Five Days Across Tasmania From Hobart to Devonport

Nico pedalling out of Miena by 4 Degrees Celsius

Nico is a triathlete with many sub-11 hours Ironmans under his belt. Mostly a road cyclist, he’s been riding gravel for weekends away with friends.

Flying to Ouse on my improvised gravel shredder

I’m an endurance runner with a preference for trails. I have a mountain bike and road racing background from my days at uni in France and I’m still commuting daily in Sydney. This is my first gravel trip.

We share an unconditional love for cycling and while we compete in different disciplines we often join forces to go for long rides around Sydney.

After a few months in Sydney and little aventures since I came back from my Big Lap last year…I was keen to discover new horizons…and Tasmania had been on my bucket list for a long time.

A couple hundred WhatsApp messages, two prep. catch-ups and a 200k ride later…the plan was ready

The Concept

  • Ride Light and Fast for five consecutive days
  • 80 to 140km stages
  • 6 to 9 hours per day by daylight
  • Sleep in B&Bs, hotels…with dinner and breaky organised (see list below)
  • Essentials only (clothes, food of the day, water, repair kit, toiletry) ~5kgs
  • Follow the Tasmanian Trail as much as possible but priority to riding instead of pushing bikes
South to North via the Tasmanian Trail

In a Nutshell

  • 545 KM / 8,900m D+ / 30hrs on the saddle
  • Gravel vs Road % – Distance ~ 50 / 50 – Time ~ 70 / 30
  • 350 dollars each (Food, Drinks and Accomodation also including Tassie Trail membership / Key / Donation – thanks for the great work!) – add transportation (see details below)
  • Sunny with headwinds for 4 days / rain on the last day
  • 3 pinch flats (due to the type of tyres I had) – no other mechanical issue

Highlights

  • The wild life everywhere on the trail
  • Eating blackberries all along the way
  • Sleeping at Base Camp Tasmania hosted by Graham
  • A dip in Lake Echo
  • An ice cream at Bronte Park with Shane and the locals
  • Riding the plateaux towards Miena
  • A Cascade Stout beer with Glenn and Cody at the Central Highlands Lodge in Miena
  • Play pool with Jess and Hannah in Poatina’s general store
  • River crossings on our way to Sheffield
  • Riding fast to Devonport on the descending section before going back on the tarmac

Kudos

  • Hobart Airport for the bicycle station with tools and pumps
  • Cody for the lift to the general store in Miena after a long day on the saddle
  • Central Highlands Hotel in Miena for giving us the right directions and avoid troubles around Poatina
  • Spreyton Motorcycles for the bike wash and box in Devonport

Bicycles

Nico’s gravel (Focus) ~10kgs:

  • Alloy gravel bike frame
  • Mechanical UItegra – 36 – 46 front chain ring / 11 – 32 Cassette
  • Disc brakes
  • 40c tubed tyres on alloy rims

Bastien’s Trek Emonda SL7 Disc

  • Carbon Frame and Fork
  • DI2 Ultegra – 34 – 50 / 11 – 32 cassette
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • 28c Panaracer Gravel King tyres with tubes on Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 Carbon wheels
    (the widest I could fit on my frame)
  • MTB pedals

Bags

The Five Stages

1 – Hobart to Base Camp Tasmania (Glenfern) – 125 KM / 2800m D+ / 8 hours – Road and Gravel – not technical

It’s up the hill to BCT but Graham will happily come down with his car and a bike rack to give you a lift.

2 – Glenfern to Ouse88 KM / 1,872m D+ / 7h – Road / Gravel / Single tracks
Slow progress after Glenora – also we missed a part of the trail on Pillies road
Note – stock at IGA before 6PM or wait until 8AM

3 – Ouse to Miena92 KM / 2,196m D+ / 7h – Mostly gravel, hilly, not technical
Stock up at the General store as you get into town (closes at 6PM) – the Central Highland Lodge is a few Ks down the road

4 – Miena to Golden Valley110 KM / 1,614m D+ / 7h
Mostly road as we didn’t strictly follow the trail – recommend the gavel road going through Liffey falls into the Golden Valley

We avoided the Poatina section of the trail and took the road – beautiful downhill with nice switchbacks then get into Saundrige road and Liffey Falls Road

5 – Golden Valley to Devonport104 KM / 1,664m D+ / 7h
Mix road and gravel – technical sections and crossing the Mersey river – rolling from Sheffield

Travel

From Sydney to Hobart – Jetstar flight – return – 425 AUD incl. 50 AUD oversized item and 50AUD for 15kg luggage

I caught the Red Lines bus from Devonport to Hobart – start 7 or 11 AM – 4h45 – 70 AUD +15 for the bike (don’t need a box)

You can also fly back from Devonport via Melbourne or from Launceston

Also you can catch the Spirit of Tasmania to Melbourne – if you do – have lunch or dinner at “15 Tables” in East Devonport by the Ferry Terminal

Accommodation and Food

  • Hobart Airport – 7 miles beach cabin
  • Glenfern – Base Camp Tasmania – sleep in the forest in the mountain in eco accomodations surrounded by wildlife – 81 dollars each including dinner and breaky – Graham – (04) 1423 8458
  • Ouse – Lachlan Hotel – 99 AUD for two with individual beds + 10 dollars breaky – (03) 6287 1335
  • Miena – Central Highlands Lodge – 150 AUD accomodation + light breaky
  • Quamby Brook – Quamby pines chalet – 136 AUD for two incl. breaky – Add 15 dollars pp. for dinner
  • Devonport – heaps of options on Airbnb – choose East if you want to be close to the Ferry Terminal or Airport / West if you want to go out in the evening in the city centre

Packing List

Clothes

  • Socks (2 pairs)
  • T-shirt Merino SSL (1)
  • Undies (1 pair)
  • Long sleeves merino T (1)
  • Buff (1)
  • Trail runnning shoes (1 pair)
  • Shirt – thick
  • Cap
  • BIB shorts x1
  • Waterproof jacket (Salomon)
  • Sunnies
  • Gloves (Spe)
  • MTB shoes
  • Helmet
  • Winter gloves (TNF)
  • Down jacket

Toiletry

  • First Aid Kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Hydroalcoholic gel
  • Aquatabs
  • Contacts
  • Prescription glasses
  • Vaseline or Powpow
  • Tooth brush
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Panadol / Nurofen
  • Toilet paper

Bike stuff and repair kit

  • Tubes (2)
  • Patches, glue…
  • Break pads (1 pair)
  • Derailleur hanger (1)
  • Chain breaker (1)
  • Adapter Shrader / Presta (1)
  • Pump (1)
  • Lubricant (1)
  • Multi tool (Check all sizes on your bike incl. Derailleur hanger) (1)
  • Pedal key (1)
  • Tap key (1)
  • Zip ties
  • Electrician tape
  • Duct tape
  • Nylon line
  • Needle
  • Small knife
  • Lights
  • Head torch
  • Water bottles (2 x 750ml)
  • Soft flasks (3 x 250ml) for days with long distances between filling stations

Other

  • Phone
  • GPS
  • Cash money incl. coin s
  • Go Pro
  • Cable Sunnto watch
  • Cable USB-C for phone and Go Pros

Inspiration

About the Tasmanian Trail

About Bikepacking

2 thoughts on “Five Days Across Tasmania From Hobart to Devonport

  1. tempocyclist.wordpress.com 21/03/2020 — 18:17

    Gotta love the free bike tool station at Hobart airport! Did you book your accommodation in advance or just wing it and see how far you could ride each day? What bags did you guys use to carry all your gear on the bikes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We booked a couple of weeks in advance…it’s not busy but the availability can be an issue especially in small towns like Ouse and Miena. New Norfolk (Day 1) and Deloraine (Day 4) have more options so less of a risk. The most flexible is camping. We both had an Apidura Expedition Saddle Bag – 14L, a small top tube bag for tools and I had two 0.8L on the bar from Apidura too…I absolutely loved them. If you want to see the master of packing tight…check the link I posted from Jesse Carlsson unpacking his bike after Race To The Rock

      Like

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