Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tasmania, Feburary 2014

I spent two weeks in Tasmania last month, motorcycling.  There were no epic rides.  Rather I spent my days doing laps of roads strung out along the ocean, then drinking coffee and reading books, then doing more laps, while staying at my father's home.  It was marvelous.  

I did day sailing, and spent my time looking over Bass Straight's expansiveness:

And spent the first evening camping at Devonport.  The next morning I awoke early and decided to travel to my father's (in Nicholl's Rivulett) via Queenstown.

That was a wet and cold ride, but the scenes were fantastic....

Tasmania is a small place for a motorcycle, and I arrived at my father's late in the afternoon.  From then on I spent my days in the above-described activity:

The view from my father's verandah:

Often I would sit right at the water's edge and read....

Or at a general store, where I appeared to be a novelty (they gave me free coffees, and laughed at the fact that somebody would want to sit there and just drink one coffee after another, over a few hours.  All their customers entered, purchased, and left.)

My God, it is so beautiful down there.  I passed this spot once or twice a day:

I would sit at cafes on house boats:

Before leaving the towns again for the rough shores,

or to dart along a coast road at confident speed as the day began to die.

One day I rode to Southport for a picnic on the beach:

The next I would leave the exotica and spend more time reading and doing laps....

I was invited to give a talk on existential therapy at a counselling college, and so I did one morning, in this wonderful old Hobart building -- what a place to study!

I went for walks in rain forests near Geeveston, where the sun was magical on the bracken and ferns:

And rode up Mount Nelson, to look out over Hobart:

One afternoon my father and I went out in a dingy for a few hours.  The water was so clear.

And the next day I rode to Gordon Damn.  I stopped along the way at what can only be described as a village, to purchase honey from somebody's front yard, made by bees in their backyard.  It smelt of flowers.

In the national park there were also bee hives.  As I sped along, smelling the ferns or eucalyptus, suddenly I would be assaulted by the overpowering scent of honey, exploding like the brilliant sunshine that lighted my way.

This is alpine country.  I felt like I was riding across the top of the world.

And then I entered into a district of lakes and islands.  An inland sea in the alpines.  Complete, in fact, with prehistoric fish.

At last I reached Gordon Damn.  A gargantuan place.  Phenomenal.

After this adventure I spent more days riding the roads about Cygnet.  It is a very different place to what I knew in my teenage years, when the only place to eat served fried food and Big Ms.  This is where I went to get my coffee, and it competed with anything in Melbourne:

 Alas, all good things come to an end.  And so I found myself aboard a boat, staring for hours across Bass Straight.  This time in a storm.  I felt like I was floating through some great unconsciousness

from which, eventually, civilisation - with all its discontents - emerged.


  1. Matt, thanks for this lovely set of pictures. 16 & 17 are my favourites. Thanks for sharing. I really like "armchair-traveling" with you.

  2. Very nice pictures. Looks like a great place to ride or just sit watch.