Day 1 – Sandy to Nambucca  


1. Final prepping saw us finally get away about 11am.

(This app is a bit clunky, so I’m not sure how my patience is going to go!)
The grand plan is to avoid the highway as much as possible, but for the first stretch familiar territory, we just wanted to get going, and get some miles under our belts, so we hit the highway all the way into Coffs and made a beeline for the city centre and lunch at a cafe. Felt slow and sluggish with all the gear, but we still averaged 27. Faster than I do on my own road bike!

As we were leaving we ran into one of our tandem ‘brethren’ (what’s the female version of brethren?) , who despite having done a couple of tandem tours in Europe, professed to be envious of our trip. Lol. Given she broke her leg a couple of weeks ago, I suppose she has grounds for feeling a bit wistful, but she covered that up with much effusiveness- and so we set off again down Park Avenue with our very own personal cheer squad.

We eschewed the off-highway route again south of Lyons Rd. We’ve ridden Pine Creek Way numerous times, so the relative flatness of the highway (with wide shoulders) was more appealing and felt like it would be faster. Still in local territory, and just wanted to make up for the late start. Pretty glad to leave it, though, at the Repton exit… if you ever ride this way you’ll appreciate the low traffic option despite the ups and downs.

Was pretty damn happy to stop at Urunga.. the tank was drained from that 30k leg. Nothing scenic about a service station stop…but you never know who you’ll end up chatting to. An oldish dude walking by stopped to ask us where we were heading. He turned out to be in DUBBUG (local ‘Dorrigo Urunga Bellingen Bicycle User Group) who are known locally within the cycling community for their regular long rides. Had a good chat.

Only about 20k to go and all on the newly bypassed old highway through Urunga nearly all the way to Nambucca (Ginnigay Way (sp?)) and it helped psychologically to have already decided to break at Valla Beach only 10k on. Ashamed to say we’ve never been into Valla before. We probably should have gone all the way down to the beach, but we were just glad to find a Cafe a few hundred metres down the road. (They said they were starting to see a lot more cyclists since the bypass opened)

Another 10k and we made it to the motel in Nambucca. Yeeha. One day down.


Reasonable ground floor unit in the motel. We should have made time to wander down to the river via the stairs just ‘over there’… but we’d really had it by then.


We made it in time to see second half of Swans/Giants qualifying final, but that was a sad result. 😦

We both dipped the legs in the pool for some cold water hydrotherapy.. and we wandered back up the hill into the main drag for dinner.

There is the most awesome ceramic mosaic outside the police station.. took photos with the flash, so I’ll leave you with a few of them. No way are we riding back up the hill that way in the morning.. and we need to get on the road reasonably early in the morning.. one of our longest days (100k) to get to Crescent Head (whose fool idea was that?)

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