We 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.
Soon the range came into view.
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.
The track got colder as the tall fern trees provided plenty of shade.
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.
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!
The track deteriorated as we got higher and in sections got quite steep.
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.
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.
Although we had a few puddles to negotiate, it wasn’t too bad.
It undulated a bit and tired our legs.
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.
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.
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!
We continued to descend into the Huon valley below towards Judbury.
There were lots of horses in this area. I had to include these photos for the Tas Trail Trekkers 😉
We then arrived at a beautiful park in Judbury named Calvert Park. We signed the trail registration book and lazed about eating our lunch.
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.
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’.
Up we went again, some sections got quite steep too, especially for tiring legs.
But then it leveled out and become undulating. The views and quiet roads were very enjoyable.
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”.
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.
10 kilometres to go and it’s all downhill!
We enjoyed the down hill and rolled into Geeveston. Time to relax and eat!
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.