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A short(long)cut to the snowy's (southwards)

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by Ljiljan, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Goes from Yass to Tumut, I recently had the pleasure of driving along this little ribbon here. I was in a little Mirage at the time, and could not help but wish I had chosen the bike instead.

    This road starts off as 15 k's of straight road, pretty boring, but considering you can count the cars you pass on less than one hand, you can make it disappear fairly quickly.

    Boring part gone, this turns into one of the most exciting roads I have travelled. The road heads into the hills and for the next 30 k's a series of open sweepers down to blind sharp corners just comes rushing at you, as you pass over a constant barrage of hills and small mountains. Constant tight windy 35's and 45's as you go over one hill, up and down, followed by 55-75 wide open corners as you approach the next.

    I would put road quality at better than the RNP, seems to be a bit lower grade, but much smoother and way less travelled, baring about a kilometre of gravel approaching Wee Jasper. But dont worry, there is still another hill between you and it.

    Oh, and when I say hill and mountain passes, read it as "you are on the edge of a steep hill. The only thing protecting you from coming off is your brain and your competency, and how the two interact". If you do go off the side, you wont be stopping for a long time.

    Now, one could argue that this road really goes to nowhere and stops. Which is in itself a good thing - virtually no traffic, especially of the kind that takes your licence away. The issue with that argument is that you would be wrong, but the person who was right would wish that they were wrong. Because past Wee Jasper is probably one of the most intense dirt roads I have encountered. The good side is that traffic drops from virtually non-existent to literally non-existent, which is definitely a plus as you wouldnt be able to pass them if there were, its just to narrow, and its just about the only plus I can think of.

    The mountains become higher, covered with trees, and much more rugged. Luckily the road avoids two large ranges and travels between them. But its certainly bad enough. The surface is loose, the pebbles better described as rocks, very windy (twisty not blowy) and corrugated in places. The worst is over after about 15 km's and the surface becomes smooth and positively delightful by comparison, but you're that drained that you just want the dirt to leave. It certainly takes its toll, and the Mirage's air con died somewhere in that section - I'm not normally one for air con but for a 42 degree day I was happy to make exceptions - making for sweaty feet slipping on accelerator, clutch and brake, not a pleasant situation on such a road.

    The next twenty k's are somewhat uneventful - still gravel, but smooth - with the exception of another short nuggety section, which is quickly over. It even becomes sealed in places. Over the course of the 35 k's I also got a bit of drifting practise in, a temporary relief to the heat.

    You then come to a T-intersection which informs you that if you turn right Tumut is 29 unsealed kilometres away, or 31 sealed k's if you go left. :-s
    Heading left is a road similar to Wee Jasper Rd, but more open, less hilly and generally quite fast that takes you into Tumut, at the mouth of the Snowy's.

    So if you plan on heading to Tumut, take this detour and just remember pack your extra large steel balls, or look for other paths through the gravel - a quick look at google hints that there are - and you will have yourself an excellent highway free trip down to the snowy mountains. Or if you find yourself near Yass, take an hour (return) to head down to Wee Jasper and travel one of the most outstanding roads in NSW. Or if your in the car like I was, screw the highway and go for it, its worth every bump.
  2. Damn, I remember that road. I took it once in the Renault 16 with my wife and little baby daughter in the car. We got on it by mistake and couldn't get off. It was horrible then and it still seems to be if your description is anything to go by.
  3. Oh, its a shocker, thats for sure, but the first 50 k's is simply delightful.
  4. there is heaps more good roads up there if your on a motard as well.
  5. Thanks Lilley for bringing back some great memories :) I have done this road on my current bike and the run has, joy, horror, fear and wonder; sometimes all at the same time. ;)
  6. 16" front wheel, dirt's out for me..

    next time you're down that way, go to Jindabyne and head over to Thredbo and the glorious Alpine Highway, through to Corryong; all tar, not a straight in the whole length, and some of the best scenery to be had anywhere...
  7. We were staying in Jindabyne (almost) and went that way on the way home :) I only got as far as khancoban and then did this little detour here. Paced a guy on a bike the whole way - its not a very travelled road, has heaps of debris, so he couldnt have ridden that fast even if he was trying (which he wasnt). Took me about 10 hours to get home from jindy with only minimal breaks, the longest stint iv ever driven or ridden for.
  8. sigh wish i had the dirtbike and that would of been a mad trip through there, sounds like a nice ride and well worth the trip, but 50kms of bumpy roads, dirt and gravel, im surprised u didnt turn back after 10 kms, nice story man, and nice route, have to do it another time.

    cya around

  9. I did it on a road bike Phil. It is possible and at the time I did regret it half way :) but at the end it was a road I enjoyed and will do again. :)
  10. I was in a car so I didnt mind so much. I was going to jindabyne, so turning around would have meant another 2 or so hours of driving on top of the 2+ hours I still had left.
  11. Everything you say is spot on. I had the accidental pleasure of riding this road on News Years Day.
    My wife was working the kids (24 to 19) probabably do not recognise me and so if I am missing maybe the dog might notice.
    But I have a motorbike and have been back riding for justr over 12 months during which time I have ridden over 20,000 kms.
    Anyway New Years day On the couch watching the weather channel like probably thousands of other mature people. 6.40 am decision time lets go to Jindabyne from Baulkham Hills Sydney stay the night return home Saturday or Sunday. Read Bears Atlas not with my glasses and did not see the dotted line Yass to Tumut.
    Road from Yass to Wee Jasper has 1.5 klms of dirt dut good smooth dirt (great ride). After Wee Jasper it turns into a one lane bush track with concave mirrors to see around corners for traffic, over hanging branches, big rocks, pot holes, corrugations and tight uphill and down hill corrugated roads. Yass to Tumut 105 Klms 2 hours.
    If I had my sons Kawasaki KX250 motocross bike it would have been a blast as it was on my 357 klg plus rider Suzuki C109r Cruiser it was hard work, 240 mm rear tire. 2nd gear nice and steady and with utmost concentration no issue. Would I do it again absolutely but beware the chances of falling off your cruiser are high.
    Anyway I did find one of my favourite rides which i keep telling my mates about in the vague hope that they may get a leave pass and go.
    Tumut, Batlow, Khancoban, Thedbo, Jindabyne then turn left 7 klms before Cooma, or visit Cooma, then up the Monaro Highway to Adaminiby, Kiandra and back to Tumut. The road from Cooma to Tumut via Kiandra is oustanding twisties and big smooth sweepers. Could be a favourite stretch for the police to catch speedsters so do not get too execited. Thats about 480 klms Tumut to Tumut and is completely sealed the road risers to a height of 1500 metres and is covered in snow during winter. I did the Cooma Tumut run in solid rain and it still ranked as good as any road I have riden.

    Any way thats enough for my first post

    Take it Easy
  12. A couple of tourists killed them selves on that stretch over cooking a mondeo about 6 years ago. It is a great stretch, but it can be a bit misleading on some of those corners.