My Tasmania bike tour map

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Here you see all 10 stages of my bike tour across Tasmania with descriptions and some learnings for each stage. Click on any map to see it in a lager scale. There is also a more general map as an overview of all my days in our route on Bikemap, if you want to see it all on a single map.

Any route in Bikemap can be used and followed with the free Bikemap app for iOS, Android and Windows.

And yes, I am the founder of Bikemap ;)

Day 1

From Launceston to Tomahawk in 125 km and 900 m vertical climb.

I cycled out of Launceston on a beautiful rail track, had a good coffee in Lilidale at the Larder. Riding on the big road was just not the biggest fun. Right after Lebrina I took the beautiful side road Pipiers Brook Road northbound and continued on B82 to the east (which again had too much traffic). Just after Bridport the traffic got less and less, and cycling was all fun again. I slept at the campground in Tomahawk (and I would not go there again but rather try some of the camping areas around).

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See this route on Bikemap, all zoomable and with interactive map and elevation profile and also for GPX download.

Day 2

From Tomahawk to St Helens in in 103 km and with 1,430 m vertical climb.

I took a small side road, Banca Road, and it was great. Don’t follow the main road via Gladstone – unless you are going all way west on the “white” roads very close to the coast. They are not paved, but easy to cycle, and they are all very beautiful with great spots for camping. If I had more time, I would go there!

Instead I went via the hills, took the famous 99 bends up to Weldborough. That’s also a great route, but quite a climb. Once you are up on the top, you are done, literally. But there is a great pub with a campground on top. They have got every single Tasmanian beer on stock! Unfortunately I also had too little time to stay there (I should have stayed over night), but instead I went all way down (great downhill!) to St Helens.

Advice 1: take the gravel road along the west coast.

Advice 2: if you cannot follow advice 1, then split this stage in two and spend the night up in Weldborough, where you very likely will meet other cyclists.

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See this route on Bikemap, all zoomable and with interactive map and elevation profile and also for GPX download.

Day 3

From St Helens to Swansea in 123 km with 760 m vertical climb.

This route is straight along the coast. Beautiful cycling, very typical for the west coast, and not many alternatives.

The only alternative is south of Bicheno where you could head into Freycinet National Park. There used to be a boat service bringing you to the other side (where my read arrow is pointing to), but despite what you might find in Lonely Planet, this boat is no longer operating. In other words, if you cycle in (which is worth it!), then you have to cycle out the same way you came in.

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See this route on Bikemap, all zoomable and with interactive map and elevation profile and also for GPX download.

Day 4

From Swansea to Sorell in 110 km with 1,050 m vertical climb.

This is another route quite straight forward along the beautiful coast down to Orford. Don’t miss to get down to the beach whenever you can – you will be amazed!

South of Orford I went along the highway, and that was a mistake. There is more and more traffic, as closer you get to Hobart. After Orford cycling was not much fun, just because of the traffic.

There is a gravel road going along the coast from Orford south. I would rather take that one than the highway, although this road is not in a good condition and slows you down quite a bit (in March 2015).

If you ride along the A3 as I did, then you should at least ride via Richmond, that is the route I marked red. This is the best way to get into Hobart without having too much stress with the heavy traffic.

I was again thinking I had not enough time (it later turned our I went much too fast, both for my plan and for my enjoyment), and I went down to Sorell and took a taxi from there to Hobart (for about 60 AUD). I would rather not cycle from Sorell to Hobart, it is really not a road for bikes.

When cycling along the A3 you find a small road going almost parallel to the west. That is Aldrigde Road. I took it, and it is a beautiful ride, much nicer than the A3 and no detour at all.

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See this route on Bikemap, all zoomable and with interactive map and elevation profile and also for GPX download.

Day 5

From Hobart to Ouse in 91 km with 720 m vertical climb.

There is a beautiful bike path leading north from Hobart. It is just west of the water and following the railway. Take this way out!

After about 30 min of cycling you will find big signs indicating the way to the famous MONA museum. Go there. And go in! And don’t expect to be out before 3 or 4 hours later. It is worth taking time for it.

Do you see my two red arrows indicating where the traffic was too much? Just before the first arrow is a bridge, take that one, cross the river and cycle on it’s north side. You will do about 5 km more, but you will enjoy the ride. I went the southern and shorter way, and I could not enjoy it for too much traffic.

Hamilton is a pretty little village, perfect for either a coffee or even the night. You find both a campground and a hotel there.

I went further (again because I was afraid of not finishing my loop in time) to Ouse, which is not pretty at all, and the hotel is… well… old.

In Ouse you will find the last supermarket for the following days, so buy food.

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See this route on Bikemap, all zoomable and with interactive map and elevation profile and also for GPX download.

Day 6

From Ouse to Derwent Bridge in 81 km with 1,360 m vertical climb.

This is a day of a steady climbs and with two advices:

Do the little detour to Tarraleah. It is a basically abandoned village close to an old (and working) hydro plant. But there is a café, and the hdyro plant is worth seeing.

Going to Tarraleah means to “lose” some elevation, but in real it is not worth mentioning.

The second advice is: Don’t follow the main road past Tarraleah. It will go all way down to the river and all way up again on the other side.

Instead just cycle the 14 Mile Road, which is not paved, but in very good condition. There is no traffic, but much of a beautiful landscape around you.

Just before Derwent Bridge is “the wall in the wilderness”, where Sculptor Greg Duncan is carving the history of Tasmanian Highlands in the form of a sculpted wall. It might be worth visiting (fee 15 AUD), but since it closed already at 17 h I was not able to get in. You will not miss it, there are signs just before Derwent Bridge.

I have no idea why all Australia seems to shut down at 17 h.

I spent the night at Derwent Bridge in the Wilderness Hotel. In fact it was just in a little cabin next to it, where I had to use my sleeping bag for a fair price. Why did I stay there? Because I was hungry and the restaurant of the Hotel is quite nice and it has a decent collection of good whisky.

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See this route on Bikemap, all zoomable and with interactive map and elevation profile and also for GPX download.

Day 7

From Derwent Bridge to Strahan in 125 km with 1,620 m vertical climb.

Again a day on the only road available, no detours possible.

After the summit and the downhill you will pass Nelson Falls. There are signs, you cannot miss is. Stop there and walk in. It is a National Park, so you need the permit (at least officially). The falls are nice, but the walk to the falls is even nicer. You will see the “real” rainforest.

Queenstown is good for shopping in a supermarket or a quick coffee, but not more. I did not like it at all.

The way further down to Strahan is all but a straight downhill. In fact you will spend twice as much time cycling up than gliding down. Or more.

Strahan is pretty. I stayed there for two days, because I wanted to do the river cruise, and because there was a day of rain expected. For both reasons it was a good idea.

The river cruise is almost a day trip (9 – 14:30) quite expensive, but also very well organized and really impressive. Do it if you can afford it (starting at 105 AUD for the cheapest seats – you don’t need a more expensive one!).

Instead of staying in my tent during the rain, I spent my two nights in the apartment above the Bushmans Pub, and I can highly recommend it (as the food in the pub).

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See this route on Bikemap, all zoomable and with interactive map and elevation profile and also for GPX download.

Day 8

From Strahan to Corinna in 93 km with 970 m vertical climb.

Not much to say about this route, except: it was one of the best parts of my whole tour in Tasmania!

The road from Strahan to Zeehan is wide, but not much traffic around. Zeehan is an ugly village, but it has both a supermarket (the last one for at least two days, stock up you food!) and a café. I had my coffee at Pitstop, the only café in town, not the most beautiful place, but at least some coffee.

Past Zeehan the road is wonderful. Almost no traffic, a beautiful and remote road leading deeper and deeper into the rainforest.

There are two roads going left between Zeehan and Corinna (to Trial Harbour and to Granville Harbour), both going to the water, both dead ends, but both worth cycling – if you have got the time. I met several cyclists who went there, and they all agreed upon recommending these detours.

The last few kilometers before Corinna are gravel, but you can cycle well. The downhill just down to the ferry at Corinna is great, actually one of the best downhills I have ever cycled.

The ferry stops operating at 19:00, and the restaurant and campground is on the other side of the beautiful river.

The campground offers a few wooden platforms for tents, no electricity and the shower needs 2 AUD coins. And still they charge 40 AUD for a night, with is actually too much.

The dinner at the restaurant was good.

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See this route on Bikemap, all zoomable and with interactive map and elevation profile and also for GPX download.

Day 9

From Corinna to Waratah in 63 km with 1,270 m vertical climb.

This day was the highlight of my tour. The road out of Corinna is gravel until Savage River, and I did not see a car for hours. The rainforest is reaching into the road, you see deep green all day long, just wonderful.

Just 3 km past Corinna there is a junction with another gravel road turning left. If you have got enough time, follow this road. It will lead you even further through the rainforest, you will get more ans steeper hills, but you will love it. This will then the most remote part of the tour, leading you to 122 km over gravel until you see the next asphalt road in Marrawah.

There is a mine in Savage River, and therefore you will see a few trucks once in a while, but not much traffic.

Just before Waratah there is a sign indicating a path into the forest, 1 km along a gravel road to Philosopher Falls. This is incorrect, since after 1 km you will still not be there, but only at the trailhead leading to the falls after about 45 minutes walking.

But that walk is magnificent. Dot it! You will be deep in the rainforest. And don’t bother about the falls, they are not worth seeing – but the way there is!

In Waratah you can either set up you tent or sleep in a very old fashioned (but somehow nice) hotel. I went to the hotel, and among all the guests I was the only one who was not a mine worker. Quite a strange surrounding.

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See this route on Bikemap, all zoomable and with interactive map and elevation profile and also for GPX download.

Day 10

From Waratah to Port Sorell in 136 km with 650 m vertical climb.

About 7 km past Waratah I went down to Burnie along the B18. There is another highway a bit further west, the A10. Do not take it, it is much worse to cycle.

The road to Burnie is almost completely downhill. I did more than 30 km/h in average with a bike fully loaded and scaling more than 45 kg.

But I only decided going directly to the north coast, because bad weather was expected in the mountains, even snow. So I skipped my plan to cycle past Cradle Valley and further along some minor roads to Launceston (which is supposed to be a great ride), and instead I went down to sea level, where it was 10 degrees Celsius warmer than up in the mountains. And sunny.

In Burnie I realized (and double checked online) that I had a strong wind blowing from west to east. That was a tailwind, a very strong tailwind indeed.

So I took a deep breath (and several piccolo lattes in Burnie), booked some random hotel in Hawley close to Port Sorell and committed myself to doing another 60 km that evening.

Man, I was flying!

Both Google Maps and Bikemap did not want to route me along the main road past Burnie. For good reason, since there was much traffic. But I wanted to speed up, so I stayed on the (actually very wide) shoulder of the road, and I found it okay.

After just 8 km I was able to switch to beautiful side roads along the coast, via Penguin and further. I followed the advice of the Bikemap routing and did the detour via Forth, which was good for two reasons: if avoids heavy traffic, and if leads on lovely minor roads through beautiful landscape.

I just made it with the very last sunlight to Hawley House, my randomly booked hotel, which turned out to be so lovely, that I decided to end my tour there and relax for another two night on the great balcony of my room, overlooking the turquoise bay and writing this blogost.

I then cycled back to Devonport after my third night at Hawley House (via Latrobe, which was a good decision for  beautiful and quiet road along the river) and took the ferry back to Melbourne.

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See this route on Bikemap, all zoomable and with interactive map and elevation profile and also for GPX download.

I wrote 2 more articles about cycling in Tasmania:

  1. One recommended further reading is my blogpost with 60+ photos of cycling Tasmania.
    Further reading: my article with 60+ photos of this tour.
  2. Another article is about the 50 tips and advices for a bike tour in Tasmania.Ohne_Titel_3 2

Copyright of all maps: Toursprung, Bikemap, OSM Contributors.