Tasmania Cycle Tour – Day 11 – Tee Tree to MONA
40km, 530m elevation
I felt some mixed emotions when I woke up this morning, knowing that it was time to start cycling into Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart. The dark skies and light rain seemed to reflect how I felt. I’ve had such a wonderful time exploring this history-filled part of the island that I’m sad to leave it behind.
I slowly worked my way up the steep Grasstree Hill Road then sailed down the other side toward Hobart. After a long climb, it felt wonderful to simply sit back and let gravity do all the work, leaning into the turns and feeling the wind rush by. The part of the road I was most worried about today was crossing the long Bowen Bridge into Hobart. Traffic was quite heavy approaching the bridge and I stopped frequently to let cars go by. I definitely didn’t enjoy this bit of cycling. Once I got to the bridge, though, things got much better. Most vehicles turned off toward Launceston (Tasmania’s second largest city in the north of the island) and I had the bridge almost to myself.
Once I was across the bridge I breathed a sigh of relief. I found the Intercity Cycleway and enjoyed the traffic-free ride all the way to MONA. MONA is Hobart’s famous Museum of Old and New Art and it’s sure to engage and challenge anyone who visits. There’s everything from ancient Egyptian sarcophagi to modern works of art that boggle the mind (like blocks of coal stuffed into large coffee sacks – that’s art?). My favourite “work of art” was the “digestion machine”. It’s a large industrial apparatus that essentially replicates human digestion. It takes in food then adds the same chemicals found in our digestive tracts, processes the food in a series of glass receptacles, then eventually spits out a pile of waste at the end. Basically, it’s a machine that produces poop. The best part is that the artist who designed it offers the end-product for sale at each art installation and every time it sells out! I don’t even know what to say about that.
After visiting MONA, we met up with Hannah. We met Hannah four years ago when she was travelling in Canada and wanted to experience a real northern winter. We took her snowshoeing in the Rockies and stayed in one of my favourite wilderness hostels. Now that I’ve finally made it to Australia, Hannah repaid the favour. We went up Mount Wellington, towering over Hobart, and found our way to a “secret” hut hidden in the forest.
Hannah got a nice warm fire going and cooked up a delicious dinner. We stayed up way later than we realized, talking and sipping wine, tucked into the cozy little stone hut.
We’ve stayed in some pretty nice places in Tasmania, but this is by far my favourite.
If you’re planning your own cycling trip in Tasmania, you can see today’s track and download the gpx from strava.
Up next, I spend some time with new friends in Hobart.