Cycle Tasmania, Road Ride, Tamar Wine Route
Circle through the heart of Tasmania’s premier wine region along part of the marked Tamar Wine Route. There’s a lot more than vineyards to see, with the ride passing pasture, olives, raspberries and blue gums in between the wineries, and there are some long, open stretches of road for breaking out into speed.
Good sealed roads looping over low hills either side of Lilydale and near Pipers River, but offering reasonably flat riding in between.
The B81 (through Lilydale) and B82 (through Pipers River) see a reasonable amount of traffic, but other roads along this route are pleasantly quiet.
Lilydale is around 30 kilometres northeast of Launceston, reached along the B81.
Food and Drink
Pick a winery, any winery. Food options are more basic, limited to the Pipers River General Store and a small store in Lebrina. In Lilydale, the Lilydale Tavern Bakery Cafe offers the rare treat of a beer and a bun under the same roof.
As you whoosh down into Lilydale near the end of the ride, stop at the Lilydale Falls Reserve, where a short walk through rainforest will bring you to a pair of attractive waterfalls.
Looping out for 170 kilometres from Launceston, the Tamar Wine Route would be an epic day out by bike (especially if fuelled by wine) but the ride described here showcases one of the prettiest, and most winery- packed, sections of the route. From Lilydale, the ride climbs straight out of town into a low range of hills, with the literal flavour of the day set after just two kilometres when you roll past Providence Vineyard, said to be Tasmania’s oldest vineyard, though it’s unlikely that you’ll have a thirst just yet.
There follows a plunging descent to Karoola Road, where the ride flattens out through agricultural lands. Native bush and blue gums break up the pasture before the B83 ends in tiny Pipers River. From here, it’s a three-kilometre glide down to the actual river, which is also about as small as the town. Sadly, all that descent must be paid for in the climb back out. By the time you reach Pipers Brook Road, 38 kilometres into the ride, you might well be ready for that swill of wine, which is good timing since there’s a trio of a wineries near to hand.
Two of the regions most famous labels - Pipers Brook and the Jansz Wine Room - share an entrance, though roadies might want to go easy on the tastings because the gravel driveway might test any dulled reflexes. Past the vineyards the ride climbs through the small township of Pipers Brook, which seems to consist of more abandoned farmhouses than occupied residences; beside the road, Bird Vineyard has no cellar door. Vineyards again give way to pasture as you continue south, though the hillsides above are occasionally furrowed by vines, and there’s a beautiful tall stand of forest as you approach the end of Pipers Brook Road.
The toughest climbs are saved for the final haul back into Lilydale, beginning as soon as you turn onto the B81, where there’s a long pull up onto the slopes of the Halls Tier range ahead of a roaring descent into Lebrina. A second tough climb allows for a final, curling descent past Lilydale Falls Reserve back into Lilydale.
62.32 km / 38.724 mi
881 m / 2,892 ft
881 m / 2,892 ft
352 m / 1,153 ft