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The Oxley Highway: Best road in Australia

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by NiteKreeper, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. A splendid weekend away with good people, the best riding available in this country, and plans to do it all again soon - grab a drink folks, this could take a little while...
    My touring mates on this occasion are [MENTION=31843]snuff3r[/MENTION], [MENTION=24469]northerner[/MENTION] and his mate Gerry (who should be along shortly, if he ever gets this interwebs thingy worked out...)

    DAY 1: Sydney to Walcha
    It all started like it usually does: I woke late and hungover since I went out instead of preparing last night. This is promising...
    Got ready surprisingly quickly and made my way out to the usual meeting place at Wilberforce.
    Everyone else was already there (of course), and I was greeted with the news that the rescue heli had just left the servo - some poor young lass in a cage had taken out the bus shelter across the road and driven up the power pole!
    I hope she's OK, but moreover hope this isn't a sign of things to come - little did we know...

    Bacon and eggs at Grey Gums as usual, followed by a gentle run through the 10-mile to Singleton.
    After refuelling I notice it's northerner's rear tyre that's flat for a change - I was expecting Snuffer to have gone flat by now, but he proudly announces he's got new tyres and will be fine (and they look pretty too).
    A lightning-quick plug and we're on our way again, heading north on Thunderbolts Way.
    Which is hereby labelled the worst road in Australia! Lumpy, bumpy, patches on patches, and light blue gravel everywhere.
    There was one particular corner where all four of us had a little slide, such was the amount of gravel across it. I missed northerner's but saw Gerry catch his, then had my own hands busy for a second...
    OH SHIT - SNUFFER HATES GRAVEL! I look back just in time to see him do his best Superman impression, hanging off the bars with his legs trailing off the seat! Great catch there dude! Somewhat cautiously we press on into an increasing wind from the left side...
    At some point Northerner picks up another puncture! It's kinda lucky he brought the only repair kit, or is it an omen?

    Despite this we're making good time until we reach Stroud, and people keep waving at us from the opposite direction. About 10 kays out of town we realise why: there's been a truck crash and the Westpac chopper is parked on the road. That's 2 choppers, and it's not even dinner time yet.
    We're turned around, and forced onto a gravel road in order to bypass the accident site. Did I mention that Snuffer hates gravel?
    Secretly I'm happy that things are going to "unplan" - it wouldn't be a NiteKreeper Weekender without some gravel! But to be fair to Snuffer this was nasty stuff - lots of sharp stuff that threatened to puncture tyres (wait for it...), mixed with uphill corners covered in deep loose stuff that had the bike squirming under you like a mad woman.
    Before too long we were back on tarmac, and I think we were all happy with the potholes, lumps bumps and "small amounts of" gravel...

    Well, possibly except Gerry - he rides what can best be described as a wet fart: [​IMG]
    and visibly enjoyed spinning up and spraying me with gravel whenever I got too close :D

    A bit more climbing on rough road and we reached a spectacular lookout about 2 hours (at legal speeds...) south of Walcha:

    I scoff at the others for swapping into their thermal gear, but soon regret my decision when we restart - we're at about 1100 meters now and it's damn cold at travelling speed...
    Northerner calculated we should make it to Walcha by 5.30pm, but after a few minutes I decide I can't be out here that long, and "recalculate" - I bet myself I can get there by 4.50pm. I just make it, with Northerner on my tail :demon:

    Our accomodation is perfect: a little cottage behind an coffee shop, complete with loungeroom and wood fire! We settle in after a feed at the local pub around the corner and a few take-home drinks:
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  2. DAY 2: The Oxley Highway - Everything you ever dreamed of...
    We awake reasonably fresh (except for Snuffer), but we're in no hurry so enjoy more bacon and eggs and coffee across the road from our rooms before watching Northerner repair his puncture again. It's all good this time...
    Finally head off down the Oxley - we've all heard good things and are expecting a good day...
    We're crossing the plateau towards the coast, and the first thing you notice is the almost-perfect road surface, and the fantastic view you have - sometimes up to 1Km ahead, through several sweeping corners or loooong straights. Northerner and I fell into a kind of rhythm (think Speed Metal) and I knew it was going to be a great day out...
    Before long the plateau fell into the bush, and the spectacular winding part of the road started - I'm actually having trouble finding the right words to describe it.

    Tight. (Yes, both, in places...)

    By the time we got to Gingers Cafe to meet [MENTION=23799]Rogues[/MENTION] and [MENTION=24242]vifferrob[/MENTION] I'm thinking of moving up here permanently. It's that good...
    Good blokes the pair of them, we have quick coffee before Rogues offers to lead us down to the bottom of the twisties and he sets off at what he describes as a "cruising pace". These curves just go on and on (and on!), but I could ride them forever too.
    We turn around at the bottom head straigh back up, and Rogues and Rob are both right: it's a totally different ride in the other direction, but just as good. Before too long we're back at Gingers for lunch, and although I don't think it's too late it's recommended we head back to Walcha before it starts getting cold and the wildlife come out. Viffer Rob came along to stay the night with us at Walcha...
    The early start allows us to stop at Apsley Falls though, and it's quite worthwhile - the pics don't do justice to the depth or "sharpness" of the features.

    I'd never seen one of these little fellas in the wild before, so it was cool to watch him shuffling around and rooting out insects under the bushes:

    Back at Walcha we met the 'B' Team, comprising POPEYE and a few other familiar faces. A few drinks there and again we retired to the cottage for more drinks and to watch the pyromaniac at work:
    Note how he's stoking so hard his face is blurred, but you can still clearly see the maniacal grin...

    It was actually quite a tame night and we were all asleep by 2am - most of us had a long ride ahead tomorrow and the Oxley had sapped us...
    • Like Like x 3
  3. DAY 3: Walcha and Home...

    Another leisurely session of bacon and coffee, followed by packing up and hitting the road, after Northerner fixed his puncture again (again). This time he'd apparently become an expert however, and it held full pressure all the way to Colo.
    Rob left about 9am to be home for lunch (bastard!) and the rest of us departed at 9.30am.
    Almost immediately after leaving back down Thunderbolts, we started getting the signal from cars and bikes alike. It was a full 35 minutes later that we passed the HWP on the side of the road! In my mind that was about 50Kms wasted, but I suppose it's better than a ticket...

    Lunch at Gloucester was good, and the display bikes in the cafe are awesome! "Roadies" is the name of the place, and the food's good too...

    We bade farewell to Snuffer not long after - he was heading for Newcastle and the freeway in an effort to get home to the eastern suburbs a little quicker.
    Gerry, Northerner and myself went back through Singleton and the Putty befor eparting ways at Windosr, and I tooled along the M7/M5 on autopilot.

    Arrived home at 6pm, totally spent but still buzzing from yesterday's fun on the Oxley; truly, it is the best road in Australia (so far...), and I recommend it for experienced riders given the journey there.
    I'm going back early in the New Year in case anyone's interested ;)
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Thanks for the writeup Matt, you did it justice. Truly an epic weekend and i highly appreciate all those that were involved in making it happen, especially Matt and Graeme. Great to meet who we met along the way.

    Thanks guys.

    Till the next one.

    (I never got around to sitting on the vfr, rob. Damn.)
  5. wheres the roads?
  6. You've missed the point.
  7. Lol im a bit thick and slow.................an expected roads :p

    But it looked like a good time was had by all.......did you guys stay over someones house or hired out a place?
  8. Good write up - sounds like a great couple days
  9. Sounds like an awesome ride! I've done it once and I'll never forget it. Can't wait to get out there again one day
  10. Great weekend with OK people and an amazing road!

    That's my write up :D

    Will try to put upa couple of pics later - can't wait to do it again...
  11. Am I the only one still replaying corners in my head and buzzing on it?
    I bet I'm not...
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Have you done the 're-do the ride via google streetview' yet? :bolt:
  13. Would you believe I'm doing it right now?! I'm looking for that section where you could see 4 corners and almost straight-line them...
  14. We need a link to that stretch or road!!!
  15. Hehe I think this is the bit I'm thinking of, or at least something like it - there are over 300 corners to choose from :D
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  16. Lol ;D
  17. Ha ha - indeed. I just got goose bumps watching that! I also particularly love the ZX Spectrum sound for the run down the mountain. Makes it look and feel more like a video game ;)

    I think the bit NK was talking about is about from 20 mins onwards in the run down? That's certainly the bit that sprung to my mind when I thought about it - where it really starts to open up after the tight stuff, big sweeping vista to the left, fast left/right sweepers, sunshine, giggling in helmet.

    Well, that was me at least \\:D/
  18. Haha I didn't fall off my chair, but I did kinda slide my butt from side to side on it for a few minutes there...

    This road has given me priapism, I'm sure of it ;)
  19. What's not to like about the Oxley? The first time I rode this legendary road it was west-east and raining, rats!

    Then a couple of years ago my brother and I rode up to Port Macquarie, stayed the night and did up-and-back in perfect conditions; I was so buzzed by chasing the VFR through corner after corner that when I got to the top my hands were shaking, (and not long after getting back down, my back tyre was shot too :LOL:)

    Good write up, though I'm sad to hear Thunderbolt's has been allowed to deteriorate :(.