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OZ_Johnno & Melbgirl's tear ass round Tas - photos added

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by oz_johnno, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Howdi,

    A few weeks after Melbgirl got her bike back in July and when I knew she was happy with the thought of riding, I sugested that we go to tasmania in the new year to ride around down there for a week and a half.

    She lept at the idea and the following week I booked both bikes and us on the boat down to tassie, leaving on new years day.

    Day 1..... The trip to Devonport

    The boring part of the trip. Got up at 5:30am to get to the boat early. As it turns out, the boat was really empty as it was new years day and people were sleeping off their hangovers, so it was pretty much the ideal time to travel.

    The trip over was pretty rough, so rough in fact that the band that was playing on deck 10 had their pa drowned by the ocean spray that was making its way inside.

    Melbgirl (MG) and I spent the day planning the trip using Mr Thoemings excellent motorcycle road atlas, eating in the restaraunt and watching people staggger around a constantly moving ship.

    We got into Devonport at 6pm and headed around to our accomodation at edge water resort.

    Nice place, king sized bed, quite reasonable food.

    Day 2 - Devonport to Strahan via cradle mountain, the reece dam and zeehan (dont mess with the zee-han)


    Distance travelled = 286km

    MCRA (motorcycle road atlas) ride number = 64, 74 + part of 71 & 75

    Break at Wilmot, Zeehan

    Lunch at Cradle mountain Tavern


    got up fairly late, had breakfast and travelled from devonport out to don and from there followed the forth river down to wilmot where we stopped for coffee. the locals there asked us where we were going and told us that it had been snowing up at cradle mountain the previous night and to be on the lookout for black ice !!


    We then asked them where the best place for lunch was and they told us that the cradle mountain lodge had good food that wasnt too expensive or 'touristy'

    As we climbed up the mountains the weather closed in and there were a few showers, but not as heavy as the rain we enounted up the top on the way out to dove lake.

    It was turning a bit nasty so we scotched the idea of heading out to the lake figuring we probably wouldnt be able to see much of cradle mountain in any case.

    Cradle mountain lodge was nice and warm and we sat in there and ate lunch while we watched the weather change from rain to sleet, then hail then sunshine every 15 minutes or so.

    Eventually we deceided to make a break for it so we finished up our drinks and headed out in the next sunny period.

    we too the link road across to the murcheson highway before turning right just before tullah and heading out towards the reece dam.



    This road was originally built by the hydro and is made with nice open large radius bends to faciliate the movement of heavy equipment for the power station. In recent years there has been loggers in the area and the road has suffered as a result with lots of patches and soft edges until the stanley river but from this point on it was a teriffic road.

    We stopped to marvel at the power station and its spillway (built to take 4700 cubic meters of water per second !!) before travelling on to zeehan where we had coffee.


    From here it was a 40 minute trip down to strahan and our accomodations at 'aloft' cottages. Nice place, new units, king sized bed so we both got to sleep in our own postcodes.

    Images to come, I have to shrink them down a bit :)

    stay tuned for day 3 & 4 next post
  2. Oh you buggers! How dare you go and remind me of the time my wife and I sepnt exploring around Tassie 9 years ago! We had 3.5 weeks travelling around, but we did it in a $2000 Ford Econovan, with just mats, sleeping bags, an esky and a gas bottle. Great time!

    I look forward to the rest of the write up!
  3. tear ass around taz? i was half expecting to read a very different story...

    sounds awesome, makes me want to quit my job :p
  4. That is simply awful.
    Funny as all heck.... but awful none the less!
  5. well what did you expect to read about?

    its a cracker title! :LOL:
  6. I'd say it's more of a ripper of a title ;)
  7. excellent report so far
    wish you had of said something us locals could have met up with you

  8. DAY 3
    spent the day in Strahan, no riding today.

    Hung about in strahan today, didnt do much with the bikes. Did the wilderness tour instead on the 'gordon explorer'.

    $85 bucks each got us 6 hours out on the boat seeing all the sights of the harbour, Hells gates, the local fish farms, a guided tour of Sarah Island, a fantastic buffet lunch and a nice walk in the bush at heritage landing, where we saw huon pine trees.

    Went back to the acommodation, had a nice bottle of champers, cheese and bikkies and a nice steak dinner.

    Day 4 Strahan to Hobart, Yeee Haaar.


    Distance travelled = 300km

    MCRA (motorcycle road atlas) ride number = 70 + part of 74

    Break at Derwent Bridge

    Lunch: Casa Del Boofhead (Dads house)

    Weather: overcast then sunny after queenstown

    Another short day, we started off about 9:15am and headed to queenstown, A spooky place that looks like the surface of the moon, there are no trees and the locals play AFL footy on Blue metal oval (ouch).

    ON the way to Queenstown we got stuck behind some puckwit dragging a caravan with spare tyre cover exclaiming 'adventure before dementia'. Fine sentiment indeed and I intend to join the ski club when Im older myself, not leaving the kids a brass razoo between them, but would this idiot pull into a turn out lane and let us past ?? NUP.

    In the immortal words of Home simpson....... "urge to kill rising..... urge to kill rising...."

    In the end we pulled into a lookout to take a breather, lower the blood pressure and give us a chance to enjoy a few good corners before catching up with him again.


    We finally got past 'caravan guy' just out of queenstown, and I resisted the urge to give him a good kick in the extension mirrors. We proceeded to the 99 bends (no joke, there are 99 of them).

    The karma fairy must have looked kindly upon our earlier restraint because every time we caught up to a car on this cracking series of blind 25,35 & 45 km/hr corners, they pulled over into one of the many turn out lanes and let us past. Once we made it to top, the clouds cleared and we headed down past lake burbury to derwent bridge for coffee.


    We noticed a sign advertising the wall in the wilderness while at derwent bridge. Dad had often told us about this a rated it as a must see.
    This self taught sculpture was carving the history of the area in Huon pine slabs, each one 3 metres high and when it was finished it was going to be about 100m long !!

    As well as the main exhibit, the guy had examples of his other work as well. MG was looking at a pair of gloves sitting on a side board, they looked so real that she had to ignore the 'dont touch' sign to verify that they werent leather and that they were actually carved in wood !!

    Very impressive and well worth the $8 or so to get in. I would have taken pictures, but there were 'no camera' signs everywhere so I couldnt.

    This is the only other pic we took on the way to hobart.


    I took this while waiting for MG to catch up after a totally bitchin set of corners heading down to tarraleah, absolutely awesome.

    We would have stopped to take more, but it was a brilliant day, the road was great and we were having so much fun that by the time we got to ouse (pronounced 'ooze') out cheeks were aching from all the grinning we were doing inside our helmets.

    Like I said, great road, there was no way it could every be considered boring, cause the scenery was continuously changing, from high mountain plains, past lakes, to rainforest to bush, areas of clear felling (not so pretty) and finally pastural land.

    We got to dads house at 2:30pm, not bad considering we stopped for over an hour for coffee and to look at the wall in the widerness.

    Dad moved in with his girlfriend and we used his house as a base for our rides untill the second to last day.

    Next up..... the east coast
  9. what an awesome ride report!! love it!
  10. I'm envious!
    Great ride report :)
  11. Day 5
    The east coast

    Day 5 saw us heading up the east coast of tassie. We started off heading out from claremont where we were staying, along the brooker highway, over the bowne bridge and out to richmond via Grass tree hill.

    Grasstree hill is a bit like the black spur is in melb (though much shorter). it is a fun road, twisty but with all the usual hassles (well patrolled by the cops, gravel on the lines from the boy racers in their tin tops, a sheetload of accidents and a low speed limit)

    When I was living in tassie I liked nothing better on a summers evening than to head up over grasstree hill and out to the richmond pub for a counter meal and a couple of ales.

    from richmond, we headed across the richmond bridge (oldest continuously used bridge in australia) and out towards Sorell but turning left onto the east coast highway just before we got there.

    The east coast highway has had a lot of work done on it between sorell and Orford and a lot of the dangerous parts of the road have been straightened out (bust me gall hill and up through black charlies especially) but what is there now is a nice bunch of sweepers. I would still be careful through here in the winter though as the higher parts of the road do get a bit of black ice on them from time to time. Parts of the road dont see sunlight for 6 months of the year.

    The sweepers continue up past orford to swansea where we had morning tea.

    After a cup of coffee and a cream bun (last bakery just before the end of town on the left as you head north is excellent) MG and I went about 10km and turned left onto the lake leake highway.

    With so many great roads to ride in tassie, its not surprising that the touring atlas misses out a few, and this one is well worth a look, especially up to lake leake. but the whole 50km from the east coast to campbell town is pretty good, being made up of good road and mostly 75, 85 & 95km/hr sweepers.

    It was so good that when i asked MG if she wanted another coffee she just said 'naaaah' into the intercom and we headed around the end of the traffic island where lake leake highway meets the midland hiway at campbell town and headed back the way we came.

    Once back on the east coat highway the road bacame a little rougher and a bit tighter as we headed north to Bicheno.

    Once at bicheno, we were hungry so we stopped in to the beachfront hotel for a counter attack. Nice countermeal, fairly cheap too.

    While we were there we ran into a couple who was stranded there. They had ridden up from huonville that morning and were looking for petrol but were told that bicheno had run out !! The tanker was expected at 3pm they would still be able to make their accomodation at st helens and I guess there would be worse places to wait than a pub, but the moral of the story is, top up often during peak holiday times as they do on occasion run out !

    After lunch we headed up past the falmouth turnoff and turned left for a run up st marys pass, yet another piece of awesome road 45km/hr & under for the bends through here.

    We had heard so much about the elephant pass pancake place so we stopped in here for some dessert. Its not owned by a biker any more but its still a biker friendly place and they do a pretty nice stack of pancakes for about $10.

    Im thinking that we should have gone up elephant pass rather than down. near the top its a very narrow, bumpy, goat track of a road that is quite technical. It does open out a little towards the bottom and there are some good corners in here too.

    Back on the east coast highway heading south again, we were getting pretty tired by now, so we slowly made our way back through orford and back home to claremont.

    600km isnt a particularly big day by mainland standards but in tassie, it can be very tiring.

    we slept well that night.

    next up - a bit of a loop down south.........