Edge of the World

Edge of the World

Cycling Tasmania – Day 26
Arthur River to Smithton (via Montagu)

73km, 460m elevation

Bushfires are a big problem in Tasmania this year with the weather being so hot and dry. I was keen to cycle the Western Explorer through some of the most remote parts of the already remote West Coast but that will have to wait for another year when that road re-opens. Fortunately, we have a rental car, so once I’d cycled to the north coast, we just threw the bike inside the car and drove the long way around to the far end of the Western Explorer.
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Everything in a single day

Everything in a single day

Cycling Tasmania – Day 25
Waratah to Boat Harbour (via Wynyard and Table Cape)

89km, 1280m elevation

From Corinna on Tasmania’s West Coast there is a remote and rough road that twists through the Tarkine Wilderness, eventually re-emerging 110km later at Arthur River. Sadly, the famous Western Explorer is closed. Recent bushfires have damaged a bridge, making the road impassable. I’d really hoped that the road would reopen and that I’d get to explore this wild part of Tasmania. I guess that’s just one more reason to add to my list of why I need to come back!
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Deep into the Tarkine Wilderness

Deep into the Tarkine Wilderness

Cycling Tasmania – Day 23
Waratah to Corinna

68km, 1,290m elevation

It was a difficult decision but I couldn’t resist heading deeper into Tasmania’s remote West Coast, even if that means I’ll run out of time to cycle a complete loop around the island. The Tarkine Wilderness is one of the world’s last intact expanses of temperate rainforest, something truly rare and beautiful. How could I turn down the opportunity to experience such a special place?
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Here comes the rain

Here comes the rain

Tasmania Cycle Tour – Day 21
Strahan to Rosebery

78km, 1,225m elevation

Before leaving Strahan this morning, I spent some time exploring more of the town and going for a walk through the forest. Strahan is a beautiful place and classically coastal – a tranquil bay surrounds the town, there is a marina full of boats, and you can walk for hours along the beach. It rained heavily last night and continued until the early morning, making everything feel fresh and new.
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Into the Wilderness

Into the Wilderness

Cycling Tasmania – Day 17
Derwent Bridge to Queenstown

99km, 1,825m elevation (including side-trips)

Today I cycled out of Derwent Bridge and into Wild Rivers National Park. It was superb. I sailed down long descents with sweeping turns and stopped countless times to take short walks into the wilderness. Bush fire smoke had blown in during the night, obscuring what I could see of distant peaks but leaving behind silhouettes that left the imagination free to exaggerate. It is disappointing to miss out on so much great scenery because of the smoke but I still marvelled at the grand mountainous country.
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When one door closes, another opens

When one door closes, another opens

Cycle Touring Tasmania – Day 16
Tarraleah to Lake St Clair

58km, 600m elevation

After two hard days it was nice to have a shorter cycle on relatively flat roads today. From Tarraleah, the highway takes a circuitous and hilly route to Derwent Bridge. Instead, I decided to cycle the C601, a gravel road that passes through pretty forest. That saved me 10 km and let me enjoy the scenery without much traffic.
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Up to the Tasmanian Highlands

Up to the Tasmanian Highlands

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.
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