Posted On 22 Feb 2024
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This entry is part 9 of 25 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#23


I tell you, the Putty Road north of Windsor in NSW is one of my favourite pieces of bitumen. Not only is it not too far from where I live, but it has the famous, “sixteen kay bends” that will really give you a workout. Fast sweepers, turning into tighter 35 and 45km/h bends really get the blood flowing.


Plenty to see and do at Windsor. This is the third-oldest place of British settlement on the Australian continent and many relics can still be seen today.

Some of them are even breathing. Just kidding. Give yourself plenty of time to view the buildings listed under the National Estate Register, and also visit the Macquarie Arms Hotel, complete with its low ceilings, or go across the road to the famous Windsor Seafoods for award winning (you guessed it) seafood.


About 65km from Windsor, the Grey Gum has great coffee. A wide selection of comfort food is also waiting for you there. As a nice and much-appreciated concession they even have specific motorcycle parking, which can get full pretty quickly on the weekend. But even during the week you’ll usually find some bikes there and plenty of people to chat with.


Bulga is known for its “pink” bridge, which is now painted white. There isn’t much there except the service station and the pub next door which is sometimes open, but mostly closed. The service station has hot food, cold drinks and friendly service.


Broke is another very small town, very similar to Bulga. You can get fuel, hot food, cold drinks and the café next door to the servo is mostly open from mid-morning for café food and coffee.

Get yourself to Windsor and head across the bridge heading north.

You basically follow this road all the way, but there can be one catch just out of Windsor, at Wilberforce, that may have you second guessing.

You’ll see a sign that says King Rd and William St. You need to follow the road around to the left and follow William Street towards Singleton.

The road surface varies along the way. Basically as you see the “Welcome to the Hunter” sign, you’ll notice the road surface gets a bit better. However there are some rough patches along the entire route. The sixteen kay stretch of bends are generally pretty good, except they can get mossy in the colder months.

Once you refuel at Bulga, Broke or Singleton you can head back the same way you came to enjoy the road in reverse, or you can go the optional route through Wollombi and Bucketty to Mangrove Mountain, where you turn right and head to Wisemans Ferry, cross the river on the ferry and ride back to Windsor. This route is very twisty and the road surface can vary from good to very rough in places, so be careful.

Deciding on where to fuel up will depend on how far you’ll get out of a tank. If you have no problems getting 200+ kilometres out of a tank with heavy throttle usage, you’ll be fine to fill up at Wilberforce, at either the Shell service station, or up the road a few kilometres at the BP service station.

You can then fill up at Broke or Bulga or head into Singleton as your next fuel stop.

But, if you are likely to get less than 200 kilometres from a tank with heavy throttle usage, you must fi ll up out of Wilberforce at the BP service station, then Bulga is your closest fuel stop at the other end. If you have cash with you, there is a service station at Colo Heights, but remember: no card, just cash! If you take the optional route, from Broke or Singleton you can get fuel at Laguna, Kulnura or Wisemans Ferry.


175km – Windsor to Singleton. 350km return.

202km – Singleton, Mangrove Mountain, Wisemans Ferry to Windsor. 377km total via optional route.


Singleton is the next major town from Windsor along this route. Lots of cafes, takeaway places and pubs with top level food are there for you to choose from. There are a number of historic buildings to see as well.

Singleton was established in the 1820s by Benjamin Singleton. In its early years, it was also called Patricks’ Plains. The Main North Railway line reached Singleton in 1863 and this was the end of the line until 1869.

The town retains many historic buildings, including the original court house built in 1841, various large churches and many traditional Australian pubs. The countryside surrounding Singleton contains an unusual number of fine old mansions, reflecting the aristocratic nature of land grants when the area was settled. They include ‘Neotsfield’ (1828), the elaborate ‘Baroona’ (1829), ‘Abbey Green’ (1865)and stunning ‘Minimbah’ (1877).

Historic buildings always look nice as a backdrop for a photo of you and your bike.


The valley is bordered to the west by the World Heritage listed Yengo National Park (and Yengo State Forest) and the main road, the convict-built Great North Road (GNR) is what you will ride.

Wollombi is another small town, but is offset by its 19th-century sandstone buildings and timber slab constructed cottages and sheds in a narrow valley junction containing Wollombi Brook and Congewai Creek. The area is home to an abundance of native birds, reptiles and other animals including kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos and wombats and is surrounded by imposing tree-lined mountains. So be careful!


The area of Laguna is famous for lavender growing. If you need fuel for the bike or yourself, stop at The Great Northern Trading Post, which has a laid-back atmosphere and rustic charm of 1870 when it all began as “Ye Olde Horse Wagon Trading Post”. Originally a watering hole for the bullock teams lugging development into the Hunter Valley, you can now get great coffee, home cooked meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner (if you’re in the area at the time).


The town is a tourist spot with picnic and barbecue facilities. As well as a rich convict and colonial heritage in the area, with many relics around the area for viewing.

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