Two Days Toodling Around Tasmania’s Southeast

Posted

After having such a great run of weather two and a half weeks I guess it would be unreasonable  to have been disappointed with less than ideal conditions over the last two days. Yesterday we experienced pretty significant winds travelling north out of the Tasman Peninsula, and today was just pretty cool and overcast for almost the whole day. I don’t really mind, but would like to have been able to showcase this beautiful part of the state in its best light. Everybody has still been very happy with what they’ve seen but I know they would be in raptures if had been warmer and the skies were clear. Here’s the story of where we’ve been and what we’ve been up to …

Stewarts Bay to Richmond (87 kms; 1178 metres elevation)

The main factor yesterday was, as mentioned above, the wind. We had strong crosswinds with some stretches where the road bent us around so we were riding directly into the wind. This images shows whitecaps kicking up in Storm Bay just north of Dunalley, with kunanyi/Mt Wellington in the background …

And if you look closely at this photo where Sharon and Di pushing directly into the wind you can see the grass beside the road bending backwards as they ride past …

Thankfully it wasn’t that exposed for the entire ride: this was an occasion where we were quite happy to be riding up hills from time to time for the shelter they provided.

I was curious as to the reality that would have been recorded by the BOM’s website, so I looked up the observations for Dunalley, which was about the halfway point of our ride. This is what was revealed, with the red box highlighting the winds during the time we were on our bikes …

We have had quite a hot and dry summer throughout Tasmania, and it’s been a long time since the countryside has looked as dry as it does. I had to feel sorry for this mob of sheep …

… which collectively started shuffling towards me in the hope of a feed when I stopped to take a photo.

A picnic lunch in Sorell was scheduled but with the weather conditions being what they were, Sam decided to organise for a cafe to provide sandwiches and cakes instead. Here’s a photo of most of the group getting warmed up out of the wind and discussing the day’s conditions …

After lunch we only had about 13 kilometres to traverse via a brief stretch on the Tasman Highway before veering onto Brinktop Road and up over its hill before rolling down into Richmond. This is really the way to arrive in Richmond, as the road takes you over the oldest bridge in Australia, completed in 1827 …

I detoured to take a picture of the church up on the hill …

Richmond is a well-preserved town with lots of houses and other buildings surviving from the colonial era. Here’s a great photo that I think Andy took, with a rainbow arching over one of those old buildings …

My main agenda upon arrival was to get into the Richmond Arms and have a refreshing drink and something to eat. One of the neat things about this hotel is that they’ve got a lot of snippets of Australian poetry on the walls, including this one from Dorothea MacKellar’s “My Country” …

After that, with the less than ideal conditions there wasn’t much left to be done for the day except get showered, get a bit of rest, eat dinner and go to bed. The good thing about all of that was that pretty much everybody seemed to get a good long sleep in readiness for today!

Richmond to Kermandie (88 kms; 1400 metres of elevation)

Today was dawned cool and cold – it was about 3 degrees Centigrade when we met at Czeg’s Cafe for breakfast. Conditions were supposed to improve during the course of the day and I guess they did somewhat, but not as much as we’d have liked, what with cloud cover moving in and stopping the temperature from rising as much as the forecast suggested it would. Still, with a pretty interesting route over Grasstree Hill, across the Bowen Bridge and skirting the main part of Hobart before climbing over the shoulder of kunanyi/Mt Wellington then descending into the Huon Valley everyone pretty much forgot about the lack of warmth and enjoyed the journey.

Here’s a photo Di took of Sharon and me just after we emerged onto the old Huon Highway from Strickland Avenue …

After climbing to 500 metres above sea level together, we started down the other side, but not before Sharon paused to take this photo looking southeast back towards the Tasman Peninsula where we’d been the day before …

At the bottom of the hill one arrives at the Longley International Hotel, where I persuaded Sharon to pose for a photo …

We had one more hill to climb for the day, which took us up to Vince’s Saddle, and then it was the nice fast descent to the Huon Valley. There is a pick-a-plank bridge (which we suggested people might like to get off and walk across) …

… that needs to be negotiated on the way into the Summer Kitchen Bakery and Cafe in Ranelagh. With this barrier crossed we were finally into the heart of apple country …

… and the home of the fabulous Summer Kitchen Bakery Cafe, maybe the most prized day ride cafe destination for southern Tasmanian cyclists.

After finishing our lunch Sharon and I set off together so I could escort her to Geeveston, the home of the Rosehaven TV series.

There are some great views along the water’s edge as one heads south. Today didn’t showcase those views as well as we often see them, but in a more muted way they were still pretty good …

Sharon is a big fan of Rosehaven, but what I most like about Geeveston is the panel-beaters lot at the southern entrance to town, with its whimsical junkyard art  …

While Sharon stopped to look around Geeveston I continued south to complete the popular Scotts Road loop.

Along the way I paused just long enough to photograph this view alongside the road …

There was plenty of time to relax and discuss the day with the rest of the crew before we convened for dinner …

The Kermandie Lodge is quite a historical fixture in the southern part of the Huon Valley and although very much modernised retains lovely touches of the past, like this old Tasmanian Blackwood dresser in the foyer …

It’s been a while since Dianne and I have been in here, and we’ve never stayed the night before. We are so much taken with the place we think me might organise a stay down here again soon, riding our bikes from Hobart, heading further south and back again to the lodge the next day before then returning home the following day. Sounds like a plan to me!

I will leave you with two images of our journey for the past two day. The first shows more detail; the second zooms out to show scale and overall position within Tasmania. And, once again, I will now head off to bed so that I’ve got a bit of juice in me for tomorrow’s ride to Adventure Bay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *