Tasmania 2004
 
4 January to 27 January.
 
We arrived 7 PM in Devonport. All we did was buy milk and find a spot to camp. We slept near the beach and when we woke up parked the bus beside the beach and had our first breakfast in Tasmania. While we explored Devonport we bumped in to people we parked besides at the Motorhome Club Rally in Toowoomba. They live in Devonport. After we got more groceries we decided to explore the top west first. All the distances here are very close together. You only have to drive ten minutes and you are in a different place. We had a ride in a steam driven train. First night in Burnie. Here we stopped in a park where platypus live. We hopped out of the car and there was one frolicking right in front of us. It put up a very spectacular show. We saw a few platypus that night and the following morning.

6 January and the first time that someone told us that we could not sleep there. There was no sign saying that camping is not allowed. In Wynyard Susan saw a 70 year old set of sterling silver cutlery set in a wooden box. $50 later and we had to find a place for it in the bus and Susan over the moon. Off to Stanley. A very picturesque village with  lot of history. We are spending the night at the beach here. A very interesting place with a lot of spectacular views.



Stanley beach.  There supposed to be penguins here. The house in the background was the residence of the head of the Van Diemens Cattle property around 1835.
 

The weather till now was cold with occasional showers. All Tasmanians told us that it was unusual cold but the tourists said this was what they had so far. A lot of strong wind. 7 January and another free camp. This is an official one and there are a lot of surfers. The rain has cleared but the wind is very strong. Probably normal for this part of the world as there is a large wind farm nearby. 8 January The tourist guide did not say much about further west but seen we are we might as well continue to the end of the road. Sealed road that is because there are hundreds of KM of unsealed roads used by the loggers. But they named the place Edge of the World. From here we drove back more inland to Cradle Mountain. The landscape became more hilly and rugged. Cradle Mountain is a must see place. A haven for bushwalkers or recreational walkers like us. First day we walked around Dove lake. We were able to camp on the car park from the visitor centre. There were a few others doing the same thing. Next day we did a walk over the boardwalk. I did another walk by myself to the top of a lookout.

 

9 January half way the afternoon we left Cradle Mountain and headed west again till we saw a sign "Dam". We went in and decided to set up camp. We camped on top of a dam looking out over the lake with mountains in the background. No caravan park can compete with that. Even a hot shower in the nuddy outside. At night a bit of rain but during the night it was not as cold as it has been.  10 January a bit overcast but during the day it cleared up and got fairly warm. We got to Strahan late in the morning and booked in to a caravan park because Susan needed to do the washing. Strahan is a real holiday destination.  We heard that there were whales on he beach nearby but they were 11KM driving on the beach and we did not want to take the motor home there. So we were on the way again this time heading west. The next stop Queenstown. This is a old mining town (copper). Because it is mined underground there is no timber left on the hills around the place. Old buildings and an interesting museum. We spend a few hours here. More west and in to the hills.

We camped in the Gordon/Franklin national park. The hot water system used again for the shower. Next day towards Launceston. We took the road besides the Great Lake which shows up as a major road on our map but there was 60KM dirt road. The view was good and the road not too bad. We got in to Launceston around 3PM and had a stroll through town after we visited the information centre. There are a lot of old stone buildings. We found a nice camping spot in a park besides the inlet. Next day we went to Cataract Gorge. A very nice spot to be and a favourite of the locals already for 150 Years. We walked for over an hour. Time for a drive and we did the wine route. Back over the Bat bridge to Launceston and the museum. A very interesting display on the railway history. After that off to the Boag's beer factory for a tour . This lasted 1.5 Hr. and of course the tasting afterwards. At night we were having dinner with friends from Townsville who have been living in Tasmania already for 15 Years. This was very pleasant. We left fairly late and tried to find the same camping spot we had the night before but could not find it and spend the night in an industrial area. As soon as we woke up we drove to the centre of town and had breakfast in Albert park.

4 January.  This time off to Scamander via the scenic route. Not just scenic, it is constantly up and down and sharp turns. Not a lot of traffic on the road. The reason for being here this time of the trip is because Paul Dingjan turned 50. And we new that there would be a lot of people we new from Townsville. They came from West Australia, Sydney, Tasmania and 5 from Holland. It was a great atmosphere. We were there already a day before. Saturday was party time and Sunday recovery time. We left again on Monday.


Party Australia style. A Barby in the back yard.
 

We really felt at home when we passed Cranbrook.
 

17 January. We drove nearly all the way to Hobart taking the coast road which is very scenic. Just past Sorell we found a nice spot at 5 mile beach. Another hot shower in the cold wind. The days are sunny and not too windy. The night was freezing at least to us Queenslanders. Next day finally found an internet cafe and was able to update this and send some Emails. From there we took the coast road to Eaglehawk Neck where there were spectacular rock formations like on the Great Ocean Road. We stayed overnight in the harbour. Great views and the night was not s cold.   19 January and we drove to Port Arthur. This is a famous penal settlement and there are still a lot of buildings standing. First we booked in to a caravan park and Susan did the washing. As soon as that was on the line off to the convict site. There is very little left of the original settlement but the way they have set it up gives you an idea of the way it was. Luckily the ticket is valid for two days because we did not see it all first off. The second day we walked around for another few hours and drove towards Hobart. We spend the night at the same spot at 5 mile beach. Hobart was only 20 KM away and we arrived there early in the morning. It is the smallest capital city of Australia 100 000 people and most live on a hill with great views. First stop the information centre and we booked a bus tour around the city. Also on the bus were Ian and Val who we met at the party in Scamander and also bumped in to in Port Arthur. This gave us an idea of where everything is in Hobart. We spend a few hours in the national museum and decided to go to a lookout on the other side of the Derwent river. Magnificent views of the city and the main bridge. We also found a nice camping spot near the beach. 



Hobart across from the river.

                21 January. Next morning early away to find a parking spot in the city because the Salamanca markets are famous Tasmania wide. Hundreds of stalls selling mainly handicrafts. We had an oliebol to keep us going. Early in the afternoon we drove to Bruny Island. The ferry was only $21 to get us across. Found a camping spot and after dinner drove to where the penguins go to land. Tis was the fist night I used my warmest jacket. It was freezing cold but saw heaps of penguins and mutton birds. Next morning a 3 Hr. walk to special  steep cliffs and spectacular views. Susan telling me she is never going to do this again. After lunch drove to the south of the island and found a camping spot in the national park. This was the worst road we have had on our trip. Potholes everywhere. Quiet camping spot with a nice beach. Next morning drove to the north of the island and lined up for the ferry at lunch time. From Kettering south. Wherever possible we are taking the coast road. But this part of Tasmania is particularly pretty. Islands in the distance, long white beaches and hilly countryside.  We spend the night in Gordon. A free camping site. Those places are on the map but there are only a few houses. Next day to Cygnet, Huonville, Geeveston, Dover and Southport. This is as far south as you can get without leaving the bitumen. It was a hot day, 27 and decided to go for a swim. The only reason not the hot day but there were hot springs here. The springs were not that hot but it was comfortable to swim in. I did not have a swim since Lightning Ridge and the thermal springs there. They were hot at 41. We had o drive the same way back. Camped in Kingston. Susan ha heard the Woolworth had a lot of Dutch stuff and wanted t check it out. We forgot that that day was Australia day and the shop closed.  It is getting very close to the end of the trip. All we still have to do is drive north through the middle. We visited the mother of Paul's friend in Campbell town and stayed overnight in Conara. Next day off to Launceston where we visited an acquaintance in hospital. After that a visit to the museum and of to Devonport via Port Sorell. Davonport is the least exciting place we have been to.  All other places have old buildings or something else of interest. We had another walk through town parked the car beside the river had dinner, watched some tennis and seven at night drove to the ferry. It left exactly at nine. All we did watched some tennis and went early to bed. We had a four person cabin for the two of us. It looked first class. Toilet, shower and very neatly presented. My watch had stopped working a week earlier so I had no idea of the time. Woke up at five and had a walk around the boat. A lot of people asleep on benches and the floor. Went back to bed and the intercom woke us at six. We drove off the boat at seven.