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.