Tasmania’s B&Bs are full of character

Tasmania’s B&Bs are full of character

One great thing about travelling in Tasmania is all of the unique accommodations you can find. In Norfork Bay, we stayed in a B&B built by convicts in 1838 as Australia’s first railway station and later used to ship convicts between Port Arthur and Hobart. In Queenstown we discovered another great lodging full of history and character. The Penghana B&B is a grand old mansion that was once the residence of the town’s mine manager. It’s strategically situated on top of a prominent hill where the manager could see everything happening throughout the town.
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An unexpected extra day in Queenstown

An unexpected extra day in Queenstown

Last night as I was leaving Queenstown’s Empire Hotel after a great dinner I ran right into a wall of thick smoke. For a place that usually gets 3-5m (10-15 feet) of rain each year (!) it sure has been dry and hot on Tasmania’s West Coast and fires are raging as a result. That throws a big wrench into my plans to continue cycling west. The smoke is so thick that it’s seriously affecting visibility on the roads and I’m getting a sore throat. This morning I decided it’s probably best to wait for the smoke to clear a bit.

That’s alright – I had no trouble finding lots of interesting excursions to keep me busy.
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Into the Wilderness

Into the Wilderness

Cycling Tasmania – Day 17
Derwent Bridge to Queenstown

99km, 1,825m elevation (including side-trips)

Today I cycled out of Derwent Bridge and into Wild Rivers National Park. It was superb. I sailed down long descents with sweeping turns and stopped countless times to take short walks into the wilderness. Bush fire smoke had blown in during the night, obscuring what I could see of distant peaks but leaving behind silhouettes that left the imagination free to exaggerate. It is disappointing to miss out on so much great scenery because of the smoke but I still marvelled at the grand mountainous country.
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When one door closes, another opens

When one door closes, another opens

Cycle Touring Tasmania – Day 16
Tarraleah to Lake St Clair

58km, 600m elevation

After two hard days it was nice to have a shorter cycle on relatively flat roads today. From Tarraleah, the highway takes a circuitous and hilly route to Derwent Bridge. Instead, I decided to cycle the C601, a gravel road that passes through pretty forest. That saved me 10 km and let me enjoy the scenery without much traffic.
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Up to the Tasmanian Highlands

Up to the Tasmanian Highlands

Cycling Tasmania – Day 15
Westerway to Tarraleah

70km, 1,560m elevation

This morning I awoke to dark skies. The weather forecast was calling for rain but I was surprised that it was actually quite warm and dry outside. It has rained a few times so far but never while I’ve been cycling. Tasmania is experiencing a drought so they really need the rain.
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