Otways & Great Ocean Road

I’m making the most of the good weather and holidays. Headed off at 7.45am in sunshine for a lap of the Otways and a small, but favorite, section of the Great Ocean Road (GOR). It’s the section between Lavers Hill & Apollo Bay – which actually runs through eucalypt forests inland rather than following the coastline. This section has everything a motorcyclist could want – big open high speed sweepers and tight, technical curves and stunning bush scenery along the way.

Via the township of Forrest (Vic)

Turned up Turton’s (treacherous) Track again towards Beech Forest.

From Beech Forest to Laver’s Hill, then onto the GOR from Laver’s Hill to Apollo Bay. Had an excellent run at a good pace and although there was a lot of traffic coming towards me, not much was going in my direction.

Apollo Bay was swarming with holiday makers displaying zero driving ability! From Apollo Bay I headed to Scenes Creek then turned left off the GOR inland back towards Forrest. Again, I had a really good run and the few cars I caught up with I was able to overtake between the curvy bits.

View from Apollo Bay
Just prior to Forrest is the West Barwon Dam – which is very low.

All up 311 kms (without refuelling) with lots of curves, in glorious sunshine and on dry grippy pavement – just brilliant!

First ride for 2009!

Headed off at 7.30 am for a short 240 k morning ride, my first for the holidays after some frustrating past weeks. Seemed to photograph lots of signs today.

Fire season.

Shearing shed near Dean’s Marsh

Geelong to Forrest via Dean’s Marsh, then right turn onto Turton’s track. This was signposted at 40 kph limit along the first few K’s. It’s very narrow, twisy & covered in leaf litter and rubble. Beautiful scenery, but sports riding it is not!

You’ve been warned.

Timber heritage area

View from the deck of a new cafe at Beech Forrest. I was their 1st customer – they opened 10 mins before I arrived.

No petrol here!


The VFR ran beautifully in the cool morning air. There’s nothing quite like the gentle pulsations of a V4 motor – good for the soul!

Bikes by the Bay

“Bikes by the Bay” is an annual fundraiser run by the Williamstown MCC. Unfortunately the weather was aweful and so attendance of motorcycles and spectators was well down. DP & I actually went in the car! The theme was club registered motorcycles, so some some classics were to be expected. Williamstown is a really picturesque spot with a historic streetscape on one side of the park and a view over Hobson’s Bay to Melbourne city on the other.

Took a few pics of some of my favourites despite the poor turnout.

Vincent HRD in Norton frame = Norvin

I’ve owned two of these Honda 750’s in the past.

I like these!

and these

Old Indian outfit.

‘Rust never sleeps’ (Apologies to Neil Young fans)

Hobson’s Bay, looking toward Melbourne
Some of Williamstown’s streetscape

Don’t you get sick of it?

… is what my son asked when I said that we had yet another enjoyable 320ks of the Otway’s winding roads today (Geelong, Colac via back roads, Laver’s Hill, Apollo Bay, inland via Forrest back to Geelong).

“Not at all, it’s different every time depending on the weather, time of day, people we meet, traffic & whether I’m in the zone for riding or not”.

Today was all about the smell of eucalypt, bugs on the visor and a great feeling of freedom. No pics as we were enjoying the ride too much.

He wasn’t convinced ….

Gellibrand for a Coke

Just had a quick solo run today down to Gellibrand. Unfortunately my favorite store had no diet Coke!!

The Gelli pub is under new ownership. A group of people have bought it, including the owners of the Otway vineyard. They are planning a gradual renovation, ramping up the quality of meals and maybe some accomodation in the future.

Nice bush view from the beer garden.
Gratuitous VFRpic

Friday night we went to Melbourne for the Motorcycle Expo. Some pics below.

Iconic Honda VFR750 RC30

My favourite – MV Agusta. No one does style like the Italians!

Marty’s new Duke?

Another MV, just $180K, but you get a watch & jacket valued at $20K thrown in!

One for you Bill, they didn’t have the new K1300S here though.

12 Apostles

Yesterday the “West Coast Procrastinators” took a run to the 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road (Vic) in excellent Spring conditions. Our route was Geelong, Colac, Gellibrand, Lavers Hill then to the Apostles via the Great Ocean Road. From there we headed inland along some interesting backroads; Simpson (no fuel available), Kennedy’s Creek, and the very pretty run through the bush from Carlisle River back to Colac. A previous post at CLICK HERE shows some pics of these backroads. The lack of traffic on these backroads is great, though I did have a ‘roo stand up in the shade on the side of the road as I approached!

Lunch stop at Blackwood Gully, Lavers Hill.

There was quite a bit of salt spray in the air making it difficult to get crisp shots.

Andy aboard the ’69 Commando 750

Steve’s Commando 750

Here’s a map of some of the route we took.

What could be more cute?

Phillip Island Moto GP

Just got back from the Aust Moto GP at Phillip Island. It turned out to be magnificent Spring weather and there was some excellent racing. I left in the rain on Friday night and crossed over the bay to Sorrento from Queenscliff (near Geelong) on the ferry. Talked to some guys from Adelaide on the boat and stayed at Bill’s place overnight, as did Terry. Saturday morning we rode over to the GP run at Cranbourne then off to the Island. The traffic was chockers and there were some accidents along the way. We pulled into our digs which were excellent (a big thanks to Tony for this), just around the corner from the pub in Cowes. What an atmosphere – just motorcycles everywhere.

Saturday qualifying at the track was a highlight, as was the excellent weather and all of Sunday’s racing. Here are some pics.

The GP ride from Cranbourne – this was huge. Imagine about 10 bikes across x 1.6 kilometers long.

Every man & dog was there!

Lots came to cheer Rossi

Mike Di Meglio celebrating his 125cc championship win. More info click here

Randy Mamola scaring his passengers for crowd entertainment!

Stoner led from start to finish, Hayden followed him for most of the race, only to be passed by Rossi on the last lap. More race detail, click here.

Nicky rode pretty well as he finishes up with Honda. More info, click here.

Nikano had a good day as well really.

Guintoli had the highest top speed at 329.5k/hr

Blue sky, blue ocean backdrop, friendly crowd & great racing – it doesn’t get much better at PI than this.
Thanks for your hospitality & organising a top weekend Bill.