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A trio tour Tasmania for two weeks of sheer bliss...

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by Bluesuede, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Foreword


    Ok - all silliness aside...this is the story of three Netriders - myself (Ian), pegasus (Eve) and GarethKInvestigates! (Luke) who took off to Tassie on January 3rd of 2008 aboard the Spirit of Tasmania. Both Luke and myself are from Melbourne, and Eve was keen enough to ride down from Sydney to come with us.

    We were a fairly disparate group - myself on an 1100cc cruiser, Luke on a 1000cc sports/tourer and Eve on a 250cc GPX with a riding history of about 4 months, L plate proudly on display at the start of the trip (which somehow managed to disappear not long into the trip... :grin: )

    I'd spent months planning this trip - it was a little holiday for myself that I'd organised in order to keep myself busy and my mind off the fact that my two kids were off overseas with my ex-wife. Although I'd been to Tasmania several times, I'd never done it via bike, so to my father's immense jealousy, who had last done Tassie by bike in the late 60's, I decided it was time to get myself and my bike over there to experience Tassie exactly how it should be experienced!

    So with the Australia Motor Cycle Touring Atlas in hand, much googling of road reports, hours of poring over paper maps, trying to sort out likely accommodation and camping spots, adding up daily kilometers, checking fuel availability, plotting it into Google Maps, and then many more hours cursing over my Tomtom GPS as I attempted to program it all in, I had my itinerary finally sorted. After a number of people expressed interest in joining me, and many pulled out, the Netrider touring group consisted of a party of three. This was pretty ideal as it turned out :)

    The next post... Day One

  2. Reading your original thread I thought there was 10 or so. Wuzzes piked it huh :? Oh well, so what happened next :?: I did one of these ride reports once, took me bloody ages to type eh :LOL:
  3. Cool.. have done the circumnavigation by car many years ago now while I was still in the australian defence force.. I hope to do it on two wheels one day as well !!! :grin:

    did your bikes get scratched on the boat? did you get sea sick? on average how many klm did you do a day? etc… :wink:

    oh, and hurry up and get those notes posted.. :p
  4. Love your intro Ian! :LOL: Can't wait to hear about your trip.
  5. Day One

    Melbourne to Devonport to Penguin

    I get up early. It's hard as I've just flown in from Perth the previous afternoon after a week's holiday partying on a luxury yacht with a wealthy friend, and am worn out and still on Perth time. (Yeah life's tough sometimes :p ) Of course I was also up late packing up all the gear on the bike, but I'm eager to be on my way so I'm up and out the door and heading off to the Ferry in a short amount of time. As I'm riding there I get a text from Luke to say he's also on his way.

    I'm hoping that the weather I'm seeing is a positive sign of things to come - blue skies and sunshine! Weather forecasts for Tassie were looking good before I left, although I definitely brought along the wet weather gear! I seemed to recall my last Tassie trip was rain, rain, some more rain, and yes - more rain. Well I don't care this time - nothing's going to spoil this trip!


    Just as I'm arriving at the ferry, I decide to pull up and wait in the carpark for the others to arrive when Eve texts me to say she's loading onto the ferry - so I ride through, pass through the quarantine check, and spy a red GPX with a number plate you can't miss pulled up to the side on the way to the ferry cargo hold entry. I pull over, introduce myself and chat as we wait for Luke to arrive. We're only there a couple of minutes before Luke shows up, so we head on into the cargo hold!


    The Spirit of Tasmania crew make short work of tying up our bikes, and we grab our gear and head up to reception where we have them mind our helmets for the trip. As its a day sailing, Eve and I find a spot to sit and chat, while Luke heads for a place to lie down, where he proceeds to sleep for the entire trip over. As we were to find out, this is a man who loves his sleep :p


    The movie selection in the on board cinema for the day trip consisted of such adult classics as "Babe" and "Bratz - the Movie", so the two of us that were awake decide just to sit and chat, with a break for a presentation and short movie downstairs on the Tasmanian Devil. The trip passed quite quickly, and the seas were pretty smooth, so it was very easy going. No seasickness from anyone! It surprised me that the ship had full mobile reception, but it was certainly useful as we were able to ring Luke as we were coming in to Tassie after we grabbed our helmets from reception, and got him to meet us before heading back into the cargo hold to ride off the boat. All the bikes were as we left them - no scratches or incidents of any kind, and our luggage was all still in place - so we removed the tie downs and suited up. First to leave the boat - no complaints here!

    (to be continued...)
  6. Day One - continued

    Luke has relatives all over Tassie and is fairly familiar with the place - so he leads us from the boat to a nice Irish pub in Devonport for dinner. Weather coming into Devonport - perfect!


    After a good feed, we head off to Penguin, about 40 minutes from Devonport, where Luke has an uncle who is putting us up for the night in a caravan on his farm. The ride to Penguin wasn't much to speak of - dual lane highway along the coast, although it offered some nice views of the coastline and the sea as we rode along. We arrive in Penguin and at this point I'm grateful that we are a party of three as there is room for only the three of us! Luke's uncle, aunt and cousin are a truly amazing group of people - so welcoming and friendly - one of the nicest familys you'd meet. We sit inside with them and chat about our plans for the trip, and drink some very welcome coffee before retiring to the caravan and bed!


    Little did Eve and I know that Luke has a split personality. :shock: After the three of us went to bed, Luke went to sleep and out came his alter-ego - Borat! Borat then procedes to entertain us until the wee hours of the morning - much to Eve's delight, seeing as how she didn't get any sleep the night before as she was too busy photographing the interior of her hotel room in Melbourne. :LOL:

    The next post... Day Two
  7. Fantastic. Looking forward to reading the rest.

    Butz. :beer:
  8. I saw Eve's photos on Saturday. I want to go to Tas so much more now.
  9. Beautiful writing Ian...love the intro! :)

    Hehehe...you know I photographed my hotel room to fill in some time because I couldn't sleep! I was so wound up thinking about the trip! Looking back now I could have saved myself some dollars by riding around Melbourne city for another 5 hrs instead :LOL:
  10. A prelude to what I assume is going to be a highly amusing thread...

    Keep it comin' Ian!!!
  11. Come on Ian where's the rest or at least the next chapter.
  12. :LOL: sorry, its coming, I promise!! Damned work has been interfering with my write up... :evil:
  13. Tell em about the pool table and how ya can't focus on it.
  14. ...and don't forget to mention our "date" with the pretty swiss backpacker named Cybil.... :LOL:
  15. I always thought she was a Brit...

  16. Me thinks there be more to this story than makes the keyboard :shock:

    Hope you haven't corrupted our innocent Eve now.
  17. Day 2

    Penguin - Somerset - Rosebery - Strahan

    Eve and I were up bright and early the next morning, had breakfast and got ourselves ready to go. Meanwhile Luke slept... so we woke him up and eventually we were all ready to head off on our next day of adventure! The sky was a little cloudy in the morning, but the cloud cover quickly disappeared and we were left with a beautiful sunny day.

    We waved goodbye to Luke's family, fueled up in town at Penguin then headed off towards Somerset, and took the turnoff towards Yolla. The ride was simply glorious and a sign of what was in store for us for pretty much the entire trip - amazing scenery, twisty forest roads, beautiful weather, and BUGGER ALL TRAFFIC!!


    We also were able to confirm Tassie's reputation as the roadkill state was entirely accurate. Many little critters along the road. The other thing we noticed pretty quickly was that Tasmanian government does not believe speed advisory signs are warranted. Rarely was a corner marked with an advisory sign, and in the rare instances when they were, you could guarantee that there would be an unmarked 35km bend immediately following it!

    Right before Tullah we spotted a turnoff to the Mackintosh Dam - so we detoured for a side visit and went and looked at both the Mackintosh Dam as well as the Tullabardine Dam.


    After the dams, we continued on towards Rosebery, but took a detour in an attempt to see the Montezuma Falls. What started out as a narrow bitumen road quickly deteriorated into a very rough, bumpy and rocky dirt road. Luke kept stalling and was thinking he may be low on fuel, so we decided to abandon our ride to the Falls and headed back to the highway, and continued on our way - with a brief detour to Zeehan to fuel up as Luke was on reserve.

    Continuing down the Zeehan Highway towards Queenstown we experienced the most amazing stretch of road imaginable. You think the Black Spur is built like a racetrack? Screw the spur - go try this stretch of road before the turnoff to Strahan!! The road is beautifully made, excellent corners, and like most of Tassie - there's no traffic! Both Luke and Eve were thrilled when I told them we'd be getting to do the same road again tomorrow on our way back from Strahan via Reece Dam.

    Rather than head directly into Strahan, we decided to go into Queenstown and stop for lunch.


    After lunch it was time to head to Strahan.

    (to be continued...)
  18. Day 2 - continued

    We headed back from Queenstown to the Strahan turnoff. This would have been a lovely road to ride, however the first 18 kms or so was marred by what looked like spills from a truck carrying bitumen. It was especially evident on the corners. In addition to the wet bitumen on the road, there was gravel on a lot of the corners as well, so it was fairly careful going.

    Coming into Strahan, we stopped at the vistor information centre to find out the location of the Backpackers Hostel we were staying at - then headed off to it, dumped our gear and Luke headed off for a swim whilst Eve and I went to explore the town. Here are a few pics from Strahan:


    (to be continued...)
  19. Day 2 - continued


    We met up with Luke at the beach and then headed into town for really great meal at one of the local restaurants.

    The last to leave the restaurant, we headed back to the Strahan Backpackers, and discovered a bus had decided to park right where we had been parking our bikes, so Eve and I parked a little further over whilst Luke, not seeing too well in the dark, carefully parked his right across a driveway to one of the cabins, blocking in a car in the process - which we discovered the next morning when there was loud banging on our door! :LOL:

    Anyway, the bus that had arrived had delivered a bunch of European backpackers to the place, and outside our room was a Swiss girl and a German girl sitting at the outdoor table, being 'entertained' by some Aussie tourists asking them if they were familiar with German farming equipment. :shock: :LOL: Luke was on a quest to pick up some foreign backpackers, and it took a lot of convincing from Eve and myself that he had very little competition out there given the topics of conversation we were hearing - so eventually we dragged him out to make conversation, just in time to see the girls head off to bed. Doh! So instead we sat at a table with a proud HSV owner, who had just come in from Lake St Claire (where we were headed off to the next day) and who informed us that there was a big sign saying "Campsite Full". I'd rung the place a month earlier in order to book and was told over the phone not to bother and to just turn up, so this wasn't good news... :shock: :shock: :shock:

    So it was off to bed, with another late night - spent this time chatting about spanking (thanks Luke :grin: ), looking forward to the ride ahead the next day.

    The next post... Day Three
  20. wow with envey and interest I am following your riding report. It sounds great, and I thought I did well... (700km solo ride to Benalla) well done Eve.