Strategically timed for low tide, and low/no wind, we set off from Greens Beach on a near perfect winter morning. Greens is very wide and the sand is rock hard, so we flew over intricate sand patterns and reflections alternating with perfect, smooth swathes of lovely beach sand. In just over ten minutes, we were already rolling around the screedy headland and onto the much narrower beaches of Kelso.
Being level with the waters of the Tamar Estuary, we had big water and sky vistas of Low Head, Georgetown and Clarence Point, with distant blue hills fixed like torn paper against the blue-ish winter morning sky. As we picked our way through sea grass, sand and random rocks, we noticed that the exposed long shore reach, was tinged with red… Looking down through the bottom bracket we soon realised that this was because the surface was covered by billions of tiny red crabs! We were happy to exit the creepy crawly beach onto a track leading to Foreshore Road, and it’s garland of modest waterfront residences. At the Kelso boat ramp we turned away from the estuary, and left onto West Tamar Highway (A7) It took a bit of determination to stoke our 26” old school mtb hard tails to deliver up a good cadence, but we got there eventually! After about 7km on this road, we arrived at the Badger Head (C721) turn off.
Concerned about getting to the next beach before the tide came in, we continued to pick up the pace along this gorgeous 10km gravel road. After a few moderate crests, we had some fabulous gravel cruising down gentle gradients under clear skies, surrounded by pastoral settings. The final two crests delivered the ocean view we were looking for, and the tiny cluster of homes at this end of the beach was in sight. Now in Narawntapu National Park, we refueled from the contents of our camelbacks and pockets, taking a bit of a rest while I tightened my saddle which had begun to come loose with all the vibration of the last 10 kays. Looking out over the breathtaking 5km swathe of sand that is Badgers Head Beach, we noted that the tide was turning and that we had better not tarry any longer.
What a beautiful ride it was! This vast beach is an unforgettable visual and sensory experience, simply perfect for a bicycle traverse. The sand is not quite as hard as Greens Beach, but it does support a rider on a bicycle adequately. (You only notice the slight rolling resistance toward the end of the 5km ride). Riding here, to me, was the epitome of the sense freedom and elation that one only finds in a wild and remote natural environment like this. And we had the entire beach, all to ourselves. With the incoming tide in a vignette of aqua blue waves, and the rust colour cliffs of the Asbestos Range Conservation Area quickly receeding with every pedal stroke, we danced with our shadows while being borne across a gallery of sands and waters upon two thumbs of air apiece!
Alas, one cannot stay in the moment and all too soon we were at the rock screed at the foot of cliffs which starkly mark the other end of this remarkable beach. We pushed and pedalled up some badly eroded National Parks footpaths, then up again to the lookout. Our efforts were rewarded by both the elevated view of the vast landscapes we had just cycled through, and a seal frolicking in the waters below us was a just reward and a joy to behold.
We rode back along Gardeners Road to Greens, with just one wicked little pinch climb before the tarmac and an easy cruise through the holiday homes and residences of Greens Beach to a VERY well earned coffee and cake... This is one of my best ever ‘backyard’ rides since moving here in December 2021 !