Day 309, Monday, 1 February, 2010

Distance travelled – 95.2 km
Avg speed – 14.1 kph
Max speed – 44.9 kph

Queenstown to Lake St Clair

This was a day of riding we had not been looking forward to. Nearly 100km and four big climbs adding up to a total ascent of more than 1300 metres. Our original plan was not to stop in Queenstown but continue 20km east to Lake Bunbury, but when we arrived in Queenstown we were so buggered after the ride from Zeehan we decided to stop. Having problems with the bikes just made it easier to make the decision to stop. So as we left this morning we remained a little daunted by what to expect today and whether we could make the distance in one day. The problem was that there were not many suitable places to stop the night once we had passed Lake Bunbury.

We had researched today’s ride very thoroughly and knew where each climb started and finished and had this detail programmed into our GPS. We also knew the gradient for each of the climbs and were able to tell ourselves we had ridden up steeper hills in the previous week. The only difference was that the climbs today were going to be a lot longer.

In the end we found we could ride all the hills with a minimum of discomfort. Some days we have struggled to complete 100km along the flat, today we surprised ourselves, although physically demanding today’s ride was all completed in our heads. The mind is a powerful tool!

Our route crossed part of Tasmania’s World Heritage listed rainforest and the views, although at times obscured by bushfire smoke, were a joy to stop and look at. (It was also a good excuse to pause for a rest). If you have ever travelled to Tasmania you are sure to have tried the local leatherwood honey. Leatherwoods grow in the rainforest and they are presently in flower. Along the roadside hundreds of beehives have been trucked in to take advantage of the flowers and as we rode through these areas we were treated to the strong smell of leatherwood honey. The smell was so dominating that by the time we reached the top of Mt Arrowsmith and the eastern edge of the rainforest we were both thinking of leatherwood honey sandwiches.

A most enjoyable day.

Zoom into the map and use the 'Satellite' layer to see our new location.


Admiring the view over Queenstown after the hot ride to the top

Near Lake Bunbury

Climbing through the rainforest

We decided that if the kangaroos were that big it was best to stay off the road after dark!

Surprise Valley Lookout on Mt Arrowsmith

Mt King William

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