Great places to ride

Taylors Arm, NSW

The Pub With No Beer at Taylors Arm. The ride in is great from every direction.

Taylors Arm is a great destination. The Pub With No Beer offers a good reason to go for a look-see, but the ride in from almost any direction is fabulous.

You won’t need a route sheet or a stack of maps because the main routes in are popular and well-ridden, and Taylor’s Arm itself is a tourist destination, so it’s fairly well signposted.

For those travelling the Pacific Highway, head in through Kempsey and head west along Belgrave Street from the lights on the Pacific Highway at the bridge. Follow the signs to Willawarrin.

If you’re travelling the New England Highway, look for the Armidale-Kempsey Road. It’s 140km of mostly well-maintained dirt road with bitumen sections through the towns. The start at the western end is a little tricky to find, but look for the big concrete bridge about two kilometres north of Wollomombi. There’s an oldish engineering shop on the corner of the Armidale-Kempsey Road, and a rusty road sign hidden in the scrub.

The 100km or so of smoothish dirt road is heaven for dualsporters. Nice views, plenty of lush forest, and at the eastern end towns like Bellbrook and Willawarrin. Both have great stores with food and drinks, but there’s no fuel at Bellbrook.

Again, if your tooling down the road from Bellbrook, you won’t need to go all the way to Willawarrin, but if you need fuel, or you just want to have a look (the Willawarrin shop is the wildest shop ever. It stocks a heap of old Australian bike mags and sells them as cheap as chips), Willawarrin is the go.

Great mags at Willawarrin shop!

Great mags at Willawarrin shop!

To head to Taylors Arm, look for Hickeys Creek Road, just west of Willawarren. It’s signposted to Taylors Arm. From there, follow the signs or check your map for the various alternatives. If you stick with the main thoroughfare and follow the signs, you’ll find your way to Taylors Arm easy-peasy.

It’s a rewarding, low-stress ride with The Pub With No Beer offering a rest stop before heading back.

As always, take a map and have a look at the proposed route before you go.

 

Gingers Creek

Accom at Gingers Creek store is very bike-friendly.

This is an easy one.

Gingers Creek is on the main road – The Oxley Highway – heading west from Wauchope. The road is legendary among the crotch-rocket road-bike guys, and it’s just as awesome on a dualsporter, especially if you have good tyres. It’s not uncommon to see one or two of our road-bike chums off the road on a sunny day, and it’s a warning to not underestimate the road and the oncoming traffic.

The Gingers Creek store has fuel and accom and the coffee and food is excellent. Accom is a ritzy house set-up and a bunkhouse that takes probably a dozen. The owners are very bike-friendly, and Gingers Creek is a gateway to some really great dirt roads heading in all directions.

 

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