Northwest of Deloraine lie the towns of Railton and Sheffield; it’s only a short drive to these centres from Deloraine and we set out to explore both on a cool morning which threatened showers and wind. We drove straight through to Sheffield (http://www.sheffieldtasmania.com.au/) to the town famous for its many murals.
Parking in the main street we started a walk through the CBD looking at shops and cafes and all the various murals painted on the walls of the buildings. We came across Slater’s Country Store an establishment obviously catering to the needs of country folk in the area with all manner of clothing for the working man and woman. Very interesting just to browse all the various merchandise and I found a pair of moleskin jeans at a reasonable price.
Just across the road was the Fudge’n’Good Coffee Café (http://www.think-tasmania.com/fudge-n-good-coffee/); we had picked up a pamphlet from the Information Centre that gave us 10% discount on our purchase so of course we had to take advantage of this offer and had coffee. From the front window of the Fudge’n’Good Coffee Cafe we spied The World of Marbles and the Emporium so naturally we had to explore further.
The World of Marbles was a fascinating place (http://www.worldofmarbles.com.au/) full of marbles of all shapes and sizes, some quite cheap and some quite exquisite and correspondingly expensive. A write-up in a recent edition of the Cradle Mountain & Lakes District Visitor Gazette indicated that the proprietor, Jan Clay, established the gallery – Art Etude in Sheffield after searching for the perfect site to “indulge her gift in the creation of glass art, especially glass marbles”; the gallery quickly became known as the World of Marbles. I could have spent lots of money acquiring marbles at this store – but what would I do with them?
Just up the road from the World of Marbles is a business aptly named The Emporium; the Sheffield Tasmania website (http://www.sheffieldtasmania.com.au/business1.html) says of the Emporium – “The Emporium is a store with quality antiques, collectibles, nick knacks, incense, gorgeous preserves and other home-made goods. Delightful beanies and hats are handmade by Jenny using imported silks and other precious yarns. The stock is ever-changing and it’s a great place.” An inspection of the stock for sale in the business certainly reveals a plethora of interesting and varied goods with an emphasis on a wide variety of books and records – very interesting indeed.
Another interesting site in Sheffield was a gentleman with an Alpaca in tow posing for pictures with tourists. Apparently the Alpaca Man – Ludo Mineur (http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/pedros-on-holidays-basking-in-glory-lismore/1509840/) has several Alpacas which he has trained to deal with traffic and noise and the stress of tourists – another interesting sight in Sheffield.
From Sheffield we drove back to Railton – the town of topiary (http://www.townoftopiary.com.au/). The topiaries were commenced in 1999 by two enterprising business owners discussing how to bring more tourism to the town. Today there are 38 topiaries listed in a map of the town – while we didn’t see them all we certainly saw quite a few of them and very impressive most of them were.
On Good Friday we moved about 45 kilometres from Deloraine to Latrobe to our final destination before departing from the Island via the Spirit of Tasmania on 31st March. We are in a camp about ten minutes’ drive away from the Ferry Terminal and have paid for a late checkout on Sunday; we will leave here about 5:30pm and arrive at the terminal just as loading of the ship commences; we will probably still be sitting in the car in a queue for an hour or so before we get on board.
Saturday morning we decided to treat ourselves to breakfast in a chocolate factory and so took ourselves off to the House of Anvers (http://www.anvers-chocolate.com.au/) for a Belgian style breakfast of Vienna bread, eggs, Belgian sausage and tomato topped with cheese; add a couple of cups of European style coffee and the body is set to meet all that the day has to offer – YUM!
Next we decided to look for some fruit based experiences and took ourselves 3 kilometres down the Bass Highway to the Cherry Shed (http://www.cherryshed.com.au/); unfortunately the cherry season has ended and fresh cherries are unavailable – however fresh raspberries were on sale as were a large variety of cherry based products such as ice cream, wine, port, liqueur, jam, chutney, pickles, vinegar, sauces, clothing, soap, nick-knacks, and more. Hot cherry crepes were also available – but since we had just had breakfast we didn’t sample these. We purchased a few samples for later tasting and moved on.
A walk through the centre of Latrobe followed and we visited a few shops including a lolly shop “A Sweet Craving” (http://www.asweetcraving.com/) where another purchase was made. There are a good number of shops in Latrobe and given that Devonport is only 10 minutes up the road, the residents of the area are well catered for.
Our next journey was a dry run (through the showers) to the ferry terminal to check out where to go and how long it would take. This was followed by a short walk through the city centre of Devonport where we also refueled the truck preparatory to the next stage of our journey.
Six weeks in Tasmania are fast drawing to a close and on Monday 1st April we will be back on the mainland starting the next phase of our adventure. Once off the boat we will move towards Halls Gap where we have booked a 3 day stay then on to Swan Hill for a caravan rally. We have quite enjoyed our time in Tasmania but have not seen everything there is to see – there is just too much packed in to this small state. Whether or not we return for another visit is still to be decided but if we do return it is doubtful that we will bring the caravan with us.