Alpine High Country, Kosciuszko National Park, Canberra, NSW South Coast, Gippsland Lakes and the Mornington Peninsula.
Duration: 11 days & 3,413km/2,120mi
This self-guided tour is definitely one for the motorcycling purist covering miles of unbelievably great sport touring across the southern aspect of the Great Dividing Range. While it includes day after day and kilometre after kilometre of flowing high speed bends, this tour also includes scenic destinations throughout the alpine high country, the snowy river district and coastal regions, showcasing a diverse Australian landscape in all of its summer-time splendour. Whether it is the open roads and sweeping bends of the high country, the tight twisted roads around the highest mountain in Australia or riding the NSW south coast from end to end, this tour will fill your memory banks with riding experiences and scenery that typify Australia.
Day 1 Melbourne to Healesville (285km/177mi)
This fabulously scenic tour commences with a journey north out of Melbourne, beyond the Dandenong Ranges and into the Victorian wine region of Yarra Valley. Today’s journey gets the tour started in the best possible fashion, taking in some of the most popular motorcycling roads in Victoria as you weave your way through the ranges and high country towns of Warburton, Kinglake, Marysville and Healesville. You cover some of the most picturesque and best-known motorcycling routes in outer Melbourne region including Heidelberg-Kinglake Road, the Black Spur, Lake Mountain Alpine Road and Reefton Spur, before you settle down for a night of great local food and luxury accommodation at the fabulous Healesville Resort.
Day 2 Healesville to Mount Buller (240km/150mi)
Leaving Healesville, you make your way through the rolling Dandenong Ranges to the beautiful Lake Eildon town of Alexandra. Find photo opportunities everywhere as we go around the bottom of the lake for what is one of the best long stretches of winding road in the Victorian high country. After experiencing motorcycling heaven for an hour or two, you exit near the towns of Howqua and Jamieson where you can pay a visit to the Jamieson Brewery and scenic rest stops at Howqua Inlet. Head into the gorgeous alpine town of Mansfield, and finish off the day with a climb up to the alpine village of Mount Buller (1805m) – just in time for a grand sunset view over the Alpine National Park.
Day 3 Mount Buller to Rutherglen (311km/193mi)
This day has many beautiful sights and great roads all rolled into the one. It will leave you questioning what else is to come…and its only Day 3! After waking to a mountain top sunrise and a relaxing breakfast we descend the clear air on Mt Buller (one of Australia’s premier alpine resorts) to travel back through Mansfield and onto the remote high country towns of Tolmie and Whitfield. This trek takes you through one of the all-time favourite sections of road on this tour, the twisted Mansfield-Whitfield Rd and a photo stop at Powers Lookout before dropping down into the King and Ovens Valleys. This exceptional day of touring continues through Myrtleford and onto the historic town of Beechworth, famous for its bakeries and scrumptious food, where you will stop for a hearty lunch and walk around this beautiful town. After Beechworth head into the Indigo Valley for more great sights as you roll through the countryside onto the mighty Murray River at Corowa before stopping for the day in the Victorian wine making town of Rutherglen.
Day 4 Rutherglen to Jindabyne (326km/202mi)
No matter how many times I ride the accumulation of country roads between Wodonga and Jindabyne it always brings a huge smile to my face, courtesy of never ending corner after beautiful corner. Today’s ride has a bit of everything, it includes substantial sections of open flowing high speed mountain corners and tight twisted sections where you will find it hard to exit 2nd gear…..but one thing is for sure, you will spend 300kms leaned over, and when you’re not setting up for the next corner you will be gazing at the impressive landscape and breathtaking scenery associated with weaving your way around Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciusko. Several photo opportunities abound as we leave Wodonga and head out through Yackandandah and Tallangatta stopping at Corryong for lunch. Today’s tour deep into the snowy mountains and Kosciuszko National Park ends as you exit at the alpine village of Thredbo for a short ride towards the lakeside town of Jindabyne where you stop for the night amid the breathtaking scenery of Lake Jindabyne.
Day 5 Jindabyne to Canberra (418km/260mi)
The second day of riding in the fabulous snowy mountains region has the tour heading north through the upper reaches of the Kosciuszko National Park around Adaminaby, Lake Eucumbene, Blowering Reservoir and the Bogong Peaks Wilderness area. It is another 200+kms of scenic winding roads with every corner increasing the level of adrenalin coursing through your veins. If the great motorcycling doesn’t get your engine running, then corner after corner of scenic landscapes will take your breath away. You will ride further north to the main highway at Gundagai where you (unfortunately) spend an hour or so on the Hume Highway, the main highway between Melbourne and Sydney, heading further north-east towards our rest stop in Canberra. After only a short stint on the motorway experiencing the vast openness of Australia’s inland rolling hills and farming and grazing districts, you drop down into Canberra.
Day 6 Rest day in Canberra, the national capital
Enjoy a rest day in Canberra, the national capital, and explore the huge array of national treasures and landmarks. Whether you are looking to put your feet up indoors or enjoy a day visiting one of the many tourist attractions, there is something for everybody in Canberra:
• Learn about the ANZAC spirit and take in a visit of ANZAC Parade then onto the Australian War Memorial
• A visit to the Australian National Gallery or the National Library
• A tour of the Canberra Deep Space Complex
• Take in a tour of Parliament House
• A walk or bike ride around Lake Burley Griffin
• Visit Mount Ainslie, Black Mountain or Weston Park
• Restaurants, cafes, gourmet specialty food retailers
• Retail Therapy
Day 7 Canberra to Eden (356km/221mi)
As daybreak wakes up the national capital you will say goodbye to Canberra as you head towards the towns of Bungendore and Braidwood in preparation for an exciting run over “the Clyde” (Clyde Mountain). Heading for the NSW south coast, Clyde Mountain is a motorcycling playground and enjoys a mix of fast sections and the occasional 2nd gear corner. Unfortunately, the trip over Clyde Mountain isn’t a long stretch, unlike the previous days amongst the snowy mountains, but what it lacks in overall distance it makes up for in scenery as you reach the picturesque coastline and enjoy lunch in either the river town of Nelligen or the seaside town of Batemans Bay. After reaching Batemans Bay you’re now in for some scenic touring as the tour takes on more of a relaxed pace heading south along the Australian east coast for the next three days all the way back to Melbourne.
Day 8 Eden to Lakes Entrance (328km/204mi)
Heading inland for a short distance the tour continues to criss-cross the Great Dividing Range, this time it’s up and over Brown Mountain on the Mount Darragh Road destined for the historic town of Bombala. A coffee stop in Bombala to regroup then it’s on for more exciting riding through the countryside and ranges down into Cann River where you will again meet the southern coastline, refuel and enjoy a timely lunch stop. From Cann River it’s a gentle run along the coastal highway before deviating down to Cape Conran, Marlo and Lake Corringle, where the mighty Snowy River meets the sea. Back up onto the highway for a short ride to Orbost then finally you drop down into the seaside holiday town of Lakes Entrance.
Day 9 Lakes Entrance round trip, via Bright (483km/300mi)
After the previous day and a half of relaxed coastal scenery and free flowing tourist routes, Day 9 offers you one a 480km round trip into the Alpine National Park, where if you liked Days 4 and 5 through the Snowy Mountains then you will simply love Day 9. It is a day of sport touring not to be missed. The Great Alpine Road extends all the way from the coastal area of Lakes Entrance and Bruthen north into Omeo and the alpine resort towns of Dinner Plain and Mount Hotham. This is one of my favourite days of riding due to hundreds of kilometres of high speed flowing corners that comprise the Alpine National Park. Not only this, you will get some amazing photography from high above the ranges and the scenery is truly breathtaking. You stop for lunch in Bright then the return leg takes on a slightly different route through the ski resorts of Mount Beauty and Falls Creek before re-joining the Great Alpine Road in Omeo for the ride back to Lakes Entrance. While this is a day of sport touring not to be missed, if you would like to explore the coastal town of Lakes Entrance and enjoy a more relaxed holiday pace, then you have the option to remain in Lakes Entrance and simply relax, visit the beach or one of the many tourist attractions.
Day 10 Lakes Entrance to Inverloch (360km/224mi)
Travelling from Lakes Entrance along the rugged Gippsland Coast, you voyage around the largest inland waterway in Australia, the Gippsland Lakes and waterside villages of Paynesville and Metung, taking in the Ninety Mile Beach before heading towards Wilsons Promontory National Park. On this leg of the journey, we get close to iconic Australian wildlife and natural wonders, all the things that make Australia appealing to local and international visitors alike. The Gippsland Region of Victoria enjoys diverse landscapes where the southern edge of the Great Dividing Range meets the Latrobe Valley and the rugged Bass Coast.
Day 11 Inverloch to Melbourne (306km/190mi)
We want to leave you with some lasting memories that measure up to the Scenic Wheels standard. The final leg of this great escape includes a flying visit to Phillip Island and the GP circuit before heading to the Mornington Peninsula for lunch. Our final stop is atop Arthurs Seat, where on a clear day you can see all the way over the bay to the city landscape of Melbourne’s CBD.
Arriving back in Melbourne it’s now time to put your feet up and reflect on what has been a great holiday combining memorable destinations, fantastic motorcycling and some of the best scenery in Australia.