Distance: 229 km
Estimated Time : 3 hours plus
They say that if you want to make fire, you need air. That the spaces in between sustains desire. And longing can only take place in distance. The question is, how far will you go to fulfill a need? To heed to that well rooted desire, that calling for another adventure? As the song by the Twisted Sisters, synonymous with biker culture, goes: “You’ve got to ride to live, live to ride. Feel the flames burn inside.”
Whichever routes you may take, you are always welcome to free yourself on the road. To roam around to your heart’s content and let it find its own dimension. In this series, we would like to to take you abit further. To this long distance drive filled with contrasts and natural beauty. Take a ride with us and let’s head out to the Old Princes Highway.
Why Bikers Love It
A few motorcyclists may find long distance riding not suitable for them. Those particularly with a bad back. Incapable of sitting too long on the saddle which we were limitlessly afforded to back in younger days. But mostly it’s riding up and down a highway with nothing much to see and a lot of time to spare that can deaden the initial enthusiasm of both the driver and the pillion.
You see it’s not always about the destination, there’s meaning to find and memories to share in every journey. Long drives are the best when you have someone whose company you enjoy having around. Which is why you’ll find this route more often than not on the all time favourite long drive lists among riding mates or organized tours.
Named as one of the top 10 Aussie drives three years ago, Bylong sits at the center of NSW’s great driving experiences. It links the towns of Ilford and Sandy Hollow, connecting the Castlereagh Highway and Golden Highway to the west of Sydney. Motorcyclists who have recently driven to the valley can attest to the A1 condition of the road. At first the road is wide and sweeps its way across plains. Soon, though, you start to climb and the road narrows, the surface gets rougher and the turns get tighter. The real highlight comes on the descent as the road snakes down the hill. There is a series of challenging hairpins and tight bends to keep you on your toes.
How to Get There
The Princes Highway starts at the junction of Broadway which is the Great Western Highway and City Road in the Sydney suburb of Chippendale. City Road is the first section of the highway, and then turns to King Street in Newtown, also part of the Princes Highway. Where King Street ends at Sydney Park Road, the Princes Highway continues. It runs through Sydney's southern suburbs (the St George area and Sutherland Shire), via Kogarah, Sutherland and Engadine to the village of Waterfall.
Head out of Sydney taking the M2 and M4 routes. Once you’re on George St., take the left to Grosvenor St. You’ll soon merge to Bradfield Highway then on to Sydney Harbour Bridge. Keep right and continue on to Bradfield following the signs for M1. Continue onto M2 and watch out for the Lane Cove Tunnel/Epping/Windsor signs. Carry on forward to M7 and take the exit Motorway to merge with M4. Join the Great Western Highway at the foot of the Blue Mountains.
Where to eat and other places of interest
Bylong is a favourite weekend getaway for most motorcyclists. Home to Wollemi National Park and Goulburn River National Park, you won’t run out of things to do in this quiet town. Both are easy to spot located between the Golden Highway and Bylong road. Near Wollemi is the luxurious Baerami Pines Retreat (1531 Bylong Valley Way, Baerami NSW 2033) that offers amazing views and peaceful outdoor living. Another place that comes highly recommended by nature lovers is the Hillview (7690 Bylong Valley Way, Bylong NSW) about 11 km southeast of Bylong village. A few pubs are also available in the area, those that are frequented by motorcyclists include the Railway Hotel (Crown Street, Kandos) and the Tourist Hotel (Golden Highway, Giants Creek).