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      06-03-2008, 06:08 AM   #1
GeriFix
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Australia's Best Driving Roads

In the "Top Gear Australia - presenters are finalised" thread amberzombie suggested that they should do a segment on the best driving roads in Australia. I'd like to see this too.

I drove down to Melbourne last week via the Princess Highway and found a couple of nominations. Here are a couple of in-car videos I made on the way back. The first is a road from Merimbula to the Snowy Mountains Highway (via Candelo) that bypasses Bega:



The other is the Snowy Mountains Highway through Brown Mountain (on the way to Cooma) .. it's an awesome hill climb:



I apologise for my music tastes and the fact that YouTube appears to have changed it's rendering program resulting in rather poor video resolution.
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      06-03-2008, 06:43 AM   #2
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Nice videos!!

Good idea for a thread. This is a quick video of Galston Gorge I shot ages ago which I always think is a good bit of fun. Another good drive is down to Berowra Waters, quiet, heaps of parking and only about 20 minutes from my place. A few of us head down there every so often for a feed and a blast in the cars on weekened mornings.



Here's a post of mine on another forum from earlier in the year of my thoughts on the Great Ocean Road when I went down to VIC. I've got video of it, but haven't been bothered to edit it all together (shot the in car on a manfrotto camera mount and used another camera for scenic shots)

Well, we went down the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne earlier in the month on a Sunday afternoon (didn't contact anyone from the VIC crew as I was at a wedding that weekend and we spent a few days driving it).

We (the Mrs and myself) headed off from Melbourne about 1 pm on the first Sunday in Feb and hit the GOR in the late afternoon with the first stop being Bells Beach.






It was a pretty good day as you can judge by the photos. After a quick geeze at Bells we headed back to the GOR and towards Apollo Bay which was our stopping point for the night. We stayed at a place called Chris's which is set in the Otways up above the GOR and overlooking Bass Strait. The main attraction is the resturant, which is the star of the place, along with the view which was great. We stayed in one of the two studio's on the property which overlooked the ocean. Anyone looking for a cheap, private, fun spot within easy driving distance from Melbourne I would highly recommend it to. The rooms are all new (as a fire went through the place about 3 years ago) and the staff were friendly and professional. Our room also came with a DVD player, fridge and fully functional kitchen so you could easily stay for a week or a month if it tickled your fancy.

View from bed.



The balcony





The second day we ventured down to the 12 apostles or what was left of them. This was a fun stretch of road and the speed limit was pretty much 100 all of the way. Being as though we went on a Monday the Sunday drivers had left and it was a quick trip down. No caravans or 4WD's sitting 25 below the limit and I enjoyed the rainforest/bush scenery a little more than the endless coast line. But that's just me coming from Sydney where the Harbour is on our back door step.

I liked this stretch of road a lot more personally, it was very flowing and you could keep a good pace up without breaking the law. The weather was also pretty blessed for us at this point as it was sunny all the way down and back.







From here we headed back to Apollo Bay and to Chris's again for another night. Not having mapped plans out ahead we decided to play it by ear as to how far we'd drive.

From Apollo Bay we headed back to Melbourne for the day where we did some shopping and I checked out a car for a mate, we then headed to dinner at Donovan's at St Kilda and to coffee my mate's place back in the City who'd just got married (He'd been up to Sydney with his Mrs for 2 days and nights at their place up here and it rained torrential rain the entire time unfortunantely!)

The next day was the drive back to Sydney.

General thoughts from one of those bloody interstate drivers.

Your governing body for the roads down there is shit. The speed camera's are unbelievebale, especially for people interstate from NSW who are used to having 3 speed camera ahead signs warning of them approaching, not having them mounted behind signs and hidden on overpasses. I'm also still getting over all the ones in the CBD.

The first part of the GOR I found quite good, some tight, twisty sections and a good view of the scenery. It didn't really blow me away, mainly because I felt a bit crook at this point and there was quite a few Sunday drivers out and about slowing everyone up. Although not as many as were heading back to Melbourne! I also noticed this stretch to Lourne is quite popular with the motorcycle crew as well.

I enjoyed the section to the Apostles from Apollo Bay, we didn't venture any further west from here so I can't comment on it. My absolute favourite section however was the cut up from Apollo Bay back to Gelong through the rainforest. It had for me just the right blend of tight sweeping bends and back and forth twisty sections with a high enough speed limit to make it fun and enjoyable, especially with a passenger who had spent 2 days in a car.

The scenery was magnificent and the sun shining through the canopy above made it all the more enjoyable. I wasn't sure what to expect with this section until we started heading up the road, but it was the perfect way to finish off what was a great drive.

The car held up fine the entire trip, the coilovers really made it all the more enjoyable as it just glided from corner to corner with 0 body roll. Not expensive noises or problems which is always good. And it had enough room to cart all our gear and bags comfortably which was great. Although it needed a good was 3 times within 5 days! And is in desperate need of another one now.
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      06-03-2008, 07:08 AM   #3
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That camera mount on your Galston Gorge vid is the business Ben! I had to laugh though at the YouTube comments ... Galston Gorge is a great little run, but you can hardly speed on it with all the oncoming traffic ... and the 5km/hr advisories on the hairpins are not far off the mark! When I take my M3 down them, I can feel the diff switching franticly to the inside wheel.

It's been ages since I did the Great Ocean Road ... gorgeous pictures BTW, but I think I know the road you are talking about that leads up from Cape Otway through the forest .. it is superb ... enormous mountain ashes either side of you and the sound of Bell Birds wafting into the car ... heaven.
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      06-03-2008, 07:27 AM   #4
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thank god you pass that white hyundai....
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      06-03-2008, 07:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeriFix View Post
That camera mount on your Galston Gorge vid is the business Ben! I had to laugh yhough at the YouTube comments ... Galston Gorge is a great little run, but you can hardly speed on it with all the oncoming traffic ... and the 5km/hr advisories on the hairpins are not far off the mark! When I take my M3 down them, I can feel the diff switching franticly to the inside wheel.

It's been ages since I did the Great Ocean Road ... gorgeous pictures BTW, but I think I know the road you are talking about that leads up from Cape Otway through the forest .. it is superb ... enormous mountain ashes either side of you and the sound of Bell Birds wafting into the car ... heaven.
5kms/hr? Damn, I don't think I have even been that slow following a trailer through there!

The road through Koziosko is great though, not sure if it is called the Snowy Mountains Hwy or not though
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      06-03-2008, 07:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by virusE90 View Post
thank god you pass that white hyundai....
It was a Mazda 121, but it is always the way ... you find a great bit of road and you get stuck behind someone who is enjoying the scenery

Astra, I think the road you are talking about is called the Alpine Way, it runs up passed a couple of the Snowy Mountain Scheme dams and ends near Corryong ... awesome drive, particularly in the evening, heading east with the sun behind you. Brown Mountain is south east of Cooma ... much lower altitude
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      06-03-2008, 08:08 AM   #7
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Got to love the Old road

Pacific highway from berowa to mount white
Love it on my bike and love it in the car

cops removed of course not that I would ever speed
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      06-03-2008, 08:51 AM   #8
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Gorge Road in the Adelaide Hills is a great driving road. Used it many a time to work off stress during uni, here is a description of my first drive on it in my BMW
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      06-03-2008, 05:22 PM   #9
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Gorge Road
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      06-03-2008, 07:56 PM   #10
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+1 for the great ocean road, so many fond memories.

I'd also reccomend driving out through the Yarra Valley via Olinda and so on, beautiful roads out there too.

Another stretch i have fond memories of, but was quite awhile ago is some of the territory in SA around Goolwa, Hahndorf and McLaren Vale, some beautiful twisties through that area.

The drive up Mt Bulla is also good fun in summertime.
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      06-03-2008, 09:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeriFix View Post
It was a Mazda 121, but it is always the way ... you find a great bit of road and you get stuck behind someone who is enjoying the scenery

Astra, I think the road you are talking about is called the Alpine Way, it runs up passed a couple of the Snowy Mountain Scheme dams and ends near Corryong ... awesome drive, particularly in the evening, heading east with the sun behind you. Brown Mountain is south east of Cooma ... much lower altitude
Ahhh, yes you're right
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      06-03-2008, 10:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paw55h View Post
Got to love the Old road

Pacific highway from berowa to mount white
Love it on my bike and love it in the car

cops removed of course not that I would ever speed
Yeah that's a good run for locals, going South (from Brroklyn to Berowra) is the better run as there is more overtaking ops for when your stuck behind a slower vehicle.

Also good is the run down to cottage point, fewer chances of the fun police esp in the middle of the week. But the road isn't as well kept and the cyclists think they own the place.
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      06-04-2008, 02:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WOPALX View Post
Yeah that's a good run for locals, going South (from Brroklyn to Berowra) is the better run as there is more overtaking ops for when your stuck behind a slower vehicle.

Also good is the run down to cottage point, fewer chances of the fun police esp in the middle of the week. But the road isn't as well kept and the cyclists think they own the place.
Did you hear about the guy who got the shits with the cyclists and overtook them, cut back infront of them and then slammed on his brakes? Hahaha, I laughed for days, the mental picture of the road hogs going flying is quite amusing
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      06-04-2008, 04:29 PM   #14
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Did you hear about the guy who got the shits with the cyclists and overtook them, cut back infront of them and then slammed on his brakes? Hahaha, I laughed for days, the mental picture of the road hogs going flying is quite amusing
Yeah, that happened on the exit to the ED going south, screwed up traffic royally.

Once I was diving to Bobbin Head and on a nice straight section of road, some road hogs were going the other way and one decided to give me the bird as I was going past.

He turned his head and let fly with the bird, got the death wobbles and stacked
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      06-06-2008, 09:27 AM   #15
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      06-06-2008, 05:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WOPALX View Post
Yeah, that happened on the exit to the ED going south, screwed up traffic royally.

Once I was diving to Bobbin Head and on a nice straight section of road, some road hogs were going the other way and one decided to give me the bird as I was going past.

He turned his head and let fly with the bird, got the death wobbles and stacked
LOL that's brilliant!
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      06-06-2008, 11:36 PM   #17
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Actually another driving road I would add is Mount Tambourine in QLD. It was there that I fell in love with a BMW Z4 I rented for a day and decided to ditch the Audi and get a BMW.

I can still feel the Z4's steering wheel in my hand, and hear the engine howling through those twisty roads...
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      06-09-2008, 10:08 PM   #18
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Merimbula to Cooma (via Candelo)

Here is a map an directions for a drive from Merimbula to Cooma:

http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=d&h...14,2.26593&z=9

The road from Wolumla to the Snowy Mountains Highway is in fair condition and there is little traffic. It winds its way through undulating farm land in the Bega Valley. Candelo is worth a stop, especially on the first Sunday of the month, when a large market is run in the parks along the Bega River, with lots of fresh local produce for sale. The town is quite pretty, with many old buildings.

Once on the Snowy Mountains Highway, you will reach the highlight of the drive, Brown Mountain (in the Glenbog State Forest). This is a 12 km road ascending about 800 meters, on a very well maintained carriageway, with a couple of passing lanes dotted along the route. Nice and twisty and much less traffic than Macquarie Pass.

Past the state forest, you reach the high plains. Treeless and a rusty brown colour at present ... you could be forgiven for mistakenly thinking you are in the Scottish Highlands here. The only town of note on this part of the Monaro Highway is Nimmitabel, which has many facilities for weekend travelers. From Nimmitabel to Cooma is about 37km.
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