Cycling Tasmania – Day 20
Queenstown to Strahan
53km, 610m elevation
I was very happy this morning to see that it had rained more overnight and the air was beautifully clear. No sign of bush fire smoke. What’s more, the rain had stopped, promising a nice day of cycling.
Leaving Queenstown, there is a bit of a climb but nothing like the big hill that guards Queenstown from the other direction. Once I got to the top of that hill and turned onto the B24 I found myself on a road that twists and turns and undulates all the way down to Strahan. I was really excited to reach this popular coastal town as it marks a full crossing of Tasmania from east to west. I’ve reached the West Coast!
I cycled out to Hells Gates, a notoriously shallow and dangerous channel that ships must pass through to reach the harbour. I’d read a trip report indicating that the 33km long beach here has such hard packed sand that you can actually cycle on it. They described cycling along the beach as their best day on a bike ever! That had me very excited. Alas, the sand must have been much harder that day. I kept sinking in and it was easily the hardest cycling I’ve done in Tasmania. After 1km or so, I turned around and headed back to the road. Even though I didn’t make it far, I sure enjoyed the novelty of cycling along a beautiful beach as waves washed ashore.
In the evening, we went to see a play called The Ship That Never Was about a group of convicts who steal a ship and sail all the way to Chile and freedom. It’s an amazing story of overcoming all odds and surviving to tell the tale – with lots of audience participation!
Tomorrow, I’ll enjoy some time in Strahan then start heading north back into the mountains.
If you’re planning your own cycling trip in Tasmania, you can see today’s track and download the gpx from strava.