Halfway through our Tasmania holiday. 6 weeks down and 6 to go
Camped at Turners Beach in Caravan Park run by Lions Service Club
Drove to Burnie via Penguin along some of the shoreline but access is difficult as a rail line and wild scrub stops frequent access. No beaches either, just rocks
On the way home we took to the country roads again and managed to find some steep pinches again. Getting down to Gunns Plains, pictured below was something else. Pleased we did not bring the van this way
Jude visited the Michelangelo Exhibition at the Burnie Regional Art Gallery. We had lunch with friends at Workers Gallery which is a magnificent building right on the foreshore of Burnie. It facilitates artists in residence and also has a shop and restaurant.
On the way back to Turners Beach we drove into the hinterland via Gunns Plains and a very steep downhill
The next day we drove out to Leven Gorge. It is a 20 minute walk to the apex of the gorge so we gave that a miss. It was cold outside. We drove further down road and then along a narrow mountain track skirting the Leven River but eventually turned around. We saw a Tasmanian Devil …it disappeared into the undergrowth after running across the road
Autumn is upon us and its getting colder
Our next adventure took us to Yolla, about 15km south of Burnie, where we went looking for long lost relatives in the cemetery. We found Judith’s Great Aunt Catherine who was buried there in 1931 at the age of 45. We then went looking for her husbands grave in the Old Cemetery in Wynyard but could not find his grave. Jude managed to take in a market and we went exploring up the Table Cape which is the headland which juts out into the sea north of Wynyard. We made camp at beautiful Boat Harbour for the night quite close to the sea with tow or three other free campers. Did I say it was cold?
I woke in the early hours to start worrying about getting back up the steep hill at Boat Habour but the Isuzu climbed it in second gear without much strain. We visited a number of beaches from there to the west but settled for Stanley Beach and found a site in the caravan park close-by. The day was hot and cold. We read and Jude cooked with the Baby Q. I had to play numerous ball games with the dog.
Camped at Stanley…..did Tourist Drive in morning and found other free campsites. Drove to Smithton and did some shopping. Then we drove towards Woolnorth and stopped at the end of the bitumen and turned around. Drove to Marrawah after reading all about Woolnorth and the Van Diemen’s Land Company.
The wind was blowing a gale at Green’s Beach but 100 metres back from the beach there was some shelter and so we parked up…… And decided to stay for the rest of the day. Read some history of Aboriginal Tasmania and the Mt Cameron West petroglyphs. Going to look for them but will unhitch van.
Plurry cold. Decided to give petroglyphs a miss in the morning. Maybe next time. My brain wants to do it but my body is not up to it. The Splendid Wrens came for a visit and one hopped up on the step. We drove to Arthur River and the Edge of the world. And it was bloody freezing. Jude went on to take photos
Then on to The Tarkine and saw old growth forests, new growth forests and burnt forests. One needs to go on specialist tours to see the real Tarkine, I think. It is a special place. Tarkine is pronounced ‘Tar-keen-knee’ by the local Aboriginal clan who hunted in the forests before the invasion of the island by the British in 1803
An interesting idea seems to work to scare Tasmanian Devils away from the road thus saving them from becoming roadkill
We drove back to Smithton to refuel and camped at West Esplanade under the spotlights. Cold with showers of rain. The following morning we filled up with water at a designated tap before setting off again
It was a beautiful clear morning and with great river reflections on the Duck Estuary.
We drove back out past the Tarkine this time, and then skirted it by driving the Pieman and Long Plain roads. Some very steep sections were encountered and it seemed that there were 5 bends in every kilometre for the 200 we drove this day
Stopped for lunch at Corinna and watched the ferry operating.
After lunch we had a close encounter with a truck and a motorcyclist on the wrong side of the road. Drove on over hills and dales and bends and camped at Waratah Council Caravan Park. It was wet. Tried camping on the grass but it was a slight rise and even 4×4 couldn’t get us up it was so slippery. So we pushed in on another site and stopped. Bitterly cold.
We were going to stay two nights but decided to push on.
More winding roads. Stopped at Tullah and bought lovely wooden bowl. Info place at Rosebery was closed but we gathered that Montezuma Falls was out of our reach. Pretty town. On to Zeehan. Looked at museum for info. Camping area didn’t excite us and we pushed on over even more hills to Strahan which is set on Macquarie Bay. A very beautiful town. It was raining…thetown reminded us of Coles Bay…sort of upmarketish.
Camped at Ocean Beach. Rough night. Howling gales shook the van. Shearwaters nest there.
Left early for Queenstown over more hills and thick forests.
Did our washing there and refuelled and then came up THE CLIMB out of Queenstown. We made it in 2nd gear even though it was an extreme climb. Downhill was 1st gear. Saw beautiful water fall from overnight rains. Queenstown town buildings uniquely 1890’s era. Saw lots of older people running businesses and even old people walking the steep streets of the town.Town common very stark from all the mining. We stopped at Lake Burbury in the Thureax Hills. Lake Burbury is the biggest hydro electric dam in Tasmania 4km off the highway and put the awning out. Sun, wind, rain, cold. Put the awning in…played ball. Watched Julie and Julia movie. Sporadic rain and windgusts through the night
Sunday….A wet misty morning. We drove on to Derwent Bridge and The Wall. The latter was awesome to say the least. We spent about two hours there.
Then we took to the road again via Miena and Interlaken, backroads to say the least, seeing Tyhe Great Lake, Lake Sorell and others to Oatlands. The rain had stopped by now but the wind did not let up. Along the way we stopped on the side of the road and as Jude got out she came face to face with a Tasmanian Devil. I saw it too before it disappeared into the scrub
What struck me most this afternoon was the waste of timber felled during a different era. White man has been very destructive on this island
Monday saw use meander on to Ross once again and marvel at the bridge built by convict labour and completed in 1836. It spans the Macquarie River
Then we indulged our selves in wool garments at the Tasmanian Wool Centre.
The road now took us to Campbell Town, Avoca, Fingal and back to St Marys where camped for the night at the Recreation Reserve. The sun was out for the first time in a week and we soaked it in.
The following day we made it back to Swimcart Beach on The Bay of Fires narrowly avoiding getting tangled up in Targa Tasmania. Some of the cars were awesome
To be continued…………..