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Crows Nest joins motorcycle friendly towns

SWM Silver Vase scrambler at Crows Nest motorcycle friendly town launch

Crows Nest in South East Queensland is the fourth Australian town to declare itself a motorcycle friendly town with more towns including Armidale soon expected to join their ranks.

And why not! Queensland Tourism estimates riders spend up to $160 a day in local communities on food, fuel, drinks, etc, compared with $40 spent by grey nomads in self-contained caravans.

The first Motorcycle Friendly Town was Bicheno in Tasmania, followed by Texas, SEQ, and last December Wauchope on the Oxley Highway joined the welcoming trend.

Springborg (second left) at the Texas Motorcycle Friendly Town launch tourism crows nest
Texas Motorcycle Friendly Town launch

There currently is no official process to declare a town motorcycle friendly as there is with becoming RV Friendly.

Instead, it just requires the will of the local people to welcome riders, put up some signs, add some motorcycle parking bays and produce tourist information brochures and maps of suitable regional routes. Anything else is a bonus.

And that’s what the people of Crows Nest have done.

I did the following interview with Channel Seven Toowoomba.

Crows Nest visit

We also visited the tidy town at the weekend to reacquaint ourselves and meet up with local riders Ron Anderson, Paul Pelling, Adrian Allen and Body Dunford who are members of the Crows Nest Motorcycle Friendly Town Committee.

They showed us around a couple of scenic routes before heading to the town.

As we stepped off our loud motorcycles in the centre of Crows Nest, an elderly man genuinely greeted us with, “Welcome to Crows Nest; where are you from?” How friendly is that!

Crows Nest joins motorcycle friendly towns
Welcoming committee at Ravensbourne lookout

Ron says the idea started when he was approached by Tourist and Progress Association member Grahame Rogers who recognised the tourist potential of riders visiting the town.

“We get up to 100 riders a day on the weekends coming through town,” says Ron who took the photos here.

“There are so many great riding roads around here. Many come up the range on the Hampton Rd past beautiful Ravensborne and when they get to the T intersection with the highway, they turn left towards Toowoomba.

“We want Main Roads to put in a sign encouraging riders to turn right to our motorcycle friendly town.”

Ron says local businesses are “on board and trying hard” and Toowoomba Regional Council is offering support for brochures and local signs.

They also have the support of their local State Member, Deb Frecklington, who grew up riding bikes on her farm.

I would really like to congratulate the Crows Nest and District Tourist and Progress Association for having the foresight and initiative to establish Crows Nest as a Motorcycle Friendly Town,” she says.

“It’s great not only for the township itself, but also for the surrounding districts with some terrific rides taking in countryside to the north and west including destinations like Kingaroy, the Bunya Mountains and Maidenwell areas.”

Where is Crows Nest?

Crows Nest is about 40km north of Toowoomba on the New England Highway.Crows Nest joins motorcycle friendly towns

“We are in the middle of five crossings of the Great Dividing Range which are all terrific motorcycle routes, but there are so many more,” says Boyd.

The group has already produced one brochure of recommended tarred routes which includes the nearby Bunya Mountains, Blackbutt Range and south to the Murphy’s Creek, Flagstone Creek and Heifer Creek.

It includes detailed route descriptions, links to on-line maps and downloadable GPS waypoints so you can’t get lost.

They are also hoping to produce a second brochure suggesting routes for adventure riders which will include The Bluff ascent from Toogoolawah, Seventeen Mile Rd from Ravensbourne to Helidon, Fifteen Mile Rd, and many others through regional forests.Crows Nest joins motorcycle friendly towns

Crows Nest sits on the top of the Great Dividing Range with breathtaking views of the Brisbane Valley at Ravensbourne, the Cressbrook and Perseverance dams, plenty of fresh-scented forests, picturesque waterfalls and beautiful sweeping views of the Darling Downs.

The town itself features several cafes, restaurants, antique shops, craft shops and a seven-day-a-week service stationCrows Nest joins motorcycle friendly towns

Ron says riders can base themselves in Crows Nest overnight and do several of the regional routes with contrasting rides.

“There’s the tar ranges of Cooyar, Blackbutt, Bunyas, Hampton and more for the sports bike riders, some great sweeping roads on the Downs and challenging dirt roads and forestry tracks for the adventure riders,” he says.

Places to stay

Ron points out that there is accommodation available to suit riders’ all budgets including $50 a night for a three-bed room at the Grand Old Crow which is registered a Motorcycle friendly Pub, a caravan park with camping facilities and cabins, a motel and even $200-a-night resort for couples.

Crows Nest joins motorcycle friendly towns
Perseverance Dam

He says motorcycle clubs can also arrange for the showgrounds to be opened for camping.

Boyd says they get riders from all over SEQ, but also interstate riders heading north on the New England Highway for winter and North Queensland riders heading south for summer.

Crows Nest joins motorcycle friendly towns
Beautiful range views

Official launch invitation

An official launch for the Motorcycle Friendly Town will be held on March 5 so circle that on your old-fashioned wall calendar or save the date on your smartphone calendar.

Ron and Boyd are helping to organise the event and plan to include a group ride around the area.

They have invited riders from far and wide to attend. More details will be published here closer to the event.

Crows Nest joins motorcycle friendly towns
Plenty of adventure riding as well

More Motorcycle Friendly Towns

Do you know of any other towns moving toward declaring themselves motorcycle friendly?

What are you doing to help them become motorcycle friendly?

Leave your comments below.

  1. ‘He says motorcycle clubs can also arrange for the showgrounds to be opened for camping’.
    …with that in mind perhaps the inaugural “Crows Nest Rally” could be held on March 5 utilizing the above mentioned showgrounds?
    Lions club / CWA catering = $ for the town & another Rally to add to the calendar, what’s not to like?

  2. Well done Crows Nest.
    More hypocrisy from Deb Frecklington MP who emerged during the Newman dictatorship. She was instrumental in supporting and introducing the VLAD legislation.
    That single piece of legislation caused much grief to so many small towns and businesses due to the lack of bikes touring around, now she thinks it is is acceptable for her to support bikers
    Every town should be motorbike friendly, they have no reason not to be.
    Each and every weekend you would see Charity rides or social rides happening, but that was virtually halted overnight late 2013 courtesy of the LNP.
    VLAD – cost Queensland hundreds of $millions without having any impact on crime – just caused innocent people, families and businesses undue and unwarranted grief.
    Must be an election coming soon for her to re-emerge.

  3. Yes. Good on ya Crows Nest. Bikers are always looking for places to ride and when a town goes out of its way to welcome them, it’s an easy choice to make. May you all enjoy the economic benefits we bring with us.

  4. Thanks Crows nest, a perfect excuse to go for a ride.
    Not that I need one but its good to have a destination when looking at a map.
    Its also good to see an actual human face (Mark)behind, to confirm you are not a robot.

  5. May be a long way but Bombala in Victoria has motorcycle welcome sign out, literally, and have great roads too.

  6. we here in South Australia have some motorcycle friendly cafes in the Adelaide hills but to my knowledge no motorcycle friendly towns there are some good towns in the hills that would be great , Lobethal, Birdwood, Strathablban etc . Most of the year the hills are ok to ride in all weather but the boys in blue constantly hide camouflaged speed cameras in the hills but sticking to the limits you can still have a nice enjoyable ride . I would like to see one or more of these towns declare themselves motorcycle friendly ..
    I am 70 year old sports bike rider and have been riding for about 50 years in many parts of Australia I can no longer do very long trips but love riding through the hills but feel like I am being looked down upon when I stop in some towns for refreshment. and or a rest .

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