Places to Visit: Gloucester, It’s Tops

I’m going to try a new thing, rather than write extensively about the journey to places, I’m going to focus on some of the fab places I like to visit. This idea came to me from my last post, where I realised that there are so many amazing and unknown places within riding distance of Sydney that people don’t know about, well some do, just not a lot.

This weekend we visited Gloucester travelling via the Putty Road and north through the western Hunter Valley. Our return trip was through the middle of the Hunter Valley and the down the Old Pacific Highway.

<<Insert map>>

Gloucester is a small town of 2,500 people situated about 250 km north of Sydney, just above the Hunter Valley. It sits in the shadow of a volcanic escarpment called The Bucketts Tops. Here’s a picture that I took of ‘the Tops’ on one of our previous visits, not much has changed.

I’m not really sure what the term ‘tops’ mean but there’s a fair few in this area, Barrington Tops being the most notable.

Talking of which, turns out that there is a fabulous little road up to these tops, over the Copeland Tops (there’s another one) presenting wonderful vistas across the other tops. I don’t have names for these but I do have a nice picture:

Heading towards Barrington Tops is quite the experience including quaint little bridges

And curious cattle

These were hanging out in the above stream but inconsiderately took themselves out of the water when I stopped to photograph them.

We almost made it to Barrington Tops but the sealed road abruptly finished just as we entered the forest. Like magic a Parks and Wildlife vehicle pulled up, just as we were pondering our next move (that never happens!) and informed us that the rough road was flat-ish but we wouldn’t make it through to Scone as it gets very rough before it finishes. It seems that this road is being sealed in stages and, once it is, we have high hopes that it is going to be a MAGNIFICENT road for motorbikes.

Back to Gloucester itself. It’s a cute old town with a main street full of cafes and little shops serving the local community. As a regional centre it has two supermarkets, one is a massive Woolworths; the other a sizeable IGA. The town has heaps of accomodation as one of its main industries is tourism. We’ve stayed in all sorts of places during our visits there from a large motel (the Bucketts Way Motel, cheap but basic) to small self contained loft apartments.

Places to eat of note are the Roundabout Tavern, with a great range of craft beers and interesting menu (OMG the ribs!!) and Roadies, a motorbiker favourite with delicious breakfasts.

The other notable thing about Gloucester is that it sits at the beginning of the Thunderbolt Way, another great motorbiking road.

So that’s Gloucester and here’s a picture of Ruby, we haven’t had one in this post so this is probably a good place for one, hanging out next to some crazy post boxes!

3 thoughts on “Places to Visit: Gloucester, It’s Tops

  1. Warren 18/11/2018 / 4:08 am

    Thanks, I wondered what that road was like. When I get back to Aus I shall explore the area more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gary Andrwe 19/11/2018 / 10:19 pm

      Hey Warren, I’m Gary, Joanne’s husband. We use your Best Motorcycle rides Australia Google map quite a lot, it’s very useful. Is there some way we could add rides to it as we discover them? A couple of examples from just this weekend are Turondale Road (an alternative route between Hill End and Bathurst) and Spring Ridge Road close to Gulgong, which broke up an otherwise boring ride to Dubbo. Both are sealed road with reasonable surfaces.


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