Harrietville to Hotham:
This is a fantastic stretch of windy road with beautiful views all the way. Part of the Great Alpine Road, the road is of high quality and is well maintained. A yellow line on the left of each lane and recent widening of the very tight corners has improved the road even further. Being a little narrow in places and with dense forest on one side and mountain on the other can mean visibility is compromised through some corners. As on any road, cars and 4WDs also seem to enjoy this stretch too and make for a hazard to be especially careful of. Fog is another hazard, at any time of the day, any time of the year.
Alpine bitumen tends to sweat in extreme temperatures, so if its 38 degrees in Bright, the very tight section in the middle of the run will likely be wet with kero or whatever sweats out of the bitumen. The surface is slippery. A lesser problem is the bitumen going soft and moving around under the weight of the bikes, typically giving the appearance of leaving black lines. You may be telling your mates they are leaving blackies but really it is just a compression line.
Now that the section between Mt Hotham and Omeo has been sealed the road is even more attractive to motorcyclists, offering another route back to Melbourne, even if it is considerably longer than via the Hume. Mt Hotham is high (by Australian standards) and hence cold, usually 10 degrees colder than Harrietville. It is often windy and residual snowdrifts can often be seen late spring and early summer.
This is a specialist road with some riders unloading their bikes from the back of the van at Harrietville, nipping over Hotham and Omeo to Bruthen and then returning the same way. Or, looping around to Cann River, Bombala, Jindabyne, Corryong and back to Harrietville. Sensational rides. Buggers to keep up with if you run into them. Beware the rider traveling light!
Forty kilometres of tight downhill work is a lot harder than 40 km of tight uphill work. If you are pushing on heading down, your arms will be aching by the end of it. Harrietville has petrol and food. Fantastic views, fantastic road and fantastic scenery. Making a long weekend of visiting the highlands of Victoria should be on every motorcyclist's to do list!!!