27 April 2017

2nd April to 21st April Tasmania

Sun 2nd April 2017
Today Darryl and I headed off to the Whisky House on the way to the Ferry Terminal.  On the way we were looking for the childhood home of our friend – Susan Roberts’ Mum. But we were looking in the wrong place – we should have been looking at Dennes Point but we were near Apollo Bay.  We had a nice time at the Whisky House before moving on to the Penguin Café at Adventure Bay for lunch and then back to the van.  Typed up the blog that day and sent them out.
Mon 3 April
Caught the Ferry back to the ‘bigger’ island of Tasmania and went to Snug Caravan Park, after stopping at the Kettering Post Office to collect mail.  Nice little park but some of the corners within the park are very tight.  Our friend Margaret and Trevor from SA called in as we were having lunch, so we had a lovely chat with them before heading up through to Margate and the Channel History Centre where we were lucky enough to find one of Darryl’s Ancestors property at Long Bay in 1856 [Long Bay was changed to Middleton in 1892 as there were THREE Long Bays in the south of Tassie at the time].  Also trying to locate where the ‘Middleton Hotel’ was in 1855.  Called into the fruit and veg shop where we found a HUGE range of Gluten Free foods and then onto the SNUG Butchery for some lovely meats.  Back to the van.
Tuesday 4 April
Today we headed up to Taroona to Joseph Moir’s Shot tower – only to find that it was closed and would only be opened from 12 – 12.30pm.  We were 3 hours too early. The shot tower was where they would drop molten lead from the top and by the time it hit the bottom it had cooled and the ‘shot’ for the rifles was ready.
Back to Kingston and shopping at Woolworths before going to ‘the Margate Train’ for lunch.  This is a static display of engine and 6 carriages (now with separate businesses in them).  Afterwards we called back into the Channel History Centre to have a look through their museum.  What a Brilliant display – well set out and very well presented.  There was also a lady there who told us that the Middleton Hotel was positioned below the current Middleton community Hall.  So it was a bonus.
Wed 5 Apr
Today we travelled up through Hobart and over the Tasman Bridge, through Midway Point to Sorell.  We pulled in to the RV park where we could stay for 5 nights for $24 – then we went for a drive down through South Arm, Opossum Bay, Arm End and Lauderdale.  We stopped at 7 Mile Beach on the way and had a lovely walk along the beach.  Louise Sanders (a weaver from Hobart, whom I met at Franklin markets) contacted me and has invited me to her weaving group tomorrow afternoon.
Thurs 6 Apr
Up early and into Sorell to catch the bus into Hobart.  Darryl going to go fishing and Chris going up to have her hair done.  I was in Hobart by 8.30am and then had a coffee whilst waiting for the State Library to open at 9.30 and more research into the Basstian family line on Darryl’s side.  Louise met me at 12.30pm and took me out to her home and then on to her weaving group.  I had a lovely afternoon with three lovely ladies – Louise, Di and Viks.
Fri 7 Apr
Up to the Centerlink Office to give them the info they requested – only to find they would not print out the forms, I had to wait for the Library to open at 10am – so we all went and had a coffee.  What else 😃
After finally getting the forms to Centerlink and the chap scanning them, the three of us headed out to Oatlands and Callington Mill (a flour mill surrounded by dry-stone fences) and then we walked the streets of Oatlands before meandering back to the Pancake place for lovely GF pancakes.
We then drove back down the highway through Jericho to Kempton Mowbray and then Pontville, then down the northern side of the Derwent river through Bridgewater and Lindsfarme to Sorell.  A very full day but a great day.
Sat 8 Apr.  We are beginning our 11th week on the ‘Apple Isle’.  Did you know how Tasmania became known as the Apple Isle???  Apparently during the Great Depression Tasmania was still harvesting their apples and sending them overseas whilst most places were struggling to provide jobs.  With the state doing this they gained the name of the ‘Apple Isle’.
Today we travelled out to Richmond and wandered the ‘old’ town before heading up to ‘The Old Hobart Town’ miniature village.  This is a 1/16th scale of Hobart-town in 1820 and is very well done.  It took over three years for two male friends to build it and open it for display.
Sun 9 Apr
It was trying to rain during the early hours of this morning, but it didn’t deter Darryl and I from going up to see the Sorell Markets.  Most stalls were outside – with no covers – and we were not there long when the skies opened….  Some interesting stalls inside the Memorial Hall but nothing that we needed – so we headed back to the van and had a lazy day inside.
Got a text message this afternoon informing us of the passing of Mum’s second youngest sister – Aunty Margaret Bates.  RIP Aunty Margaret and deepest Sympathies to all the family.
Mon 10 April
We got up late but were ready to go and empty the black water and refill the fresh water by 9.30am.  We then went and parked in the Woolies carpark so I could go to the post office.  Only thing was, Darryl and I thought it was in the main street – but after walking to the top end of the street and then finding someone to ask – found that it was actually in the Coles complex – DIAGONALLY opposite where the car was parked.  Ohh well – that only took me ½ hour 😃
We then travelled out to Dunalley, on the way to Port Arthur.  There is a camping spot here near the Dunalley Pub.  So we pulled in and Set up before going for a drive around through Connelly’s Marsh, Primrose Sands, Carlton, Dodges Ferry, Lewisham, Forcett, Marion Bay, Bream Creek, Kellyvie and Copping before heading back to Dunalley.  We went for a drive up to Marion Bay Lookout and it was a very bumpy ride with lots of corrugations, gibber and large potholes.  Found the Tasman Monument in Dunalley just before we had afternoon tea.  Back to the van and got ready to go over to the pub for drinks prior to having dinner.
Tues 11 April
Down to see the ‘Swing Bridge’ open to allow 2 yachts through and then off towards Tasman Peninsula and Pirates Bay before stopping at the Tessallated Pavement, then on to Officer’s Quarters and the ‘Dog Line’.  Then we travelled to the Blowhole and fossil lookout before heading to Tasman Arch and Devil’s Kitchen.  We went to the Port Arthur Lavender Farm but found it to be very overpriced :C.
We then travelled back to the ‘Blue Seal’ Café to have lunch – but it was closed – so back-tracked to ‘Fish Lips’ for lunch.  Service was VERY slow and then we found out that the lady was trying to do everything on her own as her daughter had not arrived to help her.
Then we drove down to the ‘Chocolate Factory’ for a look-see and found some interesting gifts and the chocolate wasn’t too bad either 😃
Wed 12 April  TODAY we are going to Port Arthur.  We arrived there at 9.10am and went on our introductory tour at 9.30am.  Got back for a coffee at 10.20am and then booked out After Dark Pass (this includes the Ghost tour and a 2 course meal) and then off to the harbour for the 20min Harbour Cruise out past Point Peur and Isle of the Dead before heading back to the harbour.  We then began to wander the grounds.  So much to see.  There are lots of audio-displays that are motion triggered and made the experience all the better.  We stopped for lunch at about 1.30pm before continuing to wander.  We were told that there was NO WAY that it would take us all day to see around Port Arthur – but we returned to the Information centre at 4.45pm as it was getting dark and cooling down quickly and then waiting for our dinner reservation at 6pm and our Ghost tour at 8.30pm.  What a fantastic Day!!!  When we got back to the van at 11pm – it was to find a 4x4 parked 4 feet from the door with 2 tents on the other side of it.  We just thought “too bad if they don’t like the noise of us coming home, but they shouldn’t park so close!”  I think if you see a van parked with no vehicle in front or next to it, you would think – might just leave space for them to come home!  Obviously not everyone thinks like I do.
Thurs 13 April
We could go back to Port Arthur again today for free entry, but Darryl wasn’t keen, so we headed into Port Arthur (township) to do the washing and drying.  Chris stayed and cared for it all as Darryl and I headed to Nubeena to empty the black water and then returned.
We then headed out to Remarkable cave, back to the IGA at Nubeena, onto Premaydena and back to Taranna and Dunalley.
Fri 14 Apr – Good Friday
A rest Day today.  Darryl and I went to the Fish co-op and got fresh fish and chips for lunch before harvesting some flax and then heading back to the van to prepare it for weaving.  We actually got to see the Swing Bridge open again and allow three yachts through.  The traffic build up took a good 10 minutes to clear once the bridge was available for traffic again.
Saturday 15 Apr  Starting week 12 today.
We drove out to Eaglehawk Neck and went to the markets.  Not a bad little market and then out to the Coal Mines from 1848.  Interesting buildings with solitary cells under the hospital building and also isolation cells in another building.  Both of which would have been horrid to be in. 
Sunday 16 April.  Easter Sunday. 
Headed into Sorell and Chris headed to Church whilst we went and emptied the black water and refilled the fresh water before we headed to Triabunna and found a camp opposite the Pub and the Information Centre.  A great little camp.  We left our donation to the RFDS in the little Blue Café.  We then went for a drive out through Shelly Beach, Spring Beach and Rheban before travelling out to the Lighthouse.  Well – we couldn’t get to the Lighthouse as there is a locked gate :C  Apparently this is now private property and no-one is allowed to enter.
Monday 17 Apr
Today we headed up to Mayfield Beach Campground.  WOW it was packed but we were lucky that a family group that was leaving offered us their site.  Directly opposite the toilet complex and a fantastic view of the beach. Darryl and I then headed into Swansea to get fuel and have a look-see.  Stopped at Kates Berry Farm and Spikey Bridge on way back.
Tues 18 Apr – Today is a Bank Holiday in Tassie
Went for a drive today back into Swansea and to the Bark Mill Museum and then into town and the Heritage Museum before going for a drive out through Dolphin Sands to Bagot Point.  This is about 100metres across the water from Swanwick – which is on the Freycinet peninsula.
Back into town and lunch at a nice little café in town before buying some wood for the campfire.  Can’t believe we are into our 12th week down here and only NOW getting out the fire-pit for a camp fire. :C
Wed 19 Apr
Moving on today and heading out towards Campbell Town and pulled in to have a look at Lake Leake.  Not a bad little spot so decided to camp here for $21 per night on Power.  Both of us need to fully charge the batteries and some of our electronics.  We then went for a drive into Campbell Town and have a wander around and see the Red Bridge, the paver walk – each paver has the details of the convicts who came to Tasmania.  Then we had a lovely lunch at a café that catered for all of us and then did a car drive around the colonial buildings in town.
Thurs 20 Apr
Out early today and back towards Campbell Town before heading up the C522 towards Isis (which we didn’t find) almost to Cressy before heading back down the highway to Ross.  What a great little town.  The weather was VERY balmy and almost like the build-up weather in Darwin.  I was getting ready for a storm – which didn’t eventuate.
A lovely lunch and a great walk around all the historic buildings and a great bridge with lots of magnificent carvings in the sandstone.  Went to the Wool Museum and then out to the Female Factory before heading back to the van.
Fri 21st Apr.  Happy 38th Anniversary Darryl  Happy 27th Anniversary to Jenny and Peter Fulmer.

Today we moved on to Llandaff (12km from Bicheno) and the Pondering Frog Café.  They permit fully self-contained camping in the front yard.  On arrival the owner asked us to put our grey water on the trees please – they need a drink it is too dry.  Chris and I then headed back to Swansea and did the washing and drying and then returned to the van for a rest day.  We then went over to the Pondering Frog for an Anniversary dinner that was very nice indeed.

02 April 2017

23rd March to 1st April 2017

Thurs 23rd march
It has rained most of the night.  My Meniere’s seems to have taken a rest and the IBS is also silent 😃
Washing and drying day today…… Thank goodness for clothes dryers.
We were going to go out towards Hastings caves and the Thermal Springs but after the past few days I didn’t like the idea of standing in a meter of 28 degree water with cold rain falling on my head.  Yes a chicken :C

Fri 24th March
Happy Birthday Aunty Helen Menz.
Off to Geeveston today with the van and camped at the RSL club.  Opportune as they are doing meals at the club tonight.
Darryl and I went for a walk up into the town and went to the Visitor info Centre.  This USED to be the Heritage and Forestry Centre but not anymore. 
Darryl and I went across to Dinner at the club which was quite enjoyable.

Sat 25th March.
We were told that there were markets on this morning in Geeveston but when we got there – no stall holders had shown by 9.45am – so the organisers told us it was off :C
We then went for a drive up to Huonville, Willie Smiths Apple Museum and the Visitor Centre.  The Apple Museum has got about 300 different varieties of Apples and the display is replaced every year.  ALL the varieties are grown on a farm nearby.
We then went for a drive out through Ranelagh (pronounced Ran-e- luh) and on to Judbury.  Here there is a great little park with climbing buildings made using hole tree trunks with ladders inside.  The children were having a wonderful time.
Back to Huonville and down to Frank’s Cidery and Café in Franklin for lunch.  There is a beautiful old Church here – from 1830’s – that the community are trying to buy and keep in the community.  We made a donation to their cause.
 Sunday 26th March
Today we went to the markets at Franklin and I met a lovely lady by the name of Louisa who is a WEAVER from Hobart.  She would like to meet up again when we pass through Hobart.  Looking forward to that.
We then drove up through Huonville and around the coast road to Cygnet.  What a great little place.  There was a lovely butcher who was open – even though it was Sunday – and we got some great meat specials.  We had a good day out and returned to the van and a cloudy but dry day.

Monday 27th March
It is cloudy today so we are heading off to Gordon over on the coast, past Cygnet, after topping up with water at the Heritage park in Geeveston.  We arrived and set up in the Gordon Recreational Reserve for $5 per night and we have access to good toilets.  About an hour after we arrived we were hit by a monster of a storm with heavy rain and very strong winds.  The van was rocking quite a bit.
Tues 28th March
Today we drove up to MIDDLETON (Darryl’s 3xgreat grandfather ran a pub here in the 1850’s called the Middleton Inn).  There is no evidence of the pub now though.  We then drove up to Kettering and found the Post Office (in the service station) where we are hoping our mail will be when we return from Bruny Island, and called into the marina and Ferry Terminal and had a coffee whilst watching the Ferry arrive and unload its cargo and reloading and heading off to Bruny again.  On our way back to Gordon, we stopped for a look see at Woodbridge and the lovely lady in the post office suggested that we go to the ‘Channel History Centre’ at Margate.  They may have some info about the Pub’s location.
We then stopped at the GrandvEwe Cheese Factory and distillery.  Some interesting cheeses and Mutton sausages which Chris and Darryl tried.  My tummy was not behaving so I didn’t try them.
On arrival back at the camp site it was to find some people that we first met at Zeehan.  Margaret makes shortbread biscuits and sells them as she goes around.
The wind has picked up again and is very blustery and here comes the rain 😃

Wed 29th March
Happy Birthday to Aunty Margaret Mason, Gail Blanksby, Robert Davis and Nathan Menz.
A beautiful Sunny day today with minimal breeze.  Today we drove up past Kettering to Oyster Cove, then down the C626 towards Nicholls Rivulet and Cygnet, south to the C627 and back to Woodbridge and back up to Oyster Cove to the shop with lovely farm fresh veggies and all sorts of goodies including some lovely Gluten Free goodies.
We then drove back to Peppermint Bay Café at Woodbridge for a coffee.  This is the first place that we have encountered a tall coffee served in a handle-less glass.  When we asked for something to cover the glass so that we could hold it, the waitress glared at us and then pushed a serviette across the counter to us.  Hmmmm…..
Returned to the van after having collected some Cumbungi from the channel and – wouldn’t you know it – the rain and wind have picked up again. 😃
Thurs 30th March
Off to Bruny Island this morning.  It is lovely and sunny and hardly a breeze.  We arrived at the Ferry at 9.40am and on board by 9.55am.  Arriving at North Bruny Island at 10.15am and then at Adventure Bay on the south Island at 11am.
The sites in the Caravan park are quite tight for some of them and in the end we got Chris to drive around the park and do a drive-through into her site.
The rain is squally now but we are determined to go for a look-see.  So we drove to the SE to Cook’s Landing site.  There are a couple of memorials her to Captain Cook and Captain Bligh and a memorial to where the site of the tree that Captain Cook tied the Endeavour to clean her hull.
We also called in to the Bligh Museum which gives you a lot of history of all the different explorers and navigators that came through these waters.
We then travelled back towards the NECK (Isthmus) and stopped in at what is signed as Bruny Chocolate Co.  It is more Fudge and Truffles which we found to be a tad expensive, BUT go a packet to have at Happy Hour.
Darryl and I went for a walk behind the van park, along the Captain Cook Rivulet [also known as a creek] and then down to the bridge across the Creek and out to its opening into the sea.  We then walked back up along the beach of Adventure Bay to the van park.
Back to the van and a blustery afternoon with occasional squalls.
Fri 31st March
Awoke very cold.  The temperature overnight dropped to 3-degrees.  Brrrr.
Today we drove across the South Island to Alonnah and then down to Lunawanna and out to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse.  A steep walk up the concrete pathway and then I was the ONLY person (out of about 20) that did the tour of the Lighthouse.  The steps were not too bad and my vertigo didn’t start as I came down the mesh stairs – so I felt brilliant 😃
After leaving the Lighthouse we drove to Jetty Beach where camping is permitted.  A very narrow, sandy road for 2km in and some good spots in which to park the van.  National Park and $10 per night for 2 people with drop-toilets. Drove down to have a look at the boat ramp – which happens to be the sandy beach 😃
Drove back through Lunawanna to Alonnah and the Bruny Hotel where we have been told they do a seafood basket that is NOT deep fried.  It is actually pan-seared! I ended up having the Seafood mixed grill (which was again NOT deep-fried) and was lovely.  Darryl had a salt and pepper Squid meal which he thoroughly enjoyed [including the Salmon from my lunch].
After lunch we drove north of Alonnah and met up with a lady by the name of Lis Brown (who Chris knows from a Facebook group) and she is in Tassie for a year.  Her project is to photograph EVERY TOWN IN TASSIE.  So far she has photographed 500 towns.  Lis also travels in a little campervan with 3 Westies. [West Highland Terriers].  We spent about an hour chatting with Lis before heading back to the van.
The flooding in Queensland has affected so many of our family and friends.  Hopefully the rain stops soon and the rivers start to go down with minimal damage to homes and property.  We are really feeling for you all.
Sat 1st April
Another wet and blustery day 😃 😃
We headed out this morning to check out North Bruny Island, stopping at the Neck Rookery and the stairs up to the Truganini Memorial.  The wind was blowing that hard that (if the rail wasn’t there) we would have ended up in the sea on the Eastern side.  We then travelled up to Dennes Point.  [My friend Sue Roberts’ mother grew up in Dennes Point.]  We called into the Community Hall/Coffee Shop (No mugs here for coffee – only small cups)/ grocery store/ and a Gallery.  Talking with the manager of the Gallery she was very interested in my weaving and said that when we “move to Bruny, I have an outlet for your work”.  What a great thing to be told!!!
We then drove down past the jetty and met up with a couple that we met at Geeveston – Lorraine and Cec Wollstein from Queensland.  Had a lovely chat with them whilst the wind was blowing and the squalls came through?  We then followed them along the round around the point and we called in to the Old Quarantine Station.  I had a lovely 45min walk around the station looking at all the displays.  I didn’t mind the occasional light squall that came through as it cooled me down 😃.
We then called in to Get Shucked and had some lovely oysters and fish for lunch.  After that we went to the Bruny Cheese and Beer and had ---- a coffee 😃 and tasted two cheeses.

Back in the car and back to the van.  We invited our neighbours to Happy Hour in the ‘Green Shed’ and no sooner there and the rain was lashing the shed and the wind blowing.  It was a very enjoyable couple of hours with a lovely fire blazing.

14th mar to 22nd march 2017 - I have 'lost' a weeks data here somewhere :C

2nd April 2017
Sorry for being sooooooo slack but will update now but may not add photos as it uses so much data…..  Sorry for those that love the photos  but I keep running over my data limit.

Tuesday 14th March
Today we are moving on to the Hobart Showgrounds at Glenorchy.  It is $25 a night to camp here with power and water BUT NO WATER is PERMITTED to be seen to being put on the ground.  What a joke.  So many bright green patches of grass where others have been camped and when guiding Darryl back into our allocated spot I sank about 5cm in to the ‘slop’ that was left behind by the previous camper.  All those around us told us not to put any on the ground during the day but what happens in the dark is anybody’s guessing.
We are going to be here for a week as there is soo much to see and do.
After setting in we went for a drive up to Mount Wellington.  A nice drive up and what a view.  BUT it was so WARM today.  21degrees at the top because it was 35 in Hobart!!!!  And then a nice drive back that was broken by a coffee stop at ‘Lost Freight’ about ½ way down the mountain.  This coffee shack has only been in place for 4 weeks and had a very nice coffee.  The owner had been pulling a trailer up here every day for the past 18months to develop her business and get council approval to put in a ‘temporary’ structure – which is a freight container that has been converted.
Wed 15th March
Today we headed into Hobart so I could go to State Archives and Library to do more research into Darryl’s ancestors.  I spent 4 hours in the archives whilst Darryl and Chris walked around the city and saw Lark’s Distillery, walked around the Mawson Hut display and checked out the Cat and the Fiddle Arcade.  [This arcade is built on the site of one of the Hotel’s that Darryl’s 3xgreat grandfather ran in 1840’s].  I met them in one of the arcades for a drink before we then made our way down to Davey street and caught the Reddecker bus for the whole 90min circuit of the city.  We had a great view up the top at the front of the bus.
Whilst doing this we decided that tomorrow we would come and park at the Botanical Gardens and then catch the bus – as we could park for free for  6 hours.
Thurs 16th Mar
Happy Birthday Trev. 
It is raining this morning and may do so for the rest of the morning.  We headed off to the Botanical Gardens and past the [defunct] Beaumauris Zoo and awaited the Reddecker bus.  It was running 10minutes slow – but we realised that this was because the clock in the bus was slow.  Anyway Darryl got off at the Cascade Brewery and Chris and I got off at the next stop for the Female Factory.  What a fascinating 2 hours we spent there.  We managed to see the ‘Her Story’ play and it was a real eye-opener as to what the women had to endure during their daily routine at the Female Factory.  If anyone is going to Hobart – PLEASE make an effort to go and see the play OR do the history guided tour.  We need to remember what the women had to go through to give us what we have today.
Back on the bus and then in to town and up to St. Davids Park where there is the headstone for Darryl’s 3xgreat Grandmother and 4 of her daughters.  This headstone has been placed in a stone wall in the park (along with quite a few others) and is a moving memorial to all.
Back to Dome café for lunch and then on the bus back to the car.
Fri 17th mar
Happy St. Patricks Day 😃
Today we had a lazy day planned so Chris and I walked up to the Glenorchy Shops whilst Darryl drove up.  I got myself a trim and then we did some grocery topping up before heading back to van.  On the walk we found where we could catch the bus tomorrow to go to the Salamanca Markets (about 5minutes walk from the van 😃 BONUS)
Sat 18th Mar
Up and off to the bus stop by 7.40am and the bus pulled in at 8.05am.  It was a bit chilly in the breeze but at least it wasn’t raining 😃  Cost us $2.30 each to travel the bus and it took half hour to get into Collins Street near the Hobart Post Office.  We then walked down to Constitution Docks and had breakfast at MURES before heading along to Salamanca.  Darryl and Chris walked down the FLAT and I walked up the hill as I HAD the map and I had marked what I wanted to check out 😃 😃
I was on a mission!!!!  Ben is heading to Japan in June and will be visiting Yoko – a lady I have been writing to since I was in Grade 5.  I wanted to get some special gift for him to take to her and her husband Kenjirou. 
What a great market.  Over 300 stalls with all sorts of goodies.  I finally found THE gifts – no to hope the recipients will like them.  100% Tasmanian Merino wool scarves.
Met up with Darryl and Chris and Darryl showed me some really nice walking poles that weren’t very expensive – so we got a light weight one for me to use.  It can either be a hiking pole or a walking stick.  Will be handy on those Wobbly days.
Back up to bus stop and back to showgrounds.
Sunday 19th march
MENIERE’S HAS STRUCK!!!!  Rained most of the day.
Monday 20th March
MENIERE’s is still hanging around and my balance is shot. It is still raining.
Unfortunately we have to go to Centrelink this afternoon as my Disability Pension is on a Random Review and there is a lady from Melbourne who is to do it.  We managed to find a park not far from the Centerlink offices but the walking (wobbling) to it took its toll on both Darryl and myself.  We have to produce some more documentation to Centerlink by middle of April and hopefully all will be well. Not sure how the Medical report will go as our doctor had to have surgery and is off until May 9th.  Have been advised that this may still be ok but will need to check in with Centerlink to double check.
Tuesday 21st March
Meniere’s is still here with lots of vertigo and nausea.  We have to move out of the showgrounds today as it has been booked out by the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA).  So Darryl had me tucked up in the car and we are on the move to SOUTHPORT.  We arrived at the Southport Hotel and Van Park in the rain but set up and then relaxed.  There is NO Reception for TELSTRA in Southport – EXCEPT standing at the end of the Jetty or at an intersection 3km north of town.  Down to the jetty to send some quick messages and then back to rest up.
Wednesday 22nd march
My head is a lot clearer today BUT now my IBS is showing itself……..
Raining still.  Out by 9am as we are booked on the Ida Bay Railway today.  It was a lovely trip – even with the rain – and then back to the café for lunch.  We then drove down the dirt road to Cockle Creek and walked out to the Whale Sculpture.  The rain has stopped.  The sculpture is representative of a 3-month old Southern Right Whale.  A wonderful piece of Art.

We drove up past Southport to the community of DOVER and went to the shop to get supplies for dinner.

19.2.17 to 6.3.2017 No pictures at present as using too much data

19th February
An update on Darryl’s cellulitic right leg – it is only about 1cm different in size to his right leg.  The skin has completely peeled off that leg and the redness is gone.  The discolouration of his leg will remain as the long-term oedema has restricted the blood flow in the skin.  He is continuing to wear his compression socks/stockings without and trauma and it is great to see him with skinny lower legs. :D  He is continuing his Antibiotics and has just commenced his second month of a four month course.  My left knee is still painful and continues to lock or give way when you least expect it.  It cracks and clicks all the time.  I am wearing a brace and can depress the clutch on the car and am trying to build up strength in the knee.  I alternate massaging it with Karma Rub and Fisiocreme.

Monday 13th we headed for Smithton.  The winds were back up to 55kmph and pushing us in the bum, so we decided that the free camp on the beach at Green Point would have to wait for another time.  On arrival at Smithton we arrived at the caravan park so that Chris could have power to fully charge her battery and we could brace ourselves for the predicted foul weather.
Here we were having high temps of 18degrees and all our friends and family were experiencing temperatures over 40 degrees on the mainland.  We have decided to stay here for the week and do all the little trips from here. 

Tues 14th Valentines Day.  Darryl thought it was tomorrow :D.   I kept saying – no its today.  He kept saying – but it’s on the 14th.  And I said but today IS the 14th. :D
We headed out to Tarkine Adventures – Dismal Swamp, but on the way we went to the Tier Lookout in Smithton and whilst there bought some Leatherwood honey.  Beautiful tasting.  Dismal Swamp is actually a 310-hectare Sink-hole, of which you can follow a boardwalk path system that covers 1.6km.  The cost of entry is $20 per adult $14 per child and $18 per senior.  There is also a slide which will take you 15secs to reach the sink-hole floor at $2 per slide.  Several local artists have got artwork throughout the swamp and it is interesting looking for them in the ferns etc BUT the entry fee really is too high for what you manage to get out of it.  Most people spent 1.5hours here, and that is what we did too, even including our coffee stop at the end.
From here we drove out to Redpa, Marrawah and Green Point.  There is free camping at Green Point in a small area that fitted 2 caravans in parallel, 3 small whiz-bangs (campervans) and a tent up on the grass.  It was quite windy whilst we were here but sunny.  We could look to the north and see some of the Wind turbines from Woolnorth Station.
We then drove back into Marrawah and to the hotel for a pub lunch.  Darryl and I enjoyed ours but Chris found her mixed grill over cooked and dry.   The countryside is variable, they do a lot of strip-grazing of cattle (with more cattle in the paddocks then what I am used to seeing :D) and this year most farmers have harvested three crops of hay or silage from their paddocks.  Last year they were barely able to get one harvest and this year they have multiples.  The silage has been in a variety of coloured plastic – black and green stripes, yellow, pink, blue, light blue, bright blue, green, light green, white – name a few.  I don’t know whether the colour makes any difference or not.
We then headed down towards Arthur River and turned back towards Smithton.

Wed 15th We got a call from Fellow ACC members who were in Burnie, and have arranged to meet them at Rocky Cape Tavern [approximately ½ way from Smithton to Burnie) for lunch.  We called into the chemist and picked up Darryl’s script that we had dropped in on Monday, and headed off.  Arriving at the tavern at about 11.30am.  We went in and got some drinks and waited for the kitchen to open for lunch orders. 
What a lovely day catching up with Margaret and Trevor Aird from South Australia.  We spent a total of about 3 hours with them and we were exchanging information about places to visit and stay.  They have been here for 3 months and leave for Melbourne a fortnight before we do.  Unfortunately today, doing something – Darryl has pulled a muscle in his back.  It is being treated with heat packs (as he finds cold packs aggravate it), Fisiocreme and T.E.N.S. [Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulus] machine.

Thurs 16th.  Today would have been Darryl’s Dad’s Birthday.  He would have been 84.  Happy Birthday Alan.  Loved and missed every day.
Today is our Woolnorth Tour. Woolnorth was originally owned by the Van Diemen’s Land Company after a grant from Governor Arthur.  I wanted to do this when we were here 12 years ago and today it is happening :D.  We headed off at 10.30 for the 11.30 tour – only to realise 15minutes into the journey that Darryl had not picked up his camera and therefore all the photos would be on my phone.  I have not been able to upload them to DRIVE so am unable to put any on this update of the blog.
We arrived at 11.10am at the pickup point and within 5 minutes our tour guide was there too so we all hopped on the bus and away we went – the five of us.  Out to see the turbines of the windfarm first.  The original towers are 60meters high with 32 metre blades.  The control box on the back of each turbine is the size of a 50-seater bus.  The second windfarm that was made at Stradland Bay has 80metre towers with 42metre blades.  We only visited the ones at Bluff Point.  We went into an information building after being told that we could do a ‘selfie’ with the reflection of the ocean or windfarm in the glass.  We did both :D  From here heading WEST it is 11,800km to South Africa and 20,000km to South America following a straight line.
Back to the bus and out to the Woolnorth Homestead.  Here we went into the shearing shed with a 13 stand, raised floor shearing platform.  They used to have Corriedale and Poll Dorset sheep on the station, but the last sheep were here in about 2007.  They now have 9 dairy farms on Woolnorth and 4 others throughout the north west.  There are over 1800 cattle per dairy and they milk them twice a day, and they strip graze them.  Since the sale to the Chinese last year, 4 dairies have been ear-marked to close and they are going to put in organic vegetable farms.
After leaving the homestead we drove out to the Wind-assessing station at Cape Grim, where it has been determined that Woolnorth has the cleanest air on the planet (there are about 9 other wind testing stations scattered throughout the globe) but the ‘gas’ levels have been gradually increasing since the first test in 1976.  Apparently you can Google ‘Cape Grim’ and find the levels.
We then visited ‘The Doughboys’ which is a set of three islands that were named such due to the way they looked like freshly baked breads to the first explorers.  As you look at some of them you and imagine an elephant lying down with his trunk in the water.  There is also a bay that has a raised rocky formation that looks a bit like the island of Tasmania.  We saw Trefoil Island which has been handed back to the Aboriginals of Tasmania and is a breeding ground for Mutton Birds.  We also saw Black Pyramid in the far distance and Hunter Island with Three Hummock Island in the rear with Walker Island off to the right.  We did not get a clear look at these but a hazy outline only.  At one point the bushy point of the furthest North West point of Tasmania was indicated and then we returned to Woolnorth Homestead.  We saw Cape Barren Island Geese in the fields as we returned.  At the homestead we were able to exit the bus and wander through the ‘Cookhouse Cottage’ built in the early 1840’s.  Beautiful wooden floors, rocks in the kitchen, ?lath and daub? walls and painted calico ceilings.  Tiny rooms in which a family of 6 lived and the wife was also the cook for the station-hands and the convicts.
We arrived back to the car at 1.15pm.
Off towards Smithton and called into Montagu Campground to have a look.  Darryl found some HUGE stingrays coming up to where the fisherman was cleaning his catch.  We arrived in Smithton at about 1.45pm and decided it was time for lunch.  It has been hard enough finding something for me to eat that is Gluten free, but our friend Chris is Grain-free, no potato, starches or sugars.  Mind you -- we have come across some places that have a bulk amount of gluten-free treats and meals but because most of them still have grains (flours) then Chris is unable to eat them.
Friday 17th we headed in to Stanley.  Some of Chris’s branch of the ACC – the Lakeside Drifters – were going to the NUT and having Morning Tea at the top, so we dropped Chris at The Nut and Chairlift and Darryl and I headed out to Highfield House.  We stopped at a lookout on the way up and took a ‘selfie’ looking back toward Stanley and then spent nearly 2 hours going through the House and the property that belonged to Van Diemen’s Land Company. A beautiful home designed by Henry Hellyer, who was an architect/surveyor in the colony for a whole 6 years prior to committing suicide in 1832.  In the time that he was here he completed most of the survey of the north west, the Woolnorth properties and built individually Hellyer Road in Burnie – forging through the rainforest.  There was a lot of speculation over his death but it was officially recorded ‘that he met his death by his own hand’.
After traipsing through the property we headed back into Stanley and up to the Nut to get Chris.  Had a coffee here before going back to the information Centre – where Chris stayed for the free WiFi – and Darryl and I followed the history walk, but by Car.  His back seems to be improving and then it gives him a good spasm and we are back at square one.
After during the drive around, we collected Chris and headed into town to Touchwood Café for lunch.  An up-market establishment but the food and service was very good.  Would have liked the soup but unfortunately it was sold-out.

Saturday 18th.  Today we headed out to Dip Falls and The Big Tree before heading along the back roads to Edith Creek and up to Allendale Gardens.  These gardens have been a labour of love for Loraine and Max Cross and it was lovely to wander them and see so many flowers in bloom.  It is also starting to look like it needs a lot of help.  Max and Loraine are not young anymore and some of the gardens are overgrown.  How they manage to keep on top of the growth in the forest area and keeping it cleared of fallen trees and branches is amazing.  If you get the opportunity – go and see it.  What a wonderful garden by two beautiful people.
After Allendale Gardens we headed back down through Edith Creek to Sumac Lookout in the Tarkine. We crossed the Kanunnah Bridge over the Arthur River To get to the Lookout and then travelled back to Smithton.  Got some more groceries and fresh Chicken for dinner and back to the van.

Sunday 19th.  Got the laundry done and dried and have spent the day getting the blog updated. :D
So now to try and get some internet coverage, upload to blog and add some photos .

8th March new update
Mon 20th Feb Left the Caravan park at about 9.30am and travelled through Wynyard to Burnie and on to Waratah.  We camped in the council campground and then went for a drive around the town and checked out the Waterfall and the Water Wheel, before checking the Stamping Mill and the ‘Philosophers hut’.  I did the driving today as Darryl has pulled his back – somehow.
Tues 21st. up and on the road by 8.15 as we were heading to Cradle Mountain to do the Dove Lake Walk.  We weren’t sure how Darryl would go but he started out and completed the 6km trek in just over 3 hours.  The last part was the worst as it was all stairs UP and then down. (We had gone clockwise on the recommendation of the lady who gave us our shuttle bus tickets [better views of the lake] but I think we should have gone anticlockwise to get all those steps out of the way first up and then we could have taken it easy on the boardwalk).  My knees played up for about a week afterwards :D
Once completed we caught the bus back to base and then had lunch and then went back to Waratah.  On the way back we continued on to check out Savage River mining.  They mine magnetite here and send it through a slurry pipeline to Cape Latta (out from Stanley) but there wasn’t much to see as it is all closed to the public.  So back to Waratah.  The pub at Waratah was sold and the new owner is using it as a B+B and only serves canned/bottled beers on a Friday or Saturday.  We were hoping to go for dinner but no meals are now served :C
Wed 22 We left Waratah at approx. 11am after visiting the local museum and headed down through to Tullah.  The road from the Cradle Mountain turnoff to Tullah is being widened so we had to stop several times for the stop/go controls.  This journey was only 49km but took us 1 ½ hours.  We then headed out to Lake Macintosh and the campground.  You are able to camp here for up to 7 days.  A nice protected spot from the winds.  We had lots of campers coming and going whilst there.
Thurs 23.  We were planning on doing the drive out to Reece Dam today BUT the weather was very overcast with misty rain and heavy/low cloud cover.  So we drove down through Tullah to Rosebery.  A great little town.  The mine there is now 7 on/ 7 off and the miners aren’t spending their money here.  We had a great coffee in the bakery before having a walk up and around town.  There was a really good ‘feel’ to the town.  They have a community garden and on the way back to the car, they had put some of the veggies out for sale by donation.  We had also visited the local heritage centre which at $5 entry was VERY interesting for such a small centre.  We then returned to the van after having a good drive around Rosebery.
Fri 24 was much the same as yesterday – but colder – so we stayed around the camp.
Sat 25 was bright and sunny so off we headed for our drive.  Out past Bastyan Dam, Reece Dam and down to Zeehan.  Wonderful country and great views.  We stopped at the ‘Pit Stop’ café before heading back to Tullah and the vans.  We decided that because most things were closed on Sunday that we would stay at Lake Macintosh and head down to Zeehan to camp on Monday
Mon 27th Feb.  Headed off for Zeehan at 9.15 and arrived at 10.30am.  Booked in and stayed for 2 nights.  Got the washing done and dry and then did some weaving.  Our friends – Doug and Leura Cathcart (from the ACC) – are doing the ½ day train trip from Queenstown today and will be in the park about 7.30.  We look forward to catching up with them.  They have not long completed the 3-capes Walk from Port Arthur.  Darryl cooked up the prawns that we got from the markets in Penguin BUT they weren’t very nice – they were full of sand and gritty. 
We had a lovely 2 hours with Doug and Leura before we called a goodnight :D
Tues 28th – Doug and Leura left at about 10am heading to Wynyard.  Chris and I headed out to the heritage Museum in Zeehan.  We were given a 10% off voucher from the park owners.  Adults $25 concession $20 Children $14.  We didn’t use the 10% voucher as it was cheaper for us as Concession holders.  What a great place.  We were just going up the stairs when we heard a ‘Piper’ playing.  We went back down stairs and out the front to listen to him play.  Absolutely lovely.  Back in and through the rest of the exhibits.  This Museum covers about 7 acres and includes the Police Station, the Theatre, the Masonic Lodge and many outbuildings and even has a couple of tunnel displays and experiences.  It Took Chris and I about 2 ½ hours to go through it all.  Afterwards we headed back to the vans and Darryl – as he had decided not to come along.
Wed 1st March – Happy birthday to Darryl’s brother Neville – and we are headed off again – 45km down to Strahan on the ‘straightest road on the West coast’ and checked into the Strahan Golf Club RV Park.  The two caravan parks were booked out.  We then went for a drive into town and along the waterfront and found somewhere for lunch and then collected our tickets for both the Gordon River Cruise and then the West Coast Wilderness Train. 
Thurs 2nd – up and out by 7.45am as we have to be on the train by just after 8am.  What a great day!!!!  We pulled out of the Regatta Point Train Station at 8.35am and reached Queenstown at 12.25pm.  We then had our lunch and a 15min guided tour of Queenstown main street before boarding the train at 2pm and arriving back in Strahan at 6.15pm.  We were in the Wilderness carriage and had champagne on arrival with Canapes before our first stop at Lower Landing – where we had honey tasting and the Leatherwood Honey was --- delicious.  We then had Morning tea before the second stop of Dubbil Barril – where we had a 10 minute walk through the rainforest.  Before continuing we had to await the arrival of the train from Queenstown with the half-day trip and then we could progress onto the ABT rack and pinion part of the track.  This uphill journey in a 1:20 gradient and down the other side is 1:12 and 1:16 gradient.
On the return journey we were given a fruit platter before we stopped at Lynchford – where we could try our hand at Gold-panning – unfortunately we didn’t ‘strike gold’.  We then had  a cheese platter before another stop at Dubbil Barril and then we were given a sweet treat before another stop at Lower Landing.  What a Day!!!  We were almost feeling like we had to ROLL off the train after all that food.
Back to the van and preparing for tomorrow.
Fri 3rd – we were out again by 7.45 am and onto the Gordon River Cruises – Lady Franklin II Catamaran for our day on the water.  We boarded just after 8am and then on our way by 8.30am.  We went around through Macquarie Harbour and out through ‘Hells Gate’ and because the sea was calm and the weather good – the captain took us right out so we could see Cape Sorell Light House – one of the tallest in the Southern Hemisphere at 85m.  We then went back through the ‘Gate’.  It is known as Hells Gate as the convicts that were on Sarah Island said it was ‘the gates of Hell on Earth’.  We then went down through the harbour and past several Salmon farms before slowing right down to enter the Gordon River.  We then travelled 15km up the river to Heritage Landing and a very short 200m boardwalk through the vegetation before returning to the Lady Franklin.  The reflections on this part of the river were amazing!!  We were then served our buffet lunch whilst going back down the river and into the harbour to Sarah Island.  Sarah Island was a penitentiary for 12 years PRIOR to the opening of Port Arthur.  It has an amazing story to tell.
After our hour-long guided walk of the island we boarded the catamaran and headed back to Strahan – arriving just after 2pm.  We then drove around to ‘People’s Park’ and I did the walk to Hogarth falls.  2.4km round trip to a small Cascade falls.  Darryl and Chris stayed in the car.
We then went to ‘Molly’s Café’ for dinner.  A very filling meal and then back to the vans.
Sat 4th – we left Strahan and headed for Queenstown.  A windy road that took about ¾ hour to go 35km.  It was great arriving in Queenstown and actually seeing trees where 12 years ago there was a lunar landscape.  The mining of Mount Lyell and the smelters had produced lots of sulphuric vapours, which when it rained caused ‘acid rain’ and it killed all the vegetation.  Over the past 12 years the locals have been amazed with the vegetation regrowth.  We camped at the ‘Gravel Oval’ which is the ONLY Heritage listed – Gravel Sports Oval in Australia.  We went for a walk down into town, through the Galley Museum and then to the Empire Hotel which has got a wonderful Blackwood Staircase.  Wonderful.  We are camped with a lovely couple from Beaudesert – Wayne and Jenelle Patricks.  Amazing who you meet on your travels.
Sunday 5th – a Meniere’s day – not a very nice day at all :C
Monday 6th – we managed to go up to Spion Kopf lookout to get a 360degree shot of the town.  Then we did a drive down past the golf club, through Lynchford and out to Crotty Dam and Darwin Dam on Lake Burbury.  We then came back past three power stations before returning to town.  Back to the vans and collected the washing and into town to get it done.  We also topped up the groceries.
I then had a rest as my head wasn’t quite right after yesterday.  A brain fog and residual headache and nausea were not real pleasant.  Wayne and Jenelle moved on to Derwent Bridge today.
Tues 7th we headed to Derwent Bridge.  Up the ’99 bends’ of Mount Lyell to Gormanston.  I then think that there were 200 bends before we reached Derwent Bridge. :C  We were surprised to see that Wayne and Jenelle were still here too.
We set up in the front yard of the Derwent Bridge Hotel, before making lunch.  We then drove out to Lake St Clair and then on to ‘The Wall’.  A 100m Sculpture wall from Wood.  There are 100 1-metre-wide by 3-metre-high panels that make up the wall and a few independent sculpted pieces throughout the display.  We then went for a drive toward Tarraleah and a side road to bypass the hills down into the power stations and back out again.  It is a narrow dirt road with about 6 narrow single-lane bridges.  We then turned left and went into Tarraleah and checked the power station.  We then returned to the main road, down into Tungatinah power station and back UP the road toward Derwent Bridge.  We called in to Binney lake and then Brady’s Lagoon and past Bronte Lake before arriving back at the vans.  We then visited the pub for a drink and stayed for dinner.
Chris has decided that she will travel the bitumen tomorrow and we will do the gravel road.
Wed 8th – Happy Birthday to myself :D, and Chris and also our ACC friend Jo and Malcolm.  We went across the road to ‘The Hungry Wombat’ Café at the service station [because they serve a hot breakfast] before returning to the vans and preparing to move on.  Whilst packing up Darryl got chatting to Wayne and Jenelle again and found out that Wayne is the cousin of Janine Beckett – Matthews mum.  Janine’s Mum and Wayne’s Mum were sisters. A very Small world indeed.

We travelled on to Mount Field National Park Campground and will be here for a few nights whilst doing a few day trip and checking out the Gordon River Dam and some waterfalls in the National park.

19 February 2017

19th Feb Part C

Thurs 9th.  We awoke to rain and increased winds and surf activity so Chris and I went off to find the laundromat and did the washing and drying before returning to the van.  By evening the rain had eased and the winds too, so we headed off to view the Little Penguins (previously known as Fairy Penguins).  We were advised to be there just after 8 but the tour started at 8.45pm with a talk about the Penguins and then we wandered along the boardwalk to view some of the chicks and then the parents coming in to feed them.  It was an arduous journey up the rocks for the parents but the young were waiting for them and calling.  At 10pm we headed back to the van.

Fri 10th I was told by some of the other campers that there were Little Penguins that came in on the other side of the camp grounds so we decided we would go for a walk tonight and see if we could find them.  
 We found a baby Penguin in the fifth concrete Hutch along.  Waiting for his dinner 😃
Today though we went out to Table Cape to view the Tulips (unfortunately they had finished flowering and been harvested – but there were Liliums being picked). 

 Table Cape Lighthouse

There were lots of Poppy fields out this way.  Some still with a few flowers and almost ready to be harvested. 
We then went back into Wynyard and the Visitor Centre.  They had two great displays here.  One of old vehicles and the other was photography.  

We then went to the café for a very late morning tea and Chris went to post parcels to family.
 Murals in the main street of Wynyard

We then drove out to Hellyers Gorge via the A10 and through Yolla  

  The hedge at Yolla School
[an Aboriginal word meaning Mutton Bird]  – twisting, turning, up and down road.  The Gorge was not at all what I expected.  I was thinking a deep gorge but it was just ?? a small bank with a small/shallow/narrow river running through it.  There were four motorhomes parked there taking advantage of the free area.
 Starting the walk to the Gorge

 arty-farty shot of moss and lichens

 Hellyer Gorge

 a giant fern

 A tree arch along the way

After this we travelled on to the area known as ‘Fingerpost’ [because of the posts with ‘fingers’ pointing to all different places] and then up the B18 back to Burnie.  Chris decided that if we had the choice she would rather travel on the B18 with the van as it was straighter and more gradual climb/descent as opposed to the A10. This may be one of the straighter roads we will travel on over the next few weeks. On arrival back in Burnie we found a park in town (everywhere is pay parking) and then toured the streets.  We stopped at Hudson Coffee for a coffee and then up the street and down along the oceanfront and then back up to the car before returning to the van.
Sat 11th.  We moved on to Arthur River today as we are booked in for a River Cruise tomorrow.  We camped in the Manuka Campground for $13 per night with fresh water available and toilet amenities.  We drove out to ‘Edge of the World’ Lookout and witnessed all the timber washed up on the shoreline and rocks.  Apparently this is the aftermath of the floods last October – so much timber and such big trees.  
 an sculpture in the front yard

 part of the road into Arthur River

 Our camp spot at Manuka Campground Arthur River

 Some bush near the van

 Houses over-looking the Arthur River

  Lots of 'Red Hot Poker' plants in Tasmania - great for weaving

  a panorama of Edge of the world

 Darryl and I at Edge of the World

  I found a snake.......  or is that a dinosaur?

We then drove down Couta Rocks and back up.  There are rubble strips across the road in certain areas to try and deter the Tassie Devils, Pademelons and Wallabies from nearing the road.  Pademelons are very small wallaby type animals.  Tassie Devils are on the ‘endangered list’ – so every effort is being made to try and slow the decline of the animal.  Unfortunately, there is also a cancerous mouth tumour which is starting to affect the animals. 

 Pamorama of Couta Rocks
 During the afternoon, we have had squally showers and high winds with some heavier rain.
Sun 12th we headed in to the cruise at 9.45am.  The wind was blowing and the seas were up.  (We were told that there were 3metre waves out the front).  9 passengers were on the white boat by 10am to witness the red boat leave on their tour.  The skipper had taken off from the jetty and left his deckhand on the Jetty. (The deckhand is also his wife).  We saw him bring the boat back in bow first to the jetty and she attempt to climb on and nearly fall into the river.  He then reversed the boat out into the river and down toward the bridge before bringing it back in to the jetty at a 45-degree angle, and two of the male passengers came out, in the rain, and helped pull the deckhand onto the boat as she clambered over the bow.  The waves were coming in at a rate of knots and the wind was blowing at about 30knots whilst all this was happening. 
We moved out from the jetty at 10.15 am and made our way up the river, as we went around the first bend, the wind eased and the waves were decreased.  As we travelled up the river we witnessed White-breasted Sea Eagle being chased by Black Wedge-tailed Eagles and then being fed by our skipper – Rob Chandler.  
 The 3-metre swell at start of day

 up around a corner

  Sea Eagles nest

 White Bellied Sea Eagle

 Black Wedge-tail Eagle

 part of the Arthur River

  Our mooring that we came back to for lunch

 White Bellied Sea Eagle

 our luncheon camp kitchen

 Mum and baby pademelon

 our warm fire

 arty-farty Moss/lichen

  pretty flower

  The water fall

 enticing an eel to come up

Rob pointed out different vegetation, damage by the floods, different rock formations and local camping spots along the river.  He kept an eye out for the blue Kingfisher but we didn’t have any luck.  We travelled 15km up the river to the junction with the Frankland River before turning around and heading back to his jetty.  Rob and his wife Kaye own 50acres along the river and have built boardwalks, shelters and a lovely spot to have lunch.  During lunch, we had the pleasure of seeing two adult Pademelons and a joey come in for some feed from Rob.  After lunch we then did a tour up along the creek to the waterfall before returning to the boat. The ‘old man ferns’ grow at a rate of 1 metre every 150 years.  Some of the ferns we passed were greater than 5 metres tall.

The weather remained good for our lunch stop, but once we returned to the boat we encountered another squally rainstorm followed by brilliant sunshine and then drizzle.  As we were approaching the second to last bend in the river, Kaye rang to say the seas were up to 7metres high and the winds at 50knots, so everyone had to come into the cabin and be seated for the docking at the jetty.  As we docked at 4.15pm, there was another squall come through and the waves were pushing the boat up against the Jetty.  Once we were secure we sat and waited for the squall to pass before heading for the car.  Once we were safely in the car, we headed out to ‘Edge of the World’ but it was so wild and woolly out there that we didn’t leave the cars but went back to the vans.

  seas at our return