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Old 12-28-2009, 02:41 PM   #1
Nev.. OP
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Nev & Jo xmas ADV ride.

The BMW MCC VIc are holding their annual christmas camp for 6 nights at Bright, starting on boxing day. We only have the weekend and public holidays off work, so we could only stay there 2 nights. No other plans for Christmas day, so decided it would be a great day to head out to the hills and hit a few roads which Jo hadn't ridden before, and camp overnight somewhere on the way to Bright, so I devised the following route. Almost exactly 100km of sealed road followed by about 200km of almost all unsealed road... and none of the few few pubs and general stores we would pass would be open so we topped up with fuel in Healesville on the way out, knowing the next fuel would be in Jamieson Or Mansfield.

For much of the morning we were riding through cloud in the hills and the temperatures were around 6C

on the Woods Point Road

9 Mile Road

visibility was quite limited.


There are often reported sightings in the Victorian bush of Panthers or other black cats. At one stage down near the Thompson dam, I rounded a corner to see what looked like a large black cat moving off the road and up a bank. I would think that whatever I saw could quite easily be mistaken for a big black cat, but from the angle I saw it, and the fact that it was headed directly away from me, it was impossible to identify, however my initial instinct told me that it wasn't moving as gracefully as a cat would... it was more doglike. The next day a dark wallaby crossed the road in front of me near Whitfield. I reckon it's possible/likely that whatever I saw might have actually been a wallaby... but who knows. Sorry,, it was way to quick for me. No pictures
We stopped for a picnic lunch in one of the picnic grounds near Thompson Dam. The dam level has risen slightly since the last time I took a photo here, about 18 months ago.

The road north of the dam is quite bumpy and narrow in places. Later in the afternoon I noticed the front section of one of my driving lights had bounced itself right out of the lamp base. Only a cheapie from Repco so no biggie.

Stopped at the grave of Kitty Cane

Hard to believe that a century and a half ago this was a busy throughfare between the goldfields of NE vic and the supply routes through Gippsland.

near Gaffney's creek

camped next to the Kevington Pub. Jo's busy cooking :)


Day 2, we leave Kevington, refuel in Jamieson, a nutricious breakfast pie at the Mansfield bakery then up to Whitfield. Turned right to Cheshunt then took a detour into the national park to see Paradise falls. This is the view from the carpark near the falls.

The falls weren't that spectacular.
Headed out past Lake Buffalo and into Bright for a relaxing afternoon (which means setting up the tent, having a shower and napping ;)

Day 3, We set off for a dayride around 8:30am. Destination Dargo. Was intending to do a loop to the pub for lunch, but we've set out a lot earlier than expected.
First on the agenda is a trip up Mt Hotham.

Just before the summit we take the turnoff onto the Dargo High Plains Road

The road is in really good condition. Mostly hard packed and only minimal dust being raised.


About 20km north of Dargo, another bike approaches. As we get close I recognise "Shrek" (the bike not the rider).

Pete and Goodie are heading from Dargo to Omeo. By this time I have formulated our plans to arrive around Omeo/Anglers rest for lunchtime. We chat for a few mins and then head on our ways. They advise of a herd of cattle being driven up the road ahead..

Feeling quite adventurous I have planned to take a road from Dargo to Omeo of which I cannot find a lot of information but I have plotted the course pretty well in the GPS. Some navigating info follows.
About 5km north of Dargo we take the Upper Dargo Road. This road follows the river valley for about 15km, passing several well populated camping sites. The first intersection is unsignposted after about 8km. The road splits in two, to the left climbing up a hill, we take the road to the right which crosses the river almost immediately. Pretty quickly the road goes from a dusty 2 lane road to a rocky single lane 2 wheel tracks hugging the edge of a hill and climbing quite steeply for a few km.

Another 5.5km the next intersection has the main track veering left and another track veering right. There's an Omeo sign nailed to the tree. I know we're on the right track.

1.5km further along the track again splits left and right, the main track to the right is signposted to Swifts Creek. We take the road to the left, signposted as Birregun Rd. For the next 42km the few intersections are signposted with whole or partial Birregun Rd signs.

This road is wide and hard packed, hardly any dust, we can maintain a pretty good speed, and it climbs and climbs and climbs and climbs. We visit Dogs Grave on our way (the burial place of a drover's dog many years ago). Its a few metres down a track off the main road and a nice picnic area also exists there.

As best as I can ascertain from Google Earth, the Dargo pub is about 660ft ASL and the road climbs to about 4500ft ASL before dropping down to abou 2500ft at Upper Livingstone Rd. That road took us back to the bitumen on the Cassiles Rd and then a 10km cruise into Omeo.

Stop at the Petrol station to refuel and there are two familiar bikes parked in the corner, and we join Pete and Goodie for lunch at the bakery next door.

All four of us ride together up the Omeo Hwy past Anglers Rest and up the Bonang High Plains road to Falls creek ski resort.




Then it's down to Mt Beauty and back to camp at Bright for a well earned beer or 6:)
The trip home was a pretty uneventful trip taking the usual routes through Carboor, Whitfield, Mansfield, Yea and home via Whittlesea.

This is on the road near Flowerdale.. Noticed it a few weeks ago. Still not sure which building it refers too.

My complete photo album of the trip is at http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2009/xmas2009

(It's worth noting, if you're navigating these roads, that both Woods Point and Dargo are shown in the wrong places on Google Maps, and you should refer to a real map to find out where these towns really exist)
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:41 PM   #2
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i love that area. rode it many times. very relaxing. good RR. seasons greetings.
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:21 PM   #3
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It sure beats sitting around eating turkey and making small talk with relatives on xmas!! thanks for the report and pics
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:13 PM   #4
UncleGra
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Hey Nev.....nice ride......Did you ride the Bonang High Plains Rd before it was sealed......If so, what do you think.......I think it has lost a lot of its appeal....another one bites the dust....jmo...

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Old 12-28-2009, 09:55 PM   #5
Backcountryboy
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Its below freezing with lots of black ice outside. Would much rather be riding with you in your wonderful country. Maybe next year I'll spend Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere...
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:35 AM   #6
Nev.. OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleGra
Hey Nev.....nice ride......Did you ride the Bonang High Plains Rd before it was sealed......If so, what do you think.......I think it has lost a lot of its appeal....another one bites the dust....jmo...
No, I didn't ride it before it was sealed but I won't let that stop me from having an opinion. The first few km closest to the Omeo Hwy intersection, the steep climb up the hill, is already quite corrugated and gives the suspension a lot of work, and because the road is quite narrow and I guess a lot of traffic uses the whole width of the road so there is no smooth line to be found from keeping left on the way up the hill. I can see that they'll need to keep working on that else it'll get torn up pretty quickly. (or maybe make it one way and ban downhill traffic.. that'd probably make it a lot more enjoyable)
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