We’ve got a feeling our latest Ambassador ride, North-East Wineries Tour, will become one of our most popular routes.
The Ambassador routes can be found on the RidewithGPS website and are a collection of suggested rides that you can download to your phone to guide you on your way.
The North-East Wineries Tour takes in Tasmania’s premier wineries and vineyards and can be ridden over three to four days or in discrete sections. The webpage outlines the ascents on each section, maps and descriptions of riding conditions so you can create your own ride.
Where possible the route travels via separated bikepaths, quiet sealed and unsealed (gravel) country roads, and some short stretches of highway along sealed shoulders.
The entire loop is 235 km long, which makes this a great option for people on e-bikes or just wanting a decent ride on their standard pushbike. The suggested lunch stops all offer charging opportunities for drained batteries.
The suggested day-by-day itinerary is as follows:
Start in Launceston at the pretty Brickfields Park, through Royal Park, over the new Seaport Bridge and along the shared paths running beside the North Esk River before a few suburban streets and back on to separated trail to Rocherlea. There’s a brief stint on the main road to Lilydale before hitting scenic country roads and lunch at the Leaning Church Vineyard in Lalla. The community park in Lilydale is another nice rest stop, and Lilydale offers other options for food and drinks. Just after Lilydale is the option for a short walk to Lilydale Falls and at Lebrina you can drop into Clover Hill Vineyard.
Continue along Golconda Rd and then turn left up towards Bridestowe Lavender Estate for a lavender icecream or spectacular photos when the fields are in bloom. You can also sneak in a trip to
It’s then north on very quiet gravel roads to the peaceful seaside village of Bridport and its accommodation and meal choices.
Check out the trail alongside the foreshore on your way out of the village but then it’s on to the shoulder of a busy country road. This is where the wineries start to pop up in abundance, with possible side trips to Sinapius, Delamere, Dalrymple, Jansz and Pipers Brook. Bay of Fires Winery makes a very welcome lunch stop at the half way point of the day's ride.
Back on the main road, the next turn is onto the busy East Tamar Highway and bypassing the Bell Bay industrial precinct. Fortunately you'll soon pass it and enter the quiet riverside town of Georgetown. You'll ride through the village (possible coffee stops here) to the historic Paterson Memorial Monument on the banks of the Tamar River.
From here there is a lovely riverside trail to take you north, where an overnight in the historic Low Head Pilot Station is highly recommended if you like colonial maritime heritage. The Coxswain's Cafe here is good and the Pilot Station Museum has an excellent collection of gems of local maritime history.
If you didn't do this yesterday, take a short ride up to the Low Head Historic Site to see the old lighthouse. Then it's back down the river, over the Batman Bridge where you can stop at Goaty Hill, Holm Oak or Iron Pot Bay vineyards before getting to Moore's Hill Winery, a lovely spot for a gourmet lunch with a view. This vineyard is well ahead of the pack in self sufficiency, generating its own electricity and collecting its own water.
It’s then a beautiful riverside ride along the banks of the Tamar with winery options including Marions Vineyard and Stoney Rise. At the Supply River, there is an option to ride along a trail to the old Supply River Ruins.
Just after the Supply River crossing, there is an option to drop off the road to the left to ride through the pretty bushland along a slightly bumpy track. The reward is the cafe Rileys on the River and scenic Swan Point.
Accommodation options include bed and breakfast spots in Gravelly Beach, or the comfortable watering hole, the Rosevears Hotel, which is welcoming bike riders as guests under Tasmania's Bike Friendly Businesses program.
Starting with an easy ride along scenic Rosevears Drive and a short stretch on the West Tamar Highway with a possible coffee stop at Velo Wines or Tamar Ridge.
If you're keen to get off the highway, turn into the Tamar Island Wetlands Centre (worth a look to see the native birds and wildlife), and take a short offroad stretch through the paddocks. There is more relief from the highway once you reach Tailrace Park. Turn left here and you can get onto the pleasant West Tamar Trail. You'll find your way to Kings Bridge, take to the footpath here to cross the South Esk River. Now you're back in the city of Launceston, and if you turn right onto Margaret St you'll be back at your starting point.
Tas Ambassador routes gain favour
Our Tasmanian Ambassador Routes bike guides have taken off with strong month-on-month increases in the number of rides downloaded from the website since it was created in April last year.
The most popular ride is the Orielton Lagoon Loop, which has increased from just six downloads in February this year to 158 in July.
These routes are all tested and uploaded by our volunteer social rides leader Di Elliffe, with the gorgeous photography by Robert Gavin.
If you have suggestions for rides on paths and quiet roads around the state, email firstname.lastname@example.org