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Melbourne to Omeo & back via Falls Creek & Mt Buffalo

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by cragv, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. #1 cragv, Feb 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Well, things have changed a bit since my last ride reports. I sold the mighty FJ1200 and bought a much newer (2000 vs 1987), lighter (165kg vs 270kg) and 'funner' (V-twin 650cc vs heavy old inline 4) machine, my SV650S. I've also had my first crash on a motorcycle now - took me almost 3 years and 40,000km to do it, but I got there!

    Saturday, 6 February 2010: Mat and I hatched a plan in January that we'd get away this month for a proper ride. With hills and everything. Feb 6 & 7 chosen, I nutted out a route with the help of the friendly OCAU.mc and NR forum folk, and came up with this:


    That's 1200km over a Saturday and Sunday, plenty of altitude and attitude thrown in. Looking good!

    Also, I've obtained an Oregon Scientific VGA action cam for this trip, so I thought I'd experiment with it. Unfortunately, while I got about 3 hours of footage (including my crash), I spent almost the entire ride with it tilted about 18 degrees past horizontal! So, if you decide to watch my videos, you can either tilt your head to the left, tilt your monitor clockwise by 18 degrees, or simply ignore it (recommended). They still watch okay and have a few interesting bits and pieces within.


    Day 1: we met at Mat's at 7.10am and headed East. Out through Maroondah, Warburton, Woorie Yallock and Noojee, eventually down to Moe and onto the main drag (Princes Hwy). This leg was largely uneventful and as I've described the Yarra to Moe run via Noojee in the past, we'll let this paragraph suffice for the first quarter of the ride. It was fun.

    Beautiful sunny day so far, but then we rode through rain on the way to Omeo. Once we got onto the Great Alpine Road (GAR), the real adventure began. It was wet, sure, but it was fun too! Check it out:

    iCurOFfrsGI[/media]]Video here

    We hit Omeo at around 12:30pm and found many other bikes there. While down in Melbourne it would have been around 30 degrees, up in Omeo it was a more pleasant 22. We grabbed lunch and had a bit of a chat with some of the other blokes before departing for Mt Beauty via Hotham and Harrietville. The plan was to make it all the way around the loop today, stay the night in Omeo, then do half of it again on our way to Mt Beauty and beyond.


    Things didn't quite go as planned, however. We left Omeo after lunch, feeling good, but as we climbed toward Hotham over about the next 30km or so, it became increasingly cold (not a problem), misty (we could deal with it), foggy (getting dodgy, but still fine with common sense) but then eventually slippery. Really slippery - black ice! Just as we hit the 60km/h zone outside Hotham, first Mat's rear wheel skipped sideways a little, and then mine did. We pulled over, each considering the ~14km of high altitude ahead before dropping again into Harrietville, and mutually and wordlessly agreed to turn back. Besides, my wet gear just wasn't cutting it - and I'd been freezing after about Bairnsdale, even with all my warm kit on!

    We headed back down the hill through the beautiful countryside to Omeo, arriving at around 3.30pm and booking straight into our pre-arranged room at 'Snug as a Bug Motel, Omeo'. Friendly owner, great little facility, complete with pool table and chess set. We decided to take it easy and tackle tomorrow feeling dry and fresh.

    We played some pool, played some chess, ate some great pizza and just hung out. Both our wives were busy elsewhere that weekend so it was just good to kick back, hang out and chill, two wheels or not. We were on an adventure, and tonight, that adventure included dry, comfortable rest. Nice.

    Day 2: We packed up and got out of Omeo by around 8.15am, including filling the tanks at the Mobil on our way through. We decided ahead of time to take the newly-sealed road from Omeo to Falls Creek - 70km of previously-dirt road which was now freshly tarred, ready for our road bikes. Woohoo!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Mat coming around a corner on the road out of Omeo...

    Great, fast roads on the way out there, and then the climb on the new road was just magnificent. The video below will show you some of that, including a near-miss for a nervous hare! Also watch for the descent into the fog - it got a bit hard to see for a while there!

    cAvaBHakUwQ[/media]]Video here

    Once we got to Falls Creek, we stopped for a bit of a breather and enjoyed the sun coming through the clouds. The fog ended just before the township, so we finally had a good view of the hills and valleys below. It's actually a very beautiful place in Summer. We then headed down the hill towards Mt Beauty...

    S3b2yhrmv50[/media]]Video here


    A short break at the bottom of the mountain to change out of my Winter gear and into my Summer gear - the temperature went from 12 deg C to about 34 deg C within 30km! How rare! Next, on towards Bright via a much-anticipated road I drove through a few months ago and have been very much looking forward to riding...

    0-tGPPMFifA[/media]]Video here

    Past Bright, we were then going to head for Oxley, Yea and home. First though, there was the important (and as it turned out, fateful) detour to Mt Buffalo...

    hF41bRRd9eQ[/media]]Video here

    And here's the part you've been waiting for, my first 'off':

    oCyDTG_XRmc[/media]]Video here

    We made our way back down the mountain and had a fairly uneventful ride home. The Oxley to Mansfield route we took, via Whitfield, was VERY worth it - thanks for the suggestion, I-K! By the time we got to Mansfield we were both pretty ready to stop for the day, and it was only by the power of grim determination that we made it home from Yea to Melbourne. Man, we couldn't wait to get off the bikes and out of the traffic! Egads, the traffic!

    All in all, a fantastic ride. Very few pics this time round, we simply spent most of the time on the bikes - hopefully the wonky video will be of some interest to you (at least, until You Tube cans them cos of the copyright on the music tracks. But that's a silly story for another day).

    Thanks for reading. See you out there! :)
  2. Fantastic read, great videos and lovely roads. This really makes me want to traverse the GAR and surroundings. Thanks for sharing mate!
  3. great stuff, the video was good too. How was the new Falls creek rd ? looked a bit dodgy in the video

    I did a ride with 2 other guys just before xmas. We took 3 nights and went up through the black spur to mansfield then whitfield, bright and mt beauty (night1). Day 2 went on to Jindabyne via the murray river road and alpine way via Thredbo. The Alpine Way was fantastic. Then similar route back home. We were lucky with the weather, sunshine and about 25c each day.
  4. Thanks guys, it really was a top ride.

    GM250, the Falls Creek road was mostly excellent. After that ride I affixed the camera mount with double-sided tape to the side of the bike. Previously, it was only held on with a strap, which allowed excessive shaking when rolling over small bumps. While there was some ribboning in the road on steep, uphill corners, for the most part it was very good - and it's going to get better when they put the next layer down (apparrently).

    I drove through the NSW and Vic alps with my wife at the start of the year - that drive inspired this ride. Magnificent roads and views, eh!