The Trip Home

From the motel in Devonport it was a short drive to the wharf to board the Spirit of Tasmania and we arrived reasonably early to queue to board the vessel.

Sunrise at Devonport

Sunrise at Devonport

Vehicles queuing behind us at Devonport

Vehicles queuing behind us at Devonport

After an hour or so we were able to drive on board to deck 6 and proceeded to take our kit up the single flight of stairs to deck level 7.

Loading on to the Spirit of Tasmania in Devonport

Loading on to the Spirit of Tasmania in Devonport

Loading on to the Spirit of Tasmania in Devonport

Loading on to the Spirit of Tasmania in Devonport

We had recliners booked on the ship but we opted for some comfortable chairs next to a widow in close proximity to the on-board cafe known as “The Pantry”. As it was a daylight sailing we stayed in this location for the entirety of the trip.

The view from the deck to the wharf

The view from the deck to the wharf

Before we sailed the Captain announced that he expected fairly smooth sailing until lunch time then a little rougher weather from there on. The swell wasn’t too bad and dropped right away when we entered Port Phillip Bay. We left Devonport at around 8:30am

We are departing from the wharf

We are departing from the wharf

Departing Devonport

Departing Devonport

Departing Devonport

Departing Devonport

Bon Voyage

Bon Voyage

Departing Devonport

Departing Devonport

The Spirit of the Sea

The Spirit of the Sea

Passing the sister ship half way out

Passing the sister ship half way out

In Port Phillip Bay

In Port Phillip Bay

and docked in Melbourne at 6:00pm when the matter of unloading the vehicles turned into a long process and we ended up being the last vehicle off the ship just after 7:00pm.

We had booked accommodation at the Big 4 caravan park in Braybrook (http://www.big4.com.au/caravan-parks/vic/greater-melbourne/ashley-gardens-big4-holiday-village) for three nights and drove from the port to the caravan park through the Melbourne traffic being guided by the GPS system in the car as we were unsure of where we were going. Arriving at the park we found reception closed but an envelope with our cabin keys waiting at the front door.

Our Cabin in Melbourne

Our Cabin in Melbourne

After shifting the gear we needed from the car to the cabin we went to the adjacent supermarket and purchased a few essentials before we had a bite to eat and turned in.

Tuesday morning, we purchased myki passes (http://ptv.vic.gov.au/tickets/myki/myki-pass/) from reception and from a bus stop near the caravan park we travelled into the CBD for a look at downtown Melbourne. Hopped off the bus in Queen Street then walked along until we came to Bourke Street; in one of the arcades off the mall we found Cafe E Torta (https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Bourke+St,+Melbourne+VIC/@-37.8150206,144.9643312,3a,75y,319h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1srf92oQ-ITttF2yubEqX6-g!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo1.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3Drf92oQ-ITttF2yubEqX6-g%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dsearch.TACTILE.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D392%26h%3D106%26yaw%3D319.71988%26pitch%3D0!7i13312!8i6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x6ad65d4c71eafb39:0xaa330be4d733a) where we enjoyed very tasty cakes and delightful coffee.

We walked along Bourke Street (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourke_Street,_Melbourne) through the mall and up to the steps of Parliament House (https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Bourke+St,+Melbourne+VIC/@-37.8146149,144.966943,16z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x6ad65d4c71eafb39:0xaa330be4d733a)

Statuary in Bourke Street Melbourne

Statuary in Bourke Street Melbourne

Victorian Parliament House

Victorian Parliament House

Hotel Windsor

Hotel Windsor

Statuary near Parliament House Melbourne

Statuary near Parliament House Melbourne

Fountain near Parliament House Melbourne

Fountain near Parliament House Melbourne

where we then walked through the Treasury Gardens.

Two Premiers meet

Two Premiers meet

City view from Treasury Gardens Melbourne

City view from Treasury Gardens Melbourne

Fountains in Treasury Gardens Melbourne

Fountains in Treasury Gardens Melbourne

Back into Collins Street and Little Collins Street then trough to Little Bourke Street and a wander through the Chinatown area then back to the mall in search of lunch.

Collins Street Melbourne

Collins Street Melbourne

Melbourne Tram

Melbourne Tram

Statuary in Collins Place Melbourne

Statuary in Collins Place Melbourne

Chinatown in Melbourne

Chinatown in Melbourne

China Town in Melbourne

China Town in Melbourne

After enjoying a very filling lunch of pancakes at the local Lovely Pancakes franchise we wandered along the CBD streets until we found ourselves back in Queen Street and a bus stop where we caught a bus back to the caravan park for a quiet afternoon.

View from the Bus back to Braybrook

View from the Bus back to Braybrook

Wednesday morning was a bit dreary but we managed to complete some washing and eventually got it dried despite occasional showers. We went to the nearby Ashley Hotel (http://www.ashleyhotel.com.au/) for a generous and tasty meal then wandered through the shopping centre on the way back to the caravan park to prepare for our departure next morning. There are lots to see and do in Melbourne but we didn’t schedule much time on this trip and will need to come back another time for a longer stay to see a lot more of the City.

Thursday morning, we departed the caravan park heading east toward Sale. If you don’t know the way and you are relying on a GPS in the car, then peak hour morning traffic in Melbourne is not for the feint hearted. Eventually we were out of the city heading east on the M1 and motoring along quite nicely with most of the heavy traffic heading into the City rather than out of it as we were. There is little to see along the freeway as it generally bypasses all the towns and urban centres. East of Pakenham we pulled off the highway to a rest stop for morning tea then drove on past Warragul, and Moe to Traralgon, Rosedale and then to Sale (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sale,_Victoria) where we decided to take a look at the town and have some lunch.

Passing over the Bolte Bridge

Passing over the Bolte Bridge

A city shrouded in low cloud

A city shrouded in low cloud

A city shrouded in low cloud

A city shrouded in low cloud

On the way to Traralgon

On the way to Traralgon

Picturesque scenery along the Princes Highway

Picturesque scenery along the Princes Highway

Rosedale Hotel

Rosedale Hotel

We found Sale to be a quite interesting city and walked through the CBD; at a local shopping centre we bought a couple of items and then found an interesting Cafe – Mr Raymond (http://www.visitvictoria.com/regions/Gippsland/Food-and-wine/Cafes/TV-Mister-Raymond.aspx) where we enjoyed some delicious food for lunch.

Welcome to Sale

Welcome to Sale

Sale Hotel

Sale Hotel

Interesting footpath treatment in Sale

Interesting footpath treatment in Sale

Clock tower Sale

Clock tower Sale

Colourful footpath treatment in Sale

Colourful footpath treatment in Sale

Looking for donations to the Cancer Council

Looking for donations to the Cancer Council

Pelican statuary in Sale

Pelican statuary in Sale

Margaret's lunch in Sale

Margaret’s lunch in Sale

After Sale we drove on to Stratford and Bairnsdale (where we purchased diesel fuel for 89.5 cents per litre – and received a further discount of 4 cents per litre as it was a Woolworth’s Service Station) then on to Lakes Entrance (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakes_Entrance,_Victoria).

Welcome to Bairnsdale

Welcome to Bairnsdale

The circus was in Bairnsdale

The circus was in Bairnsdale

House boat on the river

House boat on the river

Apart from enjoying the wonderful views from the lookout on the way into town, we thought we would like a coffee. There wasn’t a lot open but we did happen upon MMMTruffles (http://www.mmmtruffles.com.au/) where the proprietor brewed up a really good Latte and tempted us with the wide array of chocolates on display (https://www.facebook.com/mmmTruffles/).

Welcome to Lakes Entrance

Welcome to Lakes Entrance

Harbour view Lakes Entrance

Harbour view Lakes Entrance

Clock Tower Lakes Entrance

Clock Tower Lakes Entrance

Lakes Entrance view

Lakes Entrance view

Lakes Entrance view

Lakes Entrance view

Lakes Entrance view

Lakes Entrance view

Lakes Entrance view

Lakes Entrance view

Lakes Entrance view

Lakes Entrance view

Lakes Entrance view

Lakes Entrance view

OK we have enough photos

OK we have enough photos

From Lakes Entrance we then drove on to Orbost where had booked accommodation for the evening at the Orbost Motel (http://orbostmotel.com.au/) where the decoration strongly follows the corrugated iron theme. The stay was quite pleasant and we departed next morning heading for Canberra.

Old timber bridge on the outskirts of Orbost

Old timber bridge on the outskirts of Orbost

This replaced the Old timber bridge on the outskirts of Orbost

This replaced the Old timber bridge on the outskirts of Orbost

Dawn at Orbost

Dawn at Orbost

Parked outside the motel at Orbost

Parked outside the motel at Orbost

The road from Orbost to Canberra was very scenic and in places, very twisty. A lot of work has been and is being done by the Victoria Government on the section of the road between Orbost and the New South Wales border

Welcome to New South Wales

Welcome to New South Wales

and the result of the work was very evident. Crossing the border, it wasn’t too long before we reached the coastal town of Eden (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eden,_New_South_Wales) sitting alongside Twofold Bay (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twofold_Bay).

We drove to the town lookout above the bay and found a large naval vessel anchored in Twofold Bay. This ship was obviously of interest to the locals as they came to check its status with regularity.

The naval vessel at Twofold Bay

The naval vessel at Twofold Bay

Harbour at Eden

Harbour at Eden

Killer whale museum at Eden

Killer whale museum at Eden

Downtown Eden

Downtown Eden

We had morning tea at the lookout and then drove on to the town of Bega (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bega,_New_South_Wales) of cheese fame and stopped for a visit to the Bega Cheese Factory (http://www.begacheese.com.au/) at the edge of the town.

Bega Cheese Visitors Centre

Bega Cheese Visitors Centre

No wonder they have good cheese at Bega with cows like this

No wonder they have good cheese at Bega with cows like this

From Bega we drove along the Snowy Mountains Highway to Cooma (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooma) where we visited one of the local hotels for a very filling lunch before driving the final stage of our run to Canberra (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canberra).

Along the Snowy Mountains highway on the way to Cooma

Along the Snowy Mountains highway on the way to Cooma

Teddy Bears 'n' Wool at Bemboka

Teddy Bears ‘n’ Wool at Bemboka

Fred Piper Memorial Lookout

Fred Piper Memorial Lookout

View from Fred Piper Memorial Lookout

View from Fred Piper Memorial Lookout

View from Fred Piper Memorial Lookout

View from Fred Piper Memorial Lookout

View from Fred Piper Memorial Lookout

View from Fred Piper Memorial Lookout

On the road between Cooma and Canberra

On the road between Cooma and Canberra

You are entering the Australian Capital Territory

You are entering the Australian Capital Territory

Solar Farm not far from Canberra

Solar Farm not far from Canberra

In Canberra we stayed the night at the Little National Hotel (http://littlenationalhotel.com.au/) which was quite a different experience for us. We had a bit of a walk about the streets in the afternoon but didn’t go very far as it was quite a hot, energy sapping day.

The Tree the Duke of Yorke planted

The Tree the Duke of Yorke planted

Duke of Yorke planted the tree

Duke of Yorke planted the tree

Old Parliament House Canberra

Old Parliament House Canberra

Hilton, Curtin and Chifley

Hilton, Curtin and Chifley

Rubbing shoulders with Prime Ministers

Rubbing shoulders with Prime Ministers

The War Memorial seen through the heat haze from Old Parliament House

The War Memorial seen through the heat haze from Old Parliament House

Old Parliament House showing some of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy

Old Parliament House showing some of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy

The National Press Club Canberra

The National Press Club Canberra

Saturday morning saw us on the road quite early and our plan was to drive to Yass (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yass,_New_South_Wales) where we would find some breakfast and fill the vehicle. We took the turnoff into Yass

Welcome to Yass

Welcome to Yass

and found a service station then went in search of Maccas for coffee. As it turned out we could have stayed on the highway as the McDonald’s was located at the service centre at the western edge of Yass – fuel was also the same price here as we paid in town.

From Yass our destination for the day was Dubbo so we travelled by some “calmer” roads through Boorowa, Cowra (where we stopped for morning tea),

We are at Canowindra

We are at Canowindra

Canowindra, Molong and Wellington.

Wellington lies ahead

Wellington lies ahead

We pulled up in Wellington in search of a meal and found the Cow and Calf where we were able to partake of a very satisfying lunch.

The Cow and Calf at Wellington

The Cow and Calf at Wellington

Suspension footbridge at Wellington

Suspension footbridge at Wellington

From Wellington we drove the short distance to Dubbo and checked into the Matilda Motel for the evening.

Even though it would be a long day – 968 kilometres – we decided we would drive the rest of the way home on Sunday. We rose at 5:00am (daylight saving time), had breakfast and hit the road at 6:30. The journey took us up the Newell Highway through Gilgandra, Coonabarrabran and Narrabri where we stopped for a break behind the Information Centre.  The camera didn’t come out all day so there are no photos to include here.

Pushing on we encountered a very wide (8.5 metres) load between Bellata and Gurley and had to pull right off the road to allow the convoy to pass. We bypassed Moree along the new road and pulled into Goondiwindi just before 11:00am (Qld time) – we picked up an hour as a result of the changed daylight saving timezone. After more fuel for the car and the body we pushed on through Inglewood, Warwick and into Brisbane where we drove into a shopping centre at Brown Plains to have a short rest. We arrived at our home on the Sunshine Coast at 5:30pm.

Our return home wrapped up our Tasmania 2016 jaunt after being away for some 24 days and travelling almost 5,700 kilometres. We slept in many different beds, having stayed in 14 different accommodation establishments. We were very pleased with the performance of our vehicle which averaged about 6.5 litres per hundred kilometres (fuel consumption) during the trip. We did enjoy the journey but returning home is always good.

Until next time.

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Launceston and the North

When we left Scamander the weather was quite bright but there was an increasing presence of smoke the further west we travelled.

A smoke haze clouded the landscapes as we drove

A smoke haze clouded the landscapes as we drove

We drove through St Helens and then west along the Tasman Highway; once we reached the turnoff to Pyengana we were travelling on previously untraveled road as we had not previously been this way.

The road up the range through the Weldborough Pass twisted and turned and was quite steep both going up and obviously coming down.

Up through Weldborough Pass on the way to Scottsdale

Up through Weldborough Pass on the way to Scottsdale

The road twists and turns

The road twists and turns

There are many tree ferns lining the road over the mountains

There are many tree ferns lining the road over the mountains

Reaching the village of Weldborough (http://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/weldborough-tas), we met a party of several motorbikes departing the Weldborough Pub and travelling west and were soon overtaken as the bikes handled the twisty road much more easily than we did.

Motorcyclists leaving the Weldborough Pub some in front of us some behind

Motorcyclists leaving the Weldborough Pub some in front of us some behind

Along the road between Weldborough and Derby

Along the road between Weldborough and Derby

The bikes are past us and quickly away

The bikes are past us and quickly away

When we reached the historic town of Derby (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derby,_Tasmania) we again encountered the bikes outside another pub.

A "fishy" rock on the side of the road above Derby

A “fishy” rock on the side of the road above Derby

The Town of Derby from above

The Town of Derby from above

Welcome to Derby

Welcome to Derby

Just after Branxholm (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branxholm,_Tasmania) we turned off the highway to take a look at Ringarooma (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringarooma), Ian McNamara of “Australia All Over” (http://www.abc.net.au/australiaallover/) fame often suggests that listeners give him a “ringarooma” so we thought we would see what the town was like.

When one leaves the highway to travel to Ringarooma, dependent upon the route one takes, the first town one encounters is a place called Legerwood and the most striking thing about this small community are the memorial carvings one encounters when one enters the town (http://www.northeasttasmania.com.au/legerwood-memorial-carvings).

We have arrived at Legerwood

We have arrived at Legerwood

The rest stop at Legerwood

The rest stop at Legerwood

Some of the carved trees at Legerwood

Some of the carved trees at Legerwood

One of the carved trees at Legerwood

One of the carved trees at Legerwood

One of the carved trees at Legerwood

One of the carved trees at Legerwood

The carved trees at Legerwood

The carved trees at Legerwood

One of the carved trees at Legerwood

One of the carved trees at Legerwood

These carvings are a memorial to World War I soldiers and are a great memorial to the fallen diggers. “The trees used in these carvings were planted in 1918 as a tribute to local soldiers lost in WWI. By 2001 the trees had become unsafe, and were to be removed completely” before members of the community stepped in and arranged the carved memorials.

The trees were planted as a memorial to WWI Diggers

The trees were planted as a memorial to WWI Diggers

After inspecting the carvings and taking time for morning tea we travelled on to Ringarooma to see what the town had to show before we turned around to head off toward on the rest of the journey.

Welcome to Ringarooma

Welcome to Ringarooma

The Ringarooma Hotel

The Ringarooma Hotel

This house at Ringarooma can be yours for around $300K

This house at Ringarooma can be yours for around $300K

Ringarooma General Store

Ringarooma General Store

Post Office Ringarooma

Post Office Ringarooma

Reaching Legerwood once again, we opted to take the most direct route back to the highway via the appropriately dubbed “Snake Track”. This road was signed as being unsuitable for caravans and the like and wisely so as it was exactly like the track of a snake over a rough, unsealed, dusty road.

Love From Tassie water bottling plant at Legerwood

Love From Tassie water bottling plant at Legerwood

The Snake track at Legerwood

The Snake track at Legerwood

The Snake track at Legerwood

The Snake track at Legerwood

Back on the highway the next major town was Scottsdale and after largely skirting the town we headed south west toward Launceston.

A few of these big fellows on the road around Scottsdale

A few of these big fellows on the road around Scottsdale

Welcome to Scottsdale

Welcome to Scottsdale

Farewell from Scottsdale - the approach from the other side welcomes travellers to the town

Farewell from Scottsdale – the approach from the other side welcomes travellers to the town

After Scottsdale the road again winds up and over another range and it was at the bottom of the range that we encountered a semi-trailer which we then followed at about 40 kilometres per hour for quite a while before we managed to get by near Nunamara.

Along the road from Scottsdale

Along the road from Scottsdale

We were stuck behind this truck for quite a while

We were stuck behind this truck for quite a while

We were stuck behind this truck for quite a while

We were stuck behind this truck for quite a while

We wanted to take a look at Evandale and Perth before we got to Launceston so we turned off the highway near St Leonards and went in what we thought was the right direction relying on our GPS to find the way.

Near the turnoff to St Leonards

Near the turnoff to St Leonards

It wasn’t long before we worked out that the Bitch in the Box (the GPS) was clueless and after a considerable excursion through a number of country lanes we eventually arrived at Evandale.

A huge crop on the hillside

A huge crop on the hillside

The road to Evandale

The road to Evandale

Here we found the Prince of Wales Hotel and had a very tasty lunch.

Prince of Wales Hotel at Evandale

Prince of Wales Hotel at Evandale

Post Office Evandale

Post Office Evandale

The "Time Traveller" statue at Evandale

The “Time Traveller” statue at Evandale

After walking around the village for a while we headed off to see what Perth had to offer.

Welcome to Perth

Welcome to Perth

Perth is a small town straddling the highway into Launceston.

An impossible stack of strawberry boxes tied precariously to the back of this utility and holding up traffic along the way

An impossible stack of strawberry boxes tied precariously to the back of this utility and holding up traffic along the way

We parked and took a short walk along the main street,

Sign on the window of a truck in Perth

Sign on the window of a truck in Perth

Devils Bakehouse in Perth

Devils Bakehouse in Perth

Post Office Perth

Post Office Perth

had a look at a couple of motor homes which were for sale at a local car yard

Is this our next Motor Home - Names right!

Is this our next Motor Home – Names right!

Someones unusual home in Perth

Someones unusual home in Perth

then got back into the car to drive to our accommodation, Tamar River Villas (http://tamarrivervillas.com/). We have a self-contained unit here and will stay until we depart for Devonport on Sunday morning.

Tamar River Villas

Tamar River Villas

Tamar River from the Motel balcony

Tamar River from the Motel balcony

Tamar River from the Villa

Tamar River from the Villa

Thursday morning, we were out of bed early and visited the guest laundry to do some washing. Washing done and hung out to dry and breakfast consumed we drove off to the Bridstowe Lavender Farm (http://bridestowelavender.com.au/pub/) for a looksee.

Its all happening at Lillydale

Its all happening at Lillydale

Welcome to Lillydale

Welcome to Lillydale

We previously visited the farm in 2013 when we toured with our caravan but the day we were at the farm it was raining, wet and miserable so we were confined to the café and shop. Today we were able to explore more thoroughly as the weather was fine and clear. We also enjoyed coffee and scones in the café and had a good look at the good in the shop. The farm was very busy with many visitors including a large tourist coach.

The Lavender Farm - acres and acres of Lavender

The Lavender Farm – acres and acres of Lavender

The Lavender Farm - acres and acres of Lavender

The Lavender Farm – acres and acres of Lavender

Returning to Launceston (some 55 kilometres), we decided to visit the Grindelwald Swiss Village at the Tamar Valley Resort (http://www.discovertasmania.com.au/attraction/tamarvalleyresortgrindelwaldattraction). Friends of ours had lived opposite the village before they moved north to Queensland and it was on their recommendation that we decided to visit. Interestingly we encountered a local resident who also knew our friends and we will give her best wishes to our friends when we return home.

Over fifties village at Grindelwald

Over fifties village at Grindelwald

Swiss Village at Grindewald

Swiss Village at Grindewald

Swiss Village at Grindewald

Swiss Village at Grindewald

Swiss Village at Grindewald

Swiss Village at Grindewald

Swiss Village at Grindewald

Swiss Village at Grindewald

Swiss Village at Grindewald

Swiss Village at Grindewald

Fountain at Swiss Village at Grindewald

Fountain at Swiss Village at Grindewald

Swiss Village at Grindewald

Swiss Village at Grindewald

From Grindelwald we travelled back toward Launceston to Legana where we visited the Legana Tavern and enjoyed a sumptuous lunch. From the Tavern, we visited a local shopping centre where we were able to purchase some greengage plums (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greengage), recommended by our friends as a tasty treat; and then filled the vehicle at a very reasonable price and returned to the villa to deal with the washing.

On Friday morning we headed into Launceston to check out the city centre; we found a convenient parking spot and set out to explore. I called into a barber shop for a haircut while Margaret checked out a few of the nearby shops. Found a nice place for morning coffee and enjoyed the break. We found the Old Umbrella Shop (now run by the National Trust – https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/places/old-umbrella-shop/) and had a yarn to the volunteers manning the shop.

Pilgrim Uniting Church in Launceston

Pilgrim Uniting Church in Launceston

Presbyterian Church in Launceston

Presbyterian Church in Launceston

Pilgrim Uniting Church in Launceston

Pilgrim Uniting Church in Launceston

Parking is tight in Launceston - even have to park on shop awnings

Parking is tight in Launceston – even have to park on shop awnings

The Old Umbrella Shop

The Old Umbrella Shop

The Old Umbrella Shop

The Old Umbrella Shop

Catholic Church in Launceston

Catholic Church in Launceston

We spotted the Boags Brewery (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boag’s_Brewery) so headed off to see what was there was to see (https://www.jamesboag.com.au/). Unfortunately, we were a little late for the morning brewery tour (could have come back at 3:00pm) but decided to have a look through the museum on the upper floors. What we saw was most interesting and we watched a number of older commercials presented in a lighter vein that were quite humorous.

Boags Brewery in Launceston

Boags Brewery in Launceston

Boags (Esk) Brewery in Launceston

Boags (Esk) Brewery in Launceston

Large tank at Boags Brewery in Launceston

Large tank at Boags Brewery in Launceston

Cooperage display at Boags Brewery in Launceston

Cooperage display at Boags Brewery in Launceston

Bottle & Can display at Boags Brewery in Launceston

Bottle & Can display at Boags Brewery in Launceston

We were close to the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania (http://www.namt.com.au/) that we were interested in looking at so went back to relocate our car (as the parking permit was about to expire) to a car park close by.

National Automobile Museum in Launceston

National Automobile Museum in Launceston

The Albert Hall performing arts centre in Launceston

The Albert Hall performing arts centre in Launceston

Launceston City Council - Progress with Prudence

Launceston City Council – Progress with Prudence

Statuary outside the Linc in Launceston

Statuary outside the Linc in Launceston

The Linc at Launceston

The Linc at Launceston

The local Hogs Breath Café was also nearby in the old gas works building so we thought lunch was in order before our museum inspection.

The old gas works at Launceston now houses the Hogs Breath Cafe

The old gas works at Launceston now houses the Hogs Breath Cafe

After lunch we spent a fair time in the museum inspecting the exhibits – Peter Brock was featured in the current exhibit so we saw a number of the cars that he raced and a number that he influenced in production.

One of Peter Brock's 05 Holdens

One of Peter Brock’s 05 Holdens

One of Peter Brock's early race vehicles

One of Peter Brock’s early race vehicles

One of Peter Brock's 05 Holdens - the last one he raced

One of Peter Brock’s 05 Holdens – the last one he raced

Peter Brock photograph - life size

Peter Brock photograph – life size

An Indian Scooter based on the Italian Vespa

An Indian Scooter based on the Italian Vespa

All about the Bajaj Chetak Scooter

All about the Bajaj Chetak Scooter

A 1959 Vespa 150cc Motor Scooter

A 1959 Vespa 150cc Motor Scooter

GT HO Falcon

GT HO Falcon

National Automobile Museum of Tasmania

National Automobile Museum of Tasmania

After spending time at the museum we visited a local supermarket to pick up a few things then found a local car wash to clean a very dirty car – took the wet car back to the villas and dried it with the chamois to ensure a clean finish to the job.

Saturday saw us experiencing Festivale 2016 (http://www.festivale.com.au/) in City Park in Launceston. The website indicates Festivale, one of Tasmania’s premier summer events, is a three-day celebration, designed to showcase the very best of Tasmanian food, wine, beer, arts and entertainment. Staged in Launceston’s historic and picturesque City Park the ambiance of the outdoor event is unique.”

Festivale certainly was an enjoyable experience where one could enjoy any amount of food, wine, beer, cider, and soft drinks in addition to musical performers (including Kate Ceberano and Wendy Matthews) on two separate stages, buskers in a variety of different locations, and roving entertainment all over the park. Further there were separate workshops and activities for the children.

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Stalls at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Street performer at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Street performer at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Lovely Pom Pom Dahlia at City Park in Launceston

Lovely Pom Pom Dahlia at City Park in Launceston

Busy bees in the flowers at City Park Launceston

Busy bees in the flowers at City Park Launceston

Lovely Dahlia at City Park in Launceston

Lovely Dahlia at City Park in Launceston

Street Performers at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Street Performers at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Dancing Zebra at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Dancing Zebra at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Dancing Zebra at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Dancing Zebra at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Plenty of provision for patrons at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Plenty of provision for patrons at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Plenty of provision for patrons at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Plenty of provision for patrons at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Single serve pavlova - plenty of cream, plenty of sugar, LOTS OF CALORIES

Single serve pavlova – plenty of cream, plenty of sugar, LOTS OF CALORIES

Plenty of provision for patrons at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

Plenty of provision for patrons at Festivale 2016 in City Park Launceston

There were 91 different stalls where one could experience food, wine, spirits, beer, cider and soft drink and we sampled a few of these. There was even a stall where you could take a breathalyser test to check your blood alcohol level before departing the site. Literally, thousands of people were in the park during the five hours we were there and we probably left before the peak time of the late afternoon and evening.

Expecting parking to be at a premium we left the motel about 10:00am to arrive at a parking area adjacent to the site well in advance of the commencement time of 11:00am. After we parked the car we went for a walk along the river and through the Inveresk Precinct (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inveresk_and_York_Park_Precinct,_Launceston) past the Museum, Art Gallery and Launceston campus of the University. Aurora Stadium (http://www.aurorastadiumlaunceston.com.au/aurora/) is also located in this precinct as is the Launceston Tramways Museum (http://launcestontramwaymuseum.org.au/). It was a good and interesting way to fill in the time until the gates opened at Festivale.

Scull practice on the river

Scull practice on the river

Unique accommodation near the old gasworks

Unique accommodation near the old gasworks

A view of the city of Launceston

A view of the city of Launceston

The Launceston Tramway Museum

The Launceston Tramway Museum

The Launceston Tramway Museum

The Launceston Tramway Museum

Aurora Stadium in the Inveresk Precinct

Aurora Stadium in the Inveresk Precinct

An old engine awaiting restoration at Launceston

An old engine awaiting restoration at Launceston

A new building for the University at Launceston

A new building for the University at Launceston

The river, the old gasworks and the city

The river, the old gasworks and the city

The Old Gasworks at Launceston

The Old Gasworks at Launceston

A view of the city of Launceston

A view of the city of Launceston

Today is Valentine’s Day and romantic fool that I am, I completely forgot until my loving wife wished me a happy Valentine’s at the breakfast table. We left the Tamar River Villas around 9:00am and headed off toward Devonport where we will board the Spirit of Tasmania in the morning for the trip to Melbourne.

We had a few hours to fill in as we were unable to check in to the motel in Devonport until 2:00pm so we decided to turn off the highway and take an excursion to Westbury to see what was there.

Turn Right for Westbury

Turn Right for Westbury

Welcome to Westbury

Welcome to Westbury

A Church in Westbury - snapped from the car

A Church in Westbury – snapped from the car

We stopped briefly and considered whether or not to take a look at Pearns Steam World; after pulling up outside and taking a few photographs we decided to drive on.

Pearns Steam World in Westbury

Pearns Steam World in Westbury

Lovely old steam engine at Pearns Steam World

Lovely old steam engine at Pearns Steam World

The road we were on would take us on to Deloraine and thence to Devonport once we returned to the Highway. Passing through the rural hamlet of Exton

Welcome to Exton - but don't blink

Welcome to Exton – but don’t blink

it wasn’t long before we arrived at Deloraine and decided to pull up alongside the Meander River for morning tea; as it happened we were able to stop at the same spot as we had on our way south a couple of weeks ago.

We encountered these cyclists on the way in to Deloraine and had to follow them for a while

We encountered these cyclists on the way in to Deloraine and had to follow them for a while

At Deloraine we turned left for morning tea

At Deloraine we turned left for morning tea

The Meander River at Deloraine

The Meander River at Deloraine

After morning tea, we drove along the river then headed back to the highway passing through Elizabeth Town

Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm at Elizabeth Town

Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm at Elizabeth Town

ETC Bakery Cafe at Elizabeth Town

ETC Bakery Cafe at Elizabeth Town

to our next stop at the Ashgrove Cheese Factory (http://www.ashgrovecheese.com.au/).

Welcome to Ashgrove Cheese

Welcome to Ashgrove Cheese

Here we checked out the award winning cheese products on sale. After admiring the large pumpkins growing in the garden and photographing some of the many fibreglass cows on display, we purchased some cheese for Ron (later on) and drove on to Latrobe.

Huge pumpkins growing at Ashgrove Cheese

Huge pumpkins growing at Ashgrove Cheese

One of the fibreglass cows at Ashgrove Cheese

One of the fibreglass cows at Ashgrove Cheese

Several fibreglass cows at Ashgrove Cheese

Several fibreglass cows at Ashgrove Cheese

One of the fibreglass beasts at Ashgrove Cheese

One of the fibreglass beasts at Ashgrove Cheese

The Cherry Shed (http://www.thecherryshed.com.au/) is located adjacent to the Bass Highway at Latrobe and offers all sorts of cherry and berry based and related products for sale. The Shed offers an all-day menu for diners and a wide variety from its menu. When we visited the area in 2013 we patronised the shed and took home many products from the establishment.

Welcome to the Cherry Shed

Welcome to the Cherry Shed

About three kilometres further up the highway from the Cherry Shed one encounters “The House of Anvers” (http://anvers-chocolate.com.au/#intro) purveyors of fine chocolates and chocolate products. In addition, Anvers provides dining facilities and it was here we decided to stop for lunch.

Pork Belly for Lunch at Anvers

Pork Belly for Lunch at Anvers

Chicken Pasta for Lunch at Anvers

Chicken Pasta for Lunch at Anvers

After enjoying a sumptuous meal, we drove the few remaining kilometres into Devonport and found a parking spot in the main street.

Sailing ship in the harbour at Westbury

Sailing ship in the harbour at Devonport

Cargo ship in Port at Devonport

Cargo ship in Port at Devonport

We strolled through the business area looking in some of the shops that were open (there weren’t too many and these were generally the major chains). Eventually we decided it was close enough to two o’clock for us to check in to our overnight accommodation – The Argosy Motel (http://www.goodstone.com.au/the_argosy). The room is small but comfortable and quite adequate for an overnight stay at a quite reasonable rate. The motel is located only 4 minutes from the Spirit of Tasmania loading facilities.

In the morning we will board the Spirit of Tasmania to cross back to mainland Australia to commence our return journey to the Sunshine Coast.

More later!

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Tasman Peninsula and The East Coast

Departing Hobart, we travelled across the Tasman Bridge heading along the Tasman (A3) Highway towards the Tasman Peninsula.

The Tasman Bridge at Hobart

The Tasman Bridge at Hobart

We drove across the twin bridges at Midway Point

Approaching Sorrell

Approaching Sorrell

Approaching Sorrell

Approaching Sorrell

to arrive at Sorrell where we turned on to the A9 Arthur Highway which would take us all the way to the Port Arthur Historic Site.

Along the road to Port Arthur

Along the road to Port Arthur

Driving south near Copping we noticed a sign for the Bream Creek Farmers Markets (www.breamcreekfarmersmarket.com.au) so turned off the highway to Bream Creek Road and soon arrived at the Bream Creek Showgrounds

Bream Creek Farmers Market

Bream Creek Farmers Market

where the markets were being held. We were lucky as the markets are only held on the first Sunday of every month and that just happened to be the day we were passing by.

Bream Creek Farmers Market

Bream Creek Farmers Market

Bream Creek Farmers Market

Bream Creek Farmers Market

The fellow sang and sang at Bream Creek Farmers Market

This fellow sang and sang at Bream Creek Farmers Market

The market focus was strongly on local produce and one could buy everything from fresh meat to bakery products to alcoholic beverages to fruit and vegetables and even live poultry. We purchased some honey, some gin (from Nonesuch Distillery – www.nonesuchdistillery.com.au) and some greengage plum jam before we left the market and proceeded on our way.

Bream Creek Farmers Market

Bream Creek Farmers Market

Live poultry at Bream Creek Farmers Market

Live poultry at Bream Creek Farmers Market

Interested bystander at Bream Creek Farmers Market

Interested bystander at Bream Creek Farmers Market

Rural View at Breams Creek

Rural View at Bream Creek

In 2013 the township of Dunally was devastated in the widespread fires that plagued Tasmania at that time. We travelled through the area with our caravan not long after the fires and were saddened by the destruction the fires caused. It was pleasing to note the number of buildings rebuilt since the fire and the way the community had picked itself up. We noticed a hand drawn sign along the way – “Forget the past – look ahead to the future” and that is obviously what the community has done.

The Bushfire Recovery Projects at Dunalley

The Bush fire Recovery Projects at Dunalley

Eagle statue at Dunalley

Eagle statue at Dunalley

The Dunalley Pub

The Dunalley Pub

Soon we passed through Murdunna and not long after that we reached Eaglehawk Neck.

Approaching Eaglehawk Neck

Approaching Eaglehawk Neck

Eaglehawk Neck is famous for the dog line which existed here during the convict era as a deterrent to convicts attempting to escape from Port Arthur and other detention centres across this narrow isthmus.

Bay on the western side of Eaglehawk Neck

Bay on the western side of Eaglehawk Neck

Monument indicating the Dog Line at Eaglehawk Neck

Monument indicating the Dog Line at Eaglehawk Neck

Stand Up Paddle Boarder surfing on the beach near the Dog Line at Eaglehawk Neck

Stand Up Paddle Boarder surfing on the beach near the Dog Line at Eaglehawk Neck

Driving on we arrived at Port Arthur Lavender (www.portarthurlavender.com.au); this property has only been developed in the past couple of years as it did not exist last time we travelled in the area. We took a walk through the property which has smaller fields of lavender planted amongst substantial lakes and inspected the lavender distillery on the site. Additionally, there is a substantial café and gift shop selling lavender related products and many other items. It was a little early for lunch so we drove on.

Port Arthur Lavender

Port Arthur Lavender

Lavender growing at Port Arthur Lavender

Lavender growing at Port Arthur Lavender

Eventually we arrived at the Port Arthur Historic Site and located a parking spot – as usual it was very busy with lots of visitors in cars, buses, motorhomes and caravans crowding the site. We spent a long time at Port Arthur in 2013 so decided not to further explore the area opting only to purchase a meal at the café before we drove on.

Leaving the historic site, we travelled along the road (B37) to White Beach where we had stayed during our visit in 2013. We explored the area a little more before driving in to Nubeena and along a very scenic route to Premaydena and Koonya, both associated with the convict era, before re-joining the highway at Taranna.

On the road near Prenaydena

On the road near Prenaydena

A Vineyard near Koonya

A Vineyard near Koonya

The Federation Chocolate factory (www.federationchocolate.com.au) is located near the junction with the highway so naturally we called in for free samples of the product before we purchased a number of items and then drove to our accommodation – Masons Cottages (www.masonscottages.com).

Masons Cottages

Masons Cottages

Masons Cottages

Masons Cottages

Tomorrow morning, we will drive north back to Sorrell and then along the Tasman Highway following the east coast to Scamander.

The view from Coastal Cliffs lookout above Eaglehawk Neck

The view from Coastal Cliffs lookout above Eaglehawk Neck

The view from Coastal Cliffs lookout above Eaglehawk Neck

The view from Coastal Cliffs lookout above Eaglehawk Neck

We were up early and on the road by 7:45 am heading back along the Arthur Highway to Sorrell where we would join the Tasman Highway to begin our drive along the east coast of Tasmania. We drove past Eaglehawk Neck and through Murdunna then on past Dunally and Copping and before long we had arrived at Sorrell.

Just before driving through Forcett

Just before driving through Forcett

The Forcett Pitstop

The Forcett Pitstop

On the way to Sorrell

On the way to Sorrell

Welcome to Sorrell

Welcome to Sorrell

The vehicle was filled with fuel at a local service station and we went in search of a few supplies; it was a public holiday in Southern Tasmania so we were unsure what would be open. We found the two big supermarkets both operating so purchased the necessities and headed north-west toward Triabunna.

Driving beside the river on the way to Orford

Driving beside the river on the way to Orford

Welcome to Orford

Welcome to Orford

At Orford, we crossed the river and stopped just out of town for morning tea before proceeding on past Triabunna towards Swansea.

View from our morning tea stop at Orford

View from our morning tea stop at Orford

View from our morning tea stop at Orford

View from our morning tea stop at Orford

The drive was uneventful and we were just poking along taking our time and getting off the road when practicable to let other vehicles overtake.

View along the Tasman Highway near Swansea

View along the Tasman Highway near Swansea

Just out of Swansea we pulled off to have a look at the “Spiky Bridge” (and to get out of the road of a following motorist who was riding our tail) (http://www.discovertasmania.com.au/home/local-tips/spikey-bridge).

The Spiky Bridge near Swansea

The Spiky Bridge near Swansea

Driving on we reached Swansea

Welcome to Swansea

Welcome to Swansea

and decided to take a short walk through the town – we stayed overnight in Swansea when we toured with our caravan in 2013.

Interesting accommodation in Swansea

Interesting accommodation in Swansea

Anglican Church in Swansea

Anglican Church in Swansea

Wharf area in Swansea

Wharf area in Swansea

View of the beach in Swansea

View of the beach in Swansea

Wobbly seagull in Swansea

Wobbly seagull in Swansea

After stretching the legs, we drove on heading toward Bicheno.

For once its not Hilton's caravan that is holding up the traffic

For once its not Hilton’s caravan that is holding up the traffic

In the Freycinet area walnuts were being grown in a number of plantations and there were plenty of grape vines as well with many wineries apparent along the way. One property not only had grapes aplenty but also an extensive olive grove being cultivated for oil production.

Grapes grow well in the Freychinet area

Grapes grow well in the Freychinet area

Welcome to Bicheno

Welcome to Bicheno

We drove through Bicheno and started to think about lunch.

Massive Rock in Bicheno

Massive Rock in Bicheno

IGA Bicheno

IGA Bicheno

The Tasman Highway - turnoff to Denison Beach

The Tasman Highway – turnoff to Denison Beach

Not sure what we might find in Scamander (where we had booked accommodation) we decided to take a drive up Elephant Pass to St Marys in search of food. The road up Elephant Pass(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_Pass) twists and turns with hairpin bends and becomes quite narrow in places.

Driving up Elephant Pass

Driving up Elephant Pass

Driving up Elephant Pass

Driving up Elephant Pass

Driving up Elephant Pass

Driving up Elephant Pass

Driving up Elephant Pass

Driving up Elephant Pass

Right at the top of the mountain we encountered Mount Elephant Pancakes (http://www.mountelephantpancakes.com.au/mtelephant.htm) and decided to stop at this establishment for a lunch of savoury pancakes.

Mount Elephant Pancakes - Good Tucker!

Mount Elephant Pancakes – Good Tucker!

Inside Mt Elephant Pancakes

Inside Mt Elephant Pancakes

Unusual elephant chairs Inside Mt Elephant Pancakes

Unusual elephant chairs Inside Mt Elephant Pancakes

Inside Mt Elephant Pancakes

Inside Mt Elephant Pancakes

After lunch we drove on to St Marys (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Marys,_Tasmania)

Welcome to St Marys

Welcome to St Marys

where we stopped for coffee

The Purple Possum in St Marys

The Purple Possum in St Marys

before heading back down the range via St Marys Pass – almost as steep and narrow as Elephant Pass –

Driving Down St Marys Pass

Driving Down St Marys Pass

Driving Down St Marys Pass

Driving Down St Marys Pass

Driving Down St Marys Pass

Driving Down St Marys Pass

At the bottom of St Marys Pass on the way to Scamander

At the bottom of St Marys Pass on the way to Scamander

to reach Scamander arriving just after two and checking in to our cabin at the Scamander Tourist Park (http://scamandertouristpark.com.au/).

Scamander Tourist Park

Scamander Tourist Park

Our cabin at Scamander Tourist Park

Our cabin at Scamander Tourist Park

When the afternoon cooled off a little, we took a walk through town and ended up on the local beach.

Scamander Conservation Area

Scamander Conservation Area

Beach near Scamander

Beach near Scamander

From the beach we took an obscure path that appeared to be the way back to the caravan park and ended up in quite an extensive bush bash through the dunes until we found our way back – we had walked several hundred metres along the beach and through the dunes only to end up about one hundred metres away from where we first entered the beach.

Despite the hold up guy - prices at this service station in Scamander were quite reasonable

Despite the hold up guy – prices at this service station in Scamander were quite reasonable

Black Cockatoos nest in the trees near Scamander Tourist Park

Black Cockatoos nest in the trees near Scamander Tourist Park

On Tuesday morning we headed toward St Helens (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Helens,_Tasmania) for a look at the town.

Welcome to St Helens

Welcome to St Helens

Before we arrived at the town centre we turned off the highway on to the St Helens Point Road and drove all the way along this road to the boat ramp at the very end of the road; it is surprising the number of residences along this road and there is obviously more to St Helens than meets the eye from the highway.

Initially when we first turned into the Point road, George Bay was a mill pond and we encountered a number of black swans happily swimming near the shore. There seems to be a fair number of black swans resident in this part of Tasmania as we have encountered these beautiful birds in many locations during our east coast drive.

Georges Bay at St Helens

Georges Bay at St Helens

Swans on the millpond that is Georges Bay

Swans on the millpond that is Georges Bay

Along the road to St Helens Point

Along the road to St Helens Point

Fishing Vessel just launched near St Helens Point

Fishing Vessel just launched near St Helens Point

Red rocks remind us that the Bay of Fires is just around the bend near St Helens

Red rocks remind us that the Bay of Fires is just around the bend near St Helens

Fishing vessel near the mouth of George's Bay bear St Helens - note the red rocks in the background

Fishing vessel near the mouth of George’s Bay bear St Helens – note the red rocks in the background

Back in the centre of St Helens we took a drive around the town inspecting the sites and eventually pulled up in the CBD to take a walk through the shopping area.

Fisherman's Memorial Park in St Helens

Fisherman’s Memorial Park in St Helens

Fishing vessels in the harbour at St Helens

Fishing vessels in the harbour at St Helens

In 2013 when we toured with our caravan, we based ourselves in St Helens for a couple of days and toured around the area fairly comprehensively. There didn’t appear to be much change to the business area from three years previously but the town seemed to be quite buoyant and busy.

From St Helens we headed west with a view to lunch at the Pub in the Paddock (http://www.pubinthepaddock.com.au/). A few kilometres west of the town one encounters the “Shop in the Bush” (http://www.onlytasmania.com.au/50801/the-shop-in-the-bush).

The Shop in the Bush just 5 Km down the track

The Shop in the Bush just 5 Km down the track

The Shop in the Bush

The Shop in the Bush

This establishment sells antiques, curios, gifts and souvenirs and is quite an interesting place to visit; our visit was even more interesting this time, although we didn’t realise it immediately.

When we arrived, we notice several people standing outside the shop – it seemed as though there was a “Mexican Standoff” as there was a guy at the end of the shop where we parked and two or three others at the other end. We went into the shop and had a look around and picked up a shirt to buy (bought the same shirt – different colour – three years ago and they still had them for the same price so I bought another) and walked around looking at all the bits and pieces. All of a sudden the shop seemed to be empty and the guy behind the counter remarked that it wasn’t every day that he had security guys in the shop and that the customers he had just finished serving appeared to be American Diplomats based in Canberra. Something different for the day.

From the Shop in the Bush we drove on and took the turnoff to Pyengana (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyengana) where, a couple of kilometres from the turnoff, we arrived at the Holy Cow Café – part of the Pyengana Dairy Company (http://pyenganadairy.com.au/) which also includes a cheese factory.

The turnoff to Pyengana

The turnoff to Pyengana

The Pyengana Dairy Company

The Pyengana Dairy Company

Here we met a caravanning couple from Queensland; we noticed their Mazda BT 50 had unusual rear mud flaps and took some photographs to pass on to a caravanning friend who also has a Mazda BT 50. We started talking to the couple, from Leyburn in Queensland, and heard a lot about their current trip. They were just leaving the café and when we parted their company we entered the café to find it absolutely packed with people sampling cheese and patronising the café section of the business. We decided to leave the café and proceed to the Pub in the Paddock just a little further up the road.

The Pub in the Paddock

The Pub in the Paddock

The Pub in the Paddock

The Pub in the Paddock

“The Pub in the Paddock” otherwise known as St Columba Falls Hotel (the falls are a little further up the road), has a resident pig known as Priscilla – the porker is said to be continually thirsty and very fond of the amber fluid. We didn’t provide any thirst relief but we did visit and photograph Priscilla and her female co-resident before we went into the pub.

Introducing Priscilla

Introducing Priscilla

Priscilla the Pig - Princess of the Paddock - and her porker friend

Priscilla the Pig – Princess of the Paddock – and her porker friend

Once inside we had a look around, purchased a drink and ordered some lunch. The interior of the pub has a lot of wood paneling and is quite dark in places.

The Dining Room at the Pub in the Paddock

The Dining Room at the Pub in the Paddock

The Bar at the Pub in the Paddock

The Bar at the Pub in the Paddock

Pigs feature heavily in the decorating theme for the pub with pictures and models throughout. The meals arrived quite quickly, sausages for Margaret and Parmigiana for me and were quite tasty and thoroughly filling. After our lunch we departed and returned to the Holy Cow Café where we had a good look around and sampled their coffee.

Outside the Holy Cow Cafe at Pyengana

Outside the Holy Cow Cafe at Pyengana

Inside the Holy Cow Cafe

Inside the Holy Cow Cafe

Entering the Town of St Helens from the west

Entering the Town of St Helens from the west

Tomorrow morning, we will leave the east coast and move on to Launceston to begin the last five days of our visit to Tasmania.

More later!

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Hobart – our 2016 visit

From Burnie we had decided to travel to Hobart via the Highland Lakes Road (http://www.roamingdownunder.com/deloraine-drive.php) and Bothwell (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bothwell,_Tasmania) so we set off from Burnie around 9 am on Tuesday morning. The route took us along the Bass highway to Deloraine then south via the Highland Lakes Road.

Morning Tea stop at Deloraine

Morning Tea stop at Deloraine

Winding our way up along the western tiers, the road, although a good bitumen standard, twisted and turned as it rose higher and higher eventually reaching the central plateau and the first view of the Great Lake (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Lake_%28Tasmania%29).

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Rest stop driving through the Western Tiers

Rest stop driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Driving through the Western Tiers

Our first view of the Great Lake

Our first view of the Great Lake

From this point we traversed one of the three gravel sections on the road as we drove along the banks of the Great Lake. In all there are three gravel sections comprising just over 30 kilometres of gravel road which is generally in good condition and far from what one would call rough.

A view of the Great Lake

A view of the Great Lake

A view of the Great Lake

A view of the Great Lake

Shack on the shore of the Great Lake

Shack on the shore of the Great Lake

A view of the Great Lake

A view of the Great Lake

A view of the Great Lake

A view of the Great Lake

A gravel section of the Highland Lakes Road

A gravel section of the Highland Lakes Road

Sheep at Boundary Bay - The Great Lake

Sheep at Boundary Bay – The Great Lake

Crossing the Shannon River on the way to Bothwell

Crossing the Shannon River on the way to Bothwell

Travelling along the western shore of the Great Lake we eventually reached the township of Miena; we had passed many “shacks” along the shore of the Lake but there appeared to be no particular village until we reached Miena. South of Miena we travelled through the Steppes where we found an unusual sculpture gallery along the side of the road – we stopped to take a look and were thoroughly enthralled by the collection.

One of the Steppes Sculptures

One of the Steppes Sculptures

One of the Steppes Sculptures

One of the Steppes Sculptures

One of the Steppes Sculptures

One of the Steppes Sculptures

One of the Steppes Sculptures

One of the Steppes Sculptures

Plaque detailing the history of the Steppes Sculptures

Plaque detailing the history of the Steppes Sculptures

The Steppes Sculptures

The Steppes Sculptures

From there it was a relatively short drive until we reached out destination for the day – Bothwell.

On the road to Bothwell

On the road to Bothwell

On the road to Bothwell

On the road to Bothwell

Bothwell - we have arrived

Bothwell – we have arrived

At Bothwell we called at the Castle hotel and had a huge lunch of beef schnitzel (plus chips and salad) – without a word of a lie these schnitzels overlapped the large dinner plates on which they were served.

Castle Hotel Bothwell

Castle Hotel Bothwell

After we had thoroughly stuffed ourselves with food we went to our accommodation for the evening – a renovated and internally modified historic cottage. The exterior had retained its historic appearance while fittings in the interior had been modified for the comfort of patrons. Margaret took advantage of the free guest washing machine and did some laundry and after tea we watched TV for a couple of hours before retiring for the night.

The Exterior of our cottage at Bothwell

The Exterior of our cottage at Bothwell

The Exterior of our cottage at Bothwell

The Exterior of our cottage at Bothwell

If only the Internet would work

If only the Internet would work

Modernised kitchen in our cottage at Bothwell

Modernised kitchen in our cottage at Bothwell

Whites Corner Cottages at Bothwell

Whites Corner Cottages at Bothwell

The new Post Office at Bothwell

The new Post Office at Bothwell

The Old Post Office at Bothwell

The Old Post Office at Bothwell

Bothwell Grange accommodation at Bothwell

Bothwell Grange accommodation at Bothwell

Uniting Church Bothwell

Uniting Church Bothwell

The next phase of the journey was to be to Hobart and as this was only a 60 kilometre trip we decided to deviate to Oatlands first as the town was close by.

Along the road between Bothwell and Oatlands

Along the road between Bothwell and Oatlands

Along the road between Bothwell and Oatlands

Along the road between Bothwell and Oatlands

At Oatlands we called in to see the Callington Mill which we had visited during our trip to Tasmania in 2013; this time we decided to take the Mill Tour which allows access to the interior of the mill and explains the operational aspects of the milling process.

The entrance to Callington Mill

The entrance to Callington Mill

Callington Mill - Oatlands Tasmania

Callington Mill – Oatlands Tasmania

Callington Mill - Oatlands Tasmania

Callington Mill – Oatlands Tasmania

Callington Mill - Oatlands Tasmania

Callington Mill – Oatlands Tasmania

After the tour we enjoyed complimentary scones baked with locally milled flour then drove to an adjacent lake where we completed our morning tea with Lions fruit cake and coffee.

Between Oatlands and Hobart

Between Oatlands and Hobart

Near Kempton - the festival is on February 21st

Near Kempton – the festival is on February 21st

Between Oatlands and Hobart

Between Oatlands and Hobart

Between Oatlands and Hobart

Between Oatlands and Hobart

Lifting Bridge over the Derwent River

Lifting Bridge over the Derwent River

From Oatlands we drove the relatively short distance along the midland highway to Hobart and arrived at our accommodation – The Mayfield on Cavell Motel (http://mayfaironcavell.com/) at about 12:30pm. After checking in we checked out a nearby convenience store then the local pub where we organised a light lunch.

Motel Mayfair on Cavell - in Hobart

Motel Mayfair on Cavell – in Hobart

Lovely Fuchsia at the motel where we stayed in Hobart

Lovely Fuchsia at the motel where we stayed in Hobart

In the afternoon, we decided to visit the lookout at Mt Wellington (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Wellington_%28Tasmania%29); the mountain dominates the local skyline and can often be seen with snow at its peak. The trip to the mountain winds its way over 1000 metres up from the level of the city and is a very interesting drive. Of course the views from the peak are breathtaking particularly when the weather is clear. It is a very popular tourist spot and when we arrived there were several hundred others already at the top. We took many photos and checked out all the vantage points before returning to the motel.

View of Hobart from Mt Wellington.

View of Hobart from Mt Wellington.

Tower atop Mt Wellington - visible from many parts of Hobart

Tower atop Mt Wellington – visible from many parts of Hobart

View of Hobart from Mt Wellington

View of Hobart from Mt Wellington

Tasman Bridge viewed from Mt Wellington

Tasman Bridge viewed from Mt Wellington

Hobart sea front viewed from Mt Wellington

Hobart sea front viewed from Mt Wellington

The view of Mt Wellington from beneath the Trig Station

The view of Mt Wellington from beneath the Trig Station

View platform Mt Wellington

View platform Mt Wellington

Wrest Point viewed from Mt Wellington

Wrest Point viewed from Mt Wellington

Bellerive Oval viewed from Mt Wellington

Bellerive Oval viewed from Mt Wellington

Margaret (cold) at the fireplace hut on Mt Wellington (sorry complete fire ban today)

Margaret (cold) at the fireplace hut on Mt Wellington (sorry complete fire ban today)

Thursday morning was cool but clear and we chose to visit the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Tasmanian_Botanical_Gardens).

Wooden sculpture of a gardener from the 1800s near the main entry at the Hobart Gardens

Wooden sculpture of a gardener from the 1800s near the main entry at the Hobart Gardens

We visited the Gardens in 2013 and were disappointed to find that parts of the gardens (notably “The Patch” from Gardening Australia) were being renovated. The renovation has now been completed (http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s4051423.htm) and the garden is in full production as the Tasmanian Community Food Garden.

The food garden is a partnership with many organisations at the Hobart Gardens

The food garden is a partnership with many organisations at the Hobart Gardens

We had a close look at this site and then explored many other parts of the gardens that we had not previously seen – it really is a great place.

Pumpkins growing well at the Community Garden at Hobart Garden

Pumpkins growing well at the Community Garden at Hobart Garden

Berries growing well at Hobart Gardens

Berries growing well at Hobart Gardens

The busy bees in a pumpkin flower at Hobart Gardens

The busy bees in a pumpkin flower at Hobart Gardens

Rhubarb growing well at Hobart Gardens

Rhubarb growing well at Hobart Gardens

Kiwi fruit on the vine at Hobart Gardens

Kiwi fruit on the vine at Hobart Gardens

A protective mother and five ducklings at Hobart Gardens

A protective mother and five ducklings at Hobart Gardens

Water Lilly at Hobart Gardens

Water Lilly at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Succulents at the Hobart Gardens

Succulents at the Hobart Gardens

Cacti at the Hobart Gardens

Cacti at the Hobart Gardens

A Lilly lagoon at the Hobart Gardens

A Lilly lagoon at the Hobart Gardens

Tree Ferns at the Hobart Gardens

Tree Ferns at the Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Entrance to the Japanese Gardens at the Hobart Gardens

Entrance to the Japanese Gardens at the Hobart Gardens

Bridge in the Japanese Garden section of the Hobart Gardens

Bridge in the Japanese Garden section of the Hobart Gardens

Water feature in the Japanese Garden at the Hobart Gardens

Water feature in the Japanese Garden at the Hobart Gardens

Fuchsia at the Hobart Gardens

Fuchsia at the Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Bat Flower at the Hobart Gardens

Bat Flower at the Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

Beautiful blooms at Hobart Gardens

After exploring the gardens for about three hours we decided to eat at the local “Succulent Restaurant”. We enjoyed a great meal then wandered through the adjoining gift shop.

The Spire atop Mt Wellington as viewed from the Hobart Gardens

The Spire atop Mt Wellington as viewed from the Hobart Gardens

View of Tasman Bridge from Hobart Gardens

View of Tasman Bridge from Hobart Gardens

150th Anniversary Arch at Hobart Gardens

150th Anniversary Arch at Hobart Gardens

Plaque explaining the Anniversary Arch

Plaque explaining the Anniversary Arch

Wooden Vessel at Hobart Gardens

Wooden Vessel at Hobart Gardens

Monument to the Blue Gum - Wooden Vessel

Monument to the Blue Gum – Wooden Vessel

As we had travelled several thousand kilometres since we left home the car was showing the effects of road grime, wet weather and dusty gravel roads so we decided to locate a car wash to at least remove the worst of the dirt.

Friday we decided to check out the city centre, so after doing some washing we walked to a nearby bus stop and caught the Metro into the heart of Hobart. We wandered through the city centre checking out shops and facilities for several hours. Had lunch at a “U Beaut” bakery café – Daci and Daci (http://www.dacianddacibakers.com.au/) where there were many luscious treats to temp us (but we resisted) then caught the bus back to the motel. Spent the rest of the afternoon – Margaret ironing and me blogging.

It would be unusual to visit Hobart on a Saturday in summer and not visit the famous Salamanca Market (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salamanca_Market); so on Saturday after breakfast we walked from the motel down the hills to the market in Salamanca Place. The market has grown from a small start in 1972 to in excess of 300 licensed stallholders in 2016. All manner of goods (and some services) are available at the market from antiques, arts and crafts, books, knitting, leather goods, plants and flowers, fruit and vegetables, toys, woodwork and a good variety of beverages and take away food.

Welcome to the market - there are stalls from here to way down there

Welcome to the market – there are stalls from here to way down there

Where shall we start at Salamanca Market

Where shall we start at Salamanca Market

Need some wooden products? at Salamanca Market

Need some wooden products? at Salamanca Market

Alcoholic tastings at Salamanca Market

Alcoholic tastings at Salamanca Market

Hungry? need an egg and bacon roll at Salamanca Market

Hungry? need an egg and bacon roll at Salamanca Market

Music to suit all tastes at Salamanca Market

Music to suit all tastes at Salamanca Market

Tee shirts galore at Salamanca Market

Tee shirts galore at Salamanca Market

Humorous posters at Salamanca Market

Humorous posters at Salamanca Market

All sorts of knick knacks at Salamanca Market

All sorts of knick knacks at Salamanca Market

Sound advice at Salamanca Market

Sound advice at Salamanca Market

There are people everywhere

People everywhere at Salamanca Market

People everywhere at Salamanca Market

People everywhere at Salamanca Market

People everywhere at Salamanca Market

People everywhere at Salamanca Market

People everywhere at Salamanca Market

and movement in the market is sometimes dictated by the masses. If one wants to look at the goods available or to buy food or whatever sometimes it requires a lot of patience (or rudeness). Many languages can be heard in the market and there are obviously tourists from all over the world visiting at any time. It was a very interesting morning at the market.

Little dogs get to ride about at Salamanca Market

Little dogs get to ride about at Salamanca Market

Berries for all tastes at Salamanca Market

Berries for all tastes at Salamanca Market

Products made from recycled rubber on sale at Salamanca Market

Products made from recycled rubber on sale at Salamanca Market

Food to suit all tastes at Salamanca Market

Food to suit all tastes at Salamanca Market

I knew I should have checked out the Cockatool at Salamanca Market

I knew I should have checked out the Cockatool at Salamanca Market

Need a taste of Single Malt at Salamanca Market

Need a taste of Single Malt at Salamanca Market

Even have your future told at Salamanca Market (could be frightening)

Even have your future told at Salamanca Market (could be frightening)

Whatever these are at Salamanca Market

Whatever these are at Salamanca Market

Bags made from rags (material) at Salamanca Market

Bags made from rags (material) at Salamanca Market

Sweets galore at Salamanca Markets

Sweets galore at Salamanca Markets

Joanna's Jams at Salamanca Market

Joanna’s Jams at Salamanca Market

Lots of bulbs at Salamanca Market

Lots of bulbs at Salamanca Market

I should have checked out the Salmon Sausages at Salamanca Market

I should have checked out the Salmon Sausages at Salamanca Market

Hats galore (and some fool taking pictures just when I'm trying on my new cap) at Salamanca Market

Hats galore (and some fool taking pictures just when I’m trying on my new cap) at Salamanca Market

Berry delights at Salamanca Market

Berry delights at Salamanca Market

Dresses galore at Salamanca Market

Dresses galore at Salamanca Market

Stuffed toys too at Salamanca Market

Stuffed toys too at Salamanca Market

Hats, hats and more hats at Salamanca Market

Hats, hats and more hats at Salamanca Market

He was already "Big and Strange" but sounded alright at Salamanca Market

He was already “Big and Strange” but sounded alright at Salamanca Market

Even a Scottish Pipe Band was playing at Salamanca Market

Even a Scottish Pipe Band was playing at Salamanca Market

We bought some cherries, plums and apples, as well as the obligatory coffee while we were at Salamanca Markets but after a couple of hours, patience with the crowds wears thin and we escaped to a shopping centre in the city where we enjoyed a pleasant lunch. After looking at a few more shops we made our way to the bus stop and caught a Metro Bus back to the motel.

On Sunday morning we will leave Hobart to commence our drive up the east coast and eventually to Launceston. Our first stop along the way will be at Port Arthur where we have accommodation booked for Sunday evening.

More later!

 

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Off to the Apple Isle

Having recently sold our Retreat caravan and Nissan Navara we have purchased a Subaru Outback 2.0 litre diesel wagon in which to continue our exploration of this great country of ours.

The New Wheels at Pittsworth

The New Wheels at Pittsworth

As it turns out, for some reason the caravan has been advertised in a magazine, despite our best efforts to prevent this from happening, and we are still receiving telephone inquiries from people interested in purchasing the caravan – perhaps I should refer these people to the new owners in case they are having second thoughts.

Touring will be quite different for us in the new vehicle – we will need to adjust to limited space in the Subaru (it was easy enough to throw another item in the back of the truck or stow it in the caravan – in case it was needed) and we will also have to adjust to not sleeping in the same bed each night (one of the many benefits of caravanning).

The Chariot at Devonport

The Chariot at Devonport

On the flip side we can easily adjust to travelling 1,000 kilometres on a tank of fuel (we were able to do this in the Nissan too if we were not towing the van) but filling up 65 litres in the Subaru is much cheaper than 145 litres in the Nissan (if we were towing we might need to fill up twice in this range).

There is also a flip side to the flip side with the cost of an overnight stay increasing sharply. In the van a powered site in a caravan park might cost anywhere between $25 and $65; if one was free camping the direct outlay for the night would potentially be $0. With the Subaru we will be staying in accommodation ranging from onsite vans in a caravan park $60 to cabins $125 to motels from $135 upwards. In addition, one needs to eat and with only limited ability to prepare meals (in the caravan one had all the facilities needed for this purpose) the cost of eating may well be higher.

We are embarking on our first trip in this new mode heading south to Tasmania. Our first day saw us departing from the Sunshine Coast bright and early with our planned destination being Narrabri (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrabri) in New South Wales where we have booked a cabin in the local caravan park (http://www.narrabribigsky.com.au/) for the evening.

Our Cabin for the night at Narrabri

Our Cabin for the night at Narrabri

In order to avoid heavy traffic in Brisbane we headed west of the Sunshine Coast to Kilcoy where we encountered a heavy shower as we entered the town. As we approached Toowoomba we could see the Great Dividing Range swathed in low cloud and at the top of the range Toowoomba sat in a heavy mist. As we travelled west the sky was still quite overcast and it was quite bleak when we pulled up for smoko at Pittsworth.

Main Street Pittsworth Queensland

Main Street Pittsworth Queensland

Driving west through Milmerran the sky began to clear from its overcast grey to cloudy blue skies which prevailed through to Goondiwindi where we decided to stop for lunch at one of the local roadhouses.

Stopped for Lunch at Goondiwindi

Stopped for Lunch at Goondiwindi

Crossing the border into New South Wales we suddenly lost an hour of our day due to the different time zones as a result of daylight saving prevailing in the southern States and not in Queensland (we’ll pick up our lost hour when we cross back into Queensland at the end of our trip). As we moved southward toward Morree scattered showers (some quite intense) began to cross our path from west to east and we drove through a number of these.

Rain on the highway travelling towards Morree

Rain on the highway travelling towards Morree

Rain on the windscreen travelling south toward Moree

Rain on the windscreen travelling south toward Morree

We arrived at Narrabri at 4:36 pm (AEDT) after travelling some eight and a bit hours, and checked into our accommodation at the Big Sky Caravan Park. We filled the car with fuel then took a short walk through the town, purchased some food for our evening meal then returned to the cabin.

Tatts Hotel Narrabri

Tatts Hotel Narrabri

Westpac Bank Narrabri

Westpac Bank Narrabri

No Golden Arches at this McDonalds in Narrabri

No Golden Arches at this McDonalds in Narrabri

Post Office Narrabri

Post Office Narrabri

Friday morning was overcast with light rain falling in Narrabri and we headed off in wet conditions travelling south and south west through some quite heavy rain to Coonabarrabran, Gilgandra and on to Dubbo. As it was still raining and we couldn’t locate a sheltered spot in which to utilize our flask to make morning tea we purchased a coffee at a fast food outlet then drove on along the Newell Highway, through Peak Hill, Parkes and Forbes. The weather cleared south of Forbes and finished in a generally sunny afternoon.

On the Newell Highway heading toward Parkes

On the Newell Highway heading toward Parkes

A fleeting view of the radio telescope at Parkes

A fleeting view of the radio telescope at Parkes

Welcome to Parkes

Welcome to Parkes

Welcome to Forbes

Welcome to Forbes

Plain country around here

Plain country around here

What? A Queensland Hotel in New South Wales

What? A Queensland Hotel in New South Wales

Welcome to Temora - Want to buy a boat?

Welcome to Temora – Want to buy a boat?

Entering Wagga Wagga

Entering Wagga Wagga

Approaching Wagga Wagga

Approaching Wagga Wagga

Welcome to Wagga Wagga

Welcome to Wagga Wagga

Arriving in Wagga Wagga (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagga_Wagga) we proceeded to the RSL Motel (http://www.waggarslmotel.com.au/) at which we had previously booked a room for the night. This is a very interesting setup as the RSL obviously operates a large Bowls Club and the Motel is adjacent to both and strategically located opposite the local race course. For our evening meal we visited the RSL Club and enjoyed a sumptuous buffet at a very reasonable price – it would have been very easy to act like two little piggies with the quantity and variety of food available.

Melbourne – here we come. After a later start than we had for the past couple of days, we departed Wagga Wagga en route to Melbourne on Saturday morning. After filling the vehicle, we set off along the Olympic Highway through Uranquinty, The Rock, Henty and Culcairn joining the Hume Highway at Table Top. Following the Hume, we pulled off the highway to have our morning tea at Lavington but once back on the highway we quickly passed through Albury and Wodonga then on to Wangaratta. Our lunch stop was a diversion off the highway to Benalla where we had a tasty meal at one of the local pubs.

The Rock - That gives its name to the Town

The Rock – That gives its name to the Town

Entering the town of The Rock

Entering the town of The Rock

Once back on the road we made good progress and soon passed Euroa and Seymour and on to the outskirts of Melbourne. We let the vehicle GPS guide us in to the port area only getting off track once when we encountered a road closed due to roadworks.

Welcome to Melbourne

Welcome to Melbourne

En route to the Port of Melbourne

En route to the Port of Melbourne

En route to the Port of Melbourne

En route to the Port of Melbourne

We arrived at the port about 4:00 pm and had a wait of about 30 minutes before we could start the slow process of boarding the ship (https://www.spiritoftasmania.com.au/). The process of queuing, checking, and loading the vehicle took about an hour and a half even though we were in the first thirty vehicles to be loaded. Our vehicle was loaded into the lowest deck of the ship and we were among the last to disembark once we reached Devonport.

The Spirit of Tasmania

The Spirit of Tasmania

In the queue to board the ship

In the queue to board the ship

The crossing was not the greatest with prevailing weather creating reasonably large swell once we entered Bass Strait. There was a lot of rocking and rolling (and I don’t mean the music type) and a lot of noise from the ship (perhaps this had something to do with the location of our cabin). Sleep was hard to come by and what little rest we had was rudely interrupted 45 minutes before we were due to dock by the announcement of our pending arrival in Tasmania.

Eventually we, and the vehicle, were on solid ground in Devonport and once we cleared the dock area we went in search of coffee as we had decided not to have breakfast on board. Finding the golden arches on the opposite side of the river to the Spirit of Tasmania we ordered coffee and escaped through the light rain to a location where we could recover before moving on to Burnie where we had booked accommodation.

The Chariot at Devonport

The Chariot at Devonport

Looking back at the Spirit of Tasmania in Devonport

Looking back at the Spirit of Tasmania in Devonport

The Spirit of the Sea

The Spirit of the Sea

Mersey Head

Mersey Head

Lighthouse at Mersey Head

Lighthouse at Mersey Head

Devonport from Mersey Head

Devonport from Mersey Head

Devonport from Mersey Head

Devonport from Mersey Head

We poked about Devonport and then moved on to Ulverstone via Turners Beach and Leith. At Ulverstone we took a walk through the sleepy main street, had a bit of breakfast at one of the bakeries doing business on Sunday morning and visited the Cradle Coast Farmers Market (on every week) (http://cradlecoastfarmersmarket.weebly.com/about.html) where we picked up some large yummy cherries and small tasty plums.

Returned services memorial in Ulverstone

Returned services memorial in Ulverstone

Main Street Ulverstone - Sunday Morning

Main Street Ulverstone – Sunday Morning

Bridge crossing the river at Ulverstone on the road to Penguin

Bridge crossing the river at Ulverstone on the road to Penguin

Markets at Ulverstone

Markets at Ulverstone

From Ulverstone we drove along the back roads to Penguin

Penguin(s) at Penguin

Penguin(s) at Penguin

then along the coast to Sulphur Creek and Blythe Head where there is supposed to be a Penguin Colony (although we saw no sign of the colony in the brief visit we made to the site).

Beach at Blythe Head - Wonder how the penguins negotiate this

Beach at Blythe Head – Wonder how the penguins negotiate this

Eventually we reached Burnie where we found a parking spot (eventually – as there was a surf carnival on and parking spots were hard to come by in the city heart) then walked around the business centre looking at the various shops (few of which were open). Eventually we made our way to the Information Centre and Makers Workshop (http://www.discoverburnie.net/what-to-see/makers-workshop.html) where we had a light lunch watching the surf carnival from afar. After lunch we drove north to Wynyard (principally to fill in time until we could check in to our accommodation) and took a stroll up the main street.

Mother Hubbard's at Wynyard

Mother Hubbard’s at Wynyard

Mother Hubbard's in Wynyard

Mother Hubbard’s in Wynyard

Main Street Wynyard

Main Street Wynyard

Street Plantings in Wynyard

Street Plantings in Wynyard

Public Garden in Wynyard

Public Garden in Wynyard

At Burnie we are staying at a Bed and Breakfast known as Seawatch (http://www.seawatchbb.com/) and arrived just after two pm; we checked into the room and, as we were both tired, stayed put for the rest of the day. The house is set high on a ridge overlooking Burnie and has a great view over the sea. The hosts seem very pleasant and accommodating, a continental breakfast is supplied with many choices including eggs that can be cooked by guests.

The Balcony view at Seawatch Burnie

The Balcony view at Seawatch Burnie

Looking out from the Balcony at Seawatch

Looking out from the Balcony at Seawatch

Monday arrived bright and clear with only light winds so after catching up on some missed sleep we decided to visit the Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden (http://www.emuvalleyrhodo.com.au/) a few kilometres out of Burnie. We spent a couple of pleasant hours wandering through the beautiful gardens which have been established and are maintained by volunteers. The setting is very serene and pleasant and although it isn’t currently peak flowering season there were a number of trees with blooms and the general setting was really worth seeing and meandering through – we also had good exercise traversing the tracks and trails in the gardens.

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

The bees liked the thistle flowers At the Rhododendron Garden

The bees liked the thistle flowers At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden

At the Rhododendron Garden