An 11 day tour of the Strzelecki Ranges and the Australian Alps

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bull600, May 2, 2014.

  1. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Intro

    For quite some time I've been keen to take a trip through some of the iconic roads, tracks and places found throughout the Strzelecki Ranges and parts of the Australian Alps.

    Although I've done a fair bit of exploring of the Vic High Country in 4x4's, a bike trip has always been high on the "to do" list. So, a plan was hatched to put a loop together starting in Melbourne and, over 10 days or so, visit places like 'The Grand Ridge Rd', Walhalla, Licola, Dargo, Omeo, Buchan, Orbost, The Snowy River, The Barry Way, McKillops Bridge, Jindabyne, The Alpine Way, Acheron Way etc.

    With the untimely passing of our great mate Paul right on a year ago :cry:cry (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=869610) this trip would be one that just Russell (the "Muscle" :lol3)



    [​IMG]

    and me, Greg (the bakery addict :wink:) would undertake



    [​IMG]

    on our trusty DR 650's.



    [​IMG]

    I took plenty of photos and will include maps for each day, so feel free to come along for the ride... :clap:clap

    Prep and Transport

    To save some time we decided to trailer the bikes over to Melbourne and organised with a mate of Russell's (Dave) to leave the car and trailer at his place for the time we were away. With Russell taking delivery of his new car a few days before leaving we decided to load up the bikes and check all was well on the Thursday night before departure on Saturday morning. Lucky we did.. once connected the trailer showed no sign of any lights working from the brand new wiring connector that he had fitted along with his new tow bar!



    [​IMG]

    With our multimeter and other tools well packed away on the bikes we thought we'd try the easy way out and see how accommodating the RAA was.

    [​IMG]

    As it turned out the guy was fantastic and once he had carefully prised away all the new panels in the boot he found this

    [​IMG]

    It looked like it was an apprentice's first day, with the dodgy job that was done. A live wire had been spliced with a cheap connector and that had caused a short with a resultant blown fuse. Unfortunately, that was only the start of the problem. Once power was with re-established it became clear that incorrect earth wire positioning was a problem, as the trailer resembled flashing Christmas tree lights when the indicators were tried.

    For over 1.5 hours our RAA man soldiered (or should I say soldered :lol3) on, and managed a complete re wire and had it all up and running ready for our departure.

    [​IMG]

    Transport Day

    An early departure was organised for Saturday morning which meant a timely stop at Bodertown's Tolmer Park on the banks of Tatiara Creek for a breakfast


    [​IMG]

    Of course there was an ulterior motive right next door! (one of many visited over the next 11 days :wink::wink:)



    [​IMG]


    From there it was an event free trip, although free probably isn't the right word to use as the City Link Toll cost us $30.50 (pre paid) for our 2 way trip :eekers:eekers

    Dave our host was most welcoming and even pumped our tyres up for us once the bikes were unloaded


    [​IMG]

    After a great Chinese meal we headed off to bed for an early night. It was only then that I noticed a bit of moisture on my bed next to where I had sat my camelbak. On closer inspection my worst fears were realized :eekers:eekers



    [​IMG]

    Yep, the 2.5ltrs of water in my backpack and leaked out and the bed now resembled a mini swimming pool :yikes How embarrassing :uhoh. I didn't even know the guy but had managed to soak the bed and all the linen in the spate of a few hours. He was great about it and after soaking up what we could from the mattress it was off to sleep ready for a Sunday morning departure. (Author's note: that's my story about the wet bed and I'm sticking to it..:rofl)


    Day 1

    With a fine Sunday morning greeting us we were soon ready for departure.


    [​IMG]

    Now before rumours start - we were not taking part in some look alike BMW "Rainbow Ride" (not there's anything wrong with that :lol3). It just so happens that Russ's new (Secondhand) Revit jacket had recently been nabbed off the Flea market and happened to be the same colour as mine. Add to that his new Klim Dakar pants and we have the gay (ie happy) looking duo ready to depart. (Author's note: that's my story and I'm sticking to it..)

    Dave gave us a cheering wave goodbye and I then promptly turned down the wrong street 30 mt from his gate into a dead end :arg:arg By the look on his face as we returned to find the correct road I don't think he held much hopes of my navigational skills being too successful over the coming weeks :rofl

    With Sunday traffic quite light it didn't take long before we were out past the suburbs and onto Ballarato Rd near Cardinia


    [​IMG]

    From there we tracked east through farming and forest land


    [​IMG]

    Before coming to the start of the famous Grand Ridge Road (GRR) which begins at its Western edge at the Korumburra - Warragul Rd turnoff.



    [​IMG]

    The road runs predominantly along the ridge lines of the Strzelecki Range, is around 135km long, and is a mixture of bitumen and dirt. A detailed look at the road can be found here



    [​IMG]

    From what I'd read, the biggest concern about the road was the presence of large logging trucks that could easily squeeze a unsuspecting bike off into the forest :eekers. Being a Sunday we were hopeful of having a quiet time of it.

    After stopping for a photo at the turn off we noticed a little problem with Russell's RH sidecover.


    [​IMG]

    It was being pushed onto the hot exhaust by one of the pannier straps, so a few quick adjustments were made



    [​IMG]

    And then we were off



    [​IMG]


    With over 30mm of rain falling over the previous few days the first dirt section was rather slippery but we soon passed by Seaview.



    [​IMG]


    From there some nice bitumen took us through the forest



    [​IMG]

    Past the turn off to the Mount Worth State Park


    [​IMG]

    And then through more forest



    [​IMG]

    And farmland



    [​IMG]

    Before evidence of logging became apparent



    [​IMG]

    There was even a ramshackle farm or two along the way:evil:evil



    [​IMG]


    It wasn&'t long before by bakery radar kicked in and a stop at Mirboo North was in order.


    [​IMG]

    Now with no real campsite to aim for we decided to hook off the GRR for a while and headed north along the Boolara - Foster Rd that then hooked up with the Morwell River Rd, as I had heard there were some possible camps along here. Despite a few obstructions



    [​IMG]

    The road followed the river quite closely


    [​IMG]

    And it was a pretty ride for most of the way




    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, most of the camps were pretty soggy so we picked up a track that headed back towards the GRR. However, we soon came across this



    [​IMG]

    So we had to backtrack until we found another likely looking route



    [​IMG]

    This one looked quite promising


    [​IMG]

    It crossed several creeks



    [​IMG]

    And then climbed up towards the GRR



    [​IMG]

    Until, just 50mts from our goal, it petered out :baldy:baldy



    [​IMG]

    We could see the GRR but there was no way through the thick regrowth so we turned around once more and headed back to a more major track out. It wasn't too long before we popped out on the GRR again quite near Ryton Junction



    [​IMG]

    A few spots along the road were now showing some signs of damage from the rains



    [​IMG]

    With time now marching on we decided to head up Jeeraland West Rd and then branched off onto Traralgon Creek Rd on the lookout for campsites. We didn't get far up the latter before having to move a fallen tree to make our way through.


    [​IMG]

    And I can assure you it was heavier than it looked :gdog

    We then passed a footbridge that spans Traralgon Creek and forms part of the iconic bushwalking trail known as the Grand Strzelecki Track



    [​IMG]

    I had read somewhere that there was a possible camp near the old LeRoy school site but when we got there we found hoons in 4x4's doing donuts had wrecked it. The only positive was that one had obviously careered into the metal seat nearby and must have done some damage to their vehicle :lol3:lol3

    [​IMG]


    Now it was getting late so we edged back to near where the road crossed the river and found a camp amongst the trees that was close to the river.


    [​IMG]

    With plenty of wood around we set up camp and settled in for our first night on the road:clap:clap

    Click for map of Day 1

    Day 2

    After a heavy dew overnight we packed up our wet tents and followed Traralgon Creek back towards GRR.


    [​IMG]

    Soon we were back on the fern lined gravel road


    [​IMG]

    Before we entered the section that passes through Tara Bulga National Park


    [​IMG]

    There is also quite a well signposted "Strzelecki Trail" that follows the highlights of the ranges through the local communities nearby


    [​IMG]


    With very little in the way of traffic (we had hardly seen a vehicle the whole time, expect in the built up areas) we stopped to stretch our legs and took a walk along one of the National Park tracks to check out a suspension bridge.


    [​IMG]


    The walk was via a well maintained track


    [​IMG]

    after about a 15 minute (downhill) walk we arrived at the bridge


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That spans the dense, fern lined creek below


    [​IMG]


    After a bit of a wandering about we started back along an alternative track back to the bikes, only to find a car park a few hundred mtrs from the bridge:huh

    [​IMG]

    By the time we had hiked back uphill to our original starting point the jackets were off and we were well and truly warmed up:evil

    Once back on the bikes we soon came to the eastern end of the GRR. It had been an interesting and enjoyable ride through some wonderful countryside and we had not seen a single logging truck :1drink

    Soon we turned north on the Hyland Highway towards the Latrobe Valley's largest town -Traralgon. The imposing view of the Loy Yang power station, the largest in Australia, soon came into view.


    [​IMG]

    Once in Traralgon we stopped for fuel and dropped into the supermarket to pick up a few supplies. Imagine my horror when I returned to my bike to find a 4x4 had stopped literally mms away from my front wheel :eekers:eekers


    [​IMG]


    With a bag full of rolls and fresh ham, cheese and fruit it was soon off to a local park for a bite of lunch



    [​IMG]


    Once lunch was over we picked up the road to Tyers and spared one last glimpse back over the valley



    [​IMG]


    After passing through Tyers we enjoyed the wonderful bitumen road towards Walhalla



    [​IMG]


    Rather than travel the whole way along the main route to Walhalla we decided to head off on the non- descript Cowwarr Rd and hook around via Brunton's Bridge.



    [​IMG]


    The bridge, that crosses the Thomson River, was revamped as a walkway back in 2009



    [​IMG]


    A wide ford still exists just downstream from the bridge



    [​IMG]

    But the DR's made it across the bridge without a worry



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    The old and new combined



    [​IMG]


    Once over the bridge we followed the Old Coach Rd, past Happy Go Lucky Mine and on down into Walhalla, popping out on the main road right next to the railway station



    [​IMG]


    The township of Walhalla, which back in the late 1800's once boasted a population of over 2000 people during the gold boom, is now a sleepy tourist town with its restored buildings and pub


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    After gentle run around town we soon headed north on the Walhalla Rd towards Aberfeldy. Along the way the vast Thomson Dam could be glimpsed off to the west.


    [​IMG]


    The road soon deteriorated



    [​IMG]


    Before it crossed the Aberfeldy River


    [​IMG]


    Although we were tempted by a nice little camp area just down from the bridge (with some wood) we decided it was a little early so we pressed on.

    We thought we would check out the camps further down on the river, so we turned off and headed down Merrigton's Track. Although the track down was in good condition the wide camp area at the bottom was full of mud from the recent rain and not very appealing.

    I'd heard about a few camps on the other side of the Aberfeldy River so we headed down to the ford. It was now getting late in the day and the crossing looked a little tricky


    [​IMG]


    Not so much for the depth or flow but rather the number of larger rocks lurking under the surface. In the end I stripped off my boots



    [​IMG]


    And with the $5 Kmart crocs on, I waded across to check it out.


    [​IMG]


    With it getting closer to dark we decided to walk the bikes across as drowning one of them would have been a real pain at that time of the day (not to mention wet boots :wink:). Safe on the other side

    [​IMG]


    Once across we continued on a short distance over a hill and found another, shorter ford that we rode through (and of course soaked our boots :cry).

    [​IMG]

    After checking a few spots and becoming rather confused with the track junctions at this point (compared to the gps) we decided to camp right on edge of the river where a previous camp fire was still smoldering.
    Although the area was rocky it was pretty flat and the tents were soon pitched. Of course after I'd put my tent up I noticed that a large gum tree was leaning at a precarious angle directly in line with it.

    [​IMG]

    So, in the half dark, I moved it to a safer location with the occasional expletive thrown in for good measure.

    With our already lit fire stoked up we settled back and put some food on - Chunky Chicken soup and Uncle Ben's rice was on my menu - which went down well with a few beers :clap :clap

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Click for map of Day 2

    To be continued...
    #1
  2. dvmweb

    dvmweb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    37
    Cool story bros. Thanks. Australia is sure different, to me.
    #2
  3. Detlef in Oz

    Detlef in Oz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    592
    Location:
    Wagga Wagga Australia
    Great Ride report and Pics guys :deal... keep it coming :clap
    #3
  4. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    462
    Location:
    The Dandenong Ranges, Vic
    Great RR + pics.

    :thumb

    Looking forward to more.

    Cheers,

    JM.
    #4
  5. kano650

    kano650 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    237
    Location:
    Tea Tree Gully
    :lurk
    #5
  6. Hoots

    Hoots Long timer

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,011
    Location:
    Gundaroo NSW OZ
    Good stuff ...

    Keep it coming ...

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. masterbrewer

    masterbrewer TDMster

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,050
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    :thumb

    Scenery looks different through someone else's eyes. :deal

    Looking good B :clap
    #7
  8. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Day 3

    As we broke camp the next morning we were still confused as to the whereabouts of Junction Track, which is where we wanted to head. After packing up we spied another track near the second ford and took that, only to find that it hooked back onto Sullivan's Track and wasn't the one we wanted. Then, after riding in circles and re crossing the river a few times,

    [​IMG]

    I noticed another track that went back on a tangent from the original. This had to be it! It was right next to the ford and involved another river crossing almost straight after the first.

    [​IMG]

    Russ was first across



    And promptly filled up his dry boots with water :lol3:lol3:lol3
    At least we were now on the right track and it wasn't long before we reached the junction of Donnelly's Creek Rd, where we headed north.

    [​IMG]

    With a heavy fog surrounding the top of the hills we were literally driving through the clouds

    [​IMG]

    On our way past the Toombon Gold mines

    [​IMG]

    Before arriving at Smoko Point

    [​IMG]

    This was a spot that conscripted soldiers took a rest at during 3 day training marches conducted through the mountains before overseas deployment during WW2. The little cairn set on the point contains pieces of slate where the soldiers scratched their names. For Russell it was more just a nice spot to drain the water from his soaking boots :wink::wink:

    [​IMG]

    After checking out the river near Anderson's campsite

    [​IMG]

    We headed steeply up Donnelly Creek Rd once more, before arriving at Aberfeldy

    [​IMG]

    Another remnant town of the gold mining era that now has just a few residents but some great views (more information re this area can be found here )

    [​IMG]

    From Aberfeldy we continued north on the road towards Woods Point which is has a reputation for its potholes. We weren't disappointed, although at least when full of water they were easier to spot

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Some creative soul had made it clear what they thought of the road:evil

    [​IMG]

    But it wasn't all bad

    [​IMG]

    After a snack at the Mt Selma Rd turn off we headed west into the Goulburn State Forest towards Licola

    [​IMG]

    As the road passed the summit telltale signs of fire were evident

    [​IMG]

    Before, first a large deer, and then these around one corner

    [​IMG]

    Caused us to take stock of things (so to speak :lol3:lol3)

    Once past the Jamieson - Licola Rd intersection the new paved road provided some great riding

    [​IMG]

    As well as nice views down towards the valley

    [​IMG]

    Rather than following the main road into Licola we turned off at Link Rd

    [​IMG]

    Which led to the picturesque Target Creek Rd that meandered through the valley

    [​IMG]

    Past herds of fat cows, mobs of woolly sheep and even a Landrover graveyard :wink:

    [​IMG]

    Before we met up with the mighty McCalister River not far from Licola

    [​IMG]

    Licola is a great little spot boasting a well set up General Store (want to buy it?)

    [​IMG]

    Which provided three essential commodities for our journey onwards:Fuel, food (in the form of a frozen meat pack + fresh veggies) and of course


    [​IMG]

    (there may have been one or two others hiding under the ice:wink::wink:)

    Licola is a unique town, in that it is owned by the Lions Clubs of Victoria and NSW. The well-appointed information and picnic area on the lawned edge of the river provided a nice spot for a bite to eat

    [​IMG]

    With lunch out of the way we headed off across the river

    [​IMG]

    And then up Tamboritha Rd and into the Alpine National Park. The road starts off as bitumen, passing a number of car based camping sites along the river, before turning to dirt. We hooked off at Kelly Lane and stopped at a deep pool along Shaw Creek for a look around.

    [​IMG]

    Pity it was rather cool, otherwise it would have been a perfect spot for a dip. Kelly Lane soon joined up with Kelly Hut Track and after a few small fords (note the dry boots this time:lol3)

    [​IMG]

    We turned down the track that led us to McMichaels Hut

    [​IMG]

    The warm, dry, wood stocked hut was rather tempting

    [​IMG]

    But it was too early in the day to make camp so we continued on past Kelly Hut

    [​IMG]

    to Howitt Rd, before picking up Moroka Rd at Arbuckle Junction.

    [​IMG]

    We started heading down Moroka Range Track (our original plan) but found it was wet and very slippery and now rain was starting to fall

    [​IMG]

    So, after consulting our maps in a bit more detail

    [​IMG]

    we decided to bail out of that option and take Marathon Rd down off the range. It wasn't long before the weather closed in

    [​IMG]

    and the rain started in earest, just as we reached the 4x4 section of the road

    [​IMG]

    The rain kept falling as we took Link Rd over to Freestone Creek Rd

    [​IMG]

    with some interesting downhill sections to keep us on our toes (and off our arses:D)

    [​IMG]

    Finally we reached the ford on Link Rd and crossed over Freestone Creek meeting the intersection with Freestone Creek Rd, where we turned north.



    I'd camped by the creek on a previous 4x4 trip but warning bells sounded in my mind when the first campsite at Shady's Place had a homemade sign posted out the front saying the site was full. Being school holidays and the week before Easter we became a little concerned that all the camps along the creek may be full. (see some information re this section here )

    However, our concerns were soon allayed when we pulled into Jackson's Flat and found that, not only was it empty, but there was some left over wood ready to go:clap:clap

    It wasn't long before a fire was started and those beers from Licola were dragged out :evil:evil

    [​IMG]

    The 12v pump made light work of pumping up our exped mattresses

    [​IMG]

    With the rain still drizzling down we set up our shelter

    [​IMG]

    Before cooking up the frozen BBQ pack we had purchased at Licola (and good it was:clap:clap)

    [​IMG]

    As the rain softly fell on the shelter and we finished our beers we made friends with one of the locals who seemed keen to be part of the action

    [​IMG]

    Click for map of Day 3

    To be continued...
    #8
  9. PHILinFRANCE

    PHILinFRANCE Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,362
    Location:
    S W France my little bit of paradise
    And there's me thinking Oz was just a big hot desert !!! cracking place to live guys and thanks for the RxR :deal:clap
    Phil
    #9
  10. tvan

    tvan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    145
    Location:
    Mornington Peninsula Vic Australia
    Great story guys, we have so e great country
    #10
  11. Neonasty

    Neonasty Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Great story, and pics too.

    Im a Melbourne Local, and have done all of those tracks, except all of the Grand Ridge Road, Ive done maybe 80% over different trips. Also, mostly Ive done it in a 4x4, so the rivers and steep decents are much less of a worry.

    I look forward to reading the rest of it.

    -Shaun
    #11
  12. darren70

    darren70 KTM, Ready To Spend

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    858
    Location:
    Hunter Valley
    Great report and a great trip
    thanks for sharing
    #12
  13. TouringDave

    TouringDave Tri Moto Veritas

    Joined:
    May 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,189
    Location:
    Frankston, Vic, Aust.
    :clap great RR and beautiful pics guys.

    :lurk
    #13
  14. Sol Erzenberg

    Sol Erzenberg Lost somewhere

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,607
    Location:
    Adelaide - North East.
    Great ride report & great photos, what a beautiful part of our country.

    Looks like a great place to tour on a bike too.

    Cheers, Sol..:thumb
    #14
  15. Dave Nolan

    Dave Nolan left from woopwoop

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,436
    Location:
    in the book
    Great report and pics. Looks like fantastic riding.

    Thanks!
    #15
  16. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Day 4

    The camps along Freestone Creek Rd are beauties, with the clear stream running just metres from camp

    [​IMG]

    The rain had passed and the morning ride alongside the creek was glorious

    [​IMG]

    Our fears of crowds had been unfounded and except for a group of Toyota FJ 40 enthusiasts we were on our own. It wasn’t long before we popped out on the Dargo Rd

    [​IMG]

    Where we enjoyed great views of the mountains


    [​IMG]

    and then the Mitchell River


    [​IMG]

    It was then into the famous Dargo Store for fuel

    [​IMG]

    But it was still a bit too early to try out the pub :cry


    [​IMG]

    The plan now was to head towards Omeo. Firstly, via the Upper Dargo Rd that closely followed the Dargo River

    [​IMG]

    It was still a bit wet in places

    [​IMG]

    But early Easter travellers already had their popular campsites by the river well organised


    [​IMG]

    As the Upper Dargo Rd turned to Matheson’s Track we crossed a ford of the Dargo River that led us onto Stockroute Spur Track


    [​IMG]

    This was to be a shortcut over to Birregun Rd and started out as a nice pleasant track


    [​IMG]

    Before it headed fairly steeply uphill

    [​IMG]

    At one point a slippery rut caused Russ to lose traction and his progress was halted (he was too quick picking up his bike for the camera:wink::wink:)


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With some gentle persuasion (ie we pushed the :baldy up the hill)


    [​IMG]

    and after walking back down to get his gear:rofl:rofl

    [​IMG]

    We eventually made our way across the top of the spur

    [​IMG]

    and then on to the Birregun Rd junction


    [​IMG]

    We were hot and bothered by this stage so after riding a few bends to cool off

    [​IMG]

    We stopped and made some repairs to Russ’s pannier Gotcha straps

    [​IMG]

    From there we followed the flowing Birregun Rd

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Until popping into to the Dogs Grave

    [​IMG]

    For a bite to eat for lunch

    [​IMG]

    It was then back along Birregun Rd

    [​IMG]

    Before we crossed Livingstone Creek


    [​IMG]

    and continued on to Upper Livingstone Rd and then Cassilis Rd to Omeo. We had decided to grab a shower so we headed for the caravan park to see if we could get a spot.

    [​IMG]

    The park was well set up and nice and leafy

    [​IMG]

    We entered the office to be met by a friendly bloke behind the counter. “What have you got in the way of accommodation?” we asked.

    He then looked us up and down and said half enquiringly “I guess you want separate beds do you”? (those bloody matching outfits:rofl).

    “Ahh.. yeah mate we do actually” we responded.

    “Well, I’ve got just thing for you. An onsite van for $60”.

    It sounded good, so we paid our money and grabbed the key. “It’s the second one down on the right” he said as we left with a huge grin on his face. “You can’t miss it!”

    He was right :eekers:eekers:eekers:eekers:eekers:eekers

    [​IMG]

    As we pulled it to our little carport I could have sworn I saw the park manager pissing himself through the office window :lol3 :lol3

    Despite the wry looks from all in vicinity, we soon settled into our digs for the night

    [​IMG]

    After a wonderful shower in the brand new shower block we then headed into town and had a nice streak at the pub


    [​IMG]

    Before retiring to our little home for night :lol3:lol3

    Click for map of Day 4

    To be continued…....
    #16
  17. TwoUpTourer

    TwoUpTourer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    241
    Location:
    South Australia
    Great RR guys!
    I did a number of trips along the GRR 40 years ago in an old combi(the kind that now sell for $50k!) so it was good to see it again. An amazing ride, just what it is all about.
    John
    #17
  18. Nev..

    Nev.. wannabe advrider

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    257
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    One of the best ride reports I've read here in a while. Very entertaining and lots of pics. As a Melburnian it's a bit embarrassing that an interstater has to show me all these places I rarely get to.

    Matching outfits... purple caravan... streak at the pub... you're not doing a good job of convincing us otherwise :rofl:rofl
    #18
  19. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Oh dear :eek1:eek1:eek1 I let that one slip :lol3:lol3:lol3

    I'd better get on to finishing the report!
    #19
  20. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Day 5

    After a chilly night, where the mercury dipped down near zero, Omeo put on a frosty and foggy morning for our departure.


    [​IMG]

    Our plan for the day was to head south and eventually cross the Snowy River at Orbost before following it north.

    After heading out of town we picked up the Cassilis Rd south, but progress was very slow with thick fog blanketing the road


    [​IMG]

    With thoughts of wandering cattle foremost in my mind it was a relief when the fog cleared and we enjoyed some wonderful riding


    [​IMG]

    The road gently wound its way past a number of eclectic landowners, including small wineries, farms and even someone who was restoring an old wooden boat :eek7


    [​IMG]

    Before long we met the main road again (Great Alpine Way) and pulled into Swifts Creek.


    [​IMG]

    This is a pretty little town with a good one of these (not that I noticed:rofl)


    [​IMG]

    After leaving Swifts Creek we followed the Tambo River along the Ensay – Doctor’s Flat Rd. This was another great little winding road with classic views down to the river


    [​IMG]

    Darryl Kerrigan sums it up best



    Lucky the fog had lifted though :eekers:eekers


    [​IMG]

    Soon we met Great Alpine Rd again but headed east not long after on the Buchan – Ensay Rd


    [​IMG]

    We were now heading through more open farm land


    [​IMG]

    With a number of gates to open and close


    [​IMG]

    After a break for a sugar hit


    [​IMG]

    The road soon changed names to Cutts Creek Rd and entered the Mount Elizabeth Scenic Reserve



    [​IMG]

    Then it wasn’t long before the township of Buchan could be seen off in the distance



    [​IMG]

    The sleeping little town


    [​IMG]

    was still in mourning after the recent destruction by fire of the town’s only pub, the 1890’s Caves Hotel (see here)


    [​IMG]

    One of the roads that I had read about while planning the trip was the Buchan to Orbost run


    [​IMG]

    And we weren’t disappointed by the twisting paved road that snaked through the forest


    [​IMG]

    Once at Orbost we were kicked back into reality with hordes of pre- Easter holiday makers clogging up the town. After refueling and then making important restocking decisions (outside the pub:wink::wink:)


    [​IMG]

    We pointed the bikes north to start the 300+ km run up towards Jindabyne via McKillops Bridge

    [​IMG]

    We started up Yalmy Rd and a seemingly large branch on the track that quickly started moving turned out to be this


    [​IMG]

    Now, at this point I have a little confession to make. I vaguely knew that there had been a fire through parts of the Snowy River National Park but as we whizzed past a ‘Road Closed’ sign further up on the side of Yalmy Rd I didn’t realise the whole park was basically closed. Rather, I thought it was one of many signs that are often left up well after minor closures. The quizzical look on the face of a ranger as he passed going the other way (as we waved to him:lol3) probably should have given it away :wink:

    Unperturbed, and with no sign of another soul, we carried on through kilometre after of kilometre of fire damaged forest



    [​IMG]

    In our planning we had hoped for an idyllic camp somewhere along the way but all tracks leading towards the river were quite clearly closed.



    [​IMG]

    Then, as the track slowly descended down towards the crossing of the Yalmy River, the natural vegetation returned in a small area that the fire had missed. Just after crossing the bridge



    [​IMG]

    we spied a track that led to a small cleared area perfect for a camp and quite close to the river



    [​IMG]

    After a quick check of the area we made our way through the thick undergrowth and emerged at a quintessential high country spot on the river, just metres from our campsite.


    [​IMG]

    With beers at hand we then whiled away the rest of the afternoon by the side of the river, reminiscing about our great mate Paul, who has so sadly passed away a year earlier - exactly to the day. He would have loved this spot :cry:cry



    [​IMG]

    As the sun started to sink we got our camp organised


    [​IMG]

    and began putting together another feast. It seems the 30 second rule even applies out here :lol3


    [​IMG]

    Another good feed, to end another great day :clap


    [​IMG]

    Click for map of Day 5

    To be continued…...
    #20