Friday, December 28, 2007

Australia's best motorcycle roads. Bulahdelah.




Bulahdelah - the other "Old Road"





It's a magic bit of tar..
Here is a road that you would never find if not for local knowledge.

The Pacific highway in it's older form was a far more interesting road than it is now. Twisting and turning its way around every mountain and valley road surveyors sure earned their money in those times. I recall as a lad my parents with caravan in tow cursing the numerous difficult ranges to cross on our old highways, the cars of the time had neither the power or brakes to deal with the often steep climbs and descents. Now cars would have little trouble but all those old roads have become straight and featureless.


Feels spooky at times on this deserted road
Edges are VERY slippery.

A few pieces of the old highway exist. I have found a couple but would dearly love to know of more bits of our old highways as I love traveling along them. This is a section of the old Pacific highway that runs from Bulahdelah. The entry points from the new highway are a little hard to find so please check the google map to get and idea however the township of Wootton lies on the road so this is something to aim for.



Now on this route and in the middle of nowhere you will come across the road in these pictures. Its quite a surreal experience to be traveling along this all by yourself without seeing any other vehicles. Its a great ride but because it is so low traffic there is alot of leaf litter, do not venture off the worn light coloured tar, the dark tar at the edges of the road are extremely slippery! Not all the road is like this but there is a large section that crosses a mountain range that twists and turns for a good distance like this then tightens and has some steep sections that make for one very special ride. Its a bit out of the way but honestly its worth making a special trip to visit this very unique and special road.

Map

Bulahdelah to Booral

As an add on to above I will mention this road here as you will need to cross over from Bucketts Way to the Pacific H-way to ride the old highway but then will want to cross back over as soon as possible. North you can follow the Bucketts way across and I shall post it up elsewhere, south is this connecting road.



The road from the coast rises over a small range that offers up plenty of corners however this road is very old and the surveying style is not so predictable nor is the surface in very good condition. Parts have been resealed and other sections are the original surface and in between its broken up in places. The old double yellow line marking used long ago on our roads is faded but still visible in a few sections - this is the only place I can think of that this still exists. (not to be confused with the alpine area amber yellow marking)

Update: I found out this yellow line marking was once used on all our National road system. The Bucketts way was the original route Sydney to Brisbane and then it was decided to build a new alignment to the east. What they did was upgrade this road so people could use the new eastern Pacific hway to here then cut back over to the old Bucketts because they were still building the river bridges north of here.


Map


8 comments:

  1. The old highway at Buladelah is agreat bit of road and is in reasonable condition, sure beats the new highway. I travell it every time I ride up the coast, beautiful bit of road through the forest.
    I travelled along the Booral to Buladelah road a few months ago, bought back memories as I can vaguely remember travelling it as the highway when I was a kid. Yes it was a long time ago. Rough in places, tight corners that wind through the bush, but a ton of fun. Very quiet, no one else on the road the trip I did.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm riding the Booral to Buladelah road with a group of friends tomorrow, I've not ridden it before so I'm looking forward to it. The old highway near Buladelah is called Wooton Way, it's great fun (on a bike or in a car) and I also travel on it whenever I'm near it. If your in the general vacinity and have the time try Washpool/Booral Road and Bingleburra Road between Dungog and Gresford.
    Cheers, Shaun

    ReplyDelete
  3. Haven't done this on a bike (got into bikes after moving to the UK), but used to love this road in a car.

    There's one corner that is one of my favourite places in Australia - travelling north it's a hard down-hill left-hander, with a magnificent stand of tall, white gums and tree ferns in the valley straight ahead.

    When I come home to Aus (with my BMW 1150GS) I'll be straight back there.

    Thanks for the road report!

    Rob

    ReplyDelete
  4. Its now called The Wooten Way. The leaves that collect on the side of the road give it a real forest feel.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  5. I ride it every time I go up the coast to Taree.
    Fantastic road approx 22km long 4 lanes wide in places with no one on it.Also takes no longer than going on the new boring motorway.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've ridden the Wooton Way twice in a many months, each tome a road crew was patching holes. Usually very quiet now with more bikes than cars

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is best to be circumspect on the Booral/Girvan/Buledelah Road - I have found BDouble quarry trucks each time I have ridden it lately.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Once again my previous replies have been lost but thanks to everyone for the feedback.

    ReplyDelete