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Member Meet Ups => Motley Crew Trips => Trip Reports => Topic started by: Rumpig on March 11, 2015, 08:28:07 PM

Title: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on March 11, 2015, 08:28:07 PM
Anyone looking for a completed trip report to read can check out Jeffs report, i will seriosuly say now.....if this report is completed in the next month it'll be a miracle...lol...it's taken me a month and a half just to get a start on it.




I can't recall exactly when it was we finally decided we were going to visit Tasmania on a holiday, it's been something we'd been thinking of doing the past few years though. The main thing getting in our way was we couldn't work out if we were going to drive down with the fourby and camper trailer in tow and catch the ferry across, or if we were going to fly down and hire a camper van and explore the place that way, or we even toyed with the idea of flying down and hiring a car to drive around in and just stay in what ever accomodation we found along the way. In the end a decision was made one day at a bbq at a mates place, and we were going to Tassie for a 6 week holiday, with me driving the fourby down to Melbourne with the camper in tow and catching the ferry across to The Apple Isle (all up i'd be on holidays 7 weeks, allowing for the 3400klms travel down and back to Melbourne). What you may notice in that statement is that i said i'd be driving, not we.....that's because my lovely wife and the kids were going to be flying down to Tassie and i was going to meet them there. So i have basically 2 days continuos driving to cover the roughly 1700klms it is from home to Melbourne followed by an overnight ferry ride to get to land on Tassie itself, whilst the wife and kids have a 3 hour flight to get there instead. Now fear not my friends i won't be doing this journey alone, you see along for the trip will be the friends who's bbq we were at that day when we finally decided to actually do the trip. Joining us on the holiday was Jeff, Sara and their 2 boys.... Jeff is going to drive down with me in his fourby towing his camper also, whilst Sara and the boys joined my wife Leanne and our 2 girls flying down to Tasmania.
Our original plan had Jeff and myself leaving Brisbane early Thursday morning and arriving in Melbourne on the Friday arvo just in time to jump on the ferry across to Tassie, but being that it was costing us just over $1300 each for our return ferry ride to take the 4wd's and campers across, we decided a few weeks before departing on the trip that we'd give ourselves an extra day to do the drive just incase we ran into any vehicle or trailer problems along the way. In the months leading up to our trip we had a few bbq's together at Jeff and Sara's place, these were trip planning bbq's where we sussed out a heap of places we wanted to go see and also looked at places to stay at along at along the way. We pretty much planned out the first month or so of our holiday, we left the last part free so we could allow to change the first month around as we went along, and allow us to stay longer or shorter at some places if we wanted to. At the same time both the 4wd's were serviced and alot of maitence i'd been putting off on my Landcruiser finally got done...except for getting my winch working again that is (geez i wish i'd rebuilt that before going away, i could have used it a few times on the trip, as you'll see later on in the report).
The weekend before leaving we packed the camper and fourby with all the gear we thought we'd need for the trip, choice of clothes was a major item of concern on the list for the 4 of us. Being it's Summer time we are doing this trip in, here at home we'd normally be wearing shorts, singlets and a pair of thongs (flip flops for the non Aussie's reading this) just about every day...but down in Tassie it's not that uncommon to hear reports of snow falling at this time of year in that state. So with that in mind, we packed everything from shorts and t shirts, right through to long pants, ski jackets, beanies and thermals...a decision we didn't regret one little bit i can tell you now the trip has been completed (i didn't wear the thermals but the ski jacket, long pants and beanie got a good work out).
So with everything pretty much sorted (except rebuilding the winch), and Tuesday arvo the 9th of December 2014 now here, it's time for me to start my 7 weeks of holidays...let the trip begin.


DAY 1 - BRISBANE TO WEST WYALONG

Early morning start today had me leaving home around 4.30 a.m, i meet up with Jeff at the Aratula BP servo about an hour or so from home, fuel up the Crusier and have brekky before hitting the road for some hard klms of driving today. Heading off from Aratula we cross over Cunninghams Gap to Warwick before then heading West along the Cunningham Highway towards Gundy. A touch West of Warwick we come across a wide load being transported, eventually we manage to get past it and have a good run into Goondiwindi, even seeing a few emus in the paddocks just before reaching there. When you bypass the edge of the town of Goondiwindi on the highway, you'll go through a roundabout, as you do this you leave the state of Queensland and enter into NSW.

WIDE LOAD TO GET PAST WEST OF WARWICK

 (http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0301_zps92f2b8b0.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0301_zps92f2b8b0.jpg.html)

We take a quick wee stop on the outskirts of town and it's straight back into the driving gig once again. From Gundy we head south on the Newell Highway, straight through Morree and pull up in Narrabri for Jeff to grab some fuel (i'm fine to drive all day with my longrange tank and other main tank which both hold about 280ltrs onboard all up). With 570klms already roughly clocked up for the day, i grab some snacks that i could see but not reach that are on the front passenger side of the floor, and we hit the road once again (we didn't really stop for lunch today). Pushing on South down the Newell we pass through Coonabarrabran and Gilgandra without stopping, before stopping on the Southern outskirts of Dubbo to stretch our legs and get a drink from the fridges in our vehicles.

PLENTY OF THIS DONE TODAY...JUST EATING UP THE HIGHWAY KLMS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0306_zps9c87d1a5.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0306_zps9c87d1a5.jpg.html)

It's a stinking hot day outside today, and somewhere between Coonabarrabran and Gilgandra i notice the temp gauge start to rise on my Landcrusier as i go up some of the bigger hills, it's an ongoing issue i've had with the vehicle over the past few years that only occurs when i tow the camper trailer, one i thought i'd have fixed by now with the larger PWR radiator i installed just before leaving on this trip aswell as new viscuos fan earlier in the year also...... but sadly that doesn't seem to be the case. I know to back off the accelerator when this happens and the temperature will quickly drop once i crest the hill and start down the other side, so the rest of the arvo is spent driving without the aircon on to save the motor working any harder then it has to, and babying the vehicle up any climbs we come to along the way....did i mention it was stinking hot today?...i was sweating big time all arvo as i drove along. From Dubbo we continue on South down through Peak Hill, Parkes and Forbes without stopping once again, we pass by some roadworks somewhere along the way and Jeff radios to me to check out the bogged roller to the left...they've had some decent rain out here lately it would seem and the roadcrew won't be doing much here for a few days yet it seems.

BOGGED ROLLER AT THE ROADWORKS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0309_zps2de8b7c7.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0309_zps2de8b7c7.jpg.html)

Still pushing on further South we eventually hit West Wyalong where we decide to call it a day as far as the driving goes, i've covered just on 1100klms for todays effort. Even though we have our camper trailers with us, the plan for tonight after a big days drive is to grab a cabin somewhere and dinner at the pub, which is exactly what we do. There's a couple of van parks to choose from in town, we end up staying at The West Wyalong Caravan Park due to it being smack bang in the centre of town and walking distance to the pub for dinner. This van park we choose is set a bit back from the main road down a small side street, so not real noisey and nice clean ammenities aswell (not the most modern, but very clean).... would stay here again if passing through. We grab our gear and throw it in the cabin before heading straight off to the pub for dinner, with daylight savings time here in NSW having us lose an hour today, we don't muck around to get to the pub before they stop cooking meals for the night. Not sure of the name of the pub we ate at (there's a few in town), but it was the one nearest to where we were staying and only a few hundred metres walk away which was beaut. Dinner was a nice feed and so was the cold beverages that accompanied it, we soon headed back to the cabin for a shower and it wasn't long before we were fast asleep after a big days driving.

WEST WYALONG CABIN FOR THE NIGHT AFER 1100KLMS DRIVING TODAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0314_zps96a5ba83.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0314_zps96a5ba83.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on March 11, 2015, 08:28:52 PM
DAY 2 - WEST WYALONG TO MELBOURNE

Up around 6.00 a.m and the plan for today is to reach Melbourne not to late in the afternoon, we'll be driving most of the day again today, but it shouldn't be as late as it was yesterday for our arrival (we arrived about 6.30 - 7.00 p.m lastnight in town). Brekky for us was at the roadhouse on the Northern end of town this morning, we refueled the vehicles and whilst Jeff was cleaning his windscreen with the squigeey, he went to flick the excess water off of it and somehow smashed it into his front guard of his Landcruiser, chipping some paint of the guard in the process. I didn't find out about this until the next day, but after the event it certainly gave me a laugh at his clumsyness...how the f... / heck did you do that i kept saying to him  :lol:  :lol: A quick toasted sanga and iced coffee for brekky for me, and we were soon on the road headed for Melbourne. Driving South along the Newell Highway and you soon realise why they call this area the cereal bowl of NSW, the fields surrounding this area are filled with cereal crops.

PLENTY OF CEREAL FIELDS AS WE HEAD SOUTH ON THE HIGHWAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0323_zps06a34bec.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0323_zps06a34bec.jpg.html)

It's a touch monotonous looking at the same stuff in the surrounding fields as you drive along hour after hour, but you also realise why the transport trucks prefer to take this route rather then driving the coastal highways, there's not many towns to drive through to slow you down, so you can maintain the 110kph speed limit much of the driving time if you wanted to. As we drive along i spot a few more emus in the paddocks beside the highway, looking for them helps break up the drive some what i guess.

PLENTY MORE OF THIS DONE TODAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0325_zps63ba752f.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0325_zps63ba752f.jpg.html)

I don't think we stop anywhere along the way until we pass through the town of Tocumwal, we drive straight through town here and cross the bridge that is spanning The Murray River, where you then leave the state of NSW and enter into Victoria. Immediately as you pass the sign informing you of your entrance to Victoria, there's a side track heading off to the left from the highway, so we quickly take this sharp exit (it's literally a sharp left turn down a small track from the highway, so make sure you don't have a large truck or someone following to closely behind you as you do this) and pull up beside the banks of the mighty Murray River. Why is it called the Mighty Murray?... well if you don't know it's because it's Australia's longest river at just over 2500 klms long, and it's overall the catchment area is 1/7th of Australia's total land mass. Anyhow... enough useless facts, we basically need to stretch our legs for a while, and doing so beside some water is a nice place to do it. I grab my camera and go for a walk back up onto the verge of the highway, i grab a pic of the Victoria sign we saw as we crossed into the state, then walk back onto the bridge itself and take an elevated pic of of fourbies by the Murray River, and another pic of a bridge that spans the river on the Western side of the highway aswell.

WELCOME TO VICTORIA...(the break in the armco on the sweeping corner is the exit we took from the highway)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0329_zpsb47babfb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0329_zpsb47babfb.jpg.html)

OUR QUICK REST STOP TO STRETCH THE LEGS BESIDE THE MURRAY RIVER

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0331_zpsff2561c8.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0331_zpsff2561c8.jpg.html)

RAILWAY BRIDGE SPANNING THE MURRAY TO THE WEST OF THE HIGHWAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0333_zps67547e82.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0333_zps67547e82.jpg.html)

Legs stretched and we are back into the driving once again, as soon as you re-enter the highway to head South the road is a touch windy, but after a while we get back into the 100kph driving once again. We are no longer travelling on the Newell Highway anymore, that highway ends when you cross the Murray River and enter into Victoria, we are now travelling on the Goulburn Valley Highway instead. Somewhere along the way the highway turns into a dual lane carriage way, we bypass many of the small towns along the way now adays and when Jeff calls out over the uhf radio he's in need of some fuel, we take an exit off the highway for the town of Nagambie. To access the town and then get back on the highway again, i think you take about a 14klm detour off of the highway itself.... you take the exit from the highway and drive about 7klms, then pass through the town and loop back onto the highway a further 7klms or so further South from memory (roughly speaking here, not sure of the exact distances). Pulling up in town we struggle to find a carpark in the main street and end up parking well down a side street somewhere. We are amazed at how busy this small town is in it's main street, but later notice there appears to be a fairly largely attended funeral being held in the town centre whilst we were here. I tell Jeff that i know there's a statue in town here for the race horse Black Caviar (undefeated in 25 races it was), i'd seen pics of the staue in someone elses recent trip report, so thought we may aswell visit it ourselves whilst in town. Knowing there was water in the background of the pic i'd seen, we head for the water we saw on our right as we drove through the centre of town, we quickly find what we are looking for and grab a few pics before making a bee line down the Northern end of town for the bakery to grab a pie for lunch.


NAGAMBIE (Lake Nagambi in the back ground)...THE BIRTH TOWN OF BLACK CAVIAR

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0334_zpsd7f85b65.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0334_zpsd7f85b65.jpg.html)


Our latish lunch had, and we jump back in the vehicles for our final run into Melbourne. Back on the dual carraige way again and we notice the increase in traffic the closer we get to Melbourne itself. The weather has now turned into your typical Victorian weather, it was hot and sunny at Nagambie, but it's now overcast and showering on and off as we drive along the highway now. The main thing i notice as we crooze along the highway here, is just how many fixed speed cameras they have on the side of the road, the things are everywhere!!! We didn't really plan this last leg of our journey very well, we were headed for the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne and should have exited off and avoided much of the afternoons peak hour traffic, but instead we foolishly didn't even think about this part of our trip, and ended up smack bang in Melbournes afternoon peak hour traffic towing our camper trailers. We eventually ended up where we wanted to be, but likely added about an hour to our days drive by not detouring further East to avoid the traffic. First up we needed to head to one of Sarahs relatives house to drop off my vehicle and camper aswell as Jeffs camper aswell, there's room for our vehicles here but the beds we needed to sleep in were going to be at another relatives place not to far away from there instead. We drop those off, and i jump in Jeffs fourby for the drive over to the other relatives house, we have a few drinks on the back verandah whilst waiting for some of the other relatives that live here to get home after finishing work for the day, before then heading down to a local pub where we then have dinner. Dinner had, we return back to the house where we soon head off to bed, exhausted after another full day of driving.

WE MADE IT TO MELBOURNE....DROPPING OFF MY FOURBY AND CAMPER TRAILER, ASWELL AS JEFFS CAMPER ASWELL

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1571_zpsf7fc5fb6.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1571_zpsf7fc5fb6.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on March 11, 2015, 08:30:37 PM
DAY 3 - MELBOURNE

Not much on the cards to do today, with an uneventful run to Melbourne the past few days, we now have the day up our sleeves to rest and recouperate some. We have breakfast and then decide that it wouldn't be a bad idea to drive into where the boat leaves from, so we have an idea what it'll be like with the trailers onboard later in the day (we aren't familiar at all with Melbourne, i myself having only been here just the once for one night about 25 years ago). On the way into the city we stop off at Supercheap Auto so Jeff can grab a paint touch up pen to cover the bare area of metal where he smacked his guard with the squigee yesterday, we get what he needs and continue on into the town. Being i don't have a toll tag with me on the trip (i don't actually own one, as i pretty much never need to drive toll roads back home), we choose a route into town to the ferry departure point that doesn't have us going on any toll roads. It's a good run into the city from the suburbs, but once in town itself the traffic turns pretty ordinary, it's not something we really want to try and tow trailers through later in the day we start thinking...especially when it'll be nearing peak hour. At one point on the drive our GPS has us making a right turn followed by sharp left and then almost u turn around the next street at one point, it's bad enough in the fourby alone trying to follow it's directions, let alone what it'd be like later on with a trailer on the back. As Jeff drives along i get a chance to take in the sights, i take a pic of a Jeep with it's personalised number plate parked in a street somewhere along the way, then we get to see one of the trams that Melbourne is famous for having (we were so glad we didn't have to try and work out how to do a hook turn for one of them somewhere...lol)

AS THE AD ON THE TELLY SAYS....IT'S A JEEP THING

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1573_zpsd10e6666.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1573_zpsd10e6666.jpg.html)

MELBOURNE TRAM

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1575_zps9291dad2.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1575_zps9291dad2.jpg.html)

After taking a very scenice route to get to where we were going, we eventually end up down at the ferry terminal at Port of Melbourne. We are pleasently surprised to see that there is actually quite alot of on street parking around this area along the foreshore, and that there is also quite a nice beach located right beside where the ferry terminal is, i guess the fact it's located on Beach Street probably should have gave us a clue about that though...lol. We pull up into a car park spot for a quick look around and Jeff goes for a walk to the nearby toilets, out of nowhere a ninja like parking inspector appears, and i have to quickly jump back in Jeffs fourby to move it so he doesn't get a parking fine. When Jeff returns we check out the parking costs and note it's $11 to park here all day on the street, that's pretty cheap we reckon so decide that we may aswell head straight back to where our campers and my fourby is located to collect them, and head straight back down here to spend the rest of the day. It's a pretty nice area down where the ferry terminal is, there's no point battling peak hour traffic this afternoon to try and get back here, so it's an easy decision made to relax by the water for the afternoon. The other decision we make is that no matter what the 2 toll roads cost, with Melbournes traffic being what it is, it's worth paying the tolls to drive straight to where we need to get to and back againg to the Port, which is exactly what we do. Heading back to grab my fourby we get stuck in some worse traffic then earlier, there's a break down or something in the tunnel and it's pretty slow going for about 20 or so minutes driving, but once we clear that it's a good run. We get back to my vehicle and hook Jeffs trailer back up to his fourby, we thank Sarahs relative for letting us keep my vehicle and Jeffs trailer there overnight, before saying goodbye and quickly heading back to the beach to laze the afternoon away. On the way to the terminal we use 2 different toll roads, there's the Eastlink and the Citylink...from what i can work out and then paid, the Eastlink (one use pass) cost me $5.48, and the Citylink cost me $15.80 to travel on (i had to purchase a 24hr pass for this one, as that's the only online option i could see that suited the route we took). At the end of the day the $20 it cost me in tolls was worth the cost, it's a straight forward run from the Eastern suburbs going along these roads, and the exit from the Citylink is not to far around the corner from the ferry terminal.
Vehicles parked up on the foreshore, we grab a bite to eat from a local takeaway shop nearby, and then spend the arvo doing not much more then looking out over the water relaxing.

WE SUCCESSFULLY MADE IT TO THE FERRY TERMINAL (that was our main aim.... to atleast make it onto the ferry for a start...lol)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0350_zps56a56418.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0350_zps56a56418.jpg.html)

We go for a short walk from where we've parked to the terminal itself to try and work out exactly where we need to enter for the ferry later on, the signage for the ferry is tiny IMHO and something you could easily miss if trying to drive and keep an eye on traffic at the same time. If you look at the pic below you'll see a few boom gates, the boom gate to the right is where you go once they "OPEN" later in the afternoon, the gate you see behind the boom gate also gets opened for you to drive through to start the vehicle inspection process.
 
VEHICLE LOAD POINT IS THROUGH THE RHS BOOM GATE (the small sign in the bottom lefthand corner of the pic is all there is to say where you need to go)


(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0338_zpsd6b3e484.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0338_zpsd6b3e484.jpg.html)

Walking back to our vehicles i spot a modified Landcruiser trayback ute in the carpark, i snap a pic of it and after that we just bum around the next few hours waiting until 5.00 p.m, when they open the gates for us to start loading onto the ferry.

MODIFIED LANDCRUISER UTE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1578_zps0ba4cbf4.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1578_zps0ba4cbf4.jpg.html)

When you book for the ferry you'll get sent a heap of information about what you can and can't take on the ferry to Tasmania with you, quarantine is pretty strict for certain foods, as is the fact you can't take fuel in jerry cans onboard the boat with you (aswell as some gas canisters etc)....something i'd forgotten about with the 5 litre jerry can for the chainsaw still having a few litres of 2 stroke fuel in it. The gates finally open and we drive around to where they do the vehicle inspections, it's just like going through customs with them asking you a heap of questions regarding food, fuel, gas bottles etc etc. I make them aware of the fuel in the jerry can, and the guy doing my inspection gets me to unlock some of the storage boxes on the camper so he can look in them, aswell as the fridge in the back of my fourby. Be prepared for them to look in anything, they'll pick random areas for you to open and don't necessarily look in everywhere, just random spots of their choosing at the time. The guy puts a tag on my windscreen so someone else further down the line can easily spot me and do something about the fuel i have in the jerry can. When we eventually start to load onto the ferry a while later, another guy directs me to pull over in a speciafic area to the side, where i myself then have to take the jerry can and tip the fuel into a waste drum, i then need to use the water tap located here and fill the jerry can with water so that no fuel vapour can cause an explosion on the ferry later on. I mention the fuel vapour thing as you need to make sure you haven't had fuel in your jerry cans recently, they'll make you fill them with water if they smell badly of fuel, so remove the caps from them a few days atleast before you plan to travel on the ferry. With the jerry can now sorted it's time to load, i drive up the big ramp at the front of the ferry and follow the various guys instructions as they direct you which level to go onto and where to go inside the boat.

DRIVING UP THE RAMP ONTO THE FERRY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1587_zps1a2c2b37.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1587_zps1a2c2b37.jpg.html)

Once onboard and parked up i grab my overnight bag from the fourby, you are not allowed back down to the vehicles once they've loaded, so make sure you have whatever you need for the night. I head up to our room and throw my stuff on my bed, i then start to look around the boat and after a while i ring Jeff to see where he is. Much to my surprise he's still waiting to be loaded onto the boat, he was parked right beside me on the dock, but 30 minutes after i'm onboard and he's still waiting to be told to drive onboard (it's pretty random how they load you, but obviously they have a system). Eventually Jeff gets the go ahead and boards the boat, he eventually joins me up on deck where we take a few pics of our surrounds before the ferry sets sail at 7.30 p.m.

ONBOARD THE SPIRIT OF TASMANIA FERRY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1593_zpsef11a199.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1593_zpsef11a199.jpg.html)

AN OLD CRANE ON THE PIER NEXT TO THE LOAD POINT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0360_zps5a3de598.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0360_zps5a3de598.jpg.html)

FAREWELL MELBOURNE...TASSIE HERE WE COME

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0375_zps65825777.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0375_zps65825777.jpg.html)

Once the ferry departs the pier, it sails out across Port Phillip Bay for about 3 hours (where you'll get to see the sun set over the water as it does so), before it then goes through the small headlands that lead you out into Bass Straight for the crossing to Tasmania...it's after you do this you get to find out how rough the crossing will either be or not be, for us it was a pretty calm crossing though. Before reaching the headlands though, we make our way to bar to grab a drink and then to the bistro where we grab some dinner. Dinner itself was ok, the roast meat (i think it was beef from memory) was very average to say the least, but the rest of the food was ok...though i wouldn't say it was fantastic (maybe grab dinner before you board). Around 10.30 p.m we reach the headland and head out into Bass Straight, we immediately notice the boat start to pitch from front to back in the swell, it's not massive but definately noticeable how different it now is to the calm waters of Port Phillip Bay. Around 11.30 p.m we make our way back to our room to go to sleep, as i lay in my bed i notice just how bad the vibration is that runs through the ship from the motor, laying here feels like i'm in some sort of vibrating massage bed, it's a touch annoying actually. Eventually i fall asleep though, it's been a pretty big couple of days leading up to this point, so i could sleep just about anywhere right now i reckon.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on March 28, 2015, 10:02:47 AM
DAY 4 - MELBOURNE TO HOBART

Awake nice and early (about 5.00 a.m i think it was, maybe a touch earlier) and i notice Jeff has already left the cabin, i do the same and go for a walk about the ship to look for him and see where we are and if Tasmania is in view yet. I find Jeff watching telly mid ship somewhere, he metions being up for several hours already, something about people snoring in the cabin and him getting bugger all sleep last night...that's strange, i didn't hear them....lol. With just a touch of daylight in the sky we walk out on deck to see how cold it is outside, and at the same time manage to catch view of Tassie off in the distance. I take a few pics, but being it's windy and pretty cold outside (i'm wearing shorts and a t shirt), i don't ast long outside, so head back inside to watch the telly for a while.

LAND HO ME MATIES

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0422_zpsfehwx7ar.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0422_zpsfehwx7ar.jpg.html)

A short time later they give the call over the P.A sytem that brekky is being served in the eatery, we give this option a miss and plan to have it somewhere like Launceston once we depart the ferry. It's not long and we are entering through the headlands of Devenport, i see there's some sort of statue on the right of us either welcoming us to port or helping to guard the entrance (i have no idea what it was for really), and Devenport looks like abit of a sleepy little city at first glance (well it is 6.00 a.m on a Saturday morning). The ferry gives out a loud blast of it's horn, a lovely early morning wake up call for the town that i'm sure the locals must be very used to hearing each day.

GOING THROUGH THE HEADLANDS AT DEVENPORT

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WELCOME TO TASSIE / DEVENPORT

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As soon as the ferry docks they start unloading many of the truck frieght trailers that were loaded in Melbourne (using the small yellow tow vehicles pictured below), it's a well rehearsed show we watch for about 20 - 30 minutes, before we then get the call over the P.A that it's time to make our way down to our vehicles so we can depart the ferry. Jeff may have got loaded well after myself onto the ferry, but in the end he was parked just to my lefthand side on the deck, and was off the ferry before i was.

THEY UNLOAD SOME FRIEGHT FIRST UP

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JEFF DEPARTING THE FERRY

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MY TURN TO DEPART THE FERRY

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Once you depart the ferry you have to stop in the dock yard a couple of hundred metres away to go through quarantine once again, it's a pretty quick process and before long we are both outside the terminal gates and making our way towards Launceston where we plan to have breakfast. Everything i've read about Tassie tells me of the windy roads about place, so it's a touch of a surprise to find ourselves driving along a dual carraige way highway for the first part of our journey. I don't know why that highway surprised me actually, i'm not sure what i should of expected to be driving on here to be honest, i hadn't thought all that much about it...lol. I radio Jeff on the uhf that i need to pull over somewhere and turn on the fridge in the camper trailer (it's a Eutectic Autofridge, it gets run for a couple of hours twice a day and turned off the rest of the time), we decide to take the next exit off the Bass Highway onto the Meander Valley Highway to do so. We aren't in any rush to get to Hobart today to meet the families (they don't arrive until after lunch time), so we'll take the scenic route to where it is we are going we have decided. We pull up on the side of the road in the small town of Hagley, it's only now that we catch our first real glimpse of the beautiful character buildings Tassie is renowned for...it's just a small private house, but quite the change from anything we have back home in Brisbane.

HOUSE IN HAGLEY

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From Hagley we continue on to the small town of Carrick a short distance away, coming into town we spot another beautiful building on our right (The Mill Inn), so we pull up to take a few quick pics of it also. It's currently for sale, which we notice in the following weeks of our holiday is quite common of many buildings around Tassie, there seems to be heaps of property for sale all around this state.

THE MILL INN

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0440_zpsh34dkzhv.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0440_zpsh34dkzhv.jpg.html)

 Whilst i am taking a few pics here, Jeff heads off up a side road a hundred odd metres away for a look around, he radios me up to come look at another old building he has found so i do just that. Archer's Folly is the name of the place Jeff has found, a ruined colonial house started in 1847, never completed being built before then sold in 1867 and then burned to a roofless shell in 1978.

Quote
Sitting as a stark reminder to what might have been, the ruins of "Archer's Folly" is listed in the Tasmanian Heritage Register because of its association with prominent local businessman John Kinder Archer.

Not to be mistaken as a descendant of the Archer dynasty, John Kinder Archer was the son of John Archer, a miller from Ware in England.

Following the death of his father, and his inheritance of 30 shares in a steamship, John Kinder Archer turned his hand to the shipping industry.

He was also an elected member of the House of Assembly for Norfolk Plains in 1859, a position he held until 1861.

At about this time, Archer began building a large mansion on the high ground adjacent to Bishopsbourne Road in Carrick.

An interesting feature was the carriageway in the centre of house which took the form of a tunnel. Horse drawn vehicles could be driven right through the building from the front entrance to an inner court yard and out through the back entrance to the stables.

The front of the house was built, but at this stage Archer suffered a number of set backs.

Two of his ships collided in Bass Strait in a severe storm. They were carrying building materials for the house and were uninsured. Further building plans were cancelled and the house was never finished.

In 1867 it was sold to a miller, and ex-employee of his father, TW Monds who used the property for storage purposes.


There is a Copper and Metal Art Gallery located here also which would have been interesting to look through, but it doesn't open until 10 a.m (or on weekends even) so we take a few pics of the building before moving on once again

ARCHERS FOLLY

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THERE'S AN ART GALLERY LOCATED HERE ALSO

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With time starting to get away from us, we head off for Launnie where we'll grab a bite to eat for brekky, before making our run to Hobart. It's an uneventful drive into Launceston, there's a nice big steep drop down the highway coming into town, something i'm not really looking forward to driving back up towing the camper once we leave after having brekky. We grab the opportunity before brekky to refuel the vehicles, then find a place that is open at this early hour and grab a quick bite to eat. Brekky eaten and it's about a 200klm drive to Hobart from here, we have an uneventful drive at a croozey pace, stopping once along the way to stretch our legs and grab a drink from the fridge in the back of the vehicles. The climb up that steep hill out of Launnie wasn't to bad really, i just need to get used to sitting in the left lane when i have the trailer in tow and going slowly at a relaxed pace not working the engine to hard, there'll be plenty more times i need to do this in Tassie as we tour around the state, it's all in the mind set of taking it slow that i need to get used to i guess. Coming into Hobart i ring Fiona on my mobile phone, she is a good family friend of ours that my wife used to work with for many years when we were younger, she moved down to Tasmania a while back, and we will be staying at her place for the next few days camped in the driveway of their house. Fiona (and her partner Shane) don't live in Hobart itself, they live at Carlton Beach which is about 40klms to the East of the city. We make good time getting to their place, and Shane tells us to take over the driveway and set up anywhere we like, so we do just that and unhook our trailers and set up for the next few days.

CAMP CARLTON BEACH

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Shane and Fiona need to go out somewhere for the afternoon, so we say goodbye to them before heading off ourselves to collect our families from the airport, which is not all that far away really. The families are excited to see us, and my girls enjoyed their first ever adventure on a big plane (previously they'd only ever been on a small Cessna type plane doing a scenic flight over The Simpson Desert). We leave the airport and head back towards Shane and Fiona's place, stopping off in the town of Sorell along the way to do the all important shopping of food and alcohol supplies. Coming into Sorell i notice something we don't see anymore back home in Qld, i spot a Rebels OMC (outlaw motorcyle club) clubhouse on my left, we don't have these OMC clubhouses in Qld anymore since the local state government cracked down on them and made OMC's illegal, so it seemed strange seeing such a clubhouse openly displaying it's existence now (which is how it used to be back home not all that long ago though). Sorell has both a Coles and Woolworths supermarket in the main street of town, there's a good butcher shop in the same shopping centre where Woolworths is located, aswell as a large bottle shop behind the same shopping centre also. We grab all that we need and head back to Shane and Fiona's place, they are both home by now, so we spend the afternoon having a few drinks with them, and rearranging gear in the campers and vehicles. Shane plays the perfect host and cooks us all up a great bbq meal for dinner, we have a nice sunset to finish the arvo off, and the night is spent having a few laughs with a few more drinks also.

SUNSET TO FINISH THE DAY

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on April 08, 2015, 09:58:30 PM
DAY 5 - HOBART AND SURROUNDS

The weather has been kind to us thus far, and it appears that today will be another nice day yet again. The plan for today is to go up to the top of Mt Wellington to check out the view there, and then maybe to the Cascade Brewery after that, and later this afternoon go visit a fellow MySwag forum member to drop something off i had brought down from home with me. I don't think i've mentioned it already, but strapped down on the top of my camper trailer for the trip to Tassie, i had an extra spare wheel (rim and tyre) off of my Landcruiser that i no longer required, and had for sale a few weeks before we left on our trip. John (aka Draggin on MySwag forum) had contacted me and said that he was from Tassie and heading up to see his brother in the New Year, and if i could get the wheel to his brother's place in Hervey Bay (i think it may have been, but i don't really remember now for sure) that he was interested in buying it from me. I asked just where it was in Tassie he lived?, and luckily for him it was just outside of Hobart, which happened to be the first place we planned to use the camper trailer to sleep in on our trip. So with that in mind, i said to John that i'd deliver it to him at his home instead (it's just a few thousand klms down the road after all...lol), as i'd be there in a few weeks time. So why do i mention this now?...well i'd spoken to John lastnight on the phone and arranged to meet with him this afternoon to drop the wheel off at his place, it was at this time that he mentioned to me that he cared for orphaned Wombats, and would our kids like to come and see the one he was currently looking after, and have a bit of a play with it. Well who can pass up an offer like that, in my 40 plus years of life thus far i've never gotten to touch or play with a real life Wombat, so i wasn't going to let my kids miss out on having this rare opportunity to do it. So the plan was made to drop by Johns in the afternoon sometime after we'd done our sight seeing.
Brekky had and we climb in the fourby's to head to Mt Wellington. Shane had a heap of stuff to do elsewhere, but Fiona has joined us for the day and jumped into the back of our vehicle to play tour guide. Now one would think that having a local along for the drive would mean we wouldn't take any wrong turns going to where we planned to go today, but that didn't seem to happen for some reason. The first thing that went not quite right today....as we headed into town along the Tasman Hwy towards the Tasman Bridge i managed to run a red light, luckily for us though (and anyone else on the road), there was nobody coming through that intersection at the time. This was entirely my own fault for not paying proper attention to where i was driving, but i also slightly blame the stupid set up they have here where you enter onto the Tasman Bridge from the Tasman Hwy. You see at this point of the highway, 2 major roads (the Tasman Hwy and the East Derwent Hwy) merge into one, the lefthand lane of the Tasman Hwy has no traffic lights and cars continue on over the bridge without stopping, but if you happen to be in another lane (there's 2 other lanes you can be in i think from memory?), then there's actually a set of traffic lights that stop you (if you happen to be looking at those lights and not the vehicles to your left continuing on that is), so as the people on the other highway can cross the bridge also. With the set up they have at this location, i'm sure i'm not the first person that's blasted through a red light here. I'm actually surprised they don't have red light cameras here to be honest, as i'm sure there's been a few accidents at this intersection with how it is set up. Like i said earlier though, entirely my fault, and once you know the road it's more obvious how it works here, but a trap for anyone new to the area IMHO.
That experience out of the way, we crooze through the middle of Hobart town and head for Mt Wellington, which is only about 20klms to the summit from the city centre. Exiting the city we should have been in the lane for Davey St, but i was in the wrong lane and we ended up heading along Southern Outlet instead, a major arterial road out of town. We had a nice climb up a pretty steep hill before we found an exit to take, a quick turn around over a bridge back over that main road and entry back towards the right direction, and before long we were on the right road headed for where we were supposed to be going to. The climb to the summit of Mt Wellington is up a steepish wndy road, it goes on for ages before you reach the top, but once up there, there's a large car park area to park in, so we find a couple of spots amongst the crowd of vehicles that is up here, and hop out for a look around.  Getting out of the vehicles and it's a touch chilly, the weather up here (you're at 1,270 metres)  can be pretty different to what you get down in town 20klms away, so we grab our jackets and make for the lookout to check out the spectatcular views.
No photos i take / took can do the views from a top Mt Wellington any real justice, i'd rate coming up here a must do if you ever visit Tasmania. Yes the crowds can be a touch annoying, but who can blame these people for wanting to come up here, the views out over Hobart and it's harbour below us are simply stunning. We spend quite some time checking out the views from a few different locations at the summit, we also climb up to the trig marker and get a family pic taken aswell, before eventually leaving and heading back into Hobart city centre for lunch.

MT WELLINGTON SUMMIT / LOOKOUT (only a tiny section of the view shown here)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1618_zpsmi4bw1yq.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1618_zpsmi4bw1yq.jpg.html)

MY PICS DON'T DO THE VIEW ANY JUSTICE

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FAMILY PIC AT TRIG MARKER

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ROCKY OUT CROP A TOP MT WELLINGTON

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CLOSE UP OF SAME ROCK OUTCROP.....looking at the rocks and Alpine type plants up on top of the mountain, shows how cold it regularly gets here

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Once back down the mountain we head into the city and have lunch at a pub in Salamanca. Salamanca is a section of the city that has quite a few sandstone buildings in it that once were warehouses, they have now been converted into cafes, craft shops and the like, and it's a "trendy" area of sorts to visit now. There's quite a bit of on street parking around here, just be aware that it's metered parking (even on weekends) and there were several parking inspectors doing the rounds the entire time we were here having lunch booking people who hadn't paid.
A nice meal had at some Irish pub we found and there was more sight seeing to do. A short drive away is the Cascade Brewery, it is Australia's oldest operating brewery which was established in 1824. You can do a tour of the brewery if you like, but we choose to just have a look around the grounds and gift shop here instead, before continuing on our way once again.

CASCADE BREWERY

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Our next stop today was at John's place to drop off the wheel i had sold to him, John lives not to far out of town around the Brighton area, so it wasn't a long drive to get there. We spend quite a while at Johns place as the kids (both big and small ones) get to play with Nellie the Wombat, John even makes up a bottle at one stage so the kids can feed Nellie. John explains to us how Nellie was orphaned by a vehicle killing the mother wombat, sadly later on in our trip we'd spot several other dead wombats in the middle of various roads as we drove along.

JOHN AND HIS WOMBAT (Nellie)

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NELLIE

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A FEW FAMILY PICS OF MYSELF AND KIDS PLAYING WITH NELLIE

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With the afternoon starting to get away from us, it was time to thank John for his hospitallity and for letting the kids play with Nellie. Leaving John's place  we head towards Tea Tree and jump on Back Tea Tree Rd to head towards Richmond for a stop and look around. Richmond is a town about 25klms to the North East of Hobart, it's famous for it's historic sandstone buildings and structures, which include amongst other things, the oldest bridge in Australia and the oldest exisiting Catholic Church also. We spend a while walking around here checking the place out, before heading back to Shane and Fionas place.

RICHMOND BRIDGE

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AS IT SAYS...THE OLDEST BRIDGE IN AUSTRALIA

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ST JOHN CATHOLIC CHURCH

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AS SIGN ALSO SAYS...OLDEST EXISTING CATHOLIC CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA

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THERE'S PLENTY OF BEAUTIFUL LEADLIGHT WINDOWS IN THE CHURCH

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The kids have been pretty good today so we decide we'll take them down to the beach for a while so they can run around and burn off some energy. Carlton Beach is just a short walk from where we are staying, but it's an even shorter car ride there instead...lol...we drive down to the carpark and grab a few drinks from the fridge, walk down onto the beach and kick back for a while looking out over the water relaxing. Eventually we head back to Shane and Fiona's place where once again Shane plays the fantastic host and whips us all up dinner once again...a person could get used to this lifestyle on holidays i reckon...lol. Dinner and dessert had, a few drinks also and it was time for bed for all of us.

CARLTON BEACH

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Hangman on April 09, 2015, 02:26:55 PM
Loving the pics mate. Great report so far. The Irish pub at Salamanca had the best Peppered Squid I had tasted.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on April 09, 2015, 08:49:06 PM
Loving the pics mate. Great report so far. The Irish pub at Salamanca had the best Peppered Squid I had tasted.
Cheers Ian, plenty more pics to come yet (only about 6 more weeks worth...lol). Fiona that was with us in Hobart had the squid at the pub for lunch also, nice meals alround there if i recall correctly.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on April 11, 2015, 08:58:10 PM
DAY 6 - CARLTON BEACH / PORT ARTHUR

So the main plan for today is to visit Port Arthur, along with a few other stops along the way also. After dinner lastnight Shane asked about our plans for today, and when we mentioned where we were going, he suggested we take a scenic route along Carlton River Rd to Dunally instead of heading back onto the Arthur Highway and taking that all the way down to Port Arthur....which is what we did. After now having done that drive, can i suggest that anyone heading out of Hobart towards Port Arthur do the very same drive themselves, exit the highway at Forcett heading for Dodges Ferry, then turn left onto Carlton River Rd and keep following that to the end.
I had a quick look on a map lastnight where we had to go but never really took much notice of the water we'd be skirting by today.....so imagine my surprise when we crest a hill on a back country road and there's this bloody huge bay of water sitting out there infront of us...it really was quite unexpected. The road itself we travelled has a very small section of gravel to traverse, it was in such condition at the time we travelled along it, that i'd have no issue at all taking a normal sedan along this route. It's a nice slow paced drive you do along this route, if you're in a hurry go the highway, if it's scenery you want then this is the drive for you.
As i alluded to already, we follow Carlton River Rd East to it's end at a T intersection and turn right onto Fulham Rd, we then follow this road as it skirts it's way along the edge of the bay all the way until we hook back up onto the Arthur Highway and head South towards Port Arthur.

FREDRICK HENRY BAY & DUNALLY BAY

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Turning South onto the Arthur Highway we follow this for a short while before we then turn left onto Pirates Bay Drive to go see the Tesselated Pavement. Before reaching this destination we stop off at the Tasman National Park lookout to check out the spectacular coastline view that is available to be seen here.

TASMAN NATIONAL PARK LOOKOUT
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Pics taken from the lookout and we are back in the vehicles again to continue along the same road for the short drive to the Tesselated Pavement carpark. Reaching the carpark we find that the local Xmas spirit is alive and well, even if Santa does look to be a bit like a drag queen IMHO...lol. We park the fourbies and do the short walk down to the Tesselated Pavement, a truely remarkable rock formation that looks like someone has layed large stone pavers down by the waterline. We walk around here for a while checking the place out and i notice a huge blue bottle type of animal on the ground that i also take a pic of aswell.

TESSELATED PAVEMENT

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With our look around here complete we continue to walk along the beach rather then back up the track we came down from the carpark. We find an exit track up off the beach that appears to run into the back of some peoples houses at first look, but upon closer inspection we find that if we walk to the right of the house we came to, the track skirts it's way along the properties fenceline and up a hill to the roadway. A bit of a walk back along the edge of the road and we are soon back at our vehicles once again, where we grab a few cold drinks from the fridges to quench our thirsts.
Back in the vehicles again and we rejoin the main highway where our next stop is another short drive down the road at the Eaglehawk Neck Dog Line. The Dog Line was established in 1832 along the narrow isthmus at Eaglehawk Neck....basically it was a group of 18 viscious guard dogs (and lanterns) chained at intervals along a line at The Neck, the dogs would alert the guards should any convicts try and escape through this area. There was very few options convicts could take as an escape route heading North from Port Arthur through here, one was to try and swim across the channel of water of Norfolk Bay (though most convicts couldn't swim and belived the bays were infested with sharks), or they could also try and sneek past the line of viscious guard dogs that covered the width of the land mass of The Neck. There was a few successful escapes made over the years, but one of the funnier not so successful attempts was that of a convict named Billy Hunt, who dressed himself up as a kangaroo and attempted to hop his way across the neck....unfortunately for Billy a guard decided that roo meat would make a very nice meal indeed and he started to shoot at him. Billy was then forced to reveal his true identity and was promptly recaptured.
At the dog line you'll find the old officers quarters which is now a free museum that you can walk through as you please, and from there is a walking track that takes you to the dog statue

EAGLEHAWK NECK DOG LINE

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Back in the vehicles again and continuing South we soon turn left onto Blowhole Rd, strangely enough to visit The Blowhole. When i was a kid last holidaying in Tasmania I remember visiting a blowhole, but when we arrive at this location it looks nothing like i remember it being at all...but that was nearly 30 years ago after all i think to myself. There's a fish and chip van we notice in the carpark area that seems to be pretty popular, we bypass it for now and make our way to the blowhole a very short walk away to take some pics. From The Blowhole there's another short walk to be done up to the cliff face looking out over the ocean, we do this walk aswell and then head back to the carpark for an earlyish lunch, where we grab some hot chips from the van to go on our ham sandwhichs that we make for lunch.
Lunch eaten and we then continue on our drive to the next stop which is the Tasman Arch. You literally pull up right beside the arch here, so no need to walk anywhere to view it, though there is a walk to be done to another lookout area a short distance away, aswell as you can walk to view the Devils Kitchen from here also. We do the walk to the lookout which gives yet another pretty spectacular view of the rugged coastline, we then walk to the Devils Kitchen which isn't to far away really. Sarah was back at the vehicles missing out on the veiws to be seen here due to their youngest being asleep in the back seat of their vehicle, so i quickly run back to the fourbies and tell her to go have a look at the view for herself. Sarah at first says nah she won't worry about it, but i tell her it's well worth seeing, so she heads off to check it out for herself whilst i do some baby sitting. Once we are all back at the vehicles we continue driving to the end of this road which turns out to be not far at all, just around from where we walked to view the Devils Kitchen. There's a viewing area here at the end of the road which turns out to be better then the spot we walked to IMHO, so for those who don't do the walk from the arch and just drive down to this point, i reckon you wouldn't be missing out to badly.

BLOWHOLE, TASMAN ARCH, VIEW FROM LOOKOUT AND DEVILS KITCHEN

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DAY 6 TO BE CONTINUED......
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on April 11, 2015, 08:59:08 PM
DAY 6 CONTINUED.....

From The Devils Kitchen we back track along Blowhole Rd to the highway once again, turning left onto it we head South to todays main destination point which is Port Arthur. Port Arthur is Tasmania's number one tourist attraction, it's a world heritage listed property and is approximately 100klm of highway driving from Hobart. The site is famous / infamous for 2 main reasons.....
# 1 - the town used to be a former convict settlement
Quote
and today  represents the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts.

# 2 - in 1996 it was the site of Australia's biggest mass murder / killing spree, which resulted in the deaths of 35 people and the wounding of another 25 people, and this eventually resulted in a national ban on semi-automatic shotguns and rifles. This fact isn't really talked about at the tourist attraction for obvious reasons, there is however a memorial garden area dedicated to this sad event to be found on site.
Quote
The perpetrator, Martin Bryant, is currently serving thirty five life sentences plus 1,035 years without parole in the psychiatric wing of Risdon Prison in Hobart, Tasmania


We park our vehicles in the large carpark area and walk down to the entrance building / kiosk  to pay our entry fee. There's a variety of entry fees you can pay to get into Port Arthur, depending on what you want to see and do. Standard entry fee is $35 for an adult or $80 for a family, which is 2 adults and six kids. This is a 2 day pass (day time hours only) and this gets you access to the ruins, gardens and restored houses on the main area of the property, it also includes a 30 minute harbour cruise on the MV Marana and there's also a 40 minute guided walking tour you can do around the grounds included in the entry price (though our guide went for atleast an hour).
Additional to the standard entry fee is an optional upgrade pass, it gets you a 2 year pass to come and go as many times as you like to Port Arthur, and costs an extra $10 for an adult or $20 for a family. Aswell as the upgrade pass there are also optional tours you can pay to do whilst here. The Isle of the Dead tour and Point Puer Boys Prison tours cost an extra $15 for an adult or $35 for a family to do each tour, you can choose which ever tour you want to do, or do both.

Being we haven't really allowed enough time to do any extra tours (we didn't really allow enough time fullstop for here in hindsight, i reckon allow the entire day), we pay our standard entry fee and enter the site. In about 15 minutes time they have a cruise on the harbour leaving, so this is the first thing we do is head down to that area for our boat ride. It's a decent sized boat you travel the harbour on, the cruise passes the Dockyard, Point Puer Boys’ Prison, and then does a lap out around The Isle of the Dead cemetery before returning back to where you departed from. The entire time you do the cruise they have a running commentary about the site itself, it's quite interesting listening to the facts being mentioned and a great way to start your tour here.

ISLE OF THE DEAD CEMETRY...it's hard to believe they buried around 1000 people on this tiny island

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With our harbour cruise done we then take a walk to check out the old dockyard, which built hundreds of vessels with convict labour over the years of the penal settlements operation. Before reaching there though, we notice the row of Blue Gum trees lining the walkway beside us. A board informs us that these were planted by convicts back in 1860, and it was one of the tree types they used in ship building, and also ideal for the building of poles, piles and sleepers. We do a walk around the dockyard and inspect the sculpture of a ships hull on display here, aswell as the old lime kiln and a few other things also, before making our way back to the main area of the site which has the bulk of the ruins located on it.

LINE OF BLUE GUMS

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DOCKYARD

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As mentioned already, they do a free guided walking tour included in your entry fee, we do this next and get the run down of how the settlement was formed, how it ran, the fires that destroyed certain buildings etc etc.
The main building you see in the grounds is the old Penitentiary, it had been undergoing extensive restoration work to stabilise the structures walls for quite a while now, and today they were busy completing the pulling down of all the temporary fencing that has kept visitors away from this building. Sadly we still couldn't get access to this particular building as it was still a bit of a work area with machinery moving construction gear away from the site, but anyone that visits Port Arthur today should be able to walk around and through the inside of this building, they had even built ramps to allow wheel chair access to the building also.

THE PENITENITARY

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Eventually our guided walking tour ends, it was supposed to be a 40 minute tour but ran for well over an hour, the staff member was pretty passionate about her job and more then happy to answer any questions people asked her. From here we spent a few hours walking around the site itself randomly inspecting the ruins and surrounding gardens, we realised at this point we hadn't allowed enough time to see all that was here to be seen but never the less we really enjoyed our visit here. One thing we notice for the first time whilst being in Tasmania was the rabbits we were seeing, we normally don't get to see them all that often back home, but here they seem to be everywhere. Over the coming weeks we'd be amazed at just how many rabbits are in Tasmania, back home i see the occasional hare if i'm out in the country side somewhere, but here in Tassie we see rabbits everywhere and in big numbers.

ONE OF THE MANY RABBITS WE SEE AT PORT ARTHUR

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I'll let the pics do the talking for the rest of our Port Arthur experience, the ruins are magnificent to inspect, plenty of information to be found inside other buildings you can walk through, and the gardens are just beautiful also....allow an entire day to have a good look around this place, not half a day like we did.
On a side note..... you may notice something missing from most of my pics, there's no people to be seen in them. Whilst it's only a few weeks before Xmas and plenty of tourists about due to being school holidays already on mainland Australia, the place isn't what i'd call super busy. The grounds here are massive and people spread out about the place, if you wait long enough you can manage to get pics of the buildings and grounds without any people in them which is pretty cool i thought.

PORT ARTHUR RUINS

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Leaving Port Arthur we head back North for camp at Shane and Fionas place once again tonight, along the way we take a short detour to go check out a campsite we had considered staying at for our Port Arthur visit, but decided against as we thought it's just be easier leaving the campers set up at one location for a few nights and tour from there instead. Fortesque Bay is a National Parks campground which is accessed via a gravel road, it's pretty easy driving and accessable by 2wd vehicles. The campground has a toilet block with showers, though i didn't look to see if the showers were hot or if they cost anything to operate. The campground itself is located by the water with many sites having water views, one down side though is it isn't the most level of places for camping on. Overall the location is nice with wallabies freely wandering about the place, you just need to be lucky enough to jag one of the more level sites to set up on. We have a bit of a look around the campground and enjoy the water view for a while before calling it day and heading back to camp for what wuill be a bit of pretty late dinner. We back track the same way via Dunally that we came along today, before making a slight detour to the local BWS hotel down the road to buy Shane and Fiona a few thank you presents for letting us camp in their front yard the past few nights. Tomorrow it's time to hit the road for a new location to set up camp at for a few nights.

FORTESQUE BAY

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on April 11, 2015, 09:00:12 PM
DAY 7- CARLTON BEACH / BRUNY ISLAND

It was a bit hard to get out of bed this morning after such a big day yesterday, but today we needed to pack up the camper and head off to Bruny Island which be our camp for the next few nights. It's only about 130klms of driving required to get to our next camp, so it's not a big days drive required, but we do need to catch a ferry across to the island which departs from Kettering and lands on North Bruny Island at Roberts Point.
First things first though....by the time we wake up and get out of bed today Shane and Fiona are long gone and off to work. It's another beaut day weather wise and we eventually have brekky and pack up camp ready to head off for Bruny Island. Levaing Carlton Beach we head back towards Hobart, stopping off in Sorell to grab some last minutes supplies (fresh bread and fuel etc), and i try and get a gas bottle from the camper trailer refilled at the local BP servo. The guy at the servo tries to fill the bottle but it has a leak which makes it unsafe to use (which i sort of knew about, but if you wound it all the way open it actually stopped leaking). Luckily for us the servo does Swap and Go gas bottles and had one the same size that fat in the gas bottle holder of the trailer, so i grab that and pay for the fuel and new gas bottle exchange, before heading off for Bruny Island.
It's an uneventful run through Hobart and on to Kettering, where we follow the large road signs that direct us to the ferry. Now here's a heads up for anyone heading over to Bruny Island....the ferry is a cash only payment system, even though there's a booth to pay at when you get there, you still need cash to make the payment, so make sure you come prepared. Even though Jeff had informed me about this cash only system and we came prepared, some how he forgot all about it and arrived there with no cash in his wallet...lol. There's a NAB ATM outside the kiosk where you line up for the ferry, so Sarah ran inside there to grab some cash, and before long we joined the large queue that had formed here to catch the ferry across to the island. Normally it would cost $65 for a vehicle and camper of my size in this peak period, but i reckon it must have been my dashing good looks that caught the eye of the lady collecting the payments that put her in a good mood, because she said just make it $60 thanks....which i happily paid, before giving her a sly wink as i drove off... (ok maybe that last bit didn't happen, but i did get the $5 discount for some reason...lol).
Loading of vehicles onto the barge is a bit of a fine art, how they manage to squeeze all the vehicles on in one go was simply amazing. Having driven my fourby for many years i have fair idea how wide it is, following the loading guys instructions he steers me hard over to the left side of the boat. As i get to what i think is pretty close to a large solid timber door to the left side my vehicle, i think yeah that bullbar is about to hit, much to my surprise though the loading guy is telling me to keep going left. Thinking this guy knows what he's doing as he does this for a living, and can obviously see the front corner of my bullbar better then i can being he's standing about a metre and a half infront of it, i continue to veer  the vehicle left....BANG!!!....i smack into the timber door and bounce off of it. FFS i think to myself, i knew i was going to hit that. When i park the vehicle up a touch further on the guy comes up to my window and says, "sorry about that, entirely my fault"...ya reckon i think to myself...lol... i hop out and inspect the strike zone but there's no damage to be seen, thank god it was the steel bullbar that smashed it and not some sort of plastic bumper on another vehicle. Waiting for the final vehicles to get loaded i start hearing some shouting going on at the rear of the ferry. There's some guy who has no idea how to drive a vehicle trying to maneuver into the area he's being directed to, i hear a loud bang as he slams into the side of the ferry at one stage, then there's a fair bit more shouting going on as he struggles to get the vehicle into psoition, gunning the vehicle when he should be taking easy, and bunny hopping it also. Eventually the vehicle gets put into position and finally we get to set sail. It's only a short ride across the channel to Bruny Island, probably not more then about 15 minutes ride maybe.  Bruny Island is made up of 2 main island sections that are joined by a long narrow land mass called The Neck, there's quite a bit of bitumin road and good gravel roads on the island making it easily drivable in a 2wd vehicle, but there's also a few areas that are only accessible if you own a 4wd. We unload from the ferry and immediately there's a steepish climb up a fairly long hill that greets us, we slowly climb the hill and then punt along at a leisurely pace on the windy road for about 15 minutes before we find ourselves pulling up at the Bruny Island Cheese Company. The cheese shop is open daily from 10 a.m till 5 p.m, they do regular free tastings and there's a window where you can watch them making the cheeses out the back also.

BRUNY ISLAND CHEESE COMPANY

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We purchase some cheeses after doing a tasting and continue on our way South to tonights camp. There's a few differnet camp locations to choose from around different areas when staying on Bruny Island, but where we are headed for is only accessable if you own a 4wd. Cloudy Bay is where we are headed, to get there you need to drive to the Southern end of Bruny Island and then do a short beach drive to the camp area.
We leave the cheese shop and before long are quickly pulling up to take a picture of an echidna we spot crossing the road in front us. Echidnas are surprising quick when they want to be, i manage to grab a quick pic of it as it disappears into the scrub beside the road, but it's a nothing special pic.

ECHIDNA WE SPOTTED CROSSING THE ROAD

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Back in the vehicle and we continue heading South, there's some nice water views to be seen as we drive along and then we hit a small section of gravel road which turns out to be The Neck, we want to stop to go up to the lookout that is located here, but there is only a small parking bay, and there's a few vehicles already here and no room for us with our trailers on the back of our vehicles. We continue on past this point without stopping and decide we'll come back tomorrow for a look when we don't have the trailers with us.

THE WATER VIEWS FROM THE ROAD

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THE NECK...CROSSING FROM NORTH BRUNY TO SOUTH BRUNY

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Continuing on along South Bruny Island we soon pull into the local winery, Bruny Island Premium Wines is a small family owned winery that is open daily from 11 a.m - 5 p.m, it has free tastings at the cellar door. The wives do a tasting and purchase a few bottles to enjoy later on, we jump back in the vehicles and head off for camp once again.

BRUNY ISLAND PREMIUM WINES

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We follow Cloudy Bay Rd to it's end where we then drop down onto the beach, we pull up on the beach to deflate our tyres as we have no idea what the local beach conditions are like, even though the sand looks to be pretty firm. As we start to deflate our tyres a heavy shower of rain decides right now would be good time to drop on top of us. I make a dash back around into the drivers seat to seek cover for while, and Jeff crouches down beside his vehicle trying to keep dry as the wind blows the rain in sideways. The rain doesn't last long and we finish deflating the tyres for the short run down the beach. As we expected the sand is quite firm and pretty easy going, best to be safe then sorry though, as we didn't want to get bogged with the trailers on the back on a beach we have no knowledge about. Cloudy Corner is the name of the camp area we are camping in, it's a 3klm run down the beach to get to it, you then exit off the beach up a small track that then takes you into the campground. There's pit toilets located in the campground but no other facilities, you camp just back from the water and views of the bay are pretty limited from most areas you can set up in, but it's only a very short walk to get down to the beach.

CLOUDY BAY

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STOPPED TO DEFLATE THE TYRES

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AND THEN THE HEAVENS OPENED UP ON US

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The campground has a ring road that loops around it and back to where you enter the grounds, we do a lap around the place and end up back at the start at the first area we spotted on our arrival to set up in. Setting up camp  we hear the odd bit of thunder from a small storm that is approaching, Jeff is pretty much finished and i still have my awning to set up when it starts to rain lightly......suddenly it starts to hail on us...WTF we think...it's only pea sized hail, but it's most unexpected. With my awning only partly set up, Jeff and myself stand there holding the canvas up above us whilst we watch the hail and rain falling. Luckily it doesn't last all that long, and as quickly as it started it has finished, allowing me to finish setting up the camper. We find out later on that Hobart had a large amount of hail fall there from that same storm, we only copped the edge of it and i think it had started to die down a fair bit before it reached us also.
With camp set up we have a late lunch of toasted sangas to help warm up with the overcast conditions that are about. As the afternoon goes on the weather improves remarkably and we take the kids down to the beach for a play, whilst we enjoy a few drinks looking out over the bay.

LOOKING OVER CLOUDY BAY AT CLOUDY CORNER

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 A FEW OF THE LOCALS

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AND ANOTHER LOCAL

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The skies start to look threatening once again so we call it a day on the beach and head back up to camp, it doesn't actually rain after that but we did hear a few more rumbles from memory. We get a fire going at camp and decide it's time for nibbles, the ladies grab the wine and cheese they purchased early today and we sample some of the local delights.
My wife decides to put her boots on to keep her feet warm, she puts a foot into one boot and finds some pieces of glass in there from the massive hail storm that hit Brisbane, and smashed windows in our house a few weeks before we left on holidays...luckily she didn't cut herself though. Night starts to fall and it's time to make dinner, we eat this sitting around the fire and spend the rest of the evening sitting around the fire having a few more drinks before heading off to bed for the night.

SAMPLING THE LOCAL PRODUCTS

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COUPLE OF GOOD LOOKING ROOSTERS AROUND THE FIRE AT CAMP

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NOT A BAD WAY TO END THE ARVO I GUESS

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on April 12, 2015, 07:37:52 PM
DAY 8 - BRUNY ISLAND

We all had a nice little sleep in this morning, it was a touch rainy overnight and still lightly showering on and off this morning, nothing like the sound of rain on canvas to make you want to stay in bed i say...lol. Eventually we drag ourselves outside and have brekky and get ready to explore the island. Just as we are about to leave i notice a male Superb Fairy-wren that is flying around Jeff's drivers side mirror on his fourby. The wren is flying down to look at itself in the mirror then back up to land on top of it, each time sliding off the top of the mirror due to it being wet and slippery, it's pretty funny to watch it do this time after time after time as he goes sailing off the mirror.

SUPERB FAIRY-WREN

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WHOOPS!!!...LOL

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We leave camp for the short drive back up the beach, the campground is pretty empty and there's only a handfull of other people camped here at the moment....just the way we like it. We head back onto Cloudy Bay Rd and a short distance away we turn right onto a smaller road that leads us onto a 4wd vehicle only track. This track takes us across the island, eventually bringing us out on Adventure Bay Rd just South of where the small convienence store is located here. The track itself was nothing hard to drive, a little bit muddy / boggy in places that could catch out a vehicle with limited ground clearance, but other then that a pretty straight forward drive from memory. We came across another vehicle travelling solo heading the same way we were heading that was catching up with us (we weren't in any rush), due to the muddy track we let them go first just incase they got bogged somewhere along the way, but they seemed to know what they were doing and were ok, not needing a hand anywhere at all.

4WD TRACK TO ADVENTURE BAY

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BIT OF A FALSE IMPRESSION...IT DOES GET HARDER THEN THIS, BUT NOT BY MUCH

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Rejoining the bitumin we turn left onto Adventure Bay Rd and soon pull up at a monument on the side of the road to see what it is about....it's the Furneaux and Cook  Memorial. Originally this bay was named Storm Bay by Abel Tasman who sighted it first up in 1642 and tried to seek refugee in the bay from a storm, but he couldn't get into here due to a storm turning him away from it, thus naming it Storm bay. In 1773 Captain Furneaux re-named this bay Adventure Bay after his ship (HMS Adventure), he was a part of Captain Cooks second voyage into the Pacific but became seperated from him, so he anchored up here for 5 days and noted the good supply of water and food to be found here, it then became a popular stop over for future European explorers for restocking after that.
Quote
This memorial was erected in 1961 to commemorate the first landing on Bruny by a European being Lt. Tobias Furneaux, Captain of the Adventure and the subsequent landing by Capt James Cook in 1777.

The lower plaque was placed to commemorate the visit of the replica ship, the Endeavour which visited Adventure Bay in 1994


FURNEAUX AND COOK MEMORIAL

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We had turned left onto Adventure Bay Rd but noticed the road continued around to the right for a short while, we decide to double back the few hundred metres past the intersection we came in on and see what's down the road there. There's quite a few houses located by the beach here, not sure how many are permanent residents houses and how many are just holiday homes though, the island isn't exactly busy considering the number of houses you see here.
We next spot a sign saying Captain Cook Monument so decide to stop and have a look at it. This monument is the official monument presented by the Tasmanian Government in 1970, to commemorate the bi-centanial celebrations of Captain Cook and his landing here in the bay in 1977

CAPTAIN COOK BI-CENTENIAL CELEBRATION MONUMENT

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The road ends just around the corner from the monument, so we turn around and head back in the opposite direction. We stop off at the convienience store to grab a few things and i note the postcard showing a white kangaroo that is found on Bruny Island, something i'd seen pictures of previously but had no idea where they were actually found... (you can see i researched this holiday real well can't you...lol). I ask the guy behind the counter where it is these white kangaroos are located on the island, and he informs me it is only a few hundred metres down the road from where we are (back towards where we came from), and if we come back around here late in the afternoon we'd be a pretty good chance of seeing one. I thank the guy for this information and pay for our snacks and leave, knowing that we won't get back here this afternoon as we have a lot planned already for today. I did do a drive up and down the streets the guy told me about, but kangaroos tend to lay low during the day, so i knew it was unlikely that we'd see one, and i was right...we didn't.
Just across the road from the shop i had seen a pretty big sculpture as i pulled up here, i drive over and have a look at it to see what it's all about. The sculpture was an initiative of the Bruny Island Art Adventure society, it's a massive glode and there's a whale and her calf in the centre of it. There's a plaque here explaining the signicance of it all, it's a bit complicated in it's explanation, so i'll post a pic of the plaque explaining it all to you rather then me try and explain it...lol

SCULPTURE AT ADVENTURE BAY

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Across the road from the sculpture is a tennis court and kids playground, we stop in here so the kids can have a run around for a while and we have some morning tea here also. Back in the vehicles and following the main road as it winds it's way along beside the water we stop off at a lookout to admire the view over the bay. The water is CRYSTAL CLEAR down below us, something that we constantly get blown away by in the coming weeks as we travel around Tasmania....hence why i wrote that in capital letters like i did, the water everywhere is just super clear.

LOOKING OVER ADVENTURE BAY

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Next stop along the way is the Bruny Island Providore, this little shop is open daily from 10 a.m - 4 p.m, it sells fudges and truffles etc. They do some free tastings so you can see what you like and don't like, there's also a 25 acre English garden to be explored here, but it is only available to private group booking of 20 or more people apparently so i have read.

BRUNY ISLAND PROVIDORE

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From the providore we drive back around to The Neck which is where we wanted to stop at yesterday but couldn't due to a lack of available parking space with the campers on the back, this time we have no problems getting a park there. We climb to the top of the lookout which involves walking up a bucketload of steps, it would certainly test out anyone with dodgey knees if they wanted to see the view from up here. Climb to the top and you are well rewarded with a spectacular 360 degree view of The Neck and the surrounding waters either side of it. Also to be found at the top here, is a memorial to the indigenous Nuenonne people who lived on Lunnawannalonna (Bruny Island) before the European settlement.
There's not a lot of room up the top should a large number of people be there at once, but we are lucky enough to have the place to ourselves for a short while before others arrive to take in the view themselves. We take a few family pics here and then walk down onto the beach for a bit of a look around. There's a boardwalk that leads out onto the beach from the lookout stairs over the fore dune, fairy penguins and short-tailed shearwaters call this dune home, and you can see the burrows in the dunes either side of the boardwalk. The Shearwaters return to their burrows at dusk and the penguins come in much later at night once it gets well and truely dark. With daylight saving keeping it light here till after 9.00 p.m, we were told by a local earlier the penguins likely wouldn't show up until about 11 p.m at night, way to late for keeping the young ones up to see them. As much as we'd loved to have seen the penguins for ourselves and the for the kids to see them also, we reckon it would have been nearly 1 a.m in the morning by the time we see the penguins then drive all the way back to camp afterwards, so sadly we gave that idea the flick.

THE NECK GAME RESERVE

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VIEW OUT OVER THE NECK FROM A TOP THE LOOKOUT

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THERE'S PLENTY OF STAIRS TO CLIMB HERE

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INDIGINOUS MEMORIAL AT TOP OF LOOKOUT

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From here we jump back in the vehicles and head back South to go checkout the Cape Bruny Lighthouse located at the Southern tip of the island. Before going to far though, we detour into a campground just up the road a touch to see what it is like. The campground is a touch busy and seems to be popular with 2wd vehicle campers, we don't really rate it that highly compared to where we are currently staying, and are glad we choose to camp where we have done so. The place is basically a big dirt bowl, it's fairly flat and shaded by the trees that surround the place, but being how busy it is here and a complete lack of grass anywhere to be seen, it's generally uninviting....if you had to you could camp here, but there's nicer places on the island then here in our opinion. We don't hop out of our vehicles here at all, just do a slow drive through then exit back to the main road and head off for the lighthouse. The road out to the lighthouse is mainly gravel, there's some very small corrugations we encounter on it in places, but it's in pretty good condition really and see's it's fair share of 2wd vehicles traversing it. On the way to the lighthouse there's a few places to pull up and check out the views along the way, we do this and take a few pics of the lighthouse from a distance aswell.

WILD FLOWERS IN THE FOREGROUND, LIGHTHOUSE IN THE CENTRE IN THE DISTANCE ON TOP OF THE HILL

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NEARLY THERE.....

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We arrive at the lighthouse and getting out of our vehicles we realise we haven't actually stopped for lunch today (it's about 4 p.m by now), we make a few quick sangas and then start on the short walk up to the lighthouse. The first thing we notice here beside the spectacular views, is just how many rabbits live here....without word of a lie we'd see 20 rabbits atleast on the surrounding lawns, they were everywhere we looked. It's not a long walk to get to the lighthouse but it is uphill all the way, there's a well maintained pathway you take, and the before you know it you've reached the lighthouse.
The Cape Bruny lighthouse is  is the second oldest existing lighthouse tower in Australia, it was the longest continuously manned lighthouse being manned for 158 years, and was only decommissioned in August of 1996. It was built with free convict labour using locally quarried stone and originally ran on whale oil . The views from the top of the hill at the lighthouse are spectacular, if you look back towards Cloudy Bay where we are camped it's quite a pretty serene sort of a picture, but if you look the other way out over the ocean below the lighthouse it's jagged towering rock cliffs being pounded by the ocean swells to be seen....the scenes surrounding us are chalk and cheese in differances.

WHAT'S UP DOC.....seconds earlier there was 3 rabbits in the pic, but they ran off

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THE LIGHTHOUSE ITSELF

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BEAUTIFUL VIEWS ONE WAY

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RUGGED JAGGED COASTLINE WITH POUNDING SEAS THE OTHER WAY

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(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0831_zpsqccfsaok.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0831_zpsqccfsaok.jpg.html)

We spend some time up at the lighthouse looking around before making our way back down to the carpark area, one of the old cottages located here is now a museum, so we spend some time looking around inside of it. There's a few old cottages here besides the museum, one of them can actually be booked for accomodation it appears.
We leave the lighthouse and head back the way we came from (not that you have a choice in the matter), but instead of taking our turn off back towards camp we continue straight on to have a look at another campground which was called Jetty Beach. This campground seemed to be a touch nicer then the previous one we checked out at The Neck, but the ground was nowhere near as level and had a bit of a slope to it, there only appeared to be the one family set up camping here, so it wasn't busy at all. We do the drive around then spot a track leading down to the waters edge, we aren't sure if we are allowed to drive along the beach or not, but there's no signs saying we can't and we see tyre tracks in the sand already, so we drive out onto the beach and let the kids have a run around here for a while. Before long it's time to head back to camp so we do this, we spot another echidna on the side of the road on the run back, but other then that it's a straight forward drive back to camp.
Back at camp we get the fire going once again, the campground is still pretty empty and we spend the night having drinks around the fire once again before calling it a night....time to move on elsewhere once again tomorrow

JETTY BEACH.....quite a pretty beach

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on April 15, 2015, 07:54:06 PM
DAY 9 - BRUNY ISLAND / GEEVESTON

It's time for us to leave Bruny Island today, it's been a nice place to visit and would be worth spending a few extra days here if you have the time up your sleeve to do so. The weather is nice today, so we get to pack up the campers dry which is a bonus after yesterday morning with them being wet from the showers that were about. Brekky had and campers packed up and hooked up, we drive down onto the beach ready for the run North. We stop off about halfway along the beach to grab a few final pics of the vehicles on the beach, then we head off again and say goodbye to Cloudy Bay once and for all, exiting back up onto Cloudy Bay Rd.

BYE BYE CLOUDY BAY

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We do the drive to the North part of the island without stopping off anywhere, we have a bit of time up our sleeves before the ferry is next due to arrive, so we decide we'll do a bit of a scenic drive around the Northern end of Bruny Island to see what's up there to look at. We turn off the main rd and head for Dennes Point, the road started out as bitumin but has turned back to a good gravel road once again, though it is a touch slippery to drive on in places, so watch your speed on the corners. The road around the Eastern side of the Northern end is really windy, it takes us a lot longer to reach Dennes Point then we expected it to, we start to get a touch concerned that maybe we didn't allow enough time to get back to make the next ferry departure time. With no time to spare we just do a big loop drive around the Northen end of the island, we don't really stop anywhere along the way (a very quick stop for the odd photo), we just enjoy the scenery and before long we've done the complete loop that brings us back to the main road we had turned off of originally.

SCENIC DRIVE AROUND THE NORTHERN END OF BRUNY ISLAND

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Turning right back onto the main road it's a short drive from here to where we need to catch the ferry, so we're pretty confident we'll make it in time now. We crest the top of the big hill you climb when you first land on the island, and we see the ferry making it's way across the bay....perfect timing. We join the small queue that has formed for the trip back to the mainland, and with the few minutes with have to spare we grab our rubbish from our rubbish bags carriers and put it in the small bins that are located on the side of the road here. It was a tight squeeze shoving it in, but there's a few bins here so there's still room for other peoples rubbish also. Unlike the trip over where the ferry was packed solid, for the trip back the ferry is only about a third full at best this time round. It doesn't take long to get us all onboard, and we are soon saying goodbye Bruny Island as the ferry departs the terminal.

FERRY MAKING IT'S WAY ACROSS THE BAY

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THE MIRAMBEENA

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TAKES VEHICLES OF ALL SIZES...though smaller vehicles mainly go up on the top deck

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0854_zpsvbjqm2ww.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_0854_zpsvbjqm2ww.jpg.html)

GOODBYE BRUNY ISLAND

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As you cross the bay you'll notice a Salmon farm located not far off of Bruny Island, fish farming is a pretty big industry in Tasmania, and the scale of some of the facilities can get pretty big as we'll find out later on in our trip. The ferry docks back at Kettering and we quickly unload, we travel back to the Channel Highway a few hundred metres up the road and make a lefthand turn onto it. Not stopping we drive straight out of town heading South to take the scenic route to Huonville. It's a much shorter distance and quicker to go North back to the main highway and down to Huonville from there, but we're in no hurry so choose to take this longer route instead.
Less then 10klms down the highway we find ourselves turning right onto Devlyns Road. Granvewe Cheeses is located not far up this road, so we stop in for a tasting of their sheeps milk cheeses, smoked mutton sausage and Vanilla Whey Liqueur. It's now morning tea time so we decide we may aswell order something to have here on their deck that over looks the water off in the distance. We try out their Latte's made with sheeps milk, aswell as order a few bowls of ice-creams made from the same also, just in the interest of product research i swear....don't believe me hey....would you believe we ordered it just for the kids then?...lol.

SALMON FARM OFF OF BRUNY ISLAND

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SHEEPS CHEESE TASTING AT GRANDVEWE CHEESES

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A NICE VIEW FROM THE CAFE DECK THEY HAVE HERE

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Morning tea out of the way we purchase a few products from the store and hit the road once again. We turn right back onto the highway and follow this road through the towns of Middleton, Gordon, Verona Sands and then just past Garden Island Creek we see a sign for the location named Eggs and Bacon Bay...WTF we think to ourselves, how the heck did they come up with that name....lol. Not stopping we continue following the highway up through Cygnet and onto Huonville, it appears we've hit these small towns right on peak hour though it seems... (see pic for explanation...lol)

PEAK HOUR ON THE CHANNEL HIGHWAY...LOL

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Entering Huonville we reach a T intersection which is the Huon Highway, waiting to turn onto that highway we see a pretty common sight around these parts, logging trucks form part of another industry that Tasmania is well known for. We turn right and drive into the centre of town to get some fuel and do some more grocery shopping also, it'll be a few days before we visit another decent sized town again and there's a good sized grocery store here so we make use of it.

LOGGING TRUCK IN HUONVILLE

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We head South out of Huonville towards Geeveston, the highway follows along side the Huon River, and about 7 or 8 klms out of Huonville you'll pass through the town of Franklin. Located here in Franklin is the Wooden Boat Centre, it is both a tourist attraction aswell as a school for learning the art of wooden boat building. The centre runs Australia's only fully nationally-accredited Certificate course in Wooden Boat Building, here students will build a full sized sea going vessel as part of their course. Being i'm a Carpenter i'm pretty interested in looking at most things made from timber, the craftmanship on display here is mindblowing, and if one day i win lotto and have plenty of spare time on my hands, i'd love to come down here and enrol to do this course and learn the art of wooden boat building.
The centre is open weekdays from 9.30 a.m - 4.30 p.m. You pay an entrance fee on arrival and will be lead in a small group through the premises on a guided tour, you get to see all the facets of the boat building process and get a comprehensive overview of how it's all done. Fine workmanship like what is on display here is a dieing art in most trades, so it's nice to see something like this still being taught today as an actual trade.

THE WOODEN BOAT CENTRE

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SOME FINISHED BOATS ON DISPLAY

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THEY TAKE YOU INSIDE THE PREMISES WHERE BOATS ARE BEING MADE

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THIS BOAT PICTURED HERE....

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WILL END UP LOOKING LIKE THIS ONE PICTURE HERE BELOW WHEN IT'S FINISHED... COMPLETE WITH A V8 ENGINE..... (the one pictured above is the one on the right in the background)

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Tour finished we head back out to the vehicles, but we need to wait a minute for the rain to stop before doing so. I hadn't mentioned it previously but on arrival in Franklin it had started to rain quite heavily, we actually needed to run for cover from our vehicles on arrival to get out of it.
We make a quick late lunch inbetween rain showers and then jump back in the vehicles to head off once again. Tonights destination is going to be the Tahune Airwalk, it's located about 30 klms West of Geeveston along Arve Rd. Tahune Airwalk has free camping available if you purchase an Airwalk ticket, your first nights camping is free and after that you get charged to stay there any longer. The AirWalk is open seven days a week, November to March it's open from 9am-5pm and April to October it's open from 10am-4pm. The road to Tahune from Geeveston is pretty windy, it'll take about half an hour to do the 28 klm drive to get there. We arrive at reception a couple of minutes before 5 p.m, the staff are closing up shop and although it's going home time for them, they are quite helpful and direct us to set up camp for the night in the Over Flow carpark area, as our camper trailers are to big to fit in the designated camp spots, and to come see them tomorrow morning when they reopen to pay for our airwalk tickets. The campsites proper only fit a tent or something like a small motorhome in them, anyone with a camper trailer or caravan etc, will not fit in those sites and needs to set up in the carpark area. We set up camp and have the carpark area to ourselves, we haven't had a shower for a few nights now and spot a tap on the side of one of the accomodation buildings located nearby, so we take the opportunity to set up the shower tent and have a nice hot shower to clean ourselves up. The rain falls on and off for the rest of the afternoon and evening, we managed a short walk down to the river before it got dark for a quick look around and to let the kids run around abit, but after that it was cook dinner and then off to bed fairly earlyish to keep out of the rain.

FERNS LINE THE ROAD IN MANY AREAS ON THE ROAD IN TO TAHUNE FROM GEEVESTON

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TAHUNE AIRWALK

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OUR CAMP SITE FOR THE NIGHT

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on May 16, 2015, 10:17:15 PM
DAY 10 GEEVESTON / COCKLE CREEK

We had a bit of a sleep in this morning as the airwalk doesn't open until 9.00 a.m, we are camped in the carpark so it's not real far to go this morning...lol. It rained on and off last night and we had the diesel heater running in the camper trailer for the first time on our trip, the heater has helped keep the canvas pretty dry with the rain that was about, so we get to pack the camper up dry. Brekky had we make our way to reception to pay for the airwalk, it costs us $54 for our family to do the walk.
From reception it's a shortish walk to where the airwalk itself starts, but be aware it's a fair amount of uphill to get to it, and there's 112 steps to negotiate along the way also. From reception the walk starts with you crossing over the Huon River on a road bridge, we stop on the bridge and take a few pics looking upstream.

THE HUON RIVER AT TAHUNE AIRWALK

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Pics taken we cross the bridge and pass through the day use picnic area to start our uphill and stair riddled walk to the airwalk proper. The airwalk itself is a 620 mtr long metal walkway suspended about 20 - 30 mtrs in the air in the forests tree canopy. The last section of the walkway has a big cantilevered section that sits almost 50 mtrs above the ground, and gives a great view of the confluence of the Huon and Picton rivers. Right at the start of the walkway is a beautiful hut made by the Wooden Boat Building School we had visited yesterday, we stop and check out their handy work once again and i am impressed with the detail that has gone into the building. We start the walk and soon stop at a cut off tree stump that is covered in coins, it's called The Wishing Tree. People try and throw their donation of coins from the walkway and land it onto the tree stump below, with all money donated going to help support The Raptor and Wildlife Refuge of Tasmania Inc. I give it a shot with a gold coin and fail miserably, i didn't even hit the top of the tree...lol...but you can see where others which a much better aim then myself have succeeded, which rubs salt into the wound...lol. We push on along the walkway admiring the view as we go and stopping to take the odd pic or two also, our youngest daughter isn't fazed by the height of the walkway, but the eldest is starting to freak out a touch. We reach the big cantilevered section at the end of the walkway and the eldest daughter refuses to walk out onto it, i eventually persude her to go out onto it and we grab a few more pics from there before then heading off to do another walk.

THE HUT THAT MARKS THE START OF THE AIRWALK PROPER

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THE WISHING TREE

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A FEW PICS OF THE AIRWALK

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CANTILEVERED SECTION AT END OF WALKWAY

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THE CONFLUENCE OF THE HUON AND PICTON RIVERS AS SEEN FROM CANTILEVERED WALKWAY

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With the airwalk complete our next walk we do is The Swinging Bridges walk, it's a loop track and takes us about an hour to complete this with the kids, but i'm sure others do it in a much quicker time frame then that. The walk is pretty easy going and winds it's way through the forest before eventually reaching the first of 2 suspension bridges that you cross over. The first bridge crosses the Huon River and spans about 100 mtrs long over the water below. If you were the type of person that likes to scare your kids a little, you could wait until they are in the middle of it and start bouncing up and down on the bridge....not that i'd ever do something like that myself...lol. A touch further on is the second suspension bridge that crosses over The Picton River, this bridge is not quite as long as the previous one and spans about 60 mtrs over the water below.

HOPEFULLY WE'RE SAFE WITH THAT WEIGHT LIMIT?

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SUSPENSION BRIDGE OVER THE HUON RIVER

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LOOKING UPSTREAM OF THE HUON RIVER FROM THE SUSPENSION BRIDGE

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PICTON RIVER SUSPENSION BRIDGE

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Not far from the second suspension bridge is a track running off to the ruins of McPartlans House.  Police Constable Francis McPartlan who used to occupy this residence, was "a former Irish convict whose duty it was to walk the trail to the remote Arthur Range to check timber licenses". There's not much in the way of ruins to look at here, but they have erected a piece of glass (or might have been plastic, i didn't actually touch it to see) between 2 tree stumps with an etching of what the hut used to look like that McPartlan used to live in....it's really well done i thought.

A SHORT DETOUR TO MCPARTLANS HOUSE RUINS

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NOT MUCH HERE IN THE WAY OF RUINS REALLY

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GLASS ETCHING SHOWING WHAT THE HUT ONCE WOULD HAVE LOOKED LIKE

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From McPartlans house it's not to much longer and we are back at reception, we decide it's time for some fun and buy a few tickets to have a ride on the hang glider they have here at Tahune. It costs $15 for an adult and $13.50 for a child to do it, and you need to purchase tickets at reception before going down to the glider. I buy a ticket (aswell as Jeff and Sara also) but my eldest daughter chickens out at the last minute. It's a shortish walk from reception to where the hang glider runs from, it's a cable run sort of operation and doesn't require you to actually fly the glider, it's just a short fun ride over the Huon River from a height of about 50 mtrs. Sara goes first in our group followed by Jeff, my eldest daughter has now suddenly decided she'd like to have a go also, so the staff member running the glider says that's fine and just go back to reception after we've finished and pay for it then, which is what we did. I was the last person in our group to have a go on the glider, and to be honest whilst it was a bit of fun to do, i'm not sure it's $15 worth of fun.
We grab our bags and start to walk back to our camper trailers so we can hit the road for our next destination, the staff member running the glider is heading back that way also and asks if the kids want a lift back with him in the buggy, which they jump at the chance to do....so does big kid Jeff also the lazy plick...lol.

MY ELDEST DAUGHTER HANG GLIDING

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KIDS (INCLUDING BIG KID JEFF) GETTING A LIFT BACK TO CAMP

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Back at the campers we make some lunch and then hit the road once again, we need to head back to Geeveston on the same 28 klms of road that we came into Tahune on yesterday afternoon, and once back at the highway we turn right and continue heading South towards tonights destination which is Cockle Creek. Along the way to Cockle Creek we somehow found out that the town of Southport (which we'll pass close by) has the Southern most pub in Australia located in it, so a quick detour is called for to check out such an iconic pub as this one is we say. It's not a lot of klms out of our way off our intended route and we soon pull up in the carpark of the Southport Hotel. It doesn't have the same iconic look about it your Birdsville Hotel or Lions Den Hotel has to it (it's just a normal bland face brick hotel actually), but it is what it is so we make our way inside and grab a refreshing beverage each and a stubbie cooler to mark the occassion. Australia is playing in the cricket on the telly, so we watch a bit of that whilst having our drinks, before then setting off towards Cockle Creek once again.

AUSTRALIA'S SOUTHERN MOST PUB

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Eventually the bitumin road runs out, and the last section of road into Cockle Creek is a dirt road. We'd been warned by the barmaid that the road hasn't been graded in over a year (it might have been 2 years actually) and it's badly potholed,  this warning was most certainly accurate. As the bitumin ended we passed by a house selling firewood out the front of it, we decided about a kilomter down the road further that we should have grabbed some firewood for tonight, so pull up and turn around to head back and grab some. Turning around is a bit of a tight affair on the road here, and Jeff manages to break his drivers side rear light of his Cruiser as he jack knifes the camper trying to turn around, he's not happy which is understandable, but what's done is done now. Seeing how tight it was for Jeff to turn around i decide to travel a touch further down the road before finding a better spot to turn around in, we both meet back down the road at the firewood sellers house and grab a few bags and tie them down on the back of my camper.
We continue on to Cockle Creek and the road is pretty ordinary as we warned about, eventually we reach our detination and notice the area is absolutely chock a block with other campers in the various campgrounds we are considering camping in (there's quite a few different camp areas you can stay at along the edge of the road here, just keep driving till you find a suitable location to set up in). Just before we reach the bridge that crosses Cockle Creek itself, we start to think there is nowhere for us to set up in other then some of the muddy spots we have already bypassed. Sara is out of her vehicle running in behind some small dunes trying to find a vacant spot for us, when suddenly a lady already set up here calls out and tells us of a spot hidden down the back of where she is camped, so we drive in there and find the perfect location for a few nights stop over. It's a tight squeeze to manouvere both our trailers into position here but we eventually get it sorted, we set the campers up and grab a few drinks from the fridges, before heading down to the beach for a look around. As we head over to the beach (it's only about 100mtrs away), we pass through some of the chock a block camp areas we were seeing from the road and notice something is strange, there's something missing here....there's not a single person to be seen anywhere, something we hadn't noticed earlier. It's only a week or so before Xmas now, and all the locals have already staked the prime positions (well just about all the positions actually) for their Xmas / Newyears holidays. There's so many caravans already set up down here and stock piles of firewood at their campsites, that it leaves very little if not any vacant spots for anyone else passing through the area...so good luck finding a spot if you plan to visit the area yourself at this time of year.
We walk over to the deserted beach looking out over Recherche Bay and take a few pics of the place, before making our way to the new road bridge that spans over Cockle Creek and taking a few pics from there aswell. We head back to camp eventually and get a fire going, before then making some dinner and spending the rest of the evening sitting around the fire chilling, before then going to bed.

TONIGHTS CAMP LOCATION IS.....

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ONE OF THE LOCALS

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RECHERCHE BAY

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COCKLE CREEK ENTERING INTO RECHERCHE BAY

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TONIGHTS FREE CAMP

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on May 16, 2015, 10:18:15 PM
DAY 11 COCKLE CREEK / COCKLE CREEK

It rained on and off during the night but there was nothing torrential, just some showers. This morning there is still some very light showers about the place, but not much at all in them. We have some brekky and decide on a plan of action for the day, our first port of call will be the whale sculpture just a very short distance further South along the road from camp, and then after that we'll head North to the Newdegate Caves. I say we'll head North from the sculpture, but you don't really have any say in the matter anyhow. When you reach the car park area for the whale sculpture, you've actually reached the most Southern point you can drive a vehicle on a road in Australia, it's quite literally the End of the Road, and from here you have no choice but to head North again. There's a beaut walk you can do from the whale sculpture that takes you to Fishers Point in South Bay which used to be an old whaling station, and the walk apparently has views of mountain peaks and a great view of the Southern Ocean aswell, but it takes 4 hrs return and we won't be doing that with little kids in tow. We spend a bit of time reading the various info baords at the whale sculpture and speak to guy trying his luck with a fishing rod, before jumping in our vehicles and heading North towards the Newdegate Caves.... as we leave here i quickly stop to take a pic at another Cockle Creek sign.

COCKLE CREEK / THE END OF THE ROAD....note all the various camp areas located around here. Fires are allowed in all the spots North of Cockle Creek, but not the 2 in the green shaded areas which are on the Southern side of the creek / bridge.

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THE WHALE SCULPTURE

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QUICK PIC ON THE WAY OUT TO THE CAVES

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As we head North to the Hastings Caves State Reserve where Nedegate Caves is located we pass by the Ida Bay Railway train ride, it is located about the same spot where the bitumin road ended yesterday and the gravel road to Cockle Creek starts. We'd love to take the kids on this train ride but our time schedule doesn't really allow for it, and we plan to do another train ride elsewhere whilst in Tassie anyhow...oh well, it's something to do next time we come back here i guess. Info about the train ride can be found here for those interested http://www.idabayrailway.com.au/ (http://www.idabayrailway.com.au/)
We soon reach our turn off for the Hastings Caves State Reserve and turn left onto a well-maintained gravel road, that takes us to the Visitor Centre and the Thermal Pools that are located here aswell. Newdegate Cave is 5km further along this road from the vistor centre, you buy your cave tickets here before driving the further 5klms to the cave carpark, and from there it's another five minutes walk to the cave entrance proper. 
We stop at the vistor centre and buy our tickets and look around the souvenier shop, as we pay the $60 it costs us for family pass (the use of the thermal pool is included in the entrance cost) we notice the next tour time isn't that far away, so we need to hurry back to the vehicles if we are to get there in time. We quickly scoot along the 5 klms of dirt road to the car park and do the dash up the walking track to the cave entrance, arriving just in time before the tour begins. There's a large steel gate you enter through before you quickly descend down a heap of stairs into the cave, make sure you duck your head on the way down the stairs though, there's not a lot of head room on the way down. We do the guided tour and get the usual run down on the differance between Stalactites and Stalagmites etc, and we also learn that Newdegate Cave was named after Sir Francis Newdegate who was the Governor of Tasmania from 1917-1920. Aswell as those facts we learn that the cave is the largest dolomite cave open to tourists in Australia, which is different to the normal limestone caves people would normally visit. The kids enjoy their first cave tour and before long the tour is done and we head back out to where our vehicles are located.

NEWDEGATE CAVE ENTRANCE

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INSIDE THE CAVE

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Back at the vehicles we decide that seeing it's already lunch time we'll head back to Southport and find a spot by the water to make some lunch and let the kids run around on a beach somewhere. We head into town and bypass the pub we stopped at yesterday for a refreshing beverage. At the end of the road we turn right and start looking for somewhere to have lunch. We follow this road all the way to it's end but don't find anywhere suitable to stop at, so we turn around and come back to the intersection we previously turned at, and continue to follow that road in the opposite direction. Not far down the road in this direction we find a spot that allows us to pull up at practically on the beach itself, we tell the kids to go play on the beach whilst we make some lunch, so they run off to go have some fun. Not more then a few minutes later the kids are back at the vehicles and hopping inside of them....what's the matter i say to them?....it's to cold and windy out there they say...geez, so much for Summer at the beach in Tassie...lol.
In the kids defence it was pretty breezy, and that wind felt like it was coming straight off of Antarctica (which it probably actually was) and cut straight to the bone of a dinky die Queenslander who's used to wearing shorts and singlets at this time of year...currently though we had long pants, ski jackets and beanies on instead...lol.  With the kids refusing to come back outside, the adults cowered behind the back of the vehicles making sandwichs, handing them to the kids inside to eat. As we ate our lunch holed up behind the vehicles out the wind, we joked about how rediculously cold Tasmanian Summers are...lol. Lunch eaten, we then headed out onto the beach to grab a happy snap of our Tasmanian Summer holiday

WE'RE ALL GOING ON A SUMMER HOLIDAY...LOL...no joke, we were freezing

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Pic taken we decided to head back to camp to relax the afternoon away, i turn my fourby around first and as i headed back out to the road i couldn't believe what i was seeing.....
"Hey Jeff, you want to see something funny"...i call over the uhf radio
"What's that"....Jeff calls back to me as he turns his 4wd around
"You'll see in a minute".... i respond to Jeff
Unbloody believable i think to myself, as i watch a lady and 4 young kids who are decked out in the their togs and carrying boogie boards walk towards the water ready for a day out at the beach...and here we are rugged up in practically snow gear, it really was a chalk and cheese moment...lol. Jeff sees what i am talking about and starts laughing himself over the uhf, i guess it's just a normal balmy Summers day for the locals down here.
We head back towards camp and stop off at the same firewood sellers place we stopped off at yesterday to grab a few more bags of firewood. At $5 a bag i have no idea how the guy makes a profit selling it, but if he wants to collect it, cut it and split it for us for that price, we'd be mad not to buy it from him i reckon.

BEST PRICED FIREWOOD IN TASSIE I RECKON...on the main road to Cockle Creek near Ida Bay Railway


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Back at camp the wind is not like it was at Southport and it's much warmer, Jeff and myself decide to grab a drink from the fridges and go for a walk to explore where we are staying better. We head South across the bridge over Cockle Creek and spot a sign i hadn't seen earlier, i grab a pic of it and think it'll make a great accompaniment to my other pic at the most Northern point of Australia at Cape York.

AUSTRALIA'S SOUTHERN MOST STREET...THE END OF THE ROAD

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From here we walk over towards the water and spot a large flywheel that used to run all the machinery of a timber mill that operated at this very location back in the 1940's. There's more signboards located here that explain the history of the mill, we read them before making our way out onto the beach and then start heading back towards camp to look for a nearby cemetery. The weather is much nicer now then it was earlier, the view over Recherche Bay is pretty nice, and it's not hard to see why a tiny cottage located here was built only metres away from the water line to take it all in.

FLYWHEEL FROM THE OLD COCKLE CREEK TIMBER MILL

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RECHERCHE BAY

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A COTTAGE BUILT ONLY METRES BACK FROM THE BAYS WATERLINE

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We cross back over the bridge spanning Cockle Creek and walk past the entrance track to our campsite, not far past here we find a track leading off to the cemetery, we then realise our campsite pretty much backs right onto it. There's more information boards located here explaining the history of the cemetery and explaining the significance of certain markings on some of the tombstones found here. Reading some of the information boards you soon realise how hard it must have been to live here back in the day, sad stories of multiple lives lost in various families. One such family having had 11 children, but 8 of them died before they had reached the age of 3...so hard to comprehend how you'd deal with continual loss of life such as that. Jeff and i spend quite a while looking around the cemetery, it's surprising how many grave sites we find. Some sites are starting to get quite overgrown and neglected, and it won't be long until mother nature reclaims them completely unless someone does something about it.

COCKLE CREEK CEMETERY

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We leave the cemetery via a different track we find leading out onto Cockle Creek, the tide is out so we have plenty of sand to walk on back around to a set of stairs that lead straight up into our campsite. With the wifes now getting dinner ready, we get the fire started and spend the rest of the evening sitting around it, enjoying a few drinks and a feed, before heading off to bed.

RELAXING BACK AT OUR COCKLE CREEK CAMPSITE

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on May 17, 2015, 09:24:35 AM
DAY 12 COCKLE CREEK / MT FIELD

A cracka of a morning today, we pack up camp and are on the road by 8.30 a.m. Heading North on the windy Huon Highway past Southport i see a 100kph sign so start to accelerate, it's here i learn a valuable lesson about Tasmanian speed limits...you see they don't mean diddly squat IMHO, they are posted as a bit of a joke for the locals i'd hazard a guess. Cresting a slight rise in the road where a 100kph speed limit sign is located, i'm accelerating to about 90kph as i suddenly notice about 30 metres infront of me is a sharp righthand corner that i need to be doing about 50kph to negotiate. I slam my foot on the brake pedal and manage to wash off just enough speed to wheel the fourby and camper safely around the corner, at the same time i'm swearing at the knobhead that thought it's a good idea to located a 100 kph speed sign at that particular location. Speed limits in Tassie are just a rough guide to their roads, whilst there is plenty of places with a 100kph posted speed limit, you really need to forget about that number and just read the road that is infront of you and drive at a speed you feel comfortable doing. We head back towards Hobart and along the way stop off at Geeveston for a quick toilet stop. Why do i mention that you think, well if we didn't stop for that we wouldn't have seen the wood carving statues they have dotted about the place in town here. We'd passed through Geeveston on the way in and out to the Tahune airwalk in the days previous, but didn't actually stop there, we just croozed straight through the town. Stopping here for a toilet break had us seeing it's a nice little town they have here. We'd stopped across the road from the local Bendigo bank, and here we notice a wooden statue of a man and a large rowing oar. The statue was a tribute to Simon Peter Burgess, a local dual Olympian who'd won Gold medals at the 1991 and 1997 World championships, and who'd also won Silver medals in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens Olympic games.

SIMON PETER BURGESS TIMBER STATUE

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As we walk around the corner from there a touch further, we find another timber statue of a man and 2 children. This statue is a tribute to Jim Wootherspoon, a local policeman to the area from 1945 - 1957. He must have been a pretty well respected bloke, for the community to dedicate a statue to him i think to myself

JIM WOOTHERSPOON TIMBER STATUE

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We have a bit to do today so we don't spend very long looking around here, i'm sure if we explored the town more we'd likely find more statues about the place. Back in the vehicles and it's a blast straight up the highway back into Hobart. We drop the wives off at a local shopping centre in New Town to do some grocery shopping, and then Jeff and i head over to Glenorchy to pick up a GoPro camera that Jeff has sent to Shane's (our host earlier in the trip) parents house which they'd left back in Brisbane. Camera picked up, we thank Shane's dad for his help, and head back to pick the wives up and then play the usual  game where you try and find a place in the campers and fourbies to fit all the supplies into.
Campers restocked we head back out onto the Brooker Highway and turn left to head North about 30 odd klms for todays lunch stop. We reach the roundabout where the Brooker, Midland and Lyell Highways all meet together at the bridge that crosses the Derwent River, we take the exit to the left for the Lyell Highway and continue on. The highway winds it's way along the edge of the Derwent River, it's a scenic drive and before long we are pulling up in the town of New Norfolk for todays lunch stop. What brings us to New Norfolk you may ask?...well seeing we visited Australia's Southern most pub the other day for a refreshing beverage, we thought today we might aswell stop in at Australia's Oldest Continually Licensed Hotel for a counter meal, so that's just what we did. It's a nice old hotel with a big deck out the back looking over the Derwent River below, the meals were nice and  before long we are back in the vehicles and headed on our way once again towards Mt Field. Whilst the Bush Inn may be a licensed hotel it doesn't actually have a proper bottle shop located in it, so we head up into the centre of town as we leave and make a quick stop at another hotel to restock the liquor supplies...geez this must be starting to read like a Tassie pub crawl by now i reckon...lol...which is exactly what our friends back home were saying on Facebook as the wives continually posted up pics of themselves having a Boags at each of the pubs we'd been stopping at along the way.

THE BUSH INN...AUSTRALIA'S OLDEST CONTINUALLY LICENSED HOTEL

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As we leave New Norfolk we try and find a place to refill the water tanks on our camper trailers, the local information centre is located in the heart of town and you are no chance of parking there with a trailer onboard, we give up looking for a tap in town and decide to try our luck further on up the road. It's a nice country drive along the Lyell Highway as you head towards Mt Field, we stop off at a small town servo along the way to try and get some water (offering to pay for it), but they only run on bore water here so we thank the nice lady anyhow and push on for tonights camp. From New Norfolk it's only about a 40 klm drive to Mt Field, we plan to stay at the main National Parks camp ground located here, but have no idea what the place will be like so have a few back up places in mind also.

COUNTRY SCENERY ALONG THE WAY TO MT FIELD

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Arriving at Mt Field i am surprised to see how well set up this place is, it has a large grassed day use picnic area with a kids playground located in it, aswell as a large National Parks office located here aswell. Driving past all this takes you around to the camping area, there's quite a few powered sites available here aswell as a heap of unpowered sites aswell, it's much like being in a caravan park really. The powered sites are set up down the righthand side of the road, they have  water taps located at each power pole, aswell as a grey water waste pipe also. The unpowered area has bigger sites available to set up in, we do the sums and think for an extra $8 a night we'll go a powered site and not have to worry about anyone stealing our solar panels whilst we are away from camp here (it's quite a busy / popular place to stay at). It's a snug fit length wise to fit our hard floored camper on the site but we manage to do so, they mainly cater for small motor homes / self contained vans on these powered sites by the looks of it, but we manage to get set up for a few nights stay and then have a wander around the place to look around.
Mt Field is a self registration campground, unpowered sites are $22 a night for a family and powered sites are $30 a night, there's hot showers and flushing toilets in the large toilet block located here, aswell as a laundry complete with coin operated washing machines and dryers (change is available at the Nat. Parks office during business hours). Whilst the wives do a few loads of laundry Jeff and i take the kids over the playground to burn off some energy. The rest of what's left of the afternoon is spent doing not much at all, we have a nice hot shower for the first time in a few days before dinner and call it a earlier then usual night seeing we don't have a fire to sit around. There is a communal fire area over near the unpowered area you could use if you wanted to, firewood is supplied by National Parks, but tonight we couldn't be bothered going over there to get it started.

MOUNT FIELD NATIONAL PARK ENTRANCE

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Hangman on May 19, 2015, 02:10:11 PM
Anita and I walked out to South Cape from Cockle Creek. Yes, some great views of the mountains still had snow on top in September. The walk is every bit 2 hours out, there was a family we passed on the way out who still had not got to the South Cape beach when we were returning , they would have been another hour away so the walk for them would have been 6 hours return.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on May 19, 2015, 09:10:58 PM
Anita and I walked out to South Cape from Cockle Creek. Yes, some great views of the mountains still had snow on top in September. The walk is every bit 2 hours out, there was a family we passed on the way out who still had not got to the South Cape beach when we were returning , they would have been another hour away so the walk for them would have been 6 hours return.
glad we didn't do that walk then...lol
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on May 20, 2015, 09:15:10 PM
DAY 13 - MT FIELD / GORDON DAM

We wake to a nice morning today, our plan for the day is to do a 4wd track on the way to The Gordon Dam, then drive out to the dam itself and then back to camp from there. It's approximately a 100 kilometre drive from camp out to the Gordon Dam, and then you need to come all the way back again on the same road you went there on, so we'll be doing a bit over 200 klms driving today by the time you add in the detour of the 4wd track also. Before we can leave camp though, we need to visit the Rangers Station and get a key that unlocks the gate on the 4wd track we want to drive. The track is called The Saw Back Track, it's definately 4wd only and takes you through to the old mining town of Adamsfield, oh and by the way...you need to pay a $300 refundable deposit to get a key that unlocks the gate to gain access the track. The track is one way only and they limit the number of vehicles that can drive it at anyone time.
Brekky had and vehicles stocked for the days outing, we head over to the Rangers Station to get the key. There's a bit of paperwork to fill in before we get the key, they'll want your name and vehicle details and i think they might have wanted to know who were in the vehicles also. Jeff hands over his credit card and pays the refundable deposit, they actually only process the transaction if you don't return the key we get told as they take down the cards details. The lady taking our details and giving us the key isn't very helpfull on current track conditions, she's never been on the track before and calls for another Ranger to come and speak to us to help us out better. We get the run down on the track and it doesn't sound to bad from how the Ranger speaks of it, we mention we both are driving Landcruisers and running atleast 2 inches of lift (my vehicle has a 3" lift), and the Ranger says we'll be fine then. Aswell as the lift, both vehicles are runing front and back lockers aswell as a winch on the front bar, it's just a shame my winch doesn't actually work at the moment...you might recall i mentioned that back at the start...lol.
We get the key we need and head off towards The Gordon Dam on the Gordon River Rd. The track we plan to drive is about 32 klms past the small town of Maydena, it's the last place to get food and fuel until you return back here again, so keep that in mind. The drive starts off with the surrounding bushland blocking pretty much any views as you drive along the road, occasionally the trees disappear though, and you are then greeted with some pretty nice views of the surrounding mountain ranges.

THE START OF THE DRIVE TOWARDS GORDON DAM

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OCCASIONALLY YOU'LL GET A CLEARING SHOWING SOME OF THE NICE VIEWS THE AREA HAS ON OFFER

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It's an uneventful run to the start of the Saw Back Track, we stop a couple of times along the way to get pics, and Jeff and Sara manage to see an echidna at one of the spots they pull over at. At about the 32klm mark past Maydena, we turn right off the main road onto a small track which is the start of the Saw Back Track, you'll immediately see the locked gate infront of you, so when you pull up here it's the perfect time to air down and lock it in 4wd. We unlock the gate and proceed through it, immediately you'll notice there's not a lot of width to the track, so prepare yourself for some bush pin striping action.

SAW BACK TRACK

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The start of the track is pretty easy going for the first kilometre, though as mentioned already the trees lining the track give the paint work on your vehicle a real hammering. If you're the type of person that hates scratches on their vehicle, then don't even consider driving this track. After about a kilometre the track starts to become a bit more muddy and you lose the hard base you've been driving on, there's some bigger holes starting to appear and the track starts to become a proper 4wd track. A few kilometres into the track and Jeff who is leading the way has become stuck, he's bottomed out in the centre of the track and going nowhere fast, his front and back lockers not helping at all. It's time to run the winch out and drag him up the hill, it doesn't look like a hard hill to drive actually but he's hung up and stuck fast. We run the cable out and find a suitable tree at the top of the small hill that Jeff is stuck on, we slowly drag the vehicle to the top and then it's my turn. Engaging both front and back lockers i tell the misses we should be right here, Jeffs spare tyre under his vehicle has been dragging on the high spots of the centre of the track in various places along the way, and this is what looks like he was hung up on a minute ago. A little bit of right foot....but not to much, and we have a crack at the hill....nup, no luck. I back out and give it another try with a touch more right foot this time....nope, no luck again. I tell Jeff i'll give it one more go, and if no luck this time we'll snatch it up the hill with his vehicle. I give it a 3rd attempt but still don't make it to the top this time either, i'm getting hung up on the diff centres here and need to be running atleast 35" tyres i reckon to get the clearance i need on the centre of the track. There is no choice of line to take here either, it's 2 wheel tracks with embankments on either side of you, so you either have the clearance or you don't, it's that simple. If i really wanted to flog the guts out of my vehicle i reckon i may have made it up this incline bouncing over the holes, but we are thousands of kilometres from home at the moment and still have another 4 weeks of holidays infront of us, so i didn't want to risk breaking something just to conquor a small muddy hill. I grab my snatch strap out and we hook it up to Jeffs vehicle, it's not long and i'm then over the last little rise i was hung up on. We are only at the start of the track and already wondering what the rest of it will be like from here on in, the Ranger back at the station said it should be pretty easy going for vehicles like ours, but we are starting to wonder when was the last time he actually drove this track to know the current condition of it. The track isn't hard 4wding by any means, it's just that the wheel ruts are so deep, we really need to be running bigger tyres to get the diff clearance we require.
We push on a touch further and before long Jeff is bogged once again, like last time he's hung up in the centre of the track, and it's time to break the winch out once again. We winch it free and now it's my turn to have a try, but just like the last spot i also get hung up in the centre of the track also, so we need to snatch it free once again. With both vehicles eventually at the top of the rise, we make the call to turn back and forget about doing the rest of this track. We have no idea what lies infront of us, and at the rate we are currently making headway at, it'll likely be night time by the time we reach the other end of this track. To be honset... if we were back at home driving this with a few of our mates in the 4wd club this would be a pretty fun track to drive, but here we are with our wives and kids onboard on holidays, and we're really not in the mood for trudging through the mud like we currently are and winching vehicles up slippery hills. We find a suitable spot to do a 10 point turn in (trust me there ain't many spots to turn around in here) and start heading back the wrong way on a one way track, we just hope nobody comes the other way as there just isn't anywhere to pass each other on this track in most places. Thankfully we get back to the gate without anyone coming the other way, the hills we got stuck on going up we slide down over going the opposite way, we unlock the gate once again and exit the track. If you have a vehicle running 35" tyres i reckon you'll go much better then we did on this track, if your running 33" tyres as we are, then you'll need plenty of right foot and a zero care factor about how hard you hit the humps and bumps to bounce through the holes...something we just weren't going to do ourselves.

TRACK STARTS OUT FINE, A TOUCH WET BUT A HARD BASE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1172_zpsndoypczt.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1172_zpsndoypczt.jpg.html)

TRACK IS OVERGROWN IN PLACES (not the worst of it pictured), SO YOU'LL GET SOME BUSH PIN STRIPING ALONG THE WAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1176_zpsl1q2rxgp.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1176_zpsl1q2rxgp.jpg.html)

YOU CAN SEE JEFF HAS BEEN BOTTOMING OUT IN THE CENTRE OF THE TRACK AS HE GOES

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1179_zpsrmrbuys1.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1179_zpsrmrbuys1.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1184_zpsc4bheq9q.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1184_zpsc4bheq9q.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1185_zps1opsvd1m.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1185_zps1opsvd1m.jpg.html)

NO PICS OF THE RECOVERIES SORRY TO SAY, WE WERE A BIT BUSY TRYING NOT TO SLIP OVER IN THE MUD...LOL

We lock the gate behind us as we leave and air our tyres back up again, we turn right back onto the Gordon River Rd and head towards Strathgordon. As you drive along the road it starts to open up more, the views along the way of the surrounding mountain ranges are getting pretty spectacular, so we stop to take a few more pics.

THE SENTINEL RANGE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1190_zps2jr5ktnt.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1190_zps2jr5ktnt.jpg.html)

Just before we reach Strathgordon we turn left to go check out a lookout that overlooks Lake Pedder, we plan to have lunch here but as we are taking a few pictures of the view, it starts to shower with rain. The view out over the lake below and of the mountain ranges in the distance is pretty spectacular, make sure you stop here to check it out for yourself. Lake Pedder is apparently Australia's largest freshwater lake and water catchment system, water from here can flow into the Gordon Dam through the McPartlan's Pass canal and as such it becomes a part of the Gordon power station.

LAKE PEDDER, AUSTRALIA'S LARGEST FRESH WATER LAKE AND CATCHMENT SYSTEM...this pic does it no justice at all, that's maybe a quarter of what you'll see out infront of you.

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1198_zpswj7gfk2q.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1198_zpswj7gfk2q.jpg.html)

With light rain falling we give lunch the miss for the moment and head off towards the Gordon Dam once again. Passing through Strathgordon you could be mistaken looking at a map that it's a town where fuel and the like would be available, but this doesn't appear to be the case, it's just about a ghost town. Orginally built by Hydro Tasmania as a construction township for the workers damming Lake Pedder and Lake Gordon, Strathgordon nowadays is not much more then a popular spot for fisherman and bush walkers choosing to stay in the chalet or self-contained units that are to be found here. We pass straight through the township without stopping and drive the last 12 klms to the Gordon Dam. As we reach the hydro power plant that is located at the dam here, we notice an aweful lot of dead trees about the place. Iit takes a while for us to realise what has happened here, but we think the water level must be much lower then it normally would be at the moment, and what we are seeing is the trees that would normally be under water.
We pull up at the end of the road where it over looks the dam wall and hop out of our vehicles. The rain has stopped now so we take the opportunity to make a quick lunch, before then walking down a bucket load of stairs to walk along the top of the dam wall itself. The dam wall is 140 mtrs high and apparently holds back thirty times the amount of water of Sydney Harbour. Adrenalin junkies can even abseil down the dam wall for a cost of $210 (you need to book in a tour prior to do this, it's not a turn up and do thing, there's nobody out here most of the time), it's apparently the world's highest commercial abseil, so something to tick off your bucket list maybe. We walk the wall and take a few pics before starting the climb back up to the vehicles. As i go to climb the stairs back to our vehicle i notice another old concrete set of stairs coming down the rock wall to our left, and i wonder what used to be there once upon a time (a lookout maybe?). The drop from the last step there now is a substantial one, i doubt these concrete stairs are accessible by the public nowadays?

GORDON DAM

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1214_zps78vyaoju.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1214_zps78vyaoju.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2688_zps04ff58cw.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2688_zps04ff58cw.jpg.html)

A GOOD TESTER FOR THE KNEES

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2701_zpsvy93pf4e.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2701_zpsvy93pf4e.jpg.html)

PLENTY OF DEAD TREES ABOUT THE PLACE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1212_zpskjh8dszr.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1212_zpskjh8dszr.jpg.html)

OLD CONCRETE STAIRS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2700_zpstsdrctpv.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2700_zpstsdrctpv.jpg.html)

WATCH THAT LAST STEP, IT A DOOZEY AND DROPS OVER THIS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2699_zpsfhtz7xec.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2699_zpsfhtz7xec.jpg.html)

Back at the vehicles we start our drive back towards camp, we make a quick stop to check out the power station and i am surprised to read that 183 mtrs below the switch yard is where 13% of Tasmania's hydro electricity is being produced. Looking at the power station infront of us, it's hard to believe there's so much more buillt that far underground that we aren't seeing.

GORDON DAM HYDRO STATION

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1698_zpsmantaj7f.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1698_zpsmantaj7f.jpg.html)

With the last of the afternoon fast getting away from us we head back towards camp, we stop off a few more times along the way to grab a few more pics and end up back at camp later then originally planned. We have some dinner and a few drinks, before heading off to bed for the night after a long days driving.

STOPPING FOR PICS ON THE WAY BACK TO CAMP

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2706_zpswmrf40bi.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2706_zpswmrf40bi.jpg.html)

THE COLOURS OF THE PLANTS IN THIS AREA WITH THE MOUNTAINS IN THE BACKGROUND ARE QUITE PRETTY TO LOOK AT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1234_zpslskcpizh.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1234_zpslskcpizh.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on May 21, 2015, 11:29:39 PM
DAY 14 - MT FIELD TO DERWENT BRIDGE

It was a bit of a wet night last night but nothing torrential, the rain started falling lightly after dinner yesterday, which was part of the reason for going to bed earlier then we'd normally do. This morning isn't to bad a day though, it's overcast and threatening to rain but not doing so, we have the diesel heater running in the camper and it's drying out the canvas nicely (it's just damp, not soaking wet). We have brekky and decide we'll do the walk to Russell and Horseshoe Falls this morning before coming back to camp and packing up, as we are leaving Mt Field today. It's less then 150 klms to tonights next camp which is at Derwent Bridge / Lake St Clair, so we have plenty more time to look around here before we need to head off.
The walk to Russell Falls is a pretty easy one and only takes about 20 minutes to do the return walk from the day use area, it's a circuit walk done on a bitumin pathway, and is even suitable for wheel chairs. Horseshoe Falls is a bit of a different story though, it's about another 10 - 15 minutes further on from Russell Falls (45 minutes return walk), but to get to it you need to negotiate going up a heap of stairs, so prepare your knees for a slight workout. We grab our wet weather gear to take with us on the walk just incase, we know with our small kids in our group we'll be gone for atleast an hour from camp maybe longer, so the chance of the rain starting to fall again whilst we're away is a real possibilty. Walking along the fern lined pathway to Russell Falls we stop several times to take pics of moss covered fallen trees and the like, and the kids are enjoying being outdoors and not being in the 4wd's for a change. As you walk along the pathway  here you'll come to an intersection with no signage, take either direction (straight on or turn right) it doesn't really matter as it's a loop track to Russel Falls from here, so either way will get you to there. We head straight on at the intersection and before we know it we have arrived at Russell Falls, there's not a massive amount of water coming down the falls, but it's still an impressive sight to look at none the less.

THE WALK TO RUSSELL AND HORSESHOE FALLS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1240_zpsw9dy3i6o.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1240_zpsw9dy3i6o.jpg.html)

FERNS LINE MUCH OF THE PATH TO THE FALLS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1248_zpss1jx75b1.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1248_zpss1jx75b1.jpg.html)

RUSSELL FALLS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2710_zpszouxp5oh.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2710_zpszouxp5oh.jpg.html)

We take a few pics at Russel Falls and continue on along the pathway. We come to an intersection and turn left off of the loop track to head up to Horseshoe Falls. Horseshoe Falls is upstream of Russel Falls, so the water cascades over this first before making it's way a few hundred metres further, and then cascades once again down over Russel Falls. Once you turn off towards Horseshoe Falls it's where the stairs start, you'll encounter a few at the start along the track as it climbs uphill, but a touch further on you'll encounter a pretty decent staircase that just keeps on climbing it's way up. The timber staircase is covered in wire due to this being an alpine region, there's a snow field located here at Mt Field a touch higher up the mountain, so ice on the timber walkways must be a regular occurance during the year i'm guessing. We reach Horseshoe Falls and agree the slight workout is worth the effort to look at these falls also, they aren't as big as Russel Falls overall, but the way it sits nestled in the surrounding forest is probably the prettier of the 2 falls to look at IMHO.

HORSESHOE FALLS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1275_zpsmdjjuvaf.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1275_zpsmdjjuvaf.jpg.html)

From Horseshoe Falls you can continue on walking to another waterfall called Lady Barron Falls, as much as we'd love to go check it out, with the small kids we have we decide the extra 2 hours walking isn't a great idea, so we turn around here and head back to base to pack up our camper trailers. We reach the intersection where we turned off the loop track from Russell Falls and turn left to finish that circuit walk, the track just follows the creek back to the first unsigned intersection, and there's not much to see really on this section of the walk...the first part of the loop we did was the prettier section IMHO.
As we get back to camp i snap a quick pic of the now mostly deserted campground, we are at the front entrance of it, and the powered sites disappear a fair way down the righthand side of here to the ablution block. To the left of where we are camped is a few unpowered sites, over behind that area again is a heap more unpowered sites also, it's a pretty decent sized place they have here actually.

MT FIELD CAMPGROUND.... (you can see we struggled to fit in the powered site here)...self registration hut pictured in the foreground also

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1712_zpsx6akjlcb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1712_zpsx6akjlcb.jpg.html)

With no rain whilst we were away the camper trailer is now dry thanks to the diesel heater, we pack up the trailers but don't hitch them up yet. Before we leave Mt Field we want to go for a drive up to the top of the mountain, and have a look at Lake Dobson. Between the day use area and the campground is a road going off to your right, this is the road you need to take to get to Lake Dobson. The majority of the road to the top of the mountain is dirt, it's corrugated in some places but not a concern for our 4wd's...the 2wd vehicles that drive up here would certainly feel it more though. Part of the way up the drive we stop to take a pic at a lookout / clearing in the trees, the view of the valley below is a nice one to look at.

VIEW OUT OVER THE VALLEY BELOW ON WAY TO LAKE DOBSON

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1285_zpsshn5olkw.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1285_zpsshn5olkw.jpg.html)

DRIVING UP TO LAKE DOBSON

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1286_zps9dyydusq.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1286_zps9dyydusq.jpg.html)

A bit further on up the mountain we stop to look at some National Parks huts that are available  to rent as an accomodation option whilst at Mt Field. The huts were originally used by road workers on Lake Dobson Rd back in 1949, they were later moved to there current location and have been used for public accomodation for the past 50 years. There's 5 huts located here and they are very basic... no electricity, no gas, no hot water, and no lighting for a start. There's a communal toilet for the 5 huts to share, and each hut has a fire place in it. There's bunk beds with vinyl matresses and a sink in each hut, but that's about it. You need to be totally self sufficent if you stay here, basically it's camping in a hut really. The huts are $45 a night (flat rate) to rent, and sleep 6 people according to the Nat. Parks website. They probably wouldn't be a bad option as something a bit different to stay in, and would get you away from the crowds of the main camp ground also.

MT FIELD GOVERNMENT HUTS TO RENT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1291_zpsrz61jdiu.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1291_zpsrz61jdiu.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1300_zps4qpgxewn.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1300_zps4qpgxewn.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1301_zpsp5x1jyo7.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1301_zpsp5x1jyo7.jpg.html)

A touch further on past the huts and you reach the end of the road, we park the vehicles up here and get out to have a look around. Located here is Lake Dobson and it's only metres away from the carpark area, we take a few pics of it and remark how crystal clear the water is in it. Amongst a few longer walks you can do from here, there's a 1.5 klm walk around the lake you can do called the Pandani Grove walk, we don't have time to this walk though, so give it a miss today.
There's a public use shelter located here, aswell as a toilet block aswell. Also located at the top of the mountain here is one of 2 downhill ski parks found in Tasmania, the other being in Ben Lomund National Park. Being we are in Summer right now there's no snow for us to see today though, but this is Tasmania and you never know your luck, it can snow at random times throughout the year in this state.


NO SNOW PLOUGHS TO WATCH FOR TODAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1308_zpsrvsneh5k.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1308_zpsrvsneh5k.jpg.html)

SOME OF THE FLOWERS BESIDE THE WALKING TRACK LOCATED HERE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1311_zpsaeiihzeg.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1311_zpsaeiihzeg.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1306_zpsuwpofawu.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1306_zpsuwpofawu.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1310_zpsdbhj4w4o.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1310_zpsdbhj4w4o.jpg.html)

LAKE DOBSON

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1719_zpsn0yro8xv.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1719_zpsn0yro8xv.jpg.html)

Time is getting away from us now, so we jump back in the vehicles and head back down the mountain. We make a quick stop on the way down the mountain to have a look at Lake Fenton, 20% of the water consumed by Southern Tasmanian communities comes from this lake. A tunnel carries water from Lake Fenton into Lady Barron Creek, it drops 300 mtrs into and intake weir and is then distributed through pipelines to 8 different Southern Councils.

LAKE FENTON

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1726_zpsxq7mir0e.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1726_zpsxq7mir0e.jpg.html)

Back in the vehicles once again and it's not long and we are back at camp. We make a quick lunch then hook the campers up to the vehicles and depart Mt Field, just as we do this the rain starts to fall once again. Leaving Mt Field we take a righthand turn and head towards the Gordon Dam on Gordon River Rd, we are taking the scenic route to Derwent Bridge this afternoon and trying to keep off of the bitumin as much as we can. We pass through the township of Maydena once again and not far past there we take a righthand turn onto Florentine Rd. The road turns to gravel from here on until we join onto the Lyell Hwy, it's roughly 65klms of dirt road we'll be driving. This route we are taking passes through logging country and climbs over a couple of mountain ranges along the way. It's an easy forestry drive to do, just watch for logging trucks coming towards you on some of the blind corners.

WHERE WE ARE DRIVING

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1327_zpsferclo97.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1327_zpsferclo97.jpg.html)

IT'S A TOUCH WET OUTSIDE AT THE MOMENT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1328_zpsazbnao9m.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1328_zpsazbnao9m.jpg.html)

WE SEE SIGNS OF LOGGING HAPPENING IN THE AREA AS WE DRIVE ALONG

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1334_zpsva7kbytw.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1334_zpsva7kbytw.jpg.html)

THERE'S SOME SIGNAGE ALONG THE WAY...though there's heaps of unsigned side tracks along the way you could get lost on also

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1341_zpsqqzpyhuu.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1341_zpsqqzpyhuu.jpg.html)

STOPPED TO GRAB A DRINK FROM THE FRIDGE IN THE BACK ALONG THE WAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1340_zpsj1cqhkeb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1340_zpsj1cqhkeb.jpg.html)

As we are almost at the end of the track where it hooks up onto the Lyell Highway, we pass by a fish farm. Fish farming is a massive industry in Tasmania as i've mentioned previously, we stop for a quick pic before continuing on our way once again.

FISH FARM ON FLORENTINE ROAD

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1349_zpsqg80m240.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1349_zpsqg80m240.jpg.html)

At the end of the track we take a lefthand turn onto the Lyell Highway, it's an uphill climb straight away here and i crawl along up the range in 3rd gear for an eternity before i reach the top of it. Seriously speaking here... this climb up the range was probably the longest climb i had to do in our entire 6 weeks in Tasmania, from a standing start it was one long contiunous climb uphill where i never got out of 3rd gear for ages. I was watching my temperature gauge on my vehicle the entire time we climbed that range, a combination of taking it easy on the climb and the colder local climate seems to have worked a treat, the temperature gauge doesn't rise at all.
Cruising along the Lyell Highway we soon see some large water pipelines running along the side of the road. Tasmania has a 100 year plus history of running hydro electricity power in this state, and what are seeing is one of the many pipelines that help feed water across the state to that industry. A touch further on from here we decend down a steep decline and then pull over at a roadside rest area to take a few more pics of a hydro station and it's pipelines. The rest area is called Nive River, it has a large hut here complete with a large fireplace built inside of it also, something we definately aren't used to seeing back home in Queensland where we live. Pics taken we jump back in the vehicles for the final run to tonights camp, we just aren't sure exactly where that'll be yet.

WATER PIPELINES BESIDE LYELL HIGHWAY

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THE TUNGATINHA POWER STATION

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SOME LOVELY ARCHITECTURE ON THE OLD POWERHOUSE BUILDING

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It's not to much longer and we are arriving at tonights destination which is the township of Derwent Bridge, there's not a lot here really, a small cafe / service station, a hotel and a few houses, and that's about it really. We drive straight to the hotel as we have read they do free camping here, we pull up in the carpark out front of the hotel and walk inside to enquire about staying here the night. The pub itself is a nice old building, a big fire place inside seperates the public bar area from the dining / lounge area, and it has a heap of character to it, it looks like a great place to spend the evening tonight. We enquire at the front bar about camping here the night and are informed the camp area is the gravel carpark out the front of the hotel, we don't really like the sound of this option so decide we'll go for a drive 5 minutes up the road to lake St Clair, and see what the camping is like there instead. It's well after 5.00 p.m by now and we walk into the main reception building at Lake St Clair, the place is pretty busy and we stand in line for about 10 minutes waiting to ask about their camping options. Whilst standing in line here going nowhere fast, i start to think to myself how little atmosphere this place has about it even though it's super busy, it's right about then that Jeff mentiones the exact same thing to me, and sick of waiting in a line that's not going anywhere, we walk outside to our vehicles and head back to the Derwent Bridge Hotel to camp the night.
We set up camp in the carpark area and quickly make some hot dogs for dinner. Dinner eaten we walk inside the hotel and spend the rest of the evening sitting by the fire having a drink or two...or maybe 3 or 4 or more as was the case with our wives. Speaking to a few other people here tonight, the hotel apparently does really nice meals, but prepare yourself for the price of them as they don't exactly come cheap. Sitting in the lounge area drinking we get to talking to a couple of ladies who we find out were staying the night in accomodation at Lake St Clair. Funnily enough, these 2 ladies mention to us that they decided to come to the hotel for dinner tonight, as the place they were staying at had no atmosphere to it...so that's 4 people that thought the very same thing now (Jeff, myself and these 2 ladies). We have a few laughs with these 2 ladies and the barmaid also, before Jeff and myself take the kids back to the campers and off to bed. Our wives decide to have a couple more glasses of wine before eventually being kicked out of the hotel, as it's closing time and the lovely barmaid who runs the joint wants to go to bed.
Our concerns about camping in the hotel carpark  turn out to be a non issue, the hotel itself is pretty quite (especially when you go to bed around closing time), and the main highway the hotel is located on gets very little traffic travelling along it at night time (it's not exactly busy during the day either i might add). It's a pretty cool night tonight and the heater in the camper is getting another run once again. There ends up being a couple of other vans camping in the car park area with us tonight, i think including us 2 it was 4 or 5 vehicles camping here.

TONIGHTS CAMPING DESTINATION...THE DERWENT BRIDGE HOTEL

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WALKING DISTANCE TO THE PUB...LOL
GRAVEL CARPARK CAMPSITE... HOTEL ONE SIDE AND HIGHWAY THE OTHER....but it ended up being a nice quiet location to stay at.

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1376_zpsxxtdmdfb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1376_zpsxxtdmdfb.jpg.html)

A CRAPPY PHONE PIC OF DUAL SIDED FIRE PLACE INSIDE THE HOTEL

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on May 24, 2015, 12:11:23 AM
DAY 15 - DERWENT BRIDGE TO MACQUARIE HEADS

We had the heater running over time last night due to it being pretty cool, but we wake to a nice morning. Last night we'd enquired in the hotel if a breakfast was available or not, and whilst yes they do have a brekky available, we are told it's a continental one and that we'd be better off going to the cafe down the road to get something as it'd work out much cheaper for our family....you have to love their honesty...lol.
We packed the campers up and headed the short distance down the road to The Hungry Wombat Cafe to have someone else make breakfast for us for a change. The cafe is located at the service station and is decked out in all sorts of wombat paraphernalia inside, we even notice there's a motorhome out in the backyard here with wombat motiffs on it also. We order some toasted bacon, egg and cheese sangas for brekky, and whilst waiting for the food to be cooked have a look around inside the cafe. Whilst looking around i find an amusing poem in a picture frame on a shelf, it read like this....
Quote
WOMBAT POEM
As you strolled along the track
Eyes alert and ears pinned back,
You may have seen these queer square turds
And thought, if not expressed in words
The stress of such a defecation
Baffles the imagination
It's not done to entertain us
For the Wombat has an oblung anus

So, if your slumber is disturbed
By cries and screams, don't be perturbed
Eyes shut, teeth clenched, racked with pain

THE WOMBATS GONE AND CRAPPED AGAIN


The feed here at the cafe was nice enough (it's pretty hard to bugger up a toasted bacon, egg and cheese sanga though), Jeff tops up his fuel and we grab a few souveniers also, before heading off for our first destination of the day.

THE HUNGRY WOMBAT CAFE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1737_zpsolaf4ud9.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1737_zpsolaf4ud9.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1377_zpswrvbfolb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1377_zpswrvbfolb.jpg.html)

THE WOMBAT MOTORHOME IN THEIR BACKYARD

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1378_zpscovn6cyr.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1378_zpscovn6cyr.jpg.html)

On the way into Derwent Bridge yesterday afternoon we passed by our first stop of today, it's only a very short drive back up the highway and we are turning left into the driveway of The Wall. I'll state right now that i have no photos of inside this place at all, as you are not allowed to take cameras of any sort inside here. It's a touch disappointing that this is the case, but don't let this put you off coming here, because if you miss this place whilst you are visiting Tasmania you've honestly missed one of the most amazing things you are likely to see in your lifetime. Ok it's not life changing what you'll see here, but it is some of the most amazing timber sculpture work you'll likely see anywhere in the world IMHO. I can't describe what you'll see here any better then the artist himself Greg Duncan does, so here's his description (taken from his website) of what he is creating here....
Quote
“The idea for The Wall is quite a simple one,” Greg says. “I’m carving a series of 100 panels. Each panel is one metre wide and three metres high. The panels will be placed back-to-back. So, by the time I finish, I’ll have created a wall 50 metres long with carvings on both sides - 100 metres all up.”

More information on what you'll find at the wall can be found here
http://www.thewalltasmania.com/ (http://www.thewalltasmania.com/) & pics showing what you'll see are here https://www.google.com/search?q=the+wall+tasmania&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=fFRgVaGYNpWE8gXxkoK4Ag&ved=0CDMQsAQ&biw=1920&bih=969 (https://www.google.com/search?q=the+wall+tasmania&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=fFRgVaGYNpWE8gXxkoK4Ag&ved=0CDMQsAQ&biw=1920&bih=969) ...to be honest, those pics in the link do not show the detail that is in these carvings, it has to be seen to be believed. I can't talk this place up enough, it really was a highlight of our 6 week holiday in Tasmania...do not miss going to check this out!!!
We spend quite some time here walking through the gallery marvelling at Gregs creation, as we go to leave the premises we have a quick chat with the artist himself and ask when it is he does his carving these days? Greg explains that he used to do the carvings whilst people walked around the gallery around him, but their constant questions and chatting to him meant he acheived little progress each day, so these days he does most of his art work here after business hours.

ENTRANCE  DRIVEWAY TO THE WALL

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THE GALLERY WHERE GREG DUNCAN'S WORK IS HOUSED

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A "SIMPLE" TIMBER SCULPTURE OUTSIDE THE GALLERY BUILDING...i only say the word "simple", as the detail on the carvings inside is so much more then this sculpture has in it.

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We head back to our vehicles and from here we drive back out towards Lake St Clair which we ever so briefly visited yesterday afternoon whilst looking for a campsite. Before reaching where we visited yesterday afternoon though, we take a righthand turn down a dirt track to Pumphouse Point. Located here is as expected a pump house, built as part of the states hydro electricity scheme back in the late 1930's (completed in 1940), turbines were housed inside a 5 story building which was built about 275 metres (900 feet) from the shoreline out in Lake St Clair itself. The pumphouse is accessed via a long jetty that runs from the shoreline out to the building in the the lake, but before we reach this location we take another small detour and turn off the main track to have a look at a weir. The wier is really nothing spectacular to look at itself, a fairly standard looking set of 8 gates that can be closed to hold back the waters of Lake St Clair from emptying into the river system. What we are looking at here though, is the head waters of the mighty Derwent River, the river flows South from here to New Norfolk, a distance of 187 klms. From New Norfolk the estuary system of the Derwent River runs a further 52 klms out to the sea, all up a distance of just under 240 klms from where we are standing at the moment.
A quick look had at the weir and we continue on to the pumphouse, much to my surprise not long after turning back onto the main track, we have a large body truck coming towards us. There's no room to pass each other on this small track, so i have to start reversing back down the track to find a spot to pass each other. The driver of the truck is quite rude and impatient, as i slowly reverse back with the trailer onboard he is edging right up to the front bullbar of my vehicle trying to rush me faster, i feel like parking the vehicle up in the middle of the road and giving him a mouthful of abuse actually, but i couldn't be bothered. I find a spot to pull off the side of the track and the truck passes us by, i'd radioed Jeff earlier not to come out onto the track to allow the truck to come past first, so he doesn't have to worry about passing him luckily. From here we continue on the short distance to the end of the track, we park the vehicles up in a small turn around bay and hop out to go have a look at the pumphouse. Walking up to the front gate we see a sign stating the pumphouse is closed and currently a construction site, as it is now being turned into luxury accomodation. We walk out onto the beach of the lake and take a few pics, before hopping back in our vehicles and driving a few hundred metres back up the track we came in on. We hop out of the vehicles once again to take a few more pics here, as it has better views of the lake and pumphouse and jetty.

LAKE ST CLAIR WEIR...HEAD WATERS OF THE DERWENT RIVER

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THE PUMPHOUSE
(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1389_zpsjwoiupxo.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1389_zpsjwoiupxo.jpg.html)

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VIEW OVER LAKE ST CLAIR FROM PUMPHOUSE POINT

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From Pumphouse Point we drive back to the main road and turn right to head out to the Lake St Clair lodge where we'd stopped at the day previous. This area of Lake St Clair is very popular with the bush walking fraternity due to it's accomodation that is available here, it's the destination point (you must walk from North to South apparently) for people choosing to do The Overland Track. The Overland Track is a 65klm long, 6 day trek through the centre of Cradle Mountain / Lake St Clair National Park, it starts near Ronny Creek in Cradle Mountain, and ends here at Australia's deepest lake, Lake St Clair. The lake apparently reaches a depth of 200 metres in some places, and just like every other place we have been to in Tasmania so far, the water is crystal clear. We walk along a small section of the shoreline of the lake here, taking note of the National Parks sign warning to watch out for snakes that have been sighted regularly here, the kids have a run around and we take a few more pics of the lake. We head back to the main lodge area and look around the souvenier store, almost buying a recipe book dedicated to the cooking up of road kill...Skippy the Bush Vindaloo sounded oh so yummy and almost had me sold on buying the book...lol... (for those who aren't Australian, "Skippy the Bush Kangaroo" was a very popular kids show here back in the late 70's early 80's)

LAKE ST CLAIR FROM NEAR THE LODGE

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WATER IS CRYSTAL CLEAR AS USUAL HERE IN TASSIE

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Back at our vehicles and our next port of call is Nelson Falls on the way towards Queenstown, we were told to stop in and have a look at it by the barmaid at the hotel last night, we thought she said it was only about 15 klms out of Derwent Bridge, but it turned out to be something like 60 odd kilomteres away from memory. As we go to leave Jeff needs to do something with his kids, we think we only have a short drive to do to get to Nelson Falls, so he says go ahead and he'll meet back up with us there. Driving along the highway towards Queenstown we pass the mark where we think the falls should be but find nothing, we continue on many more kilometers and still can't find what we are looking for, eventually we think we must have missed the turn off somehow, even though we knew we'd not seen one. We are driving through some pretty hilly and windy terrain now, we've tried calling Jeff up on the uhf radio several times, but get no answer from him. A long long way past where we thought the falls should be i pull off the highway and try to find the place in my HEMA, i eventually locate it and note it's still a bit further up the road from where we currently are. Still no answer from Jeff on the uhf radio we decide to drive to the falls and wait for them there, eventually along the way though we get them on the radio, and confirm the falls location as our meet up point.
We arrive at the falls and knowing Jeff is still a short while away, we head off to go look at them. It's another easy rated track along a pathway to the falls, which should only take about 20 minutes at the most for the return journey. Reaching the falls we agree they are worth the stop to look at, we take a few pics and head back towards the carpark area to have some lunch. As we head back to there we meet up with Jeff and family coming in the opposite way, Jeff tells us of how they were stopped on a small boardwalk section back near the start of the track, and how a snake came up through the boardwalk right at the feet of his youngest boy Lucas. Jeff said he had to quickly grab his son and stop him from walking on it, we later find out going on the description of the snake Jeff gave us, that it was likely a tiger snake which are quite venonmous. Their scare for the day out of the way, Jeff and family also check out the falls before joining us back at our vehicles, where we all have a quick bite to eat on the side of the road here.

NELSON FALLS

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From Nelson Falls we push on towards Queenstown once again, the mountainous scenery along the way is pretty spectacular in places, and in a spot somewhere after crossing a long bridge across Lake Burbury, we pull over on the side of the highway to take some pics of what we are seeing. Way off in the distance looking back towards the bridge we'd crossed moments earlier, we are sure we see snow on a mountain peak, it truely is a pretty location around these parts of Tasmania

SCENERY ON ROUTE TO QUEENSTOWN

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LOOKING BACK OVER LAKE BURBURY TO THE MOUNTAINS

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We push on once again, and a short distance further up the highway we see an old ruin on the side of the road that catches our attention. We make a quick sharp righthand turn off of the highway to stop and have a look at it. There's a fair bit of signage located here at the old Royal Hotel warning people to keep out and that it's private property, i'm guessing they get a fair share of curious people like ourselves stopping here to have a look at this place. These old hotel ruins in the town (if you can call it that) of Linda are a replacement for another old hotel that was involved in a fire in 1910 so i've been informed, i have no idea what the story is with how this replacement hotel came to be how it is now though.

ROYAL HOTEL RUINS IN LINDA

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From the hotel ruins we push on again and start to climb the range as we edge closer to Queenstown, we soon see a sign saying there's a lookout to the right, so we quickly take the turn off to go check it out. Turning off the highway the road continues to climb and a short distance on we are parking the vehicles up at the end of the road to check out the newish cantilever lookout platform that is located here. Back in 1883 three gold diggers pegged out 50 acres of land in the valley below which we are currently looking over (now known as Linda Valley). Originally they mined the area for 10 years looking for gold, but instead they found a huge amount of copper here. The area that they had pegged became know as "The Iron Blow", this is where it all began for Mt Lyell as far as it's mining boom went.

IRON BLOW LOOKOUT

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I DON'T THINK I'D BE SWIMMING IN THAT WATER

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We rejoin the highway once again and it's not far before we are stopping once again, we are at a small lookout which over looks the township of Queenstown down below. We take a pic of the sign here and a few more pics of the barren surrounding hillsides that surround this town. Old mining practices has taken a huge toll on the hillsides of this area, the landscape almost looks moon likely with it's lack of vegetation in many areas, but there are signs that mother nature is ever so slowly starting to reclaim the odd area back again here and there.

WELCOME TO.....

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THE LANDSCAPE AROUND HERE CAN BE PRETTY BARREN, THOUGH THE ODD BIT OF FLORA IS STARTING TO MAKE A COME BACK ALSO

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We drive into town here and do a restock of grocery supplies, it's Xmas eve today and we know we won't be able to get anything where we are headed for the next few days. Whilst here in town i search for a shop to grab some large pop riverts and a cheap riveter to fix something that has come loose on Jeffs camper trailer, i eventually find what i am looking for and after purchasing what he needs, we all meet back at the vehicles ready to head out of town. The last thing we need to do before leaving is to grab some fuel for the vehicles, i find a servo around the corner and whilst paying for my fuel i ask the attendant if by chance there is a car wash of sorts in town, as our vehicles are filtyh diirty from the rain we encountered whilst driving Florentine Rd the other day, and we can't go near the vehicles without getting crap all over us. Much to my surprise the fella says he has a car wash bay on the side of his building, the machine takes $2 coins and it's basially a gernie type of set up with soapy water and even hot water functions. You need to work quickly with this machine as it gobbles $2 coins like a slot machine at a casino, i put $6 worth into the machine and end up with a vehicle and camper that's not quite clean, but good enough to get near without attracting dirt all over your clothes. Jeff takes his turn giving the vehicle and camper a quick wash over, and with this job done we head off out of town towards Strahan.

WE CAN'T NEAR THE VEHICLE OR CAMPER WITHOUT GETTING DIRTY

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HE AIN'T NO JESSICA SIMPSON WASHING HIS VEHICLE THAT'S FOR SURE...LOL

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1463_zpsultswgju.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1463_zpsultswgju.jpg.html)

The road from Queenstown to Strahan is a pretty windy one, it takes a fair bit longer to drive then you'd expect it to do going by the distance alone. With the afternoon starting to get away from us, we push on as quickly as we can along this road, though the campers on the back don't help us out to much. We reach Strahan and pass on through it without stopping, we are headed for Macquarie Heads campground which is located at the Northern end of Macquarie Harbour, roughly about 15 - 20 kliometres out of Strahan. Arriving at the campground we stop in at the care takers house to see about making payment to stay here, when we mention we are here for a few days he tells us just to go find a spot to set up in, and to come back tomorrow sometime and fix him up for the payment. We do as he suggests and find a nice grassey spot in a flat area to make camp for the next few days, there's a few people set up here at the moment which limits our choice of where to go, but overall it's not to busy currently.
With camp set up Jeff and i go for a walk out onto the beach, it's only about 30 metres away to the beach from our camp site, and we cut through a small vacant site behind our camp area to do this. As we cut through this site we are pretty disgusted with how the previous camper has left the site, a fire is still smouldering away unattended, there's broken glass from beer bottles about the place, and a pile of cigarette butts like you wouldn't believe laying here on the ground also. We walk back to our camp and grab a bucket to get some water to put the fire out properly, it takes atleast 4 bucket loads of water to this, the first bucket load of which bubbling back up out of the sand with how hot it was in there.
The sun is now starting to set, so i grab the camera and head out onto the beach to try and grab a sunset shot. There's some colour in the sky which is nice to see, i snap a few pics of it and head back to camp to join the others. Unfortunately we didn't get around to grabbing firewood today for a fire tonight, so it's not to late of a night had by us all, we have dinner and a few drinks, then head off to bed eager to see if Santa can find usl tonight or not.

TONIGHTS CAMP LOCATION IS....

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1490_zpsh4ebccgx.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1490_zpsh4ebccgx.jpg.html)

GEEZ SOME PEOPLE ARE GRUBS

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SOME NICE COLOUR IN THE SKY AT SUNSET TONIGHT

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on May 24, 2015, 11:40:47 AM
DAY 16 MACQUARIE HEADS

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE.....Well we are camped roughly 2500klms (1550 miles)  away from home at the moment, and appears the Bearded Jolly Fat Man in the red outfit has managed to find our location overnight. The kids wake to find their Christmas stockings with some small easy to transport presents in them, it seems Santa didn't have much room in his Landcruiser... errr i mean sleigh, to transport big presents big this year, so he went with slim profiled presents he could easily hide...errr i mean pack for transport. It appears Santa didn't have any room left for the adults to get presents this year, or maybe they were just too naughty to get some....oh well, their 6 week holiday in Tasmania wil have to do instead it seems...lol.
Unwrapping their presents, Ipad minis seem to be the order of the year for our 2 girls, aswell as some small monster trucks also. Going by the big smiles on both our daughters faces, it appears Santa brought them just what they wanted, and luckily for them Mrs Claus has been busy pre present delivery, charging them up and downloading games and other stuff on them to use...nice work Mrs Claus.
It's a bit overcast and gloomy outside today, so we have a lie in bed whilst the kids set about taking their new Ipads for a test run.

SANTA FOUND US OVERNIGHT

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SANTA MANAGED TO FIND US LAST NIGHT IT APPEARS

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LOOKS LIKE HE GOT THE GIRLS JUST WHAT THEY WANTED

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LUCKILY MRS CLAUS HAD ALREADY CHARGED THEM, AND DOWNLOADED STUFF ONTO THEM ALSO

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MAYBE IT WAS OUR XMAS TREE WE ERECTED YESTERDAY AFTERNOON THAT ALERTED SANTA TO OUR LOCATION?....complete with star on top, glow sticks to light it up at night, and ornaments cut out from the side of a coke can box we noticed in the back of the fourby.

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Eventually we drag ourselves out of bed and cook up a nice feed of bacon and egg crosionts for breakfast, the kids have all gotten new monster trucks (including the Tassie Devil one each, so they have the same ones), so they spend some time playing with them whilst we sit back and do not much at all but relax....it is Xmas morning after all.

KIDS PLAYING WITH THEIR NEW MONSTER TRUCKS

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CHILLAXING AT CAMP ON XMAS MORNING

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As we sit around camp i spot a small wren flying back and forth about the place, these birds are like fighter planes zipping around all over the place from one spot to another, and the fact they don't stand still for long makes it hard to get a decent picture of them. I eventually get a few pics taken, and then Jeff and myself head down to the caretakers house to pay for our stay and grab some water in the empty 20ltr buckets that Jeff is carrying with him so we can have some showers. The caretaker here is a real character, he's rough as around the edges and doesn't put up with any crap from anyone. The guy must think he's 10ft tall and can fight like a world champion cage fighter the way he talks, but in reality he's not real big, as skinny as a rake and getting on in years... a pretty nice guy really, but a real character that's for sure.
Going to pay for our stay we don't really know how many nights we'll be here for, our original rough trip plan had us arriving here tonight instead of last night, so we think we might stay here longer then we originally thought now. Not knowing how many nights to pay for, the caretaker tells us not to worry about it, just come see him in the next day or so when we know what to pay for....he trusts us to do the right thing it appears. We grab the drums of water and head back to camp and everyone has a shower for the first time in a few days. The park itself only has composting toilets here, no showers at all, we are using the diesel heater of our camper trailer to have a hot shower with, which is definately nice on a cool overcast day like today is.

A WREN THAT WAS FLYING ABOUT CAMP

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Showers had an everyone smelling nice once again, we jump in the fourby's and head out onto the beach for a look around. The tide is coming in at the moment it looks like and it's pretty windy out on the ocean side of the beach, so we only travel a short distance around to the headland near Hells Gate before turning back around and coming back much closer to camp to park the vehicles up. We let the kids run around on the beach here for a while and take a few more pics to remember our holiday. We have a bit of fun with the pano mode of my phone camera here, having my eldest daughter stand still as i slowly pan around, then once out of screen shot we get her to run around behind me and hop back in the picture again at a different location as i continue the pano shot...the pic turns out ok in the end we reckon...lol

A PIC OF THE CRUISER ON THE BEACH

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NOT SURE, BUT THE LIGHTHOUSE IN THE BACKGROUND APPEARS TO BE ABLE TO BE VISITED BY TOURISTS IF YOU HAVE A BOAT?

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A BIT OF FUN WITH PANO MODE ON MY PHONE

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With no fire had last night, Jeff and myself decide we are going back to camp to grab my chainsaw i've brought on the trip, and go for a drive to find some firewood. We leave Jeffs vehicle with the wives and kids as they play on the beach whilst we go do this. Heading back towards Strahan you pass through a fair bit of bushland, there's also a heap of pine forest here also. We serach around the area for some decent timber but don't really find anything we think is suitable to cut up. Locals seem to chop up in big chunks the felled left overs of the pine trees, but you need a heap of this stuff to burn as it burns pretty quickly, and to be honest, it's pretty wet in the middle and not the best for fires IMHO. Anyhow, the small chainsaw i have onboard with us isn't really big enough to cut up the pine trees like the locals do, so we drive all the way back to Strahan looking for something decent. We arrive in Strahan with no firewood found, there's not much more then pine forests and saltbush seen along the way, we drive about the town looking for somewhere that's a one in a million long shot to be selling firewood on Xmas day, knowing this is highly unlikely to be happening.... and as expected we are correct. Strahan on xmas day is alot like a ghost town, we hardly see anyone at all, and we are just about the only vehicle driving on the roads at the moment. We drive out of town headed back towards Queenstown where we came from yesterday, we'd noticed better forests more suitable for getting firewood from back here on the drive in yesterday, and this is where we've ended up. Not to far out of town we turn up a dirt track running into the bush, we climb to the top of a hill on the gravel track and find a spot that has exactly what we are looking for. There's some sort of level pad that's been cut up here by an earth moving machine for some reason, at the edge of it we see there's a nice log sitting there perfect for what we want, so we set about cutting it up and then splitting it with the log splitter. We spend an hour or so cutting the timber with my chainsaw and splitting it, the chainsaw's a bit small for the job we are using it for, but eventually we get the job done. Timber loaded onto the roofrack of my fourby and tied down securely, we head back towards camp where our wives must be wondering where we've gotten to the past few hours. Passing back through Strahan i pull the vehicle over to the side of the road and make a quick phone call back home to my family, to wish them all a merry xmas. Today we are wearing jumpers and jackets to keep warm down here in Tassie, but back home in Brisbane they are having a heat wave and sweating it out big time on xmas day...i think i'm glad we're down here at the moment. Where we are currently camped there is no phone reception at all, i tell the family i'll get the kids to ring them tomorrow to wish them a merry xmas, when we come back to town with some phone reception.
We head back to camp and unload the firewood from my vehicle, and get a fire going. The wives are busy preparing a ham for tonights dinner, it'll be baked in the gas oven of Jeffs camper, and has a yummy plum sauce, dijon mustard, apple sauce,brown sugar and macadamia nut glaze going on it. Dinner is cooked and as expected it's delicious, the skies cleared nicely from the slight drizzles of rain we were getting just in time to eat dinner around the fire, we have some pudding for dessert that Sara cooked also, and spend the evening sitting around the fire. The odd drizzle of rain falls as we sit around the fire tonight, but it's falling so light, that we don't even bother getting out of it. A nice Xmas day had here in Tasmania, we eventually call it a night and head off to bed.

A MANS WORK IS NEVER DONE...LOL...we had to cover the firewood with a tarp due to some light rain falling this afternoon

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FAMILY PIC ON XMAS DAY IN TASSIE....a heat wave back home, ski jackets for us down here though...lol

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1522_zpsnbr228z3.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1522_zpsnbr228z3.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on May 26, 2015, 09:54:58 PM
DAY 17 MACQUARIE HEADS

It's another lazy start to the morning for us, as we don't actually have a lot planned to do today. The sky is overcast and threatening to rain in places, but the wind up high in the sky is pushing the clouds along pretty quickly, so one minute the sky might be ok, then next minute you aren't sure if it'll rain or not. Most of the showers pass by around us, but we do get one torrential down pour that lasts about 5 minutes only, then before we know it the sky is looking fine again. We need to head into Strahan today to look into booking a few tours we want to do whilst in this area, which is just what we do after we eventually have our breakfast. First stop of the day though is to drop some rubbish bags off at the industrial bins across from the care takers house. The facilities here at Macquarie Heads are pretty good really for the low cost they charge to camp here, there's the big industrial rubbish bins we've just stopped off at now, drinking water available at the care takers house, 2 pit toilets and even a decent boat ramp and jetty for the avid fisherman...off which there appears to be a few of them around these parts here. On top of all that there's nice grassey areas to set up camp on also, it really is quite a nice place to camp at.
Throwing the rubbish into the bins i notice a few birds sitting on the end of the jetty, so i grab the camera and snap a few pics of them, before jumping back in the fourby and heading off to Strahan.

BIRDS ON THE JETTY AT MACQUARIE HEADS

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Arriving in downtown Strahan (population about 630 people), we find the place a touch busy this morning and struggle to get a carpark in the main street...it's a big change to the ghost town Jeff and i found here yesterday. The town itself thrives on it's tourist trade, once the tourist season is over though, many businesses apparently close up shop until the tourist season starts back up again. Located infront of the hotel in the main street is 4 metered parking bays, the rest of the entire surrounding area is free to park in though, just not these 4 particular parking spaces for some reason. Low and behold the only vacant car park in the entire street is located in the pay to park spot, i pull into the space and jump out of my vehicle to see what the damage will be to park here. Much to my surprise it was only something like 20 cents to pay to park here, i wonder why they even bother to have the meters here at all actually. With the meter fed, we walk across the road to the tourism shops located on the wharf, to book our tours.
The first tour we book to do is  the Gordon River Cruise on "The Big Red Cat", this is an all day cruise which departs at 9.00 a.m and returns at 3.00 p.m, and it includes a buffet lunch also. The cruise costs us $260 for our family to go on it, and the description of the days outing is listed below.....
Quote
- See some of Australia’s oldest convict ruins on Sarah Island, a settlement which pre-dates Port Arthur by decades. Created to put the 'fear of God' into the convicts of Van Diemen’s Land, this tiny outpost of 18th Century British penal history hides a fascinating tale of human triumph over adversity, brought vividly to life by expert guides;
- Hear the intriguing story of Macquarie Harbour and its settlement;
- Passage through Hells Gates the narrow entrance to Macquarie Harbour named by the convicts on their way to Sarah Island;
- See high-tech aquaculture where hundreds of thousands of Tasmania’s famous Atlantic Salmon and Ocean Trout are farmed;
- Cruise past the majesty of the rugged mountain ranges in Tasmania’s World  Heritage-listed South West Wilderness National Park;
- Spend two hours in the serenity of the imposing Gordon River, complete with a stroll into the rainforest, which reclaimed the land after the last Great Ice Age.
- Listen to our narrative, which brings the river and its rich history to life complete what is an unforgettable experience.
- Enjoy a sumptuous buffet lunch freshly prepared on board - includes smoked salmon, cold meats, a selection of salads, fresh fruit, Tasmanian cheeses and local bakery bread.


Full details of the trips the company runs, can be viewed here http://worldheritagecruises.com.au/index.php?page=the-cruises (http://worldheritagecruises.com.au/index.php?page=the-cruises)

With our cruise now booked we head next door and look into booking a ride on The West Coast Wilderness Railway. We had hoped to do this steam train ride from Strahan the following day after our river cruise, but as we enquire about doing so, we find that the train only runs out of Queenstown on Sundays. It's not quite what we'd hoped to do, but we decide to book the train ride on Sunday morning out of Queenstown instead, and we'll just have to get up early in the morning and drive the 60 odd klms to take the train ride. The train ride costs us $220 for our family to go on it, so in the space of about 15 minutes we've spent almost $500 booking these 2 outings...oh well, easy come easy go as they say...lol.
With the tours booked, we jump back in our vehicles and head up to the IGA store to grab a few supplies. The IGA stores down here in Tassie are much bigger stores then we are used to seeing back home, i guess the lack of Coles and Woolworths stores in many of the towns down here means these stores still have a chance of surviving here.
Supplies grabbed we then head back towards camp, but decide we'll go check out some of the Henty Dunes area of Ocean Beach. We arrive at the carpark area near the track that heads down onto Ocean Beach and deflate our tyres to 18psi, we have no idea what the sand is like to drive on where we are about to go, but hopefully it won't be to soft.

THE SIGN AT THE ENTRANCE TRACK ONTO OCEAN BEACH

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We drop down onto the beach and make a righthand turn to head towards the Henty Dunes, the sand at the start here is pretty firm and easy to drive on. The beach is just about deserted as we drive along it, we see one other vehicle near where the entrance track is located, but other then that there's nobody at all out driving on the beach. A short distance from the entrance track we pull up to take a photo of a vehicle half submerged in the sand that must have gotten bogged here long ago. It's a strange choice of vehicle to take onto the beach, and we wonder if maybe it wasn't stolen and bought down here as a joke, or was someone just plain crazy in thinking their Commodore could actually drive down here and they got stuck?....we'll never know i guess. Either way, there's a car wreck sitting submerged in the sand here, i'm very surprised the local council leaves it here and hasn't removed it actually.

COMMODORE WRECK SUBMERGED ON OCEAN BEACH

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Continuing on our way and Jeff is up front with me following a safe distance behind, we've heard of how trecherous some of the West Coast beaches are in Tasmania can be to drive on, so i hang back a touch just incase Jeff runs into trouble, so atleast i have a chance to stop beforehand and maybe be able to rescue his vehicle if need be. As we crooze along the beach we find ourselves hitting some pretty soft sections of sand as we go, one minute the sand is nice and firm and easy going, then suddenly without warning you sink about 3 or 4 inches down into it, and i'm shifting down gears and giving the right pedal what for to keep momentum going. We strike a heap of these real soft patches along the way as we make our way to the mouth of the Henty River, we eventually get to a point where we can drive no further without crossing the river, but it looks to deep and wide to do this for our likings, even though we can see wheel tracks from ATV's that look to have done the crossing at some stage in the past. We hang around at the river mouth here for a short while taking photos and letting the kids run around some, before turning around and heading back towards camp. Before we leave here we deflate our tyres to 16 psi to see if it makes any differance in the soft patches.

HEADING TOWARDS HENTY DUNES....you can see where Jeff has sunk into the sand a touch here...it gets much worse further up

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1542_zpsmfrvkwoe.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1542_zpsmfrvkwoe.jpg.html)

END OF THE ROAD....AT THE HENTY RIVER MOUTH ON OCEAN BEACH

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1470_zpsa8yncrec.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1470_zpsa8yncrec.jpg.html)

IT'S TO WIDE AND TO DEEP FOR ARE LIKINGS TO TRY AND CROSS THIS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1550_zps2dovpb0t.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1550_zps2dovpb0t.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1548_zpsavsxybff.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1548_zpsavsxybff.jpg.html)

We drive all the way back along Ocean Beach past the entrance track that we came down onto the beach on, we continue past it and follow the beach all the way back to camp. The slightly lowered tyre pressures don't seem to have made a differance at all in the soft sand either, i'm guessing we'd need to have been much lower then that to drive that area easier. I can't recall how many kilometers of beach we drove all up, suffice to say it's a decent distance of beach driving you can do here. The beach between the entrance track and our camp is much easier to drive on then the beach area back towards Henty River end, there's no real soft patches when you drive along this other section of beach, it's a pretty easy drive at this end really. We round the headland at Hells Gate and notice quite a few quad bikes zipping around on the beach here, back home in Queensland quad bikes aren't allowed to be riden on our beaches, but down here in Tasmania it's allowed, if you have the right licence for doing so that is.
We stop on the beach for a short period of time and watch a few fisherman to see how their luck is going, they reel in a couple of salmon whilst we watch, so it appears they are doing ok today. We then head back to camp and have a bite to eat for lunch, toasted sangas are on the menu to help try and warm us up abit in this cooler weather.

DRIVING BACK TO CAMP PAST THE ORIGINAL ENTRANCE TRACK...you can see Jeff has barely left a mark on the harder sand down this end of the beach

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1554_zps117gmgkx.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1554_zps117gmgkx.jpg.html)

We don't do much else the rest of the day except relax (as best we can) back at camp, the hoards of campers have arrived today to do their Xmas / Newyears camping thing, and there's quite a few quad bikes getting about the place at the moment... with several riders not being very considerate of the other campers about the place. With all the kilometers of beach to ride on down here, it appears the bike riders only want to hoon around on the section of beach that is near camp, we can't understand the novelty of it ourselves, and wish they bugger off further down the beach with their noisey machines.
The past few days have been quite overcast and our 80W solar panel hasn't been putting enough charge back into the camper, so i drag the genny out this arvo and fire it up to recharge the battery bank. We get the fire going earlyish today as we have a heap of wood to burn now, a few drinks are had around the fire and i try and grab some more sunset pics out on the beach also, but the cloud cover puts an end to any hope of that happening. As the night rolls on a few drunken clowns decide to start setting fireworks off close by, the serenity we'd had here the previous 2 days andnights is long gone, we'd hoped it wouldn't get like this once the Xmas crowds arrived, but sadly it has. To be truthful here, i'm probably exaggerating how bad it is here with the crowds, they most certainly could be a lot worse and a lot more noisey then they currently are, but when you've been camped the past few weeks at times in places that have practically nobody about the place, this here feels noisey and busy at the moment.

GETTING THE FIRE GOING IN THE AFTERNOON...that's only a shower tent you see to the left  by the way

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1555_zps3vbqn5wc.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1555_zps3vbqn5wc.jpg.html)

NO LUCK WITH SUNSET PICS TONIGHT....the best i could do looking in the other direction

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1558_zpspfhlyksp.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1558_zpspfhlyksp.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on May 28, 2015, 10:35:52 PM
DAY 18 - STRAHAN

We wake to a wet miserable morning, it's not a big deal though, as today we'll be on a boat and undercover most of the day anyhow. We have a quick brekky then head on into Strahan for our day out on the water. There's 2 different main companies who run Gordon River cruises here in Strahan, we are heading out today with World Heritage Cruises, who operate "The Big Red Cat". Both companies run out of the same location in the centre of town, we arrive about 40 minutes before departure time to try and ensure we get a carpark nearby, which we manage to do. Much of todays boat cruise will be done on Macquarie Harbour, it's the 2nd largest natrual harbour in Australia behind Port Philip Bay, which we sailed out of Melbourne on when we caught the ferry over here to Tasmania. I am surprised to learn that Macquarie Harbour is actually 6 times larger then Sydney Harbour. The boat sets sail pretty much on time and as we leave Strahan i grab a few pics of the town from the water. Fishing boats, sea planes, unit complexes and a steam train pretty much sums this town up really. Like i mentioned previously already, Strahan thrives on the tourist trade, there's a heap of unit complexes and other rooms to rent for accomodation here in town, and things like the Wilderness Railway and River Cruises provide much needed employment opportunities for the town. If you're not envolved in tourism then fishing is another major industry for the town, there's a few small saw mills about the area also, but other then the usual small businesses providing essential services in any town, there doesn't appear to be much else to do as a job around these parts.

THE BIG RED CAT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1683_zps6fbnsim7.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1683_zps6fbnsim7.jpg.html)

FISHING BOATS AND UNIT COMPLEXES, THAT PRETTY MUCH SUMS MUCH OF STRAHAN UP REALLY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1562_zpstr6raa19.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1562_zpstr6raa19.jpg.html)

THERE'S A FEW SEA PLANES AVAILABLE FOR CHARTER HERE IN TOWN

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1563_zpsudu2wqtw.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1563_zpsudu2wqtw.jpg.html)

WEST COAST WILDERNESS RAILWAY TRAIN...we'd hoped to go on this tomorrow, but it doesn't run out of Strahan on weekends

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1564_zpsufxgvyt4.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1564_zpsufxgvyt4.jpg.html)

The first location the cruise heads for today is out front of where we are currently camped at the moment, it rains on and off as we head to this location, but as we near Hells Gate the rain pretty much disappears and the rest of the day whilst overcast, stays pretty dry.
Hells Gate is the name given to the entrance where Maquarie Harbour and the Southern Ocean meet, it's a very shallow harbour entrance and only 120 metres wide, so you don't have much room for error when it comes to navigation here. Back in the early 1800's prisoners on the newly established penal settlement of Sarah Island named this spot Hells Gate, as conditions were so bad at this settlement, that entering the harbour to go here was like entering through hells gates.
As we crooze out through Hells Gate into the Southern Ocean and then turn back around to head into the harbour again, we are given a running commentary by the ships captain on the history of this area. Cruising back into the harbour we note the break water wall to our right that is built here, it was built back in 1900 to help make the harbour entrance a safer place to navigate through. Also to our right is a house on what appears to be an island at first glance, but is in actual fact still part of the mainland, and is Macquarie Heads. The locals that live here have a routine where they show off to the tourists their daily catch of crayfish, and it appears they done alright for themselves by the looks of it.

PART OF THE BREAK WATER WALL AT HELLS GATE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1566_zpsjz8w1p6t.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1566_zpsjz8w1p6t.jpg.html)

HEADING OUT THROUGH HELLS GATE...you need to go to the left of Entrance Island, it's to shallow to the right for boats to pass through

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1568_zpsjz8qh3ei.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1568_zpsjz8qh3ei.jpg.html)

ENTRANCE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1570_zps7bz5btkx.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1570_zps7bz5btkx.jpg.html)

LOCALS AT MACQUAIRE HEADS HOLDING UP TODAYS CATCH OF CRAYFISH (the adults held some up also, but i missed that in my pic taking)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1576_zpsvibkcncv.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1576_zpsvibkcncv.jpg.html)

From Hells Gate we head towards Sarah Island where we will disembark the boat for a short while for a guided tour of the island. As we crooze through the harbour though, we are free to explore the boats different floor levels, and you can even join the captain up top and be his co-pilot for a while you want. I grab a few pics of my girls sitting beside the captain in the co-pilots seat, he's a nice easy going type of a guy, happy to answer any questions you might throw at him.

MY 2 GIRLS....TODAYS CO-PILOTS OF THE BOAT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1572_zpsl5dwyayb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1572_zpsl5dwyayb.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2753_zps6xd6b5kb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2753_zps6xd6b5kb.jpg.html)

Heading for Sarah Island we get to witness firsthand just how huge the fish farming industry is here in Tasmania. I've already mentioned this fact a few times previously in my report, but here in Macquarie Harbour we see it on a grand scale, everywhere we look there's pens floating on top of the water, it's quite the unexpected sight to see in such a prestine location. The captain pulls the boat up beside one of the pens and gives us a close up look, a few of the fish suddenly leap up out of the water into the air, they must think it's feeding time i reckon. It's a quick stop at the fish farming pen and we are back on our way onroute to Sarah Island once again.

ONE OF THE MANY FISH FARMING SET UPS IN MACQUARIE HARBOUR

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1586_zpsswyk7yey.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1586_zpsswyk7yey.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1600_zpsppnwenhh.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1600_zpsppnwenhh.jpg.html)

It's not long and Sarah Island comes into view, this island operated as a penal settlement from 1822 - 1833. The colony had a reputation as one of the harshest penal settlements in the Australian, It took the worst convicts and those who had escaped from other settlements. The chances of escape from Sarah Island were thought to be next to impossible, but many people did manage to escape, the most infamous of these being a prisoner by the name of Alexander Pearce. Alexander managed to escape the island twice, but this alone is not what makes him infamous. What makes him infamous is the fact that, both times he escaped he cannibalized his fellow escapees that escaped with him. Alexander was eventually captured and hanged and dissected in Hobart for murder.
Sarah Island is not a very big island at all, surprisingly though at one stage it became Australia's largest shipbuilding yard, using it's convict labour to do the work.
We disembark the boat and do the guided walk around the island, you're free to explore the place at your leisure if you like also, just make sure your back not long after the boat sounds it's horn, or they'll go without you. The people leading the tours give a great account of the islands past,  to say the guy who is leading our tour is enthusiastic would actually be an understatement i reckon. There's quite a few ruins located around the island, but unlike Port Arthur that we visited previously where large buildings are still standing, most of the stuff here is much smaller in size and fallen down or just not a lot of it left....it's still good to see none the less.
The boats horn sounds and we make our way back to it, we jump back onboard ready to head up the Gordon River from here.

SARAH ISLAND....IT'S NOT REAL BIG IN SIZE
IT'S THIS BIG.....

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1610_zpssxpsrcgb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1610_zpssxpsrcgb.jpg.html)

BY THIS BIG.....

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1618_zpsoujjgvnq.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1618_zpsoujjgvnq.jpg.html)

PENITENTIARY RUINS YOU SEE AS YOU ARRIVE AT THE ISLAND

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1615_zpsa1uesbcr.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1615_zpsa1uesbcr.jpg.html)

WHAT'S LEFT OF THE WIND BREAK FENCE THAT ONCE PROTECTED THE ISLAND

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1620_zpsgmfnxmjs.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1620_zpsgmfnxmjs.jpg.html)

SOME RUINS WE SEE ON THE ISLAND

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1632_zpsi7cqqhg6.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1632_zpsi7cqqhg6.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1634_zps4kpiunu2.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1634_zps4kpiunu2.jpg.html)

THE BAKEHOUSE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1640_zpsrga5fwrx.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1640_zpsrga5fwrx.jpg.html)

THE PENITENTIARY FROM THE LAND THIS TIME

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1646_zpsj2jv8i6g.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1646_zpsj2jv8i6g.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1647_zpsdrbgm9tk.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1647_zpsdrbgm9tk.jpg.html)

TO BE CONT.....
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on May 30, 2015, 07:31:47 AM
DAY 18 CONT....

The boat pulls away from Sarah Island and we soon are having a buffet lunch as we cruise the harbour headed for the Gordon River. It's a nice spread of lunch they put on, they even put out a call for seconds for anyone who didn't get enough the first time around....so there's no going hungry today.
From Sarah Island it's not that far and we reach the mouth of the Gordon River, once in the river the boat is limited to a slower speed at which it can travel so as not to produce too much wash, and thus look after the surrounding environment. As well as being speed limited, the larger boats are only allowed to travel a certain distance upstream also, if you have your own smaller craft then this distance you can travel upstream won't apply to you. If you are reading this report and thinking why does the Gordon River name sound familiar?...it's likely because of the huge environmental campaign that happen here in the early 1980's, which in turn ended up stopping the building of the proposed Franklin Dam. The Gordon-below-Franklin Dam project was originally proposed to provide more hydroelectricity to the state, but in December of 1982 the dam site was occupied by a large number of protestors, and this campaign eventually lead to the stopping of the dam being built. For anyone not familiar with the Gordon-below-Franklin Dam story, check out this link to get a better understanding of what went on here back in the early 80's......the number of people arrested at the blockade was pretty huge. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Dam_controversy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Dam_controversy)

THE MOUTH OF THE GORDON RIVER

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1653_zpsvt2pin3h.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1653_zpsvt2pin3h.jpg.html)

It's a slow cruise up the Gordon River and there's plenty of time to take in the beautiful surrounding scenery, it's not hard to understand why so many people were so passionate about not wanting the Franklin River dam built at all, as this would have likely changed the eco system we are seeing here. The boat reaches the point it can't travel upstream past and pulls up at a small jetty on the bank of the river, we disembark the boat here for a short circuit boardwalk through the forest. The walk is done on a elevated timber boardwalk, there's some signboards to look at along the way, and a few staff from the ship are about to answer any questions you may have of the surrounding flora and fauna.
The first thing i really notice as we do the walk, is some strange mini volcano looking type mounds in the mud of the forest floor. I was thinking maybe it's something the crabs have made here for some reason, but as we continue along the walk i read a signboard that explains the "chimney's of mud" are actually made by crayfish

THE CRAYFISH MADE CHIMNEYS ON THE FOREST FLOOR

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1656_zpsyghxrf6g.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1656_zpsyghxrf6g.jpg.html)

THE ELEVATED BOARDWALK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1658_zpssnodydmp.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1658_zpssnodydmp.jpg.html)

As we continue along the walk we spot all sorts of strange looking flora along the way, the moss growing on the trees is everywhere and is testament to how much rain must fall around these parts each year. There's strange looking fungus things growing on the sides of trees, aswell as on the ground also. We reach an area where a guide is giving a talk about the local Huon Pine trees, they are a slow growing tree (averaging only 1mm per year) that was heavily logged throughout the 1800’s and into the mid-1900’s, prized by boat builders and the like for the timbers resitance to rot and borers. Logging of Huon Pine trees is no longer allowed, though saw mills can salvage logs they find washed down rivers by flood events and the like. There is a display in a glass case located here showing the age cycle of a large Huon Pine tree, this particular tree was nearly 700 years old, and it gives a better understanding of just how slowly these trees grow....it's not hard to understand why the practice of logging these trees was unsustainable.
As we walk back to the boat we pass by a small Huon Pine tree and are told by the guide that this one would be roughly about 50 years old, any other tree of this size you'd think would be a couple of years old normally. We are back on the boat again, and it's time to head downstream and back to Strahan.

THE MOSS GROWS ON EVERYTHING HERE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1661_zpst6ifllb8.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1661_zpst6ifllb8.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1667_zpst8kvf0ip.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1667_zpst8kvf0ip.jpg.html)

THERE'S PLENTY OF FUNGUS GROWING ABOUT THE PLACE ALSO

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1659_zpsyai510jm.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1659_zpsyai510jm.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1672_zpsdtyh2crp.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1672_zpsdtyh2crp.jpg.html)

THIS WAS A NEAR 700 YEAR OLD HUON PINE TREE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1677_zpsahgozb2k.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1677_zpsahgozb2k.jpg.html)

AND THIS HUON PINE TREE IS ABOUT 50 YEARS OLD

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1678_zps0vqt939i.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1678_zps0vqt939i.jpg.html)

With no more stops to be made along the way, the run back to Strahan doesn't take that long really, before we know we are departing the boat and our cruise is over. There's one last thing to do before we leave here though, Morrisons' Huon Pine Sawmill is located on the wharf here where the boat drops you off,  and Snowy an old timer who works here shows us the mill in operation as he cuts up a Huon Pine log. With the log cutting display completed it's time to buy some Huon Pine souveniers if you like, Jeff and Sara buy a lovely timber platter to take home with them, i would have bought one the same if there'd been another one just like it, though sadly there wasn't. We leave here and checkout another timber shop next door, before heading back to our vehicles.

MORRISONS' SAWMILL

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OLD SNOWY SHOWING HOW THEY CUT THE HUON PINE LOGS HERE

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JOB DONE, IT'S TIME FOR A BREAK

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OLD RELICS THAT ARE ON DISPLAY ON A WALL INSIDE THE MILL

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JEFF AND SARA'S TIMBER PLATTER THEY PURCHASED

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Back at the vehicles and Jeff and Sara are headed to the laundromat down the road next to the caravan park to do some washing. We don't need to do that today, so decide we'll go visit Peoples Park which is just up the road a short distance, and do the walk to check out Hogarth Falls. The walk to the falls is another easy one, there's one small uphill section as you reach the falls, but it's nothing to worry about at all. It should take you roughly about 40 minutes to do the return journey, the track you head out to the falls on you return back on also. We do the walk and take some pics here before hopping back in the fourby and heading up the road a touch further to where the West Coast Railway train is located. Located here also is some old wharf ruins, aswell as an old railway crane of some some description, i take some more pics of these before we then head back to the laundromat to see how Jeff and Sara are getting on.

THE ENTRANCE TO PEOPLES PARK

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HOGARTH FALLS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2765_zps7tosnbhk.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2765_zps7tosnbhk.jpg.html)

OLD WHARF RUINS NEAR THE WEST COAST RAILWAY YARD

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AN OLD RAILWAYS CRANE LOCATED NEAR HERE ALSO

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1712_zpsme1yirn7.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1712_zpsme1yirn7.jpg.html)

Meeting up with Jeff and Sara again, we find they are still waiting on the clothes driers to do their thing. We tell them we'll meet them back at camp, and we head back there to go and start getting dinner ready. I don't think i've mentioned this previously, but on this trip we are taking it in turns for each family to cook dinner for everyone. We've done this previously on a trip when we crossed The Simpson Desert, where one family cooks for everyone who is on the trip, it worked quite well for giving the others a break from cooking dinner each night, so we are doing the same thing on this trip once again. Leanne gets dinner organised and i get the fire started as we listen to and watch the quad bike riders hoon about the place...i can't say i've missed them at all today whilst we've been out. We get a bit of a shower of rain come through not long after Jeff and Sara get back to camp, but it passes quickly and the sky clears allowing another night to be spent watching the bush telly and enjoying a few beverages of choice to be consumed. We head off to bed not to late in the evening, as we need to be up early tomorrow morning to drive to Queenstown for our train ride.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on May 31, 2015, 12:30:54 AM
DAY 19 - QUEENSTOWN

It's an early start to the morning for us today, we need to drive to Queenstown which is about an hour away so that we can take a ride on The West Coast Wilderness Railway train. As i mentioned previously, we wanted to do this tour out of Strahan where we are staying near but it doesn't operate that service on weekends, so we need to drive to Queenstown where the train departs from and returns back to on it's weekend run. We've made the call to buy our breakfast when we get to Queenstown, we'll get something from the local bakery or whatever shop we find open, so it's fingers crossed we find something open there early on a Sunday morning.
We try not to make to much noise as we leave camp this morning, pretty much everyone camped here is still asleep. We pass back through Strahan without stopping and then hit the very windy road that runs between Strahan and Queenstown. Both our daughters have never been great travellers when it comes to the windy roads, they get that from their mother who used to get car sick all the time when we first started going out many many moons ago. Our eldest daughter has pretty much grown out of it now, but our youngest is starting to feel sick in the back seat as we drive the windy road, so she's handed a sick bag that we keep in the side pockets of the vehicles door for just such an occasion. Eventually the windy road takes it toll and our youngest ends up vomiting, luckily though it's all in the sick bag, so there's not really any mess to clean up. I radio to Jeff that i need to pull over, so as to let our youngest get out of the vehicle and walk around a touch. Right at that moment there's a turn off to a lookout on our righthand side, so i wheel the vehicle into there and we take a short break from the driving. What starts out as a bit of a pain with the car sickness thing, turns out to be a minor blessing really. Looking down into the valley below from the lookout we are stopped at, we see a lovely sight of fog blanketting the entire valley below. We take a few pics of this, and with our youngest feeling a touch better, we jump back in the vehicle and head off again for Queenstown.

THE VIEW FROM THE LOOKOUT WE STOPPED AT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1723_zpsskkkx5nb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1723_zpsskkkx5nb.jpg.html)

The rest of the drive into Queenstown from here is uneventful, we meet up with Jeff and Sara in town after telling them to continue on when we stopped earlier at the lookout. Jeff and Sara inform us the bakery is closed, and the only place open this morning is the takeaway shop, so we head inside there and try and order something for brekky. Inside the shop is one guy running the place on his own, there's a couple infront of us who are also placing an order for something to eat, so the shop owner takes the order and starts to cook it for them. I would have thought the shop owner would have then taken our orders also as he cooked the food for the other couple, but he's obviously not used to doing multiple orders at once, and we need to wait quite sometime until he comes and takes our orders. Eventually the shop owner has ours and Jeff and Sara's orders taken also, there's only us 2 families and the previous couple i already mentioned to cook for at the moment, but the guy is pretty overwhelmed with this lot and takes forever to get it all cooked (it was mostly just toasted bacon and egg sangas he had to make). The guy running the takeaway shop was quite a nice person, but he's obviously not used to cooking more then one or 2 things at a time from what we've seen this morning, so if you're looking to get a feed before jumping on the train, i'd suggest you get here early or maybe make your own before coming.
Brekky eaten we drive the vehicles down to the carpark area at the train station. Hopping out of the vehicles i am surprise to see it's a metered carpark they have here, we pay the fee and put the paperwork on our vehicles dashboard so as not to incurr a parking fine. Now i'm not 100% on this fact so don't quote me on it, but i'm pretty sure there's no other parking meters in Queenstown other then at this particular train station (which is only a tourist train ride, no other trains run from here). It would appear as though the local council sees the tourists trade solely as a money making venture at any opportunity then can get, something that doesn't wash well with me. We've already shelled out a couple of hundred dollars to go on this train ride today, not to mention the groceries we bought in town here the other day and the breakfast we purchased here this morning also. The parking fee isn't a huge sum to have to pay, but it irks me they have put this one and only metered carpark in the town here, as they know it's where the tourists park to catch the train from. My whinge now done...lol...we walk over to the station and grab our pre-booked tickets, and then board the train just in time for it to depart

THE TRAIN WE ARE GOING ON TODAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1726_zpsfsrkbadd.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1726_zpsfsrkbadd.jpg.html)

The train track we are travelling on today is a reconstruction of the original Mount Lyell Mining Company railway route that operated here back in the late 1890's, originally when it was opened, it was the only link between Queenstown and Strahan. The track operated right up until 1963, but rising maitenance costs and improved alternate road routes brought about an end to the lines usage. The last train to ever run this line before it's closure in 1963, was actually the first train to ever run it back in 1897. Of the original 5 steam locomotives that ran on this line, 3 are still used today in the running of the tourism venture, one is on display in the Tasmanian Transport Museum, and the other one was scrapped and used as parts for the other 4 locos.
Due to the steep gradients the train line runs on in places along the route (the steepest being a 1 in 15 gradient or 6.67%), the railway utilises what is called the Abt rack and pinion system. Basically this system is a toothed rail line that runs between the outer running rails, the trains are fitted with one or more cog wheels or pinions that mesh with this rack rail and give a constant drive to the train with no loss of traction as it climbs the steep hills.

THE TRAINS RUN ON A RACK AND PINION RAILWAY SYSTEM

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1787_zpsgoq6lioc.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1787_zpsgoq6lioc.jpg.html)

There's a couple of different options you can take as far as where the train runs to when doing this trip. During the week the trains run from Queenstown right through to Strahan or vice a versa Strahan to Queenstown also, but on weekends like todays trip is, it only does a half distance trip running out of Queenstown only. Todays train ride departs from Queenstown and stops off at Lynchford and Rinadeena stations for  the train to take on water to run the steam engine and for us to have a look around also, before then reaching the station of Dubbil Barril where it takes on more water once again and then turns around (literally), before heading all the way back to Queenstown where the train ride ends. On the run back to Queenstown from Dubbil Barril station we'll stop off at Rinadeena station one more time to take on even more water once again, but that is the last time the train stops before reaching it's final destination back where it departs from in Queenstown.
To be honest.... i'd have loved to have done the entire trip all the way through to Strahan on the train, i have a feeling the most scenic part of the trip we miss out on seeing today, which is likely where the train runs beside Macquarie Harbour as it nears Strahan.... but not having done this part of the ride, i am only speculating here.

THE WEST COAST RAILWAY LINE ROUTE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1754_zpsyokosttk.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1754_zpsyokosttk.jpg.html)

Departing Queenstown the train slowly trundles out of town tooting it's horn as it crosses over several local suburban streets, there's a few onlookers at each crossing standing by the line giving the train a friendly wave as it goes by...i mean who doesn't love the sound of a steam train after all. The locomotives that run on this track today no longer run on coal as their fuel source, the engines were converted back in 1953 to run on waste oil instead, a much cheaper fuel to purchase to help with keeping down the costs of running these trains..
As the train makes it's way to each station, a running commentary is given by staff members along on the ride, they rope in a few passengers to help tell the story of how the Mt Lyell Mine came to operate and the history of the train line also, it's all light hearted and entertaining stuff. Before we know it we are pulling up at our first stop of the day at Lynchford Station, we get off the train here and have a look around the place, and take a few photos as usual. Out the back of the station here they have also set up a mining sleuth like set up, where you try your hand at a bit of gold panning.

LYNCHFORD TRAIN STATION

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FAMILY PIC INFRONT OF THE TRAIN

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THE TRAIN READY TO DEPART LYNCHFORD STAION...ALL ABOARD!!!

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Pics taken and water taken onboard the train, it's time to head off for Rinadeena station. Along this section of track we start to climb a few of the steeper slopes the rack and pinion set up was designed to help with, it doesn't feel that steep sitting in the train, but as my phone shows, we are definately climbing at the moment. We soon reach Rinadeena and hop off the train once again, some morning tea is able to be purchased here if you're quick enough, the old cash register they have here on the counter is something straight out of a museum.

PHONE SHOWING THE CURRENT GRADIENT WE ARE CLIMBING

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RINADEENA STATION

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Back in the train once again and the views along the way in some areas are quite spectacular, as we cross the King River it's hard to imagine this spot was once a popular weekend get away destination for people of this area, hundreds of people would make the trip here together to spend a day out at the river....the train ride home in the afternoons could apparently get quite rowdy with many intoxicated people aboard the train.

CROSSING OVER KING RIVER

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LOOKING UP KING RIVER GORGE

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Before long we have reached our turn around point at the station of Dubbil Barril (it's pronounced double barrel). The loco takes on more water once again, before unhitching from the carraiges and backing up down another line to a turn around point, where the train drivers then have to hop out of the loco and physically turn around the turn table the train sits on, so that the train can then back up and rehitch to the other end of the carraiages for the return journey back to Queenstown. Whilst here at Dubbil Barril station there is also a short walk you can do to check out the trestle bridge you just crossed over as you come into the station. We do the walk to check out the trestle bridge, and arrive back at the turn table just in time to watch the guys spin the loco around.

TRESTLE BRIDGE AT DUBBIL BARRIL STATION

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TRAIN TURN TABLE AT DUBBIL BARRIL STATION

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LOCO DRIVERS SPINNING THE TRAIN AROUND...MUSH GUYS...MUSH!!!

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OUR GIRLS GET TO STAND IN THE LOCO FOR A PIC

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INSIDE THE LOCO...I'VE GOT NO IDEA HOW THIS STUFF WORKS MYSELF...well i know the basic principle of how the steam engine works, but that's about all.

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1784_zpsehyyyzch.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1784_zpsehyyyzch.jpg.html)

THE ENGINES NO LONGER RUN ON COAL, BUT WASTE OIL INSTEAD..SO NO CONSTANT SHOVELLING REQUIRED

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As we arrived at Dubill Barril station earlier, i noticed a passenger had been lucky enough to get a ride up front in the loco with the drivers, so after the train reconnects to the carriages for the journey back to Queenstown, i approach a driver and ask how one goes about being lucky enough to get a ride upfront with them. The driver looks at me and replies, all you have to do is ask, which is what i then do. Much to my disappointment though, because i am wearing shorts i am told i am not allowed upfront due to the possibilty of radiating heat from the furnace burning my legs, had i have been wearing long pants however, i could have jumped in there with them....so make sure if you take this train ride, you wear long pants if you want to ask about a ride upfront with the drivers.
We depart Dubbil Barril and have an uneventful run back to Rinadeena station where the train stops to take on more water, we hop off the train here once again, but it's not long and you get the trains whistle telling you get back aboard, as it's about to leave.
From Rinadeena station there's no more getting off the train until we get back to Queenstown, the train will make a very quick stop at Lynchford station to pick someone up, but it will only be stopped a few minutes before it gets going again. As we head to Lynchford station, one of the lady staff members on the train comes up to me and asks if i was the guy who asked about riding upfront with the drivers back at Dubbil Barril, it appears the drivers have had a change of heart about me coming upfront with them, and when the train next stops at Lynchford station, i'm to come with her and she'll take me upfront for the final run into Queenstown. The train stops at Lynchford station and i make a quick trip with the female staff member from the back of the train to upfont in the loco. We then depart Lynchford station staright away for the final run back to base. Riding up front i don't find it hot in there at all, i'm sure there is a possibilty of you getting burnt if you did something wrong, but in general it's not that hot  that my legs could burn i find. It's interesting listening to the 2 drivers talk to each other about the loco as we drive along, "i don't like the sound of that" one says to other as they listen to a knock coming from the engine. For this afternoons customers going on the same journey we have taken today, it means disappointment for them that this loco needs to go in for repair work,  they won't have a steam engine pulling their carriages along the track this afternoon, but they will have another loco to do the job, just not an original steam powered one.
We finish our journey back at Queenstown where i thank both the drivers for letting me ride upfront with them, we pay the gift shop a quick visit whilst here also, but don't purchase anything. It's now lunch time, and we decide why not walk across the road to the Empire Hotel located here and have a counter meal..which is exactly what we do. The Empire Hotel is a grand building indeed, we order our lunch and whilst waiting for it to be cooked, we have a look around inside. Located inside the pub is one of the most amazing staircases you'll likely see, it is a National Trust listed staircase made from Tasmanian Blackwood, and it takes you up several flights and landings to access the accomodation that is available here on the upper floor. The pub itself is showing it's + 100 year old age a touch, the architecture is stunning none the less, and we enjoy our lunch whilst watching the Aussie cricket team on the telly dominate India once again.

NATIONAL TRUST LISTED BLACKBUTT STAIRCASE AT THE EMPIRE HOTEL

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With lunch eaten Leanne wants to restock our food supplies some more before we head off to our next destination, i drop her at the grocery store and go for a drive around town to do some sight seeing. I head back to beside the train station to start with, as located here is a big monument that shows just how poud Queenstown is of it's mining past. Sadly for me there wasn't any water running in the fountain that is located here, the sculpture work done in the statues is quite nice, but it would have looked so much better had the fountain been in operation. I take a few pics here and then head off to take some photos of a house we passed by on our train ride earlier today...i'll let the pics talk for themself on this one

MONUMENT BESIDE TRAIN STATION, DEDICATED TO QUEENSTOWNS MINING PAST

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2818_zpsm9af1haf.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2818_zpsm9af1haf.jpg.html)

THIS STATUE IS AT THE FAR END OF THE NON WORKING WATER FEATURE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1811_zps3cedy8ws.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1811_zps3cedy8ws.jpg.html)

IT WOULD HAVE LOOKED MUCH NICER IF THE WATER HAD OF BEEN RUNNING

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1812_zps0ykkudtf.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1812_zps0ykkudtf.jpg.html)

THE DETAIL IN ALL THESE LITTLE "LILLY PAD" TYPE CASTINGS WAS AMAZING..EVERYONE WAS DIFFERENT AND DEPICTED MINING SCENES

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1813_zpsansptjzw.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1813_zpsansptjzw.jpg.html)

THE HOUSE WE SAW FROM THE TRAIN EARLIER TODAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1814_zpsvdqqdwpi.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1814_zpsvdqqdwpi.jpg.html)

COMPLETE WITH BEER CAN TREE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1815_zpsv5hpwlcs.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1815_zpsv5hpwlcs.jpg.html)

Pics taken of the house i start to head out of town towards Strahan direction,  we'd passed by here several times now previously and i'd noticed some old relic on display, so i thought i'd come have a look at what it was. Located here on the edge of town is an old electric underground loco, it's defiantely seen better days, and is slowly rusting away outside here in the elements. I take a few pics as usual and head back into town to go pick my wife and groceries up.

OLD ELECTRIC UNDERGROUND LOCO

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2817_zps4jcn7mrb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2817_zps4jcn7mrb.jpg.html)

Meeting back up with Jeff and Sara once again, we have decided that on the way back to camp we'll try and stop off just outside of Queenstown to have a look at a wood stave water pipeline that is supposed to be located here. We'd spoken to the artist Greg Duncan at the Wall of Wilderness about this wooden pipeline, and when he asked where we were headed to next, he mentioned that located at the Lake Margaret Power Station was a section of the pipeline we were asking about. Greg mentioned the possibility of a gate being locked and this stopping us from accessing this locaction, but we thought we'd go for a look anyhow and see what we'd find.
We head out of town towards Strahan direction and drive past the turnoff we'd normally take to head to Strahan itself. Not far past this turn off we turn right off of the highway at a sign mentioning Lake Margaret and end up on a dirt road, we drive through an open gate here and eventually we end up a few kilometres down the road at a locked gate that stops us driving any further. We know we must be relatively close by to seeing what we want to see going on our GPS's, but we know we aren't allowed past this spot so turn around and head back out onto the highway. As we reach the highway i notice a sign on the first gate we went through saying we weren't even supposed to proceed past that point. It appears from my further research since returning home, that if you want to view this power station and wood stave pieline here, you need to do a tour, and it costs $60 and adult and $30 a child.
Not giving up on seeing the wooden pipeline, we turn right onto the highway and drive down the highway for some distance, before we turn right onto Anthony Main Rd. We can see on our GPS's that this road skirts around the edge of some of the surrounding lakes, and hope that maybe we might manage to see what we want to see from somewhere along this road. It turns out to be a complete waste of time as we drive some distance down this road, we turn around at Lake Plimsoll and head back towards Strahan. On the side of the road where we turn around Sara notices a red flower she'd seen earlier elsewhere, we stop to grab a pic of it before continuing on our way back towards camp.

THE RED FLOWER WE STOPPED TO PHOTOGRAPH

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1818_zpsbt0bxmqc.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1818_zpsbt0bxmqc.jpg.html)

We make good time back to Strahan and then split from Sara and Jeff, they head back to camp to start getting dinner ready whilst we stop in at the laundromat to do a few loads of washing. With that job done we head back to camp ourselves to rest up after a big day out. Back at camp and the quad bike riders are hooning about the place once again, we can't wait for the sun to start going down, because as soon as this happens they all disappear back to their campsites. I'll say it once again... they have many tens of kilometers of beach to ride on around here, yet for some reason they don't stray more then a few hundred metres away from where everyone is camped to hoon around on the beach...wtf is with that?
The sun sets and we finally have our peace and quiet back, dinner had and a few drinks consumed around the fire once again and it's time for bed. As my head hits the pillow some drunken yobbos nearby decide it's time to set off a few fireworks, i hope this doesn't go on all night i think to myself, and thankfully it doesn't last long at all, before the quiet of the night returns once again. An uninterrupted nights sleep is had from then on which is a good thing, tomorrow we are packing up camp and heading for our next destination.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on May 31, 2015, 08:45:13 PM
DAY 20 - MACQUARIE HEADS TO ZEEHAN

It's a slow start to the morning today, as we lay in bed we hear a small thunder storm rolling through the campground, there's some thunder action happening but we don't get much in the way of rain out of it thankfully, so the canvas on the camper stays fairly dry. We eventually have brekky and pack the campers up ready to head to our next destination which is the town of Zeehan. As we are about to leave our campsite, i notice the campers across from us have finished their packing up and are about to leave also. Their vehicle is chock a block full of camping stuff and kids, and i wonder just where it is they are going to put their large garbage bag of rubbish that they have. As i start to drive off i see the fella is about to start walking with the rubbish bag as if he's going to carry it all the way to the industrial bins up at the caretakers house which is several hundred metres away atleast, and looking at the bulging rubbish bag i reckon it'll split open long before he ever gets the bag there. I pull up beside old mate and tell him i'll chuck it on the top of our camper to take it to the bins for him, but we need to double bag it first. Seriously, the bag was pretty heavy and i doubt this guy would have gotten 50 metres down the track before the bag split open, my main concern was he might have then just thrown the rubbish into the bush instead of doing the right thing, so i though best be safe just take it up there for him.
With the rubbish now double bagged and on the back of my camper we drive up to the caretakers house, we haven't paid for our camping stay yet, so we fix him up for the cost of that and throw the bags of rubbish we have in the large bins that area located across from here also. As we walk back to our vehicles we notice a fisherman at the boat ramp cleaning his catch, we go over to have a look at what he's caught, and he seems pleased with his mornings effort.

A RANDOM FISHERMAN CLEANING HIS CATCH AT THE BOAT RAMP

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1823_zpsqgnm6uiv.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1823_zpsqgnm6uiv.jpg.html)

Jumping back into our vehicles we head off towards Zeehan, we drive back into Strahan but don't stop there and make a turn onto Zeehan - Strahan Rd. Cruising along this road we stop off at a lookout on our righthand side somewhere, the views aren't to bad up here, but the overcast conditions mean no decent pics were taken. Somewhere along this same road we hit what we joked over the uhf radios to each other was, "The Longest Stretch of Straight road in Tasmania".....lol...geez it made a pleasent change from all the twisty roads we'd drive on of late. The run from Strahan to Zeehan is only a short drive of about 50 kilometers, it's not long before we reach the town, and we find the local caravan park and set up the campers for an overnight stay. With the camper trailers set up, it's now time for lunch.
We have our lunch and then jump in the 4wd's and head off to do a 4wd track about 10klms out of town that takes us to view Montezuma Falls. This 4wd only track is approximately 14 klms long and follows the old North East Dundas Tramway that was closed back in about 1930. Opened back in 1898, the old tramway route we drive on today originally comprised of a 2ft gauge line, it carried steam trains hauling ore between Williamsford and the smelters South of Zeehan. The track takes us pretty much all the way up to the falls themself, though there is a very short walk to do at the end to get to where you view it. At 104 metre drop, Montezuma Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in Tasmania.
We reach the start of the 4wd track and stop to air down our tyres, it's been raining abit of late and we aren't sure what we will be in for as we drive in here. The track itself isn't what you'd call difficult 4wding at all, it's really just a rough wombat holed muddy track with the odd small creek crossing along the way, but constant concentration and care should still be paid at all times, something that i learnt the hard way...we'll get to that in a minute though.
We drive through the track and after a while start to hear uhf radio chatter from some other vehicles already in the forest here somewhere,. We originally think they are headed to the falls just like we are, but eventually we meet up with them as they come towards us just after we've crossed one of the creeks i mentioned earlier. The track in most places is only one vehicle wide, just like right here where we currently are now, there's nowhere to pass each other. The other vehicles say there's nowhere to back up to where they've just come from, so we start to reverse back down the track to try and get out of their way. I find a spot on the side of the track and manouvre into it, it's deep mud where i've ended up in, so hopefully i'll be able to drive out once the others have gotten past us. Jeff however has to reverse back past me and down into the creek we just crossed over, if he takes the wrong line here it could end up badly, so i run back down the track and guide him down into the creek slowly. As we are doing this 2 more vehicles come up behind us headed for the falls, eventually the 3 vehicles going the other way get past us all, and we can continue on forward.

THE START OF THE MONTEZUMA FALLS TRACK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1827_zpsfujtxglg.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1827_zpsfujtxglg.jpg.html)

FOR THE MOST PART IT'S JUST AN EASY WOMBAT HOLED MUDDY TRACK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1835_zpsbkly46tc.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1835_zpsbkly46tc.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1839_zpsk4lzb5pp.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1839_zpsk4lzb5pp.jpg.html)

Now remember how i'd just written earlier that "constant concentration and care should still be paid at all times"?...well this has just come to bite me big time as we negotiate our way up out of one of the small creek crossings. Leading the way, i was looking at my watch and then looking at my GPS to see exactly where we were, thinking this trip to the falls is going take longer then the one hour time frame the sign at the start of the track says it will. I then come to a small creek crossing that has a bit of a tight lefthand turn in it, and an off camber muddy hill to climb out of the creek on. Not really concentrating to much on what i was doing, i start my climb out of the creek about 200mm to far to the left then what i should have done. All of a sudden the vehicle starts to slide left where i don't want to going, and instead of hitting the brakes i foolish turn the steering wheel hard right and give it boot full of accelerator thinking i'll just pop up to where i want to be. Well lets just say things didn't go anywhere near what i'd hoped they would do here, i managed to make it up out of the creek, but i ran off the track and slammed the front end of the vehicle into a fallen tree, the loud crack sound the vehicle made didn't sound good at all, but thankfully we'd now stopped moving and currently weren't going anywhere. I was just about to hit the lockers and try and reverse back when i decided no that's not a good idea, lets get out of the vehicle fist and see just what's happened here, and it's oh so very lucky that i made this decision. I radio up to Jeff and say i need some help up here, he can tell by the sound in my voice it's not good news.
Jumping out of the fourby it's raining quiet nicely now, i walk around the front of my vehicle and note the steering and front end still seem to be ok from what i could see of them, there's some minor panel damage been done for sure when the bullbar has smashed into the tree we hit, but as i peer my head further around the side of the vehicle i note things are much worse then i first thought, and i need to get the family out of the vehicle ASAP. Where i have ended up is right on the edge of a massive drop into the valley below where the creek we just crossed over drops into, my front passenger tyre is sitting in a massive hole with absolute no ground beneath it, and the only thing that has stopped us from going over the edge here to what most likely would have been a fatal accident, is the fact the vehicle is resting on it's side step / door sill on a mound of small fern trees. I get the family out of the vehicle straight away and then Jeff arrives at the creek to come help assess the situation. We eventually come up with a solution of how we are going to get the vehicle out of this predicament, and right about now would be a perfect time for the winch to be working on the front of my fourby, but as i have already mentioned several times previous in the report...IT"S NOT!!!!
Jeff engages his lockers and slowly drives up past my vehicle taking the line i should have taken, he turns his vehicle around infront of mine and we run the winch out to hook up to the front drivers side recovery point. Now remember the 2 vehicles that had caught up to us early...the vehicle behind Jeff has a winch on the front of his vehicle also, we park him up down in the creek we'd just crossed over, and run his winch out via a pulley off of a tree up a huge embankment behind the drivers side of my vehicle. Getting the pulley anchored up to the tree here was an effort in itself, the embankment was pretty much vertical and about 4 metres high, but thankfully the guy in the fourth vehicle was pretty athletic, and he managed to scale it so we could throw him the recovery gear to hook up. Now the plan we came up with here was to anchor the rear of my vehicle to the tree so it can't slide down over the hill, at the same time Jeff is going to pull the front of my vehicle back around onto the track, and whilst all this happens, i'll have front and back lockers engaged and slowly trying to give some help by driving out as required. This whole process wasn't a quick thing, we spent probably 20 - 30 minutes assessing just what we were going to do to recover the vehicle and running the gear out, add to that another 20 minutes atleast of one vehicle winching in whilst the other vehicle winched out at the same time, and eventually we manage to get my Cruiser back onto the track where it should be. Everyone is pretty wet by now with the rain that has been falling as we recovered the vehicle, we pack the gear up and i thank the 2 complete strangers who helped us with the recovery, before we all continue onto the falls.
NOTE...there's no pics of this recovery sadly, we were way to busy trying to get the vehicle out, and the rain falling at the same time meant nobody took any photos. Jeff did have his GOPRO running, but the battery went flat on it, so i think he's missed recording the recovery sadly.
I make sure the vehicle still drives ok at the start as i slowly make my way along the track, all appears to be good except some cosmetic damage, and before long we reach the end of the track where we park the vehicles up for the final walk to the falls. The walk to the falls is only a short one of a few hundred metres, you'll then reach a footbridge you need to cross over, if you're scared of heights i suggest you don't look down...lol. We cross the bridge and then turn right and walk up to the falls, we try and get some decent pics of the falls, but the rain that is now falling again is making this difficult. We eventually get some pics taken and then turn around and head back to the vehicles. With all that is going on today with the rain and the recovery, we clean forget to go have a look at the old trestles that once formed part of the rail line here. Where we turned right to go look at the falls you can turn left and walk down to see the old trestles, i'm not sure how far away they actually are, but we clean forgot all about them.

END OF THE 4WD TRACK... IT'S TIME TO WALK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1807_zpsy1mse2lr.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1807_zpsy1mse2lr.jpg.html)

THE FOOT BRIDGE YOU NEED TO CROSS OVER

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1803_zpsedxrhq5x.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1803_zpsedxrhq5x.jpg.html)

DON'T LOOK DOWN IF YOU'RE SCARED OF HEIGHTS...SERIOUSLY, IT'S A LONG WAY DOWN

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1511_zpsvjqwkv4y.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1511_zpsvjqwkv4y.jpg.html)

THE BRIDGE IS ONLY BUILT TO TAKE 2 ADULTS AT A TIME

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1805_zpspkvg9xbk.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1805_zpspkvg9xbk.jpg.html)

WET FAMILY PIC AT THE FALLS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1801_zpsjd2nten6.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1801_zpsjd2nten6.jpg.html)

MONTEZUMA FALLS...IT DROPS 104 METRES

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1514_zpspjfr7bqn.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1514_zpspjfr7bqn.jpg.html)

We head back to our vehicles and start the return drive back to the highway, we reach an intersection we passed by earlier on the way in, and toy ever so briefly with the idea of taking a different route back to camp. Being it's been raining quite a bit already and the afternoon is fast getting away from us, we decide that us not knowing what this route is like is a bad option to take, so we continue back along the same track we came in on. The drive back to the highway is an uneventful one, we reach the same spot where we deflated our tyres, and we reinflate them back up to road pressures once again. I walk  up to the guy who had the winch hooked to the back of my vehicle earlier and offer him $50 to say thanks for helping us out today, he'd run a heap of his gear out in the recovery process, and i just wanted to thank him for doing so. As is the case with many 4wd'ers, he says no thanks to money, he was happy he could help out, which is exactly what i likely would have said had the shoe have been on the other foot. I thank him one more time and other guy also who had helped us out, then they head off. It's only here that i really start to assess the damage that i did to my vehicle when i ran off of the track. The drivers side guard needs replacing now and doesn't line up with the bonnet at all, the drivers side head light has popped out of position and my guess is something that locates it is likely broken, and the bullbar appears to bent back / twisted slightly out of shape, and the panel that runs above the bullbar across the front of the vehicle needs replacing also. I don't know it now, but in a few days time when i go to open the bonnet on my vehicle, i'll have to bend the uhf aerial out of the way to be able to do this.... so that passenger side corner of the bullbar is pushed back quite substantially actually. At the end of the day it's all cosmetic damage to a vehicle that can always be replaced, had we have gone over the edge there however, i am certain several members of my family if not all of us could have been fatally injured, a pretty scary thought i think each time i stop and think about it.

AN ALTERNATE ROUTE BACK TO CAMP...WE'LL PASS ON THAT TODAY THANKS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1841_zpsm3t75a2e.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1841_zpsm3t75a2e.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1840_zpsevvihrpr.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1840_zpsevvihrpr.jpg.html)

SOME MUSHROOMS WE SAW GROWING ON THE SIDE OF THE TRACK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1843_zpsvmumh4wc.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1843_zpsvmumh4wc.jpg.html)

THE DAMAGE DOESN'T LOOK THAT BAD, UNTIL YOU START LOOKING REAL CLOSE AT IT, THEN YOU NOTICE ALL THAT'S WRONG

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1845_zpsmohgesoj.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1845_zpsmohgesoj.jpg.html)

Arriving back at camp we find the grass at out site is several inches deep with water. At first glance it doesn't look that bad to look at, but the minute you walk on the grass, it has water coming up out of it big time and your feet get absolutely saturated. I open the back of my 4wd to get a drink from the fridge and notice there's been more damage sustained today then i though, 4 cans of coke have also been lost, several of them exploding due to the vehicle bouncing around on the very bumpy track. I then clean the mess up in the back of the vehicle. It's a cold wet and miserable night, the grass all around our site is soaking wet also, so we don't have a very late night at all before heading off to bed where our nice warm heaters are running.

4 COKE CANS WERE LOST TO TODAYS BUMPY TRACK
(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1848_zpskdsvtyww.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1848_zpskdsvtyww.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on June 02, 2015, 11:14:13 PM
DAY 21 - ZEEHAN TO ARTHUR RIVER

It was a wet and windy night last night, we wake to a miserable morning and yet another small thunder storm rolls through our camp site just like it did yesterday morning as we lay in bed thinking about getting up. Unlike yesterday though, much to our surprise we get some small hail falling amongst the rain this time, thankfully it's bugger all though. We've got the diesel heater cranking away in the camper once again, and even though we've had rain overnight and early this morning, it's doing a pretty good job of stopping the canvas on the camper from being soaking wet....the canvas is slightly damp but not to bad. Eventually in between the passing showers we manage to pack our campers up, we've been watching the weather radar on our phones the past hour or so, and we knew a small break in the rain was coming, so timed it to perfection to get both our campers packed away before the rain starts up again. With the campers packed up we make our way over to the caravan parks camp kitchen where we have some brekky indoors, out of the cold wet conditions going on outside. Breakfast had, we then use the water tap on the side of the park owners house to fill our water tanks on the campers back up, where we are headed for to camp the next few days has no facilities at all, so we'll need to be fully self sufficent, stocked up on water and food etc.
Yesterday when we checked into the caravan park, Sara was told about some discount vouchers they can give you if you plan to visit the local museum that is located here in the centre of town, so we head over to reception and pick these up before departing the van park to go there. Originally we hadn't really planned on visiting the museum at all, but this morning we had a change of heart about doing that, and let me say now after having visited there, it is well worth stopping in at for a look around. The West Coast Heritage Centre which the museum is actually called... " incorporates the West Coast Pioneers' Museum. Attractions include photo galleries, locomotives, mining machinery, blacksmith shop, marine display, Masonic Display, crocite cavern, pioneer womens gallery, the historic Gaiety Theatre (Edwardian films playing daily) and a world class mineral collection. "
We spend a few hours looking around here, but if we didn't have young kids to try and keep amused we could easily spend twice that amount of time if not much longer, checking the place out. The heritage centre is absolutely huge, from the entrance on the main road it doesn't really look anywhere near as big as what it is, but once you enter the place, you soon realise there's many buildings here to walk through and look around in. As we walk around the outdoors area located at the rear of the centre, the rain starts to bucket down in yet another heavy shower, we seek cover inside one of the many buildings located here and continue on looking around. You may recall 2 days ago, we'd gone for a drive on the way back to camp from Queenstown to try and find the old wood stave pipeline at Lake Margaret, well as if to rub salt into the wound of us not being able to view what we wanted to see, when the rain does stop, we find a section of the old pipeline on display here in the heritage centre. It's only a small section of pipeline they have on display, but atleast you'll get an idea of what it was we were trying to go view yesterday. Aswell as the pipeline we find outside, inside the main building we find an old photo hanging on the wall of Montezuma Falls which we had visited yesterday. This old photo shows the trestle bridge complete with a train crossing over it, running right infront of the falls, pretty much were the pedestrian bridge is located that we walked over yesterday. It's amazing to actually see a train running so close to that massive waterfall, not something i'd visualised at all on our visit there the day previous. Time is getting away from us as usual, so we call an end to looking around the museum and head back to our vehicles once again.
Hopping back into our vehicles, we drive down the main street to go to the grocery store and local bottle shop, to make sure we are fully stocked for the next few days of camping. As you drive down the main street of modern day Zeehan, it's hard to believe that this town once had approximately 10 000 people living here and also had 20 hotels located here aswell. Once know as The Silver City, this small town is a shadow of it's former self, it now has a population of less then 800 people, and there really doesn't appear to be very much at all going on around town at all these days.

SOME OF THE BEAUTIFUL ARCHITECTURED BUILDINGS IN THE MAIN STREET OF ZEEHAN

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THE ENTRANCE TO THE WEST COAST HERITAGE CENTRE

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WHAT IT NORMALLY COST FOR ENTRY TO THE MUSEUM IF YOU DON'T GET A DISCOUNT VOUCHER

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AN OLD PHOTO SHOWING A TRAIN CROSSING INFRONT OF MONTEZUMA FALLS

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SOME OF THE TRAINS ON DISPLAY HERE

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KRAUSS LOCOMOTIVE.... this loco sat in a local park in the town of Devenport for 18 years before it was donated to this museum, it is believed to be the loco that travelled up and down the main street of Zeehan back in 1907

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A SECTION OF THE WOODEN STAVE PIPELINE FROM LAKE MARGARET

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A SECTION OF HUON PINE TREE ON DISPLAY HERE.... the tree this section belonged to was estimated to be 2190 years of age, it's diameter at the base of the tree was 2.7 mtrs, and the tree was estimated to be 33.5 mtrs in height
 
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Heading down to the local convenience store i need to fuel up before we leave town also, i pull into the servo and am surprised to see that it doesn't have anyone working here at all, it's fully automated and you just need to swipe your card to use it and select which fuel pump you are located at. We don't have this type of set up back home, we do have fuel bowsers you can use your card at if you want to, but i don't ever recall there being an entire service station that doesn't have anyone working at a console inside the station atleast....well none that i've been to anyway. Vehicle refueled we head down to the convenience store and restock on the food supplies, before ducking next door to the hotel and restocking alcohol supplies aswell. It's now lunch time and the weather being what it is, we can't be bothered making lunch in a park anywhere, so stop into the local snack bar and grab some hot food to go. We jump back in our vehicles and head off, eating our lunch as we go. As we reach the end of town, my wife suddenly exclaims that she didn't pay for our food before we left the store, so i spin the vehicle back around in the opposite direction, and we go back to pay for what we had "purchased". Back at the store and the people running the shop were oblivious to the oversight of not paying, i'm sure some people might have just kept driving and not gone back to pay like we have, but i'm a firm believer in what goes around comes around...so i can only hope the good karma bus will stop by my place one day in the future sometime.
Back in the fourby once again we leave Zeehan for a second time, we head North on Heemskirk Rd for about 35 klms before taking a left turn to head towards Corrina. About another 12klms further on down this road and we come to the Pieman River. Located here at the river is the Fatman Ferry, we need to cross the river on this ferry service, and we need to pay a fee for doing so aswell. Now here's something you need to be aware of if you plan to ever visit this area, the ferry is not very big and has a size limit for what it can carry, it has a 6.5 T weight limit which shouldn't be a problem for most people, but the main thing you need to know is, that it has a wheel base limit of 9.0 mtrs...so if you're towing a trailer like we both are doing, then you need to make sure from the front of your vehicles front wheels to the back of trailers tyres, is under 9.0 mtrs in length. We'd already checked these measurements before we left home for this trip, as we knew we were coming this route to get to our next destination. We both just fit on the ferry with the wheel bases that we have, Jeff is pretty close to the maximum limit they allow, but the main thing is he's under the 9.0 mtr mark. Jeff being in the lead goes on the ferry first, it's one at a time for the crossing, you pay the operator when you're on it and crossing over to the other side. The cost for our vehicles with the trailers onboard is $25 for a one way trip. The cost may seem expensive for the short distance the cable ferry travels across the Pieman River, but let me tell you this now after having done the part of the drive we are just about to embark on now.... the scenery along the Western Explorer Road is absolutely beautiful and well worth paying $25 to be able to get to here.

CROSSING THE PIEMAN ON THE FATMAN

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I ACTUALLY TOOK THIS PIC AT THE OTHER END OF THE WESTERN EXPLORER ROAD, BUT TAKE NOTE OF THE LIMITS FOR THE FATMAN
FERRY

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Once you cross the Pieman River you land in the township of Corrina, we make a quick stop here for Jeff to try and get a "I Rode the Fatman" ferry sticker, because he didn't see them for sale on the ferry like i did, and thus missed out on purchasing one. With no luck in getting what he wanted in the tiny store that is located here, we push on for the next 100 klms of driving we have to do along The Western Explorer Road.

A RANDOM OLD FUEL BOWSER I STOPPED BESIDE, WHILE JEFF RAN INSIDE THE SHOP TRYING TO BUY A STICKER

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Leaving Corrina behind us, we embark on what i reckon was one of many major highlights of our Tasmanian trip. Driving The Western Explorer Road is spectatcular as far as the surrounding scenery you drive through goes, it's a mostly gravel road that at the time we drove on it was in very good condition. The road twists and turns it's way through the Arthur-Pieman conservation area for nearly 100klms, and it climbs up and down some pretty steep sections of road in places also. I have never had to shift back to 1st gear to climb a hill whilst towing my camper trailer on a decent road ever before, but the steepness of some of the hills we encounter along this route had me shifting back to first gear on several occasions. Thankfully though, the climbs are only short and before you know it you are over the top and on your merry way once again. As we drive this route i mention to Jeff over the uhf radio about how much this area reminds me of the Victorian High Country, i'll say now though that i haven't actually ever been there myself, i'm just going off of all the photos i'd seen of the area in peoples trip reports previously. Jeff who has been to the Vic High Country himself agrees with me back over the uhf, the twisty roads that wind their way through the alpine landscape here are very much like some of that area indeed. The weather isn't the best as we drive this road and it showers on off a few times along the way, it's not heavy rain mind you, just enough to be annoying really.

THE WESTERN EXPLORER ROAD...SOME OF IT'S BITUMIN AT THE START

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BUT MOST OF IT ON THE WAY TO ARTHUR RIVER IS GRAVEL

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THERE'S SOME SHORT STEEP HILLS TO CLIMB ALONG THE WAY

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AND THE WEATHER WAS A TOUCH ORDINARY IN PLACES FOR US TODAY

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BUT THE SCENRY ALONG THE WAY WAS SPECTACULAR AND WELL WORTH DOING THIS DRIVE FOR

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About 9 klms from the end of the Western Explorer Rd we pass the turn offs for the iconic Balfour Track, we are thinking about driving it in the coming days, though we're not sure if we will do it or not just yet. We jump out of the vehicles here and take a quick pic of the track before continuing on our way.

THE BALFOUR TRACK

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Reaching the end of the Western Explorer Road we stop to take a few more quick pics once again, before turning left for the final run to Couta Rocks which is where we'll be staying the next few nights. Before leaving on our trip, Jeff has been in regular contact with a member of the Bradden 4wd club, they are a local 4wd club to this area, and they have kindly offered to show us around these parts whilst we are here. The main reason for getting in contact with this club was due to our planned drive to Sandy Cape in the coming days, the beaches around these parts are known for having quick sand in them, so we were after some local knowledge of the area to ensure we don't fall victim to it.
The remaining drive to Couta Rocks is pretty uneventful, we stop one more time as we near the ocean to get a pic of the view that is infront us, before then managing to find fairly easily where the Bradden 4wd club is camped for the New Years break. We say a few quick hello's and introduce ourselves to various members of the club, and we then find a suitable spot to set up the campers. With the campers set up we join the Bradden club around their fire for a few drinks as we get to know each other, they all seem like nice down to earth people, so hopefully we'll have a good time hanging out with them in the coming days.
Dinner is had and then a few more drinks consumed around the fire that night, before we all eventually head off to our beds

ONE LAST STOP FOR A PIC OF THE VIEW

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CAMPED WITH THE BRADDEN 4WD CLUB

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on June 03, 2015, 10:46:28 PM
DAY 22 - COUTA ROCKS

It's a lazy day we have planned for today, so being we've got nowhere to be, we fire up the stove and cook a lovely hot breakfast of bacon and eggs for a change. After breakfast Jeff and myself then go for a drive to the nearest township which is Arthur River to get some camping and 4wd permits. As we leave our campsite we make a quick stop off to look at a couple of buildings we passed by on the way into camp yesterday arvo, located here we surprisingly find a toilet block with a flushing toilet inside of it in one building, it's not the cleanest most modern toilet block you'll ever find, but it'd be fine for using by the looks of it. We take a few pics of the surrounds here and then head off into Arthur River, which is only about a 10 - 15 minute drive down the road. Arthur River is a tiny township with a population of a touch over a 100 people, and there's not a lot here in this town. The town consists of holiday houses, a National Parks office (which we are headed for now) and a tiny take away / convience store that doesn't have a lot in the way of supplies...so don't come here expecting to able to buy whatever you need in the way of groceries etc, because they likely won't have what you want. Basically the store sold loaves of frozen bread and had a few small shelves of tinned food in it from memory, so not much there at all. The town itself is split into 2 halves, this is because the Arthur River flows out to the sea at this location, and the town has been built either side of this river. Connecting the both sides of the town together is a longish single laned bridge that spans the river, you need to make sure nobody is coming in the opposite direction before you enter onto the bridge to cross the river, or you'll soon be reversing your vehicle backwards as it's only the one lane wide.
Besides the river and the ocean that are located here, the township of Arthur River has one little tourist attraction located in it, and it's called The Edge of the World. We'll be visiting this spot in the coming days when we have our families with us, but basically it's a plaque by the oceans edge, informing us that we are now looking out over the longest uninterrupted expanse of ocean on the globe. I'll explain more about it when we visit here in the coming days though.

OUR HOSTS FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS ARE...

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A RANDOM BUILDING NEAR OUR CAMP AREA

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Arriving at the National Parks office we need to obtain a couple of permits, first of all we need to get our camping permits and pay the fee for them, it's $6 a night for 2 adults and the kids are free, or $30 for a weekly camping permit. Whilst here we also need to obtain a vehicle permit for our drive to Sandy Cape in the coming days, it's $30 for a monthly permit, so we purchase this one also. When we first caught the ferry over to Tasmania, whilst on the ship we purchased our National Parks Vehicle Holiday Pass, which allows us access into Tasmania's National Parks. These passes cover your entrance into the parks for an 8 week period and can be purchased online, or on the ferry at the information room (like we did), or in Tasmania itself from a large variety of info centres and National Parks offices....the cost of the holiday pass is $60. I mention this other pass now, as it doesn't cover you for when you drive to Sandy Cape, you need to purchase a seperate permit which we have just done now at this National Parks office.
The female Ranger serving us at the office here is very friendly and chatty... and when i say chatty, i mean chatty!!!. We were inside this office for about an hour and a half whilst getting these 2 permits, the lady kept grabbing information stuff for our kids to colour in and getting them stickers etc etc, and then she kept asking us questions about this and that, and we just couldn't get away from her...a lovely lady non the less, but very hard to get away from.
Whilst inside the office here, it's not hard to notice some of the great taxidermy that they have on display of the local wildlife. Mentioning this to the Ranger, she informs us that the eagle and the quoll that they have on display here, were sadly killed in car strike accidents. The eagle is hanging from the ceiling and is absolutely massive in it's wing span, my photo does the bird no justice at all, it's a truely beautiful looking creature they have on display here. The quoll is sitting on display on the front counter, it's an animal we don't have back home where we live, so to see one in the wild here would be an awesome experience, but i don't like our chances of that actually happening on this trip.
We eventually get the permits we require and thank the Ranger for her time, before heading back to camp.

EAGLE HANGING FROM THE CEILING AT NATIONAL PARKS OFFICE

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HERE'S A SIGN YOU'LL ONLY FIND IN TASMANIA

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Arriving back at camp and find the Braddon 4wd club have been the perfect hosts whilst we were away, some of their club members have been taking our kids on quad bike rides. I know i went on about these vehicles back at Macquarie Heads and how annoying they were, but the 4wd club members here aren't like the crowds we encountered back there. The club members here aren't about hooning around the campsites or anywhere nearby, they respect the campers (currently the only people camped around here are club members anyhow) and they ride very slowly about the place so as not to annoy anyone, it's a nice change to see actually. They don't have a helmet small enough to fit our youngest daughter, so she just gets a short trip around the camp site basically, but our eldest daughter is lucky enough to be lent a helmet from one of the club members wives, so she gets to be a passenger as they go for a spin down onto the beach and back, something she really enjoyed a lot apparently.

OUR KIDS WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO GET A RIDE ON THE QUAD BIKES

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Being we were at the National Parks office for so long, it's now lunch time already. We make some lunch and then get ready to head down to the beach for the afternoon. Where we are camped doesn't have any water views, we are set back behind the dunes with protection from any wind that may spring up, which is what this area is renowned for, and it's something we'll experience in the coming days actually. After lunch i deflate the tyres on my 4wd to 15 psi, as the sand on the beach South of camp is quite soft apparently, so hopefully this pressure will keep us out of any trouble. We head out with the Braddon club onto the beach, the first section of sand is fairly firm and pretty deceptive off what is about to come, as we head South along the beach we soon hit the soft sand we'd been warned about. Running the lowered pressure that i am we crooze through fairly easily though, the side slope of the sand was more of an issue IMHO, and had the rear of the vehicle slipping downhill as we drove along. We don't travel far from camp and soon park up at a headland to enjoy the next couple of hours doing not much at all, we enjoy a few quiet drinks whilst watching some members from the Braddon club try their luck fishing, but with no success. As the afternoon rolls on we eventually call time on our lazing by the ocean, and then head back to camp.

NOT A BAD SPOT TO SPEND AN AFTERNOON

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1833_zpsxzbeiywn.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1833_zpsxzbeiywn.jpg.html)

THE HEADLAND WE STOPPED AT ON THE BEACH

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1834_zpssb6nsdjx.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1834_zpssb6nsdjx.jpg.html)

SOMETHING THE WIVES WERE DRINKING ON THE BEACH

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1528_zpsuz8rmwrk.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1528_zpsuz8rmwrk.jpg.html)

Back at camp and we soon have a fire going in the large fire ring the club has here, we are enjoying a few laughs when a mayday call is heard over the uhf radio from some other club members, to come rescue some bogged vehicles in the soft sand i'd mentioned earlier. I jump in Paul's 4wd with him and Jeff jumps in Michaels 4wd also,  we head down to the beach to help rescue the vehicles before the ocean soon claims them. As we are recovering the 2 vehicles that are bogged here, Michaels 4wd also gets bogged aswell, we've managed to free the 2 originally bogged vehicles using a snatch strap, and now it's just Michaels vehicle that is left in the soft sand. We end up lowering Michaels tyres down to 5 psi and he eventually drives out of the soft sand, we head back up to camp once again, and spend the reast of the evening around the fire, seeing in the New Year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR...IT'S NOW THE YEAR 2015
We don't have too late of a night ourselves tonight, tomorrow Rodney from the Braddon club has graciously volunteered to be our guide and take us to Sandy Cape, so around 1.00 a.m we call it a night and head off to bed.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on June 06, 2015, 09:33:25 PM
DAY 23 - SANDY CAPE

We sleep in a touch this morning after staying up last night to see the New Year in, and are woken by Jeff banging on the canvas of our camper telling us we are leaving in half an hour to go on our drive to Sandy Cape. Rodney from the Braddon 4wd club has kindly agreed to spend the day showing us around an area he is very familiar with, a gesture we very much appreciate.
We quickly get dressed and stepping outside note it's a miserable day weather wise, there's showers of rain all about the place currently, so spending the day inside a nice warm vehicle probably isn't a bad option for today. We grab some brekky on the run and it's time to hit the road for the day, it's just 3 vehicles going on the drive (us, Jeff and Rodney), the rest of the people back at camp are opting for a lazy day after a pretty late night had by some of them last night.
We head back to the main road at the entrance to camp and turn right to head for the tinny coastal township of Temma, the rain starts to fall heavy for a short period of time as we drive along, and then eases up and clears a touch as we reach the town itself. To call this place a town is probably a bit misleading, it's basically about a dozen houses only, located around Temma Bay. The bay is a sanctuary for the fisherman from the at times wild ocean out front of the bay, there's a couple of impressive sized boats we see here sitting up on large slipways that are used to pull the boats up on in bad weather. We park our vehicles on a vacant land area looking over the bay and hop out for a quick look around, and to take some pics. It's hard to imagine this tiny hamlet was once home to 700 people who worked in the tin mine township of Balfour, it even had a horse-drawn wooden tramway that connected Balfour to this port.
We take some pics and hop back in our vehilces to continue on our drive.

WELCOME TO TEMMA...pic taken on the way home that arvo when the weather was better

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2032_zpsxl46baxc.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2032_zpsxl46baxc.jpg.html)

A FISHING BOAT PULLED UP OUT OF THE WATER ON A SLIPWAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1947_zpsxpwrrhtv.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1947_zpsxpwrrhtv.jpg.html)

Leaving Temma and we soon reach the end of the good graded road and start on the 4wd track to Sandy Cape, from here on you need the vehicle permit we purchased from the Rangers station at Arthur River the other day to allow access to this area. The track itself is pretty easy 4wding, though having Rodneys local knowledge is invaluable, and he knows which water and mud holes to avoid as we drive along, some of them are much deper then they first appear to be (sometimes there's muliple short tracks to choose from that end in the same location).

SANDY CAPE ACCESS TRACK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1949_zpsaxxwdwcl.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1949_zpsaxxwdwcl.jpg.html)

PLENTY OF THESE SORTS OF WATER HOLES TO NEGOTIATE ALONG THE INLAND TRACK AT THE START OF THE JOURNEY...they have a hard base but some are much deeper then others

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1950_zpsxnrypcst.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1950_zpsxnrypcst.jpg.html)

I am surprised at just how much inland track driving we do as we head to Sandy Cape, i've never looked at a map to see where we are going today and just assumed we'd be doing a heap of beach driving on the way to there, but this isn't the case first up. Eventually we end the inland part of the start of the trip and pop out onto a headland looking out over the ocean, we park the vehicles up on one headland and Rodney proceeds to point out different landmarks to us. It's only a short stop here and we are back on the go once again. From here on it's the beach driving i was expecting the majority of this trip would be, the rain is falling on and off as we drive along, the day is pretty miserable at times. Heading down onto the main beach run we pass by a sign warning of the dangers this beach can pose, the quicksand we know this area is infamous for is mentioned in the warning, and hopefully with Rodneys local knowledge we'll avoid that completely.

WE EVENTUALLY POP OUT AT THE OCEAN FROM THE INLAND TRACK DRIVNG

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1956_zpsreart0pr.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1956_zpsreart0pr.jpg.html)

HEED THE WARNINGS, THIS BEACH HAS CLAIMED MANY A 4WD OVER THE YEARS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1958_zpsrqdsdyay.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1958_zpsrqdsdyay.jpg.html)

A BIT OF A MISERABLE DAY AS WE DRIVE THE BEACH TO SANDY CAPE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1959_zpsopcyqjf8.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1959_zpsopcyqjf8.jpg.html)

We drive along the beach for a while and circle right around a bay until we can go no further driving on the beach, we pull up for another look around and the weather is finally starting to improve a touch. A few more pics taken here, and we jump back in the vehicles once again for the short drive from here to the Sandy Cape Lighthouse. We head up off the beach along a sandy track that takes you through the dunes, it's not far and before we know it we have reached the lighthouse. We park the vehicles up and do a short walk to it for another look around and more photos once again. This lighthouse located here is not what i expected to see by any means, i was thinking it would be the old style grand looking type of lighthouse similar to what we visited earlier on our trip at Bruney Island, but this lighthouse is nothing at all like that. This lighthouse is more of a small ugly looking beacon then a grand old building IMHO, i'm sure it does just as good a job as the the type of lighthouse i expected to see here would do, but it's a touch disappointing to see such a simple structure located here when i expected to see something so much nicer looking. Ugly looking or not, the location of this lighthouse is certainly not disappointing, the 270 degree views out over the water from this location are worth the effort alone to come visit here. The combined colours of the local flaura, red rocks and ocean all combine to paint a beautiful scenic picture, and best of all the weather is improving by the minute aswell. We spend a short while here looking around and taking more pics before moving on once again.

FAMILY PIC AT THE SANDY CAPE LIGHTHOUSE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1987_zps13lqyvds.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1987_zps13lqyvds.jpg.html)

A NICE VIEW HAD FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1847_zpsalmo68a5.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1847_zpsalmo68a5.jpg.html)

I WOULDN'T WANT TO BE HERE ON A WINDY DAY THOUGH, AS BEAUTIFUL AS THE AREA IS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1848_zpsujjy0i9y.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1848_zpsujjy0i9y.jpg.html)

Continuing on from the lighthouse we pop down onto one last beach before we once again end up on a bit of inland track driving. Having Rodneys local knowledge of the area here is invaluable, none of the tracks we are driving on show up on my GPS, so if we didn't have him leading the way we'd have no idea where we are headed at the moment. There's various tracks running off in all different directions, to where we don't know (i'm sure Rodney knows though), the track we are driving is a touch overgrown in places and the old bush pin stripe action starts to happen. It's not to far and we are soon stopping off at our lunch stop location for the day. The Sandy Cape Cattlemans Hut is our lunch stop, a hut the local 4wd club people have built here to act as a safe haven, should you get caught out stuck in this area and need to get out of the weather. Inside is a fireplace to help keep you warm and a couple of simple beds to lie on and a kitchen bench of sorts... it's a very basic set up, but one that may well save peoples lives if they need to use it, with the extreme weather conditions this West Coast area often encounters.

POPPING BACK DOWN ONTO THE BEACH FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1999_zpsjmbsqxuo.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1999_zpsjmbsqxuo.jpg.html)

WHERE WE ARE AT THE MOMENT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2001_zps9wbllhge.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2001_zps9wbllhge.jpg.html)

HEADING BACK INLAND ONCE AGAIN

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2002_zpsvgsf2k0j.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2002_zpsvgsf2k0j.jpg.html)

TODAYS LUNCH DESTINATION

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2006_zpsd4u0nneg.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2006_zpsd4u0nneg.jpg.html)

SANDY CAPE CATTLEMANS HUT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2003_zps4hqmnmxd.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2003_zps4hqmnmxd.jpg.html)

We spend a bit of time having lunch at the hut and then head off for the run home, Rodney takes us on a few other tracks on the run back towards the lighthouse, and even points out one particular location where he recently wrote a vehicle off at. The location is nothing special and there's no sign at all of the deep water that Rodney and another friend encountered here, in fact there's no sign of any water at all here. 2 vehicles were lost at this particular point, both victims of a large deep waterhole that normally doesn't exist here at all....so even the locals get caught out here at times it seems.
We push on and soon are stopping to check out what's left of the wreckage of a small plane that crashed here many years ago. I believe the plane was trying to take off from this area but was overloaded with it's catch of seafood, it never got into the air properly and promptly crashed. I'm not sure if anyone was killed in the crash or not, there's no signage here to tell the story of the crash, and i can't remeber what Rodney told us of the accident now.

THERE'S NOT A LOT LEFT OF THE PLANE WRECKAGE HERE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1849_zps6cf26vbz.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1849_zps6cf26vbz.jpg.html)

We push on from the plane wreckage and soon find ourselves dropping back onto the main beach we'd previously travelled earlier today as we headed to the lighthouse. I stop for a few pics along the way as we drive back towards camp, and Rodney takes us down a few side tracks to checkout various headlands we'd passed by on the run to the lighthouse.
Turning down one track called the Gannet Track, we end up on a headland overlooking the ocean once again. The water here like so many other places we've visited in Tasmania is crystal clear, so i grab a few pics of it to add to the holiday memory collection.

A RANDOM PIC ON THE RUN BACK TOWARDS CAMP ALONG THE BEACH

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1850_zpseihthjvk.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1850_zpseihthjvk.jpg.html)

ANOTHER RANDOM PIC AS WE START TO EXIT OFF THE BEACH

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2011_zpslxf7g4ak.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2011_zpslxf7g4ak.jpg.html)

HEADLAND AT THE END OF THE GANNET TRACK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1855_zpsxj7fq7oe.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1855_zpsxj7fq7oe.jpg.html)

THE WATER FROM THE OCEAN IS CRYSTAL CLEAR

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2017_zps5hjnigac.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2017_zps5hjnigac.jpg.html)

We head back to the main track we drove in on and continue our drive back towards camp. We pass a few vehicles heading towards the lighthouse direction along the way, but all up we'd have been lucky to have seen about a dozen other vehicles all day today.
As we near the end of the 4wd track we pass by a memorial that is located here, dedicated to a young 18 year old boy who tragically lost his life in a vehicle recovery gone wrong. I remember reading about this particular tragic event several years ago on various 4wd forums but had no real idea of where the incident occurred, it's a lesson to learn regarding how dangerous a snatch strap can be when things go wrong. Details of this sad event can be viewed here for those interested in learning more about it http://test.justice.tas.gov.au/magistratescourt/decisions/coronial_findings/s/stein,_joshua_phillip_-_2010_tascd_418?SQ_DESIGN_NAME=printer_friendly (http://test.justice.tas.gov.au/magistratescourt/decisions/coronial_findings/s/stein,_joshua_phillip_-_2010_tascd_418?SQ_DESIGN_NAME=printer_friendly)

HEADING BACK TOWARDS CAMP

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2026_zpsf66mdhti.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2026_zpsf66mdhti.jpg.html)

MEMORIAL TO JOSHUA

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2029_zpsi6jfkpo1.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2029_zpsi6jfkpo1.jpg.html)

We stop a few more times to take pics on the run back to camp, and when we do get back there i go for a walk to take a few more pics of the trees that surround our camp area. Looking at the vegetation that grows around these parts, you can tell the weather gets pretty extreme here regularly, strong winds are pretty common for this area which is why we aren't seeing big tall trees around these parts, the vegetation is more of low shrubs or these types of trees we have around our camp area. Pics taken, i return back to camp where we spend the rest of the afternoon / evening sitting around the fire having a few more drinks and laughs, before calling it a night and heading off to bed.

THE TYPES OF TREES THAT SURROUND OUR CAMP AREA

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2036_zpsishtcng5.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2036_zpsishtcng5.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on June 18, 2015, 10:03:43 PM
DAY 24 - ARTHUR RIVER

It was a very windy night last night, where we are set up has us sheltered from the worst of the wind, but Jeff and Sara are a touch more exposed where their camper is located, and the buffeting they copped last night meant they didn't get a lot of sleep. We have another lazy morning and then our 2 families jump back into our vehicles once again and head back towards the Western Explorer Road. Right now we are headed to the old township of Balfour, there's not a lot to see here apparently, but we're keen to go for a look none the less. We turn right onto the Western Explorer Rd and then head back to the turn off i've mentioned previously for the Balfour Track. The photo i posted from the other day of the Balfour Track, is the section of track that runs from the Western Explorer Rd to Temma (where we visited yesterday going to Sandy Cape). We however aren't driving that section of the Balfour Track today, we are turning left instead and heading in the other directing, which is where the old township was located. Speaking to the guys from Braddon 4wd club yesterday arvo, they say the section of the Balfour track we are giving a miss is just a heap of deep water holes to drive through, and that one particular hole was halfway up the windscreen of a 200 series Landcruiser last time they drove it. They mention that if you stick to the main track the base is usually fairly hard in the waterholes, but whatever you do don't venture off of the main track, or you'll get seriously bogged. We thought about doing that drive but decided against it, we just couldn't see the sense in risking possibly flooding a vehicle when we still have over 3 weeks of holidays to spend touring around in Tasmania. We are a touch disappointed we don't decide to do the drive being it's one of those tracks you tick off of your list as having done, but we prefer to play it safe these days, knowing we still have a long way to tow our trailers whilst on our holiday.
We turn left onto the Balfour Track and head towards the old township of Balfour, immediately there's several waterholes to drive through, though nothing that appears at first glance to be deep. Not knowing what is coming up on the track, i jump out and lock the front hubs back in on my 4wd, it turns out to be a good move actually, not because of any waterholes, but there's a nice little hill we need to climb up over along the way, and it's not something i'd try and drive in 2wd. Before reaching that hill we come across a convoy of 7 vehicles coming in the opposite direction towards us, we've met them on a single laned section of track with a big drop off down a hill beside us, so there's nowhere to pass each other. Jeff and myself have to reverse a short distance back up the track to find a spot for these other vehicles to get by us, the lead vehicle in their group is driven by a complete knob who can hardly wait for us to get out of his way before he goes around us, and doesn't even say thank you or give as a wave to say thanks, but the rest of the group all show their appreciation and atleast smile and wave to us to say thanks.

DRIVING THE BALFOUR TRACK HEADING TO BALFOUR ITSELF

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2048_zpssj7lrwbg.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2048_zpssj7lrwbg.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2049_zpsiacsojhn.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2049_zpsiacsojhn.jpg.html)

We don't really know where we are going as we drive along, and we eventually find ourselves at what looks like someones house / shack, half the place is open to the elements and there's a lone lady who seems to be living here. We don't realise it at the time, but we have just reached the old Imperial Hotel site that was in the township of Balfour. We say a quick hello to the lady living here and ask what's about the area to see, she tells us there's not much here, there's a cemetry up the track a touch further with not much to look at, and just some scattered mining stuff here and there also. We end up turning around here as the lady didn't really talk the place up at all, but after getting home i've done some reading up on the area, and i wish we'd of visited the cemtery instead of giving it a miss. I also beleive that across the road from this lady's house / old hotel site is a shrine to her son who died in a motorbike accident somewhere about the area, we saw the shrine but didn't really know what it's all about at the time, we actually felt like we were intruding in the lady's house so wanted to leave her alone. The old hotel was quite an interesting looking building, we didn't take any pics due to thinking it's someones house at the time and she was home, but i found a trip report someone else has done on the area, so will post the link to that as it has some pics of the building i am talking about aswell as the cemetry we didn't go to.
http://fourwheelsoffroad.com/?p=1816 (http://fourwheelsoffroad.com/?p=1816)
We turn back on the track we came in on and go have an explore down an off shoot track, we manage to find an old mine entrance of some description as we look around but don't find much else. It would have been nice to have someone with local knowledge here to show us more of the area and what's about the place. We call it quits looking around here and decide to head back to Arthur River, as we drive back out along the main track we came in on, i see a snake slither under Jeffs vehicle and pop out the other side behind his rear wheels as it crosses the track infront of me. I note it's description and mention the snake sighting to the Braddon guys when we get back to camp later in the day. Mentioning the snake sighting to Mick from the Braddon club back at camp later on, i don't get to describe it before he says... "if you had of seen a yellow belly on it, then it would have been a tiger snake".... which turned out to be exactly what i saw, as i had seen the yellow on it's under side as it crossed the track right infront of me. That's now made it 2 close calls Jeff has had with tiger snakes on the trip so far, it seems like he and his family attract the snakes to them....lol.

AN OLD MINE ENTRANCE AT BALFOUR

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2053_zpsglzykavg.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2053_zpsglzykavg.jpg.html)

From the Balfour Track it's an uneventful run into the township of Arthur River, we arrive outside the Rangers Station and notice the camp sites located across from here have been absolutely smashed by the howling wind that is currently smashing this area. Tents are flattened and camp chairs and tables over turned, the sight i see before me makes me appreciate just how well sheltered our campsite is from this wind, and shows how exposed the campground here is to it. It's a cool day outside so we decide to stop in at the tiny store across the road to grab some hot chips to have for lunch, we grab some to go and head for the lighthouse that is located a touch North of town at Bluff Hill Point. Arriving at the lighthouse the view from here out over the ocean is quite nice, though the wind is absolutely howling right now and we need to hide in behind the back of my 4wd to seek some shelter from it. Sheltering from the wind as best we can, we manage to make some ham and chip sandwiches and eat these whilst looking out over the ocean, the view certainly makes up for the current weather conditions we are encountering. The lighthouse located here isn't all that old really, it was built back in 1982 and replaced the 1916 built West Point Lighthouse that was located a touch further North from where we currently are.

BLUFF HILL POINT LIGHTHOUSE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2057_zpstfhhtlwr.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2057_zpstfhhtlwr.jpg.html)

Lunch eaten and we jump back in the vehicles and have a small explore of the area around here, we head down to some beach houses we can see off in the distance and then make our way back to Arthur River Township once again. As we reach the river we turn right down a track that takes you down to the river itself, we follow the "beach" that is located here out to the ocean and notice the sand being blown about the place like you are in a sand blasting cabinet. I try and capture the sand getting blown about the place on my camera as best i can, hopefully you'l see what i mean in the pic below. The power of the wind is probably more evident as you look at the water where the ocean and river meet, the waves are crashing in from the ocean from the West, but the wind howling from the East is blowing the top half of the waves back in the opposite direction. Looking across the river you can see the water sort of "erupting" from the wind that is hitting it. We drive around the corner a touch further and tuck in behind a headland that shelters us quite a bit from the wind, we let the kids have a play on the beach here for a while, letting them burn some energy off.

THE HOWLING WIND BLASTING THE SAND ABOUT EVERYWHERE, YOU CAN SEE THE WAVES GETTING BLOWN BACKWARDS IN THE BACKGROUND ALSO

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2059_zpsew65gca9.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2059_zpsew65gca9.jpg.html)

LOOKING ACROSS ARTHUR RIVER ITSELF, YOU CAN SEE HOW BAD THE WIND WAS TODAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2069_zps3ndi9h69.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2069_zps3ndi9h69.jpg.html)

TUCKED AROUND THE CORNER FROM THE RIVER, WE MANGED TO GET OUT OF THE WIND

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1867_zpspq0cnf5p.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1867_zpspq0cnf5p.jpg.html)

After a while we call time and load the kids back into the vehicles, our next stop is just across the other side of the river from where we are right now, it's at Gardiner Point and called "The Edge of the World"...basically it's just a plaque situated beside the ocean though.
The Edge of the World is so called this due to the fact that standing here and looking out West across the ocean infront of you, it's the longest uninterrupted expanse of ocean on the globe. From Argentina the currents sweep unimpeded more than halfway around the planet until they hit this particular point of Tasmania. Sadly though if you didn't know this fact already like we did, there's no signage here to explain it to you. It appears as though there may have been signage here once upon a time, but now there is nothing more then the plaque located here for you to take a picture of of, and a timber walkway.

FAMILY PIC AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2079_zpsmlezbl0j.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2079_zpsmlezbl0j.jpg.html)

THE PLAQUE ITSELF...on it are the words of Brian Inder, who was a "tourism pioneer" of  North Western Tasmania. On his property at Staverton near Lake Barrington he has established one of the world's largest maze complexes, called Tasmazia.

Quote
I cast my pebble onto the shore of Eternity.
To be washed by the Ocean of time.
It has shape, form, and substance.
It is me.
One day I will be no more.
But my pebble will remain here.
On the shore of eternity.
Mute witness from the aeons.
That today I came and stood
At the edge of the world.


(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2078_zpsbav6g0rr.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2078_zpsbav6g0rr.jpg.html)

From here we head back to camp and just chill the rest of the afternoon, the guys get a fire going in the fire ring much to my surprise with the wind that is still about at the moment, but it ends up being a pretty early night for most people as the wind is quite unpleasent still. I end up staying up atleast an hour and a half longer then everyone else does, as i want to make sure the fire is our properly before going to bed. Eventually i am satisfied there's no danger from the fire pit any longer, so call it a night and head off to bed.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on June 26, 2015, 09:15:09 PM
DAY 25 - ARTHUR RIVER TO STANLEY

Today is pack up and move on day, we've a great time hanging out with the people from the Braddon 4wd club the past few days, but it's now time to say our goodbyes and head North. We have a quick brekky and pack up the campers and spend a short while thanking our lovely hosts, before jumping into the vehicles and heading off towards Arthur River. We pass through Arthur River without stopping and continue driving North about 16klms along Arthur River Rd to the township of Marrawah. The phrase township is an overstatement though, the place consists of a tiny store a touch bigger then the one located back at Arthur River, and other then that there's not much else here other then a few houses. Marrawah apparently has the distinction of being the furtherest settlement from Hobart in Tasmania, we don't stop as we pass through this tiny township and continue heading North onto Harcus River Road. I assume the main industry out around these parts is the dairy industry, we see plenty of dairy cows about the place as we drive through some beautiful countryside on our run North, and as you head out of Marrawah you'll also see The Woolnorth Wind Farm on Cape Grim in the distance also.

LOVELY COASTAL VIEWS TO BE SEEN AS YOU DRIVE ALONG HERE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2100_zpsddfn1my4.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2100_zpsddfn1my4.jpg.html)

WOOLNORTH WIND FARM ON CAPE GRIM SEEN IN THE DISTANCE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2101_zpsk8kdzybf.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2101_zpsk8kdzybf.jpg.html)

THERE WAS PLENTY OF HAY BALES TO BE SEEN IN THE PADDOCKS ALONG THE WAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2104_zpswztasjou.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2104_zpswztasjou.jpg.html)

Just North of Marrawah the bitumin road ends for us for a short while, Harcus River Road quickly turns into a good gravel road and i need to back off from Jeff a touch to let the dust settle down so i can see where we are going. Part way along this gravel road Jeff calls me up on the uhf radio and tells me he's just hit a kangaroo, he asks me to stop and check to see that it's dead, so when i soon come across it lying in the middle of road i do just that. Pulling up beside the roo i'm wary as to whether it is actually dead or just stunned, i hop out of my vehicle and note it's head wound and think yeah it's a gonna, but i grab it by the tail at arms length and start dragging it slowly just to be sure it's not suddenly going to burst back to life and lash out at me with it's big clawed feet. I'm removing the roo from the centre of the track for 2 reasons, first of all is so no other vehicles hit it or have to swerve around it, as it was smack bang in the centre of the road and we don't want it causing an accident or any vehicle damage for anyone. The second reason i removed it was due to something a Ranger had mentioned to us the other day when she'd stopped in at our campsite to check if we'd paid our camp fees or not. The Ranger mentioned that by removing the roadkill from the roads, it also helped stop animals like the Tasmanian Devils from then getting hit by vehicles as they eat the roadkill that is sitting on the roads. Positive the roo is definately dead, i then give it the big heave ho and fling it off into the long grass as far off the road as i could throw it, before jumping back into the fourby and continuing on our way.

JEFF's BULLBAR 1 - SKIPPY NIL ....and that folks is why we fit bullbars to 4wd's

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2116_zpsdnhf9rju.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2116_zpsdnhf9rju.jpg.html)

I can't recall how far the gravel road runs North for before it eventually hits a T intersection at Woolnorth Rd and then turns back to bitumin, i'm guessing it was something like 30 - 40 odd klms, but i'm only guessing that distance now. When most people head North from the township of Arthur River they'd likely go via the Bass Hwy which you turn off onto just South of Marrawah, but if you're not in a hurry like us and want a nice scenic alternative, take the route we have just taken instead, it's quite a lovely drive to do.
At the T intersection where we hit Woolnorth Rd, we pull up on the lefthand side of the road to check out the old Woolnorth Station property gates, there's an information board detailing the properties past history, so we take the time to read this and check out the impressive gates and stone wall structure that is located here. These gates are purely for show nowadays, Woolnorth Rd skirts just around the edge of them now, but it's worth taking the time to stop here and have a read to learn a little about the property.

WOOLNORTHS FRONT PROPERTY GATES

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JEFF AND MYSELF READING THE INFORMATION BOARD LOCATED HERE

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Jumping back in the vehicles we take a left turn onto Woolnorth Rd and head for Woolnorth itself. We aren't sure exactly what we'll find out along this road, we know the Bluff Point Windfarm is located near the end of the it, but we just want to follow the road as far as we can to the top North Western Corner of Tasmanina and see for ourselves what is to be found here. As we drive along i spot a roadsign i've never seen anywhere else in Australia before, i've spotted plenty of Eagles feeding on roadkill over the years, but i've never spotted a roadsign warning us about it. I stop and grab a quick pic of the sign before continuing on once more.

EAGLE FEEDING SIGN ON WAY TO WOOLNORTH

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2124_zps8lbrataj.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2124_zps8lbrataj.jpg.html)

Looking around we are seeing plenty more hay bales in paddocks about the area, it must be hay baling time for everyone, as there's hay bales absolutely everywhere we look at the moment. We eventually reach a small pull in bay / side road on the edge of the main road, we turn off into it and note it's the entrance gates to the Bluff Point Windfarm. If you want to do a tour of the windfarm you can do so it would appear, but it's something you need to pre-arrange we think by the looks of it, so sadly we miss out on doing this ourselves. Information about doing a tour can be found here http://www.woolnorthtours.com.au/tours.html (http://www.woolnorthtours.com.au/tours.html)
We read the information boards located at a small hut here, which give technical details of the wind turbines and the wind farm itself, before hopping back in the vehicles and following Woolnorth Road further on as far as we can. Looking out into one paddock we see a heap of strange looking birds by a water trough, we stop to take a pic of them and think they are Cape Barren Geese, but we aren't 100% sure? We continue on a touch further and eventually reach the end of the road, the road does continue on a touch further on private property, but it's through a locked gate, so we turn around here and head back the way we'd just come.

PLENTY OF HAY BALES ABOUT THE AREA

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2117_zpsgztnxrrn.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2117_zpsgztnxrrn.jpg.html)

CAPE BARREN GEESE WE THINK?

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2120_zpsikmb63sb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2120_zpsikmb63sb.jpg.html)

MORE HAY BALES AND SOME OF THE BLUFF POINT WINDFARM IN THE BACKGROUND

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We head back all the way past the Woolnorth Gates where we'd stopped to look at earlier, and continue straight on towards the township of Montagu. We stop off along the way to here to take pics of a poppy field, something that is another big industry in Tasmania. Not many people might know this fact, but Tasmania is the world's largest producer of opium alkaloids for the pharmaceutical market, it produces roughly about 50% of the world's concentrated poppy straw for morphine and related opiates, and it provides 40% of the US market's legal opiate supply in the form of codeine, thebaine and other variants.
The varieties of poppies grown on these farms have been bred to create different alkaloids then the standard poppies, they have more toxic alkaloids straight up in the primary material and have been responsible for several deaths and even blindness of people who were foolish enough to steal some of them, looking for a free hit of some sort.

ONE OF TASMANIAS MANY POPPY FIELDS

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(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2129_zpsjkobwh4n.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2129_zpsjkobwh4n.jpg.html)

Continuing our drive East now, we push on through Montagu and soon take a lefthand turn off of the highway to go checkout a local campground. Montagu Recreational Reserve is the name of the spot we are stopping off for a look at, and we are blown away by the large number of people we find camping here. It pretty much resembles a refugee camp with the number of campers we see here, it's a complete contrast to the area we've been staying at the past few days, and not at all inviting at the moment we think to ourselves. Looking past the hoards of campers we can see why they like this particular location so much, in non school holiday periods i reckon this would be a fantastic location to spend some time at, being it's situated right on the water, but right now it's completely uninviting, so we don't spend very long here at all before moving on once again. One thing we did see though at this campground and found strange as we'd not seen it previously, was the way people were "fencing off" their campsites. These people go away camping to i assume get away from it all, but then need to drive star pickets in around their campsite, and erect a big hesian type fence barracade around themselves to get some privacy...a bizzare thing to see and not my idea of a nice camping experience. Each to their own i guess, atleast they are out there presumably enjoying themselves in the great outdoors, but this place was way to crowded for our liking.
We rejoin the main road and start to head Eastwards once again, before long we are in the town of Smithton and it's time to do some shopping to restock the food supplies. Smithton is a pretty decent sized town and thus even has a Woolworths store located in it, we stop in here and grab the supplies we need, before heading on down the road a touch to a local park, where we have some lunch and let the kids run around and play on the swings and slippery slide they have here.
Lunch eaten and play time over we are back in the vehicles for the final 20 klm run into Stanley which will be our destination for the next few nights. We haven't made any bookings for somewhere to stay as of yet, so we find the main caravan park in this small seaside town and enquire about getting a couple of powered sites for a few nights. Luck is on our side and we are allocated 2 sites beside each other with water views looking out over the bay, we quickly get about setting our campers up once again and then head on down to the beach that is here when the tide is out. We didn't really expect the kids to be swimming whilst on holidays here in Tasmania due to the cold weather compared to back home, but today is surprisingly on the hot side and the kids are straight in the water playing as if they were back home. The rest of the afternoon is spent doing not much really, we catch up on some laundry that needs doing and i get the fun job of emptying our chemical toilet out at the dump point located next to the public toilet block across from camp, some jobs just can't be avoided i guess...lol.

LOOKING ACROSS THE BEACH TO "THE NUT"....the most distinctive landmark in town

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KIDS HAVING A GREAT TIME AT THE BEACH

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Late in the afternoon a small storm rolls through town, though there's not much in it other then some rain and the odd rumble of thunder. With the storm clearing we then head down to Hursey Seafoods to grab some takeaway fish and chips for dinner, supposably the food here is pretty good, but i didn't find it anything special myself. After dinner as it starts to get dark, the lady who runs the caravan park is walking to her house located directly across from our campsite, and asks me if our kids want to see a penguin. Being they haven't seen a penguin in the wild before i immediately say yes, so she takes us into her carport and points out the one that is currently living under her house. The lady informs us that at around 11.00 p.m tonight there'll be a couple more penguins come up into her backyard, as they have made a burrow under the slab of her shed. When the penguins arrive we'll be able to hear them calling out to the penguin that lives under her house we are told, and a touch before 11.00 p.m this does actually happen. When i hear the penguins call out I wake the kids up who are asleep at this time and bring them outside to show them the other penguins in the backyard, it's a nice sight to see, and the best part is it's only metres away from where we are currently camped. With our penguin spotting done we then all head off to bed and call an end to the night.

WE BOUGHT DINNER FROM HERE

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THE PENGUIN THAT LIVED UNDER THE HOUSE ACROSS FROM US...no pics of the others sadly, it was to dark to do that.

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on June 27, 2015, 10:22:58 PM
DAY 26 - STANLEY

A crap nights sleep had lastnight, the water views here are nice but the openess of the bay leaves us to getting pounded by the wind should it be coming from that direction, and sadly it was. I get up around 2.30 a.m and add more poles and ropes to the campers tropical roof to try and stop it from flapping so much in the wind, it helps a touch but i still don't get a lot sleep after that still. We have a nice hot cooked brekky and a lazy start to the morning, our plan is to catch the chair lift up to the top of The Nut today, and we wonder if it will be running with the strong winds that are currently about. Much to our surprise whilst having breakfast we watch the chairlift swing into action, it appears the wind isn't bad enough to stop it from operating today, so looks like our plan A will still get a run. I know i mentioned in yesterdays posting that we caught up on laundry yesterday, but rereading my trip notes just now as i write this report, it appears as though this morning was spent catching up on laundry duties. I think that Sara managed to do her laundry yesterday actually, and this morning whilst her and Jeff take their boys to the Seaquarium just up the road a touch, we ourselves catch on on doing our laundry.
Sara and Jeff arrive back at camp around lunchtime, we all have a quick bite to eat and then jump in our vehicles for the short drive to the carpark area at the base of The Nut. As i mentioned in yesterdays posting, The Nut is the most destinctive landmark of Stanley, it's an old volcanic plug that rises to a height of 143 metres and is flat on top. There's a walking track you can do that takes you up to the summit of The Nut, or you can do as we are choosing to do today, and that's take the chairlift to the top instead. Once up the top you can do a loop track walk all the way around The Nut, it takes about 45 minutes to complete and whilst it does have a few up and down hill sections with some stairs along the way, it not real hard to do if you take your time. If you walk the track counter clockwise then you won't have the uphill climb at the end of your walk, the hardest part will be done first and be an easy run to the finish. The views from atop The Nut are quite spectacular, there's several lookouts you stop at along the way, some give views over the township below, others are out over Bass Straight. At the first lookout we stop at we get a beaut view of Stanley below and an aerial view of our campsite, from there we head inland a touch on the walking track, but as you progress along you'll pop out of the inland to the cliff faces seeing more magnificent views along the way. 
We complete the loop walk and then catch the chairlift back down to the carpark area where we grab some ice-cream cones from the kiosk that is located here...purely for the kids to enjoy i tell you...lol. The cost of the return chairlift ride was $40 for our family, you can choose to do a one way ride and walk the other leg of your journey if you choose, i think this cost $25 for a family to do from memory. The 4 ice creams cost us about $15, add in Jeffs families cost to do the same and we probably should have gone to the local supermarket down the road and bought an entire tub of ice cream and the cones instead, it would have cost us a lot less. Oh well i think to myself, we are on holidays and these small places need the tourist dollar to keep them ticking over, i'd hate to imagine what the public liability insurance costs for a business running a chairlift like this one we've just riden on.

LIKE THE SIGNS SAYS...WHY WALK WHEN YOU CAN RIDE

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THE WIFE AND OUR YOUNGEST ON THE CHAIRLIFT

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AN AERIAL VIEW OF OUR CAMPSITE...our 2 camper trailers are closest to the van park owners house pictured on the left

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LOOKING OUT OVER THE BAY THAT IS INFRONT OF OUR CAMP

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2173_zpstovdgsbk.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2173_zpstovdgsbk.jpg.html)

LOOKING FURTHER AROUND TO THE LEFT OF THE ABOVE PIC... LOOKING TOWARDS ROCKY CAPE AREA

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2176_zpsowwrrzft.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2176_zpsowwrrzft.jpg.html)

A BUTTERFLY I SPOT ALONG THE WALK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2175_zpsfb7oi6xr.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2175_zpsfb7oi6xr.jpg.html)

TRIG POINT MARKER OF 143 METRES AT SUMMIT OF THE NUT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2188_zps7j5b8dow.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2188_zps7j5b8dow.jpg.html)

STANLEY ISN'T A BIG TOWN, YOU CAN SEE ABOUT 2/3 OF IT IN THIS PIC

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2194_zpsundmnshw.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2194_zpsundmnshw.jpg.html)

SELFIE WITH OUR YOUNGEST ON THE RIDE BACK DOWN THE CHAIRLIFT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1892_zpso46wnbpz.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1892_zpso46wnbpz.jpg.html)

Ice creams eaten we jump in our vehicles and head over towards the Highfield Historical Site which is located on the Northern outskirts of town, about 1.5 klms away. Highfield House represents an important part of Tasmanian historic heritage, it was built back in the early 1830's for Edward Curr who at the time was the chief agent of the Van Diemen's Land Company, and today this site is an accurate version of a gentleman's home and farm of that time period. We stop off along the way just before reaching this location to get a nice photo of The Nut, just past this point we stop once again at an old ruin of some type to check it out also. Reading the signboard located here we learn that the ruin used to be a Convict Barracks that housed 41 convicts that helped establish Highfield. i'll assume the original building was some what more substantial in size then what we are seeing left here now though.

VIEW BACK TO THE NUT FROM HIGHFIELD

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2199_zpsvxswy0gs.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2199_zpsvxswy0gs.jpg.html)

CONVICT BARRACK RUINS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2209_zpsgbehn3ik.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2209_zpsgbehn3ik.jpg.html)

SAME RUINS FROM ANOTHER ANGLE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2211_zps5ybcwrzd.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2211_zps5ybcwrzd.jpg.html)

Highfield House costs $30 for a family to visit and is open from 9.30 am - 4.30 pm seven days a week during September to May, and from June to August the site is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 am - 4.30 pm, but closed on weekends. We arrive here right on 4.30 p.m so don't get to go inside the grounds for a look around as it's now closed. The old historic buildings you can see here from the road are well worth the drive out here to look at alone, so if like us your timing isn't great, make the effort to come look at the buildings from the road anyhow. We take a few pics of the old buildings from the road before continuing on past Highfield along Green Hills Rd.

OLD STONE BUILDINGS AT HIGHFIELD

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2213_zpsb3ckbyjz.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2213_zpsb3ckbyjz.jpg.html)

ANOTHER STONE BUILDING AT SAME LOCATION

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2215_zpstpfpme4s.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2215_zpstpfpme4s.jpg.html)

If you follow Green Hills Rd a short distance you'll come to an area that over looks what i think is called Perkins Bay, we note someone in a self contained motorhome seems to have found themselves a beaut free camp looking over the bay here. I'm not sure if camping at this particular spot is legal or not, but if it is,  it's a great camp spot for anyone in a similar set up. We follow this road a touch further and it appears to be going nowhere, so we turn around and head back towards Highfield once again. Before we reach there though, we turn right onto Dovecote Rd to continue our scenic tour of the area. Part way along this road you'll come to an elevated platform type of lookout, it's called The Nut Lookout and gives good views of both The Nut and Perkins Bay that we were at moments earlier. A few pics taken here and we follow the road back down to the Stanley Highway which is the main road you come into town on. We turn right onto the highway and head a short distance out of town to get a photo at a sign we saw as we drove into town yesterday. Pic taken we then drive back into Stanley for a quick look about town. Most shops are closed now being it's late in the afternoon, we are suddenly suprised to see a kangaroo hop straight out infront of us onto the main street of town, it quickly bounds a few shops down the street and ducks up a side alley to escape the cars and people about the area. We checkout the architecture of a few of the old buildings in the the town centre, before then making our way down to the dock area of town for another quick look around. Our look around complete we then head back to camp.

PIC AT SIGN ON OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN, ON THE STANLEY HIGHWAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1904_zpsl1kmwzlh.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1904_zpsl1kmwzlh.jpg.html)

ONE OF THE BUILDINGS WE LOOKED AT THE ARCHITECTURE OF

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2231_zpssihdiadu.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2231_zpssihdiadu.jpg.html)

Back at camp i park the vehicle up and then climb underneath it to try and find the source of a clunking noise i've been hearing coming from the front end of the vehicle of late. It doesn't take to much looking to find that the front swaybar is missing a bolt and bushing from it, so Jeff and myself set about dodgeying up something that will hold it back in place. Finding a nut and bolt to suit the job in my tool box is easy enough work, we then cut up a couple of different size rubber hoses we have to fill in where the bush is missing from also, it's not a perfect fit, but good enough to get me out of trouble until i can get a replacement part to do the job properly. Thinking back about it afterwards, i had been thinking the car was behaving differently on the road of late, the body roll in the vehicle on the windy roads was definately a lot worse then it normally is, so i should have put 2 and 2 together earlier, and i may have found this problem out days ago.
With the vehicle fixed i grab a drink and my camera and head down to the beach to try and grab a sunset pic or 2. The colours in the sky aren't fantastic, but i manage to grab a shot or 2 anyhow, then head back up to camp. Being we are leaving here tomorrow to head elsewhere, i pack up the annex of our camper so there's less work to do in the morning and so it's dry from not getting dew on it overnight. There's no fire to sit around tonight being we are in a caravan park at the moment, so after dinner it's an earlyish night for us all, time to catch up on some sleep after a lack of it the previous night

SUNSET PIC OUT FRONT OF CAMP

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2244_zps6mca0xmn.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2244_zps6mca0xmn.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on June 29, 2015, 10:54:50 PM
DAY 27 - STANLEY - GUNNS PLAINS WILDLIFE PARK

We wake to a nice morning, the suns out and there's little wind about. We take our time having brekky and pack up the campers, departing the caravan park around 10.00 a.m. The plan for today is to head to Gunns Plains Wildlife Park to stay there night, we plan on visiting the park tomorrow and they apparently have an area where you can camp there, so that's what we plan to do.
We drive out of town back to the Bass Highway and turn left onto it, heading East towards Devonport direction. There's no real plan today of where to stop off at, we're just going to follow the highway and divert to places that we like the look / sound of along the way. As we drive along we pass by Port Latta, the port is used to export iron ore from the Savage River mine, and the loading conveyers located here that run 1.6klm out to sea were actually visible from the "Welcome To Stanley" sign we stopped at for a picture yesterday afternoon. The Savage River mine is located almost 100klms away from Port Latta, the iron ore mined there is concentrated and mixed with water, then pumped through a 95klm long pipe line to the port, where it's then pelletised and loaded onto ships as they sit out at sea via the 1.6klm load conveyors. Pushing on past Port Latta we soon take a lefthand turn off the highway for a place called Rocky Cape. We follow the road to the end and find ourselves stopped at a small car park area beside the Rocky Cape Lighthouse, so we hop out of the vehicles here for a look around. The lighthouse was built back in 1968, reading the information board we find here it notes the flashing white light from it projects 27klms out to sea. This lighthouse is part of a network of lighthouse that dot Tasmania's shoreline of Bass Straight, there was another located at Highfield Point near The Nut where we were yesterday, and the next one is a touch further East of here at Table Cape. Walk past the lighthouse and you are then greeted with sweeping views out across the water, straight out infront we can see The Nut off in the distance, and looking to our right we can see a headland in the distance that i think is Table Cape.

ROCKY CAPE LIGHTHOUSE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2256_zpsvef3ww69.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2256_zpsvef3ww69.jpg.html)

THE NUT AT STANLEY IS VISIBLE FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2249_zps8idf0ic3.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2249_zps8idf0ic3.jpg.html)

LOOKING RIGHT, DOWN THE COASTLINE TO TABLE CAPE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2252_zpsq1vuzoir.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2252_zpsq1vuzoir.jpg.html)

Our look around completed here we jump back in the vehicles and start to head back along the road we'd just come in on, we'd passed by a small road leading off to the water on the way in, so we stop in here for a quick look around to see what we can find. Pulling in to our right we note the track is actually leading down to a boat ramp, we park the vehicles up once again and hop out of them. The rock formations we find here are pretty amazing to look at, be very careful as you walk around this place, because if you slip and fall over, the jagged sharp rocks located here would easily cut you open. Aswell as the jagged shape of the rocks to look at, there's some spectacular red colouring on the rocks also which is caused by lichen growing on them. The combination of the shape and colours of the rocks has has spending a while looking around here and photographing what we see.

CHECKING OUT THE ROCKS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2270_zpsstmgku3y.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2270_zpsstmgku3y.jpg.html)

BE CAREFUL YOU DON'T SLIP AND FALL....THE RED COLOUR SETS THEM OFF NICELY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2267_zpsg5jonipd.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2267_zpsg5jonipd.jpg.html)

MORE SHAPES IN THE ROCKS FOUND HERE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2271_zpshpawvlni.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2271_zpshpawvlni.jpg.html)

We finish our look around here and then have one more stop off in the area at another boat ramp, before heading back to the highway once again and turning left to continue our Eastward run. As we crooze along the Bass Highway we suddenly realise how it is that Santa gets around the country so quickly these days on xmas eve delivering presents, he's ditched the reindeer and sleigh in favour of a bloody huge motorbike instead...lol.

SANTAS NEW RIDE...excuse the quality of pic, it was hastily taken as we croozed by at 80kph

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2282_zpsfrzkglqr.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2282_zpsfrzkglqr.jpg.html)

Continuing on we soon spot a scenic route sign for the town of Wynyard, so we quickly take that exit to explore the area some more. We find ourselves winding through some country back roads and then come across more poppy fields like we saw the other day. We follow the road some more and eventually end up at a dead end road at the lookout of Table Cape. We hop out of the vehicles here for a look around, there's not only the view out over the water to see here, but right beside us is yet another poppy field. I take a pic of the Table Cape Lighthouse across the poppy field, before then going to check out the view from the lookout. The lookout sits 170 mtrs above the water of Bass straight below, on a clear day you can apparently see Low Head at the mouth of the Tamar River which is about 90 klms East of here. Today we can't see anywhere near that distance though, it's a touch hazy in visibilty, so i use a set of polarized sunglasses to try and help photograph the view.

TAKING THE SCENIC ROUTE TO WYNYARD

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2283_zpsk4gpon2v.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2283_zpsk4gpon2v.jpg.html)

TABLE CAPE LIGHTHOUSE, SEEN ACROSS THE POPPY FIELD AT CARPARK OF LOOKOUT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2289_zpsfyjhefob.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2289_zpsfyjhefob.jpg.html)

POPPY FLOWER

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2290_zpse6spena3.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2290_zpse6spena3.jpg.html)

USING SUNGLASSES TO SEE THE VIEW AT TABLE CAPE LOOKOUT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2291_zpstyerayra.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2291_zpstyerayra.jpg.html)

From this lookout you have 2 options of going to visit the Table Cape Lighthouse, you can do a 30 minute return walk there and back on a track that takes you down towards the water, or you can do as we are doing now, hop back in your vehicle and drive the short distance along a road to it instead. We drive the short distance to the lighthouse and hop out for yet another look around, this lighthouse is more the traditional shape you'd expect a lighthouse should be, which i guess is due to it being built back in 1888. Table Cape Lighthouse is the only operating Lighthouse in mainland Tasmania open for tours, it costs $25 for a family to do the tour, but childeren under 5 years of age aren't allowed. Due to having children with us under that age we have to give the tour a miss which was a bit of a shame, make sure your also weraing decent footwear also, there's no thongs (flip flops) or high heels allowed.
Located out by the front entrance gate of the lighthouse i notice a small fenced gravesite, i walk over to it and note that it belongs to the 1 year 2 month old son of the first lighthouse keeper, and he died on the 17th August 1888.
Also located out by the front gates here is one of the tulip farms that Tasmania is well known for. The spectacular display of colour these tulip farms put on when in flower needs to be seen to be believed, and there's just no way at all my picture i take today could give do the farm any justice.

TABLE CAPE LIGHTHOUSE
 
(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2306_zpshtnqvhbu.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2306_zpshtnqvhbu.jpg.html)

GRAVESITE OF FIRST LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS BABY SON

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2299_zpsrlsjr7yd.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2299_zpsrlsjr7yd.jpg.html)

ONE OF TASMANIA'S TULIP FARMS.....SADLY THOUGH IT'S THE WRONG TIME OF THE YEAR TO VIEW IT....Open for a short period only, around end of September – mid October

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2302_zps56zqmsna.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2302_zps56zqmsna.jpg.html)

From here we jump back in the vehicles and head off to the township of Burnie, i see a Toyota dealership as we come into town so pull in there to grab a new swaybar bush, sleeve and nut and bolt....and luckily for me they had exactly what i wanted in stock. We take the opportunity to refuel our vehicles here and then push on towards the town of Penguin. It's now lunch time so we are on the lookout for somewhere to stop at and let the kids have a run around and all of us a bite to eat. Jeff spots a sign saying Blythe Head at a roundabout on the highway, so we take that exit and end up at a lovely little spot down by the water where the Blythe River meets the ocean. As an added bonus there's a small playground here for the kids to play on, so we let them run wild whilst we make some lunch. Across the other side of the river we notice a family is set up at what i'm guessing is a free camp spot, the noise from the highway and it's passing trucks close by is a touch loud for my liking as a spot to camp at, but they have a huge beach area all to themselves, so i can sort of see why they might like staying there.

PEAK HOUR ON THE BASS HIGHWAY...LOL

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2309_zpswlibht76.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2309_zpswlibht76.jpg.html)

TIME TO MAKE LUNCH

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OUR LUNCH STOP WHERE THE BLYTHE RIVER MEETS THE OCEAN

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Lunch eaten and we head off via Sulphur Creek to the town of Penguin a short distance away, we need to grab a few last minute supplies before we head towards Gunns Plains, and this will be the last decent sized town before we start heading there. Penguin is a lovely little coastal town and home to the Big Penguin, it's street refuse bins are also decorated with ornamental cement fairy penguins aswell. Looking about the town i note there's some old buildings located here with their lovely architecture, so i take a few pics of them whilst waiting for my wife to get some supplies.

THE BIG PENGUIN

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2317_zpseanpdj61.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2317_zpseanpdj61.jpg.html)

YA GOTTA GIVE IT A HUG I GUESS...LOL

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2315_zps9euhgpfy.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2315_zps9euhgpfy.jpg.html)

ONE OF THE OLD BUILDINGS IN TOWN

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A MIXTURE OF NEW ARCHITECTURE UPFRONT, AND OLD IN THE BACKGROUND

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2313_zpsjwciqxvx.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2313_zpsjwciqxvx.jpg.html)

Crucial supplies gotten (it was mainly alcohol we needed to restock...lol), we start our drive South from Penguin to Gunns Plains. We arrive at the Wings Wildlife Park around 4.30 p.m to camp the night but the park closes at 4.00 p.m. We note other people are camped in a large field by a creek just as you arrive at the park, so we plan to head down there and find a nice spot with water views to set up camp at. Just as we are about to head down to the camp area we manage to find a staff member of the park who gives us the run down of staying here, there's a toilet block with hot showers also that we can use up at the park here, it's $6 per person per night to stay here, and kids 2 and under are free. With that info in hand we are told to pay for the camping tomorrow when we buy our entry tickets to the park, we then head down to the camp area to find a spot for the night. As we are parking the vehicles Sara finds a nice stash of firewood that had been rolled down the creek bank by previous campers, it's just what we need for tonight, so we stack it by an old fire spot in readyness to use later on. Whilst setting up the camper trailers the kids have a bit of a swim in the creek, and one of the park employees comes around and takes rego details of the people staying here the night. Campers set up, Jeff and i quickly jump under the front of my vehicle and fix the swaybar with the parts i grabbed from Toyota today, it's a quick fix to do and then afterwards i start to explore the campground. As i walk over to where the kids are swimming, i'm disappointed to see the crap that previous campers have left in their fire place. These people obviously put no thought into what happens after they leave with the metal that is left over from their sparklers and drink cans that has been thrown in the fire, the mess seen here really peeves me off....it's not hard to take your rubbish away with you when you leave!!!
With daylight still about we have some dinner, and as the sun starts to set we quickly get the fire going, the minute the sun disappears it cools down pretty fast. We spend the night sitting around the fire havng a few drinks, it's good to be out camping properly once again, after spending a few nights at the caravan park

OUR CAMP BY THE WATER AT GUNNS PLAINS / WINGS WILDLIFE PARK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1916_zpsimyrca1w.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1916_zpsimyrca1w.jpg.html)

PRETTY DISAPPOINTING TO SEE THIS MESS HERE THOUGH...the rest of the place was nice and clean though i'll add here

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1917_zpswwymm4aa.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1917_zpswwymm4aa.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on July 01, 2015, 09:56:34 PM
DAY 28 - GUNNS PLAINS TO LAKE GAIRDNER

It's a lazy start to the morning for us all today, as Wings Wildlife Park doesn't open until 10.00 a.m. We have some brekky then pack the campers up, and drive the very short distance up to the car park area of the wildlife park so we can have a shower before visiting the park (we didn't bother having a shower last night). According to my wife the womens showers were pretty good, but the mens showers are in a very old building and the water pressure was pretty poor...oh well, it's better then nothing as they say.
All freshened up right in time for the park to open, we pay our entrance fee and camping fee for lastnight also, before heading on inside the park. Cost of admission to the park is $20 for an ADULT & $10.00 for a CHILD (3-14 YEARS).

WHERE WE ARE NOW

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2393_zpsxsled9nv.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2393_zpsxsled9nv.jpg.html)

Now i'm not going to say i was blown away by this park, it's definately no Dubbo Zoo....but if you want to take your kids somewhere they can get up close to some Aussie animals, feed some kangaroos and pat a koala etc, then this is a beaut little park to just that at. We start by looking around inside the main covered building, the fish ponds they have here are great entertainment. We throw some of the food we've purchased to feed the animals into a fish pond, and the water suddenly erupts to life as the fish race each other to get something to eat, splashing water onto the kids who are up close peering into the tank. We do this a heap of times to entertain the kids, it's a simple thing to do but funny to watch everytime.
From here we head outdoors where there's one of the parks employees about to hold a talk at the koala enclosure. We arrive there just in time to hear the talk, and afterwards everyone there gets to pat the koala if they want to.

THE STAR OF THE KOALA SHOW

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The koala talk over we head off to explore the park some more. We venture over to the kangaroo enclosure, kids always love these places as they can get up close to the roos and get to feed them also. The kids are having fun feeding the roos, and we note there's a pretty large male roo here in the enclosure. Jeff and myself both have a turn at feeding this big fella, holding our hands up high and making him stand up tall to get to the food. Jeff manages to get him right up on his back legs and we are blown away by just how tall he is at full stretch, but come my turn to do the same thing, old mate roo won't have a bar of that action again. Trying to raise my arm up high the roo grabs a hold of my arm and firmly stops me from raising it, i'm pretty amazed at the strength this animal has in it's upper body as i try and continue to raise my arm up, but old mate roo holds firm and i quickly decide to not try and antagonise him any, as i don't want to upset such a powerful animal. The roo wasn't aggressive  at all to me at any stage during the time this was happening, had i of tried to push the point further then what i did, then i reckon there's a fair chance things could have turned ugly though. The power of that roo was awesome to experience, looking at it's upper body was like looking at a ripped body builder at a gym.

THE "RIPPED" ROO.... (photo does his muscle definition no justice at all). You can see he's literally holding onto my arm, stopping it from being lifted higher

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2379_zpsxjg90lgd.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2379_zpsxjg90lgd.jpg.html)

FEEDING ONE OF THE OTHER SMALLER ROOS AT THE PARK

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We leave the roo enclosure and check out several of the Tasmanian Devils they have on display, they have quiet a few of them here actually. We then explore the bird enclosure area and see a nice Wedgetail Eagle amongst many other birds, then we start to head back towards the main building. Over near where the koala enclosure was, we note they have  Meerkats...we spend sometime watching them dart all about the place, before then heading back inside the main building.

ONE OF THE TASSIE DEVILS AT THE PARK

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WEDGETAIL EAGLE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2384_zpsebb6c8li.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2384_zpsebb6c8li.jpg.html)

ONE OF THE MEERKATS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2361_zpstptsbkva.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2361_zpstptsbkva.jpg.html)

In a back room inside the main building is their reptile exhibit.... we spend some time checking out various snakes they have on display, thankfully there's a nice glass wall between us and several Tiger snakes i can see here. There's plenty of other animals to see at the park that i haven't listed, we finish our look around then make our way back to our vehicles so we can head off to our next camp for the night which is about 45 klm away.
Our next camp site we plan to stay at is a free camp called Lake Gaidner, Sara found it on an app the other day when she was looking at places to stay around Cradle Mountain, so we're going to head there now and hopefully it'll be a nice enough spot to stay a few nights. The roads we drive on as we head to our next camp are pretty windy and steep in places, one section of Spellmans Road i think it's called running between Upper Castra and Wilmot is very steep indeed. Signs on the road say it's not suitable for trailers, but smaller trailers like our campers are perfectly fine IMHO..... i wouldn't like to tow anything bigger/ heavier along this stretch of road though. The first steep section of the road here is downhill for us, we take the warning seriously and i'm back into first gear letting the engine do the braking on the way down, the signage warns this descent goes for a fair while, so it's slow all the way down and steedy as she goes trying to stay off the brakes as much as possible. What goes down then pretty soon has to go back up again, and it's back into first gear once more for a pretty steep uphill climb. We eventually exit out of this steep area and turn onto Wilmot Rd heading towards Cradle Mountain. Along the way we spot a pull in bay of sorts for a lookout viewing area that has a fantastic view of what we thought at the time may have been Cradle Mountain, but looking at a map afterwards i'm thinking it may well have been Mt Roland we were looking at instead.

THE VIEW OF MT ROLAND I THINK IT MAY HAVE BEEN?

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2395_zpspbfov5yu.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2395_zpspbfov5yu.jpg.html)

Pushing on from the lookout and we are soon passing through the tiny township of Moina turning right off of Cradle Mountain Rd onto Moina Rd about 1klm South of town. The turn off is right on a bit of a blind corner of the main road, so just be careful if turning here. Moina Rd is a gravel road, just keep following it to it's end, and you'll find the free campground on the right after crossing over a small timber bridge. There are no facilities at all at this camp area, so anybody choosing to camp here needs to be 100% self sufficient. We find a suitable spot perfect for our 2 campers right by the waters edge, we set up camp then have a late lunch. The rest of the afternoon is spent doing not much at all really, i do a walk around the camp area and scrounge up some left over firewood from previous campers fire places, then latter in the afternoon Jeff and myself go for a drive up the road a touch and collect some more firewood to help keep us warm tonight. Back at camp we just sit around looking over the water view infront of camp with a drink in hand having a few laughs about this and that, just as it starts to get dark we get the fire going and spend the evening sitting around it. No idea what time we actually head off to bed, not to early and not to late is about all i can recall.

OUR LAKE GAIRDNER FREE CAMP SITE FOR THE NEXT FEW NIGHTS

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on July 05, 2015, 12:05:56 PM
DAY 29 - CRADLE MOUNTAIN

We sleep in a touch today and wake to a pretty nice morning, even though the forecast was for drizzley rain. We have some scrambled eggs for brekky then get ready to head off to Cradle Mountain for the day. We are a touch concerned about leaving the campers unattended here, but i have a chat to the fella who's set up camp just over from us with his family, and he says he'll be here all day today and will keep an eye on our stuff for us, so that's a relief not having to worry about that whilst being out. From camp to Cradle Mountain is about a 40klm drive, we'd been advised previously to arrive here as early as possible, but don't get here until around 10.30 a.m. with our slow start to the morning. The reason for being advised to arrive early, is because the road leading to Dove Lake has a boom gate on it that they close at busy times to stop traffic grid lock on the narrow road that is here, there's not a huge amount of car park bays at Dove Lake either, so they limit the number of vehicles able to access the area at any one time. The road to the lake is single lane in many areas with small passing bays that you need to stop at to allow oncoming vehicles to get past you, and during peak periods they close the boom gate, and the only access to and from the lake is via a shuttle bus service that runs from the information centre which is located 2 klms before the National Park entrance gate. From that entrance gate, it's then a further 8klms to get to Dove Lake.

WELCOME TO CRADLE MOUNTAIN... if you look at the sign, the shuttle bus runs from the numbered 5 area which is the information centre. It's 2klms to the numbered 10 area which is where the boom gate is located, and then another 8klms from there to Dove Lake

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2431_zpshqwzheka.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2431_zpshqwzheka.jpg.html)

Arriving at the information centre we notice the car park is absolutely packed, it seems as though half of the population of Tasmania is here today. We park our vehicles and go inside the main building to try and see how this place operates. We find out that in order to catch the shuttle bus you need to have purchased a National Parks visitors pass, we'd already purchased these on the ferry at the start of our trip as we came from Melbourne to Tasmania, so all we need to do now is show them to the Rangers working behind the counter here, and they give us some tickets to ride the shuttle bus. We then head towards the shuttle buses and see a big queue of people waiting to get on them, we don't have time to wait as long as it will take to get on the shuttle buses, so we head back outside to our vehicles. I know i've mentioned the boom gates stopping access to the lake already, but first up this morning we aren't heading to the lake, we need to head to Cradle Mountain Lodge instead (numbered 9 on the map above). The lodge is located just before the park boundary and thus before the now closed boom gate, we need to head here to drop both the wives and my eldest daughter off, as the 3 of them are going horse riding this morning. On the way to Wings Wildlife Park the other day we made a few phone calls and booked the horse riding adventure for them, the ride goes for about 2 hours and costs $120 per adult and $95 per child (under 16 years old). We arrive at the lodge with some time to spare before they get picked up to go to the horse riding location, so we decide we'll go do a short walk located here called The Enchanted Walk, it's only just over a 1 klm in length and takes about 15 minutes to do. The walk is very easy going and mostly done on a boardwalk, if you do the circuit anti clockwise you'll finish up at a nice little waterfall which is located by the roadside just before you drive into the lodge car park area.

THE ENCHANTED WALK AT CRADLE MOUNTAIN LODGE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2411_zps8mgkc9gi.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2411_zps8mgkc9gi.jpg.html)

NICE LITTLE WATERFALL YOU SEE NEAR THE LODGES ENTRANCE ON THE WALK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2413_zpsottz99nc.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2413_zpsottz99nc.jpg.html)

With the walk completed we make a plan to meet up back here at a certain time and then say goodbye to the other 3. Jeff, Myself and other 3 kids then head back to the info centre to catch the shuttle bus up to Dove Lake.
I just now asked my wife how the horse ride was as i can't make comment on having not done it myself....she said the views were pretty nice along the way, and she seemed to like having done it. Asking my eldest daughter just now also what the ride was like was a complete waste of time, she reckons she can't remember to much about it...bloody kids hey...lol

OUR ELDEST DAUGHTER ON THE HORSE RIDE

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THE 3 LADIES ON THE HORSE RIDE, WITH CRADLE MOUNTAIN IN THE BACKGROUND

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1600_zps5nnz1ill.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1600_zps5nnz1ill.jpg.html)

Arriving back at the info centre, there's even less carparks here now then before for Jeff and myself to park in, we manage to find a couple of the last remaining car park spaces here and then park the vehicles up and walk up to the shuttle bus departure point. The line up for the bus hasn't gotten any smaller since we were here earlier, it takes about 20 minutes to get to the front of the line, but eventually we are on one of the buses heading up to the lake. As we pass by the boom gate that stopped us driving our own vehicles into the National Park, it quickly becomes obvious why they run the shuttle bus and boom gate system here that they do. On days like today with the amount of people they have in the park at the moment, the road to the lake would become grid locked due to how much of it is single lane. The shuttle bus drivers talk to each other over the uhf radios they have onboard, they then know where each other is in the park, and thus pull up at certain passing bays along the way and allow the oncoming bus to reach the passing bay before continuing on. There's several places to disembark the bus along the way to Dove Lake, you can do various walks of different lengths at these drop off points, but be warned....on a day like today when everyone else like us is heading up to the lake, there are no vacant seats on the buses, so they can't stop to pick you back up and shuttle you to your next location. You may have to wait at these spots for quite a while for a vacant seat to be available to continue on to the lake, or you may even have to jump on a bus headed back towards the info centre instead...we saw many people waiting at these locations and the buses just drive past without stopping, as they had no vacant seats onboard.
Arriving at Dove Lake we disembark the bus and head on down towards the water, it's a stunning day right now and there's people absolutely everywhere we look. There's several walks you can do here if you so desire, the most popular and easiest being a circuit walk of 6klms in length, it takes you right around the perimeter of the lake. We'd like to do this walk ourselves, but sadly can't with the 2 year old child we have with us....it's just be to far with it being that distance in length. A few quick pics taken here and we start to walk anti clockwise around the circuit track to the much photographed boat shed that is located on the lake. The boat shed was built in 1940 by the first Ranger at Cradle Mountain, Lionell Connell. The shed has undergone some restoration work in 1983, but it remains substantially unaltered from its original form. These days the shed is basically just a prop in the foreground of peoples photographs of Cradle Mountain, but up until the 1960's boating was actually quite a popular past time on Dove Lake, and thus explains the sheds existence.
Arriving at the water by the boat shed to get that iconic photograph many people have of Cradle Mountain, we are disappointed to see how much rubbish is scattered amongst the shrubs here from lazy grub tourists that can't be bothered doing the right thing and taking their rubbish out with them. To be in such a pristine place with a lovely view as we see before us, then see all this crap sitting in under the tree bushes really peaves me off to no end....i can't understand how people can come to such a beautiful place and then just throw their rubbish on the ground, thinking it must just magically disappear or something.
My rant now over...I wait and wait, and then wait some more... then eventually i finally get a chance to take a picture of the boat shed with no people in it. The circuit walk track actually passes right beside the shed, and with the amount of people at Cradle Mountain today, trying to get pics with nobody in them is a pretty tall ask. I eventually get the pics i am after and then have a quick snack to eat in the shade of a tree with my youngest. It's now already time for us to start heading back to the shuttle bus pick up point, so we can get to our vehicles and go pick the other 3 up from their horse ride. We haven't looked around here very much at all, but we plan to come back here later with the other 3, and hopefully the crowds will have died some by then.
The wait at the pick up point for the bus is not as bad as it was to come up to the lake, it only takes about 10 minutes wait this time and we are back on a bus headed for the info centre.

THE BOAT SHED AT CRADLE MOUNTAIN

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A WIDER VIEW OF THE LAKE AT THE BOAT SHED

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Back at our vehicles at the info centre, and we head on back to the lodge to pick the other 3 up. We haven't had lunch yet today and it's nearing 3 p.m already, so we park the vehicles in the car aprk of the lodge and head into the pub they have here to get a bite to eat. The women aren't back from their horse ride just yet, so we grab a beer and a burger each (juice for the kids though...lol) and wait for the others to arrive. Just as we finish eating lunch the others find us inside the pub, they haven't eaten lunch yet either, so order something to eat for themselves also.
Lunch finally eaten by all we head to our vehicles and then try our luck driving ourselves up to the lake. Luck is on our side, and the boom gate is now open, allowing us to continue on driving to the lake. We arrive at the lake and the ladies want to go visit the boat shed, being Jeff and myself have seen it already, we leave them to go in that direction around the lake, and we head off in the opposite direction to go check out Glacier Rock. The walk to Glacier Rock is pretty easy going, it's roughly about the same distance walk away as the boat shed was in the opposite direction, and before we know we have arrived there. The view out over the lake below is pretty stunning from a top the rock, but very careful up here if you have kids with you, as there's no protection at all to stop anyone from tumbling over the edge to the rock and water below. There's a small gate located at the entrance to the Glacier Rock area that has signage warning about the sheer drops here, so once you walk through that gate you'll need to keep a good eye on your youngsters.
We have the rock area to ourselves for a while taking pics and enjoying the view before the next lot of visitors arrive, we take this as being a sign it's time for us to start heading back towards the others, so we that's just what we do.

THE VIEW OVER DOVE LAKE WALKING TO GLACIER ROCK

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CRADLE MOUNTAIN AND DOVE LAKE AS VIEWED FROM GLACIER ROCK

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Arriving back at the car park area we meet up with the others and decide it's time to start heading back towards camp, Jeff and Sara head off first as they want to get some milk and a bottle of wine from a shop somewhere, and we leave a few minutes behind them saying we'd meet them back at camp. As we drive back towards the information centre, i stop off along the way and grab a pic of the starting point of the Overland Track, this is one of Australia's most famous walks, and takes hikers about 5 - 6 days to complete the trek. From this starting point it's a 65klm journey to Lake St Clair which is where the track ends, you may recall we'd visited this lake back on day 15 of this holiday. The Overland Track must be walked in a North to South direction, and is usually done between 1 October and 31 May, amazingly the record time for completing this walk is 7 hours and 25 minutes...i doubt the record holder took in much of the surrounding beauty along the way though.

START OF THE OVERLAND TRACK.....it's 5 - 6 day trek to Lake St Clair from here

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2430_zps5con8583.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2430_zps5con8583.jpg.html)

Back in the vehicle once again and we leave the National Park area behind us, as we get close to the info centre i see a car parked in the middle of the road blocking our lane. I get a clear bit of road from oncoming traffic and drive around the vehicle, thinking what a stupid place for someone to stop....no consideration at all for others!!!. Just a touch further on we catch back up with Jeff and Sara, who ask us over the uhf radio if we saw the wombat that was back down the road a touch, it's at the moment i then realise that's why the vehicle was stopped in the middle of the road where it was, and we'd just missed our opportunity to see our first ever wombat in the wild. Jeff and Sara had the wombat cross the road pretty much right in front of them apparently, by the time we'd come past the same spot it was down in a culvert by the roadside, so wasn't able to be easily seen and why i had no idea why the car was stopped there.
Wombat viewing opportunity missed, we continue on heading back to camp. Sara mentions to us on the drive back to camp that they'd stopped in at the info centre to try and find out where they could buy what they wanted in the area, the lady working at the information centre was pretty rude apparently, and absolutely no help at all. She then ended up at a backpackers place trying to buy the wine, but because they weren't staying there, the manager said they couldn't sell it to her. Reaching our turn off to head back to camp, Jeff and Sara continue on driving into Moina which is only about a kilometer further down the highway. We turn off and head straight back to camp, and when the others arrive back here they mention how nice and friendly the owners of the tavern were, and how well stocked their wine range was.....so if you're in the area and after some supplies, be sure to stop in at the Moina Tavern.
Jeff and myself grab some more firewood and get the fire going, we have dinner and whilst eating it Sara thinks she sees a big fish in the water beside us. On closer inspection we quickly realise it's not a fish but a platypus, we see it several more times duck diving in the water nearby but don't manage to get a photo of it, before it then disappears for the night. We may have missed our opportunity to see our first wombat in the wid today, but for us this is actually the first ever time we've seen a platypus in the wild. We've (my family) been to many spots over the years where platypus supposably live but never seen one, so to see one in the wild for the first time at such a beautiful location, and literally metres away from where we are camped, was pretty amazing.
The rest of the evening is spent sitting around the fire as the clouds start to move in, the forecast for the coming days has rain coming, so we'll have to see what tomorrow brings i guess.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on July 05, 2015, 09:16:29 PM
DAY 30 - LAKE GAIRDNER TO ?

Waking around 5.00 a.m to answer the call of nature i note it's not a bad day, and nothing like the rain that was predicted for today. I head back to bed and when i wake a few hours later i am surprised to hear rain falling on the canvas of the camper.  Exiting outside the camper and the weather has turned completely, it's cold, overcast and raining...nothing like it was a few hours ago. We have some breakfast and notice the platypus is out and about again today, it's swimming around a heap this morning, and i manage to snap a very average pic of it inbetween rain showers. The platypus appears to have a burrow under the trees hanging over the water, across the other side from camp a short distance away, it keeps heading back to the same location time and time again, so we assume that's where it's home must be located.

THE PLATYPUS WAS BACK AGAIN THIS MORNING

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2432_zpsxzdvymde.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2432_zpsxzdvymde.jpg.html)

As we have breakfast the rain really appears to have set in now, looking at the weather radar on my phone shows no sign of it letting up anytime soon, so it looks like we'll be packing the camper trailer up wet this morning, as we are moving on today. Days like today is where a camper such as what Jeff owns, is a much better option to have then what we own. Jeff can just about pack his camper up completely without the rain that is falling effecting him to much, where as we need the rain to stop falling really, or else water pools in the middle of the canvas as we fold our trailer up shut...and that can lead to water getting inside and wetting our bedding.
We hold off packing up as long as we can and pack up everything other then the trailer itself. Watching the radar i see a very small window of opportunity coming where the rain will hopefully stop for a short while, or atleast slow to a drizzle, and when it comes we make the call and hastily pack the camper trailer up closed. We time it to perfection, and whilst the rain hadn't stopped completely, it had slowed to a light drizzle...so we managed to get the trailer closed up without to much water pooling everywhere. I've had the diesel heater running inside the trailer all morning to try and help keep the canvas from getting to wet, it appeared to be helping some, but i guess we'll find out what our bedding is like when we re-open it at the next camp spot later this afternoon. We do have a plastic type cover sheet we put over the bed when we pack it up to help protect the bedding from getting wet, this along with the carpet floor covering that the kids sleep on, which we put on top our bed at pack up time should keep the bed dry, but you just never know if water gets in or not when you pack the camper up in the rain.
We leave camp around 11.00 a.m and head back to Cradle Mountain Rd, we turn left onto it and head into Moina, then turn right onto Cethana Rd. A short distance down this road we see a sign for a lookout, so we take a quick right turn and head down that road to see what's there to see. Arriving at the end of this road and we see it's a lookout with a view over Lake Cethana, you can see the dam wall down below, but the rain that is currently falling and the low level cloud make it not the best viewing conditions today. It's cold and wet outside right now, so we only have a very quick look at the view before jumping back into the vehicles where the heater is running to warm us back up again, we re-join the main road and continue to head Eastwards.

TODAYS VIEW OF THE LAKE CETHANA DAM WALL

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1955_zps3csrp8bb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1955_zps3csrp8bb.jpg.html)

You may have noticed in the title i haven't added a destination for todays drive, well that's because we don't actually know where we are going to stay the night tonight. Our plan for today is to head somewhere close to Launceston to stay the next few nights, we've got a few places we want to visit around that general area, but we've made no plan of an actual location to stay at. Todays general plan is to visit a few locations along the way towards Launceston, we will stop at the towns of Sheffield and Railton along the way, and then we'll see from there where the day takes us. Somewhere along the way to Sheffield we make a quick stop off at a park and toilet block along the way, we take the opportunity to empty out our rubbish bags into the large bins they have here, and we take a pic of the metal statue they have infront of the park, before continuing on our way.

METAL MAN STATUE WE SEE AT THE PARK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2436_zpsie7givxm.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2436_zpsie7givxm.jpg.html)

From here it's an uneventful run into the town of Sheffield, the weather is miserable outside, and spending the day inside a nice warm dry vehicle at the moment is a pretty good option i am thinking to myself. We park the vehicles up in a large car park area in a back street of the centre of town, we want to have a look about the town as it is nowadays known as the town of murals. Back in the early 1960's Sheffield was a town that grew rapidly due to the seven dams and seven power stations that were built around this area as part of a power generation scheme. But on completion of this scheme the population of the area declined, and local residents decided they needed to come up with a way to attract people back to the area. Having heard of a small Canadian town in a similar predicament reviving itself by painting murals on the towns buildings and having tourist come visit the area to see them, Sheffield has done much the same thing, and today is a bustling little township that annually attracts an estimated 200 000 people to the town to see it's murals. The first mural painted on a building in Sheffield was done back in December of 1986, today there's over 60 murals you can view here, just walk around the town and you'll see them everywhere you look.

JUST A FEW OF THE MANY MURALS YOU CAN SEE IN SHEFFIELD

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2440_zps8jbabe3n.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2440_zps8jbabe3n.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2441_zpsgufseg5e.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2441_zpsgufseg5e.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2442_zpske525wg1.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2442_zpske525wg1.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2445_zpswhas1tam.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2445_zpswhas1tam.jpg.html)

Sheffield is a decent sized little town these days, we take the opportunity to do some shopping whilst here, we need to buy some gum boots for our youngest daughter to run around in the water puddles at the moment, and i need some new long pants to wear after ripping the crutch out in mine the other day climbing up to get something off of the roofrack of my vehicle. We find a shop that sells what we want before then moving on to the World of Marbles just down the end of the street a touch. The World of Marbles shop is free to enter into, it's a shop selling hand-made art glass marbles aswell as a heap of other items also. Some of the mechanical toys they on display here are pretty fun to play with, they're are pretty hard to explain, so watch this link to get an idea of what i'm talking about https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t6fotDL8-I (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t6fotDL8-I)
Our look around Marble World complete and it's now lunch time, it's still cold and raining outside, so we choose to head to the bakery just up the road and grab a nice hot pie for lunch to warm us all up. The bakery is pretty big, it has a dine in area you can sit down at to eat your meal, so we do just that to stay out of the rain. With lunch eaten we head back to the vehicles so we can leave town. On the way out of town we take a detour to the Apex Park in Spring Street so we can empty our chemical toilets at the dump point, the rain stops just in time for us to do this fun job, and before long we are back in our vehicles once again and headed for the town of Railton. Railton is only about 12 klms down the road from Sheffield, it's a much smaller town then Sheffield is, but has it's own tourist attraction here to bring people into the town. Railton calls itself the Town of Topiary, and when you visit here you'll soon realise why. Throughout the centre of town and in peoples front yards also, are a heap of different shrubs that have been transformed into all sorts of shapes and animals. Don't just stay on the main road in town here, duck down the side streets and you'll find so many different topiary set ups, it's mind boggling. The rain doesn't make it an inviting day to walk about the town, so we do a tour of the place looking out our vehicles windows in amazement, before then pushing on once again towards Launceston direction.

NORMAN SYKES TIMBER STATUE ON EDGE OF TOWN AT RAILTON......this staue was erected in dedication of Norman Sykes who donated 15ha of bushland to the young people of Railton. The land was left to be used as a sanctuary for birds and wildlife, and so that future generations could enjoy it for recreational purposes

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2450_zpsuogiioy0.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2450_zpsuogiioy0.jpg.html)

THE TOWN OF TOPIARY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2463_zpsxtjp4htj.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2463_zpsxtjp4htj.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1962_zpsli1ypq42.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1962_zpsli1ypq42.jpg.html)

SHRUBS LIKE THIS ONE LINE THE MAIN STREET OF TOWN

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2459_zpsfanzuxzl.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2459_zpsfanzuxzl.jpg.html)

JUST A FEW OF THE THINGS YOU'LL SEE IN PEOPLES FRONT YARDS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2453_zpsisymbcue.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2453_zpsisymbcue.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2454_zpsx4b44xv2.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2454_zpsx4b44xv2.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2466_zpsermcfjmt.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2466_zpsermcfjmt.jpg.html)

Our tour of Railton done we leave town via Railton Rd, and we then eventually turn off of that onto Gannons Hill Rd and take the scenic route that hooks us up with the Bass Hwy. Turning right onto the Bass Highway we continue our Eastward drive and soon find ourselves turning right off of the highway to pay Ashgrove Farm Cheese a visit. The cheese farm is open every day except Xmas day from 7.30am to 5pm, it's about 40 minutes drive out of Launceston, and you can buy a range of cheeses here, aswell as try thier ice-cream, fresh bottled milk, cream and butter. A few types of cheese purchased here and we are on our way once again.
Next stop for us today is at the Cristmas Hill Rasberry Farm, we stop in here as Jeffs oldest boy absolutely loves eating berries of all descriptions, we are a touch disappointed with what we find here though, it's basically a cafe selling a few tubs of berries at not that cheap of a price. We don't bother to buy anything from here and walk outside, across the road we see a place called Van Diemens Land Creamery, it may be a cold and wet miserable day today, but it's never to cold to have ice cream i reckon...lol. We head on across the road and try out some of the gelato ice cream they sell here. Taste testing done, we grab an ice cream cone each and Jeff even buys a tub of ice cream to take with him aswell.

VAN DIEMENS LAND ICE CREAMERY... Van Diemen's Land was the original name used by most Europeans for the island of Tasmania. In 1803 the island was colonised by the British, and then on the 1st of January 1856 it's name was changed to Tasmania.


(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2467_zpshcaxlgfw.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2467_zpshcaxlgfw.jpg.html)

We walk outside to our vehicles and give the caravan park in Longford a call, they have some vacancies at their park for powered sites, so we book ourselves in here and then head off to drive the 45 klms that it is from here to Longford. The drive to Longford is uneventful, it's a highway run for the most part, and before long we are pulling up outside the parks entrance. We book ourselves in and then back our trailers onto the sites we have been allocated for the next few days. I unhook my vehicle from my camper trailer and then get about setting up the camper, the canvas is quite wet from this mornings rain, but all our bedding appears to be dry. The weather has started to clear now so i fire up the diesel heater and zip the windows and doors up to keep the heat in, i let it run for the next few hours, this will dry the canvas out nicely so we don't have wet walls to touch when we go to bed tonight.
Looking at my fourby i'm not happy with how close i've left it to the front of our trailer, i jump into it and try to start the vehicle, but all it does is wind over but not actually start. It appears as though it's got plenty of battery power getting to the motor, but for some reason it just doesn't want to kick over. Jeff and myself check under the bonnet to see what we can see, nothing appears to be obviously wrong with the vehicle as we look around the engine, we try to start the vehicle several more times, then all of sudden it decides to fire up when we try the key one more time. We have no idea what was wrong with the engine to make it act as it did, i move the vehicle forward a touch then shut it off once again. For now the vehicle seems to be ok, but all this will change as the holiday goes on, something i didn't realise at the time. We settle in for a relaxing evening and even get to view a nice sunset.
We chose to stay at Longford due it's close proximity to Launceston, all the reviews we'd read about staying in the caravan parks at Launceston mentioned the noise of the nearby highway, so we thought we'd give the place a try seeing it's a pretty small town and the park is located right on the banks of the Macquarie River. The caravan park is by no means cheap for a small town, one thing we didn't expect after paying a premium to stay here, was that you need to put extra money into the showers to get hot water...WTF!!!!!
I'll give the park credit where it's due, it's a nice enough caravan park that is well maintained and very clean, it's situated literally right beside the river and many of the sites here have water views.....but to charge us extra to have a hot shower after charging a premium to stay here is down right rude IMHO, i doubt i'd ever stay here again just for that very reason.
Rant over...we spend the rest of the evening relaxing at camp, have dinner and few drinks then head off to bed for the night
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on July 12, 2015, 09:38:24 PM
DAY 31 - LAUNCESTON

Keeping with our relaxed pace we've been setting on this holiday, it's another slow start to the morning for us today. This holiday has been a nice change  from doing what we usually do on a touring holiday... normally we are up earlyish and trying to get on the road to go somewhere as early as we can, but this holiday has seen us sleeping in most mornings, and there's no rush to go anywhere...it's quite relaxing, how a holiday is supposed to be i guess.
Weather wise it's a nice day today, the rain from yesterday is long gone and the sun is shining. Today we plan to drive in to Launceston to visit a few places, from where we are staying in Longford it's only about a 25 klm drive away, so not very far at all really. We have some brekky and then head off to Launnie for the day, Jeff needs to drop a tyre off at the local tyre store in Longford as we leave town first up though. One of his tyres developed a slow leak a few weeks back he noticed, we changed it over for the spare whilst camped back at Mt Field, and now it's time to get the leak looked at and repaired. I leave Jeff to drop the tyre off and head onto Launceston where i'm going to grab a new fuel filter for my vehicle, i'm pretty sure this had nothing to do with why my vehicle wouldn't start yesterday arvo, but i'm thinking i'll grab one whilst we are in a large town just to be safe. Jeff seems to think it's a sticking solenoid problem in the fuel pump or something along those lines, the vehicle started fine this morning first go, so we'll see how it goes today i guess.
I drive to Repco in Launceston and grab the new fuel filter. Jeff also needs to go to Anaconda to grab a new latch for his Waeco fridge, i rang them from camp for him this morning and they have the part he is requiring. Knowing Jeff needs to go to Anaconda we make that our meet up point, so the plan is to head there now from Repco. I say that's the plan because in order to go there i first need my vehicle to start, and low and behold what do you know....jumping back into the vehicle and turning the key it just winds over and won't start. I pop the bonnet and give the fuel pump a few taps with a big screw driver thinking it's a sticking solenoid, i try the key again and no luck it won't start. I tap it a few more times and try the key, and what do you know the vehicle roars to life. Vehicle now running once again we head over towards Anaconda to meet back up with Jeff and family.
Anaconda is actually right down the road from the first tourist destination we want to visit today, which is the Boags Brewery. With Jeff parked in the car park of Anaconda, i look to park my vehicle nearby out on the street somewhere. We find that all around the area is metered parking and it costs $3.60 an hour to park out on the street, where Jeff is parked in the shopping centre 30 metres away from us is also a pay to park location, but it's only $2 for 2 hours in there, so we park in the shopping centre carpark and pay the $2 instead. I give Jeff the bad news about the vehicle not wanting to start again at Repco, we decide to just forget about it for now and walk to the Boags Brewery down the road, after our visit there i'll give a mechanic or diesel shop a ring and see what they have to say.
The Boags Brewery is literally only several hundred metres walk down the road from where we are now parked. The brewery was established back in 1883 by James Boags and his son, who was also named James. It was run by Boags family members right up until 1976, but these days is owned by the San Miguel Corporation. Whilst i myself am not a beer drinker, my wife loves drinking Boags and so does Jeffs wife Sara also, so that is why we are making the visit to this brewery today. You don't need to be doing a tour of the brewery to come visit here, children under the age of 5 aren't allowed on tours anyhow, so we ourselves have no plan to do a tour of the brewery as such. Located at the brewery is a free to visit onsite museum, we have a look around inside here for a while learning the history of the brewery etc, and then also spend some time checking out the architecture of a few of the old buildings, and an also checking out an old truck we find in the car park also. When we venture out the back of the museum building, the wives think they have died and gone to heaven...i'll let the pic below do the explaining...lol

THE BOAGS BREWERY...like 2 kids in a candy shop, they were...lol

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1610_zpshfmmrv66.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1610_zpshfmmrv66.jpg.html)

A BIT OF SIGNAGE ON ONE OF THEIR BUILDINGS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2473_zpsjvdokp9f.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2473_zpsjvdokp9f.jpg.html)

ONE OF THE DISPLAYS INSIDE THE FREE TO VISIT MUSEUM

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1972_zpso7cw4eib.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1972_zpso7cw4eib.jpg.html)

I THINK THEY THOUGHT THEY'D DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN WHEN WE FOUND THIS...LOL

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1611_zpsxq5a5me7.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1611_zpsxq5a5me7.jpg.html)

A BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED OLD BOAGS DELIVERY TRUCK ...i assume that's what it used to be once upon a time

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2471_zpsnr7wamdd.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2471_zpsnr7wamdd.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2472_zps0h9mngqo.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2472_zps0h9mngqo.jpg.html)

With our look around the brewery done we head back towards our vehicles. Arriving back at the carpark i call a local diesel mechanic on my mobile phone and speak to him about the problem i am currently having with my vehicle. The mechanic automatically starts talking about the pump possibly needing rebuilding,  a job i know will likely cost several thousand dollars on a vehicle such as i have. Not happy with that being his line of thinking straight off the bat, we decide to give visiting him a miss and we'll head around the corner to the pub for lunch, and have a bit more of a think about the problem there. We walk over to a local pub a short distance away and order a meal and a drink, whilst waiting for my meal to come i start surfing the net on my phone and jump on LCOOL forum (a dedicated Landcruiser forum), and try and find similar threads relating to the issue i am having with my vehicle. I vaguely recall reading ages ago on that forum, about issues with immobilisers and vehicles not wanting to start when the engine is hot / warmed up to running tempeature, so i search through some old threads and find exactly the information i am chasing. Reading these old threads on that forum it appears as though the immobiliser is the problem, when vehicles get around the age my vehicle now is, the immobiliser starts playing up and won't let the vehicle start when the engine has gotten hot. I take screen shots of several pages of that forum on my phone to use as a reference later on down the track, should i need to try and bypass the immobiliser. It appears as though the problem is going to get worse and eventually the vehicle just won't start at all, even when it gets cold, but atleast now we are pretty confident we know that's the problem. Between Jeff and myself, we think we can work out how to bypass it should the vehicle get to a point where it doesn't start at all, for now though we aren't going to touch the immobilser at al, because in order to bypass it we need to smah it apart, something we don't really want to do on this trip if we can avoid doing so.
I eat my lunch whilst doing some more reading up on the issue, and with lunch finished we then head back to our vehicles once again. From here we are heading a short drive away to Cataract Gorge, it's only about a kilometer and a half out of the city centre, and a pretty popular tourist destination for anyone who visits Launceston. We park the vehicles up in the car park area here, once again you need to pay to park, so we pay the fee and then head on into the park. Located here in the gorge is  quite a few different things you can choose to do, there's a large swimming pool you can swim in, some cafes, some walks to do and what supposably is the longest single span chairlift in the world you can pay to ride on also. We have a quick look around the cafe area and information centre, before then heading back over to the chairlift and going for a ride on it. You can choose to do a return ride if you want to, but we are only going one way, then we'll walk back to our vehicles via the suspension bridge located here also once we've explored the area a touch. The chairlift costs $36 to do the one way trip for our family ($50 for a return trip), it's not a cheap ride to do by any means, but it's not like there's that many chairlifts left you get the chance to ride on these days, so what the heck we think. As you ride the chairlift you cross over the parkland below and then over the South Esk River (the longest river in Tasmania), if you look to your left you'll get a nice view looking up the gorge.
We reach the other side of the chairlift and disembark, we then spend some time looking around the gardens here, before then making our way back towards the suspension bridge.

CATARACT GORGE CAHIRLIFT


(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2476_zpsrasmew5p.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2476_zpsrasmew5p.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2478_zpsmq82byos.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2478_zpsmq82byos.jpg.html)

LOOKING LEFT ON THE CHAIRLIFT UP THE GORGE

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WE EXPLORED THE VICTORIAN STYLE GARDENS FOR A WHILE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2487_zpsl1zsjfcb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2487_zpsl1zsjfcb.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2500_zpsmkatllvd.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2500_zpsmkatllvd.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1625_zpsmybiqdlk.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1625_zpsmybiqdlk.jpg.html)

AND I WONDERED HOW MANY GENERATIONS OF FAMILIES WOULD HAVE SAT ON THIS STAGE COACH OVER THE YEARS?

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2486_zpsnb9xomwk.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2486_zpsnb9xomwk.jpg.html)

ONE OF THE MANY PEACOCKS WONDERING ABOUT THE GROUNDS HERE

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We walk back to the suspension bridge and stop at a small lookout area along the way, crossing the bridge it would be nice to do the walk up the gorge that takes you to the old Duck Reach power station, but the afternoon is getting away from us now and the kids have just about had enough walking around for the day, so we head back to our vehicles.
Back at our vehicles we then drive back to Longford, we make a quick stop off at the IGA store to grab some supplies for tonights dinner, it's a decent sized store and is pretty well stocked. From the IGA we head past our turn off to camp and head over to look at a church i spotted yesterday as we arrived in town. I take a few pics of the church and we  then drive around the corner to the local hardware store, where i grab a small tube of silicone to repair a hole i saw in the camper trailers sealant the other day as i packed it up. From here we head straight back to camp, i grab a drink from the fridge and use the silicone to repair the hole i'd spotted in the sealant. A few more drinks had and dinner also, we then head off to bed not to late, as it's a touch cold outside tonight.

THE CHURCH WE STOPPED OFF TO LOOK AT AROUND THE CORNER FROM CAMP IN LONGFORD

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on July 17, 2015, 09:38:12 PM
DAY 32 - VISIT LOTS OF PLACES AROUND THE GENERAL LAUNCESTON AREA

We have a bit of a sleep in this morning, then eventually get out of bed and have some bacon and eggs for brekky. Leaving camp around 10.30 a.m we are first headed for a place called Jacobs Ladder which is located in the Ben Lomond National Park, roughly about 60 kilometres from Launceston. Jacobs Ladder is the name given to the single laned zig zag road that climbs up Ben Lomond Mountain, and this road takes you to the Ben Lomond ski village.
Leaving Longford, we first head through the town of Perth without stopping here, then onto the historical town of Evandale. Evandale is classified as a historic town due to many of its buildings remaining largely in original condition. It's a pretty little town worth stopping off at for a look around, but we only stop briefly to get a few pics of some buildings as we pass through, and then continue straight on for Ben Lomond National Park. You can head to Ben Lomond via the bitumin if you like, but we'd noticed there's a more direct dirt road route to take, so that's the way we go.

EVANDALE WATER TOWER

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ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH OF ENGLAND IN EVANDALE

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Rejoining back onto the main bitumin road after our short scenic dirt road route is completed, we finally get to see our first wombat in the wild...it's just a shame it happens to be a dead bloated one in the middle of the road. We swerve around the dead wombat and continue on driving, and pretty soon we get a glimpse of Ben Lomond mountain in the distance. The rolling countryside and mountain backdrop view is quite scenic as we drive along, but going by the low cloud cover we are seeing on the mountain in the distance, we are concerned that we aren't going to be able to view Jacobs Ladder from the lookout that's located at the top of it. There's not much we can do about the weather, so we just keep on driving and hope the clouds will lift at some stage whilst we are there.

BEN LOMOND MOUNTAIN IN THE DISTANCE, SHROUDED IN LOW CLOUD COVER

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2525_zpskgojbjsi.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2525_zpskgojbjsi.jpg.html)

We soon arrive at our turn off, and then turn right off the main road onto Ben Lomond Rd. Immediately we are greeted with a warning sign regarding the conditions one can expect to encounter here in the Winter period, and from memory the bitumin ends here also, so it's a gravel road from here all the way to the top of the mountain.... (if i'm incorrect on the gravel starting here, it's only a very short distance before it starts anyhow). We stop here beside the sign briefly whilst Jeff mounts his GoPro camera in position on his vehicle  to capture the drive up Jacobs Ladder, we then head off and start winding our way up the mountain. This mountain is the second highest mountain in Tasmania at 1,573 metres, only Mt Ossa in the Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park is higher then it. Making our way upward, traffic is non existent and we soon pass by the sign welcoming us to the National Park.

WARNING SIGN AT START OF BEN LOMOND ROAD

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WELCOME SIGN AT BEN LOMOND NAT. PARK

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About a kilometer past the welcome sign we take a track leading off to the left of the main road, this takes us into a campground for a quick look around. We jump out of the vehicles here and straight away you can feel the temperature differance from where we were back at camp earlier this morning, most of us are quickly reaching for jumpers or jackets we have in our vehicles. Even though it's the middle of Summer currently, it's a touch cold if you were to be camping here, but if you did so you'd have the place to yourself at the moment. I'm not going to say it's the most beautiful campground i've ever seen, it'd make an ok overnight spot if you were looking for somewhere to stay about the area, and it doesn't really look to get a lot of people staying here, so chances are you'd have the place to yourself most times. Theres 6 unpowered sites located here aswell as a flushing toilet, there's also a small lookout near the toilet building also, but the low cloud cover makes the view pretty average for us today.
We jump back in the vehicles and continue our run up the mountain, we soon take a turn off to our right from the main road and find ourselves looking at Carr Villa Lodge, which going by the signage we see on the front of the buildings, is owned / run by the Scouting movement. The building is boarded up shut , there's nothing to see here so we turn around and continue our drive up the mountain. The drive up the mountain so far has had the surrounding forest enclosed on either side of the road, but once past Carr Villa the trees start to disappear and shear rock walls can be found on our righthand side, and steep drop offs are to our left.

THE ENCLOSED ROAD DISAPPEARS ONCE YOU GET PAST CARR VILLA

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2545_zpsfysp0j1c.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2545_zpsfysp0j1c.jpg.html)

The low cloud we'd seen earlier encompassing the mountain has started to clear some as we near Jacobs Ladder, we stop for a few pics of the jagged rock faces rising high into the sky to our right as we go along, and then before we know it we soon reach the start of Jacobs Ladder itself. We stop here for another quick pic then start the zig zag climb to the top, vehicles going up must give way to the vehicles coming down, there's room on the hair pin corners for vehicles to pass each other, but inbetween the turns it's single lane only. Lucky for us there's nobody else about the place today at the moment, so we get to do the drive at our pace and enjoy the spectacular view as we go along. Well when i say "we" enjoy the view, i probably should have said everyone except my wife enjoyed the view...you see the entire way up Jacobs Ladder she was absolutely freaking out big time, she was worried i was going to drive off the edge of the road and we'd plummet to our death, and my occasionally jerking the steering wheel towards the edge as a joke probably didn't help her situation much at all either i'll add here...lol. I've read of Jacobs Ladder being called one of Australia's "most dangerous roads", but to be honset here... if you drive the road at a sensible speed then at this time of year you have absolutely nothing to worry about, it's a very easy scenic drive. Obviously in Winter the road would be a completely different road to drive if ice or snow was about the area, but on a day like today, you'd need to be doing something pretty stupid to crash your vehicle on it.
Even with my wife freaking out big time in the passenger seat due to the big drop offs beside her on her side of the vehicle, we safely make it to the top of Jacobs Ladder, we park the vehicles up and hop out for a look at the view from the lookout that is situated here. I choose to leave my vehicle running the entire time we are here, i can't risk it not starting when we want to leave, so i leave it running and go check out the awesome view from the lookout platform. Luck is very much on our side as far as the cloud cover clearing goes, the sky clears enough to take some pics of the windy road below, and then after about 15 minutes the cloud cover comes right back in again and visibilty drops big time.

A WARNING SIGN AT JACOBS LADDER

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2549_zpsljsz5ex2.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2549_zpsljsz5ex2.jpg.html)

LOOKING DOWN FROM THE LOOKOUT AT JACOBS LADDER

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With our look over Jacobs Ladder complete we jump back in the vehicles and keep on heading up the mountain, we actually have no idea at all what's up the top here, so we decide to keep heading upwards and see what we can find. Now you may recall i just mentioned the cloud cover coming in and visibility dropping big time at the lookout, well as we climb higher the visibilty gets to be only about 10 metres infront of the vehicle, i actually resort to using the orange coloured snow plough guide posts to keep me on the road. Jeff reaches the top first and i radio him on the uhf to see where he is, he tells me he can hear me coming up the mountain, but he can't see me at all...lol. I soon catch up with Jeff and find he's stopped  outside of a cafe building of some description, i read the sign out front of it, and it proclaims this is actually Tasmania's highest pub that we have found ourselves at. Seeing as we've had a drink at the Southern most pub and oldest continually licenced pub already on this trip, we thought we may aswell add the highest pub in Tasmania to our list of places we've had a drink at...so we park the vehicles up and jump out to go inside.

SOME PRETTY YELLOW FLOWERS BY THE ROADSIDE ON THE CLIMB UP THE MOUNTAIN PAST JACOBS LADDER

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2551_zpspnh0uv8v.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2551_zpspnh0uv8v.jpg.html)

VISIBILTY GOT PRETTY ORDINARY THE HIGHER WE CLIMBED

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AND THEN WE SURPRISINGLY FOUND OURSELVES AT TASMANIA'S HIGHEST PUB

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2554_zpsqhifdwww.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2554_zpsqhifdwww.jpg.html)

THE PUB IS ACTUALLY AROUND THE BACK OF THIS BUILDING

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2555_zpsbqnmlapi.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2555_zpsbqnmlapi.jpg.html)

We walk inside the pub and I go to order a drink for us each, i grab my usual drink of Bundy and Cola but it's right then the wife tells me she wants a dick inside her...WTF i think to myself, geez love the kids are here.....whoops, apparently i misunderstood what she was saying... what she meant was she wanted a Dickens Cider, my mistake...lol. (Can't wait till she reads this, i'm going to cop it big time...lol) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqRRW9lKmEQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqRRW9lKmEQ)

DICKENS CIDER...yes it's a real drink...lol

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2006_zpsimhres4l.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2006_zpsimhres4l.jpg.html)

We grab our drinks and sit down for a while and enjoy the warmth that the fire place is putting out. I then walk outside for a bit of a look around, and as i do this the cloud cover starts to lift a touch. Suddenly out of nowhere buildings start to appear one at a time, the more the cloud cover clears the more buildings we start to see, and suddenly we realise we are in the middle of a village. We had absolutely no idea these other buildings were all around us, we literally could only see the building we are in when we arrived here, it was quite surprising to see these other buildings suddenly appearing out of nowhere. Just as soon as the cloud cover starts to clear it rolls back in again though, so we head back inside to finish our drinks and warm up once again. Drinks finished and it's time to head off back down the mountain, it's fingers crossed my vehicle will start, i turn the key and it thankfully fires into life. The visibilty is still quite ordinary as we leave, i use the orange guide posts once again as my reference point to stay on the road, but once we reach Jacobs Ladder visibilty then becomes pretty good again. We encounter a vehicle making it's way up Jacobs Ladder about halfway down it, we pass each other on one of the hair pin corners, and then we continue on our way back down the mountain and out of the National Park.

OUR VISIBILTY HEADING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN TO JACOBS LADDER

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Reaching the end of Ben Lomond Rd we turn left and head to Launceston, it's an uneventful run back into town, and when we reach it we drive straight through town and then head out of it on the West Tamar Highway. We drive West Tamar Hwy for a short while then turn off it into a winery, i don't recall the name of the place, but the wives ventured inside for a taste testing, and soon returned stating the places charges a fee to do so, and hence got no business from us. Back on the main road again and we continue our run towards Beaconsfield direction, we soon take an exit to our right which takes us onto Rosevears Drive. Rosevears drive is a pretty route to take as it runs right along the edge of the Tamar River, there's a few more wineries located around this area also, so we pull into one of them and the wives get to do a taste test for free. Testing done (by the wives only as Jeff and myself are driving) and a couple of bottles purchased for later consumption, we hit the road once again. We ever so briefly rejoin West Tamar Hwy once again before taking the next exit onto Gravelly Beach Rd, we are looking for somewhere to pull up at to have a latish lunch, we soon find a nice big park with a playground for the kids to run wild on, so we stop here and have a bite to eat.

VINEYARD OF A WINERY WE STOP AT ALONG THE WAY

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Lunch eaten and we are on the road once more, we continue to follow Gravelly Beach Rd and it then becomes Deviot Rd, this road also continues to run along the edge of the Tamar River and is a much nicer scenic route to take over going the West Tamar Hwy. We turn right off of Deviot Rd onto Auld Kirk Rd, and this takes us under the Batman Bridge. Apparently the Batman Bridge is the only bridge that does a full crossing of the Tamar River, that's quite a surprising fact to learn i thought, considering the river runs about 70 klms in length. The Tamar River which the bridge crosses over technically isn't a river, it's all salt water and tidal in it's entire length.

THE BATMAN BRIDGE CROSSING OVER THE TAMAR RIVER

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2562_zpsy5onrzlo.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2562_zpsy5onrzlo.jpg.html)

We continue to follow Auld Kirk Rd to it's end and turn right for Kayena, once we reach here we turn left onto Auburn Rd and follow this through to  the town of Beaconsfield. Many of you non Australians reading this may be wondering why you have heard the the name Beaconsfield before, well that's because the town made headline news back on the 25th of April in 2006, when a small earthquake caused a roof collapse in the towns goldmine, it sadly killed one miner by the name of Larry Knight, and also trapped 2 other miners by the names Todd Russell and Brant Webb about a kilometer underground for nearly 2 weeks. Todd and Grant weren't found until the 30th of April, 5 days after the quake had struck. It wasn't until the 9th of May that both Todd and Grant were finally rescued from where they were trapped, an amazing survival story for the both of them. The mine is now closed these days and forms a part of the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre, which you can visit between the hours of 9.30 a.m and 4.30 p.m. Sadly for us though due to our late start to the day, we have arrived here just as it's closing, so don't get a chance to go inside for a look around. We do however spend some time here looking around the outside of the place, there's some lovely old buildings to see here, and looking through the fence we can see the yellow elevator that Todd and Brent emerged out of after their miraculous rescue, and located to the left of that we can see the tag board that today still holds the lone tag of Larry Knight, who never got to clock off and sadly died at work that day.

ONE OF THE BUILDINGS AT THE BEACONSFIELD MINE AND HERITAGE CENTRE

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ANYONE WHO WATCHED THE RESCUE UNFOLD ON TELEVISION KNOWS THIS YELLOW ELEVATOR...look very closely at the orange section of the tag board and Larry Knights lone tag is still hanging there, a sad reminder of his death at his place of employment.

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2567_zpsz5ju8een.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2567_zpsz5ju8een.jpg.html)

We are disappointed we don't get the chance to go inside the museum here, it looks like it'd be well worth visiting, there's a pile buildings to look through and the whole place is huge.
With our afternoon fast getting away from us now, we still have one more place we want to visit today, so it's back into our vehicles once again and we drive out of Beaconsfield on the West Tamar Hwy, headed for the Batman Bridge. We take the exit for the Batman Bridge and then cross over the Tamar river on it, following the Batman Hwy to it's end, where we then turn left onto the East Tamar Hwy. From here we do a highway run to the town of Georgetown, and then head straight through there to the lighthouse at Low Head. The Low Head lighthouse is situated on a peninsular at the mouth of the Tamar River, the original lighthouse was built here in 1833 using convict labour. This lighthouse was demolished in 1888 due to the state of disrepair it had fallen into, and the double brick lighthouse you see here today was what they built to replace it with. If you can time your visit here just right, at noon every Sunday they sound the fog horn for tourists to hear.... the diaphone apparently is one of only two functioning Type G diaphones in the world. We have a look about the place and take a few pics before heading back to our vehicles. As we near the car park area i spot a small sign by the side of the walking track and start reading it. Pretty much every Australian has heard of the Sydney to Hobart yatch race that starts on Boxing Day every year, but i doubt many of them would know of the Rudder Cup yatch race. The Rudder Cup was Australia's first ocean yatch race, and went from Port Philip Heads in Victoria to here at Low Head in Tasmania. The 198 nautical mile race was completed in a time of 35 hours and 35 minutes on the 27th of December 1907, a much slower crossing then what we did in the ferry 30 odd days ago. Todays better know Sydney to Hobart yatch race covers a distance of 630 nautical miles, and the record time for that is 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds... though todays super maxi yatchs are obviously very different beasts to what they would have been using back in 1907.

INFO BOARD AT LOW HEAD LIGHTHOUSE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2574_zps8olgnpxk.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2574_zps8olgnpxk.jpg.html)

THE LOW HEAD LIGHTHOUSE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2575_zpswizyaddf.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2575_zpswizyaddf.jpg.html)

With our look around here complete we jump back in the vehicles and head straight back to Launceston, without stopping here we head onto camp at Longford. Back at camp we grab the number of the local pizza joint in town and give them a call to order some dinner, a short while later Jeff and myself drive down there to collect our meal, then head back to camp where we all enjoy our pretty tasty pizza's..... I'd definately buy a pizza from this place if i was in town again.
Dinner eaten and a few drinks consumed after a long days driving, it's time for bed once again.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on July 20, 2015, 10:14:48 PM
DAY 33 - LONGFORD TO WATERHOUSE POINT

We get up around 7.30 a.m and start packing up the camper, time to move camp today once again. It's a nice day and we have a quick brekky before the misses goes and puts a load of laundry on that needs doing before we go. I fill the water tank on the camper trailer and then we leave our youngest daughter with Jeff and Sara to play with the boys, whilst we duck down the road to restock food and drink supplies. The clothes are taking forever to dry in the drier, so we leave them in there to keep going whilst we head off. Our first stop in town is at Swift Meats, it's a bulk meat place on the edge of town near the rail line crossing, great meat and good prices, i have no problem recommending you visit there to stock up if you're in the area. I then drop the wife and eldest daughter off at the IGA to grab the groceries whilst i go refuel the Cruiser and visit the bottle shop. Supplies all gotten and it's back to camp to hook the camper trailer up so we can leave. After several goes through the dryer our laundry is now dry, Sara collected it for us whilst we were out, she surprisingly has even folded the clothes aswell...you've gotta be happy with that....lol.
We hook the camper up and leave town around 11.00 a.m, we need to head to Launceston direction first up, and as we drive through Perth there's police cars patrolling about the area everywhere. It's a bit strange to see so many police about for a change, as we haven't seen a lot of them in Tassie so far. Other then the police sightings it's an uneventful run into Launceston, we crooze straight through town then head out of it towards the Tasman Highway. As we get onto the Tasman Highway Jeff radios me up saying he needs to find a spot to pull up at so he can check something on his vehicle, it's making some pretty ordinary noises from the rear drivers wheel area. Jeff had mentioned he heard something yesterday arvo also as we neared camp on the run home, we meant to have a look at where the noise was coming from, but clean forgot all about it. Reaching Waverley on the outskirts of Launceston we see a park on the righthand side of the road, we turn into the side street here and then park the vehicles up on the grass on the footpath to have a look at what the noise is he's hearing. The sound is a bit like having a rock stuck in behind a backing plate Jeff mentions, so we take the wheel off to see if we can see anything obvious, we don't see and rocks anywhere and with our lack of mechanical knowledge we don't really know what to do next. Not knowing anything about pulling brakes apart etc, it's time to ring the RACT (roadside assist) to come out and see what they can find. The guy arrives about 40 minutes after we make the call, and seeing we already have the wheel off for him he's pretty quick to diagnose the problem. Much to our surprise seeing the vehicle was supposably fully serviced by a mechanic before we came away on holidays, the brake pads are the problem. Jeff explains that he specifically told the mechanic who serviced his vehicle to change the pads when it was serviced weeks before we left on the trip, but the pads are worn right down to the metal and there's nothing left on them at all. Jeff  and myself haven't done a brake pad change before, but the RACT guy is pretty helpful in giving us a quick explanation of what we need to do to change the pads. It sounds like it's a simple enough job, so all we need to do now is track down a set of brake pads on a Sunday at midday. We thank the RACT guy for his time and help and he heads onto his next job. Seeing as i had visited it the other day to grab a fuel filter for my Cruiser, i know there's a Repco store not to far away. We give them a call and luck is on our side, they have exactly what we need in stock. We leave the wives and kids to play in the park,  Jeff jumps in my Cruiser with me and we head down to Repco which is only about a 10 - 15 minute drive away. New pads gotten for the front of rear of the vehicle we then make our way back to the park and set about learning how to change brake pads. As the RACT guy mentioned the job is pretty straight forward, his explanation of what we needed to do was spot on, and the rear drivers side is done fairly quickly. We move onto the rear passenger side and knock that over quicker then the first side took. Jeff then mentions maybe doing the fronts when we get to camp later this arvo as the day is getting away from us, but we decide that seeing as though the backs were down to the metal, leaving it any longer probably isn't a good idea, so we change the front pads whilst we are here also. It turns out to be a pretty good call in the end, as we are headed towards the town of Scottsdale from here and the road will become pretty hilly and windy along the way, Jeff even makes comment over the uhf radio how much better his vehicle is to drive on those windy roads, it's funny how having decent brakes can that hey...lol.

NOT A GOOD START TO THE DAY...RACT TO THE RESCUE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2585_zpsplztfhjw.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2585_zpsplztfhjw.jpg.html)

NEW BRAKE PAD ON THE RIGHT, WHAT THE OLD ONE LOOKED LIKE ON THE LEFT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2587_zpsf2hz15wz.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2587_zpsf2hz15wz.jpg.html)

Vehicle repaired we head off from the park around 2.30 p.m, back onto the Tasman Hwy heading towards Scottsdale. It's a nice drive the further we start to head East from Launceston, but as i already mentioned, the road does become very windy along the way. We make a quick stop off at a small service station along the way in the middle of nowhere to use it facilities, it's such a nice day we may aswell have some ice creams i think to myself, so i grab us one each and we hit the road once again. About 45 klms out of Launceston we see a sign pointing off to our right for The Sideling Lookout, so we take a quick exit into a carpark area to go check it out. It's a nice opportunity to stretch the legs even though we haven't been driving all that long, and the view here is pretty nice and worth the stop at.

AS THE SIGN SAYS...WE STOP AT THE SIDELING LOOKOUT 

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2595_zpsf9cfflb4.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2595_zpsf9cfflb4.jpg.html)

THE VIEW FROM THE LOOKOUT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2594_zpss05b5fmw.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2594_zpss05b5fmw.jpg.html)

With our check out of the view complete, it's back into the vehicles and on our way once again. At the caravan park in Longford yesterday arvo, Jeff and myself had gotten to talking with a guy who's vehicle we had eyed off when he arrived to set up camp there with his family (he was driving a well set up dual cab 79 series Landcruiser). We got to talking about where we'd all been and where we were headed next, and this fella mentioned to us to keep an eye out for a timber tree carving about 5 klms before we reach the town of Scottsdale. Reaching the very location this fella had mentioned to us, we find ourselves surrounded by farm properties and it's very much not the type of place you'd expect to see a timber carving of any description. But sure enough just as old mate had told us about, we spot this random tree carving sitting in the corner of a paddock. We pull the vehicles over to the side of the road here and get out to have a look at the carving, it's been done by a guy called Eddie Freeman back in 2006 according to the inscription he's signed on it, but other then that i don't recall any information here explaining who it's about or why it's here. We take a few pics of the carving and then hop back in our vehicles and head into Scottsdale.

RANDOM TREE CARVING ON THE SIDE OF THE TASMAN HIGHWAY ABOUT 5KLMS BEFORE SCOTTSDALE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2599_zpsokt9sruq.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2599_zpsokt9sruq.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2597_zps945mqg72.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2597_zps945mqg72.jpg.html)

Arriving in Scottsdale we pass by a strange looking building on our left hand side, i have no idea what it was as we don't stop to look at it, but the wife snaps a quick pic as we crooze past anyhow. We reach a T intersection at the end of the Tasman Hwy in the centre of town, and we then turn left onto Bridport Rd. After stopping to look at that random tree carving earlier, my wife had made mention of some other tree carvings one of her aunties had briefly told her about before coming on this holiday, that where in the area, so i was keeping my eyes peeled to see if i could spot them somewhere. With Jeff leading the way he starts heading out of town past the RSL, suddenly i spot another timber carving in a park to our left, so i radio up Jeff that i'm stopping to have a look at it, and he turns his vehicle around to come back to look at it also. What we don't realise just yet though... is this simple split second decision to stop and look at this single tree carving, is just about to lead to us visiting one of what i think was in the top 5 highlights of our Tasmanian trip. Parking the vehicles up on the side of the road we jump out to go look at the carving, the carving is located in the War Memorial Park and is of John Simpson Kirkpatrick and his donkey. For those of you who don't know of Simpson (as he's know here in Australia) and his Donkey, he's a part of our ANZAC legend due to his war service in the Gallipoli Campaign in World War I. Simpson worked as a stretcher bearer during the war, and he used donkey's to help carry wounded soldiers back down to the beach for evacuation. Simpson did this job for 3 1/2 weeks before then being killed in action himself, there were several attempts to get him awarded a Victorian Cross (our highest military decoration awarded for valour), but this was never done and his actions were apparently seen as typical of what was expected to be done by a stretcher bearer at the time.

A WEIRD LOOKING BUILDING WE SEE AS WE ENTER SCOTTSDALE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2600_zpslxnwnmxc.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2600_zpslxnwnmxc.jpg.html)

TIMBER CARVING OF SIMPSON AND HIS DONKEY CARRYING A WOUNDED SOLDIER, AT SCOTTSDALE WAR MEMORIAL PARK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2601_zpsl4zpraun.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2601_zpsl4zpraun.jpg.html)

It's whilst looking at this carving of Simpson and his donkey that we ever so briefly read of some other memorial timber carvings that exist in a town called Legerwood, we have no idea where this town is, so once we've finished our look about here, we head back to our vehicles and punch the towns name into our GPS to see just where it is. It turns out that Legerwood is 23klms in the opposite direction of where we are now headed to camp the night, i look at Jeff and he says to me..."what do you reckon?". I say to him what the hell, we won't likely ever be back here for a long time, lets go have a look and see what's there. So now we are back in our vehicles and doing a u turn, heading in the opposite direction of where we plan to stay the night at about 4.00 p.m, to go look at something we have no idea at all what it looks like....that's a smart decision isn't it?, especially when our next planned camp is about 45 minutes drive the other side of Scottsdale...lol.
We leave Scottsdale and head East out of town on the Tasman Hwy towards the town of Tonganah direction, not quite 20 klms down the highway we take a right turn exit off the highway onto a dirt road called Snake Track. We aren't exactly sure where the GPS is taking us at the moment, the road doesn't seem right but we'll keep following it anyhow we decide. Snake Track then puts us onto Ringarooma Rd, and this then brings us straight into the main street of the tiny town of Legerwood. Driving down the main street of town i quickly see the memorial tree park up ahead on my right hand side. Straight away i can see the tree carvings in the park, and i immediately know that coming here was well worth doing the detour for, in fact after visiting here i'd happily drive hundreds of kilometers out of my way to come and see something like this.

MY FIRST VIEW OF LEGERWOOD MEMORIAL PARK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2608_zpsjwnncvro.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2608_zpsjwnncvro.jpg.html)

I know i mentioned this already but i'll say it again now, visiting here was easily one of the top 5 highlights of our 6 weeks in Tasmania holiday. If you don't come here whilst in Tassie, you seriously are missing one of the states most amazing things to see. It's a big statement i know, but the story behind this park is amazing IMHO, and it's a credit to the towns folk and everyone who was involved, in the way they have honoured the soldiers from the local area who died fighting for our country.
 
THE STORY OF HOW THIS PLACE CAME TO BE.....
In 1918, 9 trees were planted in Legerwoods main street to honour 7 local soldiers who were killed in World War 1. One tree was planted for each soldier who died, and the other 2 trees were planted to honour Gallipoli and the ANZACS. As the names of each fallen soldier were read out on that day, a relative of the soldier came forward to hold the tree before it was planted. Fast forward to the year 2001, and the now over 80 year old trees were declared as being no longer safe / dangerous to the public, and needed to be chopped down. The towns folk and relatives of the honoured soliders were obviously devestated that they'd be losing their Memorial Avenue, so came up with a plan of saving the trees.  It was decided that the trees would be chopped down, but at the same time they'd get a chainsaw sculpturer to carve the stumps into a likeness of each of the soldiers that the trees were originally planted to honour.
To give you an idea of what i mean when i say the story of the carvings here is amazing, if you look at the pics i've posted below, you'll see one tree was dedicated to a local private by the name of John Henry Gregg McDougall. John McDougall worked as a railway porter at the Ringarooma Road Railway station (now called Legerwood and where the memorial park is located) before he enlisted to go fight in the war. The tree that was originally planted to honour him now has his likeness carved with him wearing his railways uniform, and a railroad crossing cross on the tree also. All 7 trees are similarly carved of each fallen soldier, each tree telling a story of the person for whom it honours.
The way each tree has been carved to tell a story is an amazing thing IMHO, the detail in each carving has to be seen to be believed. I've posted some pics i took below of the trees, but my pics don't really do this place any justice at all. All up there's 25 different carvings that have been done here (some trees have multiple carvings on them that tell the story of the soldier it honours), the park is free to visit, but there is a "well" located here that you can  put a donation into (like i did) that helps with the up keep of the park.
The old railway station that was once here has also been converted into a picnic area, it now houses a couple of free to use bbq's and tables you can eat at also. The entire park here is a credit to the tiny town it's located in, i was truely moved by the stories of each soldier as i read the plaques located at each tree...DON'T MISS COMING HERE!!!

HOW LEGERWOOD MEMORIAL PARK CAME TO BE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2628_zpsx9rchcgr.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2628_zpsx9rchcgr.jpg.html)

ONE OF THE WHEYMOUTH PINE TREES PLANTED AT EACH END OF THE AVENUE, TO HONOUR GALLIPOLI AND THE ANZACS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2624_zpsope63tp6.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2624_zpsope63tp6.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2622_zpstcpwvnoi.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2622_zpstcpwvnoi.jpg.html)

ANOTHER OF THE CARVINGS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2607_zpsllqtfbid.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2607_zpsllqtfbid.jpg.html)

THE TREE THAT IS DEDICATED TO JOHN MCDOUGALL

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2612_zpst6ycw2q7.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2612_zpst6ycw2q7.jpg.html)

JOHN MCDOUGALL IN HIS RAILWAY UNIFORM

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2611_zpsfdnohwk6.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2611_zpsfdnohwk6.jpg.html)

ANOTHER OF THE CARVINGS LOACTED HERE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2614_zpsodeehigg.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2614_zpsodeehigg.jpg.html)

ANOTHER CARVING SHOWING SOME OF THE DETAIL

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2609_zpsikhgoehd.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2609_zpsikhgoehd.jpg.html)

SAME CARVING AS ABOVE BUT FROM THE BACK OF IT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2610_zpspkenp0cw.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2610_zpspkenp0cw.jpg.html)

THE PICNIC TABLE AND FREE TO USE BBQ'S AREA

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2629_zpsckgquzub.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2629_zpsckgquzub.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2630_zpsdo4toxef.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2630_zpsdo4toxef.jpg.html)

Our look about the park completed, it's time to head back towards Scottsdale so we can find somewhere to camp the night. We drive back to Scottsdale the same way we drove to Legerwood, normally at this time of year Scottsdale would be surround by lavender farms in full bloom, but it appears as though they have recently harvested most of the fields we can see from the road, so we miss out on seeing what is supposed to be a pretty spectatcular sight here normally. We pass straight through Scottsdale without stopping and head on towards Bridport. Reaching the intersection where you turn left to head to Bridport, we turn right onto Waterhouse Road. We can see on our maps there's a heap of camp areas up ahead off of Waterhouse Rd, so our plan is to drive in and have a look at them and see if we can't find somewhere suitable to stay the night. We soon take a left turn off of Waterhouse Rd to head into a camp area shown on our maps, i can't recall the name of it (think it was called something Waterhole maybe?), but after a shortish drive down a dirt track to access the campground we end up at this horrendous place that has absolutely zero appeal at all about staying here. To top it right off, it smells like an animal has died nearby aswell, so we turn around and head back to the main road to continue our search. Eventually we again turn left off Waterhouse Rd and follow another dirt road for quite a distance into Waterhouse Reserve, to a place called Waterhouse Point / Mathers Camp Area. We have a drive about the place and find ouselves a nice little camp spot big enough for both our vehicles and campers to fit into. We set the trailers up for the night and then grab a drink each and head down to the beach for a look around. There's no water views from our campsite here, but the beach is literally only a stones throw away from us. Out on the beach the place is deserted, there's a couple of other campers set up in the campground, but the place isn't what you'd call super busy by any means. The kids have a run around on the sand and i take a few pics of the place also. Off in the distance across the water from us, we can see what i think is Mussleroe windfarm, but i'm not 100% on that.
With the afternoon sun starting to set it's time to head back to camp and think about getting dinner going. We don't have any firewood with us at all, so the night is spent having dinner and a few drinks, before then calling it a night pretty early.

I THINK FROM MEMORY THIS WAS WATERHOUSE ISLAND WE SAW ON THE DIRT ROAD INTO CAMP

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2633_zpsflartexv.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2633_zpsflartexv.jpg.html)

THE BEACH THAT IS A STONES THROW AWAY FROM WHERE WE ARE CAMPED AT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2637_zpsrxgejwff.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2637_zpsrxgejwff.jpg.html)

MUSSELROE WINDFARM (WE THINK ?) OFF IN THE DISTANCE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2638_zpspnokuvuw.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2638_zpspnokuvuw.jpg.html)

PLENTY OF SEAWEED OR KELP MAYBE? WASHED UP ON THE BEACH HERE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2643_zpsmkydncgm.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2643_zpsmkydncgm.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on July 31, 2015, 07:23:31 PM
DAY 34 - WATERHOUSE POINT - BAY OF FIRES

We wake to a cracka of a morning and have an easy pack up of the camper seeing we didn't set very much of it up on arrival yesterday afternoon. Camper packed away, we then have a quick breakfast before departing for our next destination, which we are thinking will be Policemans Point at the entrance to Ansons Bay on the Eastern coastline. First stop for the day though is a few minutes drive away at the Village Green camp area of Waterhouse Point, which we just want to stop in at to see what it looks like. We drive the very short distance away and upon arriving at this camp area find it's completely deserted, not a sole to be seen. We do a quick lap around the campground, and whilst this camp area doesn't look to bad, i reckon where we stayed last night at Mathers camp area is a nicer spot to stay. One upside though if we'd choosen to stay at this spot is it's toilet block was actually in working order, unlike where we were (there was a fairly newish building with 2 toilets located in it here)...luckily we are fully self sufficient with our chemical toilets, so that wasn't an issue for us last night. Our quick scout of the area done and we head back out to the main drag / Waterhouse Rd via the same dirt road we drove into here on yesterday afternoon. Reaching Waterhouse Rd we take a left turn and then head for the town of Gladstone.
Waterhosue Rd at the start of todays drive is still a bitumin road, but once you get a short distance past the turn off to the township of Tomahawk (I've never been there, but i'd assume this place is a pretty tiny town going on just where it's located at) the road will eventually become a dirt / gravel road for quite some distance on the run into Gladstone. The road itself is a pretty good gravel road that in dry conditions would be fairly easily negotiated by 2wd vehicles, but this didn't stop us from having our first casuality of the day. Jeff who was leading the drive today calls me up on the uhf radio and says he has a problem and needs to pull over, when we eventually reach where he has stopped at on the side of the road (we are driving a fair way back from them to stay out of the dust), i find Jeff is tipping out a can of beer onto the ground.  Jeff said the can was sitting in the rear cargo area and got a hole in it, he could smell the beer from his drivers seat so stopped to have a look and found the can leaking... i think i could almost see a tear in his eye as he tipped the left over contents of the hot can out on the ground...lol

I RECKON HE'S WEARING THOSE SUNNIES SO WE CAN'T SEE THE TEARS WELLING UP IN HIS EYES...LOL

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2648_zpseohkh8ki.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2648_zpseohkh8ki.jpg.html)

A quick reshuffle of stuff done in the back of Jeffs Cruiser and we are on the way once again. The rest of the drive into Gladstone is uneventful, we stopped one more time to have a look at an eagle which Jeff and Sara spotted sitting on a fence post, but by the time we'd caught up to them the eagle had sadly taken off, and it was heading for the hills in the distance.
Arriving in Gladstone Jeff needs to grab some fuel for his vehicle, i don't really need any myself but take the opportunity to top up anyhow as we have no idea exactly where we are headed next, or just how far away our next fuel stop will be. It's a bit of a strange set up they have here in this small town with their fuel bowsers, the main shop has a couple of bowsers located out the front of it, but if you want diesel fuel like we want, then across the road out the front of an old shed is a single bowser which is where they sell there diesel fuel from. We park our vehicles either side of the bowser and i shut the vehicle off without even thinking as to whether it will start again or not come time to leave. Being the fuel bowser is located across the road from the main shop itself there's a padlock that you need to get a key for to unlock it, so Jeff walks across the road to get it, and once we then have the lock undone we are able to start putting fuel into our vehicles. Vehicles refueled and it's time to leave, as you may have guessed my Crusier decides it's not going to start. We give it 5 minutes to think about starting, and whilst waiting another traveller pulls up in town wanting to use the diesel bowser. I give the vehicle another try and suddenly the engine roars into life, this intermittent problem is really starting to peeve me big time, but we'll lay off doing anything about it for as long as we can.
We head East out of town along Browns Bridge Rd, the road is currently bitumin as it is back in town, but not long after turning right onto North Ansons Rd to start heading South, it then becomes a gravel road once again. We start to keep an eye for firewood as we drive along this road, but the trees we are seeing here on the roadside don't look to be suitable for burning, and are more like the type that smoulder away not burning properly. Just as we start to see some decent types of trees about the area a touch further along this road, we spot an old Landcruiser ute sitting on the roadside selling firewood. We decide we'll just buy our firewood now instead of collecting it, so we pull up here and start loading it onto the back of my camper trailer. The firewood is $10 a pile, there's seperate piles sitting on the ground beside the Cruiser ute, so we decide to grab $20 worth. It's an honesty system as far as payment and the amount you take goes, located on a tree infront of the Cruiser is a tin screwed to one of it's branches, so we drop our $10 each into it then continue on our way to Policemans Point.

THE OLD CRUISER UTE ON THE ROADSIDE SELLING FIREWOOD....strangely enough the vehicle had Qld plates on it, and was in pretty good condition for it's age

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2649_zpse1u3wyt6.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2649_zpse1u3wyt6.jpg.html)

IT'S AN HONESTY SYSTEM FOR PAYMENT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2650_zpsep42ef0i.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2650_zpsep42ef0i.jpg.html)

FIREWOOD LOADED UP, IT'S TIME TO HIT THE ROAD

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2651_zps0kgnzqxg.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2651_zps0kgnzqxg.jpg.html)

From where we grab the firewood from it's not that far really before we are taking a right turn onto Ansons Bay Rd, we follow this road a touch then take a left turn onto South Ansons Rd, this road then takes you straight into the camp area of Policemans Point. We arrive at the campground and have a quick look for a place to set up camp, we find one spot that's about as close to the water as you can get, but we aren't exactly overwhelmed with it and it's going to be a pretty tight fit getting both camper trailers and our vehicles in here. There's only really a couple of camp sites here that are close by the water, trees obstruct most of any view of the water you have, so i wouldn't say the camp sites themselves are anything spectacular. Around the back a touch further away from the water is a large flat area you can also choose to set up camp in, but IMHO it's even less attractive of a spot to set up in, and whilst it's not shoulder to shoulder by any means, there is already people set up in this area currently. It's still pretty early in the day and we decide we aren't exactly overwhelmed with the camping spots here, so we'll head on elsewhere and see where we end up. Before leaving this spot though, we park the vehicles up and walk out onto the beach that is located here to check out the view. What the campground lacks as far as beauty goes, is certainly made up for with the water views that you'll find here. It's quite a pretty spot away from the campground itself, and i can see why some people might like staying here, but with all the beautiful spots we've stayed at around Tasmania so far, we just didn't feel like the campground itself here was all that nice.

SOUTH ANSON ROAD ON THE WAY INTO POLICEMANS POINT...ANSON BAY IN FOREGROUND AND THE TASMAN SEA IN THE BACKGROUND

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2654_zpsnargsabx.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2654_zpsnargsabx.jpg.html)

LOOKING LEFT UP THE BEACH TOWARDS ANSON BAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2657_zpsz5ihwzxt.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2657_zpsz5ihwzxt.jpg.html)

LOOKING RIGHT ALONG THE BEACH TOWARDS THE TASMAN SEA

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2659_zpsx5461pc6.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2659_zpsx5461pc6.jpg.html)

From the campground we head back to Anson Rd, we turn left onto it and start heading towards The Bay of fires which is where we have decided we'll try and stay at for a few days now instead. The gravel road is in pretty good condition, we spot a few girls touring by bicycle along this route, they are certainly much keener then i'd ever be...lol. Before reaching the Bay of Fires we decide we'll take a back dirt road into the area, the first track we see on our GPS we want to take has a locked gate at it at the turn off, so continue on a touch further and take a left turn onto what i think looking at a map now is called Fire Rd. Now i'm only guessing looking at a map that this is the track we took, i know it calls it a road on the map, but trust me this was a track well and truely. I'm not going to say this was a hardcore track by any means, but it did have it's share of small wash outs along the way, and it was slowish going negotiating some areas with the trailers on the back. Very much to our surprise about halfway along this track we come across 2 X 2wd sedans coming towards us down a hill, they are trying to negotiate some of the washed away sections of track, and bottoming out in many places. They ask us what the track is like ahead of them, we tell them that if they take it real slow and pick the right lines they should hopefully get through to the main road, but in all honesty this isn't a track you'd want to be taking a 2wd drive sedan along, it calls for slightly more ground clearance then your average vehicle has. We bid the duo good luck and continue on our way, as we continue on we find that they've probably negotiated the worst of it already, so they should have made it back to the main road ok. Reaching the end of this track / road we make a right hand turn onto The Gardens Rd, we immediately cross over a bridge / causeway of some description, there's a largish lake to our right and the ocean is off to our left. Up ahead of us on The Gardens Rd is numerous camp areas for people wanting to stay at The Bay of Fires, we reach these and start to turn off into them one at a time, trying to find a spot to make camp for a few days. The first place we turn into is packed and no vacant spots available, we then decide to split up and start searching a few other camp ground areas, but no luck is to be had.... it seems this is a pretty popular area and there's nowhere vacant so far. We get to Swimcart Beach camp area and Jeff calls me over the uhf radio to say he's found a few vacant sites, so we drive in and eventually find where he's at, surprised to see the sites here have a magnificent water views. There's actually quite a few vacant sites in this area for some reason, many have a side slope on them and aren't really suitable to set our camper up on, but we find a spot big enough for both our campers that is flatish, so we set about making camp for the next few days.
With camp set up we have a bite to eat for lunch and then spend the rest of the day doing not much at all, other then admiring the view out front of camp. The kids play on the beach all afternoon and i even go for a walk down the Southern end of the beach to take some phots of the rocks. The beach sand here is nothing like what we have back home, it's almost gravel like in it's coarseness, and when you try and walk on it you sink into it due to the slope of the beach, it's actually a decent work out just walking along the beach as there's not really any firm sand at all to walk along. I take some pics of the rocks down the end of the beach before i eventually make way way back to camp to join the others, the day is absolutely glorious and the colour of the ocean is just spectatcular, it's not hard to see why so many people choose to visit here.
As the sun starts to set we get a fire going and spend the evening sitting around it, we manage to see not one but 2 shooting stars tonight, before eventually calling it a night and heading off to bed.

OUR CAMP SITE AT SWIMCART BEACH CAMP AREA, AT THE BAY OF FIRES

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2020_zpsu6iwfeja.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2020_zpsu6iwfeja.jpg.html)

A PIC OF THE ROCKS AND OCEAN FROM THE SOUTHERN END OF THE BEACH

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2026_zpsbex2tqt4.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2026_zpsbex2tqt4.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on August 01, 2015, 11:43:33 AM
DAY 35 - BAY OF FIRES

Oh what a differance a day makes...absolutely gorgeous weather yesterday, but this morning we wake to very ordinary / overcast and rainy day. We actually knew this weather was coming though, the forecast that we've been keeping an eye on has a heap of rain expected to fall in the coming days over all of Tasmania. Looking back now this actually turned out to be the case for the state, record rainfalls were recorded throughout many parts of it. Hobart had it's highest 24 hour rainfall figure in 3 years, some areas like Taroona had their highest 24 hour rainfall in 54 years, and Eaglehawk Nest which we'd visited back in the first week of this holiday had it's highest 24 hr rainfall figure in 90 years, so the state was getting a pretty good drenching.

THE OVERCAST VIEW TODAY IS NOT AS PRETTY AS YESTERDAY WAS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1682_zpsij8rnnbh.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1682_zpsij8rnnbh.jpg.html)

The rain however was the least of our problems at the moment, we'd chosen to sleep in this morning being it was such a miserable day outside, but Jeff and Sara weren't so lucky in the getting sleep stakes. Their youngest boy had kept them up all night, he'd thrown up twice and was still running a temperature which he'd had all night also. Jeff says they need to take their young fella to a doctors, so i grab my phone and start searching to see if there's any such service in the nearby town of St Helens, and luckily enough this turns out to be the case. Never having driven around Tasmania before we have no idea how big certain towns are you see on a map, we'd actually find out later in the day that St Helens is a nice sized little town, it's got a hospital / medical clinic , decent sized grocery store, large hotel and plenty of small boutique shops for tourists to spend their money in on a rainy day just like today is. A quick call to the medical clinic is made and Jeff and Sara are told to bring him straight down there, so they grab their stuff and head off into town.
We don't have any real plans for today ourselves, we knew the rain was coming so today is going to be a bit of a lazy day, we'll head into town later on and restock the food supplies, and also look at having a nice hot shower somewhere also. With the sleep in we had today we don't end up having breakfast until nearly 10.30 a.m, and with that done and out of the way, i then find time to make an oppointment with the local barber. Well when i say local barber, i actually mean my wife here. It's been over a month since i had my hair cut, and my facial hair is starting to drive me a touch crazy now also. When it comes to hair cuts for me, it consists of using a set of hair clippers with no blade in it, and zipping that over my head and my face...job done!!! . So with this booking made, i then grab the generator out of the front of the camper, run a short extension lead off of it, and grab my hair clippers out. It's not a big job, but it kills off a half hour of a crappy day by the time i get ever thing out and put it away. Hair cut done and facial hair buzzed off with the clippers also, it's a good feeling.

THE MOBILE BARBERS SHOP

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2677_zpssqn8a9vr.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2677_zpssqn8a9vr.jpg.html)

Nothing else to do around camp, we decide to head into St Helens to have a shower. Along the way we spot an old jetty on the side of the road that has fallen into a sad state of disrepair, so i pull the vehicle over and take a few pics of it. We also see about 8 black swans swimming in the water here, i'd noticed a heap of them back around the Hobart area in the first week of our holiday and at Eaglehawk Neck also. They aren't an animal we have back home, so seeing them here in Tasmania makes for a nice change.

OLD RUN DOWN JETTY WE SPOT HEADING INTO ST HELENS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2681_zpsaycyhc5i.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2681_zpsaycyhc5i.jpg.html)


Arriving in St Helens we spot Jeff and Sara at the local laundrymat as we drive through town, we give them a call on the phone as we drive past and find out that their young fella has been diagnosed with having tonsillitis....he's been prescribed some stuff to help him out, so hopefully he'll start to improve soon. We tell them we'll catch up with them later on, and head around to the Waterfront public toilets which have hot showers there for travellers to use. Arriving at the toilet block we find that the showers cost $2 for 3 minutes to use, we don't have any coins on us, so we head back down the road to the IGA grocery shop to get some. We grab some supplies and some change to use in the showers from here before then going to head back to the Waterfront, but as i try and start the vehicle to leave, it once again won't start. I pop the bonnet and give the fuel pump and solenoid a few taps with the handle of a large screwdriver in a frustrated attempt to try and get it working again, this does nothing... but after waiting a few more minutes it suddenly decides it'll start now. What i know now that i didn't know back then at the time, is this issue is heat related, if you cool the immobiliser down the vehicle will start no worries at all, something i'll realize in the coming days. The simple act of opening the bonnet of the vehicle for a while allows enough heat to escape the engine bay, that it'll then start again. This is obviously a temporary solution to help getting the vehicle running again, eventually the immobiliser will fail to the point where it doesn't start at all, something we are hoping won't happen before we get back home at the end of our holiday. If it gets to that point we'll try and bypass the immobiliser, but for now we are avoiding doing that.
With the engine running once again we head to the Waterfront and have a nice hot shower, there's only one shower in each of the mens and womens toilets, so as we did whilst there, you may have to wait your turn to get to use them. After we finsh our showers, Jeff radios us up on the uhf to see what we are doing, they've finished doing their laundry, so drive around to meet us at the Waterfront. We decide to go for a drive around the area and see what's about the place, the rain is absolutely pouring down right about now, so sitting inside a dry warm vehicle is a pretty good option at the moment we reckon. We head South out of town along the Tasman Hwy, the road skirts along the edge of Georges Bay here, and it's quite a pretty drive...well it would be even more so on a sunny day anyhow. We take a left turn off the highway onto St Helens Point Rd, and follow this all the way to it's end. We explore down a few side tracks whilst in this area, and even contemplate driving out onto the Peron Dunes, but not knowing what it's like out on the beach here, we don't fancy getting bogged and having to recover vehicles in the pouring rain, so decide to give it a miss...we'll come back here in the coming days when the weather is better.
Our look about done here we head back into St Helens, i stop to grab another pic of a jetty along the way, then we stop in town so that Leanne can visit a jewellery store to buy something. Sara had paid the store a visit earlier this morning whilst waiting for her laundry to finish being washed, she'd purchased a Pandora styled Tasmanian devil for her bracelet, and sadly for me had shown it to Leanne, so now guess who wants to buy one also. I wait in the vehicle with the kids whilst Leanne runs inside the store to buy what she wants, it may sound dangerous letting her loose in there on her own, but to be honest it's absolutely pouring with rain outside, and i just didn't want to venture out there in it...lol.

THE OTHER JETTY I PHOTOGRAPHED ON THE WAY BACK INTO ST HELENS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2682_zps5xj9ufpt.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2682_zps5xj9ufpt.jpg.html)

With the jewellery purchase completed we then head back to camp, we cook up some toasted sandwhiches for lunch to try and warm ourselves up some, and spend the rest of the arvo doing not much at all. We manage to go for a short walk along the beach inbetween rain showers, but the rain doesn't look like clearing any time soon. As the afternoon turns to evening Jeffs young fella is refusing to take his medicine, he's going downhill and running a decent temperature once again, so they decide they'll take him into the hospital at St Helens and see what they can do for him there. It's a pretty miserable night tonight, there's no fire to sit around due to the rain, so it'll be pretty early to bed for us all. Jeff and Sara eventually come back from the hospital and are happy that the staff there could manage to get some medicine into their young fella, he's passed out asleep now, and we are all about to do the same thing ourselves, it's just to cold and wet to be outside. So with the diesel heaters cranking away, it's off to bed we all go.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on August 07, 2015, 10:53:39 PM
DAY 36 - BAY OF FIRES / PUB IN THE PADDOCK

We wake to an overcast morning, but atleast it's not raining today. I actually sleep in a tiny bit this morning due to getting very little sleep during the night. The wind picked up big time after we went to bed, and the flapping of the canvas tropical roof on our camper was driving me crazy. It rained for most of the night, and around 1.30 a.m i'd had enough of the canvas flapping, so went outside and climbed up on the camper and removed the tropical roof inbetween the rain showers. The main problem with doing this though as i'd found out last time i did it several years ago, is water has a tendancy to start to leak through the stitching in the canvas that's under the tropical roof, and this is exactly what happened last night. The leaking wasn't to bad really, but it played on my mind the rest of the night, and i kept waking up and shining the torch around inside the camper to make sure nobody, or none of our stuff was getting wet. I'd occasionally have a droplet of water splat on my head also whilst lying in bed trying to get back to sleep, and the constant creaking and groaning of the camper trailer hoop poles from the strong wind that was blowing was driving me crazy also...i doubt i got 2 hours sleep that night. Come about 6.00 a.m when the rain had stopped i manage to fall asleep for a while, hence the slight sleep in.
Jeff and Sara also had a disrupted nights sleep last night due to the wind, thier young fella is on the improve though, so that's a good thing. They find the 3 way fridge in the thier camper trailer has stopped working for some reason this morning, so we spend some time trying to fix it. Pulling the side access panel off the trailer to get to the back of the fridge, it appears the gas jet is blocked when we remove it, we try everything we can think of to unblock it, but have no luck. Eventually we get a small drill bit and drill the blockage out, but this ends up enlarging the hole that was in the jet. When we refit it back in position we immediately realise this "fix" isn't going to work, way to much gas is being let through the jet and it's not working how it's supposed to do. We decide to put the food and drinks from their 3 way fridge into the other 3 working fridges we have between us, and turn that fridge off for now until we can get a new jet for it somewhere.
With no luck fixing Jeffs fridge it's time to make breakfast, i then find the griller we normally cook our toast under has broken and isn't working also. The pipe the gas runs through in the griller itself has cracked through completely, most likely from the many corrugations the trailer has encountered over the years. The whole griller section is cactus and will need replacing, but thankfully we can still use the 2 burners that are on the stove top. Just to top the run of bad luck this morning right off, Jeff tries to use the compressor in his vehicle to pump up a ball for his kids, this decides it doesn't want to work also, but after some fiddling with it we manage to get it up and going again.
With brekky done and dusted it's time to hit the road to see some sights today, we are heading for The Pub in the Paddock at Pyengana for lunch, and St Columba Falls also which is just up the road a touch from there. First stop of the day though is at Binalong Bay, which is only a short drive up the road from camp. Located here at Binalong Bay is a viewing platform you can walk out onto, it has some nice views out over the ocean and the surrounding red coloured rocks this Bay of Fires area is renowned for having. We spend some time looking around here checking out the view and taking pics of the rocks also.

AS THE STATUE SAYS WHEN YOU DRIVE INTO TOW...WELCOME TO BINALONG BAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2691_zps9gi4gwvt.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2691_zps9gi4gwvt.jpg.html)

PART OF THE VIEW FROM THE VIEWING PLATFORM

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2037_zpsnovriku1.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2037_zpsnovriku1.jpg.html)

THE RED ROCKS THIS AREA IS KNOW FOR HAVING

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2702_zpsnzytvlak.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2702_zpsnzytvlak.jpg.html)

ANOTHER SHOT OF SOME OF ROCKS TO BE FOUND HERE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2706_zpskuc5w3df.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2706_zpskuc5w3df.jpg.html)

AND ANOTHER PIC OF THE RED ROCKS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2697_zpsge4s5coj.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2697_zpsge4s5coj.jpg.html)

We finish up looking about here and then jump back in the vehicles and leave town on the road we came in on. Reaching the main intersection back at The Gardens Rd, we could turn left here and head into St Helens along the bitumin and then onto Pyengana from there, but we decide we'll head straight on instead onto Reids Rd, and take a scenic dirt road route to todays lunch stop instead. The drive along this dirt road is nothing super spectacular really, it's just a nice change from driving on bitumin roads and gets us away from most of the traffic. Reaching the end of Reids Rd we take a left turn onto Ansons Bay Rd and follow this down to the Tasman Hwy, we then take a right turn onto this and follow it for about 30klms. Reaching St Columba Falls Rd on our left we then take this turn off and soon find ourselves turning right into the driveway of The Pub in the Paddock. A heritage listed circa 1880 hotel, this pub whilst known for it's great feeds and relaxed country pub atmosphere, is more known for something else...and that's it's beer drinking pig. Yep you read that right, a pig that loves drinking beer.
More about the pig later though...we park the vehicles up and walk inside the pub to order some lunch and grab something to drink. Whilst ordering lunch i notice this pub sells the one thing i've been searching for to buy whilst on holidays here in Tasmania...and that's a t shirt of a decent pub that we've visited whilst here. None of the previous pubs we've stopped in at so far on this trip sell t shirts advertising themselves for some reason, i've bought t shirts from pubs at various locations all over Australia in our outback travels on previous holidays, but thought i was going to miss out on the doing the same thing whilst here in Tassie. Aswell as the t shirt we purchase a stubbie cooler from here also, so add in lunch for the family aswell as a few drinks, and the pub has done ok out of us today.

SIGN AT THE FRONT ENTRANCE OF THE PUB IN THE PADDOCK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2711_zps5jeuxlqf.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2711_zps5jeuxlqf.jpg.html)

THE ST COLUMBA FALLS HOTEL..AKA..THE PUB IN THE PADDOCK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2710_zpsmpu0kx6s.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2710_zpsmpu0kx6s.jpg.html)

Now as i mentioned earlier, this pub is well known for it's pig that loves drinking beer. Priscilla the beer drinking pig was a major draw card of the pub for many years, you could buy a stubbie of beer from the front bar and then walk outside and give it to her to drink (it's a special type of stubbie they sell, i think they must water it right down). Sadly though Priscilla has now gone to that big ham house in the sky, but in her place these days they have Pinky the Pig, so if you like you can purchase a special stubbie of beer from the bar and try your luck "feeding" it to her. I say try your luck for a very good reason, because for the entire time we were here at the pub, Pinky didn't move a muscle and was fast asleep in her house. If it wasn't for the fact i saw her ear twitch at one stage, i would have thought she was dead, and prime pickings for my next Sunday morning bacon and eggs cook up. The pig seriously didn't move an inch the entire time we were here, a few other people had purchased a couple of stubbies of beer thinking they could get to feed it to Pinky, but she was not the least bit interested / not even awake. It would have been nice to see the pig in beer guzzling action, but this wasn't to be the case today.

PRISCILLA THE BEER DRINKING PIG...THOUGH NOWADAYS IT'S ACTUALLY PINKY THE BEER DRINKING PIG

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2040_zpsn0n3eyj7.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2040_zpsn0n3eyj7.jpg.html)

PINKY SLEEPING OFF A BIG NIGHTS BENDER I THINK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2042_zpsqrmoak79.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2042_zpsqrmoak79.jpg.html)

Lunch eaten and we head off from here to St Columba Falls, we turn right out of the drive way back onto the road, and the falls are only about 10 minutes drive away at most. Reaching the car park area we jump out and get ready to do the short walk down to the waterfall, we can actually see some of the falls from where we are parked, and with all the rain we've had the past few days about the area, there's a pretty decent flow going over them. The walk to the falls is only a short distance really, it's 600 mtrs each way, you return back along the same track you go to them on. Be aware though, the easy part of the walk is on the way there, it's downhill all the way to the falls, so on the way back it's uphill all the way. I won't say it's a hard work out by any means doing this walk, but those of you like myself who aren't exactly what you'd call fit, will be looking for a drink of water by the time you get back up to your car.  As you get closer to the falls themselves you'll walk through a beautiful tree fern lined area, my pic below does the spot no real justice though. Reaching the falls and as i mentioned already the water is absolutely roaring down them today, it's not the prettiest sight you'll ever see with the torent of dirty brown water of recent days rains being funneled downstream, but it's certainly an impressive sight to behold none the less.

ST COLUMBA FALLS AS SEEN FROM THE CAR PARK AREA

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2721_zpseilworim.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2721_zpseilworim.jpg.html)


TREE FERNS NEARER THE FALLS THEMSELF

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1701_zpsqlvsgldb.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1701_zpsqlvsgldb.jpg.html)

THE RECENT RAINS HAD THE WATER ABSOLUTELY POURING OVER THE FALLS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1700_zpslx3p5w10.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1700_zpslx3p5w10.jpg.html)

SOME MUSHROOMS WE SAW GROWING BY THE SIDE OF THE WALKING TRACK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1703_zpsmjzb4icp.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1703_zpsmjzb4icp.jpg.html)

Back at our vehicles after viewing the falls and we head straight back to camp along the bitumin via St Helens, i manage to spot an echidna in a field on the side of the road along the way, but it was in an area of windy road and there was nowhere to stop to try and photograph it. Arriving back at camp and we find the wind is starting to pick up quite abit, the wind gusts are getting pretty full on actually and we are pretty exposed to it where we are. The wind has broken one of the rods in Jeffs toilet tent and it's also broken some tie down ropes on our toilet tent also, i end up packing up the tent, as it's not going to last in the wind we are currently experiencing. Looking out at the surf infront of camp and the waves are really dumping down hard at the moment, it's a very different scene to when we arrived here the other day, the waves making big booms as they crash ashore.

THE WAVES WERE REALLY DUMPING DOWN HARD ONSHORE


(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1707_zpsoabaagsg.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1707_zpsoabaagsg.jpg.html)

As the late afternoon goes on into the evening, the wind is getting worse by the minute, the gusts are getting pretty strong and it's not a real pleasent spot to be at the moment. Around 8.00 p.m and with Sara in the middle of cooking dinner for us all, we've had enough of the current conditions and make the massive call to pack up camp immediately, and to try and find somewhere more sheltered to stay the night. Sara was in the middle of cooking a meatloaf for dinner, she just ended up turning off their oven and leaving the meal sit inside there whilst we packed up and went elsewhere. Last night we got little sleep due to the buffeting we copped from the wind and rain, and tonight it was going to be even worse again. The weather forecast has the wind increasing in the coming days, so we knew if we stayed here we wouldn't get very much sleep at all, and there's the real possibilty the camper trailers could get damaged also. We leave camp and stop in to look at another couple of camp grounds closer towards Binalong Bay, hoping they are better sheltered from the wind. I find one spot that sort of seemed better sheltered at the start, but as soon as the wind started gusting once more, i knew it wasn't much better then where we'd just left from. We then decide we'll drive into St Helens and check out the free camp area they have in town there, we are hoping it's in a showgrounds or the like, and that we might find a building we can tuck behind to use as a wind break. Reaching the free camp in town we find this is not to be the case though, the spot you camp in is an open paddock, so it's just as bad as the place we'd left behind. I try ringing a few of the local caravan parks in the hope they might answer thier phone at this late hour of night, to see if they have any cabins available to stay in. As expected seeing it's now well after 9.00 p.m by now, none of them answer their phones and they all go to an answering service instead. We pass by one place that has a sign out front saying rooms to rent and try that number also, they atleast answer their phone but only have  single bed rooms available, nothing suitable for families. Back in the centre of town now, and we pass by the Bayside Inn, it's probably the biggest hotel / motel complex in town, so we give it a call to try our luck. Thankfully the manager answers the phone and luck is very much on our side, they have several rooms available to stay in tonight, it costs $100 each room, but at the moment we don't really care about the cost, we just want somewhere to sleep that's out of this wind. So around 10.00 p.m we end up checking in here, and we then set about grabbing dinner out of Jeff and Sara's oven in their camper trailer. Sara tries as best she can to rescue dinner and give us something to eat, it's a bit of a lost cause in the end, but we don't really care that much, we're just glad to have a decent roof over our heads for the night. Around 12.30 a.m after a big day / evening, we then finally manage to head off to sleep
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on August 12, 2015, 09:50:30 PM
DAY 37 - ST HELENS - BICHENO

Up around 7.30 a.m this morning and the wind has died right off overnight, it's a pretty good day today actually. I walk across the road to the park that is here as i see a strange shaped sculpture like object of some sort, and i want to find out what it is. From a distance the object looks quite nice in appearance, but as i get closer i notice it's covered in mosaic tiles, and many of them have fallen off over the years, leaving a pretty run down looking object in a very nice park beside the water. Reading the plaque that is located beneath the object, i note it is called a Cosmic Egg & Time Capsule, and it's to be opened on Australia Day (January 26th for the non Aussies reading this) in the year 2026. Built back in 2006, i'm thinking this time capsule would have looked pretty nice when first completed, but the elements have definately taken their toll on it now, which is a real shame.

WHERE WE STAYED LAST NIGHT...pretty old and run down rooms really for $100 a night, but atleast we were out of the wind...i'd have happily paid double that to get out of that wind last night actually....lol

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2056_zpscg6jlbi8.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2056_zpscg6jlbi8.jpg.html)

THE COSMIC EGG & TIME CAPSULE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2732_zpsl1ubs1hz.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2732_zpsl1ubs1hz.jpg.html)

I GUESS WE'D ALL LIKE THAT TO HAPPEN ONE DAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2734_zpsaf0bzmvi.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2734_zpsaf0bzmvi.jpg.html)

Walking back to the motel room and it's time to load our clothes and what not back into the vehicle. With the room emptied out, we then walk around to the bistro they have here at the Inn and have a nice hot bacon and eggs breakfast. The bistro area and bar they have here is a lot more modern then the old rooms we were staying in out the back of this place, i'm thinking there's possibly more modern rooms available here then what we got last night, but beggars can't be choosers at 10.00 p.m at night.
It's time to hit the road now but we aren't leaving town just yet, we head back down to the RV park / free camp on the edge of town first of all, we are going to leave our camper trailers here for the day and go explore a few more of the local sights before heading on to our next camp. We are a touch worried about leaving the trailers here unattended, but after speaking to an elderly camper who'll be here all day and being told he'd keep an eye on them for us, and then chaining them both together, we reckoned they'd be ok. We take the opportunity whlst here to empty out the chemical toilets at the dump point and top up our trailers water supplies also, you can't complain about the facilities here for somwhere that's free to stay at that's for sure. Speaking of free...i haven't mentioned this previously, but the spot we were camped at the past few days is free of charge to stay at also, all around this Bay of Fires area is a heap of free camp spots to stay at actually, though National parks fees do apply in the Northern section of the park. The Bay of Fires is actually located in a Conservation Park, not a National Park, so dogs are apparently allowed to be brought in here also i believe.
Trailers offloaded for the day and we head back through town once again towards Georges Bay, we take the same left turn onto St Helens Point Rd that we took in the pouring rain the other day, and we head down that road past Steiglitz to the dirt track entrance for the Peron Dunes. You may recall we toyed with idea of going out onto the beach here the other day, but didn't want to risk getting bogged and having to recover vehicles in the pouring rain. Well today the weather is absolutely glorious, and it's now time for us to explore the dunes and the beach that is here. We have no idea what this beach is like to drive on, all we do know is that (according to Jeff) lowtide is supposed to be about a couple of hours away, so should something go wrong, in theory we should have heaps of time to get ourselves out of any trouble we find ourselves in.
We turn right onto the dirt road that leads from the bitumin and follow this for a short distance, we then turn down another track running off to the right and find a nice open flat area where a sign says to stop and deflate your tyres before going any further. We take this advice and i let my tyres down to 18 psi alround, we then head off up over the first dune of the day and pretty quickly find ourselves going down a nice long decent out onto the beach...that could be fun to get back up later on we say to each other over the uhf radios. Turning right once we hit the beach itself it's a pretty easy run South, the sand is firm for the most part, though there is the odd softer section to be found also. We drive about 3 klms South down this beach before reaching a rocky headland that stops us from going any further. We park the vehicles up here and let the kids out to have a play in the sand, we have the entire beach to ourselves right now, there's not another sole around. The kids have fun running around playing on the beach and we kick back and relax in the warm sun. Located right out infront of us we can see St Helens Island, the island forms part of the St Helens Important Bird Area because of its importance as a breeding site for seabirds. Whilst sitting here relaxing i notice something quite strange, and that's the fact that whilst Jeff reckons lowtide is still supposed to be about an hour away, the water from the waves breaking on the shoreline is gradually getting higher and higher up the beach. All of a sudden a few waves come right up nearer to our vehicles, so we suddenly decide it's time to make a move inland before we get washed away, and call time on the kids playing on the beach.

THE SIGNED TURN OFF TO PERON DUNES

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2772_zpsar3ouqew.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2772_zpsar3ouqew.jpg.html)

DRIVING SOUTH DOWN THE BEACH

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2735_zpsqgdrs8sm.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2735_zpsqgdrs8sm.jpg.html)

ST HELENS ISLAND OUT INFRONT OF WHERE WE PARKED UP

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2742_zpsehduu0ss.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2742_zpsehduu0ss.jpg.html)

WE HAD THE ENTIRE BEACH TO OURSELVES TODAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2740_zpsgj5xfhmv.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2740_zpsgj5xfhmv.jpg.html)

From where we'd parked up on the beach there was a track leading inland into the dunes, so we take this track and it's time for us to have some fun climbing up and down the sand dunes. Be aware that this area is able to be used by all types of recreational vehicles including dune buggies, so you need to keep a good eye out for others, but today there's only us driving about the place. It's here i'll express a word of caution...there's some pretty serious side slope action happening on some of the dunes you'll find here, many of the wheel tracks you'll see in here are likely formed by something other then a large 4wd vehicle, so don't go blindly following them over the edge of a dune. Jeff drove down one dune that i considered way to sketchy to follow down, i reckon his butt cheeks would have clinched pretty tightly together as he negotiated one side slope around one particular corner of a dune, and there was no way in the world i was following him along that track. I take another track and meet back up with him again not to far away, our play time now done for the day, it's time to head back out onto the beach and make our way up to the exit point we came down onto the beach on. The longish decent we came down to the beach on wasn't anywhere near as hard to get back up as we thought it may be, a fair whack of right foot on the accelerator at the start of the run up from the beach, had me backing off the go fast pedal as we neared the top of the climb. Out of the dunes we follow the dirt track back to the bitumin road, we park up under the shade of a tree and reinflate our tyres back to road pressures once again.

HEADING OFF THE BEACH INTO THE DUNES

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2749_zpssnocve5m.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2749_zpssnocve5m.jpg.html)

JEFF LEADING THE WAY, CLIMBING  UP INTO THE DUNES

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2751_zpszqgl6hf1.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2751_zpszqgl6hf1.jpg.html)

POSER PIC ON A DUNE TOP

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BOTH VEHICLES PARKED ON A DUNE TOP, WITH ST HELENS ISLAND IN THE BACKGROUND

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2754_zpswzohroiq.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2754_zpswzohroiq.jpg.html)

JEFF COMING DOWN A DUNE

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TIME FOR ME TO FOLLOW

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We drive back into St Helens and then head back out past the camp area we'd stayed at the past few days. We are now going to go have a look at The Gardens, which not strangely at all, is located right at the end of The Gardens Rd. The Gardens is located approximately 20 klms past Binalong Bay, it's a bitumin road all the way out to there, so easy access for all types of vehicles. We make a small detour along the way and stop in to check out a few camp sites along the way, Jeff wanted to show me a small camp spot he stopped in at when we were looking for somewhere to stay a few days ago, we'd split up at that point looking for vacant sites, and this was a nice place he found that was unfortunately already taken.  The place still had campers located there when we drove in, we did however park up here for a short period and check out the view of the small bay it was located in.
We push on from looking around here and it's not that long before we then reach the end of the road at The Gardens. There's not a lot of car park spaces here, and once someone leaves i manage to find a spot to park my vehicle up. I'm worried the vehicle isn't going to start again now if i shut it off, so i tell the others to go have a look and i'll stay here with my fourby and leave the engine running. The others head off to have a look down one pathway located here, after doing so my wifes returns back to our vehicle and says i should come have a look around also. I end deciding to shut the vehicle off and go for a look, but i open the bonnet of the fourby up before going, and leave it like that to allow the heat to escape out.  The Gardens was so named by Lady Jane Franklin, the wife of Governor John Franklin who spent some time in the region in the 1840s. Located here is more of the red lichen covered rocks the area is renowned for, aswell as rock pools and more spectacular coastal views. It's a pretty short walk from the carpark area to the viewing platform at the end of the pathway, we take a few pics here looking North towards policemans Point direction which we'd stopped in at the other day for a look around, and also spend a while rock hopping over the lichen covered boulders you find here aswell.

HEADING OUT TO THE GARDENS ON THE GARDENS ROAD

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2776_zpsfrt9tcuv.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2776_zpsfrt9tcuv.jpg.html)

WE DID SOME ROCK HOPPING OVER MORE LICHEN COVERED BOULDERS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2782_zpsxu6ncgkz.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2782_zpsxu6ncgkz.jpg.html)

THE VIEW NORTH FROM THE VIEWING PLATFORM AT THE GARDENS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2788_zpsrsxl1zdg.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2788_zpsrsxl1zdg.jpg.html)

Back at our vehicles in the car park area i close the bonnet of my 4wd and hope it'll start when i turn the key. The vehicles kicks into life straight away, so opening the bonnet to allow the heat to escape appears to have done the trick. We drive back to St Helens to the Rv Park and collect our camper trailers, it's a bit of a relief to see they are still there untouched, so we unchain them from each other and hook them up to our vehicles once again. The afternoon is getting on a touch but we haven't had lunch yet, so we make a few quick sandwiches to eat, before then loading everyone back in the vehicles and heading on out of town.

RANDOM DRAGON STATUE WE SAW AT ST HELENS INFO CENTRE TODAY...it actually has something to do with the "Tin Dragon Trail" of  Tin Mines about the North East area, and the Chinese mining heritage in the 1800's.

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2068_zpscsmcfc1b.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2068_zpscsmcfc1b.jpg.html)

We head South out of town along the Tasman Hwy, the plan for tonight we've just come up with over lunch is to stay at a caravan park around Bicheno maybe, but we haven't actually booked anywhere yet. As we drive along the highway Sara makes a few calls on her mobile phone to see what accomodation places have vacancies, most had no vacancies for 2 families, but we eventually manage to get a couple of powered sites at the Bicheno Caravan Park and Takeaway Food park, so that's where we are now headed. As we drive along the Tasman Hwy we pass through the town of Scamander, i vaguely recall visiting and staying in this town when i was a young boy many years ago. As we enter the town i immediately recognise the Scamander Beach Hotel Motel that we stayed in on that visit, i always had a memory of the hotel from that holiday due to it being located right across from a river, but never could remember just what town it was in. It's a nice surprise being able to recall a place you visited as a kid many many years ago, i mention this fact to the others as we drive past the place.
The rest of the run into Bicheno is uneventful, we check into the caravan park and then set up camp for the night. The van park itself is nothing to rave about, it's a small park located beside the main road / hwy so you do get some road noise (though it's a pretty quite highway really), and it's fully fenced in with no views at all to be had. The park is relatively clean, though showing it's age some, if i visited this area again i'd try and find somewhere else that has a view of something other then a steel fence though. If you really need a spot to lay your head for the night, it's an ok place for a one night stop over. I plug the camper trailer into the power point located at our site and notice the battery charger on the camper is playing up, so i switch it of. I've paid $38 for a powered site for the night, which turns out to be a slight waste of money seeing we can't run the charger now. We have plenty of power still left in the battery bank though, so this isn't the end of the world. With camp set up for the evening we settle in around a picnic table they have beside our camp site and enjoy a few drinks, we even have a few other random kids come join our kids to play for a while. As the afternoon comes to an end it's time to get cleaned up and have a shower, it's then that we find once again that this van park like the one back at Longford that we stayed at, actually charges you for the hot water. Just like Longford you need some coins to operate the hot water set up, it costs $1 for 6 minutes, so atleast it was cheaper then Longford was. Showers had and then dinner eaten, we enjoy a few more drinks at the picnic table before calling it a night and heading off to bed.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on August 12, 2015, 09:51:20 PM
DAY 38 - BICHENO - SWANSEA

It's a touch hard to get up out of bed this morning, it's overcast looking but not raining at all. We eventually get out of bed and have breakfast, then pack the campers up ready to leave. The main reason for staying in a van park last night was so that Jeff could run the fridge in his camper trailer off of 240V power, he wants to keep doing this until we can fix the jet in his fridge, so before leaving Bicheno we ring ahead to a few places to try and get a couple of powered sites for the next few nights. We are heading down towards Freycinet next and reckon with it being peak holiday season at the moment it'll be pretty busy there at the moment. The first place we try has no vacancies, i then ring the caravan park in the town of Swansea and manage to book the last 2 powered sites they have. With that task now done and the camper trailers hooked back onto the tow vehicles, we leave the Bicheno van park and head a very short distance down the road to go check out the blowhole that the town is known for having.
We park the vehicles up in the small car park area they have at the blowhole, but i am concerned my car won't start come to leave. I recall that Leanne has a spare set of keys to my fourby in her handbag that we'd brought along just incase being so far from home, so i double check that she has them on hand once she's out of the vehicle, then lock the vehicle up with my keys still in the ignition and with the engine running. It's only a short walk to the blowhole from the carpark, it's a bit of a risk leaving the vehicle running with the keys in it, but this place is a bit of a sleepy little town, and i'm not venturing far from the vehicle, so reckon i'd have to be pretty unlucky for anyone to smash the window then and there to steal it. I recall as a kid on our last visit to Tasmania visiting a blowhole also, and i'd remarked to my wife that the previous one we'd visited back near Eaglehawk Neck looked nothing like i remembered visiting back then. This blowhole also didn't look exactly the same as i'd recalled, but atleast it's similar, i guess near on 30 years has gone by since then, so things tend to get a bit mixed up in your memories at times.
The blowhole is in action as we walk out onto the rocks to view it, you walk right up to the attraction itself, but would need to be very careful here on days of big surf action i reckon. Today however the sea is relatively calm, there's some nice consistent waves rolling in to have the blowhole working, but there's no waves you'd call huge at all.  We spend probably a half hour or more here watching the water spray up into the air and taking pics of it also, before then heading back to our vehicles for the short drive to Swansea.

BICHENO BLOWHOLE...take note of the warning on bigger surf days

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2081_zpsqdgzzctq.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2081_zpsqdgzzctq.jpg.html)


BLOWHOLE IN ACTION

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2080_zpsmh8of8gi.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2080_zpsmh8of8gi.jpg.html)

TODAY THE SURF WAS RELATIVELY SMALL, SO WE COULD UP CLOSE TO THE BLOWHOLE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2793_zps736ymbpr.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2793_zps736ymbpr.jpg.html)

It's only a 44klm drive from Bicheno to Swansea, we arrive in town before 11.00 a.m and head straight to the caravan park to see what it's like there. It's already very windy outside and we note there's not a massive amount of protection from the wind in the van park itself. The gusts that are blowing through at the moment could certainly do damage to our campers, and there's actually a gale wind warning for today. We've checked the forecast and the wind is supposed to get stronger this afternoon then it currently is, and be stronger again over the coming days.....not a good time to be in a mostly canvas camper trailer really. We don't go inside the van park when we arrive there, we instead turn around and head back into the main street of town to come up with a plan B. We end up deciding we'll try and get a house to stay in for the next few days if we can find one about the area, so we end up at the towns information centre to try and do this. The 2 lovely ladies working here went out of their way to try and help us out, pretty much every rental property in the area is booked out at the moment though, but the ladies did know of one house that might be available They make a few phone calls, and before you know it we have accomodation sorted for the next few nights out of the wind. It's a 4 bedroomed house that has 2 X queen sized beds and 5 X single beds in it, and also has 2 bathrooms. Normally the place rents for $400 a night, but seeing we are taking it for a few days, they decide we can have it for $350 a night...not bad i reckon being it's peak holiday season at the moment.
We can't gain access to the house for another hour and a bit though, so with this in mind the wives head over the road to the local grocery store to grab some supplies, whilst Jeff and myself take the kids to play on the beach that is located right behind said store here also. Walking over to the beach i make a quick call to the carvan park and cancel our booking, it's well before lunch time now, so they shouldn't have any problems filling those 2 vacancies this afternoon we reckon. The kids spend a bit of time on the beach playing, but the sand is being whipped up by the strong wind and sandblasting us some, so we head up to the playground at the entrance to the beach and let the kids have a run around here.
Eventually our wives meet back up with us at this park once they've finished doing the shopping, they've bought some chocolates for the lovely ladies at the information centre to thank them for being so helpful today, so we walk back over to there and surprise them with our gift. The 2 ladies are very much surprised with our gesture, but when you get people going out of their way to help you even though it is their job to do it, it's always nice to thank them for doing so i reckon.

HEADING INTO SWANSEA FROM BICHENO YOU'LL CROSS THE WYE RIVER...you've gotta love Aussie humour i reckon...lol

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SWANSEA'S LOCAL GROCERY / GENERAL  STORE...a beautiful old character building in the main street of town

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2796_zpsts6ao9le.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2796_zpsts6ao9le.jpg.html)

CIRCA 1838

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2798_zpsnfzrepap.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2798_zpsnfzrepap.jpg.html)

THE MORRIS FAMILY APPEAR TO HAVE RUN THE STORE FOR MANY GENERATIONS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2799_zpsq0djkkj1.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2799_zpsq0djkkj1.jpg.html)

THE BEACH BEHIND THE SHOPS IN THE MAIN STREET OF TOWN

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2083_zpsl9kvkn8x.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2083_zpsl9kvkn8x.jpg.html)

After thanking the ladies from the info centre we head to a local motel complex down the road to collect the keys to the house we are renting. The owners of the rental property are also very nice people aswell, they give us heaps of info of what to see and do in the local area, and we thank them for doing so before heading off to the house. Arriving at the house we find it's a nice enough little brick house with plenty of room to park our vehicles and trailers inside the property. It appears as though the place was originally set up for someone that owned a trailer and used to park it down beside their shed, so i open the extra gate they have on the front fence to back my camper trailer down into that position of the property. Being my 4wd won't fit under the double carport they have here, Jeff comandeers that location to park his camper trailer and vehicle under, we then grab our clothes and food from the vehicles and set about making ourselves right at home.
We've booked this house for 2 nights originally, but did mention to each other that we may stay here 3 nights overall. Before booking the extra night though we wanted to see what the property was like, and now we've seen it we are more then happy with where we are staying, so we make a call to the property owners and let them know we plan to stay here an extra night. The property owners are pretty easy going people, they tell us to drop by whenever in the next day or so to fix them up for the cost of the extra night, so we thank them and tell them we'll see them tomorrow sometime.

THE HOUSE WE'VE RENTED FOR THE FEW NIGHTS TO GET OUT OF THE WIND

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2087_zpsrpehhfaa.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2087_zpsrpehhfaa.jpg.html)

With all our gear stowed in the house we then have a bite to eat for lunch. Jeff's young fella still isn't 100%, so they make an opointment to see a local doctor. They are told a time to bring him down, but when they get there they actually end up waiting 2 hours in the waiting room to see the doctor...so much for having an opointment time hey. We don't do a lot this afternoon ourselves, we take the opportunity to do a few loads of laundry, and i spend a few hours watching the One Day International cricket on the television. The wind outside has been blowing a constant 50kph all day, the wind is gusting to over 75kph also and some of the outdoor area of the house is creaking and groaning in the wind....getting this house was the smartest move we've ever made i reckon.
Jeff and Sara eventually return back to the house late in the afternoon, a small thunderstorm rolls through town after they get back, but there's not a lot in it other then some rain and the odd bit of noise.  We'd noticed when we arrived here that there's a practically brand new bbq in the entertainment area of this house, so we get Jeff and Sara to grab some steaks from the grocery store whilst they were out, and tonight i'll be cooking dinner on the bbq for everyone. Cooking on the bbq is about as far as my cooking skills go sadly, if it can't be cooked on a bbq, then don't come looking to me for a feed...lol.
As the sun starts to set i notice a bunch of rabbits running about in the field across the road from the house, i walk outside to point them out to my kids, and it's quite surprising just how many of them we see. We don't spend to long outside here though as it's starting to get quite cool actually, so we head back inside to seek the warmth of the house. The evening is spent relaxing watching tv, and playing a few card and board games etc. It's nice to be in a house for a change with all it's conveniences, as it's been over a month since we last slept in one (other then the old run down motel room at St Helens that is). It's a good night in the cricket for Australia, we get a win over England i think it was from memory. With the game over it's time for bed, so i call it a night and head off to some bedroom comfort for a change.

THE SUPER CHEF IN ACTION...LOL...getting the kids sausages out of the way first up

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2089_zps2zrcqkfi.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2089_zps2zrcqkfi.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on October 23, 2015, 09:35:48 PM
DAY 39 - SWANSEA AND SURROUNDS

With no rush to do anything in particular today we start the morning off with a nice hot cooked brekky, then on finishing this i make a phone call and book a quad bike tour for tomorrow at 1 p.m, for myself, my youngest daughter, Jeff and his eldest boy, with a company called All4adventure, that operates in Freycinet National Park. Seeing as though the wives and my eldest daughter got to go horse riding at Cradle Mountain, this will be our treat for the trip. The company runs both quad bikes and Polaris Ranger side by sides in it's tours, so i book the 2 Rangers they have, with Jeff taking his 2 boys in one, and i'll take my youngest daughter in the other. The cost i think was $220 for each Ranger for a 2 1/2 hr tour.
With brekky had and the tour booked for tomorrow it's time to go exploring the local area. First stop this morning is only a few hundred metres up the road in the middle of town though, we need to buy some sunglasses for our youngest daughter as it's likely going to be dusty and even muddy in places on the quad bike tour, so we make a quick stop and pick a pair of sunnies up for her to wear tomorrow. With these purchased we start to head North on the highway out of town, before exiting town completely though, we stop off to visit the Bark Mill Tavern and Bakery. Located here is a fantastic bakery and a pub as the name alludes to, but there is a museum out the back you can visit also.
Quote
The Bark Mill is a restored mill and museum in Swansea on Tasmania's east coast. The mill is Australia's only restored Black Wattle Bark Mill, and possibly the only one in the world. The fully working mill demonstrates how bark from local black wattle trees was once crushed for export across the world. The bark is the basic ingredient used in tanning.

The mill was established in 1885 and continued operation until the early 1960s.

A visit here gives a fascinating insight into the ancient art of milling bark. The museum depicts the early history of the oldest rural municipality in Australia. Individual working displays depict life as it was in the 1800s. The descendants of the original settlers have loaned many items and photographs to the exhibition.


 Aswell as a heap of interesting displays and artifacts, there's the working steam engine that powered the original Bark Mill located here also....sadly for us it wasn't running and the museum seemed to be half closed with the bakery staff happy to take your entrance fee money, but then you're on your own after that. What is a very interesting place with fantastic displays, turned out to be a touch of a let down also really. The displays we saw and read relating to the Bark Mill industry were very interesting, it's just a shame that half the place where the steam engine is located almost seemed sort of "closed", and that the steam engine wasn't running....for $23 for a family to enter i expected more for my money, though it was an informative place to visit non the less.


BARK MILL MUSEUM


(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2817_zpsejkt97wh.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2817_zpsejkt97wh.jpg.html)

THERE WAS SOME NICE FLOWERS GROWING IN THE FRONT GARDEN HERE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2819_zpssf7hajai.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2819_zpssf7hajai.jpg.html)

AN OLD TRUCK AND SOME OF THE STUFF ON DISPLAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2813_zpsplh5rlm4.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2813_zpsplh5rlm4.jpg.html)

THERE'S A RIPPER OLD SCOOTER ON DISPLAY HERE ALSO

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2804_zps7mferoxg.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2804_zps7mferoxg.jpg.html)

A PILE OF BARK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2812_zps0a8bzfir.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2812_zps0a8bzfir.jpg.html)

THE ORIGINAL STEAM ENGINE FROM THE BARK MILL (apparently it still runs, even though not working when we were there)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2815_zpsqp2p6x6b.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2815_zpsqp2p6x6b.jpg.html)

THERE'S BELTS RUNNING OFF THE ENGINE EVERYWHERE FOR POWERING DIFFERENT THINGS

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With our look around completed here we jump back in the vehicles and head Northwards out of town. We don't travel to far and see a sign for a place called Dolphin Sands, so we turn right of of the highway and head for the point that we can see on our GPS units. We end up at the end of the road and drive out onto a dirt / sand track that appears to take you out onto the beach here. There's tracks runing off in all directions, but it appears as though large rocks have been put in many areas to try and stop people driving about the area. Unsure whether we are allowed to be driving around here or not, we don't continue on and jump out of the vehicles to grab a few pics looking out over the water.

THE VIEW WHERE WE ENDED UP AT THE END OF DOLPHIN SANDS ROAD

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2820_zps1kuljao7.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2820_zps1kuljao7.jpg.html)

We hop back in the vehicles and drive back towards the highway, we explore a road off to the right that on our GPS shows has a dirt track running off it that'll take us back to the highway, but in reality this road doesn't exist at all, so we back track along the bitumin road instead. Off to our left we see a sign for 9 Mile Beach, we park the vehicles up here and hop out to go for a walk. Cresting the sand dune that leads you down onto the beach we are immediately smashed by the strong winds that are blowing about the area today.  We go for a short walk along the beach, but our bodies are literally being sandblasted as we walk along, so after a short while we beat a hasty retreat back to our vehicles once again...it really was quite unpleasent being out on this beach today with the wind that was blowing.
From Nine Mile Beach we head back to the main highway and turn right to keep heading North. It's not long and we come across a lookout that we wanted to stop at yesterday as we drove past on the way to Swansea, but there just wasn't any room for us to stop here with our trailers on the back, as there were several vehicles here already then. The lookout is located at Apslawn and is literally right beside the highway, you pull off the side of the road onto a dirt verge and hop out of your vehicle to check out the view. Known as the Great Oyster Bay Lookout, here you'll have a stunning view out over Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve with a back drop of Mount Peter and Mount Paul.

VIEW FROM GREAT OYSTER BAY LOOKOUT

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2826_zps6afeitqc.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2826_zps6afeitqc.jpg.html)

If you look at the pic above, in the bottom lefthand corner you'll see some of a vineyard that belongs to a local winery. Know as The Hazards Vineyard, this winery has a cellar door that has free tastings of it's Devil’s Corner range and that's where we headed to next. The view to be seen from the cellar door looking over the lagoon and mountains i mentioned earlier is probably more spectacular then from the lookout located above, well at worst it's on a par with it...so it's well worth stopping in here if you get the chance. As usual with our wives being the wine connoisseur's that they are, they had to partake in the sampling of the local grape juice, so Jeff and myself looked after the kids and enjoyed the view on offer whilst the girls hit the plonk.

HAZARDS VINEYARD CELLAR DOOR

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NOT A BAD VIEW TO BE HAD FROM THE VINEYARD

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2830_zpsbnw35bwt.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2830_zpsbnw35bwt.jpg.html)

With the grape juice swilling completed here we jump back in the vehicles and continue heading North up the highway. A short distance up the bitumin we take a left turn and make another stop at yet another winery, this one being the Freycinet Vineyard. The cellar door here is a bit flasher building then then what we encountered at the previous vineyard, it's got some nice stone and timber structure happening, so i admire this for a bit. Whilst here, Sara was hoping to grab a bottle or 2 of their Radenti Sparkling Chardonnay which was familiar with, but sadly the winery had sold out of this, and she'd have to go without. We don't stay as long at this winery as we did the previous one, a few samples done and we hit the road again with a few bottles purchased and continue going North.

FREYCINET VINEYARD

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From here we then head to Friendly Beaches for a late lunch, we turn right off of the highway onto Coles Bay Rd then take a left turn off of this road at the sign for Friendly Beaches. The road into here turns to dirt / gravel somewhere along the way, it's a good dirt road, with only very minor corrugations when we were there. We stop off at a lookout on the way to the camp area / beach, it's only a very short walk to the lookout from the carpark area we've stopped at, the view Southwards towards Coles Bay area is your reward for the short walk.

HEADING TO FRIENDLY BEACHES FOR A LATE LUNCH

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LOOKING SOUTHWARDS TOWARDS COLES BAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2841_zpsgosu4dqs.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2841_zpsgosu4dqs.jpg.html)

Back in the vehicles again and we continue on the short distance to the camp ground and beach itself. We did consider camping here at one stage hoping it's be out of the wind this East Coast area is getting smashed by currently, it does appear to be slightly better sheltered then other places we've seen thus far, but it still has some wind gusting about currently. The dozen or so camp spots located here aren't what you'd call big either, there's the odd spot you could fit a camper trailer into if they happened to be vacant (which they weren't when we were there), but ideally this place is more suited to tent type campers or people with small motorhomes or vans IMHO.
We manage to find ourselves the last few remaining carparks located here (there aren't all that many to start with really) and jump out of the vehicles to head down to the beach for a while. Before doing this though, we make a quick lunch from the back of the vehicles, and eat this in the car park area. Whilst having lunch i notice a strange noise coming from under the bonnet of my fourby, so i pop the hood and find the main starter battery is venting gas from itself. I've never actually seen a battery do this before (though have heard of it happening), so i just let it do it's thing and slowly lower the bonnet back down into position again and finish having lunch. With lunch eaten we head down onto the beach, it's only a very short walk with a bit of a goat track leading the last 15 metres down onto the sand, but once down here we are able to take in the beauty of the beach we are on, seeing it stretch Northwards for some 1.8 kilometres. We spend quite a while relaxing here on the beach and letting the kids run wild, there's only a handful of of other people about the area, a few crazy ones even ventured into the water for a swim. Down here at the beach is actually sheltered from the wind that is about the area, it's a great spot to relax, and you definately can't complain about the view. The combination of the colours of water in the ocean, the white sand and the rocks off to are right was something that needed to be seen to be believed, it really was quite stunning....it's amazing the contrast between being here and being sandblasted at 9 Mile Beach a few hours earlier today. I take a few pics of the area looking both Northwards and Southwards along the beaches here, and then eventually we call an end to our lazing about and head back to our vehicles.

LOOKING NORTHWARDS AT FRIENDLY BEACHES

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2842_zpslor5vrwf.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2842_zpslor5vrwf.jpg.html)

LOOKING SOUTHWARDS TOWARDS COLES BAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2843_zps1rgcnrfq.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2843_zps1rgcnrfq.jpg.html)

Back at the vehicles and my fourby's battery is no longer venting gas, i turn the key in the ignition and the vehicle fires to life, so i just leave the battery be for now. On the way out of Friendly Beaches we take a left turn and go explore a track that looks to head South to another section of beach. We follow this for a while until it comes to an end, it appears you need to go for a bit of a decent walk to reach the beach from here, so we decide to give it a miss and turn the vehicles around and start heading back to Swansea. The run back to Swansea is fairly uneventful and we notice the wind hasn't died down any on the run back also, we encounter one vehicle with a camper fitted on it's trayback taking it very slowly on the corners, it's high centre of gravity isn't copping very well at all with the strong wind gusts that are battering it.
Back in Swansea and we pay the IGA store another visit to get our eldest daughter a set of sunglasses also, kids being kids, they always want what the other sibling has gotten....no idea why we didn't think to get them a pair each this morning when we were doing it. I let the wife go into the store with our eldest daughter to get the sunnies whilst i waited on the main street in the vehicle. Whilst sitting in the fourby, it was literally rocking back and forth from the super strong wind gusts that were hitting it. I kid you not here, the entire vehicle was moving so much, it felt when a roadtrain goes past you whilst it's doing 100kph with the wind from it smashing against your vehicle....i don't ever recall having this happen to me previously with the way the wind rocked the vehicle like it did, which shows how windy it is at the moment.
With child 2 now happy to have her own sunglasses also, we head back to the house to bunker down out of the wind. I don't stay at the house though, i actually drop the wife and kids off at the house then head off up the road a touch to take a few pics of a local church i spotted yesterday in my travels. The All Saints Church of England in Wellington St, is a lovely old Gothic style stone building, and was completed being built in 1871. I take some pics here then call it a day and head back to the house.


THE ALL SAINTS CHURCH OF ENGLAND IN SWANSEA

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NOTE IT'S BEAUTIFUL CONSTRUCTION...BUILT MOSTLY OF FIELDSTONE WITH SANDSTONE BUTRESSES AND GABLE COPPINGS

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2853_zps3kmaqx0v.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2853_zps3kmaqx0v.jpg.html)

Parking the vehicle up in the front yard i pop the bonnet and notice the battery is venting gas once again, so i leave the bonnet open and walk off to leave it be for a while. Whilst waiting for dinner to cook i note the creaking and groaning that is going on from the strong winds with the steel carport and patio entertainment area that is attached to the house. Whilst this house wasn't exactly cheap to rent (great value though really), the cost of staying here is money well spent IMHO, because i'm sure our camper trailers would have gotten damaged by now had we of been trying to camp in them at the moment with the wind that is blowing.
Dinner had for the night and i note that Jeff had 3 serves of dessert, i can't recall what it is that we ate that night, but i did write in my trip notes about the gluttony going on his behalf...lol...so it must of been ok. After dinner i go out to my fourby and wash the battery and it's general area down with water, before closing up the bonnet and calling it a night to head off to bed. We'll see what happens with the battery in the morning, it'll need to be replaced somewhere soon is my thinking.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on October 23, 2015, 09:36:40 PM
DAY 40 - COLES BAY

Most of the household has a sleep in this morning, eventually they all get up and have brekky before we get ready to head off to the Coles Bay area for the day. With everything we need packed in the vehicles for a day out, i go start my fourby but the battery is dead. Testing the start battery with my multimeter it reads 9.9V....it's cactus. I jump start the vehicle off the second battery, it fires to life and i then head up the road a few hundred metres to the local BP service station to try and get a new battery. I don't like my chances of getting a battery in a smallish town like this on a Saturday morning, but miraculously they have one battery left in the size i want with the terminals the right way around, and it only cost me $180. Not wanting to clog up their driveway being space is at a premium here, i drive back to the house and then swap the batteries over on the road out front. With my fourby all fixed, we then head off for the day, back towards where we had spent yesterday afternoon at Friendly Beaches.

SWAPPING OUT THE CACTUS BATTERY FOR THE NEW ONE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2858_zpsekvjyjj5.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2858_zpsekvjyjj5.jpg.html)

The run North up the highway is uneventful, we take the right turn off the highway we need to take onto Coles Bay Rd, and then follow this until we reach the town itself. Our quad bike / polaris ride isn't until 1.00 p.m today, so we have the morning to do some exploring of the area. As we come into Coles Bay we see the place we need to go to later today on the righthand side, so make note of it's location and continue on along the main road towards Freycinet. We eventually take a lefthand turn onto Cape Tourville Rd, and follow this almost to it's end before turning onto a dirt track that takes you down to Bluestone Bayabout a kilometer before the lighthouse. There's a sign stating this track is for 4wd vehicles only, it's not a hard track by any means, and in the dry a high clearance 2wd vehicle could likely negotiate it. The majority of the track has a few minor washouts on it and is pretty easy stuff to navigate, the only place a non 4wd vehicle may struggle though is right at the end of the track where it decends down to the bay itself, as it does get slightly more rutted out there. Soon enough we are parking the vehicles up at the end of the track, the carpark area being literally a stones throw away from the waters edge. Bluestone Bay is completely different to most other parts of Freycinet, it's shore is not covered in sand, but covered with pale blue and pink boulders instead.  We spend abit of time looking about here and taking pics of the area, and by coincidence we actually meet up with the guide who will be leading our bike ride tour this afternoon. I have a quick chat with him (pretty quick really as he was leading another tour at the time), and he mentions that this is where he was going to bring us this afternoon on the tour, but seeing as though we are here now, he'll take us to another location they also go to instead.

SIGN AT START OF THE "4WD" TRACK

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IT'S A PRETTY EASY GOING TRACK REALLY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2862_zpsnaf8zzxp.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2862_zpsnaf8zzxp.jpg.html)

BLUESTONE BAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1745_zpsslwqz6nl.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_1745_zpsslwqz6nl.jpg.html)

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2865_zpsgnurj3w4.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2865_zpsgnurj3w4.jpg.html)

We say goodbye to our guide for now, then jump back in our vehicles and head back out to the bitumin of Cape Tourville Rd. We make a left turn onto the bitumin and drive the short distance to the end of the road, which is a car park area for the Cape Tourville Lighthouse. Built in 1971, this unmanned automatic lighthouse replaced the Cape Forestier Lighthouse which used to be located at Lemon Rock, another jutting off the Freycinet Peninsula which i believe lies South East of Wineglass Bay. It's quite busy here at the lighthouse, we struggle to find 2 vacant car parks for both our vehicles to park in.... i find a spot straight up, and eventually when someone else leaves Jeff parks his vehicle aswell. There's a short 600mtr long circuit walk of you can do here, we actually don't have time to do it at the moment due to needing to get going soon to make our quad bike ride, so we just opt to have a quick look at the view of the ocean from the boardwalk that is here, and we'll try and make time to come back later this afternoon if we get the chance for a better look around. We take a few pics whilst checking out the spectacular views to be found here, then it's back in the vehicles once again and we head to the office of All4Adventure back at Coles Bay.

CAPE TOURVILLE LIGHTHOUSE

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LOOKING SOUTH TOWARDS WINEGLASS BAY FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE BOARDWALK

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THE NUGGETS...THERE'S 4 SEPERATE LITTLE ISLANDS THAT MAKE UP THIS FEATURE JUST OFF OF CAPE TOURVILLE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2871_zpsqf0yh2rl.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2871_zpsqf0yh2rl.jpg.html)

Arriving at All4Adventure headquarters i go inside the building to do some paperwork and pay for our tour, it's then that i am given the news that one of the Rangers we have booked for today isn't running at the moment, and the guys are out the back trying to repair it as we speak. We're not real happy to hear this news as Jeff and myself were really looking forward to driving a Polaris Ranger each today, our only option now is that both our kids hop in the Ranger with one of us adults (as they are a 3 seater), and the other adult gets to ride on a quad bike instead. We don't have much of a choice in the matter, we can see the guys working frantically out the back trying to fix the busted vehicle all to no avail, so we say we'll do the quad bike and Polaris Ranger combination, but we want to swap around on the machines part way through the tour.... which they happily agree to let us do.
With the paperwork completed and money handed over, we make our way a few hundred metres across the other side of Coles Bay Rd, to where the rest of the working vehicles are waiting for us. The first half hour of the tour is spent doing a training / practice session , so that the tour guide knows we are capable of operating the vehicles we'll be driving today. They are all pretty straight forward machines to operate, there's no clutch to worry about, just an accelerator, brake and gear selector. There's atleast about a half dozen other quad bike riders coming along on our tour today, we all take turns weaving in and out of a course as directed, and Jeff and i have to quickly swap from one vehicle to the other so the guide knows we are competent in both machines we'll be operating this afternoon. With the training course done and everyone seeming to know what they need to be doing, we then head off into the bush along a dirt track.  As i mentioned earlier we were originally going to be taken to Bluestone Bay on this tour, but seeing as though we'd been there already today, we are now heading to South Friendly Beaches instead. First up on the ride Jeff is driving the Polaris with both the kids, and i am riding the quad bike. The ride is nothing hard to do, there's a few people along for the ride today that don't strike me as normally being the most adventurous type (both males and females), and they had no issues at all negotiating the wash outs and very slight side slopes we encountered along the way. After a while our first stop for the tour is at an old abandoned tin miners shack. Tin was first mined in the area back in the 1870's, work was centred on Saltwater Creek (north of Coles Bay) and Middleton Creek with limited success, and most operatins in the area were pretty short-lived.

JEFF AND THE KIDS IN THE RANGER

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OLD TIN MINERS SHACK WE STOP AT ALONG THE WAY

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2119_zps4oellfrw.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2119_zps4oellfrw.jpg.html)

MY DAUGHTER ON THE QUAD BIKE I WAS RIDING

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2118_zpssooyd7nt.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2118_zpssooyd7nt.jpg.html)

Our guide gives us a good run down on the area and it's tin mining past, it's a short stop here and then we push on to South Friendly Beaches. Arriving at the beach we park the vehicles up in the small car park area at the end of the track, and our guide has some snacks and drinks for us that were included in todays tour price. If you have a good map of the area that shows all the tracks, you can actually drive your own 4wd to this area we are currently at. The spot we are at is actually where we were looking South to yesterday when we were at Friendly Beaches for the afternoon.  It's approximately 8 klms North from here to where we were yesterday, and if you were keen enough to walk this section of beautiful beach, you'd likely have it all to yourself. With our drinks and snack break over, we jump back on the bikes / polaris and head back to where we left from at the start of the trip. On the run back to base i drive the polaris whilst Jeff rides the quad, we take a few small detours along some other tracks on the run back, but mostly we follow the same route back that we went to South Friendly beaches on. Almost back at base we detour along a track that ends with a steepish loose climb up a hill that has some decent wash outs in it. I'm actually surprised at how well the Polaris fights and grabs for grip on the loose surface, it's pretty good fun driving one of these things. With our tour completed we park the vehicles up back where we left from a few hours earlier, and are joined by our wives here who had taken Jeffs 4wd into town, and lazed about at the pub having lunch.

LOOKING NORTH FROM SOUTH FRIENDLY BEACHES

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THE TRACKS WE DROVE WERE FAR FROM EXTREME, BUT THEY DID GET SLIGHTLY HARDER THEN PICTURED HERE

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2122_zpsqmx8vayg.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2122_zpsqmx8vayg.jpg.html)

MYSELF AND THE KIDS IN THE POLARIS ON THE RETURN RUN TO BASE

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From here we all jump back in our 4wd's and head back through Coles Bay to Freycinet, where we plan to do the walk to the lookout for Wineglass Bay. Parking up in the car park area here we jump out of the vehicles and are greeted by a kangaroo that is wandering about the area. There's a few overseas tourist amazed at seeing a kangaroo in the wild, likely for their first time i'd hazard a guess, we let the kids have a bit of a close up look at it before then continuing on to do our walk. The walk to the lookout is a steep uphill walk along a rocky, well-constructed track , there's plenty of steps to negotiate along the way, so it'll give your knees a good work out.  It's 1.5 klms from the start of the walk to the lookout itself, then another 1.5 klms back again...though it feels like 5 times that distance going there, as it's pretty much uphill all the way there. The kids all do well walking to the lookout, we stop a few times along the way for rest breaks, and after a while arrive at the lookout.
It's not a bad view out over Wineglass Bay here, though i do make the comment to Jeff that i am a little underwhelmed with what i am seeing....and he agres with me. You always hear of people raving about Wineglass Bay when they've been to Tassie, i guess we really needed to walk down to the bay itself though to see if that's what they are on about. The view from the lookout is nice as i mentioned already, but we've seen so many spectacular views throughout Tasmania in the near on 5 weeks we've already been travelling  throughout this state, that this view just doesn't blow us away as much as we'd have expected it to do before coming here. Maybe next time we visit Tasmania we'll do the walk down to the bay and see if that is what people rave about, but for now this will have to do us here. We take some family pics and then start on the walk back to the car park.

ROCK FEATURE ALONG THE WALK TO WINEGLASS BAY LOOKOUT

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BE PREPARED TO NEGOTIATE A HEAP OF THESE AS YOU DO THE WALK

(http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/qld-bundy-drinker/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2883_zpsjax8qwmz.jpg) (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/qld-bundy-drinker/media/Tassie%202014%20-%202015/tn_IMG_2883_zpsjax8qwmz.jpg.html)

THERE'S THIS GREAT SEAT TO TAKE A BREAK AND RELAX ON PART WAY ALONG THE WALK ALSO

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FAMILY PIC AT THE WINEGLASS BAY LOOKOUT

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Back at our vehicles and the walk has taken us approximately an hour and a half to complete all up, we grab some cold drinks from the fridge in the back of the fourby, then it's time to make tracks once again. From here we head back Cape Tourville Lighthouse which we briefly visited earlier today, this time we have no problems at all getting car parks, as there's only one other vehicle here now. We do the full circuit walk and read the information boards they have located along the way aswell....it's quite nice being here late in the afternoon with practically nobody else about. One thing i will say though about coming to the lighthouse at this time of the afternoon versus earlierin the day, is that you get much nicer photographs earlier in the daydue to the shadows now on the sheer rock faces to what i pictured earlier in todays posting.
With our walking done for the day it's time to head back to the house at Swansea. It's an uneventful drive back to the house, and when we get there we get dinner going straight away which is a roast pork. Dinner is a pretty late affair tonight being the hour we got home at, it doesn't matter though as we're on holidays, and are just taking everything as it comes at whatever time it happens to occur. We spend the evening watching the One Day Cricket on the television, before calling it a night and heading off to bed.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on October 31, 2015, 08:46:50 PM
DAY 41 - SWANSEA TO OATLANDS

Time for us to move camp today, so we load everything back into the campers from the house we have been renting the past few days, and hit the road. First up we have to drop the key to the house back at the motel that we got it from, we do this and then head to the Bark Mill bakery to grab some brekky. This eaten it's time to leave town, we head North for about 55klms back along the Tasman Hwy, and then take a left turn onto the Lake Leake Hwy to start heading West. Traffic is pretty light on / non existent really, and once we get a bit of a long climb up a range out of the way, it's a nice easy scenic drive into Campbell Town after that.

HEADING FOR CAMPBELL TOWN

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We hadn't really planned on stopping in Campbell Town originally, but something one of us (not sure who it was now) read along the way made us take a right turn instead of our planned left turn at the T insersection of the Midland Hwy, and head into there. We are so glad we made the decision to head into this town, be sure you stop here if in the area as it has plenty of stuff well worth seeing. Originally established in 1821 by Governor Macquarie as one of the four garrison town and probation stations between Hobart and Launceston, we park our vehicles up on the side of the highway in the main street and hop out to find we are at the very start of the Convict Brick Trail. The Convict Brick Trail is literally a trail of bricks layed down on the footpath in High St, and is dedicated to the nearly 200 000 convicts that were transported to Australia between the years 1788 and 1868. Over 70 000 of these convicts were tansported to Tasmania, and most of these people travelled through the town of Campbell Town at some stage of their journeys through the state. Each brick in the trail has the convicts name,  their age,  the ship & arrival date,  their crime & length of sentence. The first brick was laid by Mayor Kim Polley on August the 28th 2003, it is dedicated to those who died on their way to Australia either by disease or misfortune. Reading the other bricks it's hard to work out how the judges came up with the sentences that each convict got handed to them, many of the crimes seems rather minor for the period of time they have been sentenced to, and there doesn't seem to be consistency in time people get to serve for the offences they had commited. Located here where we have parked our vehicles at the start of the trail is also the Foxhunters Return, which is a convict built building that today still has the holding cells beneath it`s floors where the convicts were held at night. We didn't actually go inside this building to check the cells out for ourselves, as we sadly weren't aware at the time that they were there.

THE CONVICT BRICK TRAIL IN CAMBELL TOWN

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I COULDN'T WORK OUT HOW ONE CONVICT WAS SENTENCED TO 7 YEARS FOR THEFT OF WOOL & RUM, YET ANOTHER COPPED LIFE FOR THEFT OF A BROOCH

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Also located here at the start of the Convict Brick Trail, is the Red Bridge. This bridge is the oldest surviving brick arch bridge in Australia, and the oldest bridge still in use on an Australian National Highway. It was entirely built using convict labour, and each convict was paid six pence per day for the work they did, with 220 convicts working on the bridge at the peak of it's construction . The convicts hand made the 1,250,000 bricks used in it's construction, and the bridge originally was built on dry land. Upon the bridges completion, the convicts were then instructed to divert the river to run beneath it's arches. To achieve this diversion, convicts had to dig a new river course one kilometre either side of the newly constructed bridge, a massive feat of it's own to achieve without the aid of modern day machinery.

THE RED BRIDGE SPANNING THE ELIZABETH RIVER

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1,250,000 HANDMADE BRICKS WERE USED IN IT'S CONSTRUCTION

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AS THE STONE SIGN LAYED IN THE BRIDGE SAYS... IT'S 41 MILES (66KLMS) TO LAUNCESTON

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Directly across the road from the start of the Convict Brick Trail is Blackburn Park, so named after James Blackburn who was the designer of Red Bridge. Back in the 1930's, 3 Macrocarpa trees were planted on this location, and just like in the town of Legerwood that we have visited previously on our trip, these trees would later have to be felled for safety reasons. Eddie Freeman who is the chainsaw artist that carved those memorial trees in Legerwood originated from here in Campbell Town, he has turned these 3 Macrocarpa trees into similar works of art, with these trees depict the towns "natural and human history of the region".
Quote
One tree closest to Red Bridge features a heritage theme with a British Soldier guarding a convict labourer during the construction of Red Bridge. Another tree highlights the region’s natural rich aquatic and terrestrial wildlife complete with platypus, duck, trout, Tasmanian Devil, dragonfly and more.
A third tree pays tribute to prominent people in Campbell Town’s history, Governor Macquarie and his wife; bushranger Martin Cash, Dr William Valentine and Harold Gatty, while the sheep and wool bales represent the Campbell Town Show, the longest running annual show in Australia. These sculptures capture the very essence of this beautiful town and region, and are a perfect tribute to the history of Campbell Town.


BLACKBURN PARK TREE CARVINGS

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We have a bit of a look around town after checking out the tree carvings, and try to locate The Black Bridge that i'd just read about which is supposably here also, but we are unsuccessful in our search for it. Made of bluestone it carries the railway through the east of the town, but we didn't have any actual directions to it's location, so we just drove around the area trying to locate it. In our search for the Black Bridge we did stumble upon a free camp that is located here in town also, the Lions Park is a nice enough spot to make camp for a night if your looking for somewhere to stay about the area.
With our look about Campbell Town done, we head out of town along the Midland Hwy in a Southerly direction. Our next stop for the day is only about 12klms down the highway, it's the small town of Ross. Just before you reach the turn off on the highway for Ross you'll go past a large 42 degree sign that is loacted in a field to your East. This sign is located here as it refers to the 42 degree South latitude, which is the location of all points approximately 4650klms South of the equator. This "line" passes through Tasmania just North of Ross, and also passes through the South island of New Zealand, and through Chile and Argentina in South America aswell. The township of Ross is apparently the only town of any size close to this "line" anywhere along it's length, hence why they put this large sign in the field where they have done so.

THE 42 DEGREE LATITUDE SIGN JUST NORTH OF ROSS

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After passing the sign in the field we then take our exit to the left and drive into the town of Ross. Very much like the previous town we had just visited, Ross has a rich convict history and like Campbell Town also has plenty of beautiful old sandstone buildings to be found in it. We drive into the centre of town and then park our vehicles up in a carpark area by the banks of the Macquarie River. Located here beside the park is the Ross Bridge, a beautiful old sandstone bridge constructed by convict labour once again in 1836, and is the third oldest bridge still in use in Australia. We spend some checking this bridge out and photographing it, the detailed carving work in the sandstone is amazing to view, something we just don't see in todays modern engineered buildings.

THE ROSS BRIDGE

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THE BRIDGE WAS COMISSIONED BY LIEUTENANT - GOVERNOR ARTHUR

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THE DETAIL IN THE SANDSTONE CARVINGS IS AMAZING TO VIEW

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ANOTHER MILE MARKER SIGN ON THIS BRIDGE ALSO, JUST LIKE THE RED BRIDGE HAD....69 MILES TO HOBART

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From the bridge we walk back into the centre of town to "The four corners of Ross". This cross roads in the centre of town has a war memorial as the central feature of the instersection, complete with a field gun from the Boer War. The four conrers of the intersection each have a label, "Temptation" refers to the corner with the Man O' Ross Hotel on it, "Recreation" has the Town Hall on that corner, "Salvation" corner has Roman Catholic Church, and "Damnation" was the old Jail.
We turn right and start to walk up the hill to the Wool Centre, this museum gives a good insight into the towns heritage and its historical links to wool growing in the area.
With our look about the Wool Centre done we continue walking up the street some more and stop in next at the Uniting Church that sits prominently on the hilltop. Built in 1885, it's Gothic style architecture is stunning to view, and this church is also noted for its blackwood pews and carved baptismal.

LOOKING DOWN CHURCH STREET TOWARDS THE "4 CORNERS OF ROSS", THE STONE BUILDINGS IN THIS TOWN ARE STUNNING TO VIEW

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IT'S THE LITTLE DETAILS IN THE STONE WORK THAT REALLY SETS THE BUILDINGS OFF

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ROSS UNITING CHURCH

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MEMORIAL AT UNITING CHURCH TO THE PIONEER METHODISTS OF ROSS

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From the Uniting Church we continue walking on exploring the town, our next stop is at The Female Factory. The Female Factory was one of four female factories established in Tasmania, and this one located at Ross ran from 1847 to 1854. There's not much in the way of architecture remaining at this site above ground these days, but apparently it's the "most archaeologically intact female convict site in Australia". Situated here is a museum that outlines the roll this place played in our countries convict past. Female prisoners were used in a manufacturing industry here, they could be hired out to be used as domestic servants and the like, but would be  sent back to the factory for punishment if they were charged with an offence by their master or mistress.

ROSS FEMALE FACTORY...THE BUILDING ON THE RIGHT IS THE MUSEUM

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A PATHWAY ACROSS THE ROAD FROM THE FEMALE FACTORY THAT LEADS TO THE TOWNS CEMETRY

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We finish up at the Female Factory and the afternoon is starting to get away from us, so we start to head back to our vehicles. I'd spoken to someone earlier as we walked about the town who mention viewing the original stables for the military garrison horses out the back of the Uniting Church which we'd visited earlier, so we pay these a visit next.

OLD MILITARY GARRISON HORSE STABLES AT ROSS

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There's so much to see in the towns of Campbell Town and Ross which we've just visited, that we have really only scratched the surface of both these towns.... i'd love to come back here again sometime in the future and spend a few days looking through the towns fully. Time however is against us, and it's time to move on to the town of Oatlands, which is our planned camp for tonight. It's only about 36 klms drive to Oatlands from Ross, so before we know we've reached our camp location, a free camp on the banks of the Lake Dulverton Wetland. You have a choice of 2 places to camp in town here, if it's to full by the banks of the wetland, there is a large overflow area up behind the towns windmill, which is just across the road.

TONIGHTS FREE CAMP IN THE TOWN OF OATLANDS

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LAKE DULVERTON WETLANDS

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After several nights holed up in a house, we were thinking ow nice it would be tonight to be once again sitting around a campfire enjoying a few rinks. Sadly for us this didn't turn out to be the case though, the wind is blowing to strong this afternoon / tonight to get a fire going, so the firewood we ought about a week ago now, is still of no use to us. I take the kids across the road to the overflow camp area, there's a playground located here, so they burn off some energy playing on it. As the sun starts to set we head back to camp and have dinner, then put the kids to bed for the night. We ask Sara and Jeff to keep an eye on the kids for us, then Leanne and myself head up to the Callington Mill to try and get some night time pics of it. We manage to get a few nice shots of the windmill lit up at night, then head back to our camper and call it a night, it's to cold and windy to sit outside and enjoy the evening.

THE PLAYGROUND BEHIND THE CALLINGTON MILL

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THE PLAYGROUND EVEN HAS SOME NICE TIMBER CARVINGS IN IT

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THE CALLINGTON MILL AT NIGHT

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ANOTHER NIGHT TIME PIC OF THE WINDMILL

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Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on November 06, 2015, 11:24:30 PM
DAY 42 - OATLANDS TO ARTHURS LAKE

We wake to a nice morning but the wind gusts start to pick up as we pack up camp. There's no rush to do much this morning, our plan is to tour the Callington Mill that we photographed last night, and it doesn't open until 9.00 a.m. I grab the camera and take a few pics of the bird life that calls the wetlands we camped beside home, they seem content to keep some distance from people, but do let you get close enough to snap a decent pic of them also. With everything packed away and a small brekky eaten, we drive around the corner and park our vehicles up on the main street near the centre of town.

A COUPLE OF PICS OF SOME OF THE BIRDLIFE TO BE FOUND AT THE WETLANDS

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With our vehicles parked up, we hop out and do a short walk in the main street checking out some of the sandstone building that Oatlands has in it. Surprisingly to me... Oatlands is considered to have the largest number of colonial sandstone buildings in any town in Australia, i myself would have thought a town such as Ross or Evandale would have more sandstones buildings in it, but apparently i'm incorrect.

A RANDOM PIC I TOOK WALKING AROUND THE TOWN... the windmill is a pretty dominate feature in this town

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We next head over to the mill and book to do a tour of it, and the cost is $40 for a family to do this. The first tour doesn't start until 10.00 a.m, so we have about 30 minutes to kill off...tours take about 45 minutes to do and run on the hour until 3.00 p.m.
With half an hour to spare we walk around the gardens that are located beside the mill, taking pics of both the gardens and the windmill. Someone has put a lot of time and effort into the garden that is located here, and their hard work does not go unnoticed by us....it is nice to stroll around here in this mornings sunshine. Half an hour goes past pretty quickly and before we know it we are lining up to do our tour.
The Callington Mill was originally built back in 1837 and was operated by several different owners in it's working life, it's the third oldest windmill in Australia and today is the only operating mill of its type in the Southern Hemisphere. Callington Mill operated as a fairly successful venture until the new railways bypassed the town in the 1870's, this benefitted the larger mills located around the northern & southern parts, and then the banks forclosed on the mills last owner in the depression years of 1892 - 93, with the mill then eventually falling into a state of disrepair. Restoration of the mill was completed in 2010, and today if you're lucky you can see the mill running on wind power, grinding the locally grown produce that makes the flour the souvenier shop next door sells.
I'd like to show you some pics that we took of inside the mill, but sadly this is not possible.... due to the highly combustible nature of being inside a mill such as this, all cameras, phones and electrical devices are confiscated before you can do the tour, and locked away in a safe storage area until your tour is completed. Our tour guide is not only enthusiastic, but super knowledgable on all aspects of the mill and it's runnings, i doubt there's a question you could throw at him about the mill that he wouldn't have had an answer to. Now i'd like to say that whenever you visit this mill you are guaranteed to see it running on wind power via it's large sails you see on the outside of the building, but mother nature being what it is, this isn't always the case.  Luckily for us today however, whilst about 3/4 of the way through our tour a couple of guys rock up and get the mill running in operation. We literally get to see the mill being started up right before our eyes, Jeff and myself even race back up the internal ladders to the top floor, to see how all the gears work with each other to spin the mill stones down below.  It was quite fascinating seeing how everything operates inside the mill, a major bonus was having them start the windmill up whilst we were inside it.
With our tour then completed, we get our electronic devices back and then head over to a private room in the cafe building. As part of the tour package, we get to do a tasting of some scones made from the flour the mill produces. The scone you get to taste is a fairly small portion really, they are tasty with the jam and cream on them, but basically just wet your appetite for wanting more. With the tour now completed we then head in next door to the actual cafe area, and i order a proper serve of scones with jam and cream on them to go.

OUR TOUR OF CALLINGTON MILL

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ANOTHER PIC TAKEN FROM THE GARDEN AREA BESIDE THE WINDMILL

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ANOTHER PIC FROM INSIDE THE GARDEN AREA

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RANDOM PIC TAKEN AT THE BACK OF THE SAME GARDEN AREA

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Now i know i have ordered some scones to go, but i'm not in the good books with the misses for doing so. Yes i am supporting the local economy by buying these, but we are actually headed directly from here across the road to the Pancake and crepe shop to have some brunch (you know, a combination brekky and lunch). My arguement for buying the scones is that i need the energy boost to get me the 150 mtrs away to where the shop is for brunch, but i don't think it's all that convincing really...lol. We manage to grab the last few spare tables in at the Pancake and Crepe shop to dine at, it's quite a popular little place to eat at, we'd heard from other fellow campers by the wetlands that the food here is quite nice. We ordered and then ate our meals, and i will concur that the meals are pretty nice here...Jeff even managed to woof down a dessert creep to go with his main meal he'd eaten.
With lunch out of the way, we head up to the local IGA store to replenish our food and drink supplies, Jeff and i drive the vehicles up there, whilst the wives walk off lunch to the store with the kids in tow. Once this is done we then head on out of town. Leaving Oatlands we cross over the Midland Hwy onto Interlaken Rd and head up towards Interlaken. It's a nice scenic route we take on this drive with much of the road being dirt along the way, and we pass along the Eastern edge of Crescent Lake as we go. We spot our second wombat of the trip along this road somewhere, sadly it's another dead one just like the last one was, and it's smack bang in the middle of the road. I thought about straddling it with the 4wd as we drove by but it was way to big to do that, so i ended up squeezing by one side of it, only just having enough room to stay on the road as i went past.

ON THE ROAD TO INTERLAKEN

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We reach Interlaken and vere left on the road across an isthmus of sorts between Crescent Lake and Lake Sorell. We intend to camp the night at a campground located at Lake Sorell, though i'm very surprised to see waves breaking here on the Southern shoreline of this lake. The wind that is blowing at the moment is whipping up some decent wave action here, we hope the campground is located in an area that gives us some protection from this wind, otherwise we'll be looking elsewhere for a spot to stay tonight.

WAVES BREAKING ON THE SHORELINE AT LAKE SORELL

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We soon take the turn off for the campground and head on into it, we find quite a few houses located here that seem to be in use by people, but struggle at first to find the main campground area. The playground that is here is pretty overgrown and run down, it doesn't seem to be in use these days by the looks of it. We eventually find the track that leads into the campground area, the further we drive into it, the less it looks like it's been used by many people in a long time. To be brutally honest here, the place had a real weird vibe about it, it was almost like the type of place you'd see in a horror movie, really run down and where campers get hacked to death by some local nutter...lol. We drive all around the camp area and are blown away by how big it is, but it's really weird in that you can tell nobody has really camped here in a very long time. There's the odd spot a single camp site has been set up at during some stage in recent months, but for a place that literally could hold thousands of campers, it's now abandonded and very much overgrown...we don't understand why this is so. We find a spot we think might be suitable to set up camp for the night at, but when we hop out of our vehicles we notice the wind is gusting about the place and it's not that great a spot to stay at as far as flapping canvas all night goes. We make the call to head off and look elsewhere, there's quite a few campsites we can see on our maps further afield about the area, so we'll try our luck at those.

HEADING INTO THE GHOST TOWN CAMPGROUND

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We continue following Interlaken Rd towards Highland Lakes Rd, planning on stopping in at Woods Lake which appears to have another campground located at it according to our maps. The road to Woods Lake has a sign saying "Private Road" on it, so we are confused as to whether or not we are allowed to head into this campground we see on our maps or not, in the end we deciding it's best not to drive into there just incase. Lagoon of Islands is the next spot on our maps that shows another campground, we take the turn off for it and are promptly greeted with a locked gate, and a sign saying camping is no longer allowed here, and the lake is now dry. The afternoon by now is starting to get away from us, and we are fast running out of options nearby of where we can camp the night according to the maps we have with us. Arthurs Lake is the next spot we can see with a campground shown on it, so we now head for there.

BACK ON THE BITUMIN AGAIN, HEADED FOR ARTHURS LAKE


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Reaching Poatina Rd we take a righthand turn onto it, with the campground being located just past the township of Flintstone...i wonder if Fred and Wilma live there?
As we drive along Poatina Rd we see an echidna crossing the road infront of us, we quickly pull up to grab a pic of it, but man these fellas are quick when they want to run for cover. We jump back in the vehicles after snapping a photo of the echidna, and not more then 500 mtrs up the road we spot another one, though this one runs for cover before we get a chance to photograph it. We soon take the right turn off of Poatina Rd for the Arthurs Lake campground, it's called Pumphouse Bay Campground, and is located a short distance down a good dirt road. We arrive at the campground and find it's quite the popular little spot, well it is atleast with the grey nomad army by the looks of it. It costs $4 per adult a night to camp here, and normally it's $10 for a family. Being tucked up in the North Western corner of a section of the lake, it's pretty sheltered and out of the wind here, so even though this place is a touch crowded for our likings, we make the call to set up camp here for the night. The guy running the place is friendly enough, he only charges us $8 instead of the $10 it should be, and before long we are all set up and relaxing with a drink in hand. This campground as i mentioned is pretty popular with the grey nomads, it seems there are many who are set up here for a stay of quite some time, and speaking to some of them later on, i find this to be the case. Many of the people come here every year and stay for weeks and even a month or more at a time, it's almost like this place is a retirement village away from home for them.

AN ECHIDNA WE SPOT CROSSING THE ROAD

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With the camp set up and a fire going it's time for a hot shower, showers cost $2 for 4 minutes here, so you'd best be quick in them. On the way back to the camper from my shower i spot a couple who don't look like they belong here much like ourselves (not grey nomads). The couple look cold sitting at their camp eating their dinner, so i tell them i have a fire going at our campsite, and after they've finished eating to come up and join us by it. Graham and Irene are this couples names, they are travelling Tassie in a G Wagon, and ironically they happen to be from Brisbane just as we are...what's the chances of that...lol. We have our dinner and afterwards Grahan and Irene do come up and join us by the fire. It's a good night spent swapping yarns around the fire with them, and sometime around 11.00 p.m we all call it a night and head off to bed.
Title: Re: Tassie 14/15...Rumpig version
Post by: Rumpig on November 12, 2015, 08:56:01 PM
DAY 43 - ARTHURS LAKE - CAMBRIDGE

WHERE WE ARE NOW

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It rained during the night on and off but nothing real torrential at all, just fell lightly. I had the diesel heater running all night lastnight, not only did it help with the coolness of the night, but as i've mentioned previously, it also helps to dry the canvas on the camper when the rain falls. We have a pretty lazy start to the morning with the overcast conditions about, we really don't have anything specific planned to do on our holidays over the next few days that are left here in Tassie, and our thoughts are starting to turn to having to return back home and go back to work soon....what an awful thought that is. I say good morning to Graham and Irene who joined us at our fire last night, and whilst chatting with them another lady walks up and joins in on our conversation. Whilst we chat away, the lady who just joined us mentions that she has recently visted a woodstave pipeline that you may recall we went on a failed search for around Lake Margaret Power Station earlier in this trip. You may also recall earlier in our trip we had visisted The Wall at Derwent Bridge, we had been told by Greg Duncan (the artist who is building The Wall) whilst there, that there was 2 places the woodstave pipeline can be found, one being where we couldn't gain access to at Lake Margaret, and the second location was where this lady had recently visited, which i'd just found out is on the road into a place called Laughing Jack Lagoon. Greg Duncan didn't actually mentioned Laughing Jack lagoon to us as the second location, he mentioned there was a spot South of Derwent Bridge it could be found, but being we had already just travelled from that direction, we said we'd look at Lake Margaret and didn't get the other spots exact location from him.
I finish up my conversation with these people, and after that head over to Jeff to mention i know where we can find a woodstave pipeline that we'd previously fruitlessly searched for. Both Jeff and myself really wanted to see one of these pipelines in the flesh, so we grab out our HEMA and maps and start searching for how far away this Laughing Jack Lagoon is from where we currently are camped.  We find that the lagoon is located only about 20klms out of Derwent Bridge, and it's approximately 70 odd klms from where we are now. Laughing Jack lagoon is completely in the wrong direction from where we sort of planned to head to next, we'd actually decided to head back to Hobart area to spend the last few days of our holiday before the family flies out from the same airport we'd picked them up from on arrival here, but all of a sudden we say what the heck, lets head to Laughing Jack Lagoon instead and go see this pipeline.
With brekky done and dusted and our campers packed up, we hit the road once again. Heading back out to the bitumin road of Poatina Rd, we take a small detour to the left and go check out what Arthurs Lake actually looks like, as we didn't stop to check it out on the way into camp yesterday afternoon. Built back in the 1920's to help with the generation of hydroelectricty at the Poatina Power Station, Arthurs Lake today is also Tasmania’s most popular trout fishery. If you plan to fish here you'll need to have a current Inland Angling Licence, and it's Brown Trout you'll been fishing for, as that's the only trout species they have recorded thus far as being here. Water still gets pumped from the lake for hydro generation, where we stop to check out the lake is actually right beside a big pipeline that runs up a hill way off into the distance, where it is fed into Great Lake to then be used for hydro generation.
Whilst at this location we take a few pics of the lake, and i also take one of my wife standing by the sign saying Arthurs Lake. Arthur was actually the name of my wifes late father who died several years ago, for some reason on our trips we usally manage to get photos of family members names, if we happen to see one along the way.

MY WIFE BESIDE THE ARTHURS LAKE SIGN

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SOME OF ARTHURS LAKE

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I'M WONDERING IF THIS IS WHY IT'S CALLED PUMPHOUSE BAY CAMPGROUND HERE?

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We say goodbye to Arthurs Lake and take a left turn back onto the bitumin of Poatina Rd. We follow this to the T intersection of Highland Lakes Rd and take a right turn onto it, and then head towards Miena direction. Miena is a fairly small lakeside town, being located right on the banks of Great Lake, which is Australias second largest freshwater lake. As we drive to this town the Alpine landscape we pass by on the side of the road is quite pretty to look at along the way, this landscape being how it is due to the fact Miena is one of the coldest places in Tasmania. Arriving in Miena the town itself is basically a heap of holiday shacks by the looks of it to me, i doubt there's a very large permanent population that actually lives here. We take a tour around some of the side streets whilst passing through this town, seeing a nice mixture of old run down shacks, and some pretty new much more expensive architectually designed "shacks" aswell.

OLD SHACK WITH A GREAT VIEW OF THE LAKE...GOTTA LOVE THE ROCKS HOLDING THE ROOF DOWN...LOL

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AND THEN AROUND THE CORNER IS THIS FLASHIER LOOKING "SHACK"

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SOME OF THE VIEW OF GREAT LAKE

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From Miena we continue our drive in a Westward direction along Highland Lakes Rd, where we then take a left turn onto the Marlborough Highway. It's here we on this corner i pull into the Great Lakes hotel / service station to top up my fuel. Yesterday when we left Oatlands we hadn't planned on venturing to far away from anywhere really, so i hadn't bothered to top up my fuel before leaving there. Now we are headed to an area without any options of possible fuel stops along the way, Derwent Bridge being the main nearest town to where we are headed, and it's a 40 klm detour (20 klms each way) out of the way to where we are going. I don't fill my tanks here and only get what i think i'll need, as it's the dearest fuel we enconter in all of our trip throughout Tasmania...$1.59.9 per litre.
With enough fuel onboard now to keep me out of trouble, we continue on along the Marlborough Hwy, following it it's entire length to a t intersection where it meets up with the Lyell Hwy. The Marlborough Hwy was a nice little drive, sections of it were dirt road, but it was in very good condition at the time we drove it. We stopped somewhere along it's length towards the Lyell Hwy end to take a photo of a water canal, i'm always amazed at the ingenuity that has gone into constructing Tasmania's water / hydro schemes whenever i see sections of it throughout the state somewhere.

WATER CANAL FEEDING INTO A PIPELINE, SOMEWHERE ALONG THE MARLBOROUGH HWY

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At the Lyell Hwy we take a right turn and head towards Derwent Bridge, but about 20 klms before getting there we take a left turn off of the highway, at the sign for Laughing Jack Lagoon. Once again we are back on a dirt / gravel, and just like the previous dirt road it's in pretty good condition to drive on. Stay on this road and eventually you come to another sign pointing off to the right for Laughing Jack Lagoon. It's right here that you'll find yourself seeing the Wood Stave Pipeline that we have come to see. We turn right onto the track that leads to Laughing Jack Lagoon, and park the vehicles up in the middle of the road to go check out this amazing structure. Built basically in the same fasion as a wine barrel is built,  it is made up of wooden staves, slightly curved pieces of wood that create a circle held together by joints and steel bands. This section of wood stave pipeline is preserved here for it's historical significance, but looking at the leaks it has sprung in numerous places, i fear that the cost of it's future upkeep will mean i doubt it'll still be here when my kids become adults and want to bring their kids here to see it. It's not a small section of timber pipeline you'll find here either, continue on driving into Laughing Jack Lagoon as we did, and you'll see kilometres of this timber pipline running along beside the track. As you drive along the road into the lagoon, you can see where sections of the old timber pipeline have been replaced with modern steel pipeline, so one minute it's timber, then it's steel, then it becomes timber again...it changes like this in several places along the way into the lagoon. We spend quite some time checking out the timber pipeline in a couple of different locations, it's a very simple structure, but it's amazing to look at non the less.

THE ROAD THAT RUNS OFF OF THE LYELL HIGHWAY...it's suitable for 2wd vehicles in dry conditions

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JUST FOLLOW THE SIGNS TO LAUGHING JACK LAGOON AND YOU'LL FIND IT

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THE WOOD STAVE PIPELINE RUNNING ALONG SIDE THE ROAD INTO LAUGHING JACK LAGOON

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PIC OF MY FOURBY BESIDE THE PIPELINE TO GIVE A SIZE COMPARRISON OF IT

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ONE OF MANY LEAKS WE SAW IN THE OLD TIMBER PIPELINE

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WHERE THE STEEL PIPELINE MEETS THE TIMBER PIPLINE

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With a good look at the pipeline done we head into Laughing Jack Lagoon itself to see what's there. I had heard there's a camping spot here at the lagoon, but we didn't actually see anything when we reached the end of the track we were on. I did see where a 2 wheeled track disappeared in amongst the trees in one spot, which may be where it was, but having the camper trailer on the back meant i wasn't going exploring down what could be a dead end track, so in the end we parked up down below the weir wall here and then had a bite to eat for lunch.

AT LAUGHING JACK LAGOON

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Lunch eaten and we hit the road once again, we drive the 10 klms back to the main dirt road we'd turned off to head into the lagoon, then make a right hand turn and follow this dirt road through to the Lyell Highway. Not to far along the Lyell highway we pull up to check out another water canal, and then a touch further up the road we pull over to take a pic of the same canal in another location....the amount of water that flows through it is quite impressive to view.

WATER CANAL WE STOP TO PHOTOGRAPH ON THE SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY

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When we stopped at the Great Lakes Hotel / service station earlier this morning we got some decent mobile phone reception, at was at this point we decided to ring a few van parks around the Hobart area, and make a booking to stay there for the final couple of days of our holiday time in Tasmania. Barilla Holiday Park in Cambridge is where we settled on choosing in the end, and this is where we are headed to now. As we crooze along the Lyell Highway, somewhere between Tarraleah and Ouse i think it was, we are flagged down by a person who's vehicle has broken down. They have pulled off the road into a side dirt track, so we pull in here to see what their problem is. We find it's a young overseas / backpacker fella and 3 girls driving in a Commodore sedan that appears to have overheated. Talking to the guy who owns the car, we find out he's only just bought it from a caryard recently, and they are currenty heading towards Queenstown. Luckily for them we have a heap of water with us, we slowly start putting it into the radiator, but it's a slow process being the engine is quite hot currently and takes a fair bit of filling. Whilst we are filling the radiator back up for these people another vehicle comes up along the dirt track we are stopped in on, the guys in the vehicle look to be local forestry workers, and one of them seems to know abit about Commodores. Have you checked the oil he asks us almost immediately?, which we hadn't done yet. Checking it we find it's milky in colour, a pretty decent sign it's likely done a head gasket. The guys leave us to keep filling the radiator and continue on their way, they didn't seem real keen to want to help to much really. We eventually get the radiator filled and the vehicle seems to be running ok'ish...the temperature gauge looks to be normal, but who knows how long that'll last for. We give the people all the spare bottles we have and fill them with water, aswell as any bottles they can rustle up. We suggest that they don't continue drivin towards Derwent Bridge direction and head back towards Hobart, as there really isn't much in the way of mechanical repair places until they get to Queenstown if they keep going the direction they are headed in..and we seriously doubt they'd make it that far. They say thanks for the help we have given them, and we leave them there and head off once again.
Further on as we drive along the highway i notice the oil pressure gauge in my fourby drop, i radio to Jeff that i need to stop, and it's then we enter into a tiny township, where we pull into an area to check out my vehicle. Pulling up i pop the bonnet to see if i can see anything out of the ordinary, but all seems ok at a quick glance and there's plenty of oil in the engine. There isn't much i can do if there's something internally wrong with the engine, so i decide to just keep on driving, and if the engine blows up then so be it....i've been wanting to do an engine transplant in the vehicle to something more powerful anyhow...lol. To be honest here, with the overheating issues the engine has had for a few years now, i actually said to my wife before leaving on this trip, that i'd be surprised if the vehicle makes it back home in one piece....i have half expected it to die somewhere along the way. As i drive along i notice the oil pressure gauge keeps jumping all over the place, one minute it's up, the next minute it's right down, so i start to wonder if it's not just a faulty reading it keeps giving...i really have no idea what's going on with it at the moment. The rest of the drive into Cambridge from here is fairly uneventful, it's a touch stressful wondering if the fourby will make it there or not, but in the end the vehicle gets there and still seems to be running ok, other then the oil pressure gauge dropping right down regularly.
We check into the van park at our powered sites, the park seems ok, though the sites aren't huge by any means.

THIS WILL BE OUR LAST CAMP SITES IN TASMANIA

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We have a few drinks and the kids have a play in the playground that is here. Dinner then had and it's time for a shower, i don't recall the showers costing anything here, but they are on a timer. The timer runs for 5 minutes of hot water, then there's a wait time until the hot water can come through again, so make sure you're quick or the last part of your shower will be in the cold...lol. The bugs that are attracted to the lights of the ammenties block at night time here are pretty full on, i think it must have something to do with the bushland that surrounds the park...what ever the reason for it, there's hundreds of them on the ground in the shower and toilet block, which could freak out those of you who have insect phobia. A few more drinks had and then it's an earlish night to bed for all of us