Only a very few places in the world can match Tasmania when it comes to cycling holidays - and arguably nowhere else offers the stunning diversity of landscape. The island has all the ingredients for an unforgettable and unique experience under pedal power. Narrow, windy country roads with minimal traffic (Tasmania is the size of Ireland with around one tenth of the population), scenery that changes with every twist and turn of the road, exotic wildlife and birds everywhere you look, and the cleanest air in the world. Although the island is small in comparison to the mainland, it has a huge diversity of terrain and different climate zones. Even on a bicycle you can cross two or three zones on a single day.
Apart from those who have never ridden a bike before, riders with all fitness levels and experience will have a tour of a lifetime and indeed as word spreads, so more and more are starting to appreciate Tasmania as a quality destination for a cycling holiday.
The sunny and dry East Coast may be referred to as “flat” by the locals, but that is only in comparison to the mountainous Central Highlands and the majestic Western Wilderness. In fact it gently undulates with long stretches that can only be described as a joy and a pleasure to cycle along, with endless white sandy beaches lapped by turquoise waters, and a backdrop of mountains wherever you look. The North East corner is a great option to add in a couple of days of slightly more demanding riding that takes you right off the beaten track into Tasmania’s hidden corners and pockets of rainforest.
The West Coast and World Heritage Area are a wholly different matter. It is only really recommended for experienced and fit cyclists, but those who like a challenge will just love it. There is a good reason why it has been ranked as one of the world’s top cycling destinations. It´s rugged, mountainous, lonesome, remote and hosts dramatic weather that can change in a flash from brilliant warm sunshine to wild and wet. This is, after all, home to the last major tract of temperate rainforest in the world.
Tasmania’s only dedicated cycle tour operator, Green Island Tours Tasmania, offers a range of self-guided and guided tours of both the east and west coasts of the island. Their well-maintained hybrid bikes run more easily than the more widely-used mountain bikes and have puncture proof tyres fitted. Owner Manfred is passionate about showing his clients the very best of Tasmania, regardless of their level of fitness or their budget. Like so many of Tasmania’s owner operators, he knows the island inside out and most importantly, he also knows how it feels to explore it by bicycle. If one of his many itineraries doesn’t completely match your aspirations, he is only too happy to create an itinerary according to your wishes.
Self-guided tours are the speciality of Green Island Tours. The most popular tour is the east coast tour, starting from Hobart and ending eight days and approximately 300 km later in St Helens, gateway to the Bay of Fires. It also allows a cycle-free day to visit the Freycinet Peninsula with its iconic Wineglass Bay. Fit riders can extend the tour to Launceston. Green Island Cycle Tours is quite unique in that cyclists are provided with the most detailed of route descriptions, which leads them from door to door, not just to point to point.
Fully supported group tours, with support vehicle and custom-build trailer, are also available. There is an 11 East Coast and a 9 day West Coast tour.
Green Island Cycle Tours’ new Four Day East coast tour is quite revolutionary in the cycle holiday world. This is a fully supported tour, complete with guide, support vehicle and airport transfers, but it runs on demand on a date of costumer´s choice. Even better, there is no surcharge when just two guests take part so all intents and purposes as a couple cycling together you can have your very own private guide.
All tours have a wide choice of accommodation so suit every taste and budget, from cheerful hostels and midrange motels to charming bed and breakfast and luxury lodges. Not every option is available in every little town and village but Manfred will put together an itinerary that matches your needs as closely as possible.