HMR003: Take me to the river

HMR003: Take me to the river

…as Fats Domino sang. This day ride of just over 520 km in length will take you over some of the better roads in central and north eastern Victoria.

Where to?

We start off at the service station at the Hume Freeway at Donnybrook and head east onto Donnybrook Road on our way to Corryong, Victoria approximately 431 km (268 mi) north east of Melbourne.

Take me to the river… Day ride HMR003

The online version of this map may be found here:


The first part of this ride takes us along Donnybrook Road, past the rapidly growing Donnybrook township to the roundabout at Merriang Road, where we turn left.

From here, we follow the road along the hills and dales to Wandong. We turn right over the railway line at Wandong, using the old highway route through Waterford Park, Sunday Creek and into Broadford where you get onto the Northern Highway, which is the Main Street. Follow this until you get to Short Street, (C382) which is signposted for both Strath Creek and the Hume Freeway back to Melbourne. Turn right here, and prepare to be entertained!


The C382 is a great ride through the forests. You ride past the State Motorcycle Sports Centre at Broadford, with the road offering corner after corner at a range of speeds from 60 to 100 km/h with sometimes bumpy road surfaces. Given that the trees come up to the roadside, it is worthwhile keeping a sharp lookout for wildlife. I have had a few moments of organic adrenaline production when, cranked over into a bend, suddenly Captain Kangaroo decides that it is an opportune time to cross the road! Not fun, but rather exciting.

Beware Australian Wildlife on the way to Murchison Gap – Image courtesy of Alex Cimbal

The road at point 7 becomes the Murchison Gap. A spectacular lookout is offered here, and is well worth spending a couple of minutes admiring the vista. The road here is a twisty, well surfaced and fairly steep road with most of the corners being signposted at 25 km/h or so. For some reason, it can catch you out and I have been on rides where riders have come to grief against the rock wall. A modicum of caution may be necessary – not only in regard to the road, but also to oncoming traffic, which has a propensity to wander across the double lines to your side of the road.

Once you are at the bottom of the pass, the road opens up once again meandering through the valley onto the hamlet of Strath Creek. There, we keep on the C382 by turning right onto the Flowerdale Road, to Flowerdale! This road is an absolute gem. Sweeping bends through the valley, with great lines of sight which can lead to a degree of UNINTENTIONAL over exuberance! Be careful though – I was unintentionally being a tad over exuberant one fine spring day, when I came along not one, not two, but six police motorcycles being rather exuberant as well! It turned out that it was a training class from the police driving/riding school which is located at Attwood. Luckily they were more interested in overtaking me rather than booking me… we all deserve a bit of luck, sometimes!

At point 8, which is Flowerdale, we turn left onto the Whittlesea – Yea Road (C725) and get set for a tremendous ride up through the sweepers of Junction Hill and the 60 km/h bends back down again on the road to Yea.

The road surface is very good, and the tree line is usually trimmed back, so one may become unintentionally over exuberant again! You do need to be careful through here as it can be targeted by the Highway Patrol. Especially if there have been complaints or accidents in the area. So, be warned.

Yea, which is at point 9, is a good place to regroup and have a coffee. There are two bakeries that are okay, but Marmalades Cafe is probably the pick of the bunch, particularly if you would like a sit down meal.

So, after Yea, we continue on the Goulburn Valley Highway to Mansfield. The less said about the Goulburn Valley Highway the better, I think. It is usually very heavily policed, so I tend to put the cruise control on, sit back and just enjoy the casual bimble up the road to Mansfield. An optional route, to avoid the highway and one to take if you are not bound by any time constraints, is the Whanrewargen Road from Molesworth to Alexandra. And then from there, head to Eildon. Just before Eildon, you have a right hand turn off to the Eildon-Jamieson Rd which is 60 km/h of average surface but very twisty and most enjoyable road. This brings you into Mansfield by the back way, rather than the Goulburn Valley Highway.


Mansfield is a good place to refuel and also to have a coffee if you have not indulged in Yea or anywhere else.

From Mansfield, head through town and turn left onto the Mansfield-Whitfield Road (C521). This is the start of one of the best roads in Victoria.

After about 15 km or so of winding your way through farmland and hills, the road starts to get seriously fun after you ride through Tolmie. Everything from 15 km/h corners to high speed sweepers will keep you thoroughly entertained until you arrive in Whitfield, (point 12) some 62 km later. To give you some insight and provide motivation, here is a video of some of the road.


The road continues through the King Valley, through to the Snow Road turn off and then onto Milawa. Continue on the Snow Road until you get to the Markwood-Everton Road where you turn left. This really is a back road, through farms and bush until you get to Everton, where you turn right onto White Post Road. Don’t you just love the names!

At the end of White Post Road, turn left onto the Beechworth Road and follow it into Beechworth. The Beechworth Bakery is well worth a stop for a coffee. From there, continue on the C315 towards Yackandandah and perhaps pay a visit to Schmidt’s Strawberry Winery.

Rural roads then take us to Tallangatta, which is a great place to refuel and have a bite of lunch. Again, their bakery serves good food and great coffee.


Corryong region – image courtesy of Visit Victoriea

After replenishment of both machine and person at Tallangatta, get onto the Murray Valley Highway, heading east. At Bulioh, it’s left onto the Granya Gap Road, which is another highlight of the trip! Herewith some evidence.

At the end of the Granya Gap Road, you turn right onto what is probably my favourite road of all – the Murray River Road (C546).

Every time that I ride this road, I come away with a tremendous smile. A feeling of motorcycling bliss. It follows the course of the Murray River, a collection of straights, sweepers and tight corners coupled with magnificent scenery of the Murray River Valley. The road surface is generally good and it is lightly trafficked. Have fun! Here is a taste of it.

Continue along the Murray River Road, and if time and border closures permit, you may cross the Murray River at Jingelic and have a reviving lemon squash or similar at the Jingellic Pub. Cross back across the border and the road opens out for a relaxed finish to the ride at Corryong, after riding through Walwa, Tintaldra, and Towong.

Corryong is a great town – we have stayed at both the motels there and both the pubs do substantial and good quality meals.

After riding this route, you will get a good night’s sleep!