Author Topic: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened  (Read 592 times)

Offline BlueDragon

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For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« on: Friday, 10 January 2020, 02:50 pm »
According to Live traffic website the Oxley is now re-opened after the bushfires had it closed for the last 2 months.

https://www.livetraffic.com/desktop.html

That said - there is escorted traffic only between Gingers Ck Cafe and the Ralfes Trail road at Mount Seaview - which is only going one direction at a time.  So if you are coming from Port Macquarie to Gingers Ck, there will be a wait to get through to Gingers Ck.

I'll be going to a ride there tomorrow with my wife and also to spend some dollars at the Cafe.  Those guys would be hurting from having no patronage to their business for several months along with the fires also burning down the accommodation part of their business, with only the Cafe surviving, from what I have learned.  I think there is a Go-Fund-Me page for them if anyone is interested.

Its a great place to stop and a lot of riders do stop there as the halfway point through the mountain range. 

I'll try and make some stops along the way and take some photos to upload here.

My wife and I rode through there when Mount Seaview was on fire.  We were stopped at the road block outside of Walcha but told them we were just going to Gingers Ck for a picnic lunch, so they let us through and said we would be stopped again when the road changed back to the 100kph zone before the curves started at the mountain range.  We were stopped there as well, but again they let us through to the cafe. 

Was an eerily feeling ride through there as no one else - and I mean absolutely no one else was on the road, with smoke everywhere and very light ash falling as well.  Choppers flying over head water bombing the fire at Mount Seaview.  Also stopped a few times to remove large branches off the road.  Like something out of a aplocolypse movie..

The cafe was closed when we got there.  so we just stopped and had our light packed lunch at the time and then headed back to Tamworth.

After that the road was closed and has been for several months.

Will be interesting to see what it is like now.

Offline Sweaty

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #1 on: Friday, 10 January 2020, 04:09 pm »
Good onya BD  :onya: It will be a sad sight riding through there for a while though.

Offline Irish in Oz

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #2 on: Friday, 10 January 2020, 07:00 pm »
Hi BlueDragon

I got a few mates up Tamworth way most of them VJMC members, I'm sure you have seen their displays in town.
Usually do an trip there once or twice a year up Thunderbolts and through the Port Stephen's Cutting, love that road.
Go to the bowlo at the top of town with Megsy and Burgo for a few schooners.

Offline BlueDragon

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #3 on: Friday, 10 January 2020, 07:59 pm »
Port Stephens cutting isn't too bad.  The only bit I don't like is the really steep area going up the mountain after the bridge.  The locals around there are a bunch of nut cases.  Twice I went up through there and some locals came around the blind corners on the wrong side of the road.  Didn't miss me and the Mrs by much.  Its like they have taken their brains out when they get in the landcruisers up there.  Haven't been through that way since then.

from my place I tend to go through Daruka and then take the back roads to Moonbi, then up the Moonbi ranges to Bendemeer.  Then its a nice road to Walcha with the only dead straight bit coming into Walcha which is only about 15klms.  Then its onto Gingers Ck.  I find its a safer way to Walcha rather than going from Tamworth to Ogunbil - Port Stephens Cutting and then take the turn off to Walcha.  Especially that Turn off to Walcha is too much dead straight boring.

Offline Irish in Oz

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #4 on: Friday, 10 January 2020, 11:49 pm »
Hard to miss the straight bits, Top Dale Road to Walcha is boring but so is Walcha to Yarrowitch, you have to use them sometimes to get to the twisties.

Offline BlueDragon

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #5 on: Saturday, 11 January 2020, 02:45 pm »
Pain of a start to the day. Planned to take the 1400 out for a run and as I was checking tyre pressures, I noticed a shiny point on the back tyre. Reaching for the pliers - yep - I picked up a small nail on the last ride and as soon as I removed it - the rest of the air came out of the tyre. Whilst I do have a repair kit, I didn't feel like fixing it this morning before a ride, so loaded up the VFR instead. The Mrs prefers the 1400 as she reckons the passenger seat is like sitting in a armchair.

Left Tamworth this morning, nice ride to Walcha, via Daruka and then the back road to Moonbi, up the Moonbi Ranges and on to the Bendemeer turn off and through to Walcha. Topped up with fuel at the Mobil and headed out to Gingers Ck.

Note - Apsley Falls is closed off with temporary barrier fencing, so no stopping there. But Tia Falls road is open if you want to go and take a look there - but for those who may not want to take their road bikes on some rather suspect dirt roads with large rocks - you might want to give that a miss as the first road is pretty long and arduous. Ok if you have an adventure bike or the like.

Its 50klms from the Mobil to where the twisties start and that is also where the first bit of fire damage can be seen as well.

Not long after that, we stopped off and took some photos below.

Its pretty much like that all the way to Gingers Ck.

They have reduced the speed from 80kph down to 60kph.

Whilst I did not see any damage to the road surface, there is a lot of dirt in some places, leaves and sticks scattered around. Also in one spot there was a tree blocking one lane, which is now removed. The leaves/dirt is mostly in the middle of the road. Looks like any dangerous trees - burnt from the fire have been removed.

Offline BlueDragon

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #6 on: Saturday, 11 January 2020, 02:47 pm »
The road escort starts right at the entry to the Gingers Ck Cafe. Love being on a bike in this case as there was quite a line up when we got there. But there was enough space on the left shoulder of the road that I was able to go up the left side and ride straight into the Cafe car park.

Took these photos from the carpark.

Offline BlueDragon

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #7 on: Saturday, 11 January 2020, 02:48 pm »
Stopped at the Cafe for a feed. Gotta say that their plain Burger is really good. Just a personal thing, I like burgers that have the bread bun as a light bread and not a heavy bread. The cafe had a nice light airy-bread and it was a great burger as well. Their Go-Fund me page is still in operation, so if you want to donate to them to help them stay open, you can. Not saying you have to... I just gave them a big tip for the meal.. LOL as my wife commented and laughed at me when I told them to keep the change when I gave them $60 for a bottle of coke.. But I figure they offer a great service to travelers and us that ride the Oxley and they are struggling with the damage the fire caused with the on-site accommodation being burnt down and only the cafe surviving.. but as you can see by the pics - the fire got to just across the road and also in the next lot of pics from the back verandah - it was on their back door step as well by the looks of it.. At least I can try to help them along by making a donation/tip, which the owner very much appreciated.


Offline BlueDragon

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #8 on: Saturday, 11 January 2020, 02:49 pm »
Leaving the cafe and heading back towards Walcha. I stopped at the little picnic spot just down the road.. Sometimes my wife and I stop here to have a packed picnic lunch. As she is a Coeliac and also suffers from IBS, she tends to want to pack her own food to make sure she has something to eat. But speaking to the young lady at the cafe, they are able to make something for my wife to eat now, which is good to know.

The photos are from the picnic spot just before Gingers Ck.


Offline BlueDragon

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #9 on: Saturday, 11 January 2020, 02:50 pm »
I'm not sure what the road is like from the Wauchope side and if you travel from that side, you will need to wait at the Ralfes Trail turn off at Mt Seaview for the escort vehicle to bring you through to Gingers Ck.

But from the Walcha side, the road is fine - just a lot of bushfire damage, as you can see by the photos. Just a heads up, though the speed limit is reduced to 60kph, from the normal 80kph. Each to their own with what speed you do through that road, but may I suggest to just enjoy the ride , as I mentioned the road surface is OK, but there is a covering of dirt in some places, along with leaves and small debris (sticks/branches). So take the blind corners with some caution.

I know the cafe owner would appreciate the patronage, with having to close for several months, after having a chat with him and the young lady there today, they miss having all the bike riders coming through on the weekends.
     


Offline BlueDragon

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #10 on: Saturday, 11 January 2020, 03:10 pm »
The ride back home was "interesting"..  with the wind picking up and it actually started to rain in some spots between Gingers Ck and Walcha.  With the covering of dirt on the road, I took it easy as with the rain, it was going to quickly turn into a thin layer of mud in some spots.  But the Pirelli's held on nicely, so no little surprises at all.  A bit of light rain between Walcha and the Bendemeer turn-off and then got hit with the heat again as we came down the Moonbi ranges and then back home.

All in all a fun ride, that my wife and I usually do every saturday, weather permitting.. great to be able to get back out there again in the corners.  Hopefully they will finish cleaning up the area that the escort vehicle goes through soon and we will be able to do our normal ride through to Ellenborough Reserve each weekend.  With the odd ride right through to Port Macquarie for a fish and chips lunch, then heading back through again - home to Tamworth.

Offline grog

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #11 on: Saturday, 11 January 2020, 04:14 pm »
Brilliant write up & pics.

Offline Irish in Oz

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #12 on: Saturday, 11 January 2020, 07:17 pm »
I have done a couple of loops on the back roads from Tamworth to Nundle another good spot to stop for lunch.

Offline Sweaty

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #13 on: Sunday, 12 January 2020, 07:46 am »
Nice write up. It is good to see there is still some greenery around & it is not totally blackened everywhere.

Offline GSXKING

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Re: For Aussie riders, the Oxley is now Re-Opened
« Reply #14 on: Monday, 13 January 2020, 09:17 pm »
Excellent write up and nice pics BD. Your missus must be a real trooper too  :onya: :onya: :onya:
GSXKING 3:^)
Chris