In December 2011 my partner and I set out on an adventure, to cycle tour around Tasmania from Hobart to Hobart the long way. Before setting out I had never really ridden on overnight cycle tours and you’d think that this should have led to some trepidation, but no, this was to be our big adventure and that is exactly how we treated it. Plus Tasmania is an island with lots of people living on it and plenty of places to get food and water so how hard could it be?
Before reading too much you might like to have a look at the map of where we rode, and the vertical profile showing some of the hills we encountered on the way. The map can be reached by clicking on the link below.
Our itinerary was as follows:
Day 1: Hobart Airport to Cape Bernier Nature Reserve
Day 2: Swansea
Day 3: Swanwick (Coles Bay)
Day 4: Rest Day at Freycinet National park
Day 5: Scamander
Day 6: Binalong Bay and Cosy Corner Campsite (The Gardens)
Day 7: Weldborough Pub – Really worth staying at!
Day 8: Scottsdale
Day 9: Launceston
Day 10: Rest Day in Launceston and walking in Cataract Gorge
Day 11: Mole Creek
Day 12: Side Trip to Mole Creek Caves then Gowrie park
Day 14: Cradle Mountain – otherwise known as UP!
Day 15: Rest Day exploring Cradle Mountain National Park
Day 16: Roseberry
Day 17: Strahan
Day 18: Rest Day and river cruise on the Franklin
Day 19: Collingwood River via Queenstown
Day 20: Lake St Clair
Day 21: Rest Day: Exploring the national park and Mt Rufus – the day of snakes!
Day 22: Lake Meadowbank via the 14 mile road
Day 23: Mt Field
Day 24: Rest Day at Mt Field with riding and coffee drinking
Day 25: Hobart
Cycling Tasmania is an amazing way to see what is an amazing island. Each day we rose at a positively respectable time and set out on our bikes not really knowing what we would encounter before the campsite we had selected for that night. Despite this lack of planning we were never wanting for interesting landmarks to break up the ride as everywhere you go there are beaches, valleys, mountains, cafes, museums, creeks, rivers (proper ones) and more cafes.
Most of the time it was the small things which made out trip as enjoyable as it was. On one occasion as we rolled down cruised across the north of Tasmania we came across a sign for a Chinese mining exhibit of to the left. Having time to spare, and inclination to explore we followed the signs and found ourselves in the front year of a strangers following signs to the exhibit. At the top of the hill we found an excellent little display and walk that explored the cuttings and water works created by miners prospecting for tin and gold in the area.
In terms of notes we made that everyone cycling around Tasmania should know there are very few and are as follows.
1) The ferry between Swansea and Coles Bay doesn’t seem to run any more. We were quite disappointed when we found out we’d have to ride an extra 30km around the bay.
2) The Weldborough pub is excellent with hot showers and nice camping. Even better the pub has a great range of local beer and soft drinks which are worth stopping for.
3) The steepest hill we found was riding from Moles Creek towards Paradise on the Union Bridge Road.
4) Lake St Clair to Lake Meadowbank is a really long way (96km) but the 14mile road bypass of Tarraleah makes the ride manageable. Also there isn’t any water at the Lake Meadowbank campsites any more.
To see our photos go to our Tasmania Cycling Adventures photo album.