Wild rides through Victoria

The thrum of my Suzuki V-Strom 1000 was a familiar sound as I pulled out of Fitzroy, Melbourne, ready for adventure. Marysville was the first stop, easing me into the journey with its charm and hint of the tougher terrain to come. But even here, the air carried a sense of change, of leaving the known world behind for a wilder Victoria.

The transformation became stark as I climbed towards Lake Mountain and Woods Point. The road narrowed, the asphalt giving way to dirt. Woods Point materialised like a relic from another era – isolated, rugged, a haven for hunters and fishers. Accessible only by roads that challenged my nerve and the V-Strom, it felt less like a town and more like an outpost at the edge of the wilderness. Finding a campsite 40 minutes out, the isolation was tangible. The only other sounds were the calls of parrots as vibrant as the sunset and the occasional rumble of a truck from the AI Gold Mine (a far cry from the A1 Bakery!).

FIrst night camping neat Woods Point

The small-town heart of Jamieson, with its welcoming general store and pub, was a haven after the demanding ride. But that was just the prelude. The road to Licola unfurled in a narrow dirt ribbon, demanding complete focus. The drop from a sweltering 36 degrees Celsius in Jamieson to a brisk 26 degrees on the mountain pass was a stark reminder that I had to choose the height of summer for this trip.

Licola, when it finally appeared, felt like the epitome of that remoteness I craved. The river flowed gently, interrupted now and then by tough-looking 4WDs or a fellow biker. This was not about fancy amenities but the quiet connection to the land.

The ride from Jamieson to Licola

From there, it was Dargo – a different facet of the Victorian highlands. Its inviting pub and surprisingly high-quality food offered a warm sense of community, a respite from the solitary miles.

Resting at the Dargo Hotel

If the journey so far was intense, the route to Bright was sublime. Carving through national parks on winding dirt tracks, Victoria’s diverse, high country stole the show. In Bright, I shunned the caravan park direness for a riverside camp, savouring what this motorcycle and this trip were about.

The final stretch back to Fitzroy was reflective. The heat beat down, forcing stops at those refreshingly cool country pubs. In the hum of the V-Strom, I could not help but marvel at the sheer beauty Victoria had revealed. Towns faded in and out of memory: their isolation and meditative charm. It was a tapestry woven with dirt, asphalt, and a deep appreciation for the freedom of two wheels, a tent, and a good air mattress.

Road from Dargo to Bright

This was not a trip for the faint of heart. With its raw wilderness and demanding backroads, Victoria tested me in ways that urban life rarely does. It was a reminder that sometimes, the most profound escape is found not in an expensive bogan resort but in the saddle, where the road ahead is uncertain, the rewards unknown, and the beauty utterly authentic.



One response to “Wild rides through Victoria”

  1. John Shipton Avatar
    John Shipton

    Good writing, good ride

Leave a Reply