After a catch up with friends in Melbourne my trip continued towards Brisbane. This time I was on my own, solo, just me and the chook chaser. I decided to leave the coast for a little bit and explore what else Australia has to offer. It might have been one of the best choices I made on the trip when it comes to planning the route of the trip. I travelled up along the Great Dividing Range. A mountain range that runs along the entire east coast of Australia, roughly separating the coast from the outback. On my trip I followed this mountain range from the Victorian highlands to Brisbane. It is heaven for bike riders, no road is straight, no bend the same. Also it is the road less travelled and has the advantages that come with that…
After two days on the road on my own I decided it was time for a beer and a chat with some locals. I pulled up in front of a local pub and asked if there was a campground nearby. No not really… But after a few phone calls the owner of the pub allowed me to put my tent up behind the pub. I could literally crawl from the bar to my bed! We had a great night and I was invited to come over for breakfast the next day at one of the local farms. I heard the sad story of a fellow bike rider who had crashed his bike the day before and had to be airlifted to hospital. The next morning I left being extra careful and soon enough found out the advantages of not always pushing the limits. I went into a bend with about 75 km/h, where 90 km/h would have been fine. However, halfway through the corner my heart skipped a beat as there was a massive wombat sitting in the middle of my lane. With cars approaching from the other side I was only just able to adjust my line to the inside of the corner and avoid all obstacles. Phew!
Travelling up further I came across impressive mountain ranges and the greenest grass of the whole of Australia in “Australia’s Food Bowl”. Then, trying to stay off the beaten track as much as possible, I got lost. I found myself on a gravel road that got narrower and narrower, this in itself didn’t bother me until I saw the first road sign in ages. On it were 2 direction, one town I just came from, one town I had been through yesterday. There was no one around to ask so I kept on riding to the first farm where I was greeted by an incredibly cute puppy and a farmhand. He told me I had to go back about 60 km of gravel road, back to a turn I had obviously missed. So I went back, found the turn and was happily on my way again. If you have any intentions of following my tracks it would be good to know that the wallabies (small kangaroos) living along the less-travelled gravel roads in the Great Dividing Range, are not scared of bikes at all. They seem to make it a sport to cross the road with the entire family, extended family. You know, mum, dad, the kids, the grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephew, nieces, cousins, great grant parents, great grand aunts…. Well you get the picture!
All and all the Great Dividing Range was a great experience. With great views, great people and great wildlife, admittedly, the wildlife sometimes was a bit too close to my great great bike.