Friday, April 22, 2022

Tasmania 2022 Day#6 - Saving Tassie one pub at a time tour

We returned to Battery Point for breakfast at the Jackman & McRoss bakery. This is one mighty fine bakery, the pie was fantastic which big chunks of melt in the mouth beef. The cakes looked so good so I bought a caramel slice so I could have lunch out at Gordon Dam. Looking up the street at Mt Wellington it was looking like a fantastic day up there, pity it was closed.

By the time we got riding again there were rain shows coming over the top of Mt Wellington, how quickly the weather changes up there. We didn't stop for fuel as we were trying to outrun the rain and not get stuck in it. So we got fuel in New Norfolk at the cheap price of $1.99 litre, cheapest on the trip so far, its been up around $2.33 per litre.

Riding out to Gordon Dam the temperature was only 10-11°C and quite chilly, with the road being damp on the way in, in the morning. I had the heated grips up to 60% today. Luckily I'd put my jacket & pants inner liner back in this morning. What a fantastic ride it is from Westerway to the Dam, I'd forgotten how good this bit was. 105kms of twisty forested mountain roads virtually empty of any traffic. Best part was the Africa Twin just soaks up the bumps.

I climbed up the hill next to the road to see what I could see. There were 360 degree views of pristine Tasmanian wilderness, mountains, lakes and forest. Stunning.

We briefly stopped at the lookout at Lake Pedder for a photo before pressing on. Looks like the lake was a little bit low on water.

As we approached Lake Gordon power station I saw a nice little road that went up to the right, so turned around to take a look and see what the view was like up there. Beautiful views over the lake, the water was well down. Tasmania has been in a bit of a drought so we were told by the locals.

We pressed on to the dam wall, the two Tuonos were already parked up but riders were nowhere to be seen. We parked up it was 12.50pm, so had taken a while to get out here. Looking down on the dam wall we could see our missing two riders.

So Flyboy and myself decided on a Dam wall walk as well, and why not we have plenty of time. I took my camera and Caramel slice so I could have a little lunch on the dam wall.

So I can climb on the wall if someone with me is licensed?

The dam wall is 140m high with a double curvature, and is the largest dam volume in Australia at over 12.4 million Megalitres. It would have been pretty hard labour building this thing back in the 60's and 70's, especially out here in this harsh environment. Such a beautiful and peaceful place though. From the carpark I spied above a viewing platform. I think I'll go have a look up there on the way out.

By the time Flyboy and myself walked over the dam Dave & Stu had returned to the top, there was only another chinese couple taking photos so we practically had the dam to ourselves.

This stair reminded me of the stair in the Return of the King where Frodo and Sam climb up the mountains to Cirith Ungol.

The climb back up to the top left me short of breath and I saw at the top someone had graffitied the sign saying 192 steps, sounds legit I wasn't going back to count. Before leaving I wanted to check out the top lookout over the Dam and lake. Even more stunning scenery from up here. 

Apparently there's 12 Million Megalitres out here in that dam. Yeah that's a lot of water and Australia's biggest dam according to google.

I saw the sign that said Dam lookout, which pointed up behind some bushes and the fence. Yeah didn't look real enticing but I wander up to have a look and yes the views over the dam were pretty spectacular, even more so than the one's down closer. It was now quarter to 2, time to get going as it was 300kms to Queenstown from here, and at least 250km of that was going to be twisty roads.

So no more photos until we get to Queenstown for now and we blasted off  the way we came. The road had dried out by now and the temp had risen to a barmy 16°C from the low of about 10-11 in the forest this morning. On our way out I was following Dave/Stu and around a right hand bend a FWD coming the other way sat right on the centre line, our heads were all leant over on the centre line and we all had to pick up quick smart to avoid a mid corner collision. First bike fair enough but all three bikes the driver was a complete prick. Both Stu and I said it was the closest call we've had in years. F#cker. Lots of fun chasing Tuonos through the 100kms of twistys.

The rest of the trip across the Lyell Highway was pretty good. Plenty of twisty bits. A quick stop in derwent bridge, where the tuonos filled up and then we were off again. The road from Derwent Bridge to Queenstown is all twisty and it had plenty of bumps and we were riding directly into the sun, yeah that made it a little difficult but it was still fun but we were starting to get a bit tired.

I decided to turn off at the top of the hill into town and head to the Iron Blow lookout, Scotty was with me and he's never been here before so would be good to show him about. Looking down on the road we saw 2 adventure riders that we passed earlier go by and then Flyboy came flying up the hill but he kept going. 

The Iron blow is an open cut mine in the side of the hill. They mined gold and copper up here back in the 1800's. Beautiful Azure blue water is the result of the ore in the water. 

Those hills in the distance have become a Mountain biking mecca now, you can see 2 distinct trails coming down those hills on the right. Yeah that would be pretty intense downhill run, but good to see people out enjoying our environment rather than sitting inside endlessly scrolling down. I could see myself going over the handlebars down there.


One more brief stop before we get into Queenstown and it's the lookout over the town just over the top of the hill about 1km. I could see Scotty was a bit tired from the several attempt he was making to park his bike, so thought we'd make it a short stop then head straight to the pub, it's only a few minutes away anyway.

Riding down the 99 bends into town was a good last dash but by now we were pretty well spent and just wanted to get there. Our accomodation for the night was the Empire Hotel. Parking right out front with the other guys we wandered in to get our rooms and get changed and have a well earned beer. Unfortunately there's no off street parking at the Empire but other than that the rooms were ok and the food was good, all for $75 for a double room including continental breakfast.

We had a few beers and it was golden hour outside so decided to get out and get a few shots of whatever I could before diner. Mt Lyell made for a magnificent backdrop during golden hour.

Yet another awesome day riding in Tassie, a little bit on the chilly side since yesterday, the temperature's have dropped by about 10°C from what it was the first 4 days but still enjoyable. With my rain/warm liner back in and the heated grips on it hasn't been too bad.

Pubs Saved Counter:              9                
Bakery's Saved Counter:        5

Day 6 Map Reference


  1. daves gotta get that headlight fixed

    1. Funny, the driving lights aren’t on in that photo. Must have snapped it in the low point of the 50htz cycle?

  2. Great photos and update Steve, what a fantastic tour this is!

    1. Thanks mate, was right up there with the best of them really. Love tassie.

  3. Wow. Thanks for such an awesome blog. So much info. May I ask about the rack on the Tuono. My husband has the same bike asnd is keen to know your set up for luggage. Again thanks.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. The rack on the two Tuono's are a ventura rack. Link below