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Thread: Blue Mountains run Down Under

  1. #1
    Gone away Tarsnakes's Avatar
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    Blue Mountains run Down Under

    This year the destination for our annual motorcycle trip was the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, via the Victorian Alps & Snowy Mountains. There were only three of us this year, Bill on his new Kawasaki ZX14, Marty on his ZX9 and me on the VFR800.

    Sunday 14th Feb - the morning run for Marty & I was from Geelong (near Melbourne) to Bairnsdale where we met Bill. Then we all headed on to Bright via the Great Alpine Road from Omeo.



    Pic of Marty & Bill at Mt Hotham. Bad weather approaching. This is a ski resort in winter.

    Fortunately the rain didn't last too long and the steep winding descent was on a dry road.


    Bill most generously gave me a ride on his new ZX14, which was a revelation in very controllable, turbine smooth, refined motorcycling. Such a contrast to the ageing VFR - now I have to have a ZX14 of course!



    Our accomodation for the night - the Oriental hotel-motel in Bright. We have all stayed there previously. It rained heavily from just near Harrietville for our final run into Bright, but remained quite warm.



    Monday 15th - Bright to Bungendore (near Canberra) via The Alpine Way. This can be quite a technically challenging ride due to it being a narrow mountain road, however, parts of it were made more difficult by the presence of rain, some gravel strewn corners and the presence of wildlife.
    About half way there was a mob of decent sized kangaroos! In fact we saw quite a lot of road side wild life, including 'roos, an emu, rabbits and a tortoise all in our path at some stage. Fortunately we didn't encounter any wild horses this time, though we could see where they had crossed the road in places.





    Tuesday 16th - Bungendore to Katoomba in the NSW Blue Mountains, via Sydney.

    We had a look at a piece of road that has replaced a cliff side road that collapsed near Woolongong, NSW.


    The sea bridge near Woolongong - part of the Grand Pacific Drive.

    We took a wrong turn on the freeway and instead of skirting around Sydney we wound up lost in the city. Being lost in peak hour traffic in downtown Sydney had both the motorcycle engines and their riders running pretty hot! However, the weather was good and we finally got to our accommodation at Katoomba , NSW- which was not as it looked on the 'Net when we booked. What a dump! Marty & I had intended to use it as a base for a couple of days, but we checked out the next morning and had our 2nd night's tariff refunded.

    The views of the Blue Mountains compensated for our less than spectacular accommodation.




    Wednesday 17th - Bill headed of homeward for two days of riding via central NSW. Marty & I looked at Echo point and "The Three Sisters", then took the road to the Jenolan caves, and then on to Lithgow. From Lithgow we travelled Bells Line of Road - featuring sensational views and lots of twisty corners - all in gorgeous sunshine.

    We then headed up the legendary (for motorcyclists) Putty Road to Singleton in the Hunter Valley. At approx 100 miles the Putty was everything that we had hoped for & certainly did not disappoint!

    Some MC safety advertising

    Checked into a great little pub for the night and had an excellent meal there as well. Much to my surprise Singleton seemed like a very prosperous town (population around twenty thousand).

    Thursday 18th - awoke to another sunny day and headed back the way we had come. After re-fueling and a drink in Lithgow we headed for the Mt Panorama race track in Bathurst.


    The countryside was very green and looked fantastic after all the recent heavy summer rainfall that NSW has had. This area caught the tail end of a tropical cyclone from Northern Australia a week previously and had extraordinary amounts of rainfall. After a couple of laps and some pics at Mt Panorama we headed for Cootamundra, but by the time we got to Young called it quits for the day.


    Friday 19th - Young NSW to Beechworth Vic, via Gundagai, Tumut, Tumburumba and a fantastic run along Lake Hume on the Granya road.



    Near Tooma, NSW, we stopped in at the memorial to the Southern Cloud aviation disaster of 1931. Australia's first commercial aviation disaster, which then led to very high safety standards. This countryside is magnificent on a day like this. China Wall and Mt Kosciusko in the distance. This is my third visit to this spot and there is something about it that is very special. Difficult to put into words though!





    We checked into our accommodation at the Old Priory. Our room was the largest bedroom I've ever seen - actually it was the former chapel. We had the entire place to ourselves, which was just a little creepy.

    Saturday 20th- all good things have to come to an end and so we headed towards home via the Milliwa wine region,

    then via the King Valley, the twisty section of Whitfield to Mansfield, Yea and then down the freeway to Melbourne and then home to Geelong.

    All up approx 3,500 kilometers, comprising some of southern Australia's most twisty roads. All the motorcycles performed flawlessly.
    "Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary."

    http://tarsnakes.com.au

  2. #2
    Just a member stephenwc's Avatar
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    Re: Blue Mountains run Down Under

    Very nice photos Jules.

    Love the MC safety advert - very graphic.

    Staying in an old chapel with no other guests sounds creepy. I bet you heard every little enoise and let your imaginations run riot...

    Thanks for sharing

  3. #3
    10% Angel 90% Hooligan demenshea's Avatar
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    Re: Blue Mountains run Down Under

    Another lovely looking ride Jules! I too think the old chapel would feel a bit odd if staying solo. Good thing you had mates with you!!

    The country is lovely and so wild. Looks like much of CA!


    I also love seeing the bikes all together with the colors. They look great!

    I hope to get out here soon, myself. I have spend most of the winter dealing with the failing mental health of my dad, and it's not been easy. I could use a good diversionary ride!

    Cheers, mate!
    “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment." Papa-Ken



    Ride Like a Girl
    Travel Blog for Riders

  4. #4
    Gone away obsidian's Avatar
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    Re: Blue Mountains run Down Under

    Great post! Man I wish I was back in Aus......

  5. #5
    Gone away Tarsnakes's Avatar
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    Re: Blue Mountains run Down Under

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenwc View Post
    Very nice photos Jules.

    Love the MC safety advert - very graphic.

    Staying in an old chapel with no other guests sounds creepy. I bet you heard every little enoise and let your imaginations run riot...

    Thanks for sharing
    Stephen - MC safety advertising is a strange thing in Australia. Most of it seems aimed at scaring folk out of their wits or justifying excessive policing in the name of safety. However, a couple of States have it right in that they strive to educate - surely a much better safety process!

    Donna & Steve - staying in a huge place where nuns once lived was definitely strange. Not sure that I would stay there again!

    Here's a shot of the room we shared - and this pic captures about half of it.




    Joe - you tour of Australia is a masterpiece. I've seen it on several forums and think that is a great combination of professionalism and "real word" authenticity.

    I must say another word or two about the Kawasaki ZX14. As a sports bike, its capability as a sports-tourer was impressive. Bill has modified this bike a little for the comfort of his wife who often rides pillion. He made some peg lowering spacers for the pillion pegs and had the aftermarket slip on system built to suit the lower pegs - but without losing ground clearance. It has a GTR1400 seat.

    Though a relatively heavy bike, my VFR is quite agile. What really surprised me when I rode Bill's ZX14 was how agile and maneuverable it felt. This, along with the turbine smooth engine, low seat height, and very user friendly power delivery makes it a motorcycle that suits my needs. It's pretty obvious that I was impressed and I can foresee a ZX14 in my future.



    Just one more shot of the lovely Blue Mountains - this is only approx. one hour's ride from Downtown Sydney.



    Cheers,

    Jules.
    "Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary."

    http://tarsnakes.com.au

  6. #6
    Motorcycle Enthusiast Old Surf Dog's Avatar
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    Re: Blue Mountains run Down Under

    Looks like you guys had a great ride! This just reaffirms that we really need to make a trip down under. Sure would like to ride some of your fine roads!
    Rolling with the Surf Dog

    “If everybody's thinking alike, somebody isn't thinking.”
    General George S. Patton

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