Tasmania 2020 B

We spend Sunday night close to the boat. We slept here several times over the years as well as a lot of others who go on the boat. The boat trip was uneventful. Ten hours. You are not allowed to take any fruit or vegetables in to Tasmania. We arrived late in the afternoon and spend the night in the car park of Woolworths. Next morning we drove a whole 30 KM to Penguin and found a camping spot overlooking the ocean.  Next day another 30 KM to Burnie. There is a river with platypus in it because we have seen it years ago but despite spending hours looking, nothing. Another camp overlooking the ocean. In Wynyard there is a Dutchman that grows tulips but never in bloom when we are there. Another crop they grow here are poppies. Tasmania produces 50% of the legal world trade. It is a lovely part of Tasmania. Rolling hills and fantastic views. There is also a picturesque lighthouse. Another 40 KM and Stanley. This is famous for the hill called the Nut. There is a cable car to the top but that is no fun. I have been up there several times over the years but this was the first time there was no gale force wind.
                                       Poppy field                                                                                The Nut at Stanley
31 January. We did not travel very far. Smithton and a nice spot in the harbour. Walking distance from town which was good so we could have dinner in town. The road to Marrawah is away from the coast and a bit wobbly. But the camping area is at the coast. From our site we could see the ocean. There were quite a few others camped here also. Next day was cold and rainy, so we decided to stay another day. It was still windy and drizzly but that happens when you near the edge of the world. This time we did not take the boat trip on the Arthur River. Just after we left here the brake light went on on the dashboard.   When I tried to stop in a turnout the bus just kept slipping towards a drain. Luckily it stopped just before that. There was enough brake fluid, so something else must have gone wrong. As I found out later the gray water tank had moved backwards and rubbed a hole in the flexible brake line and only the front brakes worked. Had to drive very carefully back to Smithton where we stopped overnight near the harbour again. Here was a flat bit of asphalt ant this is when I found out about the oil leak. Next day saw the two garages the town has and one of them agreed to let me stay there when I took the grey water tank out which took me a couple of hours. The courier picked up the part and brought it to Burnie where a new one had to be manufactured. Early the next afternoon I had the new part and again a few hours to put it all back together. Ready to roll again late afternoon. Stayed the night at tall timbers overnight stop. Time to get ready for the Devonport rally. Firs the Laundromat in Wynyard. We did not have enough coins to get all the washing dry. Camped again near the ocean just to put the washing lines out. This also gave me time to repair a grey water hose. Only 40KM from Devonport and decided to stay here for the night.
6 February. Next morning empty cassette and fill the water tank more shopping and ready for the rally. When we got there we heard that there were only 150 motorhomes booked.  When we walked around we saw a few familiar faces or people who recognised us from previous rallies.
                     Edge of the world                                                                 Davenport CMCA rally                             

Monday 10 Feb. After the free BBQ time to hit the road again. Spend the night in Evandale. We will be back here on the 22nd for the Penny Farthing championships. After a small detour through Campbelltown on to Scamander where we spend a few days with Lies Schippers and Paul Dingjan. We know them from when they lived in Townsville. The weather is on and off rain and sunshine. On Friday further north to the Bay of Fires. This time we were lucky to have a spot overlooking the ocean. Two years ago we tried the same spot but all booked out. First day here the weather cleared and no wind. What a difference one night makes. No rain, but overcast and a very strong wind which made for a very rough sea. We stayed here for four days. The weather is slowly clearing up. Tuesday we drove around Binalong bay. Beautiful place. Can well imagine why it is so popular.

    Bay of fires we are one of the white dots.                                                     Binalong Bay        

Time to move on again. Only 50 KM to Derby. This is Australia's BMX capital. There are tracks throughout the hills. My turn to cook again and the meal in the pub was to our liking. Another 50 KM next day to Scottsdale. This free camp was packed. Hot showers and toilet always attracts a lot of campers. Every time we turned on the radio there were ads for the local bakery spruiking their pies. They were very good. After that we sat in the van all day because it was cold and raining. Inside, with the heater on very comfortable.
Thursday 20th, clear skies but 7 degrees when we woke up. Luckily it warmed up quickly. First stop Bridgeport lavender farm. We should have been here a few month earlier because the harvest was just finished. The photo shows how it would have looked. Next the big smoke, Launceston. Fill up with fuel and alcohol and out again. Gravelly beach overnight stop overlooking the Tamar river.  

                                       Lavender farm before and after harvesting                                          Penny farthing championships Evandale

Off to Evandale for the penny farthing championships and the markets. It was a full day of walking around, bikes, market stalls, old costumes and car displays. Next day market day. This took a couple of hours. And heading south. Clarendale is an stately home from the early 1800s. last time we were here we were not allowed inside because of renovations. They are still ongoing but we were allowed inside this time. Very grand in it's day but no toilet, running water or electricity. Kitchen in a separate building. A lot of the penny farthing riders had a social get together here. Next stop Campbell Town for an overnight stop. There are all old (For Australia) settlement towns where most infrastructure is build by convicts. Heading east again to the coast. We found a picturesque beach Little beach. Hardly anyone there the ocean in front of us and a small fresh water stream beside us. Two nights here and off to Wineglass bay in the Freycinet Peninsula.  This is one of Tasmania's most famous destinations. This time we did not buy a National park pass so I had to buy a one day pass because there was one walk I had not done previously. It took two days to get in to Hobart. Luckily the weather cooperated. around 23 during the day and dry although during the night the wind was so strong it rocked the bus and blew my spare tyre cover off. The main reason to go to Hobart is the Salamanca market. It is huge and a wide variety of wares. All we bought was food. Next day to Naomi Black and John Jones. Naomi is family from Susan. They invited us for a BBQ and they really packed out. Later in the afternoon drove to Hamilton where we camped for the night. Overnight the temperature plummeted to 13 degrees. During the day we must have climbed a fair bit because the temperature went down to 8 degrees. We did not drive very far and camped beside a lake. We did not see any of the other campers outside. Windy and 10 degrees. This would be a beautiful spot if the sun was shining and 25 degrees. 

                                Wineglass bay                                                                      Our overnight camp in Hobart
Drove via Queenstown to Sheffield. We got there early for the steamfest. Saw on a pamphlet that if you volunteered you did not have to pay for camping and entrance. Signed up the next day. I did not have to work very hard. Collating pamphlets. Assisting at the gate or the train crossing. After five days Steamfest all over.  Because of the volunteering I did not see as much as I would have done but all in all a good experience.
                    Susan watching the steam engines                                                  Seals at Bruny Island                           

Tuesday 10 March. Heading south towards Hobart again. On the way down we passed  "for Australia" old towns build by convicts. Houses build out of local sand stone. We planned a boat trip to Bruny Island. The weather was deteriorating and we booked the day before it really turned nasty. There is nothing worse than taking an open fast boat trip when it is raining. The day turned out well. We saw spectacular coast line, seals dolphins, an albatross and lots of other birds. The day was perfectly organised. Lunch ready when we got back. Next day towards cockle creek. Two years ago we had a nasty incident on this road when we nearly ran of the road. See Tasmania 2018. This time lots of rain and cold days and nights. The heater is working overtime. This time we did not pay for an national park pass and we can not enter as we did before. But there is plenty to see outside the parks. And also no pleasure walking in the rain.
However the oysters were still plentiful. An I got a few dozen each morning. Only one day with sunshine and I made a few walking trips.
17 March. Travelling north again and still 10 days to go before we go on the Spirit of Tasmania.

                      Oyster Kilpatrick                                                                                  Us with Gwen Renaldis

This time the trip north was uneventful. Spend the night with Troy Sharpe in Hobart. He is an old friend from Paul and he lived with us for a short while long ago. Next stop Oaklands and Gravelly Beach for the night. Every night is getting colder. The next three night were spend with Gwen Rinaldis. She is a member of out motorhome club and we met years ago and now living in Tasmania. She had a few jobs for me to do which I liked. She lives north of Launceston. We had a very pleasant three days here. In the meantime it is very frustrating with the Corona virus as far as our travelling plans are going. The last few days were spend overlooking the ocean near Penguin. The weather even cooperated.
Nobody is allowed to enter Tasmania luckily we are allowed to leave. But all the other state borders are closed. It is going to be very debatable if we can reach Townsville. We will find out in the next few weeks.


29 March. We are back on the mainland. Parked in front of a tyre place for the night and got 6 new tyres for the bus. We arrived at Paul's place later in the afternoon and Paul came back from work about 6PM. We had a pleasant evening with him early to bed for Paul because his alarm clock went of at 5AM. Susan had to do the washing first and because it was a beautiful day everything dry by 3PM and on the way north. First night in Shepparton. Only 70 KM from the border. When we got there there was no evidence of any border control. The second day we drove 300 KM and I plan to do this every day unless we pass a nice camping spot. Still over 2000 KM to go.
The difference in the landscape. When we drove down, everything was brown after years of drought. Also with all the bushfires down south. This time everything is lush and green. The farmers will be happy after years of destocking the cattle. We drove for two days with  heavy rain.
The route we take after Shepparton is, border crossing at Cobram. No border checks. Narrendera, Parkes and overnight in Dubbo. Walgett overnight stop closed because of the virus. Other end of town a boat ramp with a parking area.  Only one hundred KM from the Queensland border. Had a quick stop in Lightning Ridge. When you get in to town there is a sign population ???? There are a lot of people who want to disappear. When we got to the border one policeman and one bureaucrat. Only wanted to see my drivers licence to prove that I am a Queensland resident. No drama at all. 

Did a spot of fishing in Dubbo. To big to put in the freezer that's why I towed it to the next available BBQ.                        No luck for us.
Fuelled up in St George. The fuel price is not going down here as fast as on the coast. 124.7 C/L Only a few days to go to get home. The route we chose is the shortest but also the most boring. Hundred of KM between places and only huge farms. Some crops wheat and corn.
After St. George: Roma, Emerald, Clermont, Charters Towers and home.


Arrived home Wednesday morning  8th of April.
Total days travelling 99.
Total KM 9970


Last camp site