Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

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Leaf T
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Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby Leaf T » Sun May 15, 2016 11:14 am

I'm going to be heading through south east Gippsland in June and to avoid as much of the highway as possible part of the trip could be from Orbost to Cann River via the coast.

Has anybody ridden this area and can offer advice? I've heard it is very sandy in places so if that's the case I think I'll take my chances with the Hwy.

The plan would be to ride Orbost-Marlo-Cape Conran-Bemm river then Old Coast Rd to Cann River. A friend traveled here several years ago and mentioned sand but can't remember which section he had to trudge through km's of deep sand. I think it might have been the stretch between Cape Conran and Bemm river.

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outnabike
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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby outnabike » Sun May 15, 2016 12:22 pm

Hi Leaft,
I camped at Cape Conran, but a while ago and didn't walk towards Bemm River. Page 4 on this site does show a track leading out that way though. I would say it would be a MTB ride. The map says no vehicles on some tracks , but that might exclude bikes.

http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets ... l-Park.pdf

The map here when enlarged shows a trail as well.
http://www.findacamp.com.au/camp-site.php?camp=1371
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Leaf T
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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby Leaf T » Sun May 15, 2016 12:47 pm

Thanks OB. An account of the road here too. https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/pag ... 62939&v=16

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Tim
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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby Tim » Sun May 15, 2016 1:01 pm

The really sandy section of road is between Cape Conran and Pearl Point on the powerline easement track, AKA Dock Inlet Rd.
Following this is a very heavily corrugated 10-15km's on to Bemm River on the Pearl Point Rd.
I wouldn't cycle this route, though I have walked the Dock Inlet Rd, miles and miles of sand.
I have however cycled from Conran to Bemm and then on to Cann River.
Just follow the Old Coast Rd all the way from Cape Conran to Cann. Turn on to the Old Coast Rd from the Cabbage Tree Rd, a couple of K's North of Conran, and follow for the distance to Bemm and Cann River.
The road is normally suitable for a 2WD vehicle (I've done it) but depending on how accustomed and prepared you are for rough, loose, slightly washed-out and sandy roads will determine your comfort and progress. The road is generally well maintained but can go downhill rapidly after rain and/or heavy traffic.
Contact DELWP at Bemm River regarding the road condition if you are traveling in winter. I may be wrong but I have a feeling the Old Coast Rd from Bemm to Cann, or parts of it might be seasonally closed.
This might be a handy link;
http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/323352/Far-East-Gippsland-Back-Road-Tours_brochure_web.pdf

It's a pity Dock Inlet and Pearl Point are difficult to access on a bike. They are both magic places with good camp sites.
You won't actually see any coastline on the Old Coast Rd, other than at Bemm River, which is a bit of a dump IMO.

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Leaf T
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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby Leaf T » Sun May 15, 2016 4:35 pm

I can't see dock Inlet Rd on Gmaps. Perhaps it's the same as the Pearl Point Track? If the coast route to BemmR is not an option after trying it then the Old Coast Rd is perhaps an option. And you had no trouble heading north to Cann river from BR on the old coast rd? I'd hate to have to trudge through dune like sand for even a km if it can be avoided but if the good bits are worthwhile...

https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/Cape ... !3e1?hl=en

I'm pretty sure Il Padrone has ridden around here so hopefully he has something to add as well. Looking at google maps it looks like the whole area in general is worth investigating but I guess being so far from major cities and transport it isn't so easy to do by bike.

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Tim
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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby Tim » Sun May 15, 2016 5:01 pm

Yeah sorry Leaf T, Google shows your route as Pearl Point Track all the way from Conran to Bemm River.
Dock Inlet is the second and larger water body on the way to Bemm River from Conran, about half way. It is a beautiful place but would be very difficult on a bike. Not impossible but hard going through the sand.
The section of road I know of as Dock Inlet Rd (Pearl Point Track on Google, your route) runs from Conran to Pearl Point and is a management vehicle only road, it follows the power lines to Bemm.
I wouldn't recommend riding it.
The Old Coast Rd all the way from Conran to Cann R. is the best option. Bemm to Cann isn't easy going but quite doable, though check with DELWP first. Road surfaces here can badly deteriorate with one shower and an idiot in a 4WD.

Pearl Point Track, near Dock Inlet, I was on foot;
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il padrone
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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby il padrone » Sun May 15, 2016 9:41 pm

We rode from Bemm River to Cape Conran in about 2003, January. The trail was quite good - sandy but mostly quite rideable; some sections after Dock Inlet were just two sandy wheel-tracks with plants in the middle, but generally firm and quite OK with MTB knobbies.

Some years later (Jan, 2010) we rode it again, but it was quite noticeably softer sand. Some long sections we were off and hoofing it....

So conditions may vary depending on the type of summer we have. I could suggest doing it in Sept/Oct for the firmest sand - compacted after winter rains.

The Old Coast Road east of Bemm - we only rode a short 2-3kms of this but it was pretty good; a typical gravel road. Again conditions do change - in 2003 we rode the Poddy Creek Rd from the highway through forest to the Old Coast Rd, and it had a long section with 'orrible huge metal, like cobbles. In 2010 we rode it again and was just a typical good gravel road.
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Leaf T
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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby Leaf T » Tue May 17, 2016 11:11 am

Thanks all for the info. Seems like the Old Coast Rd is the likely best option.

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Tim
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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby Tim » Tue May 17, 2016 11:23 am

With the roads in this area, and I suppose any dirt roads, it's a bit of a lucky dip as to how you'll find conditions on the day.
Weather, maintenance and recent traffic loads are the determinants.
Just be sure to check with DELWP or Parks Vic in Cann River or Orbost ahead of time. I'm still vaguely certain of winter closures between Bemm and Cann but not sure if that applies to bikes.
The Old Coast Rd from my experience, ridden twice, driven numerously, is usually fairly good but you will encounter sand, gravel, steeper washed out sections in the gullies and corrugations. Take your time, push up and through the rough bits and you'll be fine.
The Princes Hwy is the other option. The traffic is quieter East of Orbost but it is a roller coaster ride for almost the entire distance.
How far East and North are you travelling?

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Leaf T
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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby Leaf T » Wed May 18, 2016 1:10 pm

I'll be sure to call DELWP if I go that way. I haven't decided how far this trip will be yet but I should have at least a couple of months to meander north. I'll be going very slowly at first as I've done very little riding lately but after a week or two I'll have some fitness back.

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VeloGiro
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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby VeloGiro » Thu May 19, 2016 7:22 am

il padrone wrote: in 2003 we rode the Poddy Creek Rd from the highway through forest to the Old Coast Rd, and it had a long section with 'orrible huge metal, like cobbles. In 2010 we rode it again and was just a typical good gravel road.


In 2012 I road the Poddy Creek Track from the highway south towards Bemm River and got completely lost...not dangerously lost - I knew the highway was behind me (to the north), the river was to my west and If I kept riding south I would have to eventually hit the coach road! I got completely disorientated in a large (and quite recent) logging coup with unsigned forks everywhere…I followed what I thought was the main track around the edge of the coup ultimately to a very old and overgrown sandy track from logging activities decades earlier. The track I was on was running pretty much parallel with the river – It took me a good few hours to travel about 5 K's at one stage...The track had lots of fallen trees across it and was there was no evidence of anyone being along it for quite some time! I was quite relieved to hit the Coach Road just before it joined the bitumen a few Ks out of Bemm.

The old coach road west from the Sydenham inlet road to Cape Conran was terrific riding in 2012…sure it’s a little sandy in spots and the ‘jump ups’ out of the creeks were a little rough but I found it a really pleasant ride – it passes through some lovely coastal heathlands which were full of flowering grass trees and wildflowers in absolute abundance when I rode it in November…It’s a ripper of a road…I can recall feeling that I didn’t really want to stop! It was something of a highlight of my East Gippsland tour back in ’12… I really hope you find it as good as I (and a few others here) did!
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Leaf T
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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby Leaf T » Thu May 19, 2016 11:41 am

Good to hear. Thanks VG. I hope the road is okay in June. As suggested by Tim I'll call for current info.

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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby Mechandy » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:04 pm


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Tim
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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby Tim » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:37 am

I took my poor old elderly mum on a day trip (car) up to Cape Conran last week.
We had lunch at Sailors Grave. Such a great place for easy access for the elderly or disabled. Parked the car (almost) on the beach, ate lunch and reveled in the nature of the area. I love this coastline.
Far East Vic is still one of my favourite spots. I'm lucky to live here.
Some good photos of the region thanks Mechandy.

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Leaf T
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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby Leaf T » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:17 pm

Nice little tube vid. Any chance you can link a map to the ride?

Sailors Grave. Gotta love place names sometimes.

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Re: Route OK? South East Victoria - Gippsland

Postby Mechandy » Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:37 am

Thanks guys. Yeah, will work on getting a map up of the ride shortly....

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