Walcha hosted a posse of journalists riding top of the range BMW motorcycles this week as part of the launch for a new map detailing the best motorbike touring routes in New England.
Member for the Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall officially launched the dedicated motorcycle touring map as part of a smart partnership between the six local councils of New England High Country, Hema Maps and BMW Motorrad at NSW Parliament on Wednesday, November 14.
Walcha mayor Eric Noakes and councillor Jen Kealey attended the official launch in Sydney, then Mr Noakes was back in Walcha to greet the touring group when they arrived on Thursday evening after their ride up the Oxley Highway from Port Macquarie on day one of a five-day tour.
This morning the group headed off to Inverell via Uralla on Thunderbolts Way and after overnighting there, and stopping for lunch in Tenterfield on Saturday, they will continue on to Glen Innes where they will stay the night before riding to Armidale on Sunday. On Monday morning they will depart back to the coast along the Waterfall Way.
The launch of the map is at the centre of New England high Country’s ‘My Favourite Corner’ campaign designed to entice riders to the region that boasts some of the best rides in Australia across Walcha, Uralla, Inverell, Glen Innes, Tenterfield and Armidale.
The map caters for a wide variety of riders and features the region’s top eight rides, covering Thunderbolts Way, Waterfall Way, Old Glen Innes Road, Gwydir Highway, Oxley Highway, Tourist Drive 19, Bruxner Highway and Mount Mackenzie Drive.
"I'm excited to have this opportunity to promote a region that I love through a pastime that I'm passionate about," said Armidale Regional Council mayor Simon Murray.
This is a perfect way to showcase New England High CountryARC mayor Simon Murray
"This is a perfect way to showcase New England High Country.
“As someone who rides an enduro bike, I know first-hand that this is a world-class region when it comes to riding. It's a Mecca for motorcyclists in Australia. From the winding roads to the plethora of dirt tracks cutting through incredible scenery, we have it all.
"And following a day on the bike nothing beats the region's local hospitality to enjoy locally-grown produce and a glass of something locally brewed, distilled or fermented.
"Working with two class-leading companies in Hema Maps and BMW Motorrad, we've achieved something special."
The chief executive officer of Hema Maps, Rob Gallagher, said his company was proud to have worked with the six local government areas, BMW Motorrad and New England High Country.
"The Hema New England High Country motorcycle map we have produced is just one of a number of marketing initiatives we have developed in collaboration with the region to help drive the visitor economy,” he said.
“We are excited to see more amazing content being produced in the coming days as the touring group of riders head visit the region."
To celebrate the launch of the New England High Country map, BMW Motorrad has chosen the region as the host of the 25th anniversary of the popular annual BMW Safari touring programme in 2019.
Next April the ride will start in Windsor, New South Wales, before trekking through the New England High Country.
This is an incredibly exciting partnership for usBMW Motorrad general manager Andreas Lundgren
"This is an incredibly exciting partnership for us," said BMW Motorrad general manager Andreas Lundgren.
"Not only have we helped create an Australian-first with the New England High Country map, but we are also able to properly delve into the region with the 2019 BMW Safari which is a wonderful opportunity for us and our customers.
"We're so proud to make the region more accessible to more riders through the map, and we can't wait to welcome our customers to the beautiful roads and tracks during the safari next year."
The six councils involved in the New England High Country tourism cooperative are Armidale Regional Council, Uralla Shire Council, Walcha Council, Glen Innes Severn Council, Inverell Shire Council and Tenterfield Shire Council.-