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.

This is part of a month-long cycle tour around Tasmania. If you missed the start of this journey, here’s how it all got started.

View from Duffy's Country in Westerway
View from Duffy’s Country in Westerway

Before heading off for the day, we walked the short track to Russell Falls. What a lovely place! At first you see just the bottom of the falls and that’s already quite nice. As you round a corner, suddenly you see there’s a second level – twice as tall and twice as nice!

Russell Falls
Russell Falls

The road leading out of Westerway is very quiet. Even though it’s peak season, traffic was quite light. Yesterday I saw lots of fruit farms along the road as well as large hop plantations. Today most of the agriculture gave way to sheep pasture then eventually forest, then highlands.

Climbing into the Highlands
Climbing into the Highlands
An old church in the town of Ouse
An old church in the town of Ouse

I walked across the Scottish Highlands last year and it’s interesting to see both how similar and how different the Tasmanian Highlands are. It’s certainly much, much drier here but they both have a remote and barren yet inviting feel to them.

Central Tasmania Highlands
Central Tasmania Highlands

The hills are getting bigger and longer as I approach the west coast. The last two days have had more elevation than any on the east coast. After Ouse, the road climbs up a really long hill. It’s never overly steep but I had to push myself to go any faster than a walking pace. As soon as I thought I’d gotten to the top and started downhill, I’d see another big rise ahead. Even though the climbing is tough, I really enjoyed feeling like I was getting deeper into nature. The forest is quite beautiful and surprisingly lush given how dry the weather is. I sure was happy to get to the top, though!

When you do get to the top and you cycle into Tarraleah, you realize how far you’ve climbed. A hydroelectric project sends water plummeting down hundreds of meters to a power station in the valley. You think to yourself, yep, I cycled up that!

Tarraleah Power Station
Tarraleah Power Station

Up next, I cycle to the start of Australia’s most famous walking track.

Map of Day 1-15 cycling in Tasmania. Alternating days are coloured blue and red
Map of Day 1-15 cycling in Tasmania. Alternating days are coloured blue and red

If you’re planning your own cycling trip in Tasmania, you can see today’s track and download the gpx from strava.

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4 thoughts on “Up to the Tasmanian Highlands

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