View Full Version : A Woody Day Out (in Tassie)

29-05-2007, 08:58 PM
A Woody Day Out

We had a higher altitude dirt run planned for a week or so. The Mothers Day 400 km run over some of the high plains dirt in SW Tassie had just got the demand going for more. Tassie dirt roads in early winter are great – just enough dampness to wet down the dust and not enough to make any slippery clay slimy. Dale was meeting some guys on Suzuki DR’s and a 650 Strom in the centre of Tassie keen to explore some dirt. From Campbell town and with plenty of fuel we decided to try to get to Woods Lake (Woods_Lake.kmz) South of Arthur’s and the Great Lake but not using Poatina bitumen.

After a short tar run to retrieve a lost mobile phone from one of the DR crew on the way South (amazing he found it) at the intersection of the Lake Road, at last the twisty single- laners would start and the tar sections would stop punishing the 400.


It was an awesome day, temp in the range of 15-20 degs, sun, some wind, high cloud and fuel in the tanks(maybe not enough for some???)

The roads in this area carry farm vehicles and not much else. A small group of Cattle slow the pace as we soon reach the first of more than 40+ kms of gravel and logging tracks. Dale (DR650) sets the lead and pace on these tricky and ever tightening sections.

The lighter Suzys soon jump forward with the kilo dirt munchers (Tiger and Capo) acting as bookends in amongst the small but glued pack. We make great progress whipping left and right on a leafy but well made path that has seen plenty of Toyotas and Nissan’s no doubt by the tyre tracks in the now softer under floor as we slipped past Mt Patrick – higher points still to come.

At a big split the forward group have run on as the rest wait to see if we have to go left or right – it was right, the left fork closed shut with a complete NO PASS boom. Many of these forest tracks can be closed but we lucked it today as the right fork would prove to be clear (this time!)
The track was much softer now, enough to throw clods and sods as each belted forward





Dave’s Tiger snorted off as it struggled to push 100hp into a clay pat – the back tyre won heaving slime cakes everywhere as it slid and gripped it’s way outta sight – nuts – but fun. We pushed on and had to back track and check many times as we hit one dead end after another – it looked hopeless. At one stage we were just below a peak, Frogs Hill at 1060m, the rock scree tumbling like solid lichen covered frog’s eggs either side of this narrow gutted ramp… but again the track ended in a log burn – no where to go. Lower down the slopes of the Central Plateau ( Little_Den.kmz) we followed an old very rock path into what little forest was growing on these rocky high slopes – it was first gear and stand up work on the 200+ kilo bikes, the smaller machines hardly slowing much. Success! We regrouped for a bite to eat and a pose for the camera – surely we could get through after that as we had landed on a very solid gravel road with tyre tracks.


Again the pace was on and again we climb even higher but this time it was more obvious we were heading through a large valley on a lower part of the mountains here the gums were plentiful and getting bigger as we made great progress, hopefully toward Woods Lake. The track switched form clay to gravel then rocks and back to clay again, some recent rain had worked well. We pushed on through a tight and very rocky section, again 1st gear work behind a trio of 4WDS that had appeared near the end of this section and BINGO we joined a major track/road to the lake.
The lake was quiet, eerie quiet, some signs of human access but apart from the gravel car park and a wayward hat I found on a log you could believe you were explorers discovering a remnant lake never before found by humans. The gums here were very tall and straight as arrows. A cluster appearing as a ring as if to host some special “treaty of trees”….the mind plays tricks at this altitude or the cool breeze sliding past my neck gives me the creeps?


Maybe this person "Woods" has something to do with this sixth sense. Even my bike looked nervous and quiet - :D a sharp contrast from the blapping and snorting of only 15 mins ago.


A few, proud trees have suffered from the rocky surrounds and fallen to point the way out – West.


I kept getting weird feelings about this place as if some colonial convict/bushranger had squatted here in the 1850’s escaping the King’s law. I’ll “Google” that one.


The Strom was relaxing, it’s TKC’s having done their bit to get both self and jockey to this point with no dramas.


A few small duck bobbed on one edge of a lake which appears to be completely edged by rock, not smooth rocks as you would find from sea action or glacial drift but gnarly and jagged rocks. Here we had time to chat and swap a few stories of the tracks up to here.




The Suzys were chatting away as well – very content in their efforts hauling adult frames over mountain and peak.


Dave’s helmet was getting a bit cool so it got “that hat” treatment with style


Time to go, it was getting on to 2PM and we were still (just) in the middle of Tassie with no fair idea of how far to the next bit of swift dirt road. After going West for 13kms of the worst gravel I have ever ridden on the big Capo (including the Dargo High Plains at the height of the drought with it’s bull dust pits!) we reached Arthur’s Lake and blasted to the general store. Just in time as the smaller 400 DR was breathing fumes it’s 9litres having been squeezed through after more than a 100kms since top up at 11am.


Life is simple up here in the high plateau and lakes… you either fish….shoot or r………ue the day you did not get a motorbike with some dirt prowess. Some hot pies, coffee and great yarns with the store keeper and best of all some fuel for the DR’s. Both Mega Dirt munchers happy to make the rest of the trip on the same tank of 25L they topped up at Campbell town (this is when carting all that fuel over all those rocks had some sign of intelligence to it) I would have gladly given half the fuel away about an hour or so earlier if I had to push the sucker out of a rock jam!!
Here we made some new plans, we were close to the epicenter of the road network in central Tassie. The Big Bores would run on via the Steppes to Interlaken and then on to Bothwell and we would part company with the Small Boars. On the steeds and off, some great tar bends to the Lake Hwy and then a boring run south on near dead straight high plains tar – time to relax and gather the thoughts before some of the quickest twisty dirt you will find in Tassie.

Off the tar and the fun starts with 60kms of sheer riding pleasure – a quick blip of the throttle on the Big Boars and it’s 130+ in a blink…dust forming the Tiger disappears quicker than a Thylacine. The sun is dipping but the temp is rising as is the whirl of dust from the back tyre of the DR 650 scorching off at more than 140+ – this road is as quick as you are brave as you drift wide on open exits the tyre snapping on the odd rock poking it’s head up as if to say “pull me out - if you can! “ …and we do!
The Small Boars catch up at the junction and it’s a friendly farewell to the “other Dale” with still about 100kms to go of more fantastic scenery, dirt roads and then tar back to Hobart for the Big Bores. The Small Boars still about 160Kms from home


The day is not done before the sun grabs the top of Woods Quoin. We had been in the Woods, then at the Woods (lake) - can we ever out run the Woods??? it seems not, causing me to stop and grab a shot – but what a way to finish a superb 440Km day of gravel, mud, rocks, clay, fine dust, big gravel, smooth hard pack and …..tar.. of course. Good speed and great skills with some top guys make a day like this. OK so the ride calendar will host a few more high plains dirt – there’s plenty in the backyard ;))


A late afternoon as May wanes and the Dennistoun Farm looks like it would be just as at home in Pennsylvania….was that an Amish cart I saw trot by or a ghostly rider named “Woods” clouding his oil skin in dust???


30-05-2007, 08:10 AM
:clap: :clap:
What an excellent way to spend Mother's Day!

How will you spend Father's Day, Tim-Tim? :lol:

30-05-2007, 08:17 AM
top report and photos Tim

I have to get a set of those TKCs for my strom


30-05-2007, 04:41 PM
A fine day out Tim and a great story with pictures to match. Tasmania has is it all for the Bike Rider, both off road and sports touring. What is L going to do on Father's Day?


30-05-2007, 06:40 PM
I hate stories about how good the riding is in Tasmania.
I think any reference to Tasmania should be banned on this site.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

02-06-2007, 08:17 AM
top report and photos Tim

I have to get a set of those TKCs for my strom


Thanks Marty, still not happy with the limits on pics - need one of those RAM systems and a wireless remote for the L thumb - now there's an idea?? The Stromette was very nimble and the TKC's are very good on the softer stuff not sure how long he is getting from them but...

02-06-2007, 08:24 AM
:clap: :clap:
What an excellent way to spend Mother's Day!
Beats doing the washing up!

How will you spend Father's Day, Tim-Tim? :lol:
...ahhh..can I phone a friend??

02-06-2007, 08:28 AM
A fine day out Tim and a great story with pictures to match. Tasmania has is it all for the Bike Rider, both off road and sports touring. What is L going to do on Father's Day?


Hey Treas!!! Great to see you here..now you can get busy with some posts seeing as you live in "Gods Triangle for Biking in Tassie" on the E coast.

I reckon she ought to bang the boots on and ride off herself (sans licence ;)) )

02-06-2007, 08:31 AM
I hate stories about how good the riding is in Tasmania.
I think any reference to Tasmania should be banned on this site.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

well look who'se talking - you are on the doorstep to some of my best Aussie rides East past the Dandys!! Anyway I'm starting to feel like a mouse in a treadmill down here - getting giddy from all the lopping around the isle - can't wait to break free..on...tornanti! :))