November 18, 2008 GMT
Tasmania and Back to the Mainland!

We finished our ride from Apollo Bay south along the Great Ocean Road on the way to Melbourne to catch the ferry for a 5 day tour of Tasmania.

We were a little concerned about the weather and seas in the Bass Straights, but it was a very nice uneventful crossing.
We met some motorcyclists in Apollo Bay that gave us information and recommendations on a nice route that would take in the mountainous western shore and some nice beaches on the eastern side. We rode off the ferry to a little rain, some cold, and a lot of wind. Without giving it too much thought (yup, you KNOW what’s coming), we headed for the mountains on the way to Strahan. As the elevation rose the temperature descended and the wind increased (I told you we didn’t give it too much thought). :=) There were some great motorcycle roads but the clouds, rain, and cold made them less than enjoyable.

Not many pictures because my hands wouldn’t work the camera. We tried to make Cable Mountain Park but when it started SNOWING we “holed up” at a very posh resort (surprised they served us). When I entered the lobby, I was reminded of just how long I had been away from home (it was summer when I left). :=(

Made me a little homesick!
Strahan was another nice little beach town (but when it is on the verge of snowing …..)!
We made it to Hobart the next day via some more great roads and with just a little more warmth.

We did a little walking tour of Hobart then rode up to Mount Wellington above the town, the harbor and the Tasman Bridge for some great views (and a LOT of wind)!

We got another day of warmer weather so we rode out to Port Arthur, a very tough penal station in operation from 1833 until 1877. This place was for the very hardened types with a separate colony for boys (the first boy’s prison built in the British Empire). It was a very interesting tour.

Can’t go to Tasmania without getting a picture of a Tasmanian Devil!

We continued to enjoy some great motorcycle roads and scenery on the way from Hobart to Launceston.

Had to stop at Australia’s #1 Harley-Davidson Dealer for a t-shirt.

We headed for a little beach town named Stanley on the north coast for our last night in Tasmania. The Stanley brochures boast of its landmark called “The Nut”. It looked like the Tasmania aquatic version of Ayres Rock to me! :=)

Nice roads, nice scenery, nice town, bad RAIN and spitting SNOW!! :=) It was a miserable ride. Just how close to Antarctica are we anyway? :=)
Another easy ferry crossing of the Bass Straights and we were back in Melbourne on our way to Castlemaine (I picked up my bike there in Aug.) where Cory would turn in his bike and I would get another bike to finish my trip (the company asked if they could substitute another since they had a 7 month rental available for the one I was riding). Cory left for California and I was on my own again with this nice BMW for the last few weeks of my trip.

I am going ride up the southeast coast to Sydney, visit the Snowy Mountains, and return to Castlemaine to turn in the BMW and then it will be back to California for me also (if it hasn‘t burned down)!
It HAS been an adventure!!
More pictures here if interested starting on page 99.

Posted by Rick McDermed at November 18, 2008 05:14 AM GMT

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