehistoric times, can be viewed at sites such as Nourlangie, Nanguluwur and Ubirr.
|Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Iconic Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid “Red Centre”. The nearest large town is Alice Springs, 450km away. Uluru is sacred to indigenous Australians and is thought to have started forming around 550 million years ago. It’s within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also includes the 36 red-rock domes of the Kata Tjuta (colloquially “The Olgas”) formation.
The Great Ocean Road
Motorcycling The Great Ocean Road is something of a right of passage for the many riders who come from around the world to cruise around the innumerable tight corners, fast curves and winding sections of this iconic coastal road.
It is a rugged coast, the views are as spectacular as the riding and the beaches some of the most wild and beautiful in Australia.
Some come for the road, some for the bush-land others for the iconic surfing of Bells Beach, Torquay and the massive waves of Port Campbell, whatever the reason, you can’t miss out on The Great Ocean Road.
Compass HQ is located just over an hours ride from the start of this 250km gem, with straight forward access to the coast from our workshop and depot.
TOUR AND EXPEDITION TRAVEL INSURANCE
|At Compass Expeditions we work hard to make sure that your motorcycle tour runs smoothly and safely. Your welfare is of primary concern to us and we know that we cannot control every situation on the road or while you are traveling.
Accidents happen, luggage is lost and tour or flight cancellations can occur, so it is our policy that all participants of Compass Expeditions tours have an appropriate level of travel insurance to cover the unforeseen. This is not only compulsory when joining a Compass Expeditions motorcycle tour, but it makes sense.
|We have sourced a number of companies that will provide you coverage in the event of an accident and/or other losses, depending on the policy selected and better still will give all Compass Expeditions customers a 10% discount off the advertised rates when purchasing through the our website, (this offer is not available over the phone). Compass Expeditions does not endorse, recommend or guarantee payment in the event of a claim from any of the insurers mentioned. We do know that they will offer a policy for clients riding a motorcycle OVER 250cc (including our bikes). This is a critical point to ensure when purchasing a policy. Compass Expeditions are offering this information as a service only to ensure all our clients are properly protected.|
Travel Cover for Australians:
Merimbula Days - A excerpt from Alan Toney's
Postcards from the Edge of a Sunburnt Country
The Compass Expeditions Reunion Weekend was a blast. Riders came from far and wide, from Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney, Brisbane and from many small towns in between. We numbered seventy-five, all having ridden with Compass sometime, somewhere in the world. We all knew what to expect by way of a quality two-wheel experience and none were disappointed.
Co-owners Mick and Jerry did us proud with a get-reacquainted lunch, two days of guided tours, a choice of twisty tar or dusty dirt, and an evening dinner with guest speaker Amy Harburg of the BMW International Women’s GS Trophy team. There were prizes for some and gift bags for all. There were tall tales told, happy times recalled and promises made for future rides together. Did I say it was a blast? And then some.
Come Monday morning, about half the gang headed home, the rest of us stayed on for another five days of fun in the saddle.
Each day, two rides were offered. The on-road option skirted the sand, surf and sea-carved cliffs of The Sapphire Coast, ranging as far north as Bateman’s Bay and Bergamui, and as far south as Mallacoota and Cann River in Victoria State. On alternate days there were twisties that probed far inland to the high country, to Bombala and Jindabyne, lakeside gateway to the ski resorts of The Snowy Mountains.
The off-road alternative used the mountain trails of the South East Forests National Park and the fire access and logging roads throughout the NSW State Forests. There was something for everyone, with Mick and Craig alternating as lead rider and sweep for the off-roaders, dubbed The Dirty Dozen, and Jerry and Jordan doing the honors on the tar with Team Latte. The names were used simply to group the bikes for the two ride briefings each morning...or were they?
My days of riding sand, dirt and gravel were long over and so it was the tar and Team Latte for me. Five days of sensory overload followed.
Whether we took the Imlay Road, the Candelo, the Snowy Mountain Highway or the Mt Darragh Road into the interior, we would first climb on tight corners through densely packed vegetation that crowded the narrow two-lane road. Up and up we would climb in sapping humidity, where mountains streams were many and twelve-foot high Acera Palms loomed overhead. Once on top, we rode into the rain shadow.
Trees were few and the land opened out with distant vistas over high rolling hills and shallow valleys of straw-colored grass. Lonely looking farm houses were dotted thereabout. This was sheep and cattle farming country, but the fields were mostly empty, with only the breed stock left to watch us sweep by. The color brown dominated. It was the end of a punishingly hot, dry summer. The rivers and streams, even the mighty Snowy River, were reduced to a trickle, but at each bridge crossing there would be an NSWTMS sign that announced Road Liable to Flooding with a gage, sometimes graduated to a depth of three meters. It really was a land of extremes.
Although this was my first time in Australia, I found “small town NSW” all too familiar. As we rode through Bombala, Bemboka, Nimmitabel, Cooma, Bermagui and Eden, all had a comforting, evocative feel about them. They all had a wide Main Street, wide enough for angle parking each side. Most buildings were of wood, with corrugated red tin roofs and Art Deco
© August 2018 Alan Toney
15 All rights reserved
facades. Metal shingles announced the specialty within, and most businesses except for the banks were family-owned.
There was a small shop for every need, whether it be hardware, shoe repairs, pet supplies, sewing notions or stationary and office supplies. There were no supermarkets, strip malls, shopping plazas, parking garages or parking meters. Everything you needed was on Main Street, one shop at a time.
The daytime social center of any small town was always the bakery. That is where you picked up your freshly baked bread, cakes and the ubiquitous meat pies, along with coffee or tea and the news of the day. Most towns had a local newspaper that survived, not because of its newsiness, but more for its public announcements and paid advertising. After all, in small towns everywhere, word of mouth trumps the internet with newspapers a distant third.
Then there were the local radio stations, with news and weather on the hour and fifty minutes of music in between. The news was fresh enough, but the music seemed stuck in the past. Music from the fifties ruled. Rock and Roll hadn’t come to these parts yet. I expected to hear How Much is that Doggie in the Window? or I Love You, a Bushel and a Peck! every time I sat down for morning coffee. It was music from a simpler, more innocent time and I loved it.
The penny finally dropped. “That’s it! Small Town NSW, it’s The Andy Griffith Show, it’s Mayberry, North Carolina. It’s just the way it used to be in Fifties America!” After every day’s ride, it was difficult to leave those little towns of the past and ride back to the present.
Of course, whether you spent each day on-road or off, we were all one big happy Compass Expeditions family but then, as in every family, cracks inevitably appear in the veneer. As one day followed another, several immutable truths became apparent. For instance...
While The Dirty Dozen were sucking in their own dust and spinning out of control on gravel with high and low-side rider/bike separations, Team Latte rode with panache, exhibiting a certaine je ne sais quoi as they ran in unison on identical lines through twisties and sweepers on the tar. Team Latte were oh so perfectly synchronized. They were poetry in motion, a high speed ballet on two wheels. Livestock in roadside fields stood in wonder and, after catching their collective animal breath, could only mutter in animal speak, “Who WERE those guys? They were faster than a speeding bullet!”
While The Dirty Dozen sat in logging roadside ditches, eating their dusty lunchtime Vegemite sandwiches each day, Team Latte would repair to a picture perfect little town and dine a la carte on regional fare.
Each day, at mid-morning and mid-afternoon, The Dirty Dozen would invariably find themselves squabbling over how to find their way out of the maze of logging trails, mud holes and sand wallows back to civilization. Meanwhile, Team Latte would be ensconced in a bakery or roadside coffee shop for either a tall black, a flat white, a cappuccino or espresso, while daintily selecting from a sample tray of cakes, pastries and confectioneries. For the more discerning palate, there was always a wide selection of specialty teas on offer.
Late afternoon, The Dirty Dozen would limp back into town nursing their aching limbs, their cuts and bruises, to hose down their bikes and each other, and to pick the gravel out of their ears and the bugs from their teeth. Watching their antics was always a source of amusement for Team Latte, who had already parked their still gleaming machines, showered, dressed and availed themselves of an ice-cold “stubby.”
© August 2018 Alan Toney
16 All rights reserved
At the farewell dinner on Friday night, Team Latte presented a tasteful tableau vivant. Dressed in Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band period garb, they gave a word-and-note-perfect rendition of When I’m Sixty-Four. And how did The Dirty Dozen respond? You may well ask. All they could come up with was their lunchtime-sitting-in-a-ditch-sing-a-long-odious-ode:
We’re happy little Vegemites
As bright as bright can be.
We all enjoy our Vegemite
For breakfast, lunch and tea.
Our mummies say we’re growing stronger Every single week,
Because we love our Vegemite It puts roses in our cheeks.
Draw your own conclusion. I have, and it’s a totally unbiased one, of course. In a nutshell, Team Latte rocked! On the other hand, the self-styled Dirty Dozen were such a sorry bunch. Why, they couldn’t even count. There were actually twenty-three of them.
Every good blast comes to an end sooner or later, and so it was with Merimbula. Saturday morning, it was hugs and handshakes for Bruce and Barbara, Darryl and Jackie, Gary, Ross, Cameron, the other Alan, Sarah, Duncan and Cindy, Eddy and my roomie, Top Bloke Peter and...it took a while. It was time to go our separate ways.