Tasmania Cycle Tour – Day 22
Rosebery to Waratah
63km, 1,340m elevation
I reached the 1,000-km mark on my Tasmanian cycle tour today! This is a great milestone for me – the longest cycling trip I’ve ever done. And it’s not over yet…
Right away this morning I found myself at the foot of a big hill leaving Rosebery. No warm up, no breaks, just straight up. I’m actually starting to enjoy the steep climbs. Knowing that I’ll get to sail down the other side and glide along the smooth sweeping turns makes it worth all the effort. The descent from this hill was the best of them all. I flew down and I’m sure it was the fastest I’ve ever gone on a bike. Sadly, I forgot to turn on strava, so I’ll never know for sure.
After that big hill, I passed through the village of Tullah. It’s very cute and worth a brief stop. The steam train was running and it seemed like everyone in town was enjoying a ride. I love finding unique places like the house where Lyn lives and makes hand-made teddy bears. Or how about the roadside stall where you can by fresh flowers and horse poo?
After Tullah, there’s another big climb. I love it when I ride past a sign telling me I’ve reached the highest point on the road. It must be all downhill from there, right? Well, mostly, anyway. In Tasmania I’ve learned that what goes down must go back up pretty soon.
I’ve decided to bypass Cradle Mountain. It’s a difficult decision as Cradle Country is such a beautiful area and one that I’d really hoped to see on this trip. Despite the much-needed rain we’ve gotten over the past few days, there are still active bushfires in the area and many of the walking tracks are closed. I’m very keen to return to Tasmania and walk the Overland Track (it goes right over Cradle Mountain), so missing it this time just gives me one more reason to return.
After that last big climb the landscape and road become flatter. I turned off the A10 toward Waratah. Like Queenstown, Waratah’s history is deeply intertwined with mining. Unlike Queenstown, the setting is charming. Quaint houses sit along the shores of a tranquil pond and 100-year old huts and mills dot the town. There’s even a waterfall streaming down into a gorge filled with lush forest right in the centre of town.
Waratah actually has quite an important place in Tasmania’s history. This quiet little town was the birthplace of Tasmania’s mining industry with the discovery of rich tin deposits in 1871. The success of Waratah sparked mineral exploration throughout Tasmania’s north-west and West Coast and changed the face of the land forever.
I’m really happy that I’ve reached the 1,000-km mark in my Tasmanian cycle tour and that I’ve found myself in such a pretty town for the night. But now I need to make a decision. I have 10 days left in Tasmania. That means I can start heading toward the East Coast to complete a full loop back where I started in St Helens. I really like that idea a lot. Or I can cycle further into the remote west. I’m in a town perched on the edge of the Tarkine Wilderness, the greatest expanse of cool temperate rainforest in Australia, and the second largest in the world. How can I turn down the opportunity to explore this area?
Which way should I go next?
If you’re planning your own cycling trip in Tasmania, you can see today’s track and download the gpx from strava (note: I forgot to start strava until I was up and over the big hill coming out of Rosebery – 10km, 350m elevation)