Cycle Tasmania, Mountain Bike Ride, Cygnet Coast Ride
A peach of a ride in the fruit-filled Huon Valley, following rocky coastline near Lymington and then heading upstream from beside the mouth of the Huon. There are apples, berries, wines and little traffic as the ride loops along the coast south of Cygnet.
A gentle coastal crawl around the mouth of the Huon River broken by a couple of climbs as the ride turns inland. Around nine kilometres of the ride is on gravel road - the surface is good but a mountain bike is still the best option.
The Cygnet Coast Road (C639) is delightfully quiet, while the traffic on the B68 is steady but not uncomfortable and has a narrow verge.
The ride begins in the town of Cygnet, around 50 kilo- metres drive south of Hobart through Kingston and Snug, crossing through hills to Cygnet on the C626. Tassielink buses stop at Huonville, 18 kilometres from Cygnet.
Food and Drink
A place named the Red Velvet Lounge is the perfect fit in artsy Cygnet. The bohemian touches are rivalled only by the coffee.
At Petchey Bay, turn up the hill (quite steeply) for a kilometre to Welcome Swallow Ciderworks.
Heading out of Cygnet, this ride beelines straight for the coast and the tussocky wetlands of the Port Cygnet Wildlife Sanctuary. Established in 1952, this is Australia’s oldest nationally recognised wetlands. More than 70 bird species have been recorded here and you can expect to see at least a few herons and swans. The C639 clings to the oyster-rimmed coast into Lymington. On the approach, fruit orchards trickle down the hillsides, with the fruit-processing plant passed outside of Cygnet offering a fair hint as to the nature of the region’s major industry.
From Lymington the road begins to climb up and away from the coast, switching to gravel and dropping into a valley filled with berry farms. If you’re here in January or February, there are DIY berry pickings. Immediately beyond the berry farms, the road drops to a beautiful, protected cove at the mouth of the Huon River, which is as wide here as a bay. The bay makes for a good stop, especially if you’re up for a swim. A longer section of gravel road begins here, but it’s at time so smooth it makes for an easier roll than the sealed stuff. From the bay, the ride tacks upstream, running tight against the edge of the Huon River, its waters filled with salmon farms and the opposite bank pulling closer with each kilometre.
On a fine day, the river is beautifully blue - and backed at times by equally blue mountains - making for a lovely bit of riding as you curl through bays and inlets to the Scented Rose display garden; it’s open weekends and English roses are the star feature. Past a home built out over the river on stilts, the grassed Egg Islands begin to fill the river until the road turns inland towards Cradoc, passing through the vineyards of Panorama Wines.
Go easy at the cellar door because the steepest climb of the day, up into tiny Cradoc, is just ahead. The climbing continues past Cradoc, on the busier B68, rising through a small line of hills to a crest 130 metres above sea level. The work is done, and from here it’s a gentle cruise down into and through Cygnet.
33.864 km / 21.042 mi
497 m / 1,631 ft
497 m / 1,629 ft
134 m / 440 ft