Cycling Kangaroo - TAS Tour: Tasmania


February 9th - 26th, 2001

Tassie Tour

In February Cathy, Dilys, Rick and I went to Tassie for a bike ride. This was before I carried my email with me, so no trip reports! It is also before any of us had digital cameras, so scanned photos. Here however is the the pre-trip details...

The full route - click to open in a new window

Day 1: Hobart Airport to Richmond (~18 km)

Exit airport & head towards A3 (~1.5km). Turn left (towards Hobart) on A3. After ~3.5km, turn right up B31 to Richmond (13km). The caravan park turn-off is on the left heading into town (we stayed at Richmond Cabin & Tourist Park). Richmond Bridge is on the other side of town on the way to Sorrell.

Day 2: Richmond to Eaglehawk Neck (61 km)

From Richmond take the C351 to the A3 and head south to Sorell (14km). From Sorell, take the A9 (busy!) to Forcett (21km) and then another 4km to the C349 turnoff south. Follow road south to coast (the beach is a good spot for lunch) and then along C334 (Fulham Rd) to Dunalley (39.5km – last 10km good gravel). From Dunalley, rejoin the A9 and follow to Eaglehawk Neck (61.5km). We stayed at the Backpackers here.(See pictures)

Day 3: Eaglehawk Neck to Dunalley (25 km)

Sightseeing day: There are great coastal walks and natural features, such as the Tasman Arch, Waterfall Bay, Blowhole, Tessellated Pavement etc. Follow A9 back to Dunalley (22km). We stayed at Potters Croft B & B. Very nice.(See pictures)

Day 4: Dunalley to Orford (48 km, including 29km unsealed)

The Wielangta Road is a well-maintained dirt road through Wielangta State Forest and although a bit slow (and corrugated in patches) is scenic and avoids the most dangerous section of the A3. The Wielangta Road passes through the Sandspit Forest Reserve, which is set in a rare patch of relict rainforest set amidst the dry tall forest. North of the Sandspit Forest Reserve, take the C320 (which is mostly sealed) to see some lovely coastal scenery all the way to Orford. From Dunalley, take C337 up the coast to intersection with Marion Bay Rd (approx 8km from Dunalley). Turn left onto Marion Bay Rd. Follow for 250m. Turn left to Bream Creek (~3km & ~100m elevation). From there head toward Benders Hill (~4km undulating - ~120m). Head east for 1.5km (140m) & turn right (North) along Burdens Razorback towards high point on Middle Peak (~7km undulating, peaking at 450m). ~2-3km downhill to 200m, then back up to 300m at Blue Gum Spur (1km). Follow Wielangta Rd essentially downhill towards Ringrove(8km). Basically flat to Rheban near the coast (3km). Undulating between 0m & 100m to Orford (11km). We stayed in a self-contained unit here. (See pictures)

Day 5: Orford to Maria Island - Triabunna (11km)

Cycle north along the A3 and take the turnoff to Louisville (~5km). Catch the Eastcoaster Express ferry (6257-1589) with your bike to Maria Island. Maria Island is steeped in convict history and teeming with emus, wallabies and Cape Barren Geese. It is a national park and has no cars, electricity or shops. Lots of good short walks. The Painted Cliffs are excellent.(See pictures) Once back at Louisville, continue along the A3 to Triabunna (~6km). We stayed at the Triabunna Caravan Park.

Day 6: Triabunna to Swansea (50 km)

Go along the A3 through undulating farmland to Little Swanport (29 km) (no shops or drinking water), where you can stop for lunch at the Little Swanport River Bridge (pit toilet). The road then hugs the coast with spectacular views most of the way to Swansea. Swansea Kenmore Cabin & Tourist Park this night.(See pictures)

Day 7: Swansea to Coles Bay (20 km)

Head back north along the A3 about 4 km and turn right onto the Nine Mile Beach Road. Kirk (03) 6257 0239 will ferry cyclists across the narrow Swan River in his dinghy (2 bikes per trip) for $10/head (in 2001). You must phone Kirk to book the ferry in advance, and it is best to phone on the day to confirm that he's going to be there. The trip across cuts out a huge chunk of road, and is fun! Once you get deposited on the other side, cycle south along the C302 the few kilometres to Coles Bay. Another kilometre brings you to the gates of Freycinet National Park. Freycinet National Park has some of the most stunning coastal scenery in Tasmania, friendly wallabies and a great 2 hours return 9 km walk to beautiful Wineglass Bay. I'd also recommend the Twilight Paddle, that was $45/head in 2001, and run by Freycinet Adventures: 6257-0500. Iluka Holiday Centre this time. (See pictures)

Day 8: Coles Bay to Bicheno (38 km)

Cycle north along the C302 to the A3 (27km). Continue along the A3 to Bicheno. They've got great orange rocks here. Once in town, check out Lookout Rock and the Blowhole, and go for a wander along the Foreshore Footway. We stayed at Bicheno Caravan Park - unless they've upgraded, I'd have to say "only if you're desperate!" (See pictures)

Day 9: Bicheno to Scamander (58 km)

This is a really pretty stretch, however we had a roaring headwind the whole way! The route along the A3 hugs the coast and there are deserted beaches all the way to St Helens. Start early in the morning and carry a cut lunch and plenty of water so you can stop and relax along the way. Overnight at Scamander Kookaburra Caravan Park. (See pictures)

Day 10: Scamander to St Columbia Falls Hotel (47km)

St Helens (20km) is a popular resort/fishing town with magnificent coastal scenery and unspoilt beaches. Follow A3 to C428 turnoff, and on to Pyengana (24km). Pyengana means “the meeting of two rivers” and is in a green, lush valley. Pyengana Dairy Company make really excellent cheese and you can watch cheese being made & taste the cheeses (free). It's definitely worth a visit. The St Columbia Falls Hotel is 3km further along the road. St Columbia Falls is 6km past hotel. At 90m high, it is the second highest in the state. The falls are most impressive from the base, an easy 10 minute walk from the car park. We stayed at the pub of course! (See pictures)

Day 11: St Columbia Falls Hotel to Ringarooma (25km including 20km dirt road)

Follow C428 to Ralph's Falls (highest in the state) then on to Ringarooma. None of the locals could believe we were going to ride this road, as they wouldn't dream of taking their cars on it. Unless you're on a road bike however, it's not too bad. The road is unsealed, but very scenic. It was rough, and there was a bit of pushing, but it was worth it, and the down at end is excellent (and the beer at the pub at Ringarooma - where we stayed - went down really well...) (See pictures)

Day 12: Ringarooma to Turner's Marsh (75 km)

From Ringarooma go to Ledgerwood, then head to A3 and follow to Scottsdale (25km). At Nabowla, 21km west of Scottsdale is the Bridestowe Lavender Farm (6352-8182), the biggest oil-producing lavender farm in the southern hemisphere. Continue along the B81 to Lilydale (66km). Stop off at Clover Hill winery (500m from road) to sample their excellent champagne - a glass under their tree is a nice break. A bit further on there is a reserve with toilets, picnic shelters, tables and drinking water. Cycle 2 km along the B81 to Lilydale and then head to Turner's Marsh where we stayed at the B & B “Nirvana” (good). (See pictures)

Day 13: Turner's Marsh to Launceston (24km)

Head down B83 towards Launceston. Turn right at B81 (10km) and head to Rocherlea (6km). Join A8 into Launceston (8km). (See pictures)