Camping cost: $1536.73 Sites: 40 Average: $38.42

peteg's blog - travels - Motorcycle - 2017 07 20 TattersallsCampground

Glebe to Tattersalls Campground and back.

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The excellent Find a camp suggested a few spots just south of Forster that might be reachable by motorcycle from Sydney in a few hours of not-too-fast riding. I set out from Glebe in the late (warm and very fine) morning, and promptly got lost around Artamon, trying to get onto the Pacific Highway. No problem, but that road is shockingly slow even at such non-peak times. I mucked around to get to the BP at Hornsby; sure enough there's another one on the western side of the road at Asquith. After that it was a pleasant ride up near Brooklyn, across the old bridge, to the Anaconda near Gosford (some occy straps to reinforce the bicycle inner tubes holding my pack to the rack), and lunch at Lisarow. The busker there was playing 1980s Australian classics to retirees; the pie, sausage roll and flat white were serviceable but not likely to attract Roberts Bakery partisans.

The most challenging of the muddy spots, on the way in.

Given the short days, I decided to head fairly directly to Tattersalls campground, on the Karuah River, via the BP in the town of Karuah soas to allay any fears of running out of fuel on the way back out. Hobarts Forest Road is a dirt track, easily passable, but Tattersalls Road is nowhere as well drained; with a lot of care I got past three large muddy sections — one entirely covering the road, necessitating some minor off-road bush bashing. The city slicks don't provide much traction in these settings. Both the nameless CB400 and I were both well splattered by the time I got to the end of it. The website did warn me the track was unlikely to be passable with a 2WD but I didn't expect it to be so bad.

I had the campground to myself. There's a heavily-eroded boat launch (another further along looks more usable), a toilet (that I didn't further investigate), some picnic furniture, fireplaces everywhere. Most sites are bare clay, some boggy; clearly the place is more for car camping than what I had in mind. I ate my dinner down at the river, but decided to set up the tent on higher ground. I hit the Thermarest soon after sundown, avoiding the swarms of silent but seemingly non-deadly mosquitoes, and spent the evening snoozing, listening to Roy Harper and chewing a bit more of Michael Knight's Eveningland.

Morning after.

Next morning I had a very light breakfast while a family of pelicans lazily swam past, packed up and aimed to grab a proper breakfast in Raymond Terrace. I made it past the first two boggy bits on Tattersalls Road but not the last, largely due to cockiness and misreading the path I'd took on the way in. Stuck in the middle of the road! After wrestling the bike for a while I gave up and called the police, who were of limited use; the initial message out of Raymond Terrace was that they'd take a while to come and help me, so I should try a towing company, but soon enough this became an insistence that I figure it out myself. The first towing company couldn't make it that day at all, and the other wanted $400 for coming from Newcastle. I was ultimately saved by a thong-wearing Kiwi and his English mate who insisted on hoisting the bike out of the mud for me, seeing as I was blocking their route to a day's fishing with the Kiwi's Dad.

After that, totally covered in mud, I hightailed it to Raymond Terrace for some tucker. The cafe people turned their noses up at my appearance, though the local librarian was a lot less snooty. I took the motorway in moderate traffic back to the BP at Pymble, and hence to Glebe, mostly at 100kph as the wind drag got too much past that for sustainable comfort.