March 23, 2012 GMT
Getting Started Day 1

Day 1 Brisbane to Grafton.
KM 377.7 BEAR RIDES - 113, 7, 24

(Bear Rides are the ride numbers from The Australian Motorcycle Atlas)

I looked out the window and the weather was fine. This was a good thing as today was the first day of a three month motorcycle trip around Australia. I had been planning this for the best part of a year. A solo jaunt around the big island on my trusty (hopefully) Beemer. The bike is a 07 1200GS with 84k on the clock so its had a bit of use. The trip will add 20k at least so by the time I get back it should have done 100K plus.

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

The plan (if you can call it that) is to head south and all things being equal I should arrive back at my starting point Brisbane in about 3 months. For those of you who are familiar with the 'Australia Motorcycle Atlas' by Peter Thoeming otherwise known as the 'Bear' (never been sure why actually as he looks like a perfectly normal human being) I will follow a lot of those rides he has so faithfully documented. Thanks Peter !

Anyway back to this morning. Living in the northern parts of Brisbane I really could not have asked for a better road to follow for the first hour or so. I headed straight up through Mt Glorious which just happens to be nirvana for local motorcyclists. It also happens to be the site of a lot of motorcycle wreckage but hey let's not talk about those sorts of things ... not today of all days ! The local bikers haunt the ' Miala Cafe' had just a couple of bikes outside, probably because it was 9:00am on a Monday morning and most motorcycling blokes and gals would be fronting up to the week at work - sympathies all round I think to myself perhaps just a little too smugly !

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

I rode over Mt Glorious and headed south down past Waivanhoe damn which is Brisbanes main water supply and then through the little township of Fernvale before taking a right through some back roads to avoid Ipswich. I was heading for the Lions road so at least my plan for the day stretched that far. Through Amberly skirting the airforce base and down the Cunnignham highway to Boonah where just for the heck of it I stopped and had a coffee. This was kind of a goodbye stop as Boonah was really the last of the one day ride destinations that I frequented in this direction. I would not be back in this area for at least three months !

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

From Boonah there is a nice little road through to Rathdowny (route 93 for those of you with a map handy) from where you hang a right down the Lions Rd. The weather looked fine at the start but the grey turning black clouds in the hills started to look a little threatening. Out came the wet weather riding suit a quick struggle getting the damn thing on and then back on the bike. Sure enough the storm clouds miraculously disappeared ! If you ever need flood relief just ask a motorcyclist to suit up in his rain gear !

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

The rain relief however was only temporary as the weather set in and I had 50kms in the wet. The Lions road is a nice run over the mountains and is tight and steep in places and slippery in the wet ... great fun !

The road turns onto the Summerland Way highway and runs south down to the NSW town of Grafton. This a a good stretch of road with little or no traffic so I sat back and enjoyed the last 200 km's or so as the rain had gone - excellent.

This is all easy riding and I expect the rest of NSW down through Victoria to be similar. Good camping grounds and pubs and plenty of coffee stops. The real fun will start as I head further west but hey the next couple of weeks is full of great motorcycle roads so no problems with this. I arrived in Grafton and called it quits for the day, mostly because I lost an hour when I went over the Queensland NSW border on the Lions Road. I pondered this and figured I would loose another hour or two as I headed west through two time zones .... big country Australia !

I put the tent up in a rather luxurious looking camping ground. Made use of a nice swimming pool and generally made myself at home so I can recommend this camping ground if you ever want to throw a tent up in Grafton NSW. ( ) Settling in for the night I had that nice feeling of knowing that tomorrow and for the next few months all I would do is get up and ride.

From Around Australia by Motorcycle 2012

Posted by Graeme Andrew at March 23, 2012 03:22 AM GMT

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