Leod Motorcycle Escapes offers riders a chance to live the dream: Sport-tour through Australia and spend two days on the track at Phillip Island.
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Escape the mayhem of the holiday season and head down-under where it’s summer time. Ride the great curves from Sydney to Melbourne before doing two days track time on the MotoGP and WSBK course on Phillip Island. You’ll see incredible ocean vistas, wide ranging alpine mountains, sample Aussie meat pies and fine Asian food. You’ll see Wallabies, Kangaroos and Koalas. You’ll stay in 3 star hotels in the cities, on the coasts, high in the mountains and close to the track. So at those dull holiday parties you can tell people about the laughing call of the kookaburra or the new Australian slang you’ve picked up, or just tell them how you dragged your knee around the southern loop curve of Phillip Island Circuit.
We will meet you at the airport and get you to the hotel. Walk off that jet lag by taking in a few sights, like the harbor bridge and iconic opera house then meet everyone for a welcome dinner. Turn in early and get a proper night’s sleep for tomorrow we ride. If you have the time we encourage you to arrive a day or two early and tour Australia’s most populous city thoroughly.
Leaving Sydney you’re heading through the old suburbs to the Australian coast. The road through the Royal National Park has you winding through tight twisting roads with temperate rainforest on either side. Huge tree ferns, classic Aussie gum trees line the way as you get used to your ride. As quickly as the forest began it ends and you find yourself on top of cliffs with a huge coastal view along southern NSW. Stanwell Tops is a favorite with Sydney riders on their Sunday morning rides. It’s a great place to stop and take in the views before riding the undulating coast road called the Grand Pacific Drive. It takes you quite literally over the ocean at Sea Cliff Bridge before weaving past small coastal towns on the way south to the overnight stop at Batemans Bay.
Today is all about going up. The Great Dividing Range contains Australia’s highest peaks and today’s ride takes you from sea level all the way to the ski resorts. The day starts with more riding through small coastal communities and sea views but before long you turn west and climb through the foothills. The scenery gradually adjusts to the climate as you climb until you reach a plateau of windswept bush on the way to Cooma. Every Aussie town has a bakery and there’s often intense rivalry as to who makes the best pies. A stop for coffee and a pie is a must and an Australian tradition. The town makes for a welcome break before the final push to Jindabyne. It’s a busy ski resort in winter and hiking, mountain biking and climbing mecca in summer. Views across Lake Jindabyne make for a great end to the day, especially with a ‘coldie’ in hand.
With more ski runs than Switzerland you’ll be riding through the heart of the Australian alpine playground today. Snow-gum trees line the roads as well as red poles indicating the edge of the road when covered in snow. Riding past ski lifts heading to the mountain tops all help to convince you that you really are in an alpine environment despite being in Australia. The roads are forced to wind around the valleys and follow the streams and contours of the land. They are narrow and almost devoid of traffic. You’ll wind down from the top and pass a submerged town covered by a man-made lake. The road flattens and you cross green countryside as you ride towards the foothills of the Snowy Mountains. You think the twisty stuff is over but there’s one last magnificent climb to our stop for the next two nights. A great road surface with plenty of quick alternating turns makes for a superb end to the day.
We are up at sunrise today as we’ve got some miles ahead. This early in the morning keep an eye out for the kangaroos, wombats and emus on the road. Seeing them is a lot more fun than hitting them, especially the notoriously grumpy wombat. You’ll head out of the Australian Alps via the foothills and wind down to Lake Eildon and the old fashioned towns of the Victorian Goldfields. Wooden signs above the shops and an antique feel make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. You’ll pass through many small country towns on the way and many are good for a break to sample that famous Aussie icon again – the pie! The last section of the day is a dash across simple farmland to make it to the western end of the Great Ocean Road before nightfall. Port Campbell is a lovely, small coastal town with a good pub and seafood bistro. Just what you need to wash the dust from your throat after a long day on the road.
We made a long hard push yesterday so we could take our time today on one of the best coastal rides in the world. There’s a huge amount to see including the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, Mait’s Rest, Cape Otway National Park with its numerous koalas and many other lookouts on the way. The road takes you along the coast initially and then turns inland to curve through the cool temperate rainforest of the Otway Ranges. The roads make for fantastic riding with sweeping bends and views through the forest and farmland. Suddenly it bursts out to the coast and hangs off the cliffs as you ride along the twisting coast with fantastic sea views around every corner. Add in friendly small coastal towns for your breaks and it’s a great way to finish the tour. Approaching the Melbourne suburbs, we’ll drop off our bikes, pick up your luggage and track gear and head south to Phillip Island. You’ll dine tonight on the little beach side town of Cowes where many a race victory party has been celebrated.
Now that you are comfortable with the course it’s time to dedicate yourself to getting those challenging turns just right. Finding the right line on this course is exhilarating. Take some time to talk shop with local fellow riders and savor the moment as you look out across the paddock. You’ve ridden Phillip Island. How many of your riding buddies can say that? Tonight we return to celebrate our final night as a group back on the festive streets of Cowes.
If you can, we urge you to stay an additional few days and fully experience the great city of Melbourne. Leod Escapes knows several good places to stay in Melbourne and how to explore the city. If you are leaving, Leod Escapes requests that you schedule your flights for early evening so everyone can enjoy the wild animal sanctuary on Cowes. This place is great spot to meet some of the locals up close. Wallabies are officially the cutest animals on the planet and should be met personally. We’ll get everyone to their flight on time or to their hotel in Melbourne. Leod Escapes also knows the ins and outs of Tasmania in case you’d like to head south.
Learn more at the Leod Motorcycle Escapes website.