After leaving Ulverstone, we headed to Railton and made our base at the free camp in town for a few days. Railton is known for it’s large Cement Works, giving employment to the town and also the many topiary shrubs scattered around the place. It was a great little spot and with reasonable weather, we explored the area. We drove to Latrobe, wandered around the town checking out the shops, Op shops and the old emporium which was chockablock full of all sorts of everything plus just a few secondhand books! We then called in the bakery for lunch, enjoying a curried scallop pie for Chris and a quiche for me. We again visited Sheffield, driving up to the Kimberley lookout car park where Chris then walked up to the top. We reminisced on our time in Sheffield four years ago while enjoying the murals around the town. We did a few short bush walks around the area and enjoyed plenty of the small golden cherry plums I found on a tree near our camp.
After Railton we spent a couple of nights at Deloraine, a spot we have visited before and I again enjoyed the company of not one, but two horses this time, in the paddock behind us.
At this point we are now thinking that if we keep visiting these same places we are going to run out of time again so we made a conscious decision not to do this. How long did that last? Not long!
We had decided to bypass Launceston and head straight to Scottsdale but when a light comes on inside the car, it’s best to get it checked out so we turned back to Launceston and head for Old Mac’s farm, another return visit. We unhooked the van and then went into the Toyota dealership where the car was soon sorted, a blocked fuel filter. We then did a quick Bunning’s and Dan Murphy stop (just because!) before returning to and enjoying the beautiful setting of Old Mac’s Farm.
The next morning we left Launceston and headed to the free camp at Scottsdale that had been recommended to us. Like everywhere at the moment, probably because of the school holidays, it was very busy but we managed to find a spot and were even lucky enough to hook up to water. We spent a week here enjoying the walks, meeting lovely people and exploring the surrounding area. We walked up the Mt. Stronach walking track to the lookout at the top with it’s spectacular views.
We visited the lavender farm at Lilydale, did the tour, sampled some produce and wandered the fields watching the harvesting of the crop before enjoying a lavender chocolate ice cream sitting in the sunshine while listening to the resident entertainer.
We drove out to Bridport, walked through the very long narrow caravan park as it hugs the coastline and had fish and chips for lunch, chatting with some Aussie/Americans who also appreciate this great country of ours.
Another day we did the tourist drive taking in the top east corner of Tasmania. We drove from Scottsdale through Bridport, out to Tomahawk beach, down to Gladstone, up to the very windy Wind Farm and then Little Musselroe Bay where we sat on the rocks and enjoyed our picnic lunch. After lunch and a chat with locals, we headed back down through Gladstone and on to the Blue Lake. This is a pretty little spot and the acidic water with high levels of aluminium in the lake are what makes the striking colour.
Next we drive through Derby, known for its mountain bike tracks and it was so busy with bikers everywhere. After Derby we checked out the free camp at Branxholm, another great spot and probably better than Scottsdale as there was a dump point, drinking water, use of a free washing machine, book swap, new showers and even a swimming pool with free entry. What more could you need? We also met up with fellow travellers from Scottsdale and had a chat before heading off.
The next day we drove out to see the tree carvings at Legerwood. These huge trees had been carved by Eddie Freeman from Ross, Tasmania, depicting World War One scenes and of the local soldiers for who the trees were planted for in 1918.
While in Scottsdale we also had to replace the batteries in our caravan. We thought they were probably on their way out but now the time had really come. Chris called in at the local BP station early in the morning and luckily for us a truck was coming through later that day from Launceston so we were able to get the batteries and Ashley came and fitted them on his way home that evening. Thanks Ash for the great service and the batteries were even cheaper than those we replaced in our old van about six years ago. Bargain!
Next stop was Pyengana where we stayed one night to walk to the Saint Columba falls and check out the cheese factory. The walk was all down hill but what goes down must come up, it was a long drag back to the top! As we left Saint Columba falls we called into the “Pub in the Paddock” which was unfortunately closed but we were able to meet the resident pig that is famously known for drinking beer.
We called in at the cheese factory but were disappointed to see (or not see) any cheese demonstration happening because, we presume, of Covid. We instead enjoyed an ice cream as we watched the cows being milked by the robotic milking machine. Pyengana dairy was the first farm in Australia to use this system.
As we left Pyengana the next day we headed to the Bay of Fires and the free camp at Cosy Corner North. There are a few camp sites along this coast and campers are allowed to stay free for up to 28 days. As you would expect, school holidays and especially Christmas time, they get very busy. With only basic drop toilets and no drinking water supply, you need to bring in all you need and take out all your own rubbish. Luckily St. Helen’s is not far away with plentiful supplies. (I wonder if the Tasmanians realise how lucky they are, having all this on their own doorstep. Certainly a cheap holiday for families!) There are also a lot of “day use only” areas along this coast and it’s not impossible to find a deserted beach and have the place to yourself.
We drove out to “The Gardens” up from Cosy Corner and the furthest point on that road. We walked along the beach and clambered over the beautiful rocks that this area is known for. Another day we drove out to Eddystone Point where we checked out the lighthouse on the aboriginal land of Larapuna. and then called into Anson’s Bay and Policeman’s Point on the way home.
While we have been here in Tasmania, the weather has been very hit and miss (more miss than we would like!) so we haven’t enjoyed the beaches as much as we could although Chris did venture in the water a couple of times. We are though, enjoying the walks, the scenery, the views and the company of other campers.
Now we are here at White Sands Ironhouse brewery. Another free camp but this one has to be five star. The White Sands is a resort with a small working brewery on site. It’s architecturally stunning in the coastal setting with great facilities which the RV campers are welcome to use. I made use of the laundry and at $2 a load for both the washing machine and also the dryer, it was a great price. We walked the beach, wandered the grounds and found the cinema. We were welcome to use the infinity pool but with the now cold weather (again) we have decided against that. We did enjoyed a beautiful lunch in the restaurant yesterday and Chris sampled the beer paddle today. I helped him out by drinking the ginger beer. I’m not usually a lover of ginger beer but I could get to like this one!
Now as I’m writing this Blog it’s cold and raining again so no happy hour tonight as like the other campers here, we are all shut in for an early night. Where’s our diesel heater when we need it?