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Chris L circles Tasmania Chris L is spending a month riding around Tasmania. Follow his progress here

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Old 12-27-03, 11:24 PM   #1
Chris L
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Day 14: Let's explore Launceston

Having decided to bring up yesterday short, I set of early again to head for Launceston, Tasmania's second city with a population of around 70,000. The ride into "Lonnie" was quite easy, with only one sharp descent to really take note of. One of the first things I noted about this place was the spread-out nature of it's suburbs. While not a massive city by any means, some of it's suburbs are up to 10km from the centre of town.

Only one place to camp in Launceston, a caravan park near a highway. Probably not the ideal place to pitch a tent, and judging by the lack of signage, the local tourist authority seem to agree with that assessment. I was getting quite annoyed with the place when I couldn't seem to find my way to this caravan park (the others in the other Tasmanian towns were pretty well signed).

Eventually, with the help of some directions from a local, I found the place, and ended up finding a place to camp that left a little space between myself and the highway, even if it was miles from the entrance. I then set off to have a look around Launceston, given that I've come all this way.

The main attraction in the city is Cataract Gorge, A section of the Tamar River surrounded by vertical rocky walls (which seem to be a rather surprising habitat for Lyrebirds). The other thing to note about Launceston is, like Hobart, the number of old (i.e. 19th century) buildings still standing in the centre of town. Back home at the Gold Coast, they've bulldozed just about anything predating the 1970's.

I took a few walks around the Gorge, went back into the city and had some lunch at a bakery (another thing to note about Launceston, food here really is good value), and took a late afternoon ride up to Trevallyn Dam, where a local cyclist who was there told me the story about where Launceston gets it's water from. I'm wondering whether that will take the mystery out of the copious amounts of water that I'm so fond of consuming.
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Old 01-25-04, 11:43 PM   #2
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Obligatory Launceston street-scape
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Old 01-25-04, 11:44 PM   #3
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Aerial view of Cataract Gorge
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Old 01-25-04, 11:45 PM   #4
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A more conventional view.
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Old 01-25-04, 11:45 PM   #5
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What was a lyrebird doing in Launceston anyway?
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Old 01-25-04, 11:46 PM   #6
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Another one!
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Old 01-25-04, 11:47 PM   #7
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The Gorge again.
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Old 01-25-04, 11:48 PM   #8
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Little house on the Gorge
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Old 01-25-04, 11:49 PM   #9
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Tamar River, Launceston.
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