A variation on the St Helena - Federal - Clunes ride with a bit of extra climbing. Head north out of Ballina along Tamarind Drive and Hinterland Way past the former Macadamia Castle, now Byron Bay Wildlife Sancrtuary, and Bangalow to the St Helena Lookout. Turn left here onto Coolamon Scenic Drive and follow this towards Federal and Mullumbimby. At the crest at Coorabell, stay on Coolamon Scenic Drive as it does a sharp right hand turn and continues uphill quite steeply for a short distance past a lookout full of free campers with their shovels. This will take you towards Mullumbimby.
The road continues along the ridge with some great views for about 5km. At about kilometre 41 there is a left turn onto Goonengerry Rd at the sign for the Crystal Castle. Turn here and follow the road down to the creek crossing and then up the other side to Goonengerry. This a quite a long climb, but when you get to the top the view is great and that is the highest point of the day at about 250m.
Head down from here through Goonengerry and out the other side towards Federal keeping an eye out for Repentance Creek Rd on the right at around kilometre 49. Turn here and follow Repentance Creek Rd down to the creek of the same name and back up the hill to Rosebank where it becomes Rosebank Rd. Continue along Rosebank Rd to the bottom of the hill and a sharp left turn takes you into Corndale Rd.
At around the 67 kilometre mark turn left into James Gibson Rd and follow that to the Lismore-Bangalow Rd and turn right into Clunes, The shop at Clunes is open 7 days, Continue through Clunes and turn left into Johnston Rd down to Eltham and then turn left along Eltham Rd back to Ballina.
PLEASE NOTE: The road between Goonengerry and Federal is temporarily closed due to a landslide. Expected reopening in October 2023. There is a detour in place at Kings Road, which will take you to Whian Rd. Turn left to head back towards Eureka and Federal. At Eureka Rd a right turn will take you down to Bangalow Rd and turn right here for Clunes and then Eltham and back to Ballina.
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