Bike Life: A Rider’s Landscape

Various Australian landscapes have shaped the way that motorcyclists view the roads that they ride on. The roads not only lead to a destination, but also is symbolic of the journey that helps us to learn more about our own selves. This process can potentially be an influential part of the continual process of personal development, whether that be on or off the road.

I have been lucky enough to be able to photographically capture some of those moments. Here are a few that have been compiled. I have limited this list to just 7 photos, as part of a Nature photo challenge nominated by Mio Paredes, to reflect on them for a week, a day at a time. Deciding my choice among many gigabytes worth of photos was a significant challenge as, personally, they all have great sentimental value to me!

 

1. Great Alpine Road, Mount Hotham, VIC

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The Great Alpine Road is a significant part of me. Prior to this 5-day trip, the most that I had ridden was for just 2 days, so this trip made me realise that I didn’t need a car to carry the bare essentials for travel. A folding chair & table, gas burner, tool kit, tent, and other usual travel items, all fit on the bike alright! Making do with minimal possessions is kind of an adventure in its own right.

 

2. Tawonga Gap Road, near Mount Beauty, VIC

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The Great Dividing Range is not simply just a neatly lined-up row of mountains that separate the east coast of Australia from the rest of the continent, but more a progression of various hills and elevations that happen to be much higher than the rest of Australia. Call it the mini-me version of The Alps. This makes it a hugely interesting road trip experience, especially when the Great Alpine Road region and Kosciuszko National Park is done together as part of one’s itinerary. The Mount Beauty area sits approximately between the two aforementioned, and the green, lush and mountainous valley scenery that is offered here is just simply unmissable!

 

3. Adjacent road from Sturt Highway, near Mildura VIC

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Mildura is located in a region of north-western Victoria known as Sunraysia. Those who take interest in their grocery shopping would also know that the namesake is also the name of an Australian juice company. The region is a strict fruitfly-free zone, set up to protect its pristine produce from pests, thereby allowing for minimal chemical pest control practices to be used. Many thousands of hectares of farmland surround the urban centre.

 

4. Liberator General San Martin Drive, Akuna Bay, NSW

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Time for something local. Akuna Bay is situated along Coal and Candle Creek within the central interior of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Only a 45 minute ride from the Sydney CBD, it is a haven of bays, bushland, marinas and, most importantly, many twisties, including the apparently notorious McCarrs Creek Road, reported by newspapers as a venue for drag racing and drifting.  This particular location pictured is a coveted spot for recreational fishers, where large jewfish are sought. Apparently, the place is also good for night time squidding.

 

5. Smiths Hill, White Cliffs, NSW

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Corner country: Where large 4WDs are not a luxury, but a necessity. I was intrigued at the idea that over half of all buildings in White Cliffs are dug-outs, or more simply put as the “Hobbit homes”, which are essentially underground homes. More interestingly, the town thrives off opal mining, so it’s understandable that they are manic over them!

 

6. Pinnacle Road, Mount Wellington, TAS

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Top of the world, baby! Mount Wellington is a stunning mountain, standing 1269 metres tall, that overlooks the whole Hobart metropolitan area, and it’s just a 30 minute drive away. Be mindful, however, of the dramatic temperature difference of at least 10°C lower compared to Hobart. It’s a bitterly cold and windy place to be during the Winter season. If lucky, you might even see snow in Summer!

 

7. Great Ocean Road, near Apollo Bay, VIC

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The Great Ocean Road, hands down, is a road that cannot be missed. Spanning many hundreds of kilometres, covering farmlands, rainforests, coastlines and quaint small towns, it was a venue in which I had to exercise the utmost will to survive when I had to carry a heavy backpack load of groceries, from all the way to Warrnambool to Apollo Bay. At night, for over 100kms. In the rain. Plus raging winds and impending severe thunderstorms. It doesn’t take much brains to figure that this was a bad idea, especially when those 100 kilometres consist of debris-covered forest roads. In hindsight, I should have shopped at the local IGA store and called it a day!

 

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