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  1. #1
    Member 123Roadie01's Avatar
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    Touring Tasmania

    I am looking to tour Tasmania (In Australia) in February 2009. I am looking to stay in Backpackers and Youth Hostels and I would like to know if anyone has been there and done this or is there anywhere that is more bike friendly.

    I would prefer to stay in a tent, but Tasmania is very windy and rains allot. Spending night after night cold and wet in a tent after riding up hill into a head wind (the standard direction the wind blows when your on tour), doesn't appeal to me.

    Also if there is anyone touring Tasmania at the same time it would be interesting to meet up for a coffee.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I spent 3 weeks in Tasmania in November 2004 ... and my husband, Rowan, lived there most of his life.

    I've written a little bit about my 3 weeks there here: http://www.machka.net/australia/nov4.htm While I was there I camped, stayed in hostels, and stayed with people along the way (including Rowan ).

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    Quote Originally Posted by 123Roadie01 View Post
    I would prefer to stay in a tent, but Tasmania is very windy and rains allot. Spending night after night cold and wet in a tent after riding up hill into a head wind (the standard direction the wind blows when your on tour), doesn't appeal to me.
    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    You are from Queensland, aren't you...

    In February, it might be a bit windy, but they are scorchers from the north. You might be grateful for the afternoon seabreezes.

    Your biggest problems might be fleeng from bushfires and recovering from the nasty case of sunburn (you'll only ride unprotected by sunscreen once on a hot, sunny, February day in Tasmania).

    <wipes tears from eyes>

    Have a look at some of the recent threads to which I have posted on the subject of where to go in Tasmania.

    The YHAs are fine. Very pleasant in fact in all the key places you might choose to spend a night, including Coles Bay, Launceston, Strahan, and Hobart.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  4. #4
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    You are from Queensland, aren't you...
    If the OP has spent any significant time in Queensland (last "summer" doesn't count), I doubt he'll be complaining about the heat in Tasmania, although I'd advise keeping plenty of water on hand just in case. I've toured there in the middle of summer -- I spent more time worrying about the cold. The point on the sunscreen is a big one though. Get a 30+ sunscreen and reapply it every couple of hours.

    As far as accommodation goes, if you'd prefer to stay in a tent, just do it. While it rains often there, it doesn't normally get heavy the way tropical downpours do (apart from the West Coast, which is a world of it's own). A halfway decent tent will keep you dry most of the time. The old tent I had in Tasmania was literally on one leg, and it kept me dry the whole time -- even during the downpour at Strathgordon.

    The real problem I seem to have in Tasmania is broken chains. I broke three in a month in 2003 (I've only ever broken four in my life), then when I returned for a weekend in 2006, my rear derailleur fell to pieces.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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    OK, let's take a little looky-see at what the Bureau of Meteorology says, with a comparison between Brisbane and Hobart (seeing the capital cities are what people use to judge an entire State's weather).

    This is for February, and the data is all mean:

    Minimum temp: Brisbane 20.6 deg C. Hobart 12 deg C (no arguments there, cooler, but NOT FREEZING).

    Maximum temp: Brisbane 29 deg C. Hobart 21.6 deg C (no arguments again, cooler, but for many people, more comfortable particularly in relation to cycling).

    Rainfall for month: Brisbane 158.mm. Hobart 40.1mm. (HUH! HUH AGAIN! Surely there must be something wrong here... but no, the official BoM says Brisbane is a wet sponge in February while Hobart gets by on just one-quarter of the rainfall).

    Rainfall on days of month: Brisbane 8.8 days. Hobart 4.9 days (hmmmm... better chances of drier cycling in Hobart than Brisbane, I'd say).

    Daily sunshine: Brisbane 6.6 hours. Hobart 7.3 hours (PARDON??? More sunshine in Hobart? Impossible, surely!! But no, the BoM, and latitudes don't lie... that means more cycling per day in dry sunshine, or lolling around on the beach or in the forests in the beautifully long twilights; pity they turn the lights off in Queensland so fast at the end of each day).

    Clear days in month: Brisbane 3.5. Hobart 4.3 (gee, that means days without cloud... neck-and-neck, I'd suggest, despite perceptions to the contrary).

    Cloudy days in month: Brisbane 13.4. Hobart 12.1 (Brisbane loses again).

    Windspeed at 9am: Brisbane 7.5km/h. Hobart 12km/h (not that much difference, but enough, I suppose, for the Queenslanders to go Ah-Ha! Gotcha!)

    Relative humidity at 9am and 5pm: Brisbane 69% and 60%. Hobart 64% and 55% (Hobart gets the nod for the cycling comfort factor).

    Shame about that rainfall figure.

    And I lived on the Atherton Tablelands for over two years, so I have a fair clue as to what tropical Queensland weather is like -- and in February, preceding and including The Wet, it is darned uncomfortable.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    I'd love to go to Tasmania too -but count me in as a real wimp when it comes to tropical weather -I visited a friend who lives out in Cairns in the middle of Winter and it was hot enough for me then! Atherton Tablelands was lovely though -in some ways it reminded me of some English countryside (well, less the 5,678 deadly poisonous snakes and spiders and really sunny weather).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    And I lived on the Atherton Tablelands for over two years, so I have a fair clue as to what tropical Queensland weather is like -- and in February, preceding and including The Wet, it is darned uncomfortable.

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    Don't forget the stinger tree that can also kill you.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  8. #8
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Someone a while back posted a ton of pics from their Tasmanian tour.
    They both rode folding bikes.

    (Edit) this is it:

    http://tinyurl.com/234qv2
    Last edited by Hobartlemagne; 09-30-08 at 07:49 AM.

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  9. #9
    Member 123Roadie01's Avatar
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    Well, this is interesting reading. I will check out those web sites and not pack my thermals after all.

    Rowan, have you tried meditation or at least a relaxing tour to Nimbin in Northern New South Wales?

    It sounds like there has been a few people tour Tasmania. Is there anywhere that anyone would particularly recommend to ride?

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    I toured tassie in Jan/Feb 2006.

    Places I recommend:
    the entire east coast
    the entire north coast
    hobart
    Freycinet Peninsula
    Maria island

    stayed in YHA's in Feycinet and onshore of Maria (sorry, can't remember town name).
    camping is fine.

    I un-recommend the west "coast", unless you like riding through a tunnel of trees.

    I missed out on the central mountains, it was snowing (in Feb!) that year.

    be prepared for wind, sun, rain, hills, cool animals, beautiful beaches, friendly people
    ...

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I un-recommend the west "coast", unless you like riding through a tunnel of trees.
    See ... I enjoyed the tunnel of trees. For some reason I love riding in those conditions. But the tunnel of trees started with some gorgeous views of the ocean and ended with Strahan.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123Roadie01
    Rowan, have you tried meditation or at least a relaxing tour to Nimbin in Northern New South Wales?
    What are you talking about?

    And stop playing around with html in your posts.
    Last edited by Rowan; 10-01-08 at 02:34 AM.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    Oh yeah, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY Chris L!!!!

    Good to see a such well-developed cynical streak in a young man

    Many long and happy tours, mate.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  14. #14
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123Roadie01 View Post
    Well, this is interesting reading. I will check out those web sites and not pack my thermals after all.

    Rowan, have you tried meditation or at least a relaxing tour to Nimbin in Northern New South Wales?
    In all seriousness, there is some great riding to be had around Nimbin and that part of NSW generally, although Mullumbimby is probably a better base than Nimbin. True Wheel Cycles has information on some truly awesome rides in that part of the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by 123Roadie01 View Post
    It sounds like there has been a few people tour Tasmania. Is there anywhere that anyone would particularly recommend to ride?
    My toplist includes Bruny Island, the Tasman Peninsula (the backpacker hostel at Eaglehawk Neck specialises in welcoming cyclists), Maria Island, The West Coast (better get a few practice rides in around Maleny before tacking that one), the Bay of Fires/the North East (only if you like dirt roads), Cradle Mountain (spend a day or two walking around there), Freycinet National Park and Mt Field National Park. If you're really up for some serious climbing on dirt roads, check out Jacob's Ladder near Launceston.

    Oh yeah, my own tour journal from Tasmania can be found at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Tasmania2003

    EDIT: I'd pack the thermals just in case. You'll probably only need them for one or two days, but on those days you'll be glad you have them.
    Last edited by Chris L; 10-01-08 at 03:18 AM.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  15. #15
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Oh yeah, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY Chris L!!!!

    Good to see a such well-developed cynical streak in a young man

    Many long and happy tours, mate.
    Awww, shucks! Now I need to take a tour around Nimbin.



    "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 blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  16. #16
    Slowpoach
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    Tassie is gorgeous in February. The berries and cherries are still in season, the weather is as good as it gets. You don't get much more bike-friendly than Tassie (at least from Stanley around the north and east to Hobart and the Huon). Can't comment on the east coast, but from driving it I can tell you it's got some steep bits, the towns tend to be smaller, and there's some cruel climbing from Queenstown on.

    I've only camped there on a group tour, but despite two rainy days (out of 10) it was very pleasant. There are some moderate climbs on the North and the East coasts, and longer ones if you head to Cradle (which you should!).

    There are lots of posts on touring in Tassie. Avatarwolf had one on Aust/NZ - I'm not sure if they'll be there then. I'd agree with all the highlights others have mentioned. I'd visit Port Arthur too.

    Good luck!

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