The Good Oil on the Good Dirt
By Jan Robinson
Finally found the perfect size billy to fit the stove, so set off at 3pm for a five day tour of Northern NSW. Me on the dirt/road bike (BMW F650GS) and he on the SV (Suzuki) sports. Dinner at Boonah and a few wrong turns meant my debut gravel road ride was in the dark. With the loaded SV skipping over the road, avoiding kangaroos and cattle we arrived at the National Park to find we’re the only happy campers. Fire and a warming port (or two) and 12 hours free of any man made noise.
Slight rain as we ride out next morning, through bucolic farmland, to Woodenbong. The GS (and me) loving these rough lumpy roads. Kyogle for lunch then more dirt to Toonumbar NP. I’m really starting to relax and enjoy the bike whereas SV rider not so happy! Another secluded camp, with the next day traversing the mountain range on minor four wheel drive tracks. I’m really having a ball now, Ron really not. I convince him to take the GS for a run back up the track and now guess who wants one.
Old Bonalbo to Tenterfield via the glorious Bruxner. Corner upon corner, good surface and the SV is in its element. And if you had time to look, the scenery is speccy. Supply shopping, then down back roads to the Mann River. 16kms of steep downhill corners (bit cool so heated hand grips are on high), heaps of wallabies and kangaroos watching the progress. But there are other people!!, so off to the day area for the peace and serenity we are now used to.
Next morning back up the hill to the Gwydir Hwy, one beautiful road, curly and cutting through World Heritage Wilderness. The run down to Grafton is a must do again.
The last night out was back through Tabulam following the Clarence Way, quite a bit of dirt with the ABS saving one kangaroo – I only ran over the tail. Back to a National park near Bonalbo for our last night out then back to Urbenville along more lovely roads and to complete the circuit, a carve up the Mt Lindesay Highway before cutting across to Boonah for more eats – then Brisbane traffic and real life.
PS: Guess who now owns a dirt/road bike!!!!!!!!!