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Making South toward Melbourne - Tassie Day 1

Travelling from Holgate to Euroa

all seasons in one day 24 °C

Note - our first trip to Tassie in 2011 can be found at -
http://peterjday.travellerspoint.com/

Monday
September 9, 2013
Holgate to Euroa
791km
Sunny, Windy and then, threatening to rain. 14-24 degrees
Feeling Great to be finally getting away.

Heading for Tassie .... again. Two years ago we were leaving for our first trip. But this time we have bikes.

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Left home around 10 with a lunch stop at Berrima. Our favourite pie shop. We shared a Lamb & Rosemary and a Steak Dianne Pie with a sausage roll chaser! Intending to try and make Beechworth but after phoning ahead for some accommodation, which turned out to be way overpriced, we pushed on to Euroa. Cheap cabin in the Euroa Caravan Park. I have always like Euroa. Lots of civic pride evident in and around the town and pretty close for our next day’s drive into Melbourne. Cauliflower soup from home and Peta’s Salmon Quiche for dinner.

Posted by peterjday 04:28 Archived in Australia Tagged tasmania tassie peterjday Comments (0)

Heading for the Spirit Of Tasmania - Tassie Day 2

Travelling from Euroa to Station Pier, Beacon Point to Bass Strait

Day 2
Tuesday
September 10, 2013
202km
Wet night, cool wind. 7 - 16 degrees
Feeling excited

Quick look around Euroa township and off to Melbourne. Williamstown via Western Ring Road and leave a note at John and Marianne’s place. Down to the waterfront as a fleet of tall ships have just arrived.

I have a new rule for this trip. If anyone advertises ‘The Best Coffee in ......’ – don’t go there. It is always bad! Tried a coffee at Cafe Carino and it’s OK. Bit put off by all these retirees in lycra on bikes. It’s an invasion – They’re everywhere – drinking coffee.

Stroll out to the dock to look at the beautiful old ships.
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Here comes the paranoia. We want to go into the city but where do we park the car so that our bikes (which are protected by a total of 6 padlocks, an industrial cable and a heavy gauge chain) and our travel possessions including laptop, cameras, all my GoPro accessories, ukulele, chocolate supplies, etc. are still there when we get back? Plus we don’t want to be too far away from the port so that some traffic snarl doesn’t stop us getting to the ship. We decide to park at Williamstown outside someone’s house so that it looks like we are inside just visiting. I covered the bikes with a tarp!

In to town only to find they have changed the ticketing system. We have to buy a new MyKi card ($6 each) but that lasts forever??? Then we put on $7 each which gives us unlimited travel for the day. A bit of spending in the outdoor shops around Little Bourke Street. Finally back to Williamstown for a quick catch up with Marianne and Elisa although John is still at work. They have sold and packing up house to move nearby.

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I think this lamp has some kind of magic power.

Made our way through arvo traffic to Port Melbourne. Gates open at 5pm and boarding 6pm for 7.30pm departure on the Spirit of Tasmania 1. We learnt from last time that it is best not to line up until after 6 or you just sit in the car, so we park the car in ‘a safe spot’. Plenty of good parking around the local streets. Pack our overnight supplies in a small bag and go for a waterside walk while we wait.
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Back to the car and through the gates around 6.15. I knew I had to hand in gas canisters as they get stored elsewhere on the ship. Except the security guy made me empty out my Shellite container and fill with water, even though I had checked on the website that it was OK.

Love driving up into the mouth of the ship to park the car.
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I got the laptop out once we were in our cabin (7026) to check the weather. Interesting..... Firstly, back home they had 32 degrees with bushfires, Hobart is freezing with snow down to 300 metres and Bass Strait has gale warnings with rough seas. One of the crew said not to worry and that the captain only makes announcements about the weather if it is really bad. We left Station Pier at 7.30pm into the calm waters of Port Phillip Bay, although the wind was really blowing outside. Then the captain made an announcement. When we would leave through the heads around 10 pm, we would experience bad weather. “Please do not go out on deck”. We took our travel sickness pills and attempted to go to sleep. We didn’t. Dead on 10pm the rock’n’rollin began. Heavy swell off the starboard side and quarter, banging into the side of the ship. Spray coming right up over the ship – and our cabin window which was on level 7 above the waterline.

Posted by peterjday 04:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Bass Strait Crossing down to Brickendon - Tassie Day 3

Travelling across Bass Strait to Devonport to Brickendon Estate, Longford

Wednesday
September 11, 2013

155km by road.
Clear Day, 6 - 12 degrees
Feeling zonked to the eyeballs.

Up, Up, Up, Dooowwwwnnnn Bang! Crash Up, sideways, roll, up ......

No video, no photos, no going for a walk. We just lay in bed, eyes closed hoping we can go to sleep so we don’t get sea sick. DON’T THINK ABOUT BEING SEA SICK! I bet there are people throwing up all over the place.

Good news – somehow we made it through the night without getting sick. The bad news is we both got very little sleep. Less than two hours each and broken into bits and pieces. Things got better from about 3.30 am when the direction of the swell changed to head on and the motion was a little more even.

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The ships wake up announcement around 5.45 and we are called down to the cars around 6.30am. Out of the stern of the ship and into a queue for quarantine inspections and to pick up our gas canisters. On the road and we cross the Mersey to a riverside park near Devonport CBD. It’s so cold and it takes forever to boil water for a cuppa and make toast for breakfast. Doesn’t take long for several locals on their morning walk to stop and make conversation. Friendly lot these Tasmanians. It’s pretty easy as long as you keep the discussion about the weather and they all seem to have a relation or two who live somewhere on the mainland.

Heading south we divert to Port Sorell to have a look. Quick stop at Ashgrove Cheese Factory and then on to Christmas Hill Raspberry Farm for a coffee. Love this place, warm open fire and free chocolate coated raspberries. Coffee is passable but a not so good aftertaste. At this stage I have hit the wall and my eyes feel like they are falling out of my head ... and it is so early in the morning.

A look around Deloraine and then to our farm cottage accommodation at Brickendon Estate.
Although we were early, we were still able to check in. Now if only I could have a little nap. IMG_0719_b..ndoncottage.jpg
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The view over the farm from our cosy nook.

Brickendon is a World Heritage listed site.
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It has been in the Archer family for seven generations – yes they still live here in the BIG HOUSES.
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It was first settled in 1824 and continuously operated by the Archers since then with a rich convict history. There are several large manors and lots of little cottages amongst the sheep farm and beautiful heritage gardens. DSC00275Gardners.jpg

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By staying here were able to freely wander around the place. There are so many free range animals. I like hanging around with turkeys.
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Our new friends.
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The chooks at our front door.
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After a 20 minute sleep I get to go on two long walks around the historical village and the estate gardens.

Then a freezing dusk bike ride across the paddocks on the track from Brickendon to Woolmers Estate (The other Archer family house) and back along the road. IMG_0805walk.jpg

To bed ... Please? It's a king size. Why would anyone want a king size bed? We could sleep 27 more people in here.

Posted by peterjday 03:34 Comments (0)

Cycling down Jacobs Ladder - Yipee! - Tassie Day 4

Staying at Brickendon Estate, Longford - Visiting Ben Lomond National Park

Thursday
September 12, 2013
192km
Clear Day, Minus 2 to 12 degrees
Feeling frozen to the finger bones

These guys have been working hard all night keeping Brickendon Estate financial while we were soundly sleeping.large_IMG_0806sheep.jpg

Today we’re heading off for the mountain bike ride of a lifetime??? Well that’s the theory anyway. After coming home from our last trip to Tassie, I noticed this picture of an amazing, European looking, mountain switchback in a promotional photo. But the photo didn’t say where it was. After a bit of researching I discovered that it was known as Jacobs Ladder and was the access road to Tasmania’s ski fields in Ben Lomond National Park.

But first a quick stop at Evandale for a coffee.
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I asked the guy in the leather shop which of the three cafes in town served the best coffee. He said none of them and recommended we go to nearby Perth to this trendy cafe ‘Ut Si’. So off we zoom to nearby Perth only to find, in typical Tassie style, Ut Si Cafe is closed for 7 days for a spring clean??? We settled for a nice coffee and shared our first scallop pie of the trip at the Devil Grill Cafe. Yum! Not so much curry with a hint of nutmeg.

Driving to Ben Lomond, following the big green road signs, the road soon became a two wheel track for some kilometres until it opened out into asphalt again to serve the logging trucks. The scenery is stunning.
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The turn off to Ben Lomond NP is a steady climb with snow on the side of the road.
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Arriving at the beginning of Jacobs Ladder is scary, if not overwhelming.
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The rock formations are amazing and tower over the landscape.
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It was also freezing with the car temp gauge registering minus 2 degrees - slippery and icy. I would hate to drive up here in the middle of winter. The view from the top is spectacular but, with the wind chill, I couldn’t actually hold my video camera steady without shaking.
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We drove on over snow and icy road to the now deserted ski resort. The season finished a couple of weeks ago.
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Good time to use the toilet. IT’S FROZEN!. The water in the taps was frozen as well.
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We were a bit concerned about getting stuck on the road as there was not a lot of life up there and the road was covered so we were glad to make it back to the top of Jacobs Ladder. IMG_0776road.jpg

Pat didn’t want to drive through this rock formation called Jacobs Gate which begins the descent so I drove the car down to the first corner to get the bike off. I was having second thoughts as I was so cold. Plus my bike was now covered in thick snow and mud from being on the back of the car after the mountain road. But I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. So the bike came off, put on my warm gear and GoPro and rode back up the hill so I could come down through Jacobs gate. This was a bit of a mistake because it stuffed my lungs riding so hard in Minus 2. I was wheezing for the rest of the day.

Jacobs Gate.
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Our bikes looking awesome!
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The ride down was fun! That's me nearly at the bottom with frozen knuckles.
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Back for a quick stop in Launceston (look at the music shop) and then on to the Tasmainian Gourmet Sauce Co at Longford. Funny how marketing has encouraged so many things to have either ‘gourmet’ or ‘eco’ in their name. Then to our lovely cottage at Brickendon for the night.

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Posted by peterjday 03:00 Comments (1)

Heading South to Hobart Town - Tassie Day 5

travelling from Brickendon Estate, Longford to Hobart

Friday
September 13, 2013
190km
Clear Day, Minus 1 - 11 degrees
Feeling pretty relaxed.

Another cold morning as we head south along the Midland Highway (known as the Heritage Highway Region). A quick stop at Campbelltown to look at a few antique shops and then a short drive to the quaint little town of Ross. Lovely just to stroll around and the ‘historical town walk’ is really well done.
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First, a walk through the site of the old Womens’ Factory.
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When we were in the old church I looked across at this 6 foot something teenage boy, (there was a school tour bus in town) and I noticed he looked over at me and said something to his mate. Should I or shouldn’t I? I’m not really sure. So I just said quietly, “Brody?”. He looked up and said in disbelief, “Mr Day!”... I taught Brody when he was in year 5. He is now in year 10 at Gosford High. He had said to his mate that he saw a guy who looked just like Mr Day, his old primary teacher.
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Many convict built buildings and an impressive old bridge. The convict who built it, Daniel Herbert, did such a good job they let him go free when he finished.
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We went to a cafe that advertised the ‘best vanilla slices in the world’. Following my rule number one, we didn’t have one so we’ll never know. We did have a coffee that was terrible! An inch of milk froth, no micro foam and just all round bad. $3.80! – If you charge that much you should know how to make a coffee.IMG_0823rosscoffee.jpg

We walked down to the other cafe in town and bought a couple of take away scallop pies. Nice – the usual curry flavour.

We then meandered down the Midland Highway, listening to Richard Fidler podcasts, and driving through little towns. Most villages have been bypassed so we generally had to detour off a couple of kilometres to have a look.

Next stop Oatlands, known for the big flourmill. We had a cuppa by the town's lake before walking around town. Lots of birdlife enjoying the wetland which makes me ask, "Why do birds stand on one leg all the time?". A few weeks ago Pat was feeling sorry for a seagull that only had one leg- and then it put its other leg down. Even the big swans are standing there on one leg???
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Pat was loving it but I am just getting to the “I don’t want to look at another convict built cottage” stage. I want to have a sleep.
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Arrived at Hobart at our little old cottage, 200 metres from the Cascade Brewery. We have the top floor of ‘Cascade View’ which is a little studio apartment.DSC00335CasView.jpg
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Beautiful aspect with winter sun pouring in the windows and a great view of Mount Wellington with Cascade Brewery in view over the rooftops at the foot of the mountain. And it’s warm.
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Went for a walk to South Hobart shops and Pat came back to walk up through Cascade Gardens and the brewery. I returned to the accommodation for a little rest.

Tomorrow ... Hanging in Hobart

Posted by peterjday 01:37 Archived in Australia Tagged tasmania hobart tassie brickendon Comments (0)

Salamanca Markets and Cascade Brewery - Tassie Day 6

Staying in Hobart Town

Saturday
September 14, 2013
18km by car
Clear Day, 3 to 13 degrees
Feeling ready for a big day.

Up early, off with the bikes and cruising down the nearby Hobart Rivulet cycle path which goes from the brewery into central Hobart. Cold fingers with gloves on! The path is really pretty as it follows the stream and then spits you out right into the middle of CBD traffic.
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Hobart does have a lot of cycleways but they tend not to join up. I guess if you were a local you would get to know how they all connect. After about 20 minutes we were at Salamanca Markets.
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The perfect couple.
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As we have a tour of Cascade Brewery booked at 11am we have to hot foot it around 10.15 back up the cycle path to home. But it’s up hill. I hate leaving things this close. By the time we lock the bikes back at our place, we are all hot and sweaty, and we are running up the road to make the tour. Luckily we made it just in time. The tour is really enjoyable. Such a spooky building.
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The brewery was first sited in 1824 and operated in 1832. Built with convict labour it was located on the stream to access the clean water from Mount Wellington. A great Tasmanian enterprise which is now owned by a South African Beer company.
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Originally all workers could drink as much as they want at any time during the working day. Then, up until the 1990s, this bell rang 4 times a day for a 10 minute free for all. Now the workers are provided a carton of beer once a fortnight. No drinking allowed.
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The price ($25) included a choice of a paddle of 6 beers, a mixed beer and cider paddle, or Cascade juices to be enjoyed after the tour. We also got a lunch vouchers for $15 which were really good value. I got the beer/cider paddle with Squid for lunch and Pat went for the juices and rump steak.
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The setting was beautiful sitting in the gardens.
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After feeling very relaxed we wandered back home via the old Cascade Womens' Factory.
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We then took the car down to Sandy Bay shops to restock and had a look around Sandy Bay.
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Finally, we drove back and parked in the CBD to visit the tourist information office, or should I say the tourist NON-INFORMATION office. That’s right .... not much help. Just trying to get info on cycle ways. We are redirected to the MONA info office. They are a bit more helpful but they hinted that there are a couple of councils involved – not talking to each other. A late afternoon wander around Salamanca and return home for yummy Lasagne.

Tomorrow – Biking Hobart.

Posted by peterjday 03:44 Archived in Australia Tagged tasmania salamanca tassie cascade_brewery Comments (0)

Cycling Hobart to Glenorchy Cycleway - MONA - Tassie Day 7

Staying in Hobart Town

Sunday
September 15, 2013
0km by car – heaps by bike
Clear Day, 0 to 16 degrees
Feeling at home in Hobart, want to stay a while.

Today was a massive day on the bikes and the weather was beautiful. Sunny, clear blue sky. Very little wind. Although, despite being cool, the sun is really getting to our skin. Both feeling a bit burnt and dried out.

On the bikes and down the Hobart Rivulet path from Cascade Brewery into town.
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We linked up to the Hobart Cenotaph. IMG_0875cenotaph.jpg Feels great to be in my cycle gear and wearing my cleats. It would have been nice to have my road wheels as I am riding with my 29er mountain tyres but I won’t complain. Great views up and down the Derwent.
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We then followed the ‘Intercity cycleway’ that runs adjacent to the railway line all the way to Glenorchy.
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It makes such sense having a cycleway next to a railway. Nice and flat sharing tunnels and bridges. Cycled by Government House and the Botanical Gardens with a brief stop at Cornelian Bay.
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The cycleway then starts to go through the ‘less scenic’ part of Hobart with Industrial and run down areas. Lots of tag graffiti. And we are hanging out for a coffee! So we left the path and made our way towards the river to link up with another cycleway that goes through Montrose Park, by the water. After a long ride we finally made our way to MONA as a turn around point. (Museum of Old and New Art).
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We love this place. Everything is just ... right. It’s such a creative space. Everyone seems happy. Lots of people, enjoying the sunshine, roaming around, sitting on the grass and just being at peace with the world! We had no intention of going into the gallery, as we have been before, so rather than go to the cafe inside we went to the Moorilla Wine Bar to order a well deserved coffee – but expecting to get a bit ripped off as it is a bit upmarket. Very stylish for a couple of old cyclists in their cycle gear. The best coffee! Fantastic. At Last. Latte art and everything.
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The toilet even has a big pivot entry door that Chris really likes. And really nice soap to wash your hands.

Pat dreaming of what could have been???
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We ordered a selection of breads to dip in olive oil for $5. A bargain. Life is good at MONA.
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One of the most photographed places at MONA. This is where you can park your Porsche when you are the brains and boss of MONA.
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Happy, we headed back through the Montrose waterfront with a view of Mona.
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We then reconnected with the intercity cycleway with a rest stop at the Botanical Gardens.
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Through the Hobart waterfront with views of the city with the harbour in the foreground and Mt Wellington in the background.DSC00383ixl.jpg
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And a trip around Battery Point before riding back to our home.
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Good old Arthurs Circus and Postman Pete checking the map.
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Tomorrow - Great Southern Land.

Posted by peterjday 02:52 Archived in Australia Tagged tasmania hobart mona tassie Comments (0)

Huon Valley all the way down south - Tassie Day 8

Hobart to Huon Valley to Ida Bay back to Snug.

Monday
September 16, 2013
228 km by car
Cloudy and a bit miserable, 7 to 14 degrees
Feels so good to wake up on a Monday morning, no work and have the day in front of us - heading way down south A bit sad to leave Hobart.

Our body clocks seem to have adjusted so that we wake up around 7am in the morning - nice.

Any photos today?
No.
Why?
Didn’t take any.
How come?
Didn’t really feel like it!

Pat took a couple.

Today is a tour by car day down into the southernmost part of Tasmania that is accessible by car. (On sealed road that is) Up over the hill out of Hobart and into Huonville. A visit to the information centre and I asked about budget accommodation. We were told that things are really quiet and that everyone is on winter rates – we should have no trouble getting something for less than $100. So off we head down the A6 Huon Highway. Very pretty as the road follows the fishing communities along the Huon River and Dentrecasteaux Channel. A sign boasts “The best scallop pies in Tasmania”. Well we’ll never know will we. Sure way to lose a sale. Remember rule number one.

Paused for a cuppa stop at a very windy Dover overlooking Port Esperance.
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Time to start inquiring about accommodation. Top dollar for pretty ordinary stuff. No bargaining here. We continued on to Southport.
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The southernmost pub in Australia. Don’t bother – it’s a recently built brick dump of a building. Not worth a picture.

As we travel farther south the country becomes much less scenic. I don’t know how to describe it but it just doesn’t have the right feeling. Not the usual beautiful Tassie towns. Lots of old fibro places and heaps of properties displaying For Sale signs. Vegetation becoming a bit coastal scrubby. We kept checking for budget accommodation but it was just not happening.

We lost the ashphalt and drove around through Lune River and stopped at Ida Bay where they have a narrow guage tourist railway. I walked into the shop to ask about the road condition as Pat was keen to travel another 30km to the end of the road at Cockle Creek. All I could here was a very loud woman, I think the owner of the shop, who had two poor guys (who had purchased a meal in the cafe) trapped - listening to her stories. “NOW I AM NOT RACIST ..... BUT ..... and then I heard her saying something about blacks and immigrant workers. Time to go! She motioned to a teenage girl to serve me and I asked her about the road conditions. Not a lot of help except that the dirt road apparently is pretty rough. Time to turn around.

As we backtracked the accommodation situation became a bit of a worry. Plenty available but so expensive. It was late afternoon and we hadn’t had lunch - everyone had sold out of scallop pies. Stopped at Geeveston to have a look at the Forest & Heritage Centre - a nice little town. B & B for $80 (The Bears) but when we asked in a couple of shops the best place to stay they all hinted that they wouldn't touch it. After feeling a bit frustrated we ended all the way back at Huonville Tourist Info and the nice lady booked us into a beachside cabin at Snug Caravan Park overlooking Bruny Island. So back over the mountain to the east side.

It turned out that the cabins are brand new and really comfortable.
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Tomorrow, Annies Cottage here we come!

Posted by peterjday 01:57 Archived in Australia Tagged tasmania tassie huon_valley Comments (0)

Heading for the East Coast - Tassie Day 9

Travelling from Snug to Orford

Tuesday
September 17, 2013
224 km
Overcast, 10 to 14 degrees
Feeling a little beachy.

A little walk along the beach at Snug before breaky after a comfortable and relaxing nights sleep. Pat found a starfish.
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This would be a great place in summer, especially with kayaks. I would recommend this caravan park for camping/caravanning. Quite a mild morning I guess due to the overnight cloud cover. After bacon and eggs we head south travelling around the D’Entrecasteaux Channel Peninsula. Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni d'Entrecasteaux was a French Navigator who must have been pretty important as they named an island, a channel and a peninsula after him. He explored the Australian coast in 1792. Beautiful coastal scenery with views across to Bruny Island and quaint cottages. Houseproud and well kept gardens with rich grazing farmland and native forests. Gourmet Farmer country (Matthew Evans TV show). Last time we spotted him in his ute around Kettering but not this time. His ‘Fat Pig Farm’ is around here somewhere but I couldn’t find it.

Around Gordon waterfront.
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Between Verona Sands and Cygnet looking across Port Cygnet to Esperance Point.
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Cygnet is a lovely little town. Nice coffee at the Old School House Cafe (although after we found the Red Velvet Lounge Café which looks great - Damn!) and some apples from a roadside stand. Back up the Huon Valley to complete the circuit passing through Huonville again. Back to Hobart via the Ferntree road that runs around the side of Mt Wellington. Really beautiful although slow going with all the bends, curves and mountain views.

Next stop Richmond. Now some people visit Richmond for its rich early Tasmanian history, the famous bridge, the beautiful cottages and examples of early architecture, the historic churches and graveyards or maybe the shopping for antiques and cottage crafts. Not us. We’re here for the pies!!! Last trip, Pat reckoned the Richmond Scallop pie WAS the best in Tassie, even though they didn’t advertise it. (Proof of rule one) So we are back for more. While Pat bought a scallop pie ($7.50) I decided to be adventurous and opted for a Cauliflower and Cheese ($4.75) which we ate with a cuppa while we sat overlooking the famous historic bridge that everyone else had come here to look at. The pies are ... AMAZING!.... while we pretended to photograph the bridge. Pat reckons they are the softest and freshest scallops.
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In fact, after finishing our pies, we went back to buy a couple more to take with us to have for dinner.

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Hit the road and drive through the rolling green hills from Richmond over to Orford. After Buckland, a really interesting drive between the cliff and the water alongside the Prosser River on the Tasman highway. It was starting to rain.

Our next accommodation is the beautiful Annie’s Cottage which is high up on a hill overlooking Orford. 4 km climbing on a dirt road, which becomes a track and then, after negotiating the locked gate (We have been given the code!) a two wheel track, we finally arrive. Spectacular. Although it’s misty, amazing views out to Maria Island and the coast. We are a bit isolated and my mind wanders to what I would do if confronted by an axe murderer. What if they know the lock combination? How do we get away in a hurry if the gate is locked?

The cottage is beautifully built using recycled timbers. Lots of slab timber, stone and windows to take in the view. Love it. It is so well equipped.
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A great open fire and I don't even have to chop any firewood.
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Even the shower has a view of Maria Island. ..... But does that mean everyone on Maria Island can see me in the shower?
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A quick drive back down through the gate to get some supplies from Triabunna and Orford and back up for a cosy night by the fire. The weather was deteriorating.

Is the door locked?

Tomorrow, exploring the area but not Maria Island ... that’s another story!

Posted by peterjday 17:40 Archived in Australia Tagged tasmania tassie snug peterjday orford annies_cottage cygnet Comments (0)

Lazy Sheltering from the Rain - Tassie Day 10

Orford

Wednesday
September 18, 2013
47 km
Solid mist and rain, 9 to 13 degrees
Feeling a bit of cabin fever

Stormy, stormy night,
Howling wind, torrential rain, cosy in our isolated hill top cottage.
It’s official. Tasmania is on ‘Flood watch’ – with severe weather warning.

Yesterday I didn’t take a shot of the view of Maria Island as it was a bit misty. Big mistake. The hilltop has been inside a cloud ever since. This has been our view most of the day.
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The cottage has a good washing machine and dryer so Pat has been going mad washing and drying. Either I have grown overnight or my pants and long sleeve top have shrunk!

Now there is a bit of a story about our trip out to Maria Island which was meant to happen today. When we organised the trip there were a few dates to work around. One was to be in Hobart for the Saturday Salamanca Markets and the Wednesday ferry service to Maria Island. So we booked our most expensive accommodation on the Tuesday and Wednesday night at Annie’s Cottage so that we could spend the Wednesday riding our bikes around the island. It would have been a highlight of the trip. When we came over on the boat, we were told officially when we bought our National Parks ticket that the ferry service to the island would be free this week. Too good to be true??? Last week, I rang to book tickets on the ferry. We were told that the Wednesday service was not going to run. (Good time to make it free!) After many phone calls to both ferry services, and phone calls back there was no budging. (I sense there is friction between the two and the tourist info that does the booking) Not very impressed. Not very good PR East Coast Ferry Services and No Thanks for your lack of help, Maria Island Ferry. The funny thing is we have saved our money as the weather is so bad we couldn’t have gone anyway. What better way to be closed in by the weather than in our best accommodation?

After a very lazy morning and late brunch we hopped in the car and slushed along the muddy track, down the hill, into town. First to Triabunna Tourist info. We stunned the lady when we asked what we could do for a day in the town. She was flabbergasted. She suggested we go to Hobart, or Swansea, or anywhere. She couldn’t really grasp the concept that we wanted to do something in the local area.

Too wet to go walking or riding so we explored both Triabunna and Orford in the car. Had a look at a few brave hearts surfing as we strolled along a bit of the coastal walking track. This view is from Shelley Beach looking back at the hill where we were staying. Annie's cottage would be directly in the middle of this shot at the top. large_DSC00407surf.jpg

Pat managed to get a glimpse of Shelley Beach for a moment. This shot is looking down to where the last shot of the surfers was taken,
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Back into Orford for some more supplies. The IGA supermarket in Triabunna is fully carpeted. Now that’s a shopping experience.

Back up the hill to our misty home and, wait for it, an afternoon of watching DVDs by the open fire. Yes! Watching a DVD during daylight hours.

And now a world first. Pictures of Pat in the bath. Bit like a member of the Royal Family getting snapped by paparazzi.
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We also hear that those Tall Ships we saw in Williamstown are sailing for Hobart.

Tomorrow and beyond. The plan was to camp at Freycinet National Park the next two nights but who knows with the weather? Not looking good. We may be in the market for some more luxury accommodation around Bicheno. Meanwhile we'll just enjoy keeping warm.
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Posted by peterjday 02:15 Archived in Australia Tagged tasmania tassie orford annies_cottage Comments (2)

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