Australian Wing Riders Association (Qld) Inc

A club for riders of Honda GoldWing and Valkyrie motorcycles

International Visitors

Eric, Val, Thommo and I had a very pleasant day with international visitors, the Raffin family.
Michel Raffin is a fellow Wing Rider from Saint Chamond, France and he has brought his family out on a month-long motorhome holiday of North Queensland.
We started their holiday with a tour of some of Brisbane's highlights.  A ferry ride from Bretts Wharf to Southbank, then up to Mt Coot-the for the view and coffee, then it was their wish to see a koala.  So it was off to Lone Pine Sanctuary to show off our wildlife up close.  Jokingly, I told Michel it was to see what he was to aim for on the road.
Here are a few photos from the day and this is Michel's web page.
Click on a photo for a larger version.

Email from Michel, 28/7/10

Hello friends!
I can't phone you because I bough a prepaid card but I can't register it because I have to fix an australian adress at Optus, so I contact you by email.
We passed our first night at Rainbow Beach. What a kick!! It's an amazing place!!!
We are fond of Australia. Everybody is very gentil with us and your country is really very very bautiful!!!
How lucky you are to live in this land!!!
The only thing you could do to ameliorate all this is to drive on the right!!! lol
Today we go to tannum beach near Gladstone. For the moment we are in Maryborough and we go to Gladstone.
Thank you once again for your help and your visit of Brisbane. We really enjoy Australia and you will stay in our hearts!!

By bye!!!
Email 29/7/10

We join you some pics of our visit of Brisbane. This will be a great souvenir.
The lights of Brisbane in the night are so magic!! Thank you again!!

Email 30/7/10
Hello everyone Clint,
Thank you for your webpage of our meeting in Brisbane. I sent the link on the forum of the Goldwing Club de France ( but I will surely create a whole page on my site devoted to this travel.
Yesterday at lunch we have eat in a 'typical' restaurant in Rockhampton with very delicious meat (In this town it was an obligation).
Today we go to Sarina.
We'll stop at Marlborough to visit. Bye!!

Email 31/7/10

Our trip goes on. Yesterday we were a little bit before Sarina and to-day we are at Airlie Beach for two days. We booked a trip for tomorrow as so as to snorkle on the Great Barrier Reef. From now on we drive on the left as real Australians!!! You don't care anything crossing us on the road!! We tasted Bundaberg Rum and XXXX. No so bad! We continue our discovery of your beautiful country! Hope everyone goes well in Brisbane!

Au revoir, à bientôt.
Email 1/8/10

Great experiences today!! The thin and white sand of the Whitsundays (With sunshine) and swimming with a meru!! Very impressive!! Great pleasure to see all this birds (Cacatoes (in French) and Cocobaries(?)). Nosies but beautiful. So there is one week that we are in Australia so now, I think I can say to you all the things that a French guy can find 'strange' or 'bizarre'!

First of all driving on the left.  It's true that after one week it becomes very easy. The only problem is when you are walking and that you want to cross a street.  You never know where the cars come (Left or Right?). So you have to stay sober.

Sober, another problem! In France if you want to drink, you go in a bar (café) - there are many - and you drink, and if you want to buy alcohol, you go in a shop or a supermarket and you buy what you want. Here, it is very difficult to drink and very very difficult to buy alcohol. You have to need an hidden store where people come with their car and full their trunk with bottles! Strange!

Another difference at the restaurant. In France, You enter, an employee comes and ask you what you want to eat and drink and when you have finished, you pay. Here you enter, you have to find an employee and tell him what you want to eat. You pay before having eat and you have to go to the bar to order alcohol!

Eating!!! How can you eat without bread??? I mean real French bread!! (Baguette, flute!!). I can't do that!!! I really don't want to leave this country which is amazing but I had one reason for coming back home, it will be this one!! Eating real French bread with real French cheese!!!

These are the main differences I see for the moment. Of course there must be many many others but I really don't know your way of life to tell you what they are!!

But one thing is sure!! Your country is so wide and so beautiful that living here must be very very nice!!!
Thank you all!

No translation necessary

Email 4/8/10
We left Airlie Beach for Townsville where we stayed 2 days. It's a new Australia we discover here! It's less 'clear' than in Brisbane. We saw our first graffiti and young drivers are a little bit 'nervous'.
To-day we are in Charters Towers. It's lovely and we eat delicious meat in an Irish restaurant there. We continue to Clermont but I think we have to sleep along the road!! Not a problem! It's beautiful and I'm happy because I begin to see my first Road Trains!!
Email 7/8/10

G'Day Mates! (Yeah! I speak like a real Australian!! lol)
Here we are on the cost again. We return back by Charters Towers, Clermont, Emerald and Banana. This will not be the better part of our trip because roads are very straight very long and very...shaking, and in fact, there are not many things to see but the sky at night!!
We are now in Gladstone, and we'll go down tomorrow on Hervey Bay, as so as to go to Fraser Island. Then we would like to go to Surfers Paradise before leaving. (Perhaps Catherine will find a Coast Life Guard there!) This travel will have amazing for us!! Many many differences with France (Everything is large here!!), but great souvenirs in head!!!

Email 8/8/10

Hi! New amazing day for today. We are at Hervey Bay and we had the choice between going to Fraser Island and going to see the whales.
As we have already been on the Whitsundays Islands we decided to go to see the whales. We were not disappointed.
This was an amazing show!! We also had the chance that this was a sunny day and a very calm sea. It's very impressive when the whales come near the boat and dive under it! It looks like if it was a truck coming below us!! Very spectacular but I supposed you have already see this many times!!
So we continue our travel. Tomorrow we go to Maroochydore and on Tuesday we go at Surfers Paradise. We don't know yet if we stay two days in Surfers Paradise or if we come back around Brisbane for our last day become washing and sending our campervan.
We have around 1650 pics (for the moment). There will be many many souvenirs about this fantastic journey. Hugs.

Email 10/8/10

Here we are! Good bye North good morning South.... and rain!!!
After Maroochydore we are today at Surfers Paradise in an incredible camping surrounded by buildings!! As it was raining very much to day we bought our last gifts and souvenirs from your fabulous country. We don't know yet what we'll do tomorrow. Perhaps we'll go near to Brisbane before sending our camper van on Thursday morning.
We want to thank you again for all what you have done for us! We'll try to keep contact when we are in France and don't forget that if you decide to come in France you will have help!!!
The Raffin Family returned to Brisbane and popped in to our place for dinner. On their request, Val and Thommo also attended and our little dining room was full.
We had a lovely evening going over their adventures in Australia and looking at a few of the hundreds of photos they took.
On Thursday morning, I lead them to a car wash so they could clean down the motorhome before returning it and staying overnight near the airport.
Email 15/8/10
Hello friends!!!
Here we are. After a (very) long travel by plane, we are back in our little but lovely country. The 14 hours flight between Sydney and Abu Dhabi are very hard to support (35°C in Abu Dhabi at 11:00pm), and I (Michel) slept 17 hours when I was in my bed.
Today should be cool. The first thing I have done this morning was to buy bread (lol) for breakfast then we take off all what we have bought for gifts and souvenirs. There are many (see pic) so we will always have a little piece of Australia with us.
We keep in contact until the next time we meet (There will be one I'm sure of this!!!)
Michel & Christine

AWRA Flag flies in France

Good morning!
As you gave me a beautiful flag, it couldn't stay without being on a Goldwing.
That's done!!! A AWRA flag bravely wave somewhere in north hemisphere.
Thank you very much!!