Tasmanian Trail – Day 7 – New Norfolk to Geevaston

LRM_EXPORT_20170311_165407We woke up to another stunning day of weather. How lucky had we been!?

We had pizza for breakfast from the night before, brewed up hot drinks and efficiently packed up our bikes. After multiple days of practise, we were getting fast at this BikePacking concept!

Today was another big day with two big climbs, the first one up over Wellington range.

We got moving in pretty cold temperatures but as the bright sun peaked over the hills, we warmed up quickly.

As usual there were lots of farms wth animals.LRM_EXPORT_20170310_193550

Soon the range came into view.LRM_EXPORT_20170310_193433

Photo by Tony Ryan.

We soon turned off onto the ‘Jefferys’ track. This track was used since the early days of settlement to link up the Derwent valley with the Huon valley. The two communities used this track for trade and social contact.

Up we went! According to the elevation chart, we are going from 50 metres to 875! The track started off quite smooth.LRM_EXPORT_20170310_204318

The track got colder as the tall fern trees provided plenty of shade.

Photo by Tony Ryan.

LRM_EXPORT_20170311_043414.jpg As we climbed we spotted this old logging cart axle. They used these to extract the logs. The wide wheels were for rolling along the tracks made from other logs, similar to train tracks.LRM_EXPORT_20170310_204446.jpg

Jefferys track is popular with the four-wheel drives. We were very lucky that it had been dry for a while as the track can turn into a mud fest. Any future travelers reading this, be warned!LRM_EXPORT_20170311_045310.jpg

The track deteriorated as we got higher and in sections got quite steep.

Photo by Tony Ryan.

Click here for a very short video clip of near the top of Jefferys track.

At the top we were greeted by two QLD plated four-wheel drives. They past us slowly and safely.LRM_EXPORT_20170311_050451.jpg

We then turned off onto the ‘white timber Mt’ track. This track derived its name from the colour of the timber logged during the early part of the century. Light coloured Stringybark trees were seen here.

We were at about 600 metres now so we had a bit more climbing to do. Here is a picture taken from Google of how bad it can get. We were very fortunate and felt very grateful for the relatively dry conditions.

Taken from Google pics.

Although we had a few puddles to negotiate, it wasn’t too bad.LRM_EXPORT_20170311_051558

Photo by Tony Ryan.

It undulated a bit and tired our legs.LRM_EXPORT_20170311_051648

When we got to the summit we refueled our bodies and donned our warm merino wool underlayers. I had two sets of gloves, thin ones and nice warm ones. Between swapping I would attach them to my front bag and dry the sweat out.LRM_EXPORT_20170311_052828.jpg

We now had a long descent, it was pretty rough in spots and caution was taken by maintaining lower safer speeds than normal.

At one spot up very high in altitude, we were cruising on a flat section when a huge wedged tail eagle gracefully flew out of a tree and across the track right in front of us! We have never been so close to an eagle like this before. You could really see how big and magnificent it was. It was absolutely amazing to see one up so close.  It’s wing span would of been at least two metres.The locals tell me Tasmania has three nest areas, one in the North East, one in the North West and one in the South. They travel to each one seasonally and lay their eggs.

I couldn’t get the camera out quick enough, so here is a picture taken from the internet. This is exactly the angle we saw it at and the same colours.

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Taken from Google pics.

Then shortly after this I was rolling down a steep rough gravel section at an estimate of 20 klm per hour when a Tasnanian devil was spooked by the noise of my bike and ran down the track right in front of me. It was too rough to get the camera out. This photo was taken from the internet. When I caught up to it, it turned, looked at me and darted off into the bush. I was amazed! I couldn’t believe my luck!

Taken from Google pics.

We continued to descend into the Huon valley below towards Judbury.LRM_EXPORT_20170311_113020LRM_EXPORT_20170311_113138

There were lots of horses in this area. I had to include these photos for the Tas Trail Trekkers 😉LRM_EXPORT_20170311_113955LRM_EXPORT_20170311_113853

We then arrived at a beautiful park in Judbury named Calvert Park. We signed the trail registration book and lazed about eating our lunch.LRM_EXPORT_20170311_150754LRM_EXPORT_20170311_150441LRM_EXPORT_20170311_150507LRM_EXPORT_20170311_150602LRM_EXPORT_20170311_150645LRM_EXPORT_20170311_150728

We got going again and I noticed my legs thought the day was over, they felt tight and sore. Lactic acid flooded them before they warmed up again.

Leaving Calvert Park we crossed the beautiful Huon River.LRM_EXPORT_20170311_151420LRM_EXPORT_20170311_151339

Straight after the bridge, we saw more horses and then we turned off to begin the next big climb for the day up over another range called ‘Scotts Divide’.LRM_EXPORT_20170228_060334LRM_EXPORT_20170311_152137

Up we went again, some sections got quite steep too, especially for tiring legs.LRM_EXPORT_20170311_152344.jpg

But then it leveled out and become undulating. The views and quiet roads were very enjoyable.LRM_EXPORT_20170311_152541.jpgLRM_EXPORT_20170311_152638LRM_EXPORT_20170311_152613

We stopped to regroup and Eric spotted this old petrol powered bulldozer. Eric says, “The tracks and front blade are missing and the frame over the top was from the rear winch to the front blade to lift it up and down”.LRM_EXPORT_20170311_152944.jpg

At the top the vegetation changed into thick rainforest. The temperature was cooler and the shade was nice respite after having the sun beat down on our backs for the big climb earlier.LRM_EXPORT_20170311_162739LRM_EXPORT_20170311_162812LRM_EXPORT_20170311_162944

10 kilometres to go and it’s all downhill!LRM_EXPORT_20170311_163904.jpg

We enjoyed the down hill and rolled into Geeveston. Time to relax and eat!LRM_EXPORT_20170311_164244LRM_EXPORT_20170311_164306LRM_EXPORT_20170311_164331LRM_EXPORT_20170311_164420LRM_EXPORT_20170311_164453

Today we rode 70 kilometres and climbed 1,634 metres!

The two big climbs were tough today with aching muscles. I would rate it another 9 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Day 7 New Norfolk to Geeveston

Click here for day one of this Tasmanian Trail blog.


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