HMR008: Go West

HMR008: Go West

A small group of us went for a 3 day ride through central and western Victoria over the weekend – and this is how it went…

Day 1 – Melbourne to Donald

Leaving the north of Melbourne at 0730, we headed north and then east via Lancefield, Kilmore, Strath Creek and stopped at Yea for a coffee.

Given that it was the Superbikes weekend, we played it safe on the Whittlesea-Yea Road and this approach was rewarded when we rode around a bend in the road to encounter a Highway Patrol car parked in a turn off!

After Yea, we went up the Goulburn Valley Highway to Yarck, where we turned left onto Yarck Road. This is a most enjoyable road – riding through a valley until just before it joins the Longwood-Ruffy Road – where you start climbing a series of tight switchbacks. Onto Ruffy, and then onto Longwood. This whole section of road is great being adequately surfaced and with some great scenery.

The road flattens out here, and we travelled on the old Hume Highway until we reached Locksley, turning right towards Nagambie and thence to Heathcote, where we stopped for fuel and a quick lunch at Gaffney’s Bakery – where the pies are delicious (especially the Triple Chilli Braised Beef!).

We then headed to the outskirts of Bendigo via the Spillway Road that runs on the top of the Lake Eppalock Spillway. The lake is full – which is great to see. After Bendigo, we followed the road to Dunnolly and turned off the Moliagul Road on the the St. Arnaud Road. This road is in good condition with some great sweepers to enjoy.

The temperature was climbing at this point, reaching 36 degrees [97 in fahrenheit] when we stopped for the day – a tad warm!

We stayed the night at the Donald Motor Lodge; Very comfortable rooms with very welcoming staff. The welcome theme was extended at dinner, which was taken at the Donald Hotel.

Day 2 – Donald to Warrnambool

The morning dawned cloudy, humid and warm – so we set off along the flat farmlands to Stawell and then Halls Gap, where we stopped for coffee. The rain had started and it was to be persistent all day. The ride up on Mt. Victory Rd was enjoyable – but challenging at time in the slippery conditions – some video evidence here – which is better watched in HD.

From there it was over the top of the Grampians, after travelling over Mt. Victoria further west to Lake Toolondo, where a quick stop was made to bring out the heavier gloves. We turned south towards Balmoral, where a quick fuel stop was made. There is an unattended and automated fuel station there – but be aware that it only stocks 91 unleaded fuel. After that, the road continued south with a series of undulating sweepers to be enjoyed, through Dunkeld, Penshurst and onto Warrnambool.

The rain had been light but persistent throughout the day – so I was slightly damp, rather than wet. This changed as we hove into Warrnambool – where a deluge was experienced – whilst we were stopped at the first set of traffic lights for the day! The interior of my room at the Comfort Inn Warrnambool International resembled an industrial laundry, with all the riding gear hung out to dry!

We then ventured out to the Warrnambool Hotel – for a few drinks and dinner. I can recommend the Silverside!

Highly recommend the Silverside at the Warrnambool Hotel

Day 3 – Warrnambool to Melbourne

Another damp and cloudy morning saw us heading to Port Campbell for coffee and breakfast at the Grass Roots Deli Cafe. Very enjoyable.

The Great Ocean Road (the GOR) beckoned, despite it being wet.

The GOR is in good shape from Port Campbell to Lavers Creek – which made the 80 km/h and SIXTY KM/H [50 MPH] speed limits very frustrating 😡.

We turned off the GOR at Lavers Hill, and rode the most entertaining C155 to Colac via Ferguson and Gellibrand. This road is simply great – starting off with sweepers until the turn off to Colac at Ferguson – then kilometre after kilometre of tight corners and sweepers until Gellibrand, where the road tames to mainly sweepers until Colac.

After a fuel and coffee stop at Colac, we continued through the farm landscapes through Beeac (another great pub there), Cressy, Teesdale, Maude and Anakie until the urban sprawl of Melbourne loomed into sight.

Just on 1300km, over a range of country from flatlands to tight twisties of the Mt. Victory Road.

Hope you enjoyed the read and ride!