The Gold Coast hinterland has a heap of attractions for riders including winding roads, Red Rattlers and an Iron and Resin finish, writes local rider and MBW contributorTodd Parkes.
It’s a typical Gold Coast late winter stunner of a day as I lift the roller door and throw the leg over my simple but enjoyable steed. I’m out for a run over the Terranora/Tomewin area of the Gold Coast with valleys, vistas and curves to look forward to. The route I am taking is here on Google Maps. Either direction makes for a great ride, although clockwise will bring you up the mountain into the sun in the afternoon.
Through the Tallebudgera Valley, the bike warms up happily, traffic is light but fellow bikers know the good of the day ahead and are out too. Cyclists also are out but they are returning from their sunup jaunt and likely to be sipping some lattes soon. Tallebudgera Valley leads to Currumbin Valley and some delightful curves and gradients focus the rider and places them in the zone.
Tomewin Rd is treelined and it’s not uncommon to see wildlife so choose your lines carefully at twilight. Some fruit farms line the road and occasionally dirt, gravel or other substances may be on the road or around the next corner. For the most part it is 60km/h across there with occasional 80 zones. Enjoy the smells of the area as you drift upwards through the canopies and depending on the season there will be a range of scents to sample in the air.
Winter is often delightful with wood fires, fruit blossoming, cool air and temperate breezes. If you like organic fruit there are some great farms and stalls along this route and even a coffee shop and lookout awaits there at the iconic Freeman’s farm which is quite often busy.
Red Rattlers Gallery
Keep dancing your way over the hill and you will soon cross the border and commence your downhill winding trail. Once into the 80 zone again and at the bottom of the hill around a sweeping left hander will be the Red Rattlers Gallery on your right.
It is a café/gallery/souvenir shop that is delightfully spread across two train carriages with a deck in between. The entry and parking area is gravel, quite loose in fact at points. There is also a lovely parking lane near the trees around the back for the bikes.
Back on to the road that heads towards Murwillumbah, you won’t be on it for long before you see the sugar cane and a left hand turn that points towards Tumbulgum.
Lean your ride in that direction and you will pass through cane fields, tree lined rural roads and more twists and turns to focus your cornering skills on.
For the most part the condition of the roads is satisfactory but they do get trucks from the farms and quarries through there so smooth and racetrack-like they are not.
Past the quarry will be a tight raised right hander so be prepared and it will take you along the winding banks of the Tweed River.
Delight in the valley vista and the curves you find will take you under a bridge and around to the left that will take you over that same bridge to a right hander.
This will lead along the opposite river bank to the one you were on that is the 40km/h main street of Tumbulgum. On the left is a lovely blue and white cottage called House of Gabriel where the culinary delights await you.
I voted their steak sandwich the best I had ever sampled when I had it one year for my birthday. Down the street further is the local tavern and some other eating places so you are spoilt for choice as you decide between venues, river banks and picnics.
Heading back over the bridge and up through the hills of Terranora can lead you straight to the M1 or at the top of Terranora, take a left and head through the valley of Bilambil and up its hills, though a 50km/h stretch of several kilometres will bore you to tears.
Iron and Resin
Find the M1 and a short stretch sees you leave the M1 at the Stewart Rd Currumbin turnoff. A short way down on the left ends the journey at the Iron and Resin Garage.
This follows the theme of several other Iron and Resin garages in the world and its ambience is industrial/ workshop/ bike café mixed with live music on the weekends and merchandise and apparel for sale.
First Saturday of each month is bike, cars and coffee morning where some stylish rides and drives are regularly seen. Iron and Resin is a terrific place to start or finish a ride but it does close early in the afternoon.
From here it is up to you where you head. Enjoy the sights and the road.