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Excursion to Victoria’s High Country

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by lui, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. #1 lui, Mar 2, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
    I have been tinkering the idea of a longer ride, so 2 weeks ago I checked the forecast around Eastern Victoria and picked a preliminary date. You might have read that I asked about accommodation around the area and route suggestions, thanks again for your collective wisdom. :)

    As the date approached and there was no major change in weather forecast, I checked my calendar and put in a leave request for Friday. Needless to say I was super excited when Thursday came. I had already checked the fluids, tyre pressure/condition and any loose bolts/nuts the week before, so on the night I just packed some clothes and refilled the hydration pack, and then went to bed early.


    Had an early start on Friday (Day 1), since there was well over 200km of range in the tank, I decided to fill up along the way at Pheasant Nest, and also stopped at Goulburn for breakfast. By 11am I was already at Cooma enroute to Bombala.

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    After a long lunch break and chatter with passing riders, I was on my way to the first highlight – Bonang Highway.

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    Oh boy! What a dreadful piece of road, I know many would disagree, but I personally feel that Bonang is overrated. Don’t get me wrong, some sections of it was “fun”, but to endure tens of kilometres of crap surface plus 10km of dirt for a brief moment of joy is not worth doing when there are better alternatives.

    It was actually my second run of Bonang, did it 3 years ago on the Tiger 800, perhaps that is a bike more suited for this sort of road. Anyway, I will be taking the Monaro Highway in future visits. Time saved would be better spent on a coastal route to Batemans Bay, and then to Bega or even the Kings Highway to Braidwood then Cooma.

    I felt super exhausted upon reaching Orbost and had to stop for a coffee break, luckily from there to Bairnsdale was an easy run. And thanks for the recommendation, Bairnsdale International did not disappoint, clean and tidy, and a short walk to the local RSL where I had their siguature Ozzy Chicken Parmigiana for dinner.

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    Saturday (Day 2) was a big day, I had planned 500km of twisties and mountain passes between Bairnsdale and Wodonga. First up was The Great Alpine Road. Even though there was a bit of overcast, it was perfect weather for riding, not to mention the spectacular roads!

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    The sun came out as I was ascending to Hotham Heights, and I have pictures to prove I was there. :D

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    Taking the following picture had led to some embarrassment, I made a rookie mistake on the way out of the loose rocks, and eventually the spinning wheel dug a hole against an incline. I was stuck for a brief moment, luckily a group of passing riders spotted I was in trouble and helped to push the bike out. Kudos to them.

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    I was very mindful from then on.

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    The descent to Harrietville was tight but not too technical unless one wants to push it, I was just flipping between second and third gear, and the engine did all the work. Before I knew it I had arrived at Tawonga Gap Road, which is another fine example of quality tarmac.

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    After refuelling at Mount Beauty, the ride up to Falls Creek was again breathtaking, though I had to watch out for slippery road snakes.

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    Continued on Bogong High Plains Road led to Rocky Valley Reservoir, last time I did not stop for picture, so this time I took plenty of them.

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    Then it was the long descent, and I have got to admit that I was feeling tired by that time. A good thing about riding in the mountains is that the trees provide a lot of shades and it did not feel as hot and therefore less fatigue, but I did stop a couple of times for short breaks just to be on the safe side.

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    Back on to the Omeo Highway, I felt much relaxed arriving Mitta Mitta at around 4pm, still plenty of daylight and only 100km away from Wodonga via Tallangatta (because I wanted to do more of Omeo Highway).

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    Taking Murray Valley Highway to Wodonga was pretty much the wrap for the day, but not before more pictures at Huon.

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    I settled in at Blazing Stump for the night, a nice motel with all the facilities and a pub next door, buffet breakfast was also part of the deal. I dipped into the pool for an hour followed by sauna, but I was not in a condition to use the gym. They even have a courtesy push bike, but I was in no mood to utilise it. This place is worth a revisit.

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    I took it easy and slept in on Sunday (Day 3), after few plates of breakfast (as I intended to skip lunch) I packed up and left at 10am. Going at a leisurely pace on Murray Valley Highway towards Khancoban, I saw a sign to Granya and suddenly remembered a mate said nice things about Granya Road. So an impromptu detour was in order, and in deed everything he said was true, this road must be no secret to the locals.

    The detour added an hour to the return journey, but that was ok as I was in no rush to get back to Sydney, though I would prefer not to ride in the dark. Not before long I was at the state border. The signs to Tumbarumba had prompted me to start thinking about the next ride.

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    An obligatory stop at Scammell's Lookout along Alpine Way. Two curious looking joeys lurking in the background as I stop for a quick rest, and again more pictures at Dead Horse Gap.

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    Continued on Alpine Way to Jindabyne, and then Kosciuszko Road to Cooma was the last highlight of the trip.

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    Then it was the boring journey on Federal Highway and Hume Highway back to Sydney. All up just shy of 2,000km, I would call that a pretty good effort for 3 days. Weather was perfect, roads were quiet, all in all a memorable trip.


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  2. lots of nice pics!
    never thought i would see anyone prefer to take monaro hwy over the bonang though.
     
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  3. Awesome pics...just stunning..

    What camera did you use?
     
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  4. luilui Thanks for the Ride report. Nice Pics. You cant go wrong doing a multi day trip around those roads.
     
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  5. Thanks for the report: neat numberplate!

    Many of the photos aren't showing for me, did you get one of my helipad ;)
     
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  6. i cant see alll the pics as well....
     
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  7. Thumbs up for the pics. Very nice
     
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  8. It's a Sony point and shot, though one of the better ones, the RX100 Mark III. I use to bring DSLR along to rides but it was such a hassle to use. The point and shot can easy go inside a pocket and the articulating screen makes taken pictures from different angles really easy.
     
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  9. So would I! That's a lot of dedication to stopping and taking time to get some excellent photos, thanks very much for posting the report. I will be returning to this report again and again; it is one of my ideal touring routes.

    I refreshed the page a couple of times and the remaining photos loaded.

    Netrider used to allow a maximum of eight attachments to posts but now that limit seems to have been removed so higher-resolution files sometimes need a little encouragement to download.
     
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  10. Well done luilui, did some of those roads a month ago, great scenery, gotta luv the high country
     
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  11. Thanks guys, I overlooked and did not resize a couple of the pictures, I guest that has caused display issues. I have since corrected the oversized ones but somehow they are stilled cached in the forum software, so had to rename those pictures also. They are fixed and just refresh as suggested above.

    Where is this helipad you spoke of Heli?
     
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  12. Looks like a great trip, & well written up Lui. Thanks.
     
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  13. Great report, great roads!
     
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  14. Not my helicopter, but the pad I set up and operated for ten years with my BK117 and B206s

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  15. That's very nice Heli, I shall return for an shot :)
     
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  16. Are you a BMW Touring Club member in NSW? We will have a BMW Clubs Australia Rally in Bright next November with plenty of rides around the area, it would be nice to get a gathering of K16s (y)
     
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  17. No, not yet but will look into it ;)
     
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  18. Liu, I did my first trip on the Bonang today. I agree with your assesment. The section between Bonang and the NSW border is fantastic, the rest is ruined by the crap surface. I'd happily travel between Delegate and Bonang any time. The 11km dirt section must have been awful on you K1600.
     
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  19. No, I did not like the unsealed section at all.
     
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  20. Its funny how some love the Bonang Hwy and and some hate it. I wonder why that is? Bike type? Riding style? Experience level?
    I personally love it, its challenging and rewarding with virtually zero traffic.

    Anywho, great trip by the sounds of it and its inspired me to piss off for a quick weekend blat through the high country so thanks for sharing.
     
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