Premier advocacy body for Victorian motorcyclists of all kinds

Motorcycling in Gippsland

By VMC Admin

Motorcycling in Gippsland

Recently I was asked to write something about motorcycling in Gippsland.

“Gippsland” is a big place. It is that part of Victoria bounded by Westernport Bay in the West, Cape Liptrap and Wilson’s Promontory in the South and the high country in the North and the Tasman Sea in the East.

Mallacoota in the far east is about 500 km from Melbourne by the most direct route and takes about 6 hours to ride there.

I get it that Australia is big, and Victoria is comparatively small, but Gippsland is big to me, so I will only be writing about South Gippsland and Bass Coast in this article.

Regional Development Victoria - Gippsland Regional Partnership

(Image credit: Regional Development Victoria)

With mountains to the north and sea to the south, and areas of flat lands in between, you don’t have to go far before the scenery changes. It’s a bit like Tasmania in that regard and less like much of Victoria and the bigger states of Australia where the roads are straight, and the landscape is unchanged for long distances. Here we generally have rolling hills of green as the rainfall is high compared to the rest of Victoria (and to Eastern Gippsland) and resulting winding roads with changes in elevation from just above sea level to 500m.

General observations about roads in South Gippsland / Bass Coast

In general, roads are well designed and reasonably well maintained and have been much better maintained in recent years. In saying that I mean that sweeping bends are arcs that don’t require adjustment of steering once committed to the arc. This is a pleasant way to ride and even if the whole arc is not visible, it can be assumed that the radius will not tighten.

A lot of money has been invested in fixing surfaces, but also into things like wire rope barriers and straightening of roads. This makes for a boring ride if you take the South Gippsland Highway, especially as there are only few overtaking zones and you will encounter what we call the “South Gippsland Thing”, where a slow vehicle will accumulate a number of cars behind it and they will all want to overtake at the next overtaking zone. Unfortunately, they have no idea how fast a bike can accelerate, so they all try to overtake at 99.999 km/hr, which can be very frustrating as they keep motorcyclists in place in the queue of cars when if they allowed us to pass we would be long gone before they reached overtaking speed.

Off the main roads, speed limits have been reduced in many areas from a general 100 km/hr to 80 and even 60 km/hr by Vicroads. It seems that this is the reaction to any kind of collision and is fairly widespread.

Road Conditions

Heavy vehicles on SG roads are either milk tankers or log trucks. They tend to depress the road surface with their wheels and their weight, which leaves a lot of standing water when it rains, and it rains often here, in the wheel tracks and a pronounced elevation in the centre of each lane.

This is obviously something for motorcyclists to be aware of. Heavy vehicles have professional drivers and generally are not a problem for motorcyclists. However, especially in off-road areas, 4WDs are very scary as they seem to charge around on dirt roads and either don’t care or don’t respect their side of the road. Cyclist will be encountered in the warmer months but generally not many, except for the Bunurong coastal road.

Bunurong Coastal Drive in Bass Coast

(Image credit: Visit Gippsland Facebook page)

Attractions in South Gippsland / Bass Coast

Tourists are attracted to this region mostly for the beauty of the natural environment, with beaches, mountains and forests being the top attractions. Most of these destinations are not just for riding to, but worth a walk to really appreciate. Here I’m thinking of Wilson’s Prom in particular, which has an interesting road to Tidal River (that is limited to 80 km/hr) but the exit is the same road.

At the Prom there are many walks to places of natural beauty that can’t be visited by vehicle. There are also lots of “opportunities” to meet local fauna, especially including wombats, but also emus, kangaroos and wallabies, snakes but increasingly, deer of a couple of varieties. These are not welcome encounters to motorcyclists, especially after dark. Perhaps strangely, full moons are associated with higher risk of collision with wildlife.

Similar places are Cape Liptrap, Agnes Falls, the long Jetty at Port Welshpool, Port Albert. The best beach in the world is at Sandy Point / Waratah bay, but you have to get off your bike to appreciate it.

Cape Liptrap

(Image credit: Visit Gippsland Facebook page)

Places where you can just ride through include the Bunurong coastal ride (Little Ocean Road), the roads from Loch to Wonthaggi, Loch to Poowong and onwards to the Grand Ridge Road and places in the Strezlecki Ranges (500 m elevation).

On Phillip Island are many attractions. Of course, the GP track, but also places like Churchill Island and the Gurdies (home of the Penguin Parade).

Author: Graeme Alexander, VMC Committee member.

Further information:

Visit Gippsland | The Official Gippsland Travel & Tourism Site

Wilsons Promontory, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia (

Bunurong Coastal Drive, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia (


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