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View Full Version : Tassie Thrills 'n Spills pt.1


glitch
22-03-2006, 12:50 PM
Feb 2003
2 Weeks,
2 glorious weeks on Tassie's minor roads, linking the best of "sealed" with some interesting dirt.
Ingo showed up on time, emerging battered from the looong Pacific-crossing flight from LAX/ US.
Making Ingo waterproof...or is that the new helmet??
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Add Garry on the Dommi (Honda Dominator)…. Ingo and I swapping the XT600 and the Pegaso.
Bikes loaded up around midnight Friday, it was up early Saturday morning to meet David and Sue at Station Pier to see us off.
What one needs...going camping, mate?
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The day-cruise proved to be worth loosing a day on-land with the sun burning down and not much to do; things started off the right way.
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Impromptu entertainment onboard :) This guy rocked !!

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The bikes seemed to have a life-of-their-own with all the gear on the back…
The setting sun greeted us in Devonport where we dropped off some spare parts for Tim's Pegaso, which did miraculously find their way from the Devonport Fire Station to some place around Hobart within a day…

Then south towards Sheffield via some small and twisty side roads and the locality of Nook, south out of Sheffield via Paradise towards Mole Creek striking it lucky for a bed for the night at the Mole Creek Cabins, a few clicks out of town towards Deloraine.
Checking the forecast while still aboard the ferry, it’d looked like we'd be missing out on the Western Explorer (Smithton-Zeehan) once again, a front was coming from the West.
Looking sweet...
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Into Deloraine the next morning; the signs to Liffey Falls (25km south) were too tempting, the first 20km of sealed road a great run of twisties before the 5km of dirt, down into the steep, narrow valley.

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After the walk to the Falls it was back onto the bikes and some photos of that little cool gully before the climb up the narrow dirt-road… then turned off onto another dirt road towards Liffey.
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At the end of a steep, gravely hill, Ingo stopped at the T-junction (well... nearly stopped, that is), where he decided that the Peg was too heavy, laying it on its side. No big damage, just some paint and a slightly crooked handlebar.

Up north to Westbury for a late lunch, then north again, turning left to Birralee and a sweet little set of twisties to Frankford, then more twisties north to Beaconsfield, a bewdy of a road.
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With scenery and sunshine to match, we crossed the Tamar River via the Batman Bridge, and then followed a maze of tiny, twisty roads and turnoffs to Lilydale, most of them sealed. Towards Scotsdale on the main road before a 16km dirt-blast from Nabowla towards Bridport up north.
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It was the first time the XT felt good despite all the gear and the last stretch nearly saw the speed limit…

Bridport Backpackers was the only "hole" left, and we had it all to ourselves :)
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The sun's out next morning and it's off further east, the B82 running parallel to the coast is fairly boring.
The turnoff to the town of Tomahawk is welcome, we're going for a look-see.
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We all stop at a lookout point, then Garry and I get going, Ingo on the Peg doesn't follow. Where the hell is he?
Going back to check on him he's still at the same place, pointing wordlessly at the front tyre: A bloody flat...and here, of all places...
Garry goes scouting for a compressor and returns half an hour later together with a guy in a 4-WD ute, complete with plank in the back. Huhhhh?
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The arrangement is a bit complicated, but we're pulling out of town a few minutes later, the Peg on the back of the ute, to drive to some farmhouse and shed where we can find a compressor.
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People here are just unbelievable...!!
About lunch and we're rolling once more, with all the best wishes of our saviors heaped upon us.
Further east and the road turns to hard-pack clay/small rock; and speeds are up again with all of us praying that the patched tyre will hold, we've got some serious dirt coming.
Gladstone is the last refuel stop, then further north east on good dirt to the tiny hamlet of Poole

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where we try our luck at some beach-riding before it's back again for the 20km loop through the incredibly beautiful Mt. William Nat. Park.
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What a place :)) Speechless !

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Back towards Gladstone, then a sharp left and east again to Ansons Bay and the lighthouse at Eddystone Point, things getting tricky by the fine quartz-gravel on the road....it's like riding on tiny ball-bearings.

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The shoulder is very soft and deep, treacherous, Ingo is probably worst off on the heavy Peg which is shod with Metzeler Tourances (not really made for this stuff), at least he's carrying the lightest load.

Back into Ansons Bay for a quick look, then the final run into St. Helens for some great tucker at the Pub and some well-earned pots.

Quarters for the night was the same B&B as last year, this time the Angelina plum-tree at the car park was raided for some "juicy desserts".

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Arrrghhhhh :o :o :o :o
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More sun the next morning, off to Binalong Bay on the coast, then north along the lagoons to The Gardens for a look at the fantastic coastal scenery. Gorgeous !
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This little stretch of the coast has become one of my favorites, the absence of commercialism is a blessing.
Back to St. Helens, then south on the main road through Scamander and an all-out chase up the twisties to St. Marys for some 2. Breakfast at the Pancake Shop, back to St. Marys and west towards Fingal for a few km before the turn north onto dirt and some plantation country to Mathinna.

On the way down from the ridge the road was cut through the hillside and a wallaby made the leap-of-faith from one steep bank to the other….right across the road and above my head, I nearly shit myself.

Still funny to see the critter not quite making the high bank and scrambling for purchase.... the first close one for the day.

From Mathinna west to Upper Esk, then via some shady, hard-packed bushroads up the hills where I thought some friendly log-trucker gave me some way and minimized the dust by stopping on his ascent… just to realize that his mate was coming downhill and was RIGHT BEHIND ME. As in 6ft. Another shaky moment…
Finally back to the blacktop at Upper Blessington before the climb to the Ski-area of Ben Lomond.

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This was another one of those targets I've always wanted to go to but never got around to….good, because on a roadbike it would've been murder.
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The scenery is simply overwhelming, the bush in the lower section, the piles upon piles of scraggy rock-chimneys further up, the stunning views, it's just about too much, what a place !!
Up there???? You're shittin' me !!!
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After "Jacob's Ladder" the road flattens out onto a plateau, with a small winter (only) resort at the end,

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crowned by a few T-bars, not much compared to Mt. Buller or Thredbo, but the scenery beats the mainland-resorts hands down.

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We took our time up there, nobody else around, the "feel" of the place put a spell on all of us
(we were also pretty apprehensive of the downhill run). Things worked out fine, then came a relaxing tootle on the way west to Evandale, Longford and Deloraine, the pub in town beckoning with big steaks and cold beer, the beds were forgettable, though. A walk through the quiet town after dark settled the mind after the day's input-overload.

Another bright and sunny morning, the forecast for the west finally promising 3 good days in a row and through Mole Creek, up the hill, then south towards Lake Rowallan.

Just past the main turnoff a dirt road branches left, up the hill towards Lake Mackenzie. Once the ridge is climbed, the views are stunning, Cradle Mtn. a stone's-throw away, and a short walk leads to Devil's Gullet, a great lookout.

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Back to the paved roads and it's on for a mad 3-bike chase west to Moina,
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then north to Ulverstone on the coast, the rear OEM-Trailwing on the XT600 is toast, a new one found at Steve Blizzards North-Coast M/C, thanks for the quick service with a smile.

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It's getting too late in the day for more backroads, we make tracks along the coast on the run west to Smithton, just to be unable to find a roof for the night, nobody wants to pitch tent tonight.
After some calls, Ingo comes up with a Heritage Cottage in Stanley, back we go the 30km to be met by a palace, what an adobe… This is style with all the trims. Even enough bits to impersonate the local Don Capo.

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Tomorrow it's the Western Explorer.
FINALLY… After 3 attempts, THIS time it seems to be a goer. It's OURS !

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Weather has always been the deciding factor, Tassie's West is usually wet-and-wild, and this road has had quite some history.
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Part 2?? Hit the Western Explorer---->
http://www.austouring.com/forum/showthread.php?t=806

wobbler
22-03-2006, 07:37 PM
Thats it >:(

I have to get myself to tassie.

I had heard that the sealed roads were good but the dirt looks even better 8-)