Posted On 21 May 2024
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This entry is part 11 of 28 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#32


If you feel like switching between routes this is a good place to do it. The road between Nabiac and Gloucester is just on 50km of some enjoyable riding. (Red Route) From Gloucester, head west on Queen St at the roundabout at the north end of town and continue to the end, right at the T onto Railway St and then left at it’s southern end onto Denison/Bucketts Way. Head east til you get to Krambach then take the right onto Fire Station Road and follow this til you hit Nabiac.

From Nabiac head west at the Caltex following the signs for Gloucester and then hang a left at Krambach. When you hit the main drag at Gloucester, Roadies Café will be to your left and the Roundabout Pub will be a block north (right).


A major hub town with all facilities but very little aimed specifically at bikers.

Fineline Motorcycles (02 6552 2546) on the south end of town should be able to fix any mechanical issues you have. The info office is at the north end. There is a reason the Manning River Tourism website has no images of the downtown precinct.


Nice old pub here serving lunches 7 days from 11.30am til 2pm and dinners on Tuesday to Saturday 6pm til 8pm. Pizzas are available whenever the pub’s open. The boat ramp opposite the pub makes a swim in the river very easy. The town itself has a small general store but not much else.


About 3km east of the highway and nice for a break beside the sea but this is a tourist town with little history, less culture and fewer bargains. Wauchope is about the same distance from the highway but to the west and both the Star and the Hastings hotels will be happier to see you.


The new bypass cuts out Kempsey.

It also cuts out the Pie Shop at Frederickton. Don’t let it. For some of the best pies on the highway, just turn left at the roundabout at the north of the bypass onto the old highway and head south for just on a kilometre and you’ll see Fredo’s on your right. Col’s Motorcycles in Smith St (02 6562 7089) is the best bike shop in town.


This place has one of the best main Last month we headed north out of Sydney either via the coast or the nearest inland equivalent to Nabiac or Gloucester depending on your choice.

Time to press on.


This is the real boring bit of the Pacific Highway, and you’re probably only going to use it if you’re doing a real A2B ride. It’s full of roadworks and mundane sections but the straightening of the highway has left any number of small ‘billabong’ towns which, though no longer on the main drag, are doing their best to survive and offer good grub and friendly service.

Head north out from Nabiac on the Pac for the mundane ride up to Taree and cross the Manning River. About 4km after the bridge you’ll see the signs for the left turn for the Other Side Gallery and Café. If it’s been a while since you self-administered caffeine under the gaze of a naked woman or indeed just had the good drink in a beautiful waterside setting, don’t go past this place.

Otherwise just 7km further is the left turn for the Coopernook Pub. Take the left and then follow the road as it bends back to the pub. Once you’re done head north again past where you came in and take the next left onto Macquarie St and the roads will lead you back to the highway.

About 60km north of Nabiac you’ll see a couple of signs for Rosies Café at Johns River. Take the slip road on the left and then take a right at the roundabout and head over the highway before you take a left at the T and Rosies is on your right.

To rejoin just retrace to the roundabout and take the slip onto the highway.

There’s all fuel at the humungeous BP at the intersection of Oxley and then the next good spot for a break off the highway but with no fuel is Telegraph Point just 16km further north.

The roadworks finally come to an end south of Kempsey where the new bypass saves a bundle of time. You now have a roadwork-free zip up to Macksville. If you are nearing the end of your day’s riding, and you’re suffering from twisty deprivation, the Pub With No Beer is 30km west of the highway from the Macksville United Servo.

Otherwise cross the Nambucca River and follow the highway right and continue for 35km until you get to the slip road left for Bellingen on Waterfall Way and you’re then just 11km from the town.


Head out of Gloucester through the roundabout at the north end of town, past the Shell servo on your left and continue for around 8km. Take the right turn for Nowendoc/ Walcha rather than continue west for Scone.

This is the famed Thunderbolts Way, with its uniformly crap surface. The signs of black spot fixing and ‘Roads to Recovery 2001’ are surely some kinda sick joke.

Bretti Reserve, about 40km north of Gloucester, is one of the best riverside free camps you will ever come across.

15km further you’ll find Carsons Pioneer Lookout and then it’s on to Walcha. From Walcha head north from the roundabout to the west of the river bridge beside the Royal, towards Uralla.

Dangar Lagoon can be a good spot for a break and a bit of bird watching before you follow the bends into Uralla where you meet the dreaded New England Highway. You only have 20km on this before passing the Armidale Airport with its top class Caltex Servo on the western side and then taking a right onto Uralla Rd at the immediate roundabout signposted Armidale.

Follow this as it quickly bends right and morphs into Kentucky St and then bends left over the railway and becomes Dangar St. Follow this north for five blocks and then take the right onto Barney St. You are now on Waterfall Way.

Follow it for 40km out from Armidale and you’ll find a turn north for Wollomombi just 1500 metres from the main road and from here it’s just 40km more to Ebor.

A fully detailed .gpx file of these routes can be downloaded from Thanks to my HR Department for their continuing inspiration.

streetscapes in the country.

Beautifully maintained old buildings everywhere you look…

check out the IGA, it’s almost camouflaged behind lace ironwork.

The park down beside the Bellinger River is incredibly relaxing and refreshing. There’s any number of good cafes on the main street, which is the Waterfall Way, but my pick is Hyde on the corner of Church.


One of the best towns for bike riders along this route despite one of the most unfriendly service stations around. Try to last until Uralla if you can. You won’t find the Royal Café and Hotel without a few bikes out front, it’s my pick of places to stay up here. The New England diagonally opposite serves up good meals. If you are interested in the history of this land, Nat Buchanan, our greatest ever drover, is buried in the town cemetery.


I like this place, despite its Café Gusto having the most expensive pies I’ve ever paid for! If you’re done for the day, try the New England Brewing Company on the western side of the main drag just up from the Top Pub. Fuel is at the south end of town, as is the well-staffed Info Office.


Caffiends on Marsh St has the best coffee in town. Supermoto on Mann St (02 6772 5988) is a very professional bike shop and are your best bet if your ride goes awry. The servo at the airport at the south end of the town is the best place for fuel.


The signs for this place begin 19km out, and it’s one of my fav places to stop. It was once a HUGE town but now only the licensed store/café/post office remains. I would never ride this road without dropping in here. The service is good as is the feed … try the homemade scones! If you can have a post office selling wine in the country, why can’t they do it in Sydney?


There’s General Store Fuel at the north end of town if you really need it. It was great news for all riders when Fusspots Café changed hands and is now run by folks who deserve to be in hospitality. The Ebor Falls at south of the town are well signed and worth a visit.

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