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East Coast Self Guided Cycle


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A self guided cycling tour taking in the classic highlights along Tasmania's East Coast including St Helens, Freycinet & Maria Island


Launceston briefing, cycle Scottsdale to Weldborough via Tasman Highway or Rail Trail

Today you will start your tour in the historic city of Launceston, where you will be picked up at approximately 7:30 am and check that you have the correct bike size. You will be transferred to Scottsdale via the picturesque countryside and forests of North East Tasmania, where you will have a short briefing and demonstration of your hire gear. From here you saddle up and embark upon the first stage of your journey, travelling through beautiful agricultural heartlands before choosing to either stay on the Tasman Highway or get onto the 'rail trail'. The well maintained rail trail is for the more adventurous, taking you off road through extensive forested scenery before joining up again with the main road just outside of Branxholm.After passing through Derby, famous for its tin mining history, great flood of 1929, and now for it's epic mountain biking trails, you continue to cycle through spectacularly lush and fertile valleys and rainforests before reaching the famous Weldborough Hotel. Here you can rest your legs, have a shower and choose from the extensive range of local micro brewery beverages that this quaint pub has to offer.Cycle distance: 54 kmEstimated cycle times: Via Rail Trail 4 hrs | Via Tasman Hwy 3 hrs 40 mins

Descend to Pyengana, optional St Columbus Falls walk, cycle to St Helens

Starting the day with a hearty breakfast provided by your hosts, you once more jump aboard your trusty steel horse and head off towards the East Coast. The first recommended side trip today is at the magical Weldborough Pass; an easy and informative stroll through remnant Gondwanan rainforest. Next continue up the hill before cresting the ridge line and taking in your first glimpse of the East Coast. Enjoy an exhilarating descent to the flats of the Pyengana Valley. Here you can stop at the famous Pyengana cheese factory and enjoy a delicious ice cream whilst watching the happy cows being milked. A great option is to continue along the C428 to one of Tassie’s great short walks: St Columbus Falls which is Tasmania’s highest waterfall.Getting back onto the Tasman highway the vegetation starts to change and you will continue to see tantalising glimpses of the ocean. Passing below the Blue Tier you cycle through Goshen before starting the gentle descent to the East Coast's game fishing capital St Helens. Tonight and the following night you will be staying at Kellraine units. You can choose from the town’s range of restaurants and cafes where you can sample some of the sumptuous local seafood.Cycle distance: 44 kmEstimated cycle times: 3 hrs plus side trips

St Helens to Bicheno

Set out today with the sun on your back and the wind in your hair. The cycling today is relatively easy as you follow the glorious coastline, stopping at your leisure at the numerous little bays and uncrowded, wide sandy beaches for which the area is renowned. Passing through the seaside town of Scamander you will likely see locals fishing for bream from the bridge and you can stop for a drink or just to take in the serenity. Past Scamander is Henderson’s lagoon, a treat for bird watchers and with over seven kilometres of well marked trails.Further down the coast you can visit the sensationally situated Iron House Brewery where you can enjoy a light lunch and tastings of different beers made with local spring water. Moving on you pass through the Chain of Lagoons before choosing whether to take the unsealed Rosedale Road to visit the magnificent waterhole at Douglas Apsley National Park, or continuing on along the coast road for the final 3km of the day's ride to arrive at Bicheno by the Bay, your accommodation for the evening.Cycle distance: 77 kmEstimated cycle times: 4 hrs 15 mins

Bicheno to Coles Bay, explore Freycinet National Park

Today provides a change of pace with only a short ride along the coast before reaching Coles Bay, gateway to the world famous Freycinet National Park home of the incomparable Wineglass bay. Here you have the option of enjoying some of the extensive array of beautiful walks the park has to offer, taking it easy on the beach or enjoying a kayaking session on the crystal clear waters of Oyster Bay with the multi award winning Freycinet Adventures kayak company.After a day in the National Park you can relax in your accommodation at the Iluka Holiday Park or take a short stroll down to the Coles Bay pub for your evening meal. You could also visit Tombolo gourmet pizza restaurant, or even take some cheese and olives down to the beach for a peaceful and scenic waterfront dinner.Cycle Distance: 43 kmEstimated cycle times: 3 hrsWalking times: From 45 mins to all day

Cycle to Swansea via vineyards and Oyster Bay

Feeling refreshed you will re-ride the Coles Bay Road before turning south again on the Tasman Highway. This morning you pass through premier wine growing country where you can stop at a number of vineyards to enjoy tastings or a well deserved coffee. From Devils Corner Vineyard you have a short and steep incline to the peak of Cherry Tree Hill – this route provides spectacular views back towards the magnificent pink granite peaks of the Hazards range and Great Oyster Bay. From here the route turns inland, undulating through eucalypt forest then descending again through a variety of rural landscapes and coastal panoramas. At approximately the 33km mark – after your decent from Cherry Tree Hill – you come to Glen Gala Road on the left. This peaceful country road takes you on a short detour over Swan River, bringing you out again to the Tasman Highway at Gala Estate Vineyard. Tonight your lodging will be close to the water at the Swansea Holiday Park.Cycle distance: 57 kmEstimated cycle times: 3-4 hrs

Cycle to Triabunna, transfer to Maria Island

Having reached the halfway point of your cycle adventure today you are treated to one of the most spectacular sections of the Tasman Highway. You will be rewarded with view after stunning view of our unspoilt coastline. Ample opportunities exist for stopping at the numerous sandy beaches and sheltered rocky coves that are dotted along the coast. Look out for the famous ‘Spiky Bridge’, one of many remnants of Tasmania’s convict past. Passing through quaint rural hamlets as you approach Swanport the scenery changes again to picturesque country fields and gentle rolling hills. Looking south-east as you approach Triabunna you may catch glimpses of the silhouette of the renowned National Park of Maria Island. Triabunna is the only opportunity you will have to stock up on supplies for your stay in the National Park. Here you head to the jetty and wait to embark upon the Maria Island ferry at 4:15pm. Crossing the Mercury Passage takes about half an hour and provides you with an appreciation of how far you have come as you gaze north along Tasmania’s coastline. Upon arriving at Darlington it is only a short walk to the campground where you can set up your comfortable camp for the next two nights. Cycle distance: 51 kmEstimated cycle times: 2 hrs 45 mins

Explore Maria Island on foot or by bike

It is worth getting up before dawn and making your way to the Fossil Cliffs to watch a Tasman Sea sunrise before starting your adventures for the day ahead. If you are keen to do some more cycling you have the opportunity to ride the 22km of well defined trails plus some of the circuit routes across the Island. Or you can choose from one of the many walks the National Park has to offer including the astounding Painted Cliffs or the sublime peak of Bishop and Clerk.If snorkelling is your thing then the Darlington jetty is situated within the island's marine reserve and you can swim amongst the shoals of different fish species found within the crystal clear waters. The history of Maria Island is fascinatingly diverse and hours can easily be spent simply wandering through the ruins and restored buildings of Darlington learning of their past. Spending a second night at the Maria Island campground gives you time to stroll through the myriad open grassy pastures and marvel at the abundance of wildlife which populates the island... keep your eye out for the cheeky Tasmanian Devils that sometimes scamper through camp!Cycle distance: Your choiceWalking time: 1.5 hrs to 7 hrs

Return to mainland, transfer to Hobart

The last morning on Maria Island gives you a short while to take in the park's serenity before jumping aboard the 9:45am ferry and returning once more to the mainland. From here you will be transfered back to Hobart by one of our friendly staff. During your time in Hobart consider a visit to Mt Wellington for sensational views or a rainforest amble – alpine wilderness only half an hour from the bustle of Hobart's CBD. Alternatively you can opt for a cultural infusion and visit the internationally renowned MONA (Museum of Old & New Art). You can take the MONA Ferry from Brooke Street Pier, which takes you to MONA up the Derwent River with spectacular views of beautiful Hobart backed by the grand dolerite spires of Mt Wellington – a great way to get your bearings of the city. The peaceful Botanical Gardens are just a short walk from Hobart city centre... Or just relax by the waterfront at Salamanca Place with a well deserved drink, congratulate yourself on all you have achieved over the week, and watch the afternoon pass by!

Additional Information

Tasmania's East Coast offers access to some of the best experiences on offer on the island state and there are few better ways to take in all the highlights than by travelling by bike at your own pace on this well crafted self guided itinerary. After a thorough briefing from our guides in Launceston, you may choose to begin this self guided trip with a ride along a section of the Trail of the Tin Dragon driving route, which delves into the regions tin mining history and the arrival of the local Chinese population. Out of the saddle, stop to taste cheese in Pyengana and take an optional walk to Tasmania's highest waterfall, St Columbus Falls, before getting back on the bike for a spectacular coastal ride via picturesque Bicheno to Coles Bay, gateway to the Freycinet National Park. In Freycinet there is time to explore this special part of the East Coast by taking in some walks or kayaking on the azure waters. The highlights keep rolling on as you continue with time on Maria Island, where you can discover remnants of Tasmania's convict past and the island's extraordinary beauty on foot or a 22km circuit ride.

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