Monday, July 24, 2006

Good motorcycle roads # 13 Mt Lindsey

Mt Lindsey

Update 2011. Since I first posted this road has become much more popular. There has been some much needed resurfacing of the QLD side and this year some resurfacing of the NSW section as well even though it was not in bad shape. 

From Beaudesert go on to Rathdowney (or you may want to go across the Boonah and then back to Rathdowney) then on to Mt Lindsey highway to the border. This used to be one of the interstate routes south 30/40 years ago but has been mostly unused for about as long and was once in poor condition and unsealed for parts. Now it has a mixed surface, hotmix in parts and is lightly used by just local traffic.

The road to the range is open with a few sweeping corners as it passes through many farms. The climb on the range is very scenic and has lots of tight hotmix corners, then into the forest on the QLD side that has obviously been logged over the years and really thinned out. A long series of tight corners some almost hairpins, here the road surface is bumpy in a few places and starting to be resealed in parts, nothing to worry a rider with suspension set compliant.

After the border your jaw will drop in surprise, here in the middle of nowhere you enter a rainforest with one of the best sections of road imaginable. Not new but still in good condition, beautiful twisty curves snaking their way through the forest its something special and nobody around to spoil the fun.

After this the road opens and you can head on to the Summerland Way to Kyogle or to the small town of Woodenbong. I usually make it part of a loop to Kyogle and Uki and Gold Coast hinterland.

This road is much better riding than the overrated Lions Rd but then you can easy make a loop of both for a nice day out.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Good motorcycle roads # 12 Boonah

Beaudesert - Boonah Rd

From Brisbane take the Beaudesert Rd all the way to Beaudesert, about 45 mins ride. Riding through town turn right at the lights where sign posted to Boonah and continue slightly out of town before turning right again.

A mostly open road with a few mild changes of direction and a few gentle corners before a few high speed sweepers, this road has become very popular in recent years. Nice enough road however I don't find it a very engaging ride at anything close to the speed limit. A road popular for people wanting to open up their machines a little.

This was originally a favourite road of cruisers - used to see many a Harley or Wing out this way and rarely a sports bike but recent years has seen the road swamped by the one piece suit crowd and track bikes on a Sunday morning. I have not ridden it in years. 

Good motorcycle roads #11 Palmwoods

From Maleny if you ride to Mapelton there are some enjoyable roads down the valley below.

From Mapelton decend down towards Nambour and turn off to the right into Dulong road half way down. Its on a left hand bend with a sign post to Dulong lookout, you might want to ride the few nice corners that lay just after this turnoff (pictured below) and then return back to it.

This road is a really fun little ride - I was told about it by a local rider at the BP Mapelton one morning and its another of those hidden roads. It decends all the way to the valley floor with some very nice corners. The thing is mostly going down hill doesnt flow as nice as going up - but this works a treat - its my favourite decent I think.

Now once at the bottom there are a couple of intersections - you need only remember to turn right and right again at the 2 T junctions to get to Palmwoods.

(But to elaborate... the road actually changes names a few times, then at first T turn right onto Blackall range-Dulong road, shortly after vear left (just follow main rd) onto Rieds Rd and then shortly after come to 2nd T. Turn right again onto Old Palmwoods road, follow this into Palmwoods, follow main rd left at bottom of hill before town, now on Jubilee drive but road looks same, shortly will arrive Palmwoods. Turn right to enter town. Easy route -just follow signs.

At Palmwoods one option is to ride along the valley and return via Peachester - I shall post this elsewhere but to return to the top of the mountain again to ride back to Maleny then after riding through Palmwoods village keep heading straight and follow the main road which is now the Palmwoods-Montville road.

This will become a very steep twisty mountian climb - but some really bumpy surface in some parts of the range and some that just looks rough - but isnt bad at all - I actually like this road but its not for everyone perhaps.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Good motorcycle roads # 10 Currumbin

Currumbin Range

This is always a good ride and I enjoy this road much more then Numinbah Valley now.

From Murwillumbah you can return to the M1 via this or Numbinbah Valley, simply follow signs on road north from town centre past showgrounds or from Brisbane side you travel past Robina on the M1 and follow the exit signs before Coolangatta to Currumbin valley.

Or if you might look at my ride reports and note that I ride from Mudgeeraba to Currumbin Valley by side roads. This is a work in progress but have a look at google map and you will see how its possible, try via Old Coach Rd then Tullebudgera connection road.

While its superb in either direction I prefer riding it from the south, there is a nice climb up the range on the southern side followed by some very tight corners at the top. There is a lookout or 2 signposted but dont bother stopping as you cannot see much from any of them (update - trees thinned out in one section - pic of mt warning below taken just from road)
Once over the border the road runs along the mountain for a while with many excellent curves as it slowly starts to decend before the last steep decent to a T intersection.

If you turn right you head back to the highway or turn left to the 'rock pool' for another set of nice corners in 3 or 4 seperate little twisty hillside sections - great!

Good motorcycle roads # 9 Uki

Murwillumbah to Kyogle via Uki

Update 2016 - new surface south of Uki is superb, the premium ride in this region now for me.

This ride will take you through a magnificent area with five world heritage listed parks which is incredible to have so close to major urban areas when you think about it.

Some smooth sweeping curves from Murwillumbah to Uki. The Uki pub has great meals and makes a good spot for lunch travelling in either direction if the timing fits. (Old pub burnt down - not tried the new one)  (Cafe at Kunghur also good)

From Uki the road travels through some valleys in farming areas and over a range or two into Kyogle. Some fantastic scenery and a good selection of corners make this a riders delight.

Good motorcycle roads # 8 Numibah

Numinbah Valley & Tyalgum

Update 2011. Been some time since I posted this. The northern approach to Tyalgum has seen some resurfacing and is now much improved. The road from Murwillumbah has been under water a couple of times in floods and has some patches however they are mending this gradually.

Now whenever I ride the border ranges or northern NSW I return via Numinbah Valley. The road just rides much better in this direction giving you the benefit ascending the range where it works best going up in NSW and descending in QLD where it flows easy and you have the view right down the valley to enjoy.

Above: photos of Numinbah Valley Qld side then NSW side.

If you have never ridden the southern border ranges then this is a good starting point. From Mudgeeraba or Nerang you can ride Springbrook or Hinze Raceway as a popular prelude to the ride into the Numinbah valley.

You will enjoy some truly spectacular scenery which starts from the Numinbah village and peaks perhaps when climbing from the valley and crossing over into NSW. You will also pass the Natural Arch along the way which is well worth visiting if you have never been there before.

Over the border you will descend quickly to the valley floor, watch out on a couple of the first corners as they are deceptive for people on their first visit and again after Chillingham village are a couple of double apex corners to be aware of. Excellent views of the 'back' of Springbrook bluff from the valley floor if you can take your eyes off the road.

At the Boat Harbour creek you come to an intersection, and left over the bridge is the well beaten path to ride into Murwillumbah. Some excellent sweepers on the new road section and then through the cane fields to join the road from Currumbin into the town at the showgrounds.

Alternatively at the first intersection you can ride straight on and actually take a shorter route into town that by-passes the shops if you want to go straight on to the road to Uki.

Alternate route or side trip

Another way to bypass Murwillumbah is to go on to Uki via Tyalgum. Turn right at Chillingham and take it easy on the first bit before the road opens and improves in quality on to Tyalgum. This has the most spectacular views to your right and some nice curves along the way as well. 

At Tyalgum turn left to go towards Murwillumbah,  do not go straight ahead on this road (to Uki but not sealed all the way). Turn right to enter the historic township (well worth a visit). I like cafe here - but so do many people as its rather good - so arrive early or book a table.

Below: Tyalgum views, click to see larger photo.

Above and Below: Muwillumbah

Good motorcycle roads # 7 Kenilworth

Follow the signs west out of Maleny and after a spell you will come to the edge of the range that you have been riding along and descend down. Nice hotmix and on most of road down the range with some good corners and esses to enjoy.

Lower section of range from Conondale to Maleny.

Beyond the village of Conondale the road has some mixed patches of one lane still as the road is slowly being widened. A few nice bits couple of good corners in parts and then as you get close to Kenilworth there is a ripper road in the forest east of the township with a great flow with lots of wide and smooth corners and a set of wonderful hotmix 90 degree corners to enjoy.

Above - west of Conondale
Below - start of the fun near Kenilworth.

Good food available at Kenilworth as well as drinks and fuel if needed.
Try the Bellbird cafe just before Kenilworth, very biker friendly place!