Happy New Year!

Before I get to all the craziness associated with seeing in the new year dockside Hobart, let me first say how much I appreciated the well

Poppy Fields Nth Tas

Poppy Fields Nth Tas

Wild Oats XI arrives

Wild Oats XI arrives

wishing and contact from friends and family all over the world during this Christmas period. Thank you with love.

Although I was a guest at Dini’s large family gathering up in the North West of the state, I felt welcome and included as we played and feasted in the perfect Christmas day weather. Lots of kids running around in the backyard playing in the wading pool, squirting each other with water pistols and hoses, the esky packed full of icy beverages with roasted meats and baked sweets aplenty to be savoured.

It couldn’t have been more perfect yet in the evening we topped it with a group sing along accompanied by piano and guitar. Truly memorable.

Beautiful Bicheno

Beautiful Bicheno

Following on from Christmas, Dini and I explored North East Tasmania by bike. First witnessing the arrival of the Sydney to Hobart race winner Wild Oats XI. The next day we travelled up the East Coast to St Helens, stopping for refreshments and photos along the way. Orford, Swansea and beautiful Bicheno.

Fantastic Falmouth

Fantastic Falmouth

At Falmouth we stopped again and sampled a unique local beverage called Iron House before a quick excursion to the beach next door and its beautiful sandy bay. Mounted once more on the black beast we rolled through postcard coastal and rural scenes, past family resorts at Scamander to finally arrive at St Helens just past 5 in the afternoon.

St Helens bayside

St Helens bayside

Despite this being the busy season, we found accomodation quickly and easily and after dining first on a few local delicacies we took a ride out to another picturesque spot just down the road called Binalong Bay.

What an absolute picture this place is. A North East facing cove with pure white sand, gently shelving beach and a quite sheltered lagoon in the middle where kiddies of all ages can play in complete safety. Quite a few families were taking advantage that day for a cooling dip and a play along its gentle shores. Small gentle waves rolled in over the turquois water to tumble onto the perfect sandy beach, a picture could never really do it justice.

Binalong time

Binalong time

After a good healthy nights sleep it was time to hunt down breakfast and a good coffee before checkout at the Bayside Inn. Fortunately we found both and tucked in heartily.

By the sky and Weatherzone it looked promising that we would get good weather for this leg of our journey so we saddled up and headed across country, this time for an unusual rural experience…. feeding beer to Pricilla Pig, Queen of the Paddock at Pyengana … a magical green valley deep in the mountains of North Eastern Tasmania.

Queen of the Paddock

Queen of the Paddock

She was housed in her own rural penthouse at a Pub in a Paddock where you can for the princely sum of $1 purchase some of Pricilla’s preferred brew…. stale beer.

After an audience with Pricella we visited the cheese factory just down the road where it was rumoured good coffee could be secured for some filthy lucre. Thus replenished we took a quick trip up to the Saint Columba Falls for a pic and good old chat with some locals.

Sucking down a XXXX

Sucking down a XXXX

The Tasman Highway winds through these mountains and valleys in a staggering number of tight twisty curves as one corner leads into the next, into the next, into the next…. without even a few feet of straight road between.

The rhythum of the ride and the deep forest greenery flashing past are mesmerising…. this is Motorcycle heaven and must be experienced to be believed.

Our last 20k’s before reaching civilization was supurb as we picked up the company of another rider heading our way. Together we roared through perfect sweepers with only the lightest of traffic to flick past…. it was  glorious. IMG_2847

As we pulled into the delightful town of Scottsdale and waved goodbye to our anonymouse friend, I felt once more the warm glow of fellowship with others like myself who ride and enjoy this unique freedom.

IMG_2848Thus replenished we mounted our steed once more to head to Launceston. As predicted the sky clouded over not long after departure and was to remain so for the length of the journey.

More fantastic roads as we wound our way through deep gorges and wooded mountain sides of the huge national parks that abound in this part of the state. Around every corner was a new vista to be enjoyed and the ride went quickly. Before long we were back in civilization and Launceston was laid out in a huge carpet of roofs and greenery below us .

A quick cuppa with family and we were off back to Hobart. Gotta love this about Tasmania… rode all morning through the most incredible wilderness scenery and along the most memorable roads to be found anywhere…. and you can still ride home from the top to the bottom of the state in just a few hours!

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!!

Then there was New Year!

After a quick barbeque at a friends house Dini and I went to celebrate New Year down at the dockside/Salamanca place area. This is a magnificent public place next to the harbour that was just heaving with happy people by the time we got there….all very much in party mode.

All the Sydney to Hobart race fleet were in town and celebrating hard… a fabulous atmosphere where the pubs spilled out into the street and food stalls everywhere were doing great business.

After the obligatory coundown, fireworks display and a pub crawl after it was time to sleep it all off, satisfied that at least this New Year was well and truly seen in.

C

More beer!!

More beer!!

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4 Responses to Happy New Year!

  1. Kristy Leger says:

    A perfect start oft the new year! A pretty lady, beautiful scenery,beer and cruising along on a motorcycle. I had no Idea of how beautiful the countryside of Tasmania is, it seems open to enjoy. Not as commercialized as here in North America. Thanks for sharing.

    Vic & Kristy

    • freespirit52 says:

      It is indeed an open, wild and beautiful place, arguably the most beautiful in all Australia. Hope you guys are staying warm and snug up there in the frozen North.
      All the very best for 2014 and I look forward to having you with me for the next leg of the journey.
      Cheers
      Colin

  2. Wow, what a great read! I think you should consider working for the Dept. of Tourism. Some of the views remind me of the UK. I would love to visit Tasmania one day but after reading about your experiences I feel the only way to travel around would be on a motorcycle. You seem to be having the time of your life right now.

    So, dare I ask… do you have a date yet? Is New Zealand still beckoning? Is the boat ready or do you still have work to do?

    Oh… and a very happy new year btw. May 2014 bring you more great adventures.

    Cheers, Greg

    • freespirit52 says:

      Yeah, I’m the superlative laxative all right. Just tellin’ it as I see it tho’. 🙂
      Happy New Year to you and the family mate. Having a wonderful time here for sure. Tassy is a fabulous family holiday destination (wink).
      Boat not ready as I’m waiting on new forestay/double bow roller being made. Everything else tho is pretty much tickety boo.
      My crew arrives early March and hope to leave for NZ shortly thereafter, weather permitting of course!!
      Watch this space!!
      Cheers

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