Sorrel is on a very special tour of Tassie’s spectacular East Coast from Hobart to Swansea.
Island Cycle Tours is Tasmania's only cycling-focussed tour operator and they have an easy job satisfying their clients. Tasmania has so much to offer. Its east coast is rugged and beautiful and it boasts beaches, rainforests, national parks, waterfalls, sublime seafood and wonderful colonial accommodation and hospitality.
Owner Sam Denmead has a team of experienced and enthusiastic guides who take visitors on a range of rides and offer hire of top quality bikes if you don't fancy taking your own.
Getaway joined Island Cycle Tours on their four day/three night Coastal Calm tour.
It begins in Hobart, where you are transferred by van to St Mary's. Once everyone is geared up, you head for the coastal village of Bicheno. Always popular with fishermen, the first whalers used Bicheno as shelter for their boats. It was also once a coal mining port and is still very important to the fishing industry, home to abalone and crayfish boats. It also offers rewarding diving.
Nearby Douglas Apsley National Park offers a rugged walk through the gorge to a waterhole, great scenery and is the perfect spot for a picnic.
On the first day you also see Coles Bay and Freycinet National Park with its pink and grey granite rocks, speckled with orange lichen and sheoaks, rising steeply from the water. You stay the next two nights in the Freycinet Lodge.
Next morning, after a good breakfast, there is a walk to Wineglass Bay no cycling today to give your legs a well-deserved rest! There you cross an isthmus to Hazards Beach where you follow the footsteps of the Aboriginal people who once lived there. The dunes hold numerous shell middens as evidence of their habitation.
All of this is followed with a barbecue lunch, swim, kayak or just some time out.
There is an early start next morning Cape Tourville is your destination and the ride is a leisurely one through dry eucalypts and pockets of rainforest. The cape's views are dramatic, with the lighthouse standing guard. The un-manned lighthouse was erected in 1971, replacing the Cape Forestier Lighthouse on Lemon Rock, decommissioned the same year.
From there you visit Freycinet Vineyard where you can enjoy a small tipple or take some purchases in the van for later. Lunch is taken at the Left Bank their lemon tart is a must and a walk to Meetus Falls is recommended. You then cycle to Swansea where you stay at the Piermont B&B.
This is an experience it itself. Each cottage has been bio-sustainably built without the use of synthetics or chemicals and its neutral magnetic field guarantees restful sleep. Its water is energized and your stay will no doubt bring back memories of days gone by, all in luxury and comfort. Enjoy a cocktail on the balcony of your sandstone cottage before dinner, and a breakfast basket of tasty treats is delivered to your room for the next morning.
The fourth day is possibly the most scenic and a visit to nearby Kate's Berry Farm is a good way to start. All those wonderful soft fruits which grow so well in Tasmania are made into tempting treats by Kate, and most can't resist the temptation of trying one of her ice creams.
The track takes you to Mayfield Beach and on to Triabunna on Spring Bay. It has a population of just 800 and was once a garrison town for the convict settlement on Maria Island. It progressed from a whaling base and its economy is now based on woodchipping and scallop and abalone fishing.
A ferry ride takes you to Maria Island, best known for its convict residents, but it is actually an 11,550ha national park with excellent bushwalking and fishing. Emus, wallabies and 80 species of birds have free run of the island and are often sighted.
Darlington Settlement has buildings more than 150 years old and bears testament to the island's farming, whaling and sealing history. You can wander along the painted cliffs and fossil rocks before boarding the return ferry and heading back to Hobart.