motorcycles, travel, friendship, respect… I may drift off into WTF-land at times so hang in there.

Are We There Yet?


The Pillion and I made our way south to Penrith, an outer suburb of Sydney last weekend. We were unsure of what route we were going to take to get down here, all we knew, was that we didn’t want to rush.

We could have taken the Pacific Highway, which is the coastal route and has a 110 km/h (70 mp/h) speed limit for about 2/3 of its length.

Its a great piece of road that’s improved a lot in the past 20 years. It’s well suited to cages with cruise control and air con, but its boring on a bike because it’s of typical freeway construction; Wide, straight and flat.

Plus the point to point and static radars make it a chore if you don’t have cruise control, or a keen eye and steady throttle hand.

Route Options

Route Options

Our other option was to take the New England Highway.

We haven’t traveled this route in nearly 10 years. It’s an inland route with a top speed limit of 100 km/h (60 mp/h). There are many small towns along its length where the speed limit drops to 50km/h (30mp/h). Popo patrols the small towns regularly so it pays to slow down.

The New England Highway is not as boring. The road meanders more and passes through towns rather than goes around them like the Pacific does.

Time wasn’t a problem, and we wanted to keep off the long and boring roads. We also wanted to be able to stop and take in some of the sights along the way.

Fortunately for us, the New South Wales (NSW) State Guv’mint launched a motorcycle awareness campaign on November 2nd.

Along with the campaign, they launched a Ride To Live website, and the website has a trips section that includes some of the roads that we wanted to ride.

There’s a heavy focus on safety, with accident statistics, safety tips, accommodation advice, fuel, and rest area information.

At least they acknowledge these roads are popular with riders and are proactive enough to offer helpful information to keep you safe.

In the end we took the New England Highway from Brisbane down to Walcha (Pronounced Wall-ka) NSW.

It’s a short run, maybe 7 hours and 550km (340 mi) if you ride straight through. We stopped along the way at Wawrick, Tenterfield, Glenn,Innes, Armidale and a couple of other places of interest before stopping at the Royal in Walcha for the night.

On Sunday we left early and headed down Thunderbolts Way to Gloucester, then Buckets Way to Booral where we took Booral Road to the Pacific Highway and Bulahdelah.

From there we took a detour and dropped into a mates place at North Arm Cove. We spent a few hours having a laugh and catching up on old times before heading out around 15:30 for the last stretch to Penrith.

We had every intention going through Cessnock, Broke and The Putty Road to Penrith, but because we lost track of time at North Arm Cove, we decided we would get to Sydney well after dark, and we really didnt want to be dodging wild life at dusk on the Putty, which has national parks on both sides of it.

So we erred on the side of self preservation and took the shorter, safer route along the Newcastle Expressway and arrived at Penrith at about 19:15, just on dark.

All up the we did about 530 km (330 mi) on Sunday and 1080km (671 mi) give or take a bit in total for the weekend.

The trip home next week will be different, I’ll tell you a little about that in a future post.


By the way, Mum says hi !


7 responses

  1. Bob

    That’s a pretty good safety website for the motorcyclist to brush up on, but the real problem is distracted people in the cars on the road, totally unaware of their surroundings. More of the campaign aimed towards them would be more beneficial to us motorcyclists. Enjoy your trip!


    November 12, 2014 at 6:10 AM

    • The campain is followed up with a TV ad campaign that not only targets the rider but also the driver.

      On the way down here I notice lots of billboards reminding drivers to check their blind spot, to be motorcycle aware etc… also lane filtering (under 30km/h) is legal in NSW and it was refreshing to have people make room when we were coming through.

      I think the NSW gov’mint is on the right track. Other state authorities could learn a thing or two that’s for sure.

      Thanks for commenting Bob


      November 12, 2014 at 7:33 AM

  2. Dan

    Hi mum!

    Liked by 1 person

    November 12, 2014 at 8:36 AM

  3. Please share your’s and pillion’s tips on preventing getting saddle sore 🙂 My backside hurts just reading about all the k’s you are travelling.


    November 12, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    • The Pillion uses an Air Hawke and she can go about 1-1/2 hours on a good road… less if it’s bumpy before we stop for a short 10 minute break, or longer if we break for a meal.

      I can go a lot longer even though I only have a sheep skin seat cove, but I think the pillion seat is less forgiving that the riders seat though.

      Liked by 1 person

      November 12, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      • Last ride to Townsville we did in 3 to 4 hour stints before rest stop. I can’t even describe the way I was walking at the end of the day but I felt like I’d been riding a camel. Next trip if I’m pillion I will suggest including a few more stops. I took a look at the Air Hawke site & will show MM. Thanks for the tips.

        Liked by 1 person

        November 13, 2014 at 9:24 AM

  4. LB

    I’m so envious! Haven’t been on the bike in 3 weeks!!! Glad you’ve put so many miles / kms on yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 17, 2014 at 2:28 AM

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