Left to Right: Gus, Rully, Andy, Chris, Ned, Geordie and Wil. (Jem missing due to shoulder injury)
Flew in to Hobart for supplies and beers with the team.
Then headed towards the back roads through state forest and dirt roads. Here I had the first good stack on the tour with a good amount of bark off. Then we set up a stunning campsite in the bush with a fire for the night.
Plenty more dirt on day two and our first glimpse of the ocean.
Quick stop for a glorious first tassie swim before a good push to the ferry bound for Maria island (via a couple of beers at the local pub). Mariah was the highlight of the trip. Small bushfire when we got there which was threatening to shut down our camp site at the south of the island. Advice - “have a swim lads and a cup of tea and we'll get back to you”. Water was the colour of paradise and clear. Backflips of the jetty before the all clear. Rode 15km or so through the most incredible scenery. Like you were in a different country every 10 minutes. So beautiful. Set up a campsite in the bay. Next day exploring the island on the bikes. Breathtaking. Bust out the fishing rods and next minute we're cooking up fresh salmon on the fire with some coffee made in the billy. Eating like kings.
Burst up the coast after a rogue campsite on a field on a beach watching the storm roll in. Woke up to a gale at our backs and coasting at 50km an hour on our way to Freycinet. Exhilarating.
Low tide at Freycinet so we ride the beach looking for a remote campsite. Find it. Set up then 11km ride into the pub via wild 4wd tracks and creek crossings and stacks galore and giggles like school girls. Quick hike to wine glass bay lookout then pub and watching the Australian open with a schnitzel. 11km ride back in the dark with our head torches. So much fun and plenty more stacks.
Chilled morning waiting for the low tide then burn up the beach and and onto another rogue campsite overlooking a bay. Fishing swimming and star gazing. Bay of fires next and it doesn't disappoint. More fresh salmon and squid on the fire. We are the new kings of the south.
Then it's through state forest winding upwards. Lunch is a freshwater river swim and a cup of tea then it's out on to the road and nearly 10km up hill to Weldborough. Hit the trails at Derby….. on bikes not made for this kind of shenanigans. So many stacks and cheering and laughing. Broken shoulder for one of the crew but totally worth it. Those trails were amazing. To Scottsdale along the old railway track and it was almost 20km down hill. Found a pub and some sweet free camping sites.
Lilydale and on to Launceston through stunning country. Pub and the Australian open men's final for the greatest open final in history.
West coast next.
- Chris Johnston
For more pics and yarns about the trip follow HIDE and SEEKER
ps. Chris did this ride on a dual suspension mountain bike. (what a bloody mad dog)