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No matter where your pilgrimage to Phillip Island originates, you’ll ride the final day in Victoria. Here’s how you can make the most of it.

Here’s some great roads to Phillip Island for pilgrimages from all across the country.

After two dismal years of lockdown, the 2022 Australian Grand Prix is bound to attract record crowds to the most scenic circuit on the MotoGP calendar. If you intend to camp, best be on your way, and if you haven’t already booked your accommodation – good luck. If you’re almost set, you’ll be looking for the most enjoyable route to the event, so here are some timely pointers.

The mainland’s smallest state Victoria is blessed with Australia’s highest alpine roads, a world-renowned coastline and even a huge patch of isolated desert in the far northwest. Whether 2022 marks your 23rd visit to a grand prix Phillip Island or your first, you’ll need a full day to traverse the state. Celebrate the freedom of the road and maybe enjoy a night at one of hundreds of biker-friendly pubs – or campgrounds – across the state.

From Western Australia

Riding in from the west, celebrate your arrival in Victoria with a coffee at the Nelson Kiosk, continue east between the Glenelg and Discovery Bay National Parks, bypass Portland and, at Warrnambool, you’ll find the Great Ocean Road (GOR) – one of the most acclaimed ocean roads on the planet. Yet apart from the detour to Childers Cove, such is the inland scenery, you could have been riding across the south of France. At Peterborough the GOR meets the coast and the much hyped views unfold. The Grotto, Loch Ard Gorge, Port Campbell and, finally, the Twelve Apostles.

The viewpoints can be crowded, but there are a few laybys as the road climbs inland through many bends up to Lavers Hill. From Lavers Hill continue to Ferguson, taking the detour past Hopetoun Falls to The Redwoods and on to Tanbryn. The fabulous Forrest Brewery and Restaurant is only a few minutes north, though that’s probably not a good idea if you have a tight itinerary. Then again, there is a good spread of accommodation nearby.

From Tanbryn the good times continue all the way south back to the coast at Skenes Creek, and the realisation that the most exhilarating section of the fabled Great Ocean Road is   actually the detour through The Redwoods.

If you haven’t been waylaid at the brewery, you’ll have the afternoon sun over your left shoulder from Skenes Creek all the way to Torquay. Avoid the Melbourne traffic and follow the coastline to Queenscliff, where vehicular ferries depart every daylight hour to Sorrento. From there, it’s the better part of two hours around Westernport to San Remo and across the bridge to Phillip Island. Though Charlie’s Auto Museum at Arthurs Seat is worth a squiz, and there’s no end of accommodation choices, particularly along the Port Phillip Bay foreshore.

From South Australia

Two hundred kilometres west of Adelaide, the aptly named Bordertown is the gateway to Victoria’s Big Desert Wilderness Park and Little Desert National Park, two of Victoria’s most isolated regions. For those riders blessed with sand skills and appropriate tyres there are numerous diversions, but most sealed roads east are flat, fast and featureless, so no need to stop until you reach Horsham where you’ll need a coffee – or possibly something stronger.

Continue on the Western Highway and turn due south on the Northern Grampians Road which becomes Mount Victory Road, then Silverband Road once you enter the National Park. Featuring craggy escarpments unlike anywhere else on the continent, the Grampian and Sierra Ranges are Australia’s favourite destination for rock climbers. Make sure you stop off at the Sundial Car Park to observe the mad abseilers, whose boisterous laughter offends the sedate backpacking bushwalkers – much as your exhaust note offends the drivers in their new eco-friendly Teslas.

When you reach the switchback, head south to Dunkeld, where the Glenelg Highway will lead you to the many historical attractions such as Sovereign Hill at Ballarat should that be where your interests lie. However after Ballarat all you’ve really got to look forward to is the   Freeway through Melbourne almost all the way to San Remo. A far more interesting route is to continue south to Penshurst, taking the Hamilton Highway to Mortlake and the backroad through Terang to Cobden on the northern fringe of the Otways.

The Cobden to Lavers Hill road is a ripper, particularly the section south of Chapple Vale. From Lavers Hill, just follow the same route through The Redwoods down to the Great Ocean Road as detailed above.

From the Northern Territory

For arrivals from the vast northwest outback, your point of entry to MotoGP’s home Down Under will be Wentworth – the confluence of the once mighty Darling and Murray Rivers. First head to Red Cliffs for the view, then follow the Murray upstream to Robinvale. Hook on to the Murray Valley Highway which – more or less – follows the course of the river, a not-too-busy ride through the picturesque Riverina orchards and canola fields.

When you feel the need for a little more excitement, take any one of the detours closer to the riverbank as you’ll soon adapt to what you and your bike can handle on the unnamed and unsealed tracks closer to the river. Whatever you do, hang left at Lake Charm onto the Benjeroop Road, which eventually leads to Barham. Make a point of visiting the Information Centre in the local newsagency for local up-to-date conditions. Unless it’s exceptionally wet, the River Road winds almost all the way from Barham to Echuca. Some patches can be a little challenging though, if the going becomes too slow, you can always swing back to the highway.


From Echuca, head south to Rochester, Elmore, and Heathcote to Broadford. With speedway, short circuit, motocross and road-racing facilities there’s almost always something happening at the Broadford Motorcycling Complex. If not, they do a good counter lunch at the Commercial Hotel.

From Broadford head for Kinglake and take Steeles Creek Road to Yarra Glen down to Lilidale and whatever road takes your fancy through the Dandenongs – you’re less than an hour from Phillip Island so, if the traffic is bearable, make the most of the opportunity and do a loop. The Dandenong Tourist Road may sound a little tame but it’s better for your health than the Pig & Whistle Tavern – though they do a great traditional Guinness Pot Pie.

From the Australian Capital Territory

On reaching the twin-towns of Albury-Wodonga from the north, avoid the temptation of a lazy cruise down the Hume Freeway. Head south to Beechworth, then take the road to Stanley and on to Myrtleford. The Buffalo River Road to Dangongadale, followed by the Rose River Road to Whitfield, will lead you to the fabulous section of bitumen across McDonalds Spur to Mansfield.

For even more fun enjoy the hundred kilometre round trip to Mount Buffalo, the final section of which is an annual competitive hillclimb decorated by large trees, scarred by paintwork in the full Porsche colour spectrum. After lunch back in Mansfield, head to Woods Point. Savour a settler at the Kevington Pub, shortly after which, the sealed road turns into a comfortably wide, well-surfaced forestry road – though be aware of potholes after wet weather.


From Woods Point it takes around ninety minutes to zig-zag to Moe via Warburton, but twenty-five kilometres south of Woods Point, Nine Mile Road kicks off to the left. It’s a little-used, unsealed local road that can cut up to an hour off the journey to Moe, though it’s less than thirty kilometres in length and well worth a shot, as it’s easy to backtrack if it doesn’t suit.

From Moe there are any number of secondary roads that will deposit you in San Remo in less than 90 minutes, so for fans of Australia’s Own, the privately owned Holden Museum in Trafalgar is a must-see and the ride up the old hillclimb at Mount Speed provides a great view of the region.

Bear in mind you’re now travelling in civilisation and Victoria has over 500 speed cameras, and the pollies need to make up all that revenue they didn’t collect during the Covid lockdowns.

From Queensland

For the many thousands of MotoGP enthusiasts riding to Phillip Island from the population centres along the east coast, there are multiple options to traverse Victoria’s fabulous High Country – for the full scope, refer to Hema’s detailed map of the region.

West of the Great Dividing Range, after passing through Tumut, Talbingo and Tumbarumba cross into Victoria at Tintaldra. If you prefer a little adventure on unsealed – but well packed – roads, continue past Corryong through Sassafras Gap, on to Benambra and, eventually Omeo. If you’d prefer to remain on sealed roads, head across to Tallangatta and take the Omeo Highway. Either way, regardless of the weather – even in late spring – you’ll need your jacket liner, neck warmer and warm gloves, despite the two-hour plus upper-body workout the endless twisties will provide.


From Omeo the Great Alpine Road south to Bairnsdale is a superb ride – particularly the section between Ensay and Walsh Cutting. For those seeking further off-pavement thrills,   head northwest to Hotham Heights, then south along the ridgeline of the Dargo High Plains Road. The 1200 metre descent into Dargo is now sealed and you can give the throttle a break as both your brakes will be busier than a politician seeking a photo op.

Dargo has been hosting bikers since the first Yamaha DT 1 arrived on our shores and is a great spot to take a much needed respite. Continue on to Stratford and down the Gippsland Highway to the Port Albert Wharf Fish and Chip Shop, an institution which closed in early September – another victim of Covid. If the local council has any sense about the new lease you should be able to get a great feed by the time you get there.


From New South Wales

No matter what genre of scoot you ride, do not allow the unsealed section of The Barry Way – between Jindabyne NSW and Suggan Buggan Victoria – deter you from this celebrated scenic ride. South of Suggan Buggan the surface improves considerably, so much so that at Seldom Seen the more adventurous may be tempted by McKillops Road east to the Bonang Highway and on to Orbost. Many say McKillops is the most hazardous road in Australia. That’s debatable, but unless you fancy your skills as an enduro rider, it is a slow and often tense ride – probably best left until you’re not in any hurry to reach your destination.


So, from Seldom Seen, continue south to Buchan, from where the road to Orbost is more panoramic than the road to Nowa Nowa. Either way it’s a comfortable four hour ride from Jindabyne to Bairnsdale on the Princes Highway. Just a little east of Bairnsdale is Lakes Entrance, one of the principal Resorts on National Highway #1, and well worth visiting if you’ve joined the Winnebagos and caravans on the principal route from the north, which is another alternative – though  the built-up areas and roadworks can be a pain.

The smaller resort town of Paynesville, just south of Bairnsdale is also a popular choice and will keep you off the main highway for a spell as you head east along Bengworden Road to   get first dibs on the Fish and Chips at Port Albert.


For the Southerners

The Monaro Highway remains a perennial favourite of bikers in the eastern states, as does the even more popular federal Hotel in Nimmitabel, not forgetting the Globe Hotel in Bombala; from which a lesser travelled option south is the Bonang Road to Delegate and on to the Victorian border. Not quite as elevated as the Great Alpine Way, it is far more undulating than the high country roads and can still be quite cold through Errinundra Gap. Even in October.

For those that aren’t satisfied without getting their air filters dirty, there’s the Yalmy Road through the Snowy River National Park which – with the security of a GPS – will take you all the way to Orbost. If you’ve crossed the border at a reasonably early hour you’ll be heading west on the Pacific Highway well before noon. However with six hours or more of daylight you’ve time to take the less travelled South Gippsland Highway to Foster and continue past Venus Bay and Inverloch to San Remo.


The Monash Electorate is on the eastern fringes of Greater Melbourne a city of 4.9 million people. Add a 150,000 Monashians and the roads are bound to become a little crowded, all the more reason to break the journey and take a slow walk around Wilsons Promontory.

After disembarking from the ‘Spirit of Tasmania’, it’s but a short ride around Port Phillip Bay for those that have arrived from the state that hosts one of the world’s most notorious Tarmac Rallies – at least until now.


And another thing

Bear in mind that each of these recommendations can be ridden in a single day, a great opportunity to check out what Victoria has to offer. If you don’t spend too long in the pub it’s not difficult to link the Great Ocean Road to the Sunraysia and Murray Valley Highways, followed by the Great Alpine Road, and finally the Gippsland Highway with only two casual overnight stops.

All you need is a sense of adventure – and maybe one of Hema’s waterproof maps of Victoria. And remember those speed cameras!