September 08, 2008 GMT
Byron Bay and Beaches!

There I was, holed up in a very nice motel room for a couple of days because it was raining and COLD (40 degrees). I was OK but when Julia said “are you going to spend your whole vacation in that motel", I decided to “man up” and hit the road. The next morning it was 36 degrees and raining but I HAD to go (must show Julia). Rain gear and electric clothing on with thermostat up to 10, and away I went (crying like a little girl). After about and hour and actually turning the thermostat down to 5, I was beginning to think that it would be OK, THEN, here comes the altitude. 3000 feet and the thermostat was back up to 10 and I was looking for 15. :=) Fortunately, I was at altitude for only a little while. The Oxley Highway is a great motorcycle road.

It is number 30 in Peter Thoeming’s book I have on 100 top rides in Australia. The cold was overridden by the perfect motorcycle road. I passed thru a town called Gunnedah. It billed itself as “The Koala Capital of Australia”.

At lunch, a fellow told me about a little dirt road and a grove of eucalyptus trees that I should check out for Koalas.

I rode down there and parked the bike, sat quietly (as the fellow had told me to do) searching the tree tops for 30 minutes and sure enough, NO KOALAS! :=) I did catch these two watching me though.

Rode on disappointed (I‘ll look for a zoo). The next larger town was Tamworth which bills itself as the “Country Music Capital of Australia”. It also boasts of the “Largest Playable Guitar in the World“. I didn’t play it cause I was looking for beaches and warm weather. Made it to the coast at Port Macquarie. Warm weather, sunshine and beaches at last. I am a HAPPY BOY!!.

Actually had to stop and put away some clothing cause I was TOO WARM! :=) It actually got a little “tropical”. Lots of bananas, fruit, and sugar cane. Riding up the coast north was like riding thru the giant redwoods north of San Francisco but with eucalyptus trees closing in on the road. If you are a surfer (and I know my friend Jason at work is) then this is the place to be. I am sure he would recognize names like Lighthouse, Shelly, and Angels Beaches. The riding was excellent. I followed a great road along a river for many miles and also rode beside the ocean for many miles OD’ing on scenery.

I passed thru Ballina on the way north. Australia has some outstanding “bigs” and Ballina has the Big Prawn.

A couple of days riding north has me at Byron Bay, about 100 miles south of Brisbane. In the 1970’s Byron Bay was a hippie retreat (many of which are still here but drawing a pension) :=) but now it is a surfer and backpacker “hang out” (I may very well be the oldest “dude” in town) although Paul Hogan and Olivia Newton John used to live here. Byron Bay also has a GREAT Lighthouse.

It is 22 meters high, 113 meters above sea level and can be seen for 42 miles out at sea. It is also within walking (climbing) distance of the Easterly most point on the Australia mainland. The views are spectacular (except for that one the old guy jumped into). :=)

I have a couple of weeks to go north to Cairns and then a couple of weeks to go east to Darwin to meet Cory. Looking forward to some leisurely riding, sight seeing, and taste testing!! :=)
Many more pictures here if interested.

Posted by Rick McDermed at September 08, 2008 12:33 AM GMT

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!