Cycling Tasmania part 2: Hobart & West Coast


West coast of TasmaniaTogether with Julian, I discovered Hobart for a few days. Afterwards I continued towards the west coast, further across the mountain region, up to Devonport and finally back to Melbourne by ferry. However, all that wasn’t as easy as it may sound…

MONA and Mt. Wellington
Our first destination was MONA – The Museum of Old and New Art –  the next morning. Probably the best known sight in Hobart. The MONA is situated at the northern edge of the city and you can get there either by bus or boat. We decided to take the water path. It’s a bit more expensive but you also get some sightseeing that way. E.g. we passed the Tasman Bridge, which got sunk by a boat in 1975 (interestingly this boat is still situated under the bridge today… just under water). The museum itself is privately financed by David Walsh, which made his fortune by figuring out a gambling system. Art museums aren’t really my thing normally but MONA was pretty interesting. Also because it’s so diverse.
The next morning, we visited the Salamance market at the harbor and did a bus tour to Mt. Wellington, which is situated just next to Hobart, in the afternoon. It is 1’271m high and Hobart is situated at sea level. Originally, we planned to hike up there but had to recognize, that it would be too far. It was also pretty windy and cold and we were not unhappy to be in the bus therefor… For me as a Swiss it was interesting to see, that there was no cable car going up and also no restaurant on top. Tasmania is still pretty wild and pristine.
Julian stayed for another day in Hobart. For me it was time to continue.

Back on the road: Hobart – Queenstown – Rosebery
I still had a few days left in Tasmania and therefore decided to give cycling another try. After a pretty unpleasant night (my unknown room mate was completely drunk), I was glad to get out of the room and took the bust to Queenstown on the west coast the next morning. We stopped at Lake St. Clair, but it was rainy at that time unfortunately. We finally reached Queenstown and because it was raining heavily, I went straight to a Cafe and organized a accommodation from there. Queenstown is a old mining city and you see the effect of this on the landscape very well. Most mines are closed in the mean time and the city seems to die slowly. I was told that houses are available here for a bargain…
I started cycling again the next morning. Rain finally stopped but it was still pretty foggy. I don’t have any pictures from the region therefor. The road went through a pretty hilly and also humid landscape; a rain forest. I wanted to benefit from the rainless time and only had short breaks till Rosebery. Rain started shortly after my arrival but I luckily already found a dry bed in the mean time. Tenting wasn’t really an option in this wet area.

Exhausting days: Rosebery – Cradle Mountain – Gowrie Park
It was still raining in the early morning and my start got a bit delayed therefor. I finally started cycling but got shortly after stopped by a car driver. He offered me a lift up to the next hill, which I gladly accepted. We started driving and he told me a bit more about the region. He is working at one of the mines in Rosebery. Finally we arrived on the summit and I got of the car before he returned to the village. He just drove up there for me which was very nice :-). I continued down to the valley through the rain, which had started again. In Tullah, the last village for a while, I stopped for having a Cappuccino and some sweets before keeping cycling. It kept going up and down and there was nobody offering me another lift. Slowly but surely, I got tired but I couldn’t have a longer break because I had to avoid to get stuck out there in the darkness… I was getting close to my limit when I finally reached the destination: Cradle Mountain. Yes, the place which I wanted to cycle to already at the beginning of my Tasmania adventure but had to stop because of a cold. This time I did it. I checked-in for a backpacker bed at the Discovery Camping. However, the heating didn’t work and the very friendly employee couldn’t fix it. Therefore, I got upgraded to a cabin which was great after such a day :-).
Cradle Mountain National park would be worth a few days at least but I didn’t have that time unfortunately. A few hours had to be enough before I continued to Gowrie Park and to the already known Wilderness Village. It was a hard day of cycling because I was just too exhausted from the day before. I finally made it and met there another traveller: Tomasz. He is originally from Poland but lives at the moment in New Caledonia. He also was traveling by bicycle before and also enjoys to take picture. We had a few topics to talk about therefor.

Final part: Gowrie Park – Devonport – Melbourne
I continued the next morning. First to the close by Sheffield and than further to Devonport, where I took the ferry back to Melbourne in the evening. I took again my mattress and sleeping bag on board but stayed at the end in my seat…
It was still dark, when we arrived at 6.30am in Melbourne and I first got a tea at a nearby restaurant therefor before continuing across the city to the apartment of Julian (thank you very much for your hospitality!). I almost had an accident on the way, because I was too tired and didn’t pay enough attention. Luckily the truck driver did a better job…
Now I have to get my stuff ready before flying to Singapore on Monday and continuing to Amsterdam a few days later. From there, I will continue cycling towards Switzerland beginning of July. This together with Femke, which I met in New Zealand. Those will probably be my last few hundred kilometers on the bicycle. At least for this journey.

All the best from Melbourne,

Stefan

PS: Pictures about Tasmania can be found in the Gallery.


About Stefan

I'm a telecommunication engineer by profession and like to discover the world by bike. I think, that it is the perfect speed to move but still be in touch with the world and the people which live there. And I'm very happy, that my girlfriend Susanna is joining me now on those adventures. If you are interested in other journeys we did so far, please also check my website www.biketravel.net. Stefan, Switzerland

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2 thoughts on “Cycling Tasmania part 2: Hobart & West Coast

  • rolf

    Ciao Stefan,
    wünsche Gut Flug, und beim “Finale” Deiner gewaltigen Reise (NL->CH) wirst Du wohl nur beim Schwarzwald ein paar Höhenmeter bekommen 🙂

    Geniesse die verbleibenden Kilometer, und drückt nicht zusehr aufs Tempo, der Sommer ist nämlich bei uns eingetroffen 😉

    viele grüsse, rolf

  • Sandra

    Willkommen zurück in Europa und bald zu Hause 🙂
    Geniesse die letzten Kilometer zurück in die Heimat und gib nicht allzu fest Gas, denn in der Zwischenzeit hat sich der Sommer bei uns wieder verabschiedet 🙁

    liebe Grüsse, Sandra