Posted On 09 May 2024
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This entry is part 10 of 25 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#31



The two servos on the highway at Berowra are the traditional meeting spots for riders heading up the Old Road. Both serve all grades of fuel.

There’re two cafes along here which are very popular with riders: The Pie in the Sky at Cowan and Road Warriors at Mt White. It would not be unfair to say their popularity is due to their location rather than any special services for riders or the quality of their fare or service.


A nice little village doing its best now it’s become a billabong town: a few good cafes, a decent bakery and the Plough Inn pub and there’s fuel at the Shell. I reckon the Café on Main is the pick for food whilst the Shiralee Café has never been overly welcoming. If you’re just after a leg stretch, park with the ducks on the left before you cross the Myall River. There’s also an IGA on the main street for your rider provisions.


No by-pass here! The Salty Dog Café and Gallery are on your left as you head north, just to the south of the two servos. This is a quirky place that is well worth a stop. The service is friendly and fast and the atmosphere is relaxing. The BP and the Caltex sell all grades of fuel.


The Caltex here is massive and has all grades but to fill your own tank, loop back over the Highway and head to either the Village Cafe or the Greenhouse Cottage.

The Motorcycle Museum is up along Clarkson Rd. Run by the magnificent Margaret Kellaher, it’s well worth the stop.


Sooner or later you’re going to want or need to ride up or down the east coast from Sydney to Cairns or points in between. In this first of a series of guides to the two most easterly options for these routes we’re going to go from Sydney to Gloucester (my way) and to Nabiac (the highway)


Gotta start somewhere, head over the the Sydney Harbour bridge, you could opt to head straight up the Pacific Hwy but it’s far more enjoyable to go on to the Lane Cove Exit (not the toll tunnel) and then continue down Epping Hwy (in the Bus Lane). You’ll cross the Lane Cove River for the first time at the bottom of a dip. Continue on Epping Hwy past the right turn for the M2 until you then take the left slip road for the right turn into Lane Cove Rd, signposted, Pymble. Follow this over the Lane Cove River for a second time and then take the first left onto Yanko Rd which soon transforms into the Comenarra Parkway. Enjoy the curves until you get to the Sydney Adventist Hospital and turn right onto Fox Valley Rd which will lead you to the Pacific Hwy where you turn left. Watch your speed through the radars outside Knox School and then turn right onto the M1 Expressway. You would have to be in a damn hurry not to take the exit for Berowra and get yourself onto the old highway for the ride down the Hawkesbury River Bridge and then up to Mount White. Like the Putty, more inland, this is one of the three good riding roads for Sydney’s weekend warriors and is a great ride.

Ride this twisty until you reach the T at Calga, where you take a right and then another signed for Gosford.

Eventually you hit a roundabout where you take a right and then the left sweeper back onto the Expressway. If you don’t take the old road up to the Gosford turn, you’ve got an hour of highway riding before you hit reach the end with a roundabout and a turn right signposted Hexham. Don’t take the left on the new extension of the motorway toward Singleton on the New England. Continue past the BP truck stop on your left and follow as the road winds down to the old bridge at Hexham where you cross it and keep on the Pacifi c Hwy through Raymond Terrace. There’s plenty of fuel around and once you clear the services you’ll see the turnoff for Bucketts Way on your left. If you want to head inland this is your chance to join the ‘My Way’ guide at Stroud, otherwise keep going up the Pacifi c. Continue on for 80km from the Hexham bridge and you’ll get to Bulahdelah, which is a nice place to take a break either at the park before the bridge or in the town itself which is now off the highway. If you want to keep going for a bit, the next good place is at Coolongolook up the highway where you can get one of the better meals at the Salty Dog and fuel at the BP across the road. Then it’s on to Nabiac where you can get all fuel at the Caltex but probably just as important, you can drop in and see the Motorcycle Museum… just take the exit off the expressway and follow the loop around over the highway and then follow the brown signs pretty much straight ahead along Clarkson St, and the Museum is on the left.


Leaving Sydney on this route it’s much more difficult to avoid tolls but the motorways at least save you a bundle of time. Follow the directions in Highway Guide above for the first two paragraphs until you are through Lane Cove but then, once you’ve crossed the Lane Cove River and climb up, get in the right lanes and take the right into Delhi Rd and then the left onto the M2.

This becomes the M7 (tolls) and follow this until you get to the Old Windsor Rd Exit where you take the left slip road and the hang a right and follow this road all the way to Windsor. Continue straight at Windsor (the town is off to the left) and cross the Nepean river and follow the road as it bends sharp right and becomes Wilberforce Rd and suddenly you’re on the Putty, one of the favourite rides for most of Sydney’s weekend warriors. This is 175 km of wonderful riding. There’s also way too many roadside crosses and bunches of flowers so take it easy! The right turn at Bulga can be a bugger (it’s sharper than you expect and often covered with gravel), so keep the concentration on even when out of the hills. Just outside Singleton the Putty Rd morphs into Glenridding Rd and then John St, the town’s main drag.

Continue north east along John Street as it bends right under the bridge and keep going straight, following signs to Gresford and without any effort but a fair bit of fun you’ll soon come down the hill at Gresford, with the pub right in front of you. Turn left onto Bingleburra Rd which in turn becomes Sugarloaf Rd for the run into Dungog which you’ll hit with the pub on your left. Turn left around the pub and head out of town, over the river on Stroud Hill Road for a very enjoyable zip into Stroud Rd.

Easiest way is to continue to the T and then turn left on Bucketts Way but an enjoyable short cut is to take the left at Williams Rd signposted Stroud Rd, about 2km west of Bucketts. (This has a very nice swimming hole to the right of the causeway.) Once on Bucketts head north for Gloucester where, next month the fun steps up a gear! In Gloucester you’ll soon see the Avon Valley pub on your right and Roadies Café on your left.


There’s a very enjoyable connecting road between our Nabiac and Gloucester routes if you want to swap routes. From Nabiac town just head back to the Caltex servo and follow the signs for Bucketts Way and Gloucester.

From Gloucester, just head north from Roadies and take the first right onto Denison St which soon becomes Bucketts Way and leads you down to Nabiac, going the other way.

Fully detailed .gpx maps of these routes are available at: My thanks to my Human Relations Dept for the continued support.


Make sure you’re full leaving Windsor as there’s no longer any fuel available on the Putty except at Colo Heights (cash only).

You’ll find the Grey Gums Café on your right about 86kms north of Windsor and it makes a good break.


The Caltex at the western end of the main drag has all types of fuel and just up and across the road, the Singleton Pie Shop is one of the best bakeries around.


The Bank Hotel on the corner of Hooke and Dungog streets is one of my favourites whist just down on Dowling you’ll find Chillbillies which does a top job of producing some really nice meals. Never been disappointed here. The servo is a bit difficult to find: Head south on Dowling and turn right at the end and follow Mary as it curves left and you’ll find the servo.


Roadies Café is no longer in the hands of Mark its founder and the service seems to’ve dropped away. But the bikes are still interesting and the vibe is good.

There’s a couple of other very acceptable nosh joints on the main street. Best accommodation is the motel at the Roundabout at the top end of town and fuel can be got at the Shell on the left as you head out of town. The cattle sale yards are on the right, south of the town, and are well worth a drop by if sales are on when you ride in.

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