Saturday, March 17, 2018

World Superbikes and Tassie Trip 2018 - Day 1 and 2

Last November plans were hatched to go to the World Superbike opening round at Phillip Island and then after that we would take the ferry across Bass Strait to Tasmania. It has been about 15 years since I'd visited either by motorcycle so I was excited to be heading back.

With my recent knee injury I was a little concerned about being able to ride for long stints. An MRI turned out that I had a knee fracture but the only thing for it was Physio, so I got hooking in to get as well as possible in anticipation for the ride. It has been so long since I'd been on my motorcycle I'd almost forgotten what it was like to ride it, I hadn't been on the bike since November last year.


We left early from my place with Stu and Bushpig just after 7am headed towards Goulburn via the dreaded Hume Highway. I packed my sheepskin just for this section. Two hours later we had arrived and refueled the bikes and met the others(Dave and Bruce) at the bakery for a spot of breakfast.

With the hunger wolves now at bay it was more dreaded highway down to Yass where we picked up a couple more people, Doug and Craig with now seven of us all told. We continued down to Coolac where we finally turned off the highway (yay) and took the back way into Tumut. Headed out of Tumut we took the Rosewood road up through the pine forests, this is a great bit of road in the middle of nowhere, thank you logging industry for providing some motorcycle heaven. We then stopped in Tumbarumba at the bakery for a spot of lunch.

Leaving Tumbarumba behind we headed down to the NSW/VIC border via Jingellic and onto the Murray River road and up over the Granya gap. I struggled riding through the Gap a bit as I couldn't put weight through my knee to weight the pegs and hang off into the bends so I had to counter steer every corner without hanging off, which became a bit slow and tiresome but still a lot of fun being back on the bike.

Dederang Hotel

We were soon pulling into the pub at Dederang which was to be our destination for tonight. The accommodation is quite reasonable at $40 a night with continental breakfast. Dave and I stayed in one of the cabins out the back which cost a little extra but we were in total luxury.

The local constabulary turned up to the pub and was checking out our bikes, he said a quick hello and then went off to see the publican. Putting the bikes around the back we settled in for a few well earned ales.

Inside our cabin

Dederang pub can be contacted on 02 6028 9325 the rooms are quite good and the cabins are fairly new and very comfortable so its a good spot to stay also putting you in reaching distance of the Victorian high country with many loop rides nearby.

Day 1 Map Reference

 DAY 2

Today's trip would include some great motorcycling roads unlike day 1 which was half highway half twisties. I'd skipped the free toast for breakfast as Doug had said we'd stop at the whitty cafe for breakfast about an hour away. We refueled in Myrtleford on the way to Whitfield. Sitting at the cafe eating breakfast we watched probably over 100+ bikes go through. They do a great breakfast here too and are very bike friendly. 

I hadn't been down the Whitfield road for about 20 years so it was almost like a new experience for me although I did remember the big views over the valleys. It's a great bit of road with a bit of everything, sweepers, tight bends and elevation changes with views and vistas.

Bushpig nick-named Doug's bike the Stukka, because;
A: Its German and
B: It comes in from behind and dive bombs you before shooting off into the distance.

Here's a short video of the Stukka in action on the Whitfield road.

We refueled in Mansfield for the trip across the Jamieson to Eildon Road. This is a road I've never ridden on before but had read a lot about it so this was a first for me. The road didn't disappoint it was an absolute cracker. There were so many bends by the end of it I think I was just about all 'bended' out and was hoping for a few straights. SHIT did I just say that?

Goulburn River

Jamieson - Eildon Road

Lake Eildon

The lookout is at the Jamieson end not far into the twisties but with superb views below of the lake. From here the road twists its way around mountains with 55km corners which slowly turn down in speed until you doing 35km and 25km corners. I was quite exhausted by the end of 60kms of just bends. With counter steering the whole way it wasn't making it easy, I couldn't ride my normal ride by not being able to hang off and attack the bends but boy was it still a hell of a lot of fun.

Lake Eildon Lookout

Here is a short 2 minute video of what the first section of the Jamieson Road is like from the lookout above. The road tightens up after this.

We had a brief reprieve from the twisty goodness that was the Jamieson road as we pressed on down to Marysville. Then we turned off here and instead of doing the black spur, Doug took us down the Reefton Spur yet another first for me as this is another famous bike road that I'd read about but never done. Two first's in the same day with brand new twisty motorcycle roads. I'm loving it, bring it on.


Reefton Spur

R1 on the Reefton Spur

The first section of the spur was a little more open and flowing as the road ascended into the forested hills. There were so many dead trees, probably from bush fires in recent years that have swept through the hills killing all the trees. It was quite erie to behold.

After this the road seemed to descend for miles and miles and the road became narrow and very twisty, plenty of 25 and 35km corners and all this after the work out earlier on the Jamieson road. The constant downhill bends were giving my wrists a workout. I bet this road would flow much better in the other direction as it would be mostly uphill. I didn't put my gopro on here as it was almost flat from the jamieson road but it would have been nice to get some footage.

After what seemed like ages of corner after corner action we finally came through Reefton (not much there) and into Warburton. Refueling the bikes it was time for some lunch so we found, you guessed it another bakery. With coffee and pies dispatched we then turned towards the Island which was not too far away, only about 2 hours. I was thankful as I was beginning to get tired by this point.

Map of the 2 Spurs

After some more great little back roads out through to Drouin we reached the Island and our rental house where we unloaded our gear and got ready for diner and beers at San Remo's pub(s), I also found out that there is more than 1 pub in San Remo. Who would have known as I never made it past the first one.

The view from our house over Cape Woolamai

Cheers Boys
All up a great days riding down to the Island, I think I prefer this way to come because most of the riding is very twisty and often at or below legal speeds as opposed to the Great Alpine Road which is very open and conducive to higher speeds and then after that there is 4 hours of boring flat straights to ride along to actually get to the Island. The way we came today only had about 30 minutes of boring bits to get to the Island so that's a big win in my books. Bring on the SUPERBIKES!!!!!!!

Map Reference


  1. Nice little ride eh? What's this about too many corners? Sicko...

    Some gravel riding in the next instalment?

  2. Just a short 1200km strop down to the Island. Yeah I should be ashamed there's no such thing as too many corners. I'll go hang my head in shame.

    Could be a bit of gravel riding coming up.

  3. A great read and pics Steve. That certainly was an excellent route from Dederang to the Island. I rode the Eildon to Jamieson road a week after you and it's my new 'favourite road'!

    1. I can see why Jules. It is a fantastic bike road, so many bends it really keeps you on your toes especially as its not really sign posted either.

  4. Ah that Jamieson to Eildon road was the one I wanted to find last time I was on tour. Thanks Steve I now have it on my map for future.

    I literally would not be able to walk if I rode that distance on a sports bike, I'd stop at lights and fall over not able to unlock my knee to touch the ground haha.

    Looking forward to more, Tassie has been on my to ride list for so long.

    1. You missed out Warren it really is a cracker of a road, in the middle of nowhere and no traffic on it. I didn't know you hadn't ridden tassie before, you've been just about everywhere else.

      Riding a sportsbike has its moments I can tell you, I find if we have a full day riding twisty roads I'm ok, but if we have 3 or 4 hours of straights ala Hume Hwy it really kills me, so I try not to do straight roads if I can help it.

  5. That R1 sounds horn!! Great start to the trip bro.

  6. So far you guys were having too much fun. Looks like you managed to enjoy yourself even though you had the knee issues. It helps to self medicate at the bakeries I am thinking....and the pub at the end of the day of course.