Home to Melbourne, one of Australia's most progressive, culturally enlightened cities (and well known for it's trams and coffee), Victoria has some of the best riding in the country. The weather there is a little cooler than in the other states along the east coast, being so far south, but can still get quite hot in summer. Unlike the cities of South East Queensland, Melbourne summers are quite dry, and winters are cool and wet (from June to August you'll find Melbournians huddled over their lattes in cafes complaining of the constant drizzle between blowing their noses). But, when the sun comes out, as it often does in the warmer months, Victoria is absolutely splendid, and a perfect destination to rent a motorcycle and hit the road.
The Great Ocean Road
Of course, the Great Ocean Road gets a mention, not only because it’s on everyone’s list, but because the coastal scenery is genuinely stunning. Although the road these days is peppered with Grey Nomads and tour buses, given a fine day and midweek traffic, there is still some joy to be had in breathing the salty ocean air and drinking in the panoramic views.
From Reefton to Cumberland Junction
Reefton Spur is one of the best of the Melborne-area rides, with a 95% corner ratio along its 19km length. The bitumen is ‘grippy’ with some exceptions, allowing for fair to medium corner speeds. There are a few bumps, but cars are infrequent.
The countless corners make this a fun ride and the quality of the road surface lets you handle the corners smoothly. The road is surrounded by alpine forest and offers terrific views over the surrounding landsape, although chances are you’ll be too busy concentrating on the ride to catch more than a glimpse of most.
The Black Spur
The Yarra Ranges most popular ride, the Black Spur is 11km with an 80% corner ratio. Cars are somewhat frequent at 2 – 5 per minute. This is a ride best done during the week as the traffic increases on the weekend to the point where the ride is no longer enjoyable (unless you like trailing a family SUV after family SUV).
Thanks to a recent widening and resurfacing, the road is spacious and grips your tires well, although corners should still be taken at a slow speed.
The road itself is a series of S-curves with only a sporadic straightaway providing a moment’s respite. Large ferns, tree ferns, and rainforest trees flank the road. Many of these plants are beautiful and provide you with a very attractive backdrop for your ride.