Cycling Tasmania Day 7 – Murdunna to Port Arthur
It’s my 7th day of cycling in Tasmania and I’ve reached the end of the Tasman Peninsula. Only a week into the trip and I feel like I’ve already hit a milestone. This is the furthest southeast that you can go in Tasmania. The next stop is Antarctica.
The scenery just keeps getting better and better. When I started out in St Helens, the open ocean washed up against long sandy beaches. Here, it crashes violently into huge sea cliffs and impassable headlands, sending spray high into the air. Yet is also calmly flows into peaceful bays and sounds that offer protection from the big waves and swells. I love that you have these two very different yet equally beautiful environments so near each other.
As I pedaled down into the Tasman Peninsula many people seemed really impressed that I chose to cycle here but also warned me of the bad traffic. It is tough cycling. The road is very undulating. As soon as I got to the top of one big hill, I’d fly down the other side then have to start climbing again. Being this close to Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, there can be a lot of cars but I found that the road is very good and that by starting early or cycling in the evening, you can avoid most of it.
Traffic aside, some of the best scenery I’ve seen in Tasmania is right here. Tasmans Arch and the Blowhole are caves worn deeper by the endless battering of the sea whose roofs have collapsed, leaving behind vast holes in the earth. With each swell of the sea, waves rush in, often blasting spray into the sky. At the “Tessellated Pavement” you can see perfectly rectangular stone blocks cut by salt crystals over thousands of years.
There are some rather quirky sites as well. In Dootown, everyone names their houses and they invariably incorporate the word “Doo” in some amusing way.
Even the food truck, Doo-Lischus, has gotten in on the play on words. Everyone told us we had to eat here and I’m glad we did. Yes, the fish & chips is delicious.
After another great day of cycling, I was excited to visit the much-recommended Port Arthur Lavender Restaurant. It’s not only a restaurant but also a lavender farm and they have some very interesting creations. Lavender-infused champagne, oysters with lavender and pistachios, banana pudding with lavender cream… So many delicious things to try!
Tomorrow I’m going to take a day off cycling to visit the World Heritage Site Port Arthur. A day of history is just what I need right now.
If you’re planning your own cycling trip in Tasmania, you can see today’s track and download the gpx from strava.