Tasmania & Victoria HighlightsThe best of Tasmania's untamed wilderness and convict heritage, blended with highlights of the fascinating scenery, invigorating riding and world renowned National Parks of the south of Victoria. A ride along the world famous Great Ocean Road has to be the highlight of this tour, but there's so much to choose from it's hard to decide!
Tasmania and Victoria Highlights
This tour combines the astounding scenery, riding roads and heritage of Tasmania, with an extra three days riding along the stunning Great Ocean Road and Grampians National Park on the mainland. This is a spectacular tour, best undertaken in the late spring to early autumn to get the best of the weather.
First port of call in Tasmania, quite literally in fact is Devonport. Home to the terminal for the 'Spirit of Tasmania I and II' ferries, Devonport is a congenial port town that provides everything you could need to start your motorcycle tour off in style.
Head north-west along the old coast road out of town for unrivalled views of the Bass Strait you just crossed on the ferry.
The Bay of Fires
The Bay of Fires was thusly named by Captain Tobias Furneaux in 1773, when he spotted numerous fires along the coast which led him to believe the country was more densely populated than it actually turned out to be.
These days it's more likely to be referred to as the Bay of Barbeques, as the prevalence of pristine, almost eye-wateringly white beaches, turquoise ocean and soothing climate, make this the ideal spot to relax, cook up some food and savour the atmosphere.
Boating, bird watching, camping, swimming, snorkelling and a wide range of other activities mean there's plenty to see and do, along with revelling in the beach lifestyle. It makes for one fantastic coastline to ride along too.
Freycinet National Park
Mid way up the east coast is this easily overlooked sliver of Tasmania, if it weren't for the thin isthmus of land connecting it to the rest of Tassie, Freycinet would be an island by now. Whilst it would be easy to shoot straight past, revelling in the fantastic riding offered by the eastern coastal road, a short detour to visit the natural wonder that is Wineglass Bay is well worth it.
The near perfect swath of sand at Wineglass Bay has earned it the accolade of one of the top ten beaches in the world, as voted by several travel authorities and this motorcycle traveller alike. There's plenty of fishing, boating, sea kayaking and rock climbing for those feeling energetic, and the spectacular pink feldspar and granite mountains known as 'The Hazards' provide a pleasant contrast to all the beach on offer.
Have you been speeding on your motorcycle? I certainly hope not, as you might well end up in a place like Port Arthur. A place like it perhaps, but the only way to get into this particular ancient convict settlement now is to take a tour like everyone else.
Port Arthur is an almost absurdly appropriate place for a penitentiary. The peninsula where the settlement is located, is only attached to the mainland by a 30m wide stretch of land known as Eaglehawk Neck. A formidable speed bump in any escape plans, but a great route to ride in on!
The guards and convicts may be long gone, but the atmosphere and fascinating history linger. The museum, historic buildings, informative displays, harbour cruise to the 'Isle of the Dead' and simply the setting itself, all provide an intriguing insight into what life must have been like for those convicts and soldiers alike, unlucky enough to be sent there.
State capital of Tasmania and second oldest city in Australia, Hobart is strongly influenced by its maritime roots. It boasts a waterfront location to rival that of Sydney, the Tasman Bridge playing the part of the Harbour Bridge with considerable aplomb. Dominating every view of the skyline from within the city is Mount Wellington, towering to 1,271m above sea level it casts a watchful eye over the city below. The many hiking trails in the area provide an opportunity to get off the bike and stretch the legs, if you're feeling up to that thousand or so metres of course! There's always something going on in Hobart, so much so that you might find it hard to drag yourself away but trust us, there's plenty more to experience on this tour.
Founded in 1916 this is Tasmania's oldest national park, and was the last refuge of the now reportedly extinct Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine. Reportedly extinct because, well, there are so many places to hide in Tasmania's lush wilderness and more remote areas, that you never really know what you might happen across on a motorbike tour! Easy access to some spectacular waterfalls, rainforest and great camping makes this a popular day stop on the way to the town of Strahan.
Strahan and the West Coast
Riding through part of the 'Tasman World Heritage Area', the landscape formed by the dolerite and quartzite mountains offer up some serious scenery and provide some equally serious rapids for those interested in spending some time bouncing around in a raft rather than sampling the delights of the Lyell Highway.
The only road through the area, the Lyell Highway twists and turns, rises and falls as it threads a sinuous route through the epic landscape, providing some fantastic riding through unsurpassed scenery.
You may be loathed to clamber from your faithful steed, but trust us, it's worth investigating the national parks in the surrounding area on a more intimate level. One option is a cruise from Strahan, a relaxed approach to exploring this captivating World Heritage Area. We can help organise anything you'd like to try, simply ask us.
Cradle Mountain - Lake St Claire National Park
Another national park! Anyone would think Tasmania was covered in the things, but that's not so far from the truth really. Cradle Mountain is the place you've probably heard of before, the place everyone wants to see, and for good reason.
Explore the pristine alpine landscape and encounter some of the many endemic varieties of animals that call the park their home, wallabies, quolls, wombats, possums, echidnas and the infamous Tasmanian Devil can all be found within the confines of the park; if you're lucky you might just spot some.
After sampling the very best of Tasmania's natural heritage and fascinating wildlife, it's time to return over the Bass Straight and experience some of the finest riding that Australia, possibly even the world has to offer. The Great Ocean Road awaits!
The Great Ocean Road
Famous as one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world, words can't describe the wonderful scenery and amazing riding on this 280km stretch of road on the fringes of Melbourne, but we'll try anyway.
As soon as your wheels hit asphalt, you'll realise just how special the Great Ocean Road really is. The route twists and turns, hugging the picturesque cliffs as it winds a sinuous path along the coast. Curve after sweeping curve are seamlessly stitched together, almost purposely designed to give maximum enjoyment to any motorcycle riders that are lucky enough to be there.
There are plenty of small coastal towns to stop for a break and a coffee, serving up fantastic ocean lookouts along with the great refreshments. The lovely Otway Ranges provide a lush backdrop to the quaint towns when the road darts inland away from the coast. It takes longer than you might expect to ride along this gem of a road, there's simply so much to see.
Take a walk in the temperate rainforest at Maits Rest, try and spot that iconic Aussie creature the Koala in the trees above, visit the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, the Grotto, London Bridge, The Arch the list goes on and on! Don't forget to watch the road as well as the spectacular views though!
Every motorcyclist should ride this road at least once in their life!
The Grampians National Park
After riding along the Great Ocean Road you'll turn north towards the ancient hills of the Grampians National Park. This area of granite highlands is jam packed with wildlife, superb lookouts and beautiful waterfalls. The visitor centre at Halls Gap can provide all the information you'll need for getting the best out of your time there and will give you a great overview of the area, ensuring you get to see everything you want during your visit.
By the time you've ridden the roads in the park, taken a short walk to the two main lookouts and perhaps trekked to the base of one of the thundering waterfalls, you'll need at least a half day to absorb what's on offer, but will probably long to spend more time lost in the atmosphere of the national park.
You can mouse-over the bike you are interested in to see an image of that type of bike. Images are for illustration only though and may not represent the exact bike available.