Monday, June 4, 2012

Touring Tassie Part 1 of 4

I thought I'd share an old trip to Tassie that my brother and I went on in conjunction with the 2003 World Super Bike round at Phillip Island. We spent about 8 days in Tassie and another week riding to and from the Victorian alps and the NSW Snowy Mountains region. This was one of favourite road trips of all the one's I have been on. It was one of the few times that I had packed the camera for a bike trip as I usually didn't bother to stop and take photos whilst travelling. If someone is thinking of heading down that way soon then it may assist them with route ideas.

Tassie is an excellent place for riding bikes as there is so much variety in where you can go and what you can do there. Just about any road you go on is motorcycling paradise with about the only exception the main road from Hobart to Launceston so we stayed clear of that one. Most of the roads are very winding and some of them have sections with freshly hot mixed tar for the Targa Tasmania rally. Those sections when you get to them are very sweet.

We first boarded the Spirit of Tasmania at Melbourne for the overnight journey to the apple Isle. The cabins were very cosy so we settled in at the bar for a few drinks and plan the next days events before hitting the sack. Incidentally we meet a group of bikers from Melbourne who are travelling around tassie as well and they are travelling roughly the same direction as us. I'm sure we will meet them again before trips end.

Flyboy waiting to get on the Spirit of Tasmania

Squeezy Cabins
 DAY 1
After disembarking our ship it was on into the unknown as we headed east out of Devonport we headed down towards exeter then up over the Batman bridge for a short stop. It was then on to Launceston where we stopped at the beautiful Cataract Gorge. As you can see from the picture it was an absolute cracker of a day weather wise and the scenery was stunning.
Batman Bridge

Cataract Gorge
 Leaving the city of Launceston we headed out east on the Tasman Hwy towards Scottsdale and Derby. This is a fantastic road with winding corners for most of the way along here. It is a heavily forested area and not much traffic from memory. We came out upon a lookout about 15kms before Scottsdale with fantastic views. We also met another group of bikers there enjoying the views.

After Scottsdale the road winds its way through the forested hillsides where we found this little pub by itself in the middle of nowhere. Not sure why it was called 'the worst pub' we only stopped for a pic and a break, we did not try it out. From here it was on into St Helen's for our first overnight stop.


After leaving St Helen's we then headed down the east coast of Tassie where we came to a fork in the road. We wanted to do both roads so Dave said lets ride around the coast road then come back up Mt Elephant Pass into St Marys. What a fantastic ride this was. We stopped at the Mt  Elephant Pancake shop and had some morning tea. The pancakes were delicious. Then headed back down the St Marys Pass twisties. Fantastic sports bike riding here!

 We continued on down through Bicheno(not much there) and down to Swansea(not much here either). Just out of Swansea we stopped to take some pics of the weather moving in over the Freycinet Peninsula. It was pretty windy and cold along here. We continued south down to Orford and onto Buckland. Some very nice scenery along the way here.

As we were passing through a little town called Buckland we noticed this big old pub standing out amonst the houses from the main highway. You couldn't miss it. We stopped in at Ye Olde Buckland Inn but could not find any hobbits to drink with so after a quick beer it was onto Eagle Hawk Neck for our second night.


  1. Wow Tassie is gorgeous, it's one of the many places I've been in the car and cant wait to do on the bike. Great pics, thanks Chiller you are giving me some ideas already!!

    I dont know how you could have resisted finding out why it was the Worst Pub .... ???

    1. Your right tassie is gorgeous, the West Coast of Tassie is the closest thing I've seen in Aus to what New Zealanders enjoy everyday. The mountains are nowhere near as spectacular but still have a beauty all of there own.

      You really have to do it on the bike, talk hubby into it you'll both love it. We did.

      When we went there 2 years ago with the family I noticed that the worst pub sign had been taken down. Maybe it was bad for business.

  2. That picture of Cataract Gorge is awesome. Beautiful scenery.

    Does reminiscing about the trip make you want to do it all over again?

    1. Yep Cataract Gorge is beautiful all right and yes I'd love to ride around there again. I'd like to ride New Zealand first though before going back to tassie.

  3. Stunning photos Steve, Tassie is still on our list. Eldest son and family were there a couple of years ago and they loved it.

  4. Tassie reminds me in many ways of New Zealand, similar climate and Longitude. I think Devonport is on par with Greymouth. The mountains have been more weather beaten and flatened than the southern alps of NZ but it is special in its own right. I loved the placed. We went on a 2 week drive holiday 2 years ago with our little one and enjoyed driving tassie almost as much as riding it. Almost.....

  5. We've done two motorcycle trips to Tassie and had a ball both times, though one of our crew coming down on a diesel spill took the shine off the second trip - as we all rode overly cautiously for the next couple of days. The ferry is quite expensive if you get a cabin, which makes the cheap flights to NZ an absolute bargain.

    1. Your right Jules if you factor in the boat trip and cabin then it does get expensive, that would probably pay for flights and a couple days bike hire in NZ. Tassie is one spectacular ride though I must admit.

      Hope you friend was ok after his get off. Where did that happen and more importantly was the bike ok.

  6. When can I expect my royalty cheques to start rolling in from me starring in those photos? I have a new set of tyres to buy, so don't hold them back!
    Good write up and even better memory. I can't remember half of what we did on that ride. Maybe it was the beer that you made me taste...all of the time!

  7. There were many beers drank on the trip, that I do remember. Some of the finer details are a little blurry by I still remember where we went to an most of what we did.

    Unless the tyres your buying are $1.80 your gonna need to be in a lot more photos.

    1. Hmmm...I don't get out of bed for less than $10 000 a day!