March 15, 1997


The ferry arrived on schedule at 8:30 a.m. in the town of Devonport. The ferry ride across the Bass Strait was relaxing. Dinner and breakfast were included. I have decided to ride down the west coast -the hilly part of the island.

The first town to see was Sheffield, "The town of murals". The history of the area is depicted in the murals. The murals made for a picturesque scene in this little town. The evening accommodations were in a backpacker in the town of Gowie Park. The place was an old recreation center. It was large and clean. Being out of the way of most travelers the only guests were a German cyclist and myself. The place was a good value at only 8.50 for my own room.

The town of Gowie Park is situated in a natural amphitheater beneath the four mountain peaks of Mt. Roland, Mt. Van Dyke, Mt. Claude, and Round Mountain. The authentic timber buildings, built in the pioneer tradition, include a blacksmiths, stables and a barn. The restaurant has the largest shingle roof in the southern hemisphere. This location is a great place for people looking for relaxation off the beaten path.

March 16, 1997


The journey brought me to Cradle Mountain. This park is a World Heritage Area covering 161,108ha of rugged mountain peaks and alpine moor lands and includes Mount Ossa (1617 meters), the highest mountain in Tasmania. At the base of Cradle Mountain is Dove Lake. Around Dove Lake is a 6 km walk with excellent views of Cradle Mt., the massive tree trunks of the eerie Ballroom Forest, and the remarkable pandani grove on the east side of the lake. I set up camp inside the park at a camping ground, with all the facilities. The weather at nighttime is becoming close to freezing temperature. With Tasmania being a small island so far south the climatic conditions must be monitored closely.

March 18, 1997


Situated on the Macquarie Harbor, Strahan's major industries include fishing, aqua culture, and forestry. A river boat cruise can be taken to Sarah Island Historic Site established as a penal site in 1822 and earned a notorious reputation for its hash treatment and appalling conditions. Hush pine and limestone was extracted from the lower reaches of the Gordon and Franklin rivers by use of convict labor. I spent the night in the YHA for shelter from the elements. The weather is turning foul. The days ride was 65 km from outside of Rosebery to Strahan. After a few climbs in the morning, it turned pleasant. The southwest coast of Tasmania is known for its spectacular and rugged scenery.

March 19, 1997


Queenstown is a combination of historic buildings surrounded by the naked hills of copper mines. Mount Lyell Mine has been a major producer of copper since 1893 and is the oldest working mine in Australia. Several tours are available in the area, however, the destruction from years of mining was too much to fathom. The landscape is similar to the moon with a lunar surface. The locals think it gives them a tourist attraction -HELLO! I intended on riding further, but the rain had me soaked .

March 20, 1997


The weather is winning the battle. I have broken down and will board a bus towards the city of Hobart. This bus ride should bring me to clear skies. The weather patterns of the West Coast are different from the East Coast of Tasmania. Hobart being the capital city of the state has numerous things to view. Today the USS Kitty Hawk is in port. This aircraft carrier has a crew of 5500 persons. I arrived in town this evening to see the crew of the ship roaming the streets. The seamen appeared in control and enjoying their stay. After exploring the downtown area, I called a mate (Leon) that I befriended on the ferry ride from Melbourne. The congeal Aussie welcome continues and he invited me to his homestead for the night. It was a relaxing evening with his new love Kathy and her daughter Greta(13).

March 21, 1997


Hanging with my new mates in Hobart. I had some good conversation with Leon and friends throughout the day. Then in the afternoon I went for a bush walk with Greta and her 4 month old pup, Molly. The walk was scenic thru a rain forest on Mt. Wellington. The trail passed O'Gradys waterfall which was elegantly flowing thru the dense bush. My walking partner, Greta, wants to say a few words:

Tassi is at the end of the world, right at the bottom down under. Molly is my beautiful puppy who is obsessed with food and bones. She is the color of sand and she has beautiful green eyes and freckles on her nose. When we were coming back from the walk I felt something wet at the bottom of my leg, I pulled up my trousers and there was blood oozing out everywhere, it was a leech. A black creature that's 2-4 centimeters, it's slimy, black and somehow attaches to you without you feeling it, it sucks as much blood as it can and when it can suck no more it drops off, maybe on the ground maybe in your boot!

The Beatles rule! They are the best in the world. I just thought I might tell you that I'm 13 years old (nearly 14) and I'm in grade nine at high school. I play the piano and the cello, I also play hockey and netball and I love animals. A few facts about Mount Wellington, it is a magnificent natural feature of Hobart at 1,270 meters, is one of the state's highest peaks. The mountain is within close proximity to the city and a trip to the summit affords spectacular views of Hobart and the Derwent River. The Derwent River links Hobart to the Tasman Sea. Mount Wellington and the adjoining Wellington Ranges offer a number of walks.

Hi - I'm Greta's Mum Kathy, and Tim is hassling me to type a few words. Well where do I begin. Um, I love living in Hobart, and moved here from Melboune about 10 years ago. We've got some nice things planned for tomorrow and we are really enjoying Tim's company. I've never traveled to your end of the world but I know lots about you because my Mum has spent a lot of time over there. By the way the Leeches Greta was talking about actually drop out of trees and leech on to you when you're walking along. Bye for now, cheers, Kathy

March 22, 1997

The sun came shining through. In the morning I went for a bush walk in the rain forest on Mount Wellington with my new mates. We hiked in the bush among many gum trees and ferns. There are many varieties of gum trees around the world, yet the only place left on the globe that the leatherwood (eucryphia lucida) species of gum tree remains is on the west coast of Tasmania. In the afternoon we travel to the ever popular Salamanca Market which is open to the public year round and should be experienced. The market has rows of stalls varying from bric-a-brac, clothing, unique and original crafts, to plants and flowers. I purchased some leatherwood honey for sampling. The atmosphere is festive with live local music.

March 23, 1997


This morning I visited an old signal station on Mt. Nelson. The station functions as a navigator and a transfer agent from ship and other stations. Several hill top stations would relay information thru lights used as codes to pass important happenings. Such topics would be; a prisoner escape from Port Arthur, a ship requesting help from the sea or important info for a waiting family. This afternoon I went on a bush walk with friends on Mt. Wellington. Greta has returned from spending the night with friends.

I'm back and I missed my Molly very much. I stuffed myself full with party food and I bought my friend a cow for a birthday present. Now I have to do some homework I should have done yesterday.

March 24,. 1997

Today was overcast and not very warm. The sunrise this morning was amazing red and deep orange changing to pale blue.


March 25, 1997

More from Greta:

Boring day at school. I went for short walk with Molly and now I have to do heaps of homework. Tim was a dick head today! He went mountain climbing with his bike on his back instead of his butt on his bike! He nearly reached the moon. When he got back he was plum-tuckered out! We gave him a hot bath and sent him to bed with a flea in his ear.

March 26, 1997

One more day in Hobart, Tasmania. The company has been too good to leave. This capital city on the Derwent River feels like home. The locals are from a lost era where living in harmony is a way of life. My friend Leon has prepared some of the finest cuisine for tea each night. The next few days of four minute rice dishes are going to be painful. Well my Tas mates have a few last words:

I'm here to dob Tim in he's not as smart as he lets on, he's got a spell check on his computer. I just thought I'd let those be my last words! Just to show you what kind of a really nice human being I am. (not) Greta

I've been told that Tim has written something about me somewhere in this goddamn thing so I thought I'd better say a few words in my defense. Seriously - I'm really sad and so is Kathy because Tim is leaving us tomorrow and we're really going to miss him, especially when we have to do the dishes ourselves. It's been nice to meet another human being. As I'm sure you already know, people like Tim are few and far between. We met him by chance only a week ago but feel like he's family already. We wish you well Tim in your travels and hope to meet again some day. Cheers, Leon and Kathy

March 27, 1997

Departed Hobart on the bike to ride up the East Coast. The good-bye was difficult. My new mates and I have formed a bond that will last a lifetime. Throughout the day I had a feeling of bliss towards others. As I listen to John Lennon's music as he sings about peace and getting along I imagine it really could be achieved. If we trust and respect our fellow man and Mother Earth. One could think I have lost my marbles. However, have you been drinking mountain spring water from its flowing rivers lately? Daily I have this pleasure. Also, my journeys have taken me into peoples homes as pure as these rivers. The point is be aware of your effects on society for today as well as tomorrow. Therefore everyone can live in peace together. Instant Karma.

March 28, 1997


The East Coast is a popular part of the State, offering a kaleidescope of colors, sparkling in the warmth of sunshine, along with its endless stretch of beaches, magnificent reserves, great ocean surf and superb sea fishing. Only a small population is dispersed along the coastline leaving this beautiful part of Tasmania still relatively unspoiled. Sounds like a place in heaven as I read the tour guide book. However, the scene at the moment is 30-plus mph winds with sheets of rain pounding my tent. Last night's storm was so harsh that I braved the elements and found higher ground for my tent. I was about to go underwater...without a snorkel. As my shelter dances in the elements, I wait for a break to view some of this epic scenery. The sky cleared for a moment, which allowed me to seek shelter in the town of Triabunna at the YHA.

The cozy hostel had some interesting people. After chopping some lumber for the hostel, the host invited me up for tea. Some of the quality services they provide is fresh organic produce- right from the garden. Also, local fresh fish can to obtain thru the hostel. This place has been rated four dogs. The scale is based on the four border collies that roam the grounds. The ferry to Maria Island can be boarded in Triabunna which is a nice day of sight seing.

March 29, 1997


The ride was epic along the Tasman Sea. The coastal route views were magnificent. The scenery was so beautiful the miles seemed to go by with no effort. The East Coast's white sandy beaches are deserted, which the crystal clear blue surf of the Tasman Sea breaks upon. I stayed at the YHA in Bicheno for a cost of ten dollars. The hostel was on the beach. The surf could be heard throughout the night while the stars illuminated the sky over the Tasman Sea. All the constellations are reversed down under. The other side of a full moon reflects a bad boy face.

March 30, 1997

Happy Easter

Allow me to introduce myself - my name is Jason. I had the pleasure of meeting Tim, at the Bicheno, Tasmania YHA. It was good to see someone else who intends to (and who is) cycling the world. I left Queensland in Nov. of 95, with the aim of cycling the best country in the world; in a rough time-frame of two years. If you ask me now, 'How long do you intend to be gone for?', I will answer, 'About two years.'. I am enjoying myself too much to put a close to this chapter of my life. In-fact, that's why I'm doing this- I nearly had the book of my life closed on me, at the start of 1993. A very servere car accident put me in hospital, with a fractured C1, for just about a year. This made me really appreciate life; and to make the most of every precious moment I have. I strongly encourage all of you to do that, too. Don't keep saying, "Maybe tomorrow.', or, 'I will one day.': That day may never come! Do it while you still can! Take care, enjoy life, have fun and stay happy!



March 31, 1997


On Sunday, I continued up the East Coast to Binalong Bay and set up camp at Skeleton Point on the tip of this peninsula. This picturesque bay with white sandy beaches overlooks the Bay of Fires. The coast has some bright orange moss on the rocks which is particular to the area. Both sea birds and wild bush birds are abundant. Many of the beaches or coves can be enjoyed all by yourself. Today I rode thru Weldborough Pass Scenic Reserve. The pedal through this rain forest was full of myrtle, sassafras, and leatherwood trees. The pleasure of the ride, was that the road was closed to automobiles, because of a closed bridge. However, it was passable by foot or bike. A couple of locals panning for gems were amazed to see me this deep in the bush. I continued to the outskirts of Derby. At which point a local transplanted woman from France, assisted my goal in making the ferry on Tuesday. She gave me a lift for a 150 km towards the town of Launceston. The conversation was informative to many of the culture ways of Tasmania. Then with night approaching I continued to cycle towards Devonport to reach the ferry.

April 1, 1997


I'm in Devonport to board the ferry back to Melbourne. The overnight sailing across the Bass Strait will arrive in port at 8:30 am. The Island of Tasmania will receive the two thumbs up rating. The laid back natives always welcome travelers with open arms. With the reasonable cost of goods and services, an affordable trip can be planned. Tasmania is Australia's smallest and most southerly state. Its mild temperature and maritime climate make the summer months ideal for outdoor activity. 20% of its area classified as World Heritage area, i.e. area of outstanding natural and cultural significance. Tasmania has drinking water and air among the purest in the world, and in an area the size of Switzerland, it has only 450,000 inhabitants. A few experiences a visit to Tasmania will include are; an alpine lake ringed with trees thousands of years old, watched over by a rugged peak. A deserted beach: white sand, crashing waves, rain forest creeping to its edge. A country lane: sandstone mansions one hundred and fifty years old, birds singing, the hum of bicycle tires. The beauty, the peace, and the charm are what Tasmania has waiting to explore.

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