CycleTour :

Adelaide - Melbourne / Tasmania


Adelaide - Melbourne /



Devonport to Dodges Ferry

2/3 Jan.: from Devonport to Railton - Weegena - Moltema - 62 km
Cool weather awaits us in the first days in Tasmania, let's say it's cold and we feel cold. Still we go with our young Warm Shower host Nick on the evening of our arrival to the Bluff beach. Even Nick comes shortly into the water and after a few moment, we are all outside again!
Nick raves of his single speed bike, he rode even over mountain passes with it in the Alps in Europe. And also he likes to cycle in New Zealand.
In Tasmania he does not cycle much, the cars love here no bikes on the roads, he tells! We take that very serious! That's one of the reasons we (almost) know all the steep gravel and back roads in east and northern Tasmania! West of Devonport in direction Burnie, Penguin, Sisters Beach a fairly well-developed network of cycle paths exists! (>>Tasmania 5)
From Nick's laundry it sounds interesting from small white barrels - his own brewery, and in the garden burs from his hive. He has also been brewed honey beer-which have developed a taste with very interesting taste and he finally had to drink it alone! But he will work on it.
Nick works in a seedlings nursery (Hills Transplants ) just west of Devonport. At the end of our trip we past it by chance! (The coincidence is: I refused a yard on the ever closer Bass Hwy with much traffic to continue, that is about 10km before Devonport coming from direction Penguin, so we turned left on top of a hill in the Waverley Road, just this side street with the nursery. We first went down the Don Haeds Rd what was nice but we could not cross the river and we nearly walked over the railway bridge to cross the Don river but we turn back to the Waverly Rd. and followed her down by the river we could catch the don river cycle path to Devonport and ride finaly along the beach. That all is a very good cycle route ).
The next morning, Nick goes to work and we hope, him, together with his single speed bike to see soon with us in Switzerland!
We ride this Morning to our most wished target to the farm in Moltema, where I worked 30 years ago as a farmer for 9 months.
We pass on the Flying Platypus, near Latrobe. Later to Railton. In Kimberly we opt for the 'shortcut' on Weegena, luckily we have enough time, because Tasmania shows a first view of the topography - thousands of small and large hills, up, down, 10-15% gradient on the agenda. We need 2 hours instead of a half. 30 Years ago i had a car so then i did not feel how steep it was. Thanks we went over Weegena we see the first sign: "Dornauf Dairy" We are near the first farm, we think, lets have a look and ride down to the dairy. We meet two grandchildren from Jenny and Ian -they just milk the cows in the round-diary: 50 cows are there in the carousel on a concrete-disc on water, with the cows on it. We are pleased to see Nick and Lucky. And the two have certainly equal Ian and Jenny on the phone that we are there soon.

Later we make our way to Jenny and Ian, just a few kilometers to go. Once they have visited us in Switzerland, a few years ago. We always kept in touch. We deliberately did not come here at the beginning of the trip, but started in Adelaide. It's still as unreal. 30 years to be able to go back in the memory, into something that there has been times, and it's still all there! Now we can see the farm by Jenny and Ian, where I milked the cows 30 years ago, here comes the dog around the corner and we are in Jenny's wonderful flower garden where kookaburras, parrots and possums live.
As always, there will be Tea (dinner) at 7pm., and then runs 'No. 1 Detective Agency' by McCall Smith on television, one of my favourite movies. We are glad to be with Ian and Jenny. it's cold, windy, rainy weather.
On Saturday (Jan 4) we drive with Jenny and Ian in her campervan to the Meander River, a very beautiful place on their farmland. It was planned there to have a picnic, because of the rain and cold, we have instead a fine dinner with her son Chris and his wife Linn, and Nick with his friend.

On Sunday 5th January with Ian on Farm Tour
Ian proudly shows us her latest farm : the Gala Farm, a fully automated robotic Diary. Nick, his grandson is responsible for the diary. Nick tells us how it all works, and that it is new territory to have a robotic rotary milking diary, living with cows only on the pastures. In 24 hours the cows are milked at least 3 times. Thanks to concentrate and udder pressure they walk independently explained in the milking parlor. Nick says they are smart, they learn quickly.- the cows walk a day, several kilometer, and grazing on three different farms. Is a cow once lazy, it leaves a farm, rather the opposite is the case, but more than 5 times a cow not can go to the milking machine. At each milking, the milk from each cow is tested for pathogens, and the farmer sees it on the PC-screen. Is there a glitch in the milking parlor will be informed round the clock via SMS to the farmer, which was the case last night. A robot is defective, but the system runs faultlessly only with the other two. Cows who have a disability such as a limp, are brought on Ian's farm. Ian with his almost 80 years, has a good eye and taking care of them. From his office window, he has the best overview of his flock and what the bull always gets up.
Often, the door opens by Jenny and Ian and one of the grandchildren appears. Bringing farm administration over to do, or there is a problem where the grandfather is in demand.
We continue with Ian from the robot diary to the calves shed and raspberries on the Christmas Hill Raspberry Farm. There, Ian is going to the restaurant, brings us 3 fresh raspberry ice creams, that we eat with relish on the beautiful little lake. Later, we go through the raspberry and strawberry plants. 100 t raspberries are harvested here each year, with 100 pickers. The raspberries belong to Philip, Ian and Jenny youngest son, I'm particularly delight to see him, he has visited us twice in Switzerland. And we hope to see him again in Switzerland.
Right here in the vicinity is the calves-Shed. All calves from all their farms are breed at this place. The milk for the calf is brought here in tanks. Their farms together have 1500 cows and as well all the young cattle. We go after the lunch break to have also a look to them. The cattle live on a with forest protected farm, ideal for young cattle Ian told us.

January 6, Monday: with Jenny to Launceston.
Jenny is the Nr. 1 business lady from the farm, while she has an appointment, we buy in a bike shop a new tire. Later we visit the Gorge in Launceston (Cataract Gorge). As agreed, we meet Jenny again before the main post office. We eat fish and chips in a restaurant and visit afterwards the adjoining park with flowers and even a friendly monkey.
Then Jenny drive us to Robins place, her second oldest son and her grandchildren. They run a small dairy in Hillwood - they also have strawberries and raspberries. I am glad to see Robin, he shows us his farm, including the two Shetland ponies. On the way back we have a look at the Platypus House, there are also Echidnas. We still enjoy the last evening with Jenny and Ian before we next morning at 8am continue our tour to explore Tasmania.

January 7: Moltema - Deloraine - Cressy - Ross - 122km
We ride on side roads to Deloraine, and then in the direction of Cressy, we get more and more into sheep country. On this side streets it's quiet and pleasant to ride, it is friendly farm landscapes. After Cressy at the intersection Campeltown / Great Lakes we stay half an hour at the sign. Our first target would be Cape Raoul, in the far south, east of Hobart. But also we have an invitation to Coles Bay, to Lindi, which would be east of Campeltown. But when we go in this direction, we know, we'll never get to Cape Raoul and the sea lions.
Towards the Mountain / Great Lakes, will be another possibility to go to the West. Christian loves the mountains and I know the West is just beautiful, from memory 30 years ago. The decision is for the sea lions and against cold mountains. It is currently also in the lowlands still cold.
And Lindi, we will visit you for secure, even if we need to go on until Sisters Beach, on the north coast, 100km west of Devonport, but this can take time!
Until the end of our holiday, our Tasmanian friends have understood what it means to be travelling by bike.
We ride this evening till 6 km before Ross, and we ask a farmer that we can camp on a sheep paddock, what we can of course. And interestingly, the critters not caring for us.

January 8/9 : Ross via Toom's Lake - Lemont - Stonehenge - Woodsdale - Runnymede - Sorell to Dodges Ferry - 77 and 85 km. At dawn we remove our tent, the farmer comes over, goes to a big shed. With what he out runs later, will amaze us, the farmer does not only seem to have this sheep pasture, he makes shortly a half hour flight over his farms, and look so at his sheep to the right, (he probably counts his sheep). We do not know that there are flying farmer in Tasmania.
After 6 km we come for a short distance on the Midland Highway, but we go right at the next junction to Ross. There is even at this early hour already a lot of traffic.
Ross is worth a visit, it has a little beautiful campsite and several bakeries. The friendly service to the question, how is the way to Toom's Lake by bicycle: no worries she said, just easy, some little hills. Something we seem to have misunderstood, or she has misunderstood us. Perhaps the word bikes. - We drive off, and Jenny tell us later like this: except a lonely phone cabin has Toom's Lake never seen many tourists.
Even the sheep pastures with the dead trees are not tourists idyll - there are always steep roads, up to 15% and up to 2 km long, makes it not easy, we camp at dusk in a grove, there was a open fence door, otherwise all fence doors are locked in the sheep country.
From Woodsdale the road is paved again. Here we can fill up our water supply by an older lady. She has a garden full of flowers, including with fairy Fisherrods. In hindsight we would go this route again, it has that certain something. By the wayside, we see our first two echidnas in freedom. (see photos>>) Then we come to the Tasman Highway and here is a cherry orchard by side. We buy freshly picked cherries. And we will come shortly after 5 pm to Sorell, again all the cafes and bakeries are closed.
We ride to the beautiful city park for a break at the Tourist Info. We admir the roses, and ask a woman where is the beach. As we learn later, she is called Caroline and comes from Fiji. She ask us, that we sit down with her at the table, to her friends and children, there was still more than enough chicken and salad also for us and we could camp in Dodges Ferry, right on the beach, she gives us her Tel. Nr - with any questions we should call her.
Later in Dodges Ferry, we swim at sunset and camp behind the dunes at this beautiful beach.
And Caroline we do not have to call, it runs all the best!