Touring Tas - Central Highlands & NW

xastorm
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Touring Tas - Central Highlands & NW

Postby xastorm » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:14 pm

I'm doing a trip over in February. Key points - basically credit card travelling (motels/cabin accommodation, not carrying any camping gear) and I'm fit and good with hills. I am taking a CX bike and am okay on rough gravel but have no mad mountain biking skills..

My proposed route is as follows.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26574956

1. Devonport - Quamby Corner (75km, 900m VA)
2. Quamby - Lake St Clair (115km, 1650m)
3. Lake St Clair - Strahan (130km, 1550m)
4. Strahan - Corinna (95km, 1100m)
5. Corinna - Arthur River (110km, 1550m)
6. Arthur River - Crayfish Creek (95km, 600m)
7. Crayfish Creek - Devonport (105km, 1050m)

Is there anything glaringly wrong with this as a plan?

I need to lock in the route tightly as I will be booking accommodation soon at a few of the smaller stop-overs so I don't miss out on a room.

My biggest queries;

Prevailing wind direction.. I was planning a clockwise loop.

Corinna - Arthur River via C249.. all gravel.. how rough is rough? I was hoping 25s would be okay for the whole trip but after reading some other blogs, am thinking possibly not. I have 35s but don't like them on tarmac, and with 5/7 of the days all road.. 28s?
Also 110km on smooth gravel is one thing, but rough gravel will make for a LONG day. I can't see anywhere else along this route to stop overnight and break it up though.

All thoughts and suggestions welcome :D

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Warin
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Re: Touring Tas - Central Highlands & NW

Postby Warin » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:07 pm

xastorm wrote:Is there anything glaringly wrong with this as a plan?


If you just want to ride, ride ride ...no.
If you want to see something of Tasie... then add some days?

A day or 3 at Cradle Mt will not be wasted. Lots of walks, even getting to the top of Cradle Mt.

Zeehan for their museum. You should be able to get accommodation here.
See the museum in the morning and then a short day to Strahan and then the next day on the steam cog railway to and from Queenstown. Then back north.

xastorm wrote:Prevailing wind direction.. I was planning a clockwise loop.


Tassie = Roaring 40s .. from the west! With passion.
If the weather is fine I'd go out to your coastal route first, the inside bit has a little more shelter from the wind if not the rain.

xastorm wrote:Corinna - Arthur River via C249.. all gravel.. how rough is rough? I was hoping 25s would be okay for the whole trip but after reading some other blogs, am thinking possibly not.


Fine white quartz sand with a firm base. 28 would be fine I think. I suppose if there is a lot of traffic on it that could cut up the base and make bicycle travel difficult, ask the locals how deep the fine sand is to the firm base. North of Arthur River I don't know.

I'd go out to Waratah - lunch in the Waratah Hotel would be good - have a burger. Then on to the A10 north, no longer the main route, scenic+, it is down then up so a Tassie hill. If you have time then south of Davenport is Latrobe - Anvers Chocolate - then do nice food, pricy but nice. And chocolate of course.

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RonK
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Re: Touring Tas - Central Highlands & NW

Postby RonK » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:57 pm

You would want to be very fit to ride Corinna to Arthur River in a day.

There are some very steep climbs according to the blogs I’ve seen.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

xastorm
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Re: Touring Tas - Central Highlands & NW

Postby xastorm » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:21 pm

Thanks Warin and Ron.

I didn't mention in the original post that I just rode Peaks Cradle Mountain in November (the inspiration for this ride!) and had a few extra days touring the NW, plus I am on a tight time-frame and I used to live in southern Tasmania. These factors all combine to explain the fairly ride-heavy versus sightseeing itinerary, and no Cradle in the route.
I can wing an extra day before I need to be back on the boat so if I do the loop anticlockwise as suggested by you Warin, I could then take an extra day to explore the Strahan/Queenstown area. Corinna is the only night that I have to lock in, due to limited accommodation, so once I've passed there the rest can fall into place.

The only problem going anticlockwise is the barge from Corinna doesn't start ferrying until 9am which is a late start if it's warm. I'll look into Waratah as that then allows me to skip the barge.

Decisions decisions. I appreciate the suggestions :D More research required for C249. And wider tyres!

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RonK
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Re: Touring Tas - Central Highlands & NW

Postby RonK » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:05 am

You may find this journal a useful read. David Renton took two days between Arthur River and Corinna (but he does admit to being slow). It will give you a good idea what the surfaces will be like.

Slow Tour of remote Tasmanian North West
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Fish
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Re: Touring Tas - Central Highlands & NW

Postby Fish » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:55 pm

Hi, I cycled from Stanley to Devonport a couple of years ago. The A-2 between the Stanley turnoff and Boat Harbour was the scariest bit of road I have ever cycled on in my whole life. It was terrifying. I would never do that again. I was lucky I was not sucked under B-Double's, Pantech's and logging trucks roaring past at 80 kms per hour only about a foot away from me. The big problem with this stretch is that there is only a few inches of shoulder on the road on the off-road side of the white line. If you go off the edge of the bitumen then you are into loose material and you risk falling off your bike. The road is also quite narrow on each side along this stretch and lots of bends at times too. This means that if there is someone coming from the opposite direction the trucks and cars have nowhere to go to give you the room that they should when passing you at the same time. Also, trucks do not see you till the last minute on corners and they have no time to slow down. I would highly recommend that you avoid this stretch of road. From Boat Harbour on there are side roads that you can take which are lovely. I am not sure what the road is like from the Stanley turnoff heading west on the A-2. But it is also frequented by big trucks too. It is their only route. I went through there I think the second week in February. The sad thing is that there is a disused railway easement that follows the road the whole way that should really be made into a bike trail. I reckon it would attract thousands of riders every year if they put that in.

xastorm
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Re: Touring Tas - Central Highlands & NW

Postby xastorm » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:40 pm

Great link, thanks Ron. The photos have given me a much greater idea of what to expect between Corinna and Arthur River, and to be honest, it is nothing like what I imagined! I was thinking tall forest trees and ferns, not such stark landscape. I am all about enjoying the riding, not punishing myself with huge days back to back, and it is looking like a fairly epic day based on his blog. That and the comments from Fish re the A2 have me rethinking heading up to the NW coast at all, and I am now reconsidering going inland and back to Devonport via Cradle.

Really appreciate the opinions and suggestions, thank you.

xastorm
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Re: Touring Tas - Central Highlands & NW

Postby xastorm » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:11 pm

Updated route is to skip the C249 to Arthur River and instead head across from Corinna to Cradle, and spend an extra day at Cradle hiking.

If I go via Waratah I can get an early start without having to catch the barge back across the river, however it's been suggested that Tullah is the more scenic route? I'm also trying to work out how much gravel each route involves with respect (again..) to tyre choice and the distance. Hopefully I haven't swapped the 130km steep gravel day to Arthur River with a 125km steep gravel day to Cradle :wink: At least going inland I have access to food along the way.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26596526

Still trying to decide the nicest way to return to Devonport.. up to Penguin and home via the coast (but from Ulverstone it looks like the Bass Hwy is the only option :( ) or take the reverse route to Peaks and go via Moina/Cethana/Sheffield. I think I'll give Spellmans Rd/Upper Castra a miss this time :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Warin
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Re: Touring Tas - Central Highlands & NW

Postby Warin » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:31 pm

xastorm wrote:If I go via Waratah I can get an early start without having to catch the barge back across the river, however it's been suggested that Tullah is the more scenic route?


Tullah = main road ... lots more traffic. Tar.

xastorm wrote:Still trying to decide the nicest way to return to Devonport.. up to Penguin and home via the coast (but from Ulverstone it looks like the Bass Hwy is the only option :( ) or take the reverse route to Peaks and go via Moina/Cethana/Sheffield.


Shffield is nice, murals. Moina has a food place IIRC.

Bicycle path from Penguin towards Ulverstone .. bit of it looks like on the Hwy .. hopefully that bit is wide.

xastorm
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Re: Touring Tas - Central Highlands & NW

Postby xastorm » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:21 pm

Cheers, thanks Warin. Will take Waratah Rd to Cradle, and thinking I'll avoid Penguin/Bass Hwy and go to Devonport via Cethana :mrgreen:

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