Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Tasmania, you've been missed

Tasmania is a photographer's heaven, treacherous to a rider however.

In roughly 10 days I've been like a ball in a pin ball machine, bouncing off the walls and exploring everywhere in between. This part of the trip has been so adhoc that I have nothing more than a rough idea how much travelling has been done. Perhaps 2000km. Not bad for a little island.

Tasmania has a lot of rugged terrain. Places you can hike for days and still be isolated. That terrain because of what it is, is also beautiful. Have you ever thought that the more beautiful the place, quite often the more inhospitable and dangerous it is? I wonder what it is in human nature that finds beauty in such places, yet there it is.

Not much has changed since I left 9 years ago. Except for the loss of driveway service at petrol stations. Yes, even 9 years ago they often still had people to come out and fill the tank, check the oil, clean the windscreen. That's gone now. When I lived in Tassie last time, the place was swarming with logging trucks. Often moving surprisingly quickly, as they knew the roads well. Gunns was the company involved with the logging which has since folded, but apparently there's still some forestry work being done, yet I didn't see any of the trucks.

For a rider, this place is dangerous. There's little trust to be found in the road surface. The road is often narrow, off camber, and patches of gravel on the corners which has been dragged up by the locals who cut in on the left hand turns as there's no road shoulder. When oncoming traffic are on their right hand turns, expect people to cross on to the wrong side of the road. Same reason, off camber, and the outer part of the road is so rarely used there's gravel on it, so encouraging more bad driving. Same as the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, keep away from the white line, or be hit. Once making peace with this, life is less stressful. For anyone else who rides here, use a slower entry into the left hand bends, keep to the left side wheel track, less gravel there. I once cornered normally using the width of my lane, crossed some gravel and the back tyre broke loose, so I was drifting sideways around the corner. Fun, but scary when unplanned!

Here's what makes Tasmania memorable.

Lunch is done properly. Wrest Point casino in Hobart. Tasmania is a great foodie destination, punches well above its weight.

A place I used to live, I forgot how isolated Liena is! At that time there was a bikie gang one end of the valley, Wiccan coven down the other.

From Round Mountain lookout towards Mt Roland.

Last time I was here, I had a diesel Nissan 720 4WD ute. I wasn't wearing a flannelette shirt or ugg boots though.
I boiled the radiator dry climbing to this point, and had to borrow some water from a tourist with a caravan. I later snapped its crankshaft. Twice. Don't buy one. Very bad.

Between Mole Creek and Liena. This used to be part of my daily commute!

Sheffield doing its mural thing.

Sheffield has murals, why? I'd be happy with just having Mt Roland as a backdrop!

Moulting Lagoon eastern Tasmania.

My lowly campsite in Stanley. Stanley is one of those places that just feels right.

Part of the after dinner, want to do something so may as well climb up "The Nut" at Stanley. 140m above the town. STEEP! Great calf stretch.

Looking from The Nut at Stanley.

Looking from The Nut at Stanley.

Last of the daylight at White Beach. Great campsite.

Lake St Clair, Australia's deepest  lake, looking towards Mt Ida. . Very tranquil, beautiful place. Great to camp or cabin. Food however while good, is very, very expensive. Captive audience prices.

From Mt Wellington looking down at Hobart.
Looking along the rugged coast from the Edge of the World, Arthur River.
At this latitude, the westerly winds have been uninterrupted since Argentina, which further south hosts the End of the World in Ushuaia.

The plaque says...

I cast my pebble onto the shore of Eternity.
To be washed by the Ocean of Time.
It has shape, form and substance.
It is me.
One day I will be no more.
But my pebble will remain here.
On the shore of Eternity.
Mute witness for the aeons.
That today I came and stood,
At the edge of the world.

Brian Inder

I cast 3 pebbles, the first 2 didn't skim.


  1. Ahhhhh..the skimming :)...sounds like you're having a great time.

  2. Tasmania has been missed in my neck of the woods too. I have never seen Stanley. Looks like some beautiful views. And I have yet to see a clear view from Mt Wellington of Hobart. I imagine it's still rather windy up there too.