This blog will be our shortest blog, our Tasmanian Triolgy, as we are only here to enjoy this stunning state for three weeks before heading back home, setting up camp on the Rye Foreshore and property settlement for Koonya Beach Cottage.
We woke to showers and decided it was a day to do DABUS jobs and to get the blog up and running. Then off to Pontville Hotel for lunch, scallops and beef schnitzels, then off to get the washing done and back to Hawksmere for the night. We had the place to ourselves again, as it was raining late afternoon and into the night we parked close to the firepit and enjoyed the warmth of the fire.
Up early the following morning, we headed into Hobart via Richmond to check out the historical Richmond bridge. Once in Hobart we parked DABUS in the CSIRO carpark and walked to the Salamanca Market. After the COVID check-in, we were surprised with the amount of people at the market, no social distancing here. Our fruit and veggies, along with a few other items were purchased and we were extremely good not to buy any of naughty foods that we are normally so tempted to buy at markets.
Our next destination in Hobart was to drive up Mt Wellington. It was a slow haul for DABUS lots of time chugging up in second gear but we did get up there in the right time, as the rain had stopped but it was a windy and balmy 4 degrees and the wind chill factor probably halved that temperature. We were rugged up like we were going to the snow, absolutely stunning vistas overlooking Hobart town and beyond. The drive down the mountain was just as picturesque as the vistas from the top. It felt a lot quicker to get off the mountain than the slow drive up.
We were going to stop the night at a free camp opposite the Longley Hotel but after arriving, it looked like it was going to be party central with 4x4's and swags out, so we moved onto a new camp. Margate Gateway, the owners have only just recently opened their property up to fully self contained vehicles, the hosts were very welcoming. At $20 for the night a firepit, firewood and even a billard table is provided (and out of the weather, currently windy and raining)
The following morning we stopped at Huonville to get a few supplies before heading further down south. Fruit & berries are in abundance at the moment but as we had our supplies from the Salamanca Market we didn't need to stop. After Ida Bay we travelled 20 kilometres on dirt road to 'End of the Road' Australia's most southernmost street, it was marked with an old wooden plaque but has recently been updated with a modern steel sculpture. From here we walked a track to see the Southern Right Whale Sculpture. The day is extremely windy and cold, we had been advised that the best beach in Tassie is at Cockle Bay, but to our disappointment there was no sites available, so we ventured to other campsites until we came across Gilhams Beach and into the second access area and had the place to ourselves. Here we had to pull out the awning, put up the side wind protection as it was raining and swirling winds but a campfire was there to keep us warm. Once in DABUS, cooking up some spaghetti Bolognese, a quick and easy dinner for days like this, we spotted a pademelons, which are small marsupials. That one then became six with one young one, so we were naughty and fed them a few biscuits, it was interesting to watch the pecking order of these animals. We have seen a huge amount of these animals as roadkill all throughout Tasmania.
The wind and rain had not let up overnight, so the road out was quite muddy. DABUS now needs a good wash. At Lune River we stopped and purchase a crate (and a good size crate) of firewood for $15. Once back at Dover we were hoping we could purchase another crayfish, as in the waters here there are heaps of cray boats, but to no avail.
At Dover we turned right onto the coastal road, through Surveyors Bay and Police Point. This coastal road is stunning overlooking fish farms on the Huon River. We stopped at the Huon Aquaculture Farm Store, were we purchased some raw and smoked salmon along with some smoked salmon pate. The views across the Huon River and the harvesting pens are simply stunning. I got a full run down on the process of the farming and harvesting of the salmon, which from my work history as a QA Manager was intriguing to hear their processes and how they harvest the salmon at night time, so they are less stressed. At Geeveston we got out of DABUS and stretched our legs and walked the town and was not even tempted to enter 'The Wall of Lollies' shop. After fueling up at Huonville we turned right to travel the coastal road to Gordan and stopped the night at the free camp, it would be a fantastic spot with good weather.
The wind is still extreme and we can't even get out of DABUS, we are watching huge seaspray travelling high above the water mark. A sleepless night was had due to the extremely strong winds, it felt like DABUS was going to be SUBAD (tipped over), one motorhome left the campsight at 4am in the morning with others leaving right on dusk. As the strong wind is going to be around this area over the next two days, we changed our plans and decided not to go across to Bruny Island and have decided to head further north to get out of the wind and rain.
At Kettering we checked out the ferry to Bruny Island, from Kingston we took the coastal road back into Hobart and stopped the night at Ye Olde Buckland Inn, where we free camped out the back of the pub. We went in for dinner, just a steak sandwich and chips washed down with a couple of beers. Four other vehicles came in but not one of them went in to support the pub. The new owner had only just purchased it prior to Tasmanian's COVID lockdown and it would be great to see fellow travellers stopping and supporting these outback pub. A new toilet block, park BBQ and bins have only recently been put in, so all facilities are here. Still the wind has not let up so back in DABUS after dinner.
Waking up the following morning to blue skies, birds chirping and sun shinning, we got to have our breakfast outside before travelling onto Triabunna. At Triabunna we got some washing done before heading to 'The Fish Van', which we had been told not to miss it. We shared a seafood basket for lunch, enjoyed the sunshine and went for a walk down the marina.
After lunch our next stop was at Mayfield Beach, were we found a hidden gem, the Three Arch Bridge. This bridge, consists of three arches and was built in 1845 by convict labour, it is under the Tasman Highway, you could drive over it and not even know its there.
Further up the road is Spiky Bridge, again this bridge was built by convict labour back in 1843. It's claimed that the spikes were designed to prevent cattle falling over the sides of the bridge, though it turns out the real reason is to help the bridge weather the harsh winds.
Our night stop over was at The Pondering Frog café, a donation camp. Up bright and early the following morning and into the Freycinet National Park. Here we did the 3km return hike up to the Wineglass Bay Lookout, what a beautiful place.
We then followed the coast north and arrived at St Helen. Thinking we could get a campsite down at the Bay of Fires, we went in search. It's like Rye during peak season, and being the Thursday before a long weekend, not a site was to be had. So our night was spent at the RV stopover at St Helens, a roast dinner was on the menu and we enjoyed it with a bottle of red, with the serenity all around us.