Saturday, April 16, 2022

Tasmania 2022 Day#3 - Saving Tassie one pub at a time tour

The Deloraine bakery was open this morning so we could inject some much needed funds into propping them up whilst I enjoyed a delicious scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast. We discussed route plans here. The boys were going to go up over the great lakes again before heading back east up through Scottsdale. Flyboy and myself had other plans, we would try and meet up with them at the Pub in the paddock in Pyengana via gravel roads out past Ben Lomond, if all else fails meet up in St Marys our destination for the day.

On the way back from breaky we saw these three 70's Kwaka Z900's in pristine condition. We chatted briefly with the owners who were coming back from some larger ride.

Flyboy and myself took the road back out to Ben Lomond national park, we went through Blessington and Upper Blessington where we stopped for the following photos overlooking Jacob's Ladder. I'm glad we rode up there on day 1 in such good conditions as today was overcast.

We took to the gravel roads up into the hills to Upper Esk and then back down to Mathinna. Mathinna looked eerily like the town that time forgot, definitely banjo country. It was 26°C out today and most little shacks had their chimneys belching smoke inexplicably, it wasn't cold . There was absolutely nothing open here and we didn't see a single sole. So we continued on up the road towards Ringarooma. The road suddenly forked to the left and put is into thick forest and a shortcut to mushrooms.

There just something I love so much about riding through these pine forest roads, I don't know what it is but I can't get enough of it. Maybe it was time spent out in the pine forests camping as a boy scout in my youth, can't put my finger on what it is.

As we were standing here taking photos we looked over into the forest amazed at the amount of rubbish people have been dumping in here. Bottles, cans, car parts and other junk, in such a beautiful spot. People can be absolute pigs at times. Then we saw these little fellas growing right beside the road.

Thank you Tamron F2.8

Still clean but its about to get much dirtier

Just around the bend the road turned to gravel again and wound it's way up through the hills in tight bends through the forest until it came to the top of a ridge line where the trees had been cut down and there were views out over the valley's and surrounding hills.

We continued along from the lookout with mostly good graded gravel road, until the last couple of kms from the turn at Mt Albert Road where the gravel got a bit thick and slippery. Flyboy was kicking up the dust so I slowed down to get a clear run. I was sliding around a bit which slowed my progress a little but was still doing ok. 

Flyboy was waiting for me at the turn off and continued along, with some rather large mountains hills in front of us. Made for spectacular riding through the forest with these big hills looming up in the distance. The road was a mixture of different surfaces but mostly good graded gravel with the odd slippery section thrown in to keep you on your toes. The Karoo3 front seems to be doing great on the tar and pretty decently on the dirt only had 1 front end slide so far, the rear Motoz in the dirt is great also handling everything with ease.

We then came to a turn off to the left that was unsign posted. I'm sure this is the road we are supposed to take so we turned in and stopped and had a quick look at the map. Yep this was it alright. I didn't like the look of it as it was a single car width track that disappeared over a steep hill. I could hear Han Solo's voice in my head saying "I've got a bad feeling about this".

Photo by Flyboy

It turned into a steep descent  down 15 km bends on slippery gravel then throw in a few steep uphill bits on slippery gravel, I was working hard now, crouching over the bike trying to maximise my control of all the levers and gear shift, concentration was high. But to my surprise the big twin just torqued it's way up those slippery slopes with a fair amount of throttle at the bottom to get up there. I was working up a sweat as I still had my warm liners in, I should have stopped and taken them out. D'oh.

Flyboy stopped at the top of one of the hills to see I was still there. I mentioned to him that this is about as narly as I want to do with my rusty dirt skills. He said the same which made me feel slightly better. But from this point on the worst was behind us even though the road thinned out even more to just 2 wheel tracks across some farming land, where we soon got dumped back onto the road just a couple of km's from the pub in the paddock. I said to him "The guys will never believe I rode this bike through this terrain" He gave me a big grin and said "Yeah they won't but I saw it"

Photo by Flyboy

We were finally out on the flat plain and only took us about a minute to get to the pub, that road threw us basically right out on top of it.

We were soon tucking into a bowl of hot chips and a beer to quench a hard earned thirst. The Little Rivers Pale ale really hit the spot, a nice beer.

The pub in the paddock is renowned for its beer swilling pig Priscilla II, Priscilla had passed away a few years back and had been replaced. I tried to text the other guys here but had no reception. We waited about 30 minutes and few bikes came and went but none of our crew. So we made the decision to head off, we would catch up somewhere along the way.

As we got into St Helens I saw a sign for the Bay of Fires only 10kms, we had plenty of time so I said lets go and have a look. So we took the road out to Binalong Bay. The rock formations along here are stunning with their colours, must be awesome at dusk or dawn during golden hour. I didn't want to wait around till then as I'd rather not encounter any of the wildlife after dark and an ice cold beer was waiting for us in St Mary's.

So enough looking at rocks it was time to get to St Marys, we made our way back along into St Helens. Just as we passed the petrol station I save Dave in there, so hooked a u-turn and we rode back and filled up. Dave had kept riding from Scottsdale all the way having too much fun and left the others behind, where as the others turned into the pub in the paddock where we were going to meet.

We decided to not wait and we would meet them at the pub so continued up the pass to St Marys. Why is it that there are no cars anywhere until you come to a sweet set of twisty bends and then suddenly there's 2 or 3 cars to stuff up your fun. Took a while to get past safely but we did and blasted up the mountain pass. Good fun.

The St Marys hotel was a great little pub, awesome meals and super friendly staff. I had  3 lamb cutlets for diner at $24 and they were huge and awesome value.

Cool devil firepot out in the beer garden and looks like the guitar has been used in anger.

Another Awesome day in Tassie. I took my internal rain and warm liners out once we arrived and got out of our gear, so it should be a bit cooler on the ride tomorrow. Great weather so far in the mid/high 20's so far, will be a great trip if this continues.

Pubs Saved Counter:               5      
Bakery's Saved Counter:         2

Day 3 Map Reference


  1. That's one cool day in the saddle Steve! Wonderful photos and brings back great memories from our trip. Do you know if that cool motorcycle museum in Bicheno is still there?

    1. Hi Geoff. Thanks for your kind words mate.
      I'm pretty sure that I saw the motorcycle museum had closed in 2020, probably another victim of Covid and lack of tourists.

  2. i see yers were taking little bites outta those mushrooms

  3. Good to see that you're finally embracing the gravel 😜 Photos show some nice fast stuff I reckon.

    Keep at it!

    1. Yeah those bits in the photos were good sections 80-100kmh road. Funny Tassie has all gravel roads speed limited to 80kmh, not that we complied with that, there's no police out there anyway. We saw about 3 cars on those gravel roads.