Stunning world-class motorcycle ride from Launceston – Exeter – Deloraine – Cradle Mountain – Wynyard Ride
If you’re after a stunning world-class motorcycle ride with sensational scenery, then this ride certainly won’t disappoint you. We’ve found January through to March provides the best weather up at Cradle Mountain. But a word of caution, though; check the weather forecast before heading up into the mountains. It pays to do this regardless of the time of year.
Riding Level – Intermediate to Advanced (Route contains tight corners and steep climbs and descents)
Best Time of Year – Dec through to April
Road Condition Warnings – https://www.transport.tas.gov.au/projectsplanning/road_closures_and_delays
We left Launceston early in the morning, choosing to trek up the Tamar River’s East side along the East Tamar Highway (A8). The road hugs the riverbank on northern outskirts of Launceston before meandering through rich fertile farmland. North of Dilston you’re afforded a panoramic view of the river near the Signal Station Tavern, a favoured watering hole with many motorcyclists. Still, it was far too early in the morning for us to drop in today. During the week the East Tamar Highway is major trucking route for freight heading to the Bell Bay port facility, but there are numerous overtaking lanes. You can punch along this section easily and enjoy fast sweeping corners.
The left turn-off to the Batman Highway (B73) is well marked, and again you’re afforded great views of the river as you head west towards the Batman Bridge. If you’re into engineering and it’s your first time crossing this bridge it is worth pulling up and checking this bridge out. After the bridge, you stay on this highway and turn left at the West Tamar Highway (A7).
It’s roughly 10 km from the T-intersection to Exeter. Today we stopped at the Exeter Bakery, for a quick coffee, pie and cake. The staff are super friendly and get your order out with the utmost efficiency. Importantly the toilets are clean.
We exited Exeter west along the Frankfort Highway (B71), after approximately 12 km we made a left turn onto the Birralee Road (B72) heading south towards Westbury. It’s here, on a fine day, you’ll get your first glimpse of the mountains you’re about to climb. At Westbury, we turned right onto the Meander Valley Road (B54) heading for Deloraine where we’d fuel the bikes. There are no fuel opportunities up in the mountains.
Deloraine boasts Australia’s largest working craft fair each November, which coincides with spectacular blossoms along the town’s manicured river banks.
From Deloraine, we took a left turn onto Mole Creek Road (B12), this road meanders through lush farmland and affords an introduction into the sensational cornering that is to come. Watch out for the sharp 90-degree right-hand turn in the middle of Chudleigh before the B12 again delivers some great riding into Mole Creek. The Mole Creek Hotel puts on great meals, but today we pushed on through. Roughly 5 km out of Mole Creek we veered left on to Liena Road (C138).
Mount Round Lookout
The C138 winds and snakes its way around Mount Roland changing its name to Olivers Road partway around. It’s genuinely sensational riding. It’s well worth stopping at the Mount Round Lookout to take in the surrounding mountains’ panoramic vista. From the lookout, you drop steeply down onto Cethana Road (C136) and turn left for the 19 km climb up to Moina and our lunch destination at the Cradle Forest Inn. We chose a woodfired pizza, and it didn’t disappoint us. The service is excellent and the staff are more than happy to have a chat and offer some advice on travelling through the area.
After the hearty lunch stop at the Cradle Forest Inn, we pulled onto Cradle Mountain Road (C132). This section of the route is undoubtedly one the holy grails of Tasmanian motorcycle riding. There’s a mix of tight and sweeping turns through the undulating countryside. The tarmac is in top condition, and it’s smooth with minimal bumps and pothole patches. On the day we travelled across the mountain, there were no other vehicles. How lucky? Nevertheless, it’s the sort of road that you’ll quickly find yourself rolling your right-hand to wind on the throttle that little bit more.
Stunning world-class motorcycle ride
After a sensational 38 km of riding, we arrived at the T-Intersection where the Cradle Mountain Highway (C132) meets the Murchison Highway (A10). We turned right and headed northward, approximately 17kms down the road we met the Ridgley Highway’s junction (B18), either route would lead to our final destination of Wynyard. We chose to veer right along the Ridgley Highway which would take us into Burnie. From Burnie, it’s an 18km run along the shoreline of the Bass Highway (A2) to Wynyard which affords excellent coastal views.
We’ve stayed at the Waterfront Wynyard previously and enjoyed our stay each time. Hosts Justin and Cyndia do a spectacular job of looking after each guest. It’s reasonably priced, and the night’s accommodation includes a hearty breakfast. The rooms face the estuary of the Inglis River and jetty complex. It’s a 2-minute walk to the Wharf Hotel, which has good meals. However, we chose to visit Wynyard Seafoods on the Wharf for a generous helping of fresh fish and chips.
Back at the room after dinner, we sat out the front of the room on deckchairs watching the sunset while reflecting on the fabulous day’s riding.
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