A great way to experience Tasmania’s East Coast is on a multi-activity adventure where you cycle, kayak and walk the region’s best sites. Toni in our groups team had a multi-activity adventure in Tasmania on her holiday list for years. When the opportunity came up to join the 6 day Cycle, Kayak and Walk Tasmania multi-activity adventure, Toni jumped at the chance.
We caught up with Toni on her return to ask about her experience.
What makes the East Coast of Tasmania so special?
I absolutely love the East Coast of Tasmania. Its diversity is astounding - from the pink granite and red splashed rock of Freycinet Peninsula, to the white beaches and crystal waters at Coles Bay, to the forests in Douglas Apsley National Park and the sheep and cattle farm, not to mention the vineyards, berry farms, micro-breweries. My favourite place is Maria Island. The island has a rich history from Aboriginal habitation, a convict penal station, farming and the National Park. The walks to the Famous Fossil Cliffs and Painted Cliffs, and Bishop and Clerk mountain on a clear day is a highlight people will never forget.
What level of experience do you need to have for this trip?
This trip is graded introductory to moderate – a level 4 on our scale. You need to be fit for this trip to enjoy it fully. Of course, there’s also the option to use an e-bike. The guests on my trip loved the momentum the e-bikes provided. They made cycling up hills (yes there are many hills in Tasmania) so much easier. They’re easy to use, and fun. Another benefit of this trip is that you have the flexibility of jumping on the support vehicle and travelling if you don’t feel like cycling. The vehicle supports the group the whole way throughout the trip.
This tour caters to a wide range of fitness levels, with the constant support of guides and vehicle, 3 course meals with more of Tasmania’s finest famous produce.
Describe the cycling experience down St Mary’s Pass.
Cycling down St Marys Pass was absolutely awesome, if you love going downhill – and who doesn’t?! It’s around 6kms winding downhill out to the East Coast. The support vehicle follows behind you, stopping the traffic so it’s very safe. You can let the brakes off and peddle downhill. It’s so much fun.
Hidden in Freycinet National Park is Wineglass Bay, frequently ranked in the lists of the world’s best beaches, did you visit this part of the park?
We walked to Wineglass Bay to find the beach exactly as we’d seen in travel magazines, with white sand and azure waters. Many people believe Wineglass Bay derives its name from its circular shape that resembles a wine glass but another theory has it that the name is due to its dark history of the 1800’s, when whaling stations practices turned the water red.
The walk into the bay has over 1,000 steps, so is pretty tough after you have cycled 45kms in the morning. The beach is totally worth a swim with clear aqua blue water. We saw a wallaby resting in the shade and the lookout is truly spectacular.
On this adventure, Coles Bay is the location for the kayaking activity, how was the experience?
Our Freycinet kayaking guides had great knowledge of the area and throughout the day we had breaks, morning tea, interpretation points and it was a fairly easy leisurely pace. It’s always great exploring a beautiful place from a different perspective and being on the water gives you that.
Known as Noah’s Arc for its safe haven, did you have any up close encounters with wildlife on Maria Island?
The wildlife on Maria Island is amazing! There are so many wombats, almost like rocks, wallabies, kangaroos and potaroos everywhere - even at the campsite. We could hear the Tasmanian Devils in the night but couldn’t see them.
What is the history of Maria Island?
Maria Island is truly the most spectacular island. It’s full of wildlife, history and fossils. If you love history, it has a fascinating mix of Indigenous history, ruins of the 1940’s limestone quarry, convict and free settler farmhouses, from the huge community that lived on the island back in the 1800’s. You can wander through the old buildings and National Parks have set up a fantastic museum in the old town. You can even stay in the penitentiary!
Sum up your experience on this multi-activity tour.
It was a fantastic way to explore Tasmania’s stunning East Coast. We had a great mix of people, passionate guides and I loved the variety of the multi-activity mode of transport. Accommodation in quaint cottages was lovely too. Overall, I loved the trip!