17 Mar Tasmania 2020 – 1st to 13th March
Tasmania has proved to be just as beautiful as we remembered from our first trip in 2008, and we are enjoying the drives through the mountains and countryside and finding the interesting and somewhat challenging natural attractions – and picking blackberries along the roadside now and then.
1st March 2020
Leaving Buckland we headed towards Hobart and stopped in at the Tasmanian Bushland Garden along the way. This is a beautiful native garden in an old rock quarry site, which has been transformed over a number of years by a group of dedicated volunteers. It has a diverse range of native plants and bushes and several very interesting sculptures.
Next door is a berry farm where we had a coffee and homemade raspberry & white chocolate muffin, but unfortunately it was the last trading day of the season and there were no more berries for sale.
Then on to Sorell RV stop for the night.
2nd March 2020
It poured overnight and was cloudy and windy in the morning. We had an appointment at an Auto Electrician to check the dash-cam (stopped working after the first 2 days of the trip) and our RV batteries, which seemed to be running down too fast. The dash-cam problem was traced to the voltage converter, so we will have to claim that on warranty with the Auto electrician who supplied and fitted it when we get back home. The RV batteries are not the best quality and are not going to last long, so we will look at replacing them with lithium batteries when we get home.
After that we drove to South Arm RSL club for the night – but before settling in we went along to Opossum Beach and found a series of geocaches on the way back.
3rd March 2020
A much better day and we went to Mt Field National Park for 2 nights. The sun was enough to power up our batteries so we took an unpowered site and went off to do the walks to Russell Falls and Horsehoe Falls, finding 2 geocaches along the way.
There were a lot of steps on the walk but no problem for us. The rainforest is lovely there and the tree ferns the biggest I have ever seen.
This forest contains the tallest flowering trees in the world (Eucalyptus Regnans) and they live for up to about 400 years.
The next day we set off to do the longer circuit walk to Lady Barron Falls, which we thought were the prettiest of the falls. Again, the forest was beautiful and well worth the effort.
It rained heavily overnight and our site was a lake when we looked out. We decided to move on to a powered site as soon as someone else left, and spent a couple of hours getting sorted out and moving on to a very muddy site, but at least we had power! It rained the whole day so we stayed in the motorhome reading, catching up on emails and so on.
6th March 2020
No rain, so we packed up and moved out. We drove to New Norfolk stocked up on groceries and then went to Tarraleah Mountain Resort caravan park. This is an old hydro scheme workers camp which has been transformed into a very pleasant conference centre cum resort and has beautiful big caravan sites.
There are various walks through rainforest and great views over the hydro power infrastructure and pipelines. We stayed 3 nights there enjoying some good weather and the walks.
An early departure and then up the mountain to the Derwent Bridge Hotel car park where we parked next to friends Sue and Jim, for the first time since we went our separate ways after Launceston. We all went to The Wall for a few hours to see the amazing wood carvings (which cannot be photographed but you can see some of it on their web site at www.thewalltasmania.com.au ) followed by the best scones, Jam & cream we have had. We splashed out and bought the photo books of the Wall, so we can enjoy them again at home.
After that we went to Laughing Jacks Lagoon road to get a geocache but also to look at an old water pipeline constructed from timber. This was constructed in the early 1900’s and sections of it are still in use today.
Then on to Lake St Clair for a look at the resort and the lake, which lies at the end of the famed Overland Track, a 6 night trek from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. We looked around the surrounding areas, finding a few geocaches. That night we had dinner at the Derwent Bridge Hotel, very good and with a log fire in the dining room it was very cosy.
10th March 2020
A very cold and foggy morning, but the sun soon came out. We went to find a cache nearby, then parted company again with Sue and Jim. They went south and we went north, to Deloraine RV stop via the Marlborough Highway (gravel road) and the Highland Lakes Road past the Great Lake.
At Little Pine Lagoon it was sad to see the burnt landscape from bush fires, but there are signs of recovery and hopefully it will be green again soon.
The scenery was spectacular and although the gravel road was rocky and sometimes corrugated it was a good drive.
11th March 2020
To the Berry Patch at Ulverstone for the night, a free camp in the grounds of a berry farm with a great farm café. We indulged in 2 pizzas for lunch, the first a bacon, egg and chorizo topping and the second a rhubarb and berry dessert topping with icecream – very delicious. We also bought strawberries and jam. The weather was once again sunny and warm and it was good to be able to sit outside for a while in the sun – and walk up the road picking blackberries.
We introduced our caravan neighbours to geocaching this morning and showed them how to find a nearby cache. Then we went for a final coffee in the café and took the scenic drive up to Leven Canyon. There are 2 walks to lookouts, one to a high point and one to a lower point, with a set of steps joining the 2 together, and a geocache to be found. As there are 697 steps we elected not to do that part.
So, we headed off to the high lookout on a fairly easy climbing gravel track, admired the view and walked back to the car park to start the 2nd walk to the other lookout, which was also fairly easy but very steep going down and also had a great lookout.
Frans was in charge of the GPS and discovered the geocache was actually back up at the high lookout – so 697 steep steps later we arrived back at the top, found the cache and then staggered back to the car park. Surprisingly we recovered quickly even with Frans’ lung problems and me with a head cold. All the walking we have been doing lately must have improved our fitness level!
We were booked in to the Blue Wren van park at Ulverstone so we checked in and had a very late lunch, followed by happy hour around the fire, a walk across the road to the shore, and an early night.
Another very wet day so we are staying put and catching up with this blog, photos, emails and boring stuff like insurance renewals and looking forward to lunch at the café just a few steps away.