Monthly Archives: May 2019

Jindabyne to Davistown, NSW

Wednesday 22nd May 2019
Well, today we are heading home. How to time it so we are not driving through Campbelltown to Gosford during peak times. We either had to leave at 8am of wait until about 1pm. It was such a beautiful day we decided to go for a walk first around Lake Jindabyne. Once we were packed up it was about 10am and we enjoyed a pleasant stroll around the Lake towards the town centre. It was so still and peaceful. A lovely way to start the day. We walked about 8km and learnt a little about the area. The Old town of Jindabyne is actually under the lake, it was flooded and  dammed as part of the Snowy River Hydro Electric scheme. We also saw a few monuments and some interesting seats and sculptures along the way. Many of the seats were made from old chairlift seats. It was a beautiful foreshore and a most enjoyable walk.

We headed off home at midday knowing we needed to make a few stops to ensure we didn’t hit the peak traffic, so instead of swapping at quick pitstops we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at Mt Gladstone lookout, then another stop for dinner, as well as a petrol stop and a couple of driver changes. We also came to a complete stop just after Bargo with a car fire and another stop a little further on with a breakdown. DB was annoyed he was paying tolls and was stationary a couple of times. Oh well. We reached Wahroonga at about 7pm and the traffic was still quite consistent. I was happy to be a passenger. David spoils me a lot, I only drove where there was dual lanes and the best spot between Canberra and Pheasants Nest. I have also been spoilt most of the holiday as I have done very little driving in between the trip to Melbourne and the trip home from Melbourne.

We are now home and have had an amazing adventure. I hope you have enjoyed sharing our travels. See you all soon. Love Fiona and David xxx

Buchan South to Jindabyne via Snowy River Way

Tuesday 21st May 2019
Today we drove from Buchan South to Jindabyne via the Snowy River Way. This was a dirt/gravel road for at least 80km of the way. It was a very scenic drive through farmland and fog early, then through national park later in the day. It was very slow going 180km in just under 4 hours. We travelled through Buchan, Murrindal, W Tree, Butchers Ridge, Gelantipy, Wulgulmerang and Suggan Buggan. We then crossed the Victoria/NSW border and drove through Ingebirah, Grosses Plain and Moonbah to Jindabyne. Luckily we passed very few cars as the road was quite narrow with a very sheer drop on the edge at times.

After a look at the lake at Jindabyne we headed to Thredbo. Decision time as always. it costs $17 for the Kosciuszko National Park for 24 hours, or free to drive through. This took a little while to decide but we paid and went through to Thredbo where we went on a 4km walk up through the ski fields on Meadows and Merritts Nature Trail loop. this was quite pleasant even though it was only 4° this afternoon.

We then headed back to Jindabyne and have gone soft again as the forecast is for 1° tonight. We are staying in a cabin in the Discovery Caravan Park. David isn’t feeling 100% and we have a big drive home tomorrow. See you all soon.

Foster to Buchan South via Sale and Lakes Entrance, VIC

Monday 20th May 2019
Happy birthday to Kerrie, hope you have had a lovely day.

Today was a drive day. We definitely made the right decision not to hike overnight for three days at Wilsons Promontory as it has been raining lightly since early hours of this morning and then mid morning it was quite heavy. Very grateful to not be hiking the middle day of 3 days in the rain.

We have headed off today to head slowly home. We drove through Welshpool, Sale, The Lakes Entrance and tonight are camping on a Farmstay at Buchan South. It is very beautiful, lush green pastures, beautiful horses and very peaceful. The plan is to head towards Jindabyne on the Snowy River Rd just because it looks like an interesting drive. We have previously driven from Mallacoota along the coast road, so as you know David isn’t keen on travelling the same road if he can avoid it. Hopefully we will find a nice walk if the weather is kind to us.

Port Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory National Park, VIC

Sunday 19th May 2019
After a restless sleep on the boat last night we head on our way. When we went to sleep last night we though we might drive home over a couple of days, this morning we decided to head to Wilson’s Promontory National Park for a bit of a look.

It was still dark as we disembarked from the boat at about 6.30am and we enjoyed a beautiful sunrise as we drove through the city centre of Melbourne. Then on to the freeway for a while (boring says DB, I love the roads in Tassie better) before heading back to the countryside.

We arrived at the National Park at about 10.30am and after getting some information at the Visitor’s Centre we had a decision to make. Would we do an overnight hike or a couple of day hikes. With the imminent weather forecast (plus 2-6mm rain) for tomorrow we opted for a couple of short walks. Maybe next time we can do the overnight loop hike down to Roaring Meg, the lighthouse, Waterloo Bay and Sealers Cove. So we went on a walk to Pillar Point (4.8km return) before lunch. Pillar Point is an outcrop of granite boulders which provide breathtaking views of Norman and Squeaky Beaches and the Prom’s offshore islands. This was a beautiful walk past the Tidal River which was so still and like a mirror today. It was quite spectacular. The walk was an easy uphill walk along a very well maintained track. The view of Norman Beach on the way was also beautiful – blue, crystal clear water with a lovely rolling wave. We needed our boards again. Then at Point Pillar the view out to the Beaches – both Norman and Squeaky – was picturesque.

We then had lunch and headed off on our 2nd walk. A summit hike to the top of Mt Oberon (7km return). This we did as a power walk up a vehicle maintenance trail, a continuous climb, but quite an easy hike up 300m to the summit of Mt Oberon (558m above sea level). The summit offered panoramic views over Tidal River, the coast and offshore islands. Although it was a steady climb for 3.5km it was an easy walk due to the tracks conditions so it was like Pitt Street in peak hour, along the track and at the top. The views were spectacular here as well. We then hot footed it down again, with the whole walk with 20mins at the top only taking 1hr 40mins.

We then went for a walk on the Prom Nature trail where we were delighted to see emus, kangaroos and wombats at close range. They were obviously used to people as they didn’t shy away much at all. This was a 2.3km loop trail. So we ended up walking about 14km in all today, although a lot easier than the hikes of the last few days.

We didn’t stay at Wilson’s Promontory as the unpowered sites were $58.10 per night. So we headed out of the National Park to Foster. Getting us about 45 minutes on our way for tomorrow. Destination tomorrow to be decided. Yet again!

Mathinna to Devonport via Ben Lomond National Park and Sheffield, Tasmania

Saturday 18th May 2019 – Federal Election Day
Well what a night at Mathinna. We had decided to call it a day a little short of our destination and stayed at a freebie camp at Mathinna Recreation Oval. Once we had chosen a place DB went for a walk and was talking to a couple of guys set up over yonder. They told him a group was coming for trail bike riding tomorrow. Oh no!

Anyway it was dark and too late to move on so we just had to deal with the constant flow of arrivals up till about 11pm and the noise of drinking and shouting. Oh well at least DB has learned to sleep through some noise these days.

We had decided on an easy dinner because of our late afternoon tea and the cold outside. We were in for a cold one. The forecast was for 0-1° overnight so we put David’s sleeping bag upstairs for extra warmth. Luckily as the low was actually -2°. We both slept in thermals, beanies, socks and gloves most of the night. We were toasty in our little tent. Every time you moved the new spot was icy cold.

It was too cold to get up early as it was still -1° at 7.30am. We finally got up about 8.30ish and on our way by 9. Too cold for showers so we just had breakfast and got on our way. We were headed for the Ben Lomond National Park to the 2nd highest mountain in Tasmania ‘Legges Tor’ 1574m. Luckily you can drive almost to the top. This was a great drive with beautiful scenery, followed by a tricky switchback section called ‘Jacob’s Ladder’.

At the top there was an Alpine Ski Village where we followed a nice track to the top. An easy 4km return walk. Quite easy for a change.

We then headed on our way to Devonport via Sheffield to see the finished mural competition. I managed to get there, wan’t sure if there would be time. Then we headed to Devonport toot and then head to the boat. For once we were early but instead of just driving straight on we had to join the queue which took about 30-40 minutes to get on board. Anyway, all good, we have had a lovely time again in Tasmania and still have lots more left to do next time. We are now on our way to the mainland. Not sure which direction we will head tomorrow. Only time will tell.

Scamander to Mathinna via St Helens, Binalong Bay and Bay of Fires, Tasmania

Friday 17th May 2019
Today was a quiet scenic drive through areas we have only seen in the rain and high wind when we were here in 2017 with Paul, Ali, Emma and Kate. The view was definitely improved with beautiful clear skies and crystal clear calm blue waters. It was definitely worth a revisit.

We drove from Scamander to the tip of St Helen’s Point then back to Binalong Bay. We then drove as far north as we could to The Gardens at The Bay of Fires. A very pretty spot. We stopped many times along the way to take in the beautiful waters of the area. A shame the water was so cold as it looked very inviting. Especially the smooth wave at Maurouard Beach. Perfect for a board play.

We then headed inland to Pyengana Dairy Farm and Cafe where I tasted some of their cheeses and bought some Herb and Garlic Goats Cheese. It was very yummy. We then were a little greedy and had afternoon tea even though neither of us were hungry but David wanted to try their home cheese melt on toast and I had the warm Cheese and Herb scones. Very yummy. And just because we could we had their homemade ice cream – Wattle seed, vanilla and Raspberry and vanilla. After a dairy farm lesson where we found out about their automated milking process and herd numbers between 150 and 220 each providing about 25 litres of milk a day.

We then continued the hard way via the forest to Ben Lomond National Park, changing our mind along the way based on road condition. We did a bit of a zig zag as you will see on the map rather than a big back track back to St Helens on the main roads. in hindsight as we didn’t make it to the destination maybe we should have gone on the main roads but we always prefer the less used, more scenic routes. We are hoping to still go up Mt Ben Lomond tomorrow morning which we found out was a ski area and is 1524m before we head to Devonport to vote and catch the boat to Melbourne.

It is an interesting little spot we are camped at tonight and the temperature is forecast to get down to 1°C tonight. Lucky our tent is really small and we like to snuggle because I think we will need to tonight. Anyway until tomorrow.

Orford to Scamander via Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

Thursday 16th May 2019
Today we get off to a slow start as it was quite cold. We drove from Orford to Freycinet National Park which was about 1.5 hours away. It was a pleasant drive and the sun was shining brightly with minimal clouds for the first time since we arrived here. David said this is what he was expecting for our entire holiday, cold but clear. Oh well, you live and learn. Just a little unlucky this time with the weather, but we have had a great adventure anyway.

We arrived at Freycinet National Park at about 11.30am ready to climb Mt Amos. This was a 3-5 hr hike but only 4km, 2km up and 2km down, an elevation of 454m above sea level. This is quite a challenging track with lots of rock scrambling for the last 1km. It was a tough climb for me today as each step on the rock scramble you would be looking at your hands then up again then back down. It affected my balance and left me a little dizzy which meant I had to stand and wait before I continued At one stage I was thinking I should maybe pull the pin on the summit but was almost there so I kept going slowly and managed to get over the difficult sections and eventually made it to the top. The views were very rewarding and we spent about 2 hours up there chatting to some young backpackers from Ireland and Finland, some Melbournians who had done a few of the hikes we want to do and we had done some they want to do, so it was good to exchange experiences. We then chatted to some young girls from Germany and France. We love sharing their journeys and ours as we take in the amazing view. After about 1.5 hours up there I realised we hadn’t even had our lunch and it was almost 2pm.

SO we had a quick lunch, with amazing views (my lounge room is going to be somewhat lacking when we get home) and just enjoyed the sunshine. Then it was time to head down. I wasn’t too worried as figured I could shimmy down on my bottom where necessary. This was the case, there were a few tricky bits but it was much easier on my balance than on the way up. David’s childhood bush adventures held him in good stead, he just walked up and down without too much problem at all, only occasionally using his hands. I slowed him down a lot today.

Anyway I made it. We left Freycinet National Park around 4pm and drove to Scamander. A small town further north on the east coast.

Today was probably our last rock scramble, summit hike for this trip to Tasmania. We have a few more on the list for next time:
• Walls of Jerusalem
• Mt Freycinet and Mt Graham loop
• Mt Eliza and Anne, Strathgordon
• Malaleuca to Cockle Creek
• Mt Fields National Park
• Cape Pillar
• Hartz National Park
So I think we will be back before we are too old to enjoy the hikes as a few of these require overnight stays and big packs to be carried.

We still have a couple of days left on our Tasmania adventure but I don’t know where we are heading except we will be in Devonport by Saturday afternoon

Port Arthur to Cape Raoul to Orford, Tasmanis

Wednesday 15th May 2019
We started out the day reasonably early with a new friend we picked up in the camp kitchen. His name is Steve and he will be joining us on our hike today. He has just finished doing the Three Capes Track (4 day hike with huts) yesterday and was keen to do the Cape Raoul hike but has no transport. So whilst we were talking last night I said we were heading there today and he asked to join us. This was fine with us so we are a group of 3 today.

The bush was quite similar to Bouddi National Park at home but after about 30 minutes of uphill walking we came to the first lookout of Cape Raoul. Quite a good lookout. Not as spectacular as others we have seen but still very nice all the same. We kept walking all the way to the Cape lookout where the rock formations of the dolerite columns are amazing. Up close and personal they are much more spectacular than the initial impression from the lookout. We then headed around to Seal Lookout which was also very spectacular and with the use of another hikers binoculars you could see about 30 seals on the rocks near the water. You could also hear them.

We had a lovely break for lunch back at Cape Lookout and enjoyed the view. We worked out that on the walk today we could see Cape Pillar, Bruny Island, South Arm and Mt Wellington at Hobart. It was a most enjoyable day. Steve has completed many extended walks in many countries and was very informative to talk to . He has been to many places on our list and gave us lots of information along the way.

After lunch we headed back along the track and went to Shipstern Bluff lookout, the location of the Red Bull Cape Fear (Big Wave) surfing competition which was on Sunday and Monday this week. The surf was not very big today but we would have loved to see someone surfing there.

We then headed back to the car. Our walk today was 18km over 5 hours and 50 minutes. A long day.

After dropping Steve back at Port Arthur we then headed on our way north and we are now at Orford. Along the way google sent us a short cut but this ended up being about 40 minutes along a winding dirt road with many corrugations and potholes. But it was a different way so DB was almost happy about it. We saw many kangaroos along the way as it was about 4.30-5pm which as we all know is “kangaroo o’clock”

Sandy Bay to Port Arthur, Tasmania

Tuesday 14th May 2019
Well we have slowed down a bit over the last 2 days. All we managed today was to pack up our lovely waterview apartment, have a swim at Hobart Pool and then drive 100km to Port Arthur.

We are staying in the NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park again with the pump bike track DB rode on with Emma and Kate last time we were here. He has left the bike on the car this time. Still a bit too tired to run a muck today.

The weather has been quite cool, windy and a bit cloudy today.

Sandy Bay, Tasmania

Monday 13th May, 2019

After many days in succession walking, hiking, riding and exploring we have declared today a rest day. Lie in bed, watch the beautiful view from our accommodation in Sandy Bay, catch up on the blog, do some washing, buy groceries and rest. Not quite what a normal person would call rest, but a rest for our tired bodies.

The view was so awesome from our bed that we both woke up early to watch the sun rise. The sky was a little cloudy which meant the hues changed from yellow to orange to red to pink. It was a beautiful transformation from a dark sky to a blue skied day. Whilst watching the sun rise a pademelon and a kangaroo both hopped past our window.

So that was it. If you go back to the 9th of May I have added a couple of photos and a bit to the story. Then follow on to the 10th, 11th and 12th where I have done the photos and a little bit more on the blurb.

Hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day yesterday.

We are still undecided on tomorrow’s plans but you will know not long after we know.