A Man at the Cradle Mountain near the Strahan Village

Touring Tasmania in the New Tesla Electric Vehicle | Day Four

An aerial view of the East Coast Ocean near Strahan Village

The RACT General Manager of Member Assist is testing the range of electric vehicles over the next few days on a journey around Tassie to determine if they will be a viable alternative transport for use in the near future. Follow his journey below.

Day 4

Weather forecast, more of the same but maybe less rain? Lazy morning, almost a brunch before we head up the road to the car park for the Wineglass Bay walks. It’s still overcast, cloudy and a strong southerly breeze. It’s no secret around office that wherever possible I’ll drive rather than walk, and I considered a direct flight from Sydney to Hobart across the east coast enough to say I’d seen Wineglass Bay, but my better half who sleeps on planes and had never seen this iconic place  said we needed a first-hand look.

We study the trek possibilities at the foot of the Hazards deciding on the lookout walk as a starter and we’ll see how we go after that. An hour or so return to the lookout sounded fine to me but I’d keep that under my hat and claim an injury or something so I didn’t have to walk down the other side.  I’ll leave that for another day when I have a helicopter and licence.

So we did the walk, I huffed and puffed a bit on the last 400 metres to the lookout. It was blowing a gale at the top but I now know why people head to Freycinet. The white sand, blue waters and shelter the bay provides is something to behold. I swear if the day was better, I’d have walked down to the beach, honest!

Walk done and it’s back to the real business, driving. A full charge of 509kms would be needed to do the 300 plus kms to Cradle, and that is what I had. The flat road out to the Tasman Hwy put me ahead of the game. Unfortunately a few kms down the road towards the Lake Leake Hwy the red “you aren’t going to make it” warnings began. With total confidence from the Strahan leg I just ignored them, and it wasn’t until 20kms from Campbell Town (on the downhill run) that I started to see amber warnings and eventually they disappeared. Unlike the Strahan to Hobart leg where the backend was easy Freycinet to Cradle was the opposite so I needed to gain some credit along the way and it hadn’t started all that well.

I made a decision to get the credit from the hwy but that meant slower speeds. Full autonomous mode at 85km/h on the midland Hwy I was getting a 1:1 burn, which was putting me ahead for later in the drive. Incredibly a B-double managed to pass me safely on Illawara Rd. Luckily the Bass Hwy was quiet which allowed me to continue to accrue km credit without pissing too many people off.

We headed inland on the Railton Rd from Elizabeth Town I continued to get in the positive but I knew I’d need it. It was along this stretch that the sun came out, almost the first time since I left Melbourne last Thursday.

With under 100kms to go and 225km range I reckon I had enough. The run down to Cethana Dam got me big numbers but the climb up the other side cost me double. I managed to get the Moina turnoff to Cradle with 150kms range but still had the Climb from there, then the rolling run to the Cradle Mountain Hotel and the last charger on my tour.

The hotel gates met us with 80kms range which was so much more  than I was anticipating when I was on the Lake Leake Hwy. Hotel Staff made sure the Telsa charge station car park was left clear , I hooked up and was getting 90km/h, so less than five hours and we’d have full charge again for what was an easy run back to Devonport  to catch the ferry.