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great alpine road - which way round??

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by kara, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. hi all,
    my bike is two months old and in need of a desperate need of a good long ride

    i decided to leave friday morning for a two-day trip round the great alpine road coming back saturday afternoon
    I intend on going up the melba highway to yea, mansfield, whitfield (for lunch), oxley, milawa, myrteford, and down the great alpine road staying overnight at Bright or Mt Hotham (undecided), continuing down the next day to Bruthen & Bairnsdale and back to Melbourne along the boring Princes Highway.

    my question is...for those who have done this journey or similar..should i go the way intended above (clockwise) or round the other way and up the great alpine road from bruthen? (anti-clockwise)

    in responding please note that my largest consideration is not "the twisties and speed etc.." but safety. is it safer to travel one way as opposed to the other????

    also...i will be on a large cruiser ....if this is a consideration,..

  2. Great route. If I were you I'd go to Mansfield via Healesville and Alexandra, the Black Spur is no more difficult than the road between Mansfield and Whitfield and more interesting than the road to Yea.

    The surface on Mt Hotham has a few poor patches on it at the moment, so if it was me I'd rather be going up it than down. Clockwise it is.
  3. for a bit more excitement on the way home, I recomend you go down the South Gippsland Highway. Turn off at Sale. It will add 75km to the trip as well as a lot more fun! Nice sweeping bends. It will then join up to the South Eastern at Dandenong.

    Here is a map! http://tinyurl.com/2rn667

    BTW, I'd go clockwise!

  4. I've done this ride, in both directions, many times.

    May I suggest that when you've left Bairnsdale, after having one of the nicest hamburgers around at the hamburger shop across the road from McDonalds (a touch of irony there), to get off the Princes Highway as you leave B'Dale. You have two choices - turn left onto the Bengwarden Road which takes you along some nice sweepers and into Stratford. From Stratty, turn right and head to Maffra, follow the roads towards Traralgon where you turn off just out of Glengarry and head to Tyers, up towards Walhalla, then back onto the road back towards Moe, then at Tangil South turn right and head up to Hill End/Willow Grove, onto Icy Creek Road, then to Noojee, Powelltown and Yarra Junction.
  5. either way, though most people enjoy riding up steep hills rather then down as you can get on the power earlier......and the the other thing is the run to omeo is alot better heading down, if you come up from omeo you have to be doing wrap 10 factor really get appericate the sweepers twisties, where as heading down you only need to be at warp 8.7 ;)
  6. thanks for all the replies!!!

    and i thought i'd automatically get flamed for the "on a cruiser" comment

    clockwise it is....and i will follow your advice and go though the spur and back though traralgon

    many many thanks!!
  7. A kidney belt is required for the South Gippsland Highway unless you're on a fat cruiser.
    OP Going the direction you're talking about is ok by me.
    How you get to Bright is up to you and some of the suggestions have merit.
    The Bengworden Road is a good one but it is "patrolled" Most bends are signed as 80k and you should be able to get through quite a bit quicker. The straights between can be boring though.
  8. 2wheels, I am not sure what you mean by this. Can you elaborate? Are the roads shit or have I missed something? Or do cruisers not have the best suspension?

    Not being defensive, just would like to know! :grin:


  9. fark better remember that next time i head down that road.....i normally use it to check to make sure all the number work on the digital speedo :oops: :wink:

    can a test to the fact that all of the bends can be taken at speed
  10. Mate the section between Sale and Yarram is the roughest road I have ever ridden. Yarram to Foster is better and from Foster on it's pretty good.
    A fat cruiser with soft suspension would be ok but anything sporty is a mission. Its as hard on the body as riding a dirt bike. :)
  11. The Bengworden Hall and the bridge across the Perry River are 2 places to be careful.
    We use it as a regular rat run between our offices in Sale and Bairnsdale and more often than not we see a tax collector either stationary or mobile.
    Still have to be unlucky though.
  12. An alternative to Bengwarden is to turn right as you leave B'dale and head towards Dargo through Lindenow, through to Stockdale and coming out at around Maffra.

    Mind you, some of these roads are little more than goat tracks and it's not my favorite route whenever we're coming home from Merimbula or Bright. But we've not seen many tax collectors out that way, unlike Bengwarden.

    But then, if you're on a cruiser this shouldn't be an issue anyway...

  13. Cool! Thanks for that. Haven't ridden the Sale to Yarram section for ages. Did it daily for 4 years going to school so it put me off!! Now I have another reason.


  14. I did this trip pretty much as you describe about a month ago. Came up via Mansfield - Whitfield - Milawa. The tricky (but fun) bits are Mansfield to Whitfield, the climb to Hotham, and Omeo to Bruthen specifically around Swifts Creek. The boring and tiring parts are Yea to Mansfield, Whitfield to Milawa and Bairnsdale to Morwell (and beyond).
    IMHO the biggest safety issue is getting tired at the end of the day. Hotham makes a good halfway spot, but it means doing the tight, technical climb up there later in the day. On the other hand, I find it easier to go uphill than down.
    If I was doing it again next week I think I would put the Gippland section under my wheels as early as possible while I was still raring to go, fresh enough to deal with Swifts creek, and enjoy the relatively free-flowing ride up to Hotham. Descend in the morning while feeling refreshed (Don't get rat-faced like I did at the General Store :oops: ) and get home at a decent hour. Adding South Gippy twisties makes it a loooong day, whichever way you go.