A Bike Trip around Tasmania ridden by Mark, David and Andrew. Over 14 days from 26th December 1998 to 9th January 1999. Ably supported and catered for by Pam and
Terry (mum and dad) and Heather. These days you can make your own cue sheets, route & elevation maps using many websites, for example http://www.bikely.com.
Here is a map of where the adventure begun. An island at latitude 42 degrees south of the equator, part of a bigger island group called Australia. Our smaller island is called Tasmania, or affectionately known as Tassie.
Here is a bigger map of Tassie. Our ride started (roughly) in Hobart, and we cycled just over 1,000 km in 12 days with 2 rest days, going anti clockwise, in a big loop, finishing back in Hobart 14 days later. In that time, we had a total altitude gain of 6,800 metres.
Here is a summary of each day distance and altitude gain. Altitude losses (that is going down hill!) aren't shown. Some days were pretty flat (days 4 and 5), but others (days 6, 9 and 14) were pretty long, hilly or both.
Here we are (Mark, Andrew, David from left to right) before setting out. We didn't actually start from here because the first day and a half were pretty horrible. Instead we started from Sorell, about 50 km further on.
Raspins Point caravan park is situated right on the sea, looking out over a bay, and towards Maria Island. Facilities were pretty basic but the scenery made up for that.
(PS – this caravan park no longer exists (2008), camping here is no longer permissible, there is camping 5km further along at Triabunna)
Here we are (possibly the only bit of dirt road for the whole trip) crossing the Spiky Bridge. A very old stone bridge built with convict labor featuring sharp rocks along the guard rails of the bridge.
The day went along pretty quickly so we took the cars from the Freycinet National Park turnoff into
Freycinet and climbed Mount Amos and viewed Wineglass Bay. Bicheno and its caravan park are a bit busier than Raspins Point, and the fish and chips were quite expensive.
Day 3 - Bicheno caravan park to Fingal (Faulty Towers cabins2) - 64 km / 340 m in hills
The up hill bits started on day 3. In particular we climbed thru the Elephant Pass. Although quite steep, the reward is a pancake or two at the Elephant Pass Pancake Barn at the top just before reaching Saint Marys. From here things are mostly down hill for the rest of the days riding.
Here is the whole clan, with Basil watching over us, but Sybil no where to be seen (or heard).
Faulty Towers is 15 km further on than Fingal and well worth the extra distance. We stayed in self appointed cottage with cooking facilities as a treat at a very reasonable price. Highly recommended.
Note: Faulty Towers may longer exist but there is free camping right in middle of Fingal (2008)
Day 4 - Fingal to Longford caravan park -99 km / 10 m in hills
Day 5 - Longford caravan park to Mole Creek caravan park - 80 km / 170 m in hills
We took some back roads from Longford through Bracknell to Deloraine, rather than cycling along the main highway.
There were a couple of pretty steep hills but lunch on the banks of a river under the trees at Deloraine was very pleasant.
The ride after lunch to Mole Creek passed over a few rolling hills, but went quickly.
This scene looks across a paddock next to the caravan park at sunset.
Day 6 - Mole Creek caravan park to Cradle Mountain campground - 84 km / 1,390 m in hills
A view across poppy fields early in the misty morning towards Mount Roland. Credit to ace photographer Terry Heard for this photo.
There are many day walks around Cradle Mountain. Marions Lookout in the foreground, and Cradle Mountain in the background.
This shot of David sitting in the middle of the board-walk is half way to the top of Cradle Mountain itself.
Day 8 starts very quickly with a long uphill section, and the day is long and fairly difficult. Having just come
through Tullah, we had a 100 metre climb coming up (range in background) although it felt much more.
I think my altitude calculations were badly wrong.
The Zeehan caravan park has huge open spaces to spread out in, and the local museum was well worth a visit.
Day 9 - Zeehan caravan park to Lake Burbury campground - 115 km / 690 m in hills
This was the longest day so far and very hard. The lunch time stop in Strahan was nice, but we had to
keep going. The drop down into Queenstown was long and fast, but the climb up the other side was
equally long and steep. Lake Burbury campground is more-or-less a big oval on the edge of Lake Burbury
Day 10 - Lake Burbury campground to Cynthia Bay campground -68 km / 730 m in hills
Day 11 - rest day
Wallaby and joey and Cynthia Bay campground. We also saw platypus in the evening.
Day 14 - Mount Field National Park campground to home (Longley) - 116 km / 1,250 m in hills
This was a very hard day. The road surface from Mount Field to New Norfolk is pretty shocking in places, and watch out for the train tracks. They are spoke busters. The surface from New Norfolk to Granton is pretty good (considering it was only a couple of years old at that stage). The surface from Granton into Hobart is wonderfully smooth and makes for fast times. However the climb to the top of Mount Wellington after having already ridden 75 km is an absolute killer.