Thursday, January 31, 2008

Australia's best motorcycle roads. Snowy Mtns Highway

Snowy Mountains Highway. NSW

Here is a major mountain road with countless excellent sweepers that for some strange reason is not rated more highly. I actually skipped it the first time I rode the Snowy mtns area thinking it must be no good - don't make the same mistake, this is a terrific bit of tar!

The Snowy Mtns h-way is very good road surface for 90% of the road, with a small part of what appears to be the old road still in place which makes up for being a bit bumpy by having lots of tight corners.

A brief overview north to south is leaving Tumut the road flows gently in the hills beside the Blowering reservoir with a long series of sweepers before you arrive at that steeper tight section of old road. Up high the road has a bit of straight stuff to cover before changing to a series of rise and fall sweepers that are very enjoyable. Then you leave the forested area and near the top will encounter some semi lunar landscape type country void of trees yet still with some curves and good road surface. Starting the very gentle descent the sweepers recommence for your enjoyment and are indeed excellent in some sections. After all this the countryside opens up and you have some straights but overall still a enjoyable ride into Cooma.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Australia's best motorcycle roads. Murray River Rd

Murray River Road, VIC.

Of the many great rides I enjoyed in Victoria on recent my moto-gp tour, this one certainly stood out.

I had faint memories of this road in my mind before riding it. I remember this road from when I was very young on holiday with my parents, caravan in tow. The water level is much lower than I recall and no doubt like alot of Australia's water ways is suffering from a lack of rain, however the road seems almost unchanged.

I rode it from the Hume weir near Albury over to Corryong. After crossing the Murray you will ride along the side of the Lake Hume and enjoy a well surveyed road with good surface that bends to and fro following the contours of the lake.

The road retains its old style roadside posts and has a real charm to it I cant exactly explain. I hardly saw a car the whole trip, and totally enjoyed that as I do on similar low traffic roads. After the lake ends you follow the river in a scenic valley before reaching Walwa and first fuel, however you can easy reach Corryong if you fuel back near the weir (fuel opposite military barracks). Walwa makes a nice stop anyway, friendly folk in the shop with reasonable coffee.

Continue along the river valley and indeed you are right beside the state border all the way formed by the Murray river here to Corryong which is a nice country town that is well serviced. The lookout above the town is not too bad and they have a brand new hot jet wash which may be tempting if you have been on the road for a few days and can't see your motorcycle for dead bugs.


Friday, January 04, 2008

Australia's best motorcycle roads. Gwydir h-way

The Gwydir highway. NSW.

This is one of those roads I always seem to skip. Not cause it isnt a great ride but simply because it is competing with so many other good roads in the same area.

From Grafton you are always going to be tempted to ride towards Nymboida. The road to Armidale via Ebor is one of the most enjoyable rides that leads on to Waterfall way. However if you want something different and excellent in its own way then ride up the Gilbralta range to Glen Innes via the Gwydir.

Leaving Grafton you are on a flowing road that is easy riding. From Jackadgery you follow the river to the base of the range in a very scenic valley. Now you will climb all the way to the tablelands high country on what is a truly excellent piece of road. Smooth and and tight in places yet well surveyed corners and quite a predictable road, you will really enjoy this on any bike I think. There are a couple of rest points and the views get better and better as you climb.

Up the top you will then ride in a dense tall tree forest and here is the most fantastic views at a place called Raspberry lookout. Its just a short way off the road - however note the access road is not sealed all the way.

Now continue on and the road opens up and you will see the vegetation totally change as you enter the high plains. Soon you will come to the historical town of Glen Elpin and then after this it mostly fast straight road to Glen Innes with a few curves here and there.