Route: (Middleton) Hobart to Dairy Plains via the East Coast (Swansea, Bicheno, St Helens) Derby and Launceston.
Weather: typical Tasmanian Spring. Sunshine, wind, drizzle.
Distance and time: 531 km, 9+ hrs -leaving home 7am, arrive 4.30 pm.
Stops: Kingston, 15mins; Sorell, 30mins breakfast; Triabunna, 15mins; Swansea, 15mins; St Helens,1 hour lunch; Derby, 15mins; Scottsdale, 10mins petrol; Launceston, 15mins; Dairy PLains.
The day started well, out the door by 7, right on time, as I drove the loan car back to the body works and dressed for bike riding there. We were early enough to not be caught in the full onslaught of peak hour traffic and stopped for breakfast at Sorell, a good half hour out of Hobart. It was drizzling by this stage but as we headed further north and east the sun came out and was fresh but nice when we stopped another hour on at Triabunna. The east coast of Tassie is beautiful. Rolling hills of bushland and lush paddocks full of sheep and froliking lambs on one side with the Tasman Sea, Maria Island and Frecynet Peninsula on the other. A perfect bike riding road in between. I was prepared to take lots of pictures, and hubby was happy to stop anytime I wanted but with the wind and hazy weather there was nothing that really stood out for me. Plus I was enjoying the ride and the feeling that comes with being out in the open air. There is nothing quite like it. Stopping briefly at Swansea to ease the sore bums, stretch legs and have a drink I snapped off a picture of what the weather was doing, and from then on it become really windy. I was ok with it mostly, but its really hard to not overcompensate when taking a corner and having the wind wanting to blow you the other way. I do what i do on a normal corner but needing to push against the wind you don’t want to upset the bike and rider too much. Arriving around 12ish in St Helens we were ready for lunch and decided an easy fish and chips meal was just the thing. As most towns on the water who serve food, there is always a punt/converted fishing boat somewhere close by. I took the scallops while hubby had prawns and we shared a huge fillet of fish (flake for those in the know). The next leg was heading inland towards Derby, an old mining town with a rich Chinese history. (If you take the bridge pictures, and signs along the way as any indication, we chose not to go through the museum this time) The wind did not let up and with road works along the way made the trip interesting but at least it was still sunny. Stopping by the river for a leg break and take a few pictures we were soon on our way again to Scottsdale for a petrol stop. From Scottsdale there was a range to climb up and over to get into Launceston and that’s where the fun started. We had agreed that maybe the rain would be better than the wind. Well, it pays to be careful what you wish for. It didn’t just rain, it hailed. Oh fun joy. A quick stop for rest rooms and to check the exact location of my sister’s place and we were on our way. Highway riding is pretty boring and in the rain, even more so. A hot coffee to warm the hands, clean socks and hogging the heater helped to thaw us out. And that was day 1.
Update. I forgot the maps.
Hobart to St Helens.