Here at the Ultra Life, we finished off 2014 with a bang......trails, Tassie devils, blizzards, bush bashing, cows and massive burgers! So with Boris the X-Trail packed to the brim, we made the trek over to the Apple Isle on the Spirit of Tasmania....I tell you, the overnight cabin is the way to go! Going to bed in Port Phillip Bay, we woke up in Devonport, all refreshed!
First task....checking out the start of the Penguin to Cradle trail. After a small detour to visit Santa the Penguin, we discovered the start of the trail out the back of Penguin. A false start took us to what looks like an awesome MTB park, but alas, we weren’t there to ride! Check....yes, its a real trail, with real signs, what a relief!
Then it was on to check out the ultra-boring road route from the Northern-most point, Woolnorth, to Penguin. Following a never-ending dirt road to what seemed the end of the earth, we were offered our first Tassie devil experience, albeit a very flat, dead one! Enough to get us excited though. That was until we got to the “STOP!! Private Property do not enter” sign.....ummmm. Owned by The Van Diemans Land Company (what a cool name!), Woolnorth houses a big dairy farm, a Hydro farm, and is home to the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station (whats with all these cool names!) – and is famous for being the cleanest air in the world! No wonder they don’t want anyone in there! We have since had a chat with the CEO of Van Diemans Land Company, and now have permission to access the area for the Tassie Traverse. He promised to lock up the bulls (phew!), but warned us that there are a lot of snakes up near the tip so be careful! Eeeeek! Did you know that all Tassie snakes a venomous? Shane’s excited at that!
After several mumbles of “this is going to be boring to run on”, we stumbled across the train line...wouldn’t it be awesome to avoid the Bass Hwy, and run through the fields? A quick google, and Bingo! Its a dis-used railway line from Smithton to Burnie! Running along the railway sleepers for nearly 100kms could get interesting, but hey, it sure beats dodging the trucks on the highway! Winner!
And then it was onto Shane’s Dad’s dairy farm at Western Creek, with a quick call into the Cradle Mountain village (where we basically sold our souls for a ¼ tank of petrol!) A few days of cow milking, Christmas celebrating and climbing of the mountains in the back paddock, it was time for some more reconnaissance adventures!
After picking up the planned trail again at Derwent Bridge (the end of the Overland Track), we were off in search for an unmarked track that would take us down the east bank of Lake King William.
It was vaguely on the map, so it had to be there somewhere....so after plenty of bush bashing, we reckoned it was the big gate marked “No Entry. Private Property. Offenders Prosecuted.” Is there a theme here??!!! A bit of asking around town, and a bit of gorging on a yummy burger at The Hungry Wombat, we were finally pointed in the direction of The Derwent Bridge Hotel....the owner there owned the land we wanted to trespass! A few mins later we had our permission!
TO BE CONTINUED.......Blizzards, floods and bush bashing...
Shane's an ultra runner and La Sportiva Ambassador, with a taste for adventure, always up for a new and different challenge.