Bicheno to Freycinet National Park
51km, 330m elevation
My first two days of cycling in Tasmania were hot and sunny. The sun is particularly intense this far south. When I woke up today, though, it was drizzling so I lazed around and got a leisurely start to the day. It’s actually nice to have some cooler weather and a bit of cloud for a change. As I heading south of Bicheno, I passed by lots of farmland and sheep pasture. It’s quite dry but also scenic and enjoyable riding.
After leaving the shore, the road leading into Freycinet National Park isn’t really that interesting. About the best part of the ride was getting stuck behind a truck repainting the lines on the road and getting to talk with road workers as they drove next to me. They warned me that cyclist and motorcycles have slipped on the fresh wet paint.
About half way to touristy Coles Bay, there’s a dirt road that leads to Friendly Beaches. There is a fantastic lookout with panoramic views over the incredibly long beach. I stopped and relaxed while enjoying the views and imagining what must lie beyond the mountains in the distance.
Toward Freycinet National Park, the road is much more fun and very pretty. The traffic does get a bit heavier as this is one of the most visited parts of Tasmania but it’s not that bad, as you can see in the photo below.
There are some really interesting rock formations here. They look like stacks of boulders piled up onto each other to form little mountains. The climber in me really wished I had my climbing gear.
As soon as I got to the parking lot in Freycinet, I saw what you often see in national parks – people getting a little too close to a wild animal. In this case, though, I can’t really blame them. This wallaby walked right into a crowd of people, not seeming at all afraid. At least no one was feeding it.
Wineglass Bay must be one of the most photographed places in all of Tasmania. It’s stunning and the short walk is well worth it. No one is really sure why it’s called Wineglass Bay. A few theories are that it’s shaped very much like a wine glass, or that the water is so clear it could be the crystal of a wine glass, or that the colour of the water was once so stained with blood of slaughtered whales that it looked like wine. A rather sad thought in such a beautiful place.
Lots of people were carrying rental camping gear down to the beach where there are two backcountry campgrounds. I’m a little envious. I still love wilderness backpacking more than cycling but I’m learning to like it more every day. The funny thing is that they were just carrying each piece of gear – sleeping bags, camping mats, tents – in their hands. No backpacks or anything.
After enjoying a great day of cycling and hiking I decided to spoil myself with a pizza. Tombolo makes a unique “Tasman Pizza” – locally caught fish, anchovies, capers, fennel, rocket, and preserved lemon – yum!
Up next, I stumble upon Lavender Ice Cream on Day 4 of cycling Tasmania.
If you’re planning your own cycling trip in Tasmania, you can see today’s track and download the gpx from strava.