Touring with Gibbo
Extended Tour # 1:
Up the top and back
One nighter in New England @ the Great Central Hotel in Glen Innes.
** Word of warning… it gets bloody cold up in New England. Bring your thermals.**
Day # 1: Approx 460kms.
Ride from Squeakygate Retreat to Grafton however you wish. You can go via the Pacific (boring and lots of roadwork), via Lawrence and Southgate Rd., or Lawrence, Pringles Way and the Summerland Way.
From Grafton head up the Armidale Rd., through the twisties of the ranges to Ebor (always bloody cold). You join Waterfall Way [B78] East of Ebor. Suggest late morning tea at Fuss Pots on your left as you ride through Ebor. Stop at Ebor falls, on the right just out of town. A few k's out of town, turn left to Armidale. Ride through the city of Armidale and turn onto the Bundarra Road. Continue to right along Barney St., the turn across the Rail line into Miller's St., then right onto the Bundarra Rd.. About 30kms out of Armidale, turn right on Thunderbolts Way, to Inverell. There is a fantastic Motor Museum. Turn right onto the Gwydir Hwy [B76] to Glen Innes. There is something very special about New England, especially in Autumn. It is simply gorgeous.
I have stayed at the Great Central Hotel 4 times now and used to recommend it with a big wrap. I stayed there recently and was seriously unimpressed. I won't bore you with litany of hospitality 101 mistakes that were made. Suffice to say, I will never stay there again and no longer recommend it. If you are staying in Glen, find somewhere else. Next time I am up there I will look further myself.
Day # 2:
It depends on where you are heading.
Going North back to Queensland the suggestion would be to travel north on the New England Hwy. Turn right onto the Bruxner Hwy at Tenterfield, then left onto the Summerland Way at Casino, through Kyogle and Lions Road, up to Beaudesert in Queensland.
Going South there are again lots of options. You can go down the New England to Maitland, or ride down to Uralla, turn left onto the Walcha Road, then down the Oxley Hwy. (arguably the best motorcycle road in Australia) to Wauchope, then onto the Pacific Hwy. via the Bago Rd..
I have always loved New England.
Love the roads.
The Great Central Hotel
In addition - The Celtic Festival:
If you happen to be in Glen Innes during May, there is the quite well known Celtic Festival. In 2018 its was May 3 to 6. The entrance is $30 (which probably enough) and there is all manner of Celtic stuff on display, as well as music, josting, a medievil camp and believe it or not sheep dog trials and well as the obligatory Scottish pipes and band. I went up for the Sunday 6th. I really enjoyed the day, but 1 day was probably enough for me... And it was bloody cold, but a good day out.