Every lane is a bike lane
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
Day 21: It's all about avoiding the tourists
Early morning departure from Rosebery, more patches of light rain on another overcast morning. At least it offers some relief from Tasmania's legendary U.V. The early part of the ride had some sharp ups and downs through the forest, offering some occasional mountain views. A supposed tourist attraction about 20km south of Rosebery was the Renison-Bell mine. It didn't really hold a lot of interest for me.
Proceeding further south, and further west, the vegetation gradually started to thin out a little. Eventually I reached another old mining town, Zeehan. This place had once had a population of around 10,000 in the old Silver mining days, however, the silver didn't last long, and the population fell to a few hundred. It's undergone something of a revival of late, becoming the housing base for Renison Ltd. The reason I recite the history of the town here is that it's the towns most interesting feature by far. There isn't much else to do in town (except wonder why the cyber cafe at the local library isn't actually open when it's hours say it should be).
After leaving Zeehan, stocked with groceries at the local supermarket, I continued to head south-west, toward Strahan, but with no intention of even trying to find accommodation there. I know a tourist trap when I hear of one. I wound through more mountain scenery, before hitting the west coast lookout. It's one of the few places on the west "coast" where the ocean is actually visible.
A few more mainly downhill km led me to the Henty Dunes reserve. The sign on the "highway" says "day use area only", but the information sign in the reserve says camping is permitted. I took the advice of the reserve sign, and set up camp in a very quiet area, just 11km away from a totally booked-out tourist town.
I also took a walk to look at the Henty Dunes. These are giant sand dunes on the beach, some 30 metres high in places, whipped up by the strength of the wind in these parts. I'm not sure what effect freezing rain has here, but I'm sure it's part of the equation. Still, it's the closest thing I'll have to "going to the beach" on the west coast.
The rest of the updates to follow later. I'm running out of time here today.
"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.