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Old 03-10-2012, 10:20 PM   #1
TimC's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 272
Default Coonabarabran to Melbourne the straight way

Just after new year, I headed up to Coonabarabran, ate a really good pizza, then rode back to Melbourne, avoiding the highways. I consulted the Hema motorcycle atlas to join up some interesting roads into something resembling a straight line. Between the interesting bits, I just took the straightest dirt roads between the 2 major roads that would have taken me there far quicker and in more comfort if I had have taken them

Here's the map:

And the entire (culled) photos:

The road to Batlow was rated well in the Good Book, and it was indeed great tar. But I wanted to head across to the Snowy Mtn Hwy so that I could then have the excuse to go back along Elliot Way (which I had discovered accidentally when I read the map wrong while riding my little bike a year or 2 back. I was greatly impressed. My girlfriend less so when I arrived 2 hours later than I said I would). If I remember correctly it had been pissing down all morning and all day the day before, but it was starting to dry out by the time I crawled out of bed at Batlow. The photos below are GPS tagged to show just where I mean, but the shortcut sure was fun.

Several creek crossings were diverted along the way so they could replace bridges presumably damaged in the numerous floods of late


Then for good measure, several sections were marked 4WD only, for good reason.


I misread this particular detour sign:


That incorrect detour was gorgeous for a while

I knew I was on the wrong road very soon, but never quite tempted enough to take the dodgy little side ramps over the creek I was meant to be crossing. Before long, it deteriorated to what would have been reasonably difficult in a 4WD judging from how deep some of the wheel tracks and (dried) bogged sections were. And I couldn't turn around. Too bloody flustered to take photos though. After about what seemed like an hour at 5km/h, I eventually came back to the same road and completed the loop (you can see the loop in the map. I can highly recommend it ). Only then I took a closer look at the detour sign (and take the photo above) and realised it wasn't pointing up the start of that beautiful looking track.

The various lagoons near Lake Hume (typed that as Lake Huge in an earlier draft) started sooner, wetter and higher than I remember it:


and the land was far greener than I could really imagine:





'Course, finally, with far too many kilometres and too little time left, you can still have some fun on the blacktop:


More rides coming
'08 Suzuki GS500F
'10 BMW R1200GS
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:56 PM   #2
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Williamson's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St Helena, Victoria
Posts: 3,302
Default Re: Coonabarabran to Melbourne the straight way


Good stuff!! But, you call that straight? No wonder you can't get the weather right.........

Originally Posted by TimC View Post
More rides coming
Yeah, keep 'em coming anyway.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:33 AM   #3
Mapping the next ride...
glitch's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 16,998
Default Re: Coonabarabran to Melbourne the straight way

Oh yeah...just tripped over that Batlow-Talbingo stretch a few weeks ago when checking the maps for something else...certainly looks interesting!
And you're right, the greens are just about glowing in those pics.

Nice country up time, try to run the River Road (~120km, all gravel) from Tooma right along the northern banks of the Murray to the Wymah Ferry.

Nice pics there
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