If you’ve ever been to Tasmania you know that it has a lot to offer. This small State is definitely punching above its weight as an adventure paradise. While most people have heard of Cradle Mountain or Freycinet, not that many have heard of the Tasmanian Gift. That might be due to the fact that of the many men and women who have attempted this ultra backpacking trail, only 16 have ever completed it.
Let’s start at the beginning
The Tassie Gift is a relentless 1,780km bikepacking event along roads, trails and goat tracks on the island of Tasmania, promising to be brutal and beautiful in equal measure.
This gruelling race was mapped out and created by Emma Flukes, with the help of a few fellow Tassie cyclists. The irony of the name is that the Tassie Gift is meant literally. Tasmania is a gift to the adventure cyclist, and this race targets the very best secrets the island has hidden away; combining roads, trails, goat tracks and not-tracks wrangled into a jigsaw puzzle loop format. The route showcases the enormous diversity Tassie has to offer yet barely scratching the surface.
Some call it a scenic trip to hell, while others look at the stats and think why even bother, the odds are against me.
This off-road, off-grid and unsupported route is certainly not for the faint hearted. It is not a pleasant gravel ride, nor a touring route and by all means does not pass for a cyclists haven. Rather, it is a tough, gritty and inhospitable trail, known to be one of the hardest in the world.
The course begins in Hobart and immediately goes up Mt Wellington before traversing through the Derwent Valley. It makes a figure of 8, heading far to the North West via the Cradle Mountain region. It then heads down the state along the West Coast and through the Derwent Valley again and up to St Helens and North East. It tracks back down the East Coast and through the Midlands before finishing back down in Hobart.
So, you might be wondering why anyone would actually want to do this?
Of course like most extreme sports, it stems from the desire and passion to do something that not many others can say they have. In Emma’s words, “the course was created out of the desire to both ride it, and share it. These events tend to emerge because the introverted and adventurous breed that are attracted to ultra bikepacking want to spread their enjoyment to others”.
This certainly impacted Perth woman, Kirsty Cowie who was ignited by the toughness of the trail and decided she wanted to give it a go.
Image: Kirsty Cowie enjoying the weather amid the Tassie Gift trail- supplied by Kirsty Cowie
“To me, the appeal of The Gift was in the sheer absurdity of it. I knew it was going to be an incredible way to explore Tassie for the first time. It’d been playing in the back of my mind as an ultimate, ‘I’ll do it one day’ trip, but then the perfect opportunity arose for a ridiculous adventure and I couldn’t say no”.
In the film ‘A Gift From Tasmania’, you will be front and centre to this extraordinary extreme sport and the beautifully brutal trail found on the little island of Tasmania.
You will be taken on a journey of inspiration, grit and sheer determination as Kirsty provides a front row seat to witness the highs, the lows and the ‘in between’ as she cycles through what is known to be some of the most spectacular and intimidating terrain in the world.
A Gift from Tasmania is a film that sure does embody the meaning of a Gutsy Girl Adventure, so join us for this year’s film tour and get inspired!