One Big Island

Two Australians, a Gold Wing and a Trailer: Touring Australia

The two Austrians are – Margit, 50 years young, and Arno, 49 years old; the Gold Wing – a 1500 that is 18 years old – and a big trailer. The last, but not least important thing, was our wish to travel through Australia.

After a trip through South America and Central America five years ago, we planned our next trip. As we booked one year off with our companies, we looked for destinations. Margit’s wish was to go to Australia and Arno’s was Canada and Alaska. We had four years to plan the whole trip. Arno refreshed friendships from his travel through Australia 13 years ago, which he did even back then on his Gold Wing with a trailer.

At the beginning of August 2014, Arno drove the Wing with trailer into the harbor of Hamburg where the Wing was shipped to Perth. On the 29th of September, we started our tour from Vienna via Düsseldorf via Abu Dhabi to Perth. It was a long 30 hours to start our tour and we were happy to arrive in Australia. A Gold Wing Road Rider Association Member in Perth helped us a lot with all the paperwork, the immigration, the insurance, the technical inspection …. We got in contact with him through the Gold Book from GWRRA. On Oct. 6 after the jet lag and all the administrative things were done, we started our trip from Perth on a wonderful, sunny day.

First we went down to Wave Rock, to Albany, back to Perth, up to Broome, Katherine Gorge through Litchfield National Park, Darwin, to the Uluru and across to the Atherton Tablelands. Here we spent a few days with an Austrian friend who has lived in Australia for the past 35 years. Till now the Wing did a great job. In the Tablelands our more-or-less new battery quite the job and then we also needed a new rear tire – we had a 6 cm-long cut in the sidewall from a little rock that went through the gap in between the tire and shaft.

We drove further on to the Babinda Boulders to Cooktown and Daintree National Park. We managed to pass the north of the continent just before the wet season started. On the first weekend of December, we met Gold Wing Club of Australia (GWCA) friends – Antonetta and Seth. We celebrated with the GWRRA at their Christmas party. After Harvey Bay, we stayed for five wonderful weeks together with Antonetta and Seth in their house and on tour through Queensland and New South Wales. We had great and fun times together and thank them so much again. We met a lot of very nice Gold Wingers through them.

At the beginning of January, we went further on our tour and met some more Gold Wingers from the Australia Goldwing Association (AGA), which hosted us and showed us some parts of the amazing continent. At the end of January, we spent a great and funny weekend with the GWCA (same abbreviation as our club in Austria) in Merimbula.

At the beginning of February, we toured for about three weeks around Tasmania. Back from Tasmania, we toured the famous Great Ocean Road southwest of Melbourne. The following weekend we met again some members of GWCA and had a great weekend in Bright together. After Bright, we headed to Adelaide Gorge before we spent one week in Port Lincoln and went to an AGA meeting. From there we headed back to Antonetta and Seth’s in Boonah, where we spent our last three weeks.

April 12, we shipped our Wing to Vancouver. For the last five months of our time off, we intend to travel the U.S., Baha, California, Canada and Alaska. After being a Winger for 24 years now, it is time to attempt for the first time, a Wing Ding and Reno Rendezvous. So that Arno doesn’t get withdrawal symptoms without his Wing, Greg and Donna from Brisbane Goldwing Hire offered us their Wing for the last two weeks.

We traveled 38,000 km in Australia with our Magenta Wing, which now has 263,000 kms on it, and are very lucky that we had no major problems. We have seen some amazing places. We want to thank all the members of the Gold Wing family in Australia so very much for all they did for us on our six-month trip in Australia. It was a great pleasure to meet you all and hope to see you again at our home in Austria and repay the favor.

Arno Darnhofer, GWRRA #096249, and Margit Baumgartner live in Austria. The couple plan to open a Gold Wing rental company Wings for Wingers in the spring of 2016 (online Dec. 1, 2015). Read about their U.S./Canada tour in the Wing World digital edition. The couple are now home in Austria.

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