Every lane is a bike lane
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
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Day 16: Big Waterfall
Another day, another classic ride. I set off early from Launceston, attempting to beat what passes for traffic in Tasmania. The first couple of km were virtually all uphill as I climbed out of the city. I took a "service road" route on the old highway (next to the new one) for a few km out of Launceston, passing through a couple of historic towns along the way.
Just after Carrick (a good place to check out the architecture), the road heads south, almost billiard-table flat through farming country. As one heads south, the views of the Great Western Tiers loom larger. Now the ride starts to get interesting. A few other little hamlets are passed along the way, one which as a habit of displaying paintings on it's street signs (would you believe the name of it escapes me as I type this, but I'm sure it will come back to me later on).
About 40km or so into the ride, the climbing starts. At first on a winding narrow road through a deep valley alongside the Liffey River. Gradually the level of forest cover here increases, and these are real forests, not that pine rubbish I saw in the North East. Eventually I reached the lower entrance to Liffey Falls, where I took a walk to the base of the falls. A note here, although the lower walk is longer than the upper one, it's generally the less touristy of the two, and not as far off the route, so I think it's the better one to do.
An hour of so of walking through the rainforest leads to a massive waterfall, not so much in height as bredth. Unfortunately there were a few more tourists than I would have liked to have seen here, but the falls are insipiring just the same.
Shortly after returning to the start of the track and getting back on the bike, I started a mind-buggeringly steep climb on a dirt road. This was granny gear stuff, but the upside is that gradients like that generally aren't sustained for very long, and I found myself on a cruisy ride through the forest on a quiet little dirt road.
After gaining 600 metres in height from Launceston, I soon found myself descending toward the town of Deloraine. The descent goes through the forest (with a few rather interesting cornering situations) before the final section through rolling farmland, which is somewhat greener than what I started in this morning.
I arrived to a campsite in Deloraine, spend probably longer than I needed to updating my journal (hence the note about 'getting the wind up' yesterday), and found a campsite by the Meander River (sometimes in the river after heavy rain - Great!). Most of the remainder of the day was spent in search of more food, and a less successful search for the next 1:250,000 map in the series. If only I'd thought to get one in Launceston.
"I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
"We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.