Salamanca Market and Mt. Wellington

Still windy this morning but as we are staying at the Showgrounds we were able to catch the bus into the city rather than take the vehicles. A very kind Taswegian lady guided us through the CBD to the market, pointing out the important landmarks we needed to know along the way. We hit the markets with high expectations but didn’t realise how busy it would be. The Arcadia Cruise Liner was in town so that helped swamp the place. We spent a couple of hours there before boarding the Big Red Bus Hop On Hop Off city tour.

Somebody I know on top of Mount Wellington

We disembarked at the Tourist Information Centre, then had fish and chips at Station Pier before boarding a Mt Wellington Tour bus. Very informative and a perfect day to visit the summit of Mount Wellington. Sunny with a relatively gentle breeze we spent almost an hour at the summit before heading down to “The Springs” where we enjoyed a hot cup party and a bite to eat.

A view of Hobart from atop Mount Wellington

Oops That Was Close

We left Strahan early this morning (well around 8a.m.) and headed off toward Queenstown. The weather was still overcast with misty rain so we were a bit tired of the West Coast with its miserable weather. We were making tracks to Hobart today, with the aim of finding warmer weather and to carry out some minor repairs to Turtle. The weather was still dreary at Queenstown which accentuated the bare hills and the general gloom of that town. The climb out of Queenstown toward the inland was rather steep and we laboured up the misty hills hoping for better weather.

Jenny cuddling up to her ancestor Grace Nicholas at Ouse

We stopped at Derwent Bridge for morning tea before heading on to Ouse for lunch at Grace Nicholas Park (one of Jenny’s ancestors). We then headed off toward Hobart only for me to realise that I had left my camera sitting on the table in the rotunda. It was a nervous 20 kilometre trek back to the park. When we arrived no camera on the table but then a grey haired Victorian gentleman came up and asked what I was looking for – he had put it in his vehicle to take to a local police station. Goes to show we Victorians are a reliable bunch! I shall sleep easily tonight, thanking my lucky stars.

Onto Zeehan and Strahan

Ooh it was cold last night, we awoke to 4º temperatures, misty rain and strong winds. We headed to Cradle Mountain but it soon became clear that we wouldn’t be able to do much sightseeing there today so we decided to continue on to Zeehan. We stopped at Tullah for morning tea at the local historical railway siding. Unfortunately the train only runs on the weekend.

This locomotive is not leaving Tullah

From Tullah we continued down to Zeehan. A miserable, cold, wet and windy day. The Main Street looked appealing but it was cold and blustery so we decided to have lunch in the park before continuing down to Strahan to stay a night in one of the Caravan Parks. We will have a look around Strahan and surrounds tomorrow before heading off to Queenstown

Back to Devonport for Crucial Repairs

It poured rain almost all night so breakfast was cooked indoors this morning. We made the decision to drive back to Devonport to get Jenny’s phone fixed. It was a two hour drive in relatively good conditions and we waited around in Devonport doing some shopping until the MacShop rang to say the phone had been repaired (all under warranty). The battery had failed and caused some damage to the screen so both the battery and the screen were replaced and she was back in action. Phew, that now means I can have my phone back so now neither of us is suffering from withdrawals.

Old Stockyards, Middlesex, Tasmania

From Devonport we decided to travel down to Cradle Mountain but the weather closed in with strong winds and rain so we ended up searching for a campsite along the road south west toward the mountain. We managed to secure a spot next to an old abandoned set of cattle yards formed out of large fallen trees arranged as fences. Plenty of animal tracks around so I’m hoping we will be visited by a Tassie Devil tonight!

Cruising the Arthur River

The cruise aboard the Red Boat was excellent. We left at around 9 a.m. and returned around 3.15 p.m. The trip included morning tea and a barbecue lunch. Their claim to fame is that the Arthur River is the last wild river in Australia – it hasn’t been logged, dammed or mined so its pretty much in pristine condition. The guide was very informative and easy to listen to

The Arthur River, West Coast Tasmania

When we returned we went out to Land’s End for the mandatory tourist shot before heading deep into the Tarkine Forest before setting up camp at Julius River Campground.

Looking North back along the coast from Land’s End

Arthurs River beckoned

We did another supermarket shop to stock up on our fresh salad supplies before heading out through the edge of the Tarkine Forest down to Marrawah for morning tea and a stretch of the legs along the beach. Bit of a chilly wind today but a beautiful spot.

Marrawah Beach with the Cape Grim wind farm in the distance

From there onto Arthurs River ready for our Red Boat cruise up the Arthur River tomorrow. We in the Caravan Park to take advantage of the 240 v power and the hot showers

Onto Smithton

No doubt about us, we had an enjoyable day wandering around Stanley taking in the sights and sounds, stopping for lunch at Godfreys Beach before heading down the road to Smithton. Another free camp where it seems the main topic of conversation was the automatic toilet (I think I may be travelling with some Luddites – they were scared to enter the toilet of doom lest the door didn’t unlock!

Being a tourist at Smithton

Bob and Jenny tried their hand at fishing in the boat channel with no success as the tide was fair ripping out. High tide wasn’t until 2 am so we decided that fishing was off the night’s entertainment list.

I Say Stanley

It just must be us! Woken early by a grumpy Little Athletics “lady” telling us that she didn’t want motorhome and caravans hanging around when the kids arrived so we had to be out within the hour. So it was a quick breakfast then into Devonport for a supermarket shop (quarantine restrictions meant no fresh fruit and veg or firewood!!) before heading down the North West Coast to Stanley for another cheap camp. On the way we stopped into several lovely beach communities at Sisters Beach and Boat Harbour. Beautiful spots with very few people around considering it was fine and sunny and Saturday.

Sisters Beach in tropical Tasmania

The short distances that we are travelling are coming as a bit of a surprise so its hard to get our heads around. It is relaxing getting into camp early. Tragedy of tragedies, Jenny’s phone has carked it (the battery didn’t like being flattened to the point of no return) so I have had to forego my phone to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Looks like a trip back to Devonport to get it fixed.

Hitting The High Seas

We were awoken at 5.00 am by a Security Guard knocking on our door telling us to move from the car park and to get in line for boarding the Spirit of Tasmania. After getting over the initial surprise we joined the queue to wait for boarding. We didn’t get to board the ship till 7.30 so we were running behind from the start. They sent us down to Deck 2 where we forced to drive nose first into the bow of the ship – pretty tight squeeze!

We had reserved our recliners so we had great seats right at the windows looking astern so had a great view as we travelled along. It was misty rain in Melbourne so we didn’t have the best view of the city as we headed out to sea but it was entertaining in any case. The facilities on board were excellent so we dined in the “Tasmanian Market Kitchen” where we were able to have good quality tucker at reasonable rates.

Waiting to board the Spirit of Tasmania

We disembarked in Devonport at around 7.30 pm and made our way to Girdlestone Park Free(ish) Camp. Dinner at eight with the obligatory Port nightcap.

On The Road Again

Here we go again! This time we are off to Tasmania, departing on the Spirit of Tasmania 8.30 am tomorrow. We’re taking the motorhome over and will be travelling around the Apple Isle for four weeks.

Once again the Willies will be travelling with us (the new improved versions ). Check in for new photos and news. At least in Tassie we should have mobile reception most days!