The Long Riders' Guild

Tasmanian Trail

by Bronte Broome

In February 2006 Julie Broome and her daughters Georgie (aged 14) and Bronte (aged 11) completed a ride along the Tasmanian Trail.  Click here to go to their page on The Guild website.

This story of their journey was written by Bronte.

For around 6months my sister, mum and I had been planning a trip to Tasmania. Not just any trip - we were going to do the Tasmanian trail on horseback.

Some Info on the Trail

The Tasmanian trail is a multi-purpose long distance recreational trail designed for bush walkers, horse riders and bike riders. It starts in Tassie’s far north-Devenport, to far south-Dover. The Tasmanian Trail is an extremely hard trek and it goes up some awesomely big terrain and divides through some amazing scenery.             

The trail only has a guide book and some of the tourist bureaus didn’t have a clue what the trail was, and the guide had some phone numbers of people that have passed away! So we had to find out about it through one contact that had done the trail himself. This, a Tassie trail marker was an indication of where we had to ride to get to the campsite. Not much but we found our way.

La Trip

On the 15th of November MY mum, sister and I drove to Yass with our horses and truck, after 2 more days we reached Werribee International Equestrian Center in Melbourne. There were a lot of very fancy horse riders there that didn’t like our country style truck. After a rest day at Melbourne we were scheduled to go on a 16 hour boat trip to Tasmania, Devenport, On the Sprit Of Tasmania.

The boat was huge. The horses had to stay on the hot truck in a boat for 16 hours while mum, Georgie, and I slept in luxury beds!

We docked at 5 o’clock in the morning and the first thing we saw coming in to the dock was a McDonald’s sign.

We drove off the boat and went to a friends house just passed Sheffield. We were staying opposite from one of the nicest mountains in tassie. That night the horses got a nice grassy paddock and back in the house we talked about Tasmanian tiger tails.

We started our first day of the Tasmanian Trail at Devenport where the Spirit of Tasmania Had docked. There was a lot of traffic, just like Newcastle but 10 times colder! We rode and rode and rode….and rode until we had to stop. We would be traveling around 17-40kms a day so the horses needed lots of breaks. We traveled each day and camped at a camp site in the freezing cold, wilderness of Tasmania. Yes, if you’re wondering about the weather-it was cold, wet, windy and occasionally sunny.

We passed through a lot of logging tracks and a lot of heavy log trucks, loud as well!!

Some of the landscape in tassie is beautiful but we rode through a lot of forestry and logging areas.

We rode through the Northern farm lands, Forested Ranges, Central Plateau, Derwent valley and southern forests, all up there were 15 towns that we had to ride through, and at a total of 480kms from Devenport To Dover.

We were staying at the lovely school grounds at Glenora and we were heading off to go to Lachlan.

One of accommodation hosts offered to drive all of our gear to the Lachlan rest stop. We were riding up the highway and Jack, my mums horse stood on a glass bottle and ruptured his artery in his foot. We were on the side of the highway with jack’s foot bleeding and we didn’t have any of our medical gear because our friends had taken it up to Lachlan.

When we got hold of them they got their friend to bring a horse float [trailer]and take Jack to her place. She helped us a lot.

While our horses were having a few days rest we hired a car and went and had a look around. We would just camp at a caravan park most of the time. My favorite part of looking at tassie was standing on the top of Mt Wellington on the edge looking down at all those tiny figures on the ground. Mum wouldn’t go near the edge!!!

When Jack’s foot had healed we were four days from finishing the ride.  

When we were coming down the last hill into Dover, it was so great to be back in some civilization, and knowing that you had successfully completed the Tasmanian Trail.

There were some construction workers building where the End of Tassie Trail sign was so we got them to hold the sign up in front of the horses and take a photo.

When we arrived at The Dover Hotel we still had to stay in tents but we had hot meals and got to speak to loads of new people.

My conclusion

The Tasmanian Trail is a great experience but not practically a pampering warm summer holiday.

I have learnt that if you want to do something you should always go out and do it because you may not get a chance to do it later in life. I have also learnt a lot about camping and how to stay warm.

I absolutely hated doing the trail when I was on it but now that I’m not doing it I want to do it all over again!

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