We have decided to go to Tasmania after all. We have burned 2 of our Australia weeks waiting for the bikes, but we still really want to go. The problem is again the ferry. There are booking for 2 bikes to get over this week, but no return booking for weeks. The car bookings are full for the next few months already. So to go we will have to fly.
This means that we will get up at 530 am, catch the train 3 hours from Wodonga to Melbourne, get the bust 20 min to the airport, and then fly 1 hour to Hobart.
We had a bit of a rocky flight, but arrived and headed to Deb’s house chauffeured by her aunt Lynn.
We picked us the Swede from his hostel and drove up the mountain for a 360 degree view. We headed back to Debs for another of her amazing dinners.
The plan today is to head out on the Tasman Peninsula.
We managed to get ourselves organized by 1130 and headed out. We stopped for some “cray rolls”.
On the route out we made a few scenic stops for views of the Cape Raoul and the Tesselated pavement.
From here we detoured to the blow hole and then to the Remarkable Cave.
Finally we made for the car park for the cape hike by late afternoon.
We set out from here after 430 with all the gear for the 40 min walk up hill to where we planned to stash most of the gear for camping later.
From here you walk 90 min to arrive at the cape for views of the sea cliffs and the sun set. We saw a few Wallabies along the way as well and an echidna.
We cooked our dinner at the end of the point and then walked back in the dark to set up the tents on the edge of the cliffs.
It was almost a full moon and so no good for star shots, but we could see pretty well with out lamps.
It was not too chilly in the night because of the cloud cover and we woke and made our breakfast on the cliff side.
Here we only had a 30 min walk down to the car for the trip back to Hobart.
We set out to do some mushroom picking/photography of the non-edible ones in the nearby forest and the guys went to a local Whiskey distillery.
We went back to the blow hole as they have a good fish and chip place here. While we were on the shore harvesting mussels we saw a penguin clinging to the rocks. This is a very strange time of day for it to be on shore and he did not look well. We called animal rescue and they advised if it did not resist being picked up in a towel then it was likely in trouble. We returned with the car and we had a spare towel and a very conveniently Penguin sized box from the groceries. He barely moved when we picked him up. We had 50 km to drive with him to Sorell Tasman animal hospital and he barely moved in the box. We dropped him at the vet and then headed home. We had a call 2 hours later to say he was doing better, was very under weight, and dehydrated. Life event= Penguin rescue=check!
We had a nice evening at home with the Swede before he heads out alone tomorrow since he has to be on the ferry again in 3 days time. The three of us packed up all the gear again and headed to the east coast (where the sun is almost always shining). We made for the Freycinet National park.
We stopped for lunch of oysters and pizzas before parking in the Freycinet car park. From here we started uphill to the Wineglass Bay lookout an then down hill to the Bay itself for a swim in the crystal clear water.
Then we walked across the Ishmus track, along Hazard’s beach and then back to the car on the Hazard’s beach trail.
It was now almost sunset and after leaving the park we went in 10 km on the dirt to the Friendly Beach camp area, but as this is Good Friday it was packed. We went back to the main road and then up the coast road to a free camp favorite of Deb’s near 4 mile creek. Here you can pull off the road and camp right next to the beach.
We even had some fresh oysters on the half shell for breakfast.
After a cozy night we headed north again and stopped at Deb’s batch in St Helen’s.
Her neighbors had saved us a camp spot on the beach at Cosy Corner south and so after stocking up we made for the beach.
Tonight we cooked up a rabbit (a gift caught by Deb’s friend) Paella (complete with squid caught today by Wolfgang) cooked over an open fire for our Easter dinner. The only tragedy was that the possums cat burgled the tent and stole some of the kids Easter candy!
The weather is still holding out and we want to make it to the north east tip of the Island.
From the camp we stopped at Deb’s to do a quick load of laundry. Heading north on the C843 we stopped at the very good pub in Weldborough.
We arrived to Cape Portland beach and wind farm just before 4. The Petal point Camp near here was wind swept at the beach, and crowded with long termers in the sheltered area. You can stay here 40 days and then move one spot over and stay another 40.
Since it was still early we back tracked on the dirt road to the Mussle Bay also dirt road and to the very nice camp spot here. The road thru the park is very Savannah like and there are dozens of Forrester Kangaroos. The camp site is sheltered in the trees, but with direct beach access. The place is also full of tame and friendly wallaby! There is another amazing moon tonight.
The plan today is to get within striking distance of Cradle Mountain. It is always rainy weather there, but it is forecast for cloud, but no rain for tomorrow. We hedged our bets though and booked a hotel for the night. The accommodation on the mountains fully booked and so we chose a small motel in Sheffield (City of Murals).
We set out order cloudy skies westward. The first stop was at the Iron Pot Vineyard, where after a tasting and lunch we found they have amazing food, but not very good wine.
We continued north west to Narawntapu National Park. Here we hiked the Archer’s knob summit track and then walked back along the desolate and isolated beach. This park is also a reserve for the Forrester Kangaroo.
We stayed on the single lane back roads thru Railton to Sheffield. We were still stuffed from our massive lunch and after checking into the hotel we had nice hot showers and snuggled under our electric blankets!
Today it is cloudy, but as advertised not raining.
We drove up to the Cradle Mountain ranger station. From here you have to take a shuttle the 8 km to the Dove Lake trail head our to road works on the very narrow access road. We packed our luck and set out on the Dove Lake Circuit.
It was in fact sunny much of the time, but despite that the summit of Cradle Mountain was in the clouds. On the shuttle ride back we saw 2 huge Wombats! Leaving the park we were again going north to the coast road and made for Stanley and a hike to the Nut. We had to make a few stops for foraging!!! and photos.
It was now an hour from sunset and we had about the same distance to cover to get to the free camp at Marrawah. We did arrive here just before dark and in time to set up the tents. It was a bit drizzle and luckily there is a nice shelter here that even has flush toilets and BBq’s.
We have a big day ahead of us as we are in the far north west and want to make it back to Hobart in the far south east tonight. It was raining on and off all night and we could a least hang the tents in the shelter for a while.
We will do this by going on the remote west coast road thru Corinna, where there is a punt cable ferry that saves a 100 km on the way to Zeehan. The road is paved 49 km from Marrawah on the C214 to where it meets the C249 where you turn onto a narrow and sometimes rough dirt road that continues until Zeehan.
The road wanders up and down rolling hills and curves along on its way south. There is very little traffic here and this is why it make a great location to release the Tasmanian Devil’s from the breading program. This will lessen their change of becoming road kill, which is what has decimated their numbers.
In Corinna there is a lodge with expensive coffee and an office to but the 25$ ticket for the 5 min cable ferry ride, but it saves 100km.
We made a pit stop for mushroom foraging and a short interpretive walk in the forest.
We decided in Zeehan to make the side trip to Strahan to check out the wild west coast surf. The beach here is covered with wiggling sea foam.
It is getting late in the day and we have 301 km and only 3 hours of day light left. Instead of another night of free camping we all felt it would be better to just keep going and make for Hobart tonight. We did stop briefly in Hamilton to finish off what food we had in the car and take a break from the road. We finally got to the city just after dark, showered, and all hit the sack.
For our last day here we walked into the city and along the harbor for lunch.
We caught the MONA ferry for the 30 minute cruise to the museum. This is a very unique experience of modern and instillation/experiential art.
These people are all singing Madona songs, but only they can hear the music. All we can hear is them singing. It was spectacular!!!
This guy sat here all day as the exhibit, but part 2 is him writing about the experience.
This poop machine is fed 24 hours a day and it produces 1 poop at 2 pm ( displayed until 4) Phew!
Crazy psychedelic padded room. I LOVED IT!
Optical illusion path.
Oil filled room.