Thursday, May 29, 2008

Easter 2008 Day 4

Day 4

Day 4 Uralla to Home

Today we would head for home - I wanted to take my wife down the Gwydir Hwy as it went though Gibralter Range and Washpool National Parks.

I loved the country through here which I had seen on previous rides.

Didn't stop for anywhere enough photos today but had a good ride.

After fueling up at Armidale we continued through Glen Innes finally pulling in at Bellweather Falls for a look

Easter 2008 Day 3

ay 3

Day 3 Blaxland to Uralla

We started the morning with hotcake with all the toppings you could ask for. It was good to catch up with my mate, Steve and his family. Thanks to Frank and Marianne for having us and for feeding us, it was a very pleasant stay if a little short.

Today we were going to start the journey home, I decided to stick to the black top as the rain still looked like it was around and I didn't fancy having to hurry down wet dirt roads 2up. The first part of the days route would take us to Singleton via the famous Putty Road. It was very narrow in spots and there wasn't too many places to stop and take photos as we crossed through the ranges.

This Coptic Monastery was not close to any large centres - I was very suprised to find it here.

In Howes Valley we came across this old home.

The road wound along the very inapporiately named Darkey Creek, but it was a lot of fun to ride.

This coal mine at Singleton covered a huge area - on both sides of the road.

This bridge near Dungog is largest cellular stress laminated bridge hardword timber deck bridge in the world. Sounds impressive - since I stopped for the photo you can see the picture too.

Onwards to Dungog we continued to be treated to some spectacular views.

After we hit Dungog we rode up to Gloucester and onwards up Thunderbolt's Way (Thunderbolt is a famous Australian Bushranger), it was a great road that wound through the mountains. Hopefully soon I can do it solo with no panniers or other luggage.

Carsons lookout halfway along offer views all the way accross to Barrington Tops National Park.

Who was this ugly mug?

We then rode to Uralla and stopped in a motel overnight.

Route for Day 3

Blaxland > Singleton > Dungog > Gloucester > Wallca > Uralla

Next up Uralla to Home.

Easter 2008 Day 2

After all the mucking about of yesterday I really needed to get some miles under my belt if I was to hit Sydney before dark and I needed to pick the wife up at 7:30 from the Airport, so not too many dirt roads today, but hopefully still some back road that have not too many cars on them.

I started out at about 7:00 in the morning and headed for Tamworth for fuel and a map.

Throughout the New England region the ground is littered with these granite outcrops. This one served as a canvas also.

Going down the Highway this little town, Bendemeer, was nestled in a small valley – the European trees were beautiful, again if out place in a landscape surrounded by Eucalypts.

Next Stop Moonbi Park Lookout – a huge rock with stairs.

It was fairly untidy, even the plaque had been used for target practice.

But the view was worth the stop.

Next stop Tamworth - for some fuel and a map.

Tamworth is Australia's answer to Nashville. The Golden Guitar is top award in Australia country music. So they built a big one for tourists. I don't think they liked me parking the bike there for a photo.

The open plainlands of the New England highlands are one of largest woolgrowing areas in Australia. They started farming in 1830 and started clearing without the aid of heavy machinery. When you see vastness of the plainlands you realise what massive undertaking this was.

My next destination was Bathurst, picking a route that would take me on some unsealed roads, I would go via Merriwa along the Bylong Way to Kandos then Illford and on to Bathurst.

My only worry was would it rain? The clouds looked like they were setting in.

Back onto the dirt - this road looked just great!

And only got better.

This sign for the Upper Hunter Shire has to be one of the flashest I have ever seen and it was on a back road.

My route would take me through the would take me through the Goulburn River and Wollemi National Parks. This was just a taste of what was to come.

I love these old bridges and their intricate structure, this is the start of the Bylong Way.

How would you like have a view like this in your backyard? Plenty of people along this road did.

The railway had run alongside this, just carved out of the cliffs, but was difficult to get a good photo, at this point it crossed the river and I liked the look of bridge and decided to take a picture.

This gap kept reappearing in my vision as I rode, so I eventully stopped for the photo.

We then wound up over a small range, that had plenty of these sort of corners. 

And then the road went back to this  it was great for 100km/h (60mph) for most of the way and mostly much more  

And the scenery just got better.

Riding through the town of Kandos I came across this, a chairlift for limestone.

(I have to say until looked it up just then I thought it was for coal)

It was to supply this cement plant.

Anglican Church in Illford

The town of Sofla, north of Bathhurst.

There were a couple of hogs riding on the road you can see on the other side of the valley, whom I soon caught.

I finally arrived at Mount Panorama Bathurst, which is the home of Australian Mountsport. Normally the track is able to ridden around when there are not events on (it is a public road). But when I when I got there I found there was racing on, so no hot lap for me. 

I rode to the top the mountain a took a few photos.
They must only paint the sign up for the big race in September.

Across the valley to Conrod Straight - you can hear the cars clear across the valley.

The new museum and motorsport complex.

This corner looks quite open on TV - not so much when you stand there.

And I was off to my mates house.

The Blue Mountains, these mountains were considered impassable, the crossing by Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson and unlike earlier explorers they followed the mountain ridges not the valleys which were terminated by tall cliffs (

The rain had held off until I left Lithgow so the rain of the last hour of the trip was bearable.

And at my destination at the town named after this explorer, Blaxland. (With shakey hands)

Then off to the Airport to meet this beautiful lady.

Route for Day 2

Up Next Blaxland to Uralla