Relbia & Evandale

Cycle Tasmania, Road Ride, Relbia & Evandale

Loop out from Launceston through one of the least known, but most attractive of Tasmania’s wine regions before climbing on to the country’s spiritual home of the penny farthing. There are plenty of small hills but great views, wine and food to compensate.

Terrain

Good sealed roads through a succession of small hills intersected by the vine-draped Relbia valley.

Traffic

Despite the direct nature of the ride, the roads are quiet across most of the route. Elphin Road gets its share of traffic but it’s negated by the presence of the bike lane.

Access

City Park sits at the eastern edge of the Launceston city centre, just a few hundred metres from the mall.

Food and Drink

Pepik Cafe, inside Josef Chromy Wines, is all things to all people: cellar door, fine dining or simply coffee and cakes on the lawns. In Evandale, the penny farthing propped outside The Muse Coffee Bar should be temptation enough.

Side Trip

If you’re pedalling in February, think about timing your ride to coincide with the Evandale Village Fair, which features the National Penny Farthing Championships.

 

More Details

Relbia

This ride exits Launceston on Elphin Road, along the city’s first dedicated bike lane, rolling south through the leafy suburbs. Past the South Oakburn College’s Penquite campus there’s a roaring descent into a small gully, though you’ll pay for it on the climb back out. Glenwood Road trails along beside a railway, climbing through a low line of hills in a lovely rural setting. Near the top of the climb, Sharmans Fine Wines marks your arrival at the edge of the Relbia wine region - here, too, the multiuse, dirt Glenwood Trail begins beside the road, running eventually into Relbia, though the lightly trafficked road offers a better ride.

After around 11km you’ll pop out onto a hilltop, from where the hillsides ahead can be seen covered in vines; this Burgundy-like landscape is Relbia and in such a setting, the French-style gardens at Josef Chromy Wines, right beside the road, should come as no surprise. The ride through Relbia’s valley is sheer delight, with the undulating road cupped by low, vine-furrowed hills. Ben Lomond, Tasmania’s second-highest mountain, looms beyond to the east.

Evandale

At the White Hills Road junction, there’s the option to shorten the ride by almost 14 kilometres by turning left and swinging back to Launceston (pick up the ride log at 29.8 kilometres), but it’s worth riding on to Evandale, even if only to celebrate the heritage-listed town’s obsession with the big bertha of cycling: the penny farthing. Even the town centrepiece is a bronze sculpture of a penny farthing and its rider (and dog). It’s a hilly run into town but a cruisey spin back out, returning to White Hills Road. Here, beside the abandoned farmhouse, the ride turns east, where the gradient quickly makes clear how the road earned its name.

Heading back towards Launceston on the C401 there are views back across to the Relbia vineyards before the road drops down to the North Esk River, forming here a beautiful rocky gorge. The ride crosses the North Esk River again - wider, browner and less attractive now - as it re-enters Launceston, joining up once more with the Elphin Road bike lane to finish back beside City Park. 

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Start at the southeast corner of City Park (at the corner of Brisbane St and Lawrence St) and ride northeast along Elphin Rd on the on-road bike lane.
  • 1.9 At the traffic lights at the intersection with Hoblers Bridge Rd, continue straight ahead onto Penquite Rd.
  • 5.4 At the roundabout, continue straight ahead onto Glenwood Rd - take care at the railway crossing, which has wide gaps.
  • 11.3 Turn left onto Relbia Rd beside Josef Chromy Wines.
  • 16.3 Continue straight ahead at the White Hills Rd junction; if making a shorter loop, cutting out Evandale, turn left here.
  • 22.5 Turn left into High St by the Evandale visitor information centre.
  • 22.8 Turn left onto the C413 by the post office, entering the Evandale town centre.
  • 23.0 By the Clarendon Arms Hotel and the penny farthing sculpture, turn around and retrace your route out of Evandale.
  • 23.2 Turn right onto High St.
  • 23.5 Turn right onto Barclay St, beside the visitor information centre.
  • 29.8 Turn right onto White Hills Rd, climbing through the small line of hills.
  • 32.3 Veer left with White Hills Rd at the Egerton Rd corner.
  • 33.6 Swing left onto Cowley Rd in the White Hills township.
  • 34.0 Turn left onto the C401.
  • 41.4 At the intersection with Johnston Rd, continue straight ahead on St Leonards Rd.
  • 44.2 Go straight ahead at the roundabout onto the Tasman Hwy.
  • 46.0 Turn right into Elphin Rd at the traffic lights.
  • 47.9 Finish the ride back beside City Park.
  • Trail map

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    46.757 km / 29.053 mi

    Total Distance

    572 m / 1,877 ft

    Total Ascent

    571 m / 1,874 ft

    Total Descent

    177 m / 581 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Gravel
    Various
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: 2-4 hrs
    Fitness Level: Medium
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 47.9
    Elevation Gain: 550
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber

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