With inter­na­tion­al bor­ders closed (for Aus­tralians, any­way) until god-only-knows-when, and a nice local trip look­ing very attrac­tive as an intro­duc­tion to tour­ing for my part­ner Danielle, we’ve been plan­ning a Tas­man­ian East Coast cycling trip for a few months now.

We’re hop­ing to take the trip next year. Danielle is a native Tas­man­ian, so we’ll fin­ish the tour by stay­ing with/near her par­ents in Sandy Bay, a sub­urb of Hobart. The Spir­it of Tas­ma­nia fer­ry berths in Devon­port, so with our start and fin­ish points decid­ed, it was sim­ply a mat­ter of work­ing out the route. I found a good PDF guide on the Dis­cov­er Tas­ma­nia web­site, but the link has since dis­ap­peared into 404 heav­en. Using the out­line detailed in this guide, along with a Hema map of Tassie, we’ve out­lined a nice 15-leg route that will take us 13–14 days in total rid­ing, across per­haps three weeks (giv­en rests and sightseeing).

Divider illustration

If you are alone, then the coun­try is not your play­ground, it is your com­pan­ion; and nature becomes Nature, a per­son, some­one to whom you can almost talk. You do not only walk through mea­sured miles; you sit, dream­ing, con­tem­plat­ing, absorb­ing it all, through unmea­sured minutes.

Christo­pher Robin Milne

Author

A broad outline of the trip

  • Devonport

    Catch­ing the Spir­it of Tas­ma­nia from Port Mel­bourne to Devon­port, arriv­ing in the evening.

  • Sheffield

    Rid­ing to Sheffield (27km) in the evening that we arrive, stay­ing at a B&B.

  • Cradle Mountain

    A big long climb to Cra­dle Moun­tain, where we’ll stay over for a day or so to both rest and visit/fish at Dove Lake and oth­er near­by attractions.

  • Deloraine

    Our longest leg, from Cra­dle Moun­tain we’ll dou­ble back towards Sheffield, then turn down to Mole Creek and through to Delo­raine. We’re hop­ing to ride it in one day as we’ll be nice and rest­ed, but oth­er­wise we’ll tack­le it in two and camp along the way.

  • Launceston

    Avoid­ing the A1, we’ll ride through Brack­nell, Long­ford and Perth to Launce­s­ton, where we’ll check in to accom­mo­da­tion to clean up, charge bat­ter­ies, check gear, etc.

  • George Town and Bridport

    My part­ner is from Hobart, and amus­ing­ly isn’t over­ly fond of what she calls The North, but I’m hop­ing a few days leisure­ly ride in the area will over­come a life­time of South­ern­er bias and help change her tune. I’m look­ing for­ward to rid­ing along the Tamar Riv­er and check­ing out the var­i­ous winer­ies in the area.

  • St Helens

    Rid­ing from Brid­port through Scotts­dale, Der­by, and on to St Helens, we’ll be weav­ing through the for­est reserves in North East Tas­ma­nia, which I’ve nev­er vis­it­ed but heard a lot about.

  • Swansea

    Now hug­ging the coast through Bicheno, we’ll detour to the pic­turesque Coles and Wine­glass Bays, then dou­ble back to Swansea.

  • Maria Island

    Danielle adores wom­bats. We could­n’t do the trip with­out a detour to Maria Island. We’ll stop near Triabunna/Orford and catch the fer­ry across for a day trip.

  • Dunalley and Richmond

    Skip­ping Port Arthur — we’ve been plen­ty of times before — we’ll mean­der around via Dunal­ley and Dodges Fer­ry to Rich­mond. If we feel like it we’ll stop for the night in Rich­mond, oth­er­wise we’ll press on the last 30-odd kilo­me­tres to…

  • Hobart

    Fin­ish­ing in Hobart, we’re plan­ning to arrive via the B35 and Glenorchy rather than tack­le the traf­fic on the Tas­man Bridge, then stay with the folks at Sandy Bay.

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Pho­to of Cloudy Bay head­land by Stephen Mabbs on Unsplash. Pho­to of cyclist on switch­back by Beardy McBeard (I think), used by Dar­ryl from Lov­ing The Bike, repro­duced here with­out permission.

Category: Camping, Cycling
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