Cycling Tasmania – Day 31
Bridport to Gladstone

60km, 360m elevation

It was hot today! I remember reading about how cold Tasmania can get before I set out on this cycling trip. One couple even said it snowed only a few weeks later in the year during their visit. I must have chosen the hottest summer of all as only a few days have been cold and some, like this one, have been scorchers!

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.

Most cyclists head from Bridport to Scottsdale but, in sticking with my theme of visiting out-of-the-way places, I decided to continue east to the village of Gladstone. Compared to the snake-like twisting roads of the West Coast with their tight turns, today’s cycle was exceptionally long and straight. In some ways, I missed the constantly changing western roads, even if they’re a lot of work.

Theme of the day - long, straight, and flat(ish)
Theme of the day – long, straight, and flat(ish)

About 20km from Gladstone, the road turns to gravel but the quality is decent. In this seldom-visited corner of the northeast, nearly all the roads are unsealed. The landscape becomes hillier as well and the road takes on some gentle climbs and descents, although none big enough that you have to work overly hard or use the brakes much.

Dirt road to infinity
Dirt road to infinity

Gladstone is Tasmania’s most northeasterly township. It was once an important mining town, much like many on the West Coast. Today, it brands itself as “gateway to the bays” – remote, pristine, and exceptionally beautiful white beaches with a rich diversity of animals. The town itself is a fascinating place to take a walk back through history.

The obscure Southern Presbyterian Church in Gladstone - services only one Sunday a month
The obscure Southern Presbyterian Church in Gladstone – services only one Sunday a month
Another of Gladstone's churches, this one now a private residence... and dump?
Another of Gladstone’s churches, this one now a private residence… and dump?

One place you can discover a fascinating bit of Tasmanian history is at the Gladstone cemetery. Here you’ll find a number of gravestones of Chinese miners who came to make their fortune in the goldfields with hopes of a quick return home.

The gravestone of Chin Ah Hen who died at nearby South Mt Cameron aged 82
The gravestone of Chin Ah Hen who died at South Mt Cameron aged 82

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It’s my second last day of cycling in Tasmania and I think it’s fitting that I’ve found myself in such a quaint and remote little town. Tomorrow I continue to St Helens where I started this journey a month ago. I’m really excited to return to my starting point to see how I’ve changed.

Modern Gladstone
Modern Gladstone

Up next, I get two flat tires at the exact same time!

Map of Day 1-31 cycling in Tasmania. Alternating days are coloured blue and red. Today is yellow.
Map of Day 1-31 cycling in Tasmania. Alternating days are coloured blue and red. Today is yellow.

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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2 thoughts on “Obscure history in Tasmania’s remote northeast

  1. Justin, thanks for your month long history lesson. I’ve realized that even little town and small gravel roads have a story to tell. Some of them can even create more memories than the countries main attractions. So proud that you are able to discover this country on bicycle…something I’ve always wanted to try but afraid to. I hope you have something special plan on the leg on the bike…maybe a Strava doodle art?

    Charles.

    1. Thanks Charles! You’re right, sometimes the little towns and small out-of-the-way places create the strongest memories. I’m sure you’ll do your own cycle adventure, Charles. If I’m lucky enough, maybe you’ll even invite me to join you 😉

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