Burley Griffin Way, Yass to Griffith
Burley Griffin Way
The Burley Griffin way is a 290 km east-west corridor in the northern Riverina stretching from the Hume Hwy just west of Yass to Griffith. It’s less congested than the Sturt Hwy to the south and the Mid-Western Hwy to its north. Not brilliantly varied riding but well suited to cruisers who are interested in less congested good surfaced road dotted with some very interesting small pubs and towns.
If you’re doing it east to west, probably a good idea to fill at the Yass Service Centre where you can get all grades before heading 11kms down the Hume, past the turn for Cowra and then right onto the Burley Griffin Way.
Binalong’s the most easterly town on the BGW and it’s where Banjo Paterson’s family lived from 1869 and the poet went to primary school. The town’s on the north side of the BG with a road in on both sides so you don’t need to backtrack.
The Binalong Pub is down on Fitzroy St next to the old and crumbling and closed Old Patersons Pub. Some great old photos on the walls.
The pub’s not open on Sundays but back on the BGW, the Swan Inn, housed in a beautiful 1847 building is open for light meals and good wine on Sundays only.
Binalong Hotel: T: 02 6227 4246
The Swan Inn: T 02 6227 4531 (Yvette and Kerry)
Galong’s a couple of kms to the north of the BGW and is a sad story. The Royal Hotel here is a magnificent building and once had the most amazing beer garden I’ve ever experienced. Unfortunately it’s closed and doesn’t look like opening any time soon. A bad loss. Now the major attraction is the Catholic Retreat on Kalangan Rd north of the town.
Harden’s town centre is to the north of the BGW. The IGA’ is at 45 Neill St and is open from 8.00 all days ‘cept Sunday when they sleep in for an extra hour. Best thing for me here is the fantastic and cheap council swimming pool at the eastern end of town.
Bad news: The Commercial Hotel is goone! Good news: The Light Horse has replaced it. This same classic pub is in the hands of new owners intent on providing a great stop and paying homage to local history, especially the role of the local town in the formation of the 1st Light Horse Regiment in the Boer War. I’ve stayed here and, being on the main drag, it’s as bit noisy at night for me but it’s well worth a stop. The Caltex on the south side of the road in the middle of town sells 91 and 98.
A top pub run by a great bloke in Groover. He had a ‘zero’ birthday last year and closed the pub for six days so everyone could piss off fishing with him! That kinda guy, that kinda pub. No meals and nothing else in town ‘cept the ghosts in the Emporium and other stately old joints on the hill. You can free camp across the pub or stay in the cottage with its air con and swimming pool. Lots of reno’s going on upstairs so it’s only going to get better. The locals are beyond friendly. Great place to overnight and chat!
Wallendbeen Hotel T: 02 6943 2512
Not many sadder things than watching a town die. The pub finally closed its doors for the last time just before Christmas and with it, the struggling café back on the BGW. There’s just a post office open for a couple of hours each morning now, and the silent silos across the road from the line of closed shops. Your visits and your travels will help other towns becoming ghosts. Ride On!
Not much at Springdale anymore but you won’t have any issues if you need to camp around the recreation reserve on the north side of the road in the middle of town.
The IGA is on the corner of Victoria and Baker Streets, closed on Sundays but open from 8.00am the rest. I really enjoy the people and the food at Zest Café in the guts of town near the crossing. There’s designated bike parking right across in from of Target. Last time I dropped in the manager of a nearby store figured she’d park there so just feel free to park-in any cars that are in the spot. The Caltex at the north end of town on Hoskins St sells 91 and 95. A couple of pubs also on Hoskins, but they are pretty unappealing bog standard rural hub town hotels.
Let’s at least give credit to the council for providing bike parking. However, the woman who parked her car in the bike zone said everyone did it and the council never takes any action against them. Temora is a town that, unless you absolutely must stop there, it’s probably better to avoid.
Now this is a beautiful old town that oozes the love and care of the residents. The centre strip is a grove of pepper trees and pretty much every store has old memorabilia in the windows. There’s a small general store and a chemist and a whole pile of old petrol bowsers. It’s like a drive in museum!
The splendid old pub opens at 4.00pm on Mondays and Tuesdays and at noon the others and it does dinners Wed through to Sunday. It has 10 twin rooms each of which will set you back 60 bucks a night with no discount for singles. There’s
camping up behind the beautifully maintained aussie rules/cricket oval. (12 bucks for powered and 6 for unpowered.) Pick up the keys from the hardware store in town. There’s limited shade but good showers are part of the deal.
Ariah Park Hotel T: 02 6974 1068
Just the pub and the silos. The pub’s run by Selina and Adam (ex Darlington Point) and they do lunch and dinner seven days. Rooms are just 40 bucks a pop but the price is flexible for riders, the more you drink the less you’ll be hit for the bed! There’s free camping across the road with a donation box for the showers and toilets. If you enjoy putting the slipper in, there’s a ‘kick the ball over the silos’ comp each October and it sounds a real hoot. Cheapest beer on the road! This is an off the track pub that really does have the welcome mat out for riders. It would be ideal stopping place for a large group ride.
Mirrool is in the Bland Shire where a few council staff are really trying to encourage riders to visit. The free camping is one of the Council’s initiatives. Very deserving of support.
Royal Hotel, Mirrool T: 02 6974 1237
This is just a beautiful small country pub a delightful vine covered ground floor verandah. It’s run by Colin and costs just 35 bucks a night for a single or 45 for a twin. It’s closed on Mondays but opens at 3.00 Tues through Friday and from noon on the weekends. Meals of course all days ‘cept Mondays but if you’re coming through and need a Monday bed, call Colin on 0427 871 016 and he’ll be happy to sort you out. There’s parking round the back.
The Palace up the end of Ariah St has finally closed up and now it’s just the London Hotel near the rail crossing. They only have pretty characterless motel rooms. You can get a good feed at Ariah 62 Café run for the moment by Jo and her husband Chris . We travellers are giving them itchy feet so they’re looking at selling and hitting the road. The IGA’s on the same street and is closed Sundays and Saturday arvos. The Mobil near the rail crossing sells only 91.
The Council has provided free overnights with unlimited power for just 2 bucks to caravaners but riders are forbidden to stay. Many riders might, with a fair bit of justification, feel that other more supportive towns might deserve their money just a bit more.
The Commercial Hotel is struggling but it’s a good place for a mid-ride break. They’ve just joined the ‘Big Thing’ group of towns. In addition to the Big Banana, Big Prawn, Big Mango, Big Bull, we now have the Big Racquet, a tribute to local legend Evonne Goolagong.
Just love the huge grass park in the centre of town a bit off the highway. Most of the shops on the main street are shut but the pub’s still hanging in there. Really friendly folks inside and ask to see the nudes out back: A great painting of (supposedly) local women butt naked around a pool. Done by a local eccentric it’s just one of what the barman told me are a ‘massive’ collection of, ‘muriels’ that the guy painted. None of ‘em terrible muriels!
Yenda Hotel T: 02 6968 1014
The end of this particular line with all you’re going to want and need but most accommodation is bog standard and characterless. Better to stay out at Yenda or down at the Rice Bowl Hotel at Whitton. There’s two IGA’s on Yambil just east of Jondaryan Ave. The Caltex at the east end of town sells 1ll grades of fuel.
Griffith Motorcycle Centre’s on the corner of Wakaden St and Burrell Place and will be able to fix up any issues you have with your ride. T: 02 6962 4677