Monthly Archives: April 2019

Arthur River to Julius River, Tarkine Drive, NW Tasmania

Tuesday 30th April 2019
Decision time again. We decided not to do the river cruise up Arthur River sit went from 10-4 which was a very long day. We also decided against canoeing up the river as it was quite breezy and cold. So we started on the Tarkine Drive. 1st stop Bluff Hill Point Lighthouse. Then back to the Edge of the World Arthur River. It looked a bit better today in the sunshine. It was still vey rough. We then went to Sundown Point Nelson Bay where we looked for Aboriginal Rock Carvings. These were quite obscure and difficult to find anyway we had a nice walk along the coastline. We then drove out to Sarah Anne Rocks which was named after the watercolour artist. This was quite pretty but very similar to the rest of the coastline. Then on to Balfour Track.

Balfour track was a walk through the rainforest which was very pretty, there was an abundance of fungi which meant that the walk took a very long time. About 1hr 50mins for the 4km there and then on the return journey only about 60mins as I didn’t stop to take many photos. It was a very pleasant walk. We then headed to Sumac Lookout on the way our campsite at Julius River. This is a National Parks campsite with no facilities. My favourite place to camp. The day use area has fantastic BBQs and shelter for us to cook our dinner so we started this at 5.30pm before it was totally dark. We were visited by pademelon and possums, unfortunately no Tasmanian devils. Hopefully we will see one tomorrow.


Stanley to Arthur River, Tasmania

Monday 29th April 2019
Today we decided on a new plan of attack. We both woke early so headed out to walk to The Nut at 7.30am. It was a very steep 430m ascent followed by a 2km circuit of the top. The views were spectacular and the walk at the top very pleasant. The ascent was tough but ok. There was a chairlift option that I assume opens a bit later. It’s slogan is “Why walk if you can ride”. Reason  I would reply “$11 an adult each way is quite expensive for a very short ride”, unless you are unable to walk I would suggest saving your money the walk up was ok.

We then walked around town and saw the old style buildings. Then headed after breakfast to Highfield Historic House. After exploring the house and it’s surrounding buildings we headed off to Smithton. Then on to Green Point Beach, Nettley Bay and finally arriving at Arthur River for the night. We drove through amazing green pastures, cattle and sheep country, to some lovely beaches albeit a bit windy today. The weather started out beautiful for our walk to The Nut but then resumed its on again, off again rain and wind. We are still having a great time. Unfortunately the Dismal Swamp Adventure  with 100m slippery dip to a sinkhole was closed so we didn’t have that decision to make today. Staying back in the tent again now but we are just trying to find campgrounds with a camp kitchen so we can cook inside.

Tomorrow’s adventure is still undecided but only time will reveal this one.

Highfield House can be regarded as the ‘birthplace’ of European settlement in Tasmania’s north-west. Built from 1832-35 as a residence for Edward Curr, chief agent of the Van Diemen’s Land Company, the house represents an important part of Tasmanian historic heritage. The history of the north-west region of Tasmania is inextricably bound up with the story of the Van Diemen’s Land Company; indeed, there are very few places in the region that have been unmarked by its presence.
Link to history of the house –

Rocky Cape to Stanley via Dip Falls, Tasmania

Sunday 28th April 2019
Well we had a lovely night at Eagle’s Roost, after a lovely dinner that I was able to cook in the B&B kitchen, with some newfound knowledge that lemongrass in the oil absorbs the smell of the fish you are cooking so as not to smell out the whole house.  Good lesson especially when cooking in someone else’s kitchen. David really enjoyed the video footage of the animals on the farm.

This morning we were waited on with a beautiful cooked breakfast with all fresh vegetables grown on the farm. David had a vegetable omelette and I had poached eggs on a bed of fried vegetables. Tummy. Followed by lime marmalade and berry jam on toast. Helen’s hospitality was fantastic. A much enjoyed respite from camping.

The weather was still pretty average this morning, drizzling rain and overcast. We decided on a drove to Dip Falls, The Big Tree and Blue Hills Honey at Mawbanna. This was a good morning except the Honey place which is only new. The information about the bees was really interesting.  We had a yummy ice cream here though – DB had Date, Manuka Honey and Cinnamon and I had Blue Box Honey and Hazelnut.

We then headed back to Rocky Cape for an 8.7km bush walk looking towards Table Cape, we also did a couple of little side tracks to Cathedral Hill and Tinkers Lookout. It was a lovely 2 hrs 20min walk. From here we headed to Stanley for the night.

All in all though we had a lovely day. Back at the campground again tonight.

Burnie to Rocky Cape TAS

Saturday 27th April 2019
Well we woke to blue sky, then clouds, then rain. It was a day of mixed weather again. Rain, wind, sunshine, rain, sun, and more rain. We started the day with a lovely swim at Burnie Indoor pool. Only a 25m pool but we had an enjoyable swim. Then we went to the shops and enjoyed a hot lunch.

Better late than never the tour started after lunch. We headed back through Wynyard to Table Cape, the tulip farm was closed today which was a shame but there wouldn’t have been any flowers but we were hoping to just visit the farm and farm shop. Maybe next time. We then went to Table Cape Lighthouse where it was very very windy, the countryside was beautiful and green, the soil dark brown and rich, the sea very blue and the sky changeable.

We then drove down to Boat Harbour Beach and SIster’s Beach. We had planned to hike in the Rocky Cape National Park but the frequent rain showers turned us off that one for today. We passed a freebie camping spot sheltered from the wind at Boat Harbour Beach so it was a choice of staying there or in accommodation for tonight as we hadn’t made it to Stanley again today. A quick look at made our decision easy. We found Eagle’s Roost Farmstay B&B at the right price and very inviting. So a quick decision was made and off we head to the other side of Rocky Cape National Park.

We were greeted by Helen and her hospitality was awesome. A pot of tea and homemade shortbread was shared over a chat. Helen is a retired Zoologist with an interest in funghi. Helen took us for a walk through her property and showed us lots of different varieties of fungi. unfortunately my good camera had a flat battery so I could only take photos with my phone, but it managed ok. We also saw her camera setup for taking film of wildlife in a few spots on the property. Eagle’s Roost was a good find for the animal bush man. We enjoyed a home cooked meal indoors which was a treat. Then following dinner we watched some video footage from the last day at the property where we saw possums, Tassie Devils, a wombat and pademelon. We also saw green rosellas, spotted quolls, a rat and a hare. DB was in his element. What a great opportunity to stay here. Apart from the comfort, the knowledge imparted by Helen has been fantastic.

Turner’s Beach to Burnie TAS

Friday 26th April 2019
Well we woke to a very cold and windy morning. Where to head today. We decided to drive the coast road to Penguin then do the Coast to Canyon circuit. The Penguin coast road was very similar to the coast road to Kaikoura in NZ. It followed right along the road with a train line beside the coast. It was a bit dreary and rainy early so a little disappointing. It is amazing how the weather can affect the views, just a little sunshine can make all the difference to the blue water. Oh well not to be this morning. But there is time for improvement as in recent days it had gone from sunny to rainy in a matter of minutes and then back the other way ten minutes later. The Coast to Canyon circuit was a beautiful scenic drive through farmland following a very narrow winding road. DB is in his elements in these conditions. Maybe not so much in the Prado but it was an enjoyable drive all the same. We went for a quick walk down to Preston Falls which were pretty average. Then we headed back along the coast road back to Penguin. This time in sunlight which did improve the view. After a lovely cafe lunch at Penguin we headed to Burnie.

At Burnie we went to the Makers Workshop at Burnie where you had the opportunity to watch artists at work. I spoke with a lady who blew and spun glass beads for jewellery from Murano glass from Italy. This reminded me of the beads I missed out on buying in Venice. She even had some the same red colour I was looking at in Venice. I also spoke with a woodworker who carved Huon Pine. We then went on a Paper making tour which was very interesting. Afar cry from the industrial paper mills, this was all done by hand and they make about 10 specialty papers.

We then headed to a caravan park at Wynyard. It is a bit cold for camping so not sure how much longer we will last in the tent. Only time will tell.

Mersey Bluff to Turner’s Beach via Railton

Thursday 25th April 2019 – Anzac Day
Today was a day of changed plans. We had thought we would have a swim in the morning but were foiled by Anzac Day closures. The plan was to then head to Stanley but a suggestion from a friend was to ride the Rail Trail between Railton and Sheffield a 10km one way ride through farmland, pine forests and the bush. This is part of the Dover to Devonport Rail Trail 480km. The track was quite well compacted albeit a little rocky but unfortunately the entire ride from Railton to Sheffield was uphill. 300m over 10km with one very steep section. We went with the suggestion of Railton to Sheffield so the way home was all down hill. Good advice. It was a pleasant ride albeit a bit slow on the outward journey which was continuously uphill. We came to a gate which said “Rifle Range – No Entry” so we went back and saw a marker we had missed, but it went nowhere. In the end after DB used all maps available, I read on the website that the trail goes through the no entry gate and continues through to Sheffield. We decided not to continue as the Rifle Range had a red flag up and the guns were firing quite consistently. A rider (on his way from Dover, he had done between 65-80km a day, and he was up to day 7) did come through from the other direction but we decided we would just have some lunch looking at our favourite mountain and head back to Railton. The ride home was a lovely roll down the hill for 10km. Very minor uphill sections. Woohoo as I am pretty unfit on the bike these days. We rode at total of 22.4km.

We then headed to Turner’s Beach for the night. A small caravan park on the coast about 20km from Devonport. We sure are moving fast this holiday. DB not so happy tonight as the park is mainly permanents and we have them a bit close on all 3 sides. Oh well lucky it is only for one night. We will head on our way again tomorrow.

Cradle Mountain to Devonport, TAS

Wednesday 24th April 2019
Well today was a very slow start. We lay in bed late as it was quite cold and we were a little weary. We really took our time to get on our way. We still hadn’t really decided where to go as we left the National Park. We had a general idea but that changed as the day unfolded. We drove in the general direction of Devonport with the intention of getting further west at the top of Tasmania. As usual in Broadbent style, we took a few detours and only made half the distance.

We had a pleasant drive through the Mersey Valley, past farmyards and lovely countryside. We stopped at the Mt Roland lookout for old time sake, pondering at the lunacy of climbing that mountain in the 4.5 hours we had before catching the ferry last time. We then detoured via the Mole Creek Karst National Park as we could time a cave tour in the Marakoopa Caves. We tried last time to see the King Solomon Cave in the same area but timing was out. So this time we managed a tour ($19 each). The tour guide was very animated and interacted very well with the visitors.

As we walked through the caves we had the usual discussion are Stalactites from the ceiling or stalactites. We had decided that stalactites were from the ceiling and were given an easy way to remember. Stalactites hang tight on the ceiling. We also learnt how they were formed. The initial drop is a hollow straw which eventually blocks and then the drips form on the outside. When they drip from the stalactite to the ground they eventually form a stalagmite. When the stalactite and stalagmite meet this is called a column. Their are other types which form in the shape of a curtain. It was an enjoyable tour.

We then headed to Sheffield to see the new murals since we were last here in 2017. When we arrived it was Mural Festival Week which is when the artists are painting the murals for this year’s competition which meant it cost $5 to view but was really interesting watching the artists at work, chatting with them. They have one week to complete their mural which they have painted in smaller scale on display so you can see what the finished product will look like. It was interesting to watch how they painted in layers to reach the finished product. At the end of the viewing you could vote for the winner. It will be interesting to see who wins this year and to be a part of the voting. This year’s theme was based on the poem below. It is interesting to see each artists interpretation of this poem.

“Beauty Surrounds us” by Pauline Baker.
As we travel life’s busy roads
Across oceans vast and wide
We see a world of inspiration
As beauty surrounds us.

After seeing the works in progress hopefully we will have time to look back in and see the finished product and winner on the way home.

As it was quite late we decided to head back to Mersey Bluff Caravan Park at Devonport for the night. Not quite our intended destination but who needs to rush. Not us this time. So far.

Cradle Mountain Summit hike, Tas

Tuesday 23rd April 2019
Well as you would expect we didn’t get started by 8am. It was pretty cold this morning. We were up and getting organised at 7am, at the visitors centre by 7.30ish, as we went there so we could be in the sun whilst we got ready. Unfortunately DB couldn’t find his powerbank and spent about 20mins looking for it. (i found it tonight in my backpack, with mine, OOPS!) We wwere hoping to be on the shuttle bus at 8.15 to Dove Lake for the start of the hike, but didn’t make it until 8.30am. We got started on our hike at 9.15am. We went beside Dove Lake on the left and headed up to Hansen’s Peak, this was a tough climb up, and up and up. We then walked past Hansen’s lake, Twisted Lake and then we walked the Face Track along past Cradle Mountain Summit. We reached the Summit track/rock face at about 11.30am. Time frame to the summit was 2.5hours. This was a very tough challenge up the track and then scrambling over rocks. Sliding down rocks, climbing up and up and up. It was amazing the number of people who took up the challenge. Not too many our age. I am very grateful for my flexibility as some of the stretches required crouching and reaching as far as I can. A couple even needed DBs assistance to help me get across. Part of the way up I left my back pack so I could climb up easier. David could have got to the top so much faster without me but indicated to some people who wanted to let him past, that he would wait for his wife. Hehehe!. Love it! It took us about 1.5 hours to get to the top.

The summit was amazing, the view was 360° and incredible. You still had to scramble over rocks to get across the cradle from one peak to the next. We enjoyed our lunch at the top. The temperature was quite cool up there. When we were at the top there would have been about 100 people up there as well.

So the next challenge was to get back down. We left at about 1.30pm along with a lot of other people. This was a slow process as you had to scramble downhill, navigate the direction which you can’t see as well going down, wait for the people in front of you who were of varied abilities, some with fear of heights. It was best not to rush the people in front as it was difficult enough as it was, without feeling hassled from behind. Some of the descent you did on your bottom sliding down the rocks. Anyway, we made it back down the summit track and due to time constraints to get the last bus at 5pm we changed our plan and went back a different way. We went past Kitchen Hut, then via Lake Lilla, Wombat Pool, Marion’s Lookout all the way back to Dove Lake. We made it back by about 4.20pm. It was a long day.

Although the Distance was only 12.8km, and took us 7hrs, it was a challenging day. We climbed from  941m to 1550m with many ups and downs along the way. Our legs are tired as we wait for the bus back to the visitors centre. There was standing room only on the bus so we had to stand for the 20min ride. We got back to the car about 5pm exhausted.

After a hot shower, dinner and a rest we will start to think where we shall go tomorrow. The weather forecast for the next few days is rain so we will have a think about it tonight. So until our next instalment. Goodnight.

Devonport to Cradle Mountain TAS

Monday 22nd April 2019
Well I had a great night sleep in our rooftop tent last night. We woke early and headed out for a short walk to Mersey Bluff (1.5km). Then after breakfast at Bluff Beach we went for a bike ride along the cycle way from the caravan park to Roundhouse Park then back to Don River and back to caravan park (17km 1:20 hrs). This was supposed to be a little ride but was much longer than anticipated. What a surprise. The ride went to the park opposite the port then back past the Bluff Beach, past Coles Beach and then along Don River and back.  It was a very pleasant albeit long ride. Now that would be enough exercise for one day for most people but as we were near a swimming pool we decided to have a quick swim as well. Only 2km but it was nice to have a swim as we don’t know when we will get the chance next.

Now in true holiday form we made a quick dash to Kathmandu to buy a down jacket as the forecast for the next few weeks is quite cold.

Then a change of plan from yesterday, due to the upcoming weather we decided to head to Cradle Mountain Discovery Park where we will stay for 2 nights and do the Cradle Summit hike. This is expected to be a 7hour 12km hike tomorrow. We will endeavour to get going by 8am so we can finish it in daylight.

Tonight we are very grateful for our new jackets as it is currently 4°C.  Anyway time to hop in to bed where it is warm.

Melbourne, Vic to Devonport, Tas

Easter Sunday 21st April 2019
Well, happy Easter everyone. Missing you all today.

Just a little note on last night’s accommodation. It was a really weird setup on the main road in Newport. The building used to be an old Men’s Hotel in the day. The building was a square surrounding a grass quadrangle with outdoor setting. We stayed in a small room with a shared bathroom and it had a couple of kitchens. We were right next to the shared bathroom so made for a bit of a disturbed night. But for me, what’s new!

We headed to Port Melbourne at about 7.30am where we had out breakfast overlooking the Port Harbour, then boarded the boat about 8am. We only lost a couple of gas bottles in our cookers. We had left fruit and an avocado at the accommodation as we are starting t become old hands at this quarantine business.

We set sail for Tasmania at about 8.50am and it was quite smooth sailing. As we left the protected waters of the bay about 2 hours later, there was a little swell but nothing to get excited about, luckily as DB forgot his ginger and he usually has it to safeguard against seasickness. We have had a quiet, uneventful day, except for our arguing, cranky neighbours on the chairs next to us for the 1st hour. I have quite enjoyed reading my book, doing a little Tasmania reading and just relaxing. After the long day driving yesterday it is a welcome rest before we embark on our ‘bullet-a-gate’ holiday lifestyle as usual.

It is 5.55pm and we have about 30mins before we disembark the boat. Tonight we are heading to Mersey Bluff Caravan Park which is about a 10minute drive from the wharf. The only booked accommodation for the time being. I think we are headed North West tomorrow but only time will tell as we the day unfolds and TOUR DIRECTOR BROADBENT gets us on our way.

Hope you enjoy the blog. I will keep it up to date as time permits. Apologies if I get delayed a day or two with our hectic schedule. But I will do my best.

Hugs to you all.
Fiona and David