Australia - North Eastern Tasmania - old mining trails

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by El Toad Man, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. El Toad Man

    El Toad Man Offroad adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    637
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    It was a frosty winter morning in Devonport as we set off for the long weekend. We were heading to the north east corner of the island state of Tasmania, intent on travelling on some little used tracks. Some of these tracks are left over from mining operations that peaked some 100 years ago and are mostly overgrown today. Hopefully we will see some old mining relics, and ride some interesting tracks on the way (any excuse for a ride will do!).

    The riders were theMISSIONARY (WR250R) and myself (KLX650C).
    Heading along the Frankford Highway in Northern Tasmania:
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    Cold? Hell yes! At least until the sun was up.
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    An hour later we were at the Tamar River, passing through the town of Deviot (yes that's it's real name :eek1) and the weather was looking good:
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    Over the river and on to Lilydale where we met up with our third rider, measureman, on an original 750 Super Tenere. We wanted less tar and more dirt so measureman showed us some great forestry tracks to get us to the next town of Scottsdale.
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    Spectacular views from every hilltop

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    There were some very slippery wet clay tracks to get to here. Measureman showed how an S10 can throw huge roost over following WR riders.
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    The mud on the WR is all roost:rofl
    #1
  2. El Toad Man

    El Toad Man Offroad adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    637
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    We fuelled up at Scottsdale and proceeded east towards Mt Horror.

    Mt Horror? Oh No!!!!
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    Fortunately we didn't find out why it's called Mt Horror.
    Unfortunately there was a gate preventing us from going up there. :huh

    Anyhow, moving on......

    Our riding plan tends to be very flexible. We are riding somewhere new, the time it takes to ride from A to B may vary, and where we think we are going to camp may or may not be suitable. I had read about a campsite that might be suitable near the small town of Moorina. Sometimes campsites I hear about turn out to be nothing more than a patch of dirt next to the road, so you can imaging how pleased I was to find this:
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    Well off the main road, sheltered, and we had it all to ourselves! :clap

    So we had found our campsite. But with plenty of daylight left we decided to explore the area
    Heading north east to Frome Dam:
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    and further around the dam on some muddy side tracks
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    #2
  3. El Toad Man

    El Toad Man Offroad adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    Below the dam wall is the remains of an old water race which fed to a now disused power station.
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    We followed the water race for some distance, but the track got progressively more overgrown
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    Eventually the track gets too overgrown to ride, so we head back to the main track.


    There are a number of tracks around here that used to have bridges:
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    But with no more mining, and little traffic of any kind, many of these bridges have deteriorated with age and have not been replaced.

    Heading west to the town of Pioneer, we find a lake that was once an open cut mine
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    and some soft sand to make things interesting.....
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    I rode around the other side of the lake but stopped when I saw this deep creek crossing
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    I wasn't keen on testing the load rating of the "bridge"
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    #3
  4. El Toad Man

    El Toad Man Offroad adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    The day was nearly over. Measureman was only with us for a day trip so he headed home. theMISSIONARY and I headed back to the campsite we inspected earlier and set up camp.

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    The next day we packed up and headed north along Garibaldi Road. There are more mining relics in this area, including some old chinese stone ovens. Supposedly they were on this side track:
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    or somewhere in there:
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    We couldn't find them, although we did find the mining area. Even today it still looks like another planet:
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    We spent several hours riding and walking around this area. There are still water canals, rusty pipes and pieces of moonscape dotting this area to remind us of what it once was like.
    #4
  5. El Toad Man

    El Toad Man Offroad adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    We headed through Pioneer again, and from the centre of town a gravel road heads directly west. This joins with Old Port Road, a gravel road which runs north-south.

    Heading north on Old Port Road:
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    Then we turned east towards South Mt Cameron. This unassuming track isn't signposted so could be easy to miss. It heads all the way east to meet the Pioneer-Gladstone road.

    It's a sandy track and lots of fun to ride.
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    Mt Cameron in the background (obscured by clouds)
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    There's a creek crossing that could be a challenge. It's filled with soft silt and deep 4x4 ruts.
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    But there's a rickety looking but effective bridge:
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    The terrain opens up in to floodplains
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    More views of Mt Cameron
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    #5
  6. El Toad Man

    El Toad Man Offroad adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    Continuing east we reach the tar again and also Little Blue Lake. Another open cut mine that has long since filled with water. The white clay reflects the blue sky (well the sky was grey today), making it look like a tropical beach
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    It looks nice but it's highly acidic from the minerals that were mined here.

    From here we headed north to the town of Gladstone. Refuelling the bikes and ourselves before heading west along the main road.
    We turned back on to Old Port Road to head south and finish our loop.
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    Heading south on Old Port Road (yes it was raining)
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    Old Port Road is an easy gravel road. We never saw any other vehicles on this road today. Nice!

    The rain gets heavier
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    We turn west on to Racecourse Road and head towards Winnaleah

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    Back towards Scottsdale
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    and then through The Sideling; the twisty tar road back to Launceston.
    Finally taking the highway back to Devonport.

    It was a great weekend, and we saw that there's plenty more to explore in that area.
    So we'll be back again soon. :clap
    #6
  7. theMISSIONARY

    theMISSIONARY hunting and riding!!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,262
    Location:
    Devonport Tazmania
    I need to get a GPS so i can find those Ovens.......more money and more time :D and More tracks
    #7
  8. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Jax Off again.

    Joined:
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    15,820
    Location:
    From Alabama to Newfoundland it's all Appalachian
    Nice! :thumb


    Brilliant:
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    #8
  9. Russ

    Russ . Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
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    17,587
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Great stuff :thumb
    Thanks for sharing
    #9
  10. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak Aussie BM rider, West Oz.

    Joined:
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    1,864
    Location:
    Perth.
    I love reports from Tasmania.

    Thanks :thumb
    #10
  11. robmoto

    robmoto Long timer

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    Thanks for posting :clap.
    #11
  12. Goldburg

    Goldburg Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
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    Eastern NC
    Thanks for the awesome pix!
    #12
  13. FLICKIT

    FLICKIT Been here awhile

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    881
    Location:
    Down-under Down-under
    Great stuff!

    Thanks :clap
    #13
  14. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    855
    Was in Tasmania in 1980 when my ship made a port call there. It's a beautiful place...nice to see these photos.

    Some of the streams you're showing there look very "trouty"...
    #14
  15. theMISSIONARY

    theMISSIONARY hunting and riding!!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,262
    Location:
    Devonport Tazmania
    Plenty of Trout about :deal however i don't really go fishing these days :rofl
    #15
  16. luloadventure

    luloadventure - LULO -

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Oddometer:
    135
    Location:
    England - UK
    .
    Nice report & pics... :freaky
    #16
  17. El Toad Man

    El Toad Man Offroad adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    637
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    Thanks guys, and yes there's plenty of trout about :thumb
    #17