A Travellerspoint blog

Week 7, Roaming Tasmania, Australia

Tuesday 30th January
Today can you believe it was clear blue skies and it reached 23 degrees, it was what we call a beautiful spring day, oops but it is Summer. Later in the evening the breeze blew up.
A drive along the road towards Middleton was windy and scenic. We took a turn towards the waters edge and found some historical sites with historical markers.

Middleton and Gordon, where we are staying, are settlements which had very early European contact by Bruni D'Entrecasteaux in 1792-1793. After 1804 settlers from Hobart explored the area and developed whaling and timber cutting. Permanent settlement occurred from 1850s, and John Watson, owner of the Slip Cottages, had his slipway at Middleton. So well known was the timber industry in the region, a long length of pit swan timber was sent to the Great Exhibition in London and declared by newspapers as the 'Largest Plank in the World'.
Much of Gordon and Middleton was destroyed in the bushfires of February 1967, killing 62 people. Gordon never quite recovered, as many municipal buildings weren't rebuilt. Even the brick footings of the local church are all that can be seen at our campsite.
Slip Cottages
The four original 'slip' cottages were built in the late 1840's by John Watson a prominent Tasmanian shipbuilder whose shipyard was on the foreshore below the cottages. He built the most southerly one for his own family, another for the shipyard supervisor, the third as a store and the most northerly for the mill supervisor. Watson built many boats during his time in Middleton and his business was largely responsible for the sudden increase in population. He was instrumental in establishing a School, the Methodist Church and supported all the local activities. The discovery of gold led to an exodus of workers from the area and the shipyard closed. He continued to build boats in his shipyard at Battery Point where a row of brick cottages in Napoleon Street (Hobart) built for his workers is still standing today.

Middleton Jetty
Built in 1884 the Middleton Jetty was used by steam ferries to ship fruits like raspberries, gooseberries and black currants to the processing factory in Hobart. It was also used by the Simpsons Bay ferry to carry passengers and freight from Bruny Island.
Middleton have a scarecrow competition with $150 up for grabs along the Channel Highway between Kettering and Verona Sands.

Our camp-site and a few visitors...

Even more roadkill we have to be wary of.

We have two Beach Humpies at Gordon Reserve Camp area. Here is one of the two. (Not meaning Ian, of course).

Wednesday 31st January
We had a quiet relaxing day at Gordon Campsite. We headed off mid afternoon to Kettering and stopped at a delightful chocolate shop on the way to the Ferry. The Ferry sailed us across to Bruny Island at 5.20pm, a SuperSaver price. We drove to The Neck Campsite and took a stroll around to familiarise ourselves with the campground. Then took a gentle stroll along the beautiful beach. Deborah had organised Chilli Con Carne and rice for dinner.

Thursday 1st February
Deborah cooked a sun-dried tomato, olive and cheese sourdough loaf for our picnic. After a hearty breakfast we headed off for a picnic, somewhat organised by Riddle Me Adventures. We drove through the take away side of 'Get Shucked' oyster farm and picked up a half a dozen oysters to pop in our cold picnic bag.
Driving a little further we stopped at the 'Bruny Island Cheese' company and firstly sampled the cheeses on offer for tasting and added 3 cheeses to our cold picnic bag. Onto the 'Bruny Island Honey' shop where we purchased some honey mustard & fennel honey to bring home to the van to eat.
Here are some of the Bruny mailboxes along the highway. Cute hey.
We drove a little further to Truganini Memorial The Neck Lookout hike. It's a short but steep walk up .3km walk of moderate nature and was named after an Aboriginal woman was local to Bruny area. The Truganini Memorial is the Lookout Memorial to the Nuenonne people the indigenous clan from Bruny Island. Truganini was the last 'full blood' Tasmanian Aboriginal, and had a turbulent life, you can google more than we can put here. However, another show of brutal colonialism can be seen after her death, she had worried that her body would be 'mutilated' by scientists, so she asked to be cremated. She was buried, and 2 years later her body was resumed and put on display in the Tasmanian Museum until 1951. Eventually in 1976 her ancestors were able to return her body, cremate and scatter her ashes in the D'Entrecasteaux channel.
On a lighter note, this is also where Bruny Island 'Fairy' penguins can be seen from dusk as they toddle back to their homes. This is where you see 360 degree views of Bruny Island.

From here we drove to a beautiful secluded beach called, 'Two Tree Point'. Ian and I shared a splendid picnic lunch, all whilst listening to the waves roll onto the shore with not a single soul but us. It was heaven! Spectacular views, what more could you ask for. Oh the weather reached 19 degrees and we had our hats on to protect our delicate skin.

Taking a drive a bit further down the Island we saw our first white wallaby this trip. It was on our way to 'The Berry Farm' where we enjoyed a cheeky berry crepe and cuppa together.
Along the beach at Adventure Bay we noticed a small ship. Within a short period of time we watched it sail away from another of the beaches as we were driving back around the bay.

Back at our camp-site at 'The Neck' we took a stroll along the beach. Deborah found a tiny fluffy bird on the walk track that unusually did not want to move from the track. Ian had a chat and asked "where his parents were?" With no reply, it flew away. It was playing possum with us. Ian then stumbled upon a snake skin, luckily without a snake in it. We then took a lovely stroll along our beach checking out the beautiful shells.
Time to come back to the ranch, (our van) for a nibble then chicken & Camembert pie for dinner, cooked in the airfryer. And a friend hanging out the back expecting a snack.

Friday 2nd Feb
We had an 11am appointment at the famous Bruny Island Bakers mail box. Yes directly across from the world famous Bread Fridges as we had place an order for a sultana sourdough loaf of bread. John, The Bruny Baker contacted Deborah with the deets. Non, nod, wink, wink.
Deborah seen doing her 'deal' with the 'Bruny Baker'.
So this bakers setup is on Sheepwash Bay Road. It's a retro fridge loaded up with fresh hot sourdough bread straight from the ovens of the Bruny Baker. The only thing you need to complete a beachside picnic is a few coins in the honesty box next to it, or transfer your dosh using the BSB details listed.

By chance as we drove through Alonnah we saw a sign, and we heeded the sign to get a coffee. But as we went to get the coffee we saw something else exciting. A library.

Cape Bruny Lighthouse
It was the third lighthouse in Tasmania and built in 1836 but supposedly first lit up March 1838, the Bruny Island Lighthouse is the only one you can tour in southern Tasmania. Overlooking Cape Bruny and the churning waters below, it was manned for over 150 years before being decommissioned in the 1990s, becoming the longest continually staffed extant lighthouse. Taking in the views over Cape Bruny, whilst it was blowing up to a 100kph!

We had been told by one of the locals at the coffee stop about a hidden gem. As we travelled back from the lighthouse we found the track. It took us down to Cloudy Bay Lagoon. It was quite sheltered from the blustering winds.
Due to the gale force conditions we ended up having our picnic today sitting in the car. The view was impressive as we overlooked Sheepwash Bay and marina.
When we reached our camp site we were still able to go for a walk along the sandy beach. Deborah loved looking at the different shells on the beach.

Saturday 3rd February
We awoke for a final walk along the beach and what a difference a day makes. You have all hopefully heard the song by Joe Cocker, 'You can leave your hat on', well this morning we could do just that. We walked along the sandy beach with the big blue sky above us. Today it reached 25 can you believe it. We hooked up and set off for the Sea Link Ferry back to Kettering, Tasmania. On the way back to the ferry we saw one of the many wildlife signs.
We parked up at Gordon Reserve, again, and drove straight back up to Middleton for the "Middleton on the Green" Day out. It was a fun Community Day we witnessed children playing good old fashioned games of tug a war, throw the Gumboot the furthest, sack races. Sheep shearing, displays of dairy goats and chickens, spinners spinning wool, Volunteer Fire Brigade staff, we even attended a talk on bee keeping. Lots of fun for all ages. On the drive home we came across a roadside scarecrow, 'Still waiting for her Prince.'
Another Wildlife road sign.

Sunday 4th February
Off to the markets to buy a fat pig or maybe a pork & fennel sausage roll.. Today is Cygnet Markets at the Town Hall is held every 1st & 3rd Sunday when the town comes alive with most of the shops, even the local butcher, open until 4pm.
Aren't these cupcakes divine.
We found Ian's home among the gum trees, Cygnet Library.
We found a wonderful coffee shop called 'The Old Bank B & B. It along with a lovely clothing and homeware shop called 'Three Twigs' was in the Old Bank.
We visited Artisans Hand. It was located in a beautiful old restored house. Each room had an artist at work that you could see them at there craft and ask questions or purchase or order individual products. There was a Jeweller, Leather work specialist, a Potter, and the brain child behind the venture, furniture maker Peter Rhodes. Peter's workshop was immaculate.
Passing the Poolish Bakery we stopped to taste a pork & fennel sausage roll which was delicious. And the spinach, chickpea and ricotta was pretty good also.
Driving home we stopped roadside at Cygnet Port to see some sailing boats in what seemed to be a race. Today's temperate only reached 12 degrees. It was spotty with rain, without any real downpour, we had no wind, but the clouds were low, even at some points misty over the hills and roads.

We stopped at Verona a small settlement and at the boat ramp saw this rustic shanty on the waterfront and some boats moored.
We picked up some fresh blueberries from Bloobs Farm. They had some new egg layers wandering around.
Another Wildlife sign here in Tassie.
Monday 5 February

We leave Gordon, with some nice clear-ish skies and no wind, and head to a base camp for the next week to roam around Hobart and surrounds in Lea Scout Camp. But geez, getting up the 1.6km hill to the camp took us in 1st gear all the way!
After setting up we set off to check the Margate Train, usually referred to as the Pancake Train but there are several others shops housed in train carriages. And also a quirky second hand shed next door. After checking out the shops a pancake was in order. And delicious it was, but we've decided that a thinner, crepe style is more for us in the afternoon.

Until next week, cheerio.

Posted by iandeborah 11:00

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Thanks for travels. Man in blue hoodie and sunglasses looks chilled. Hell of a pancake. White wallaby looks like it had been through a whiter than white wash.

by Jan

Looks like you’re having a most wonderful time 🥰
Ian’s 5x maternal grandparents were convicts who among the first to be sent to Tassie. The home she died in, and their graves are still in perfect condition. Another member of that line was a lighthouse keeper who worked at Bruny. Through that same line, he is also related to actress Essie Davis 😲
Tassie is a fascinating place 🤗

by Michelle

Beautiful photos guys
Looks a bit chilly..
Did you see any penguins on Bruny? I knew Deb would live the oysters there
We did when there..
Love Cygnet...
Those cupcakes were amazing..
Keep warm

by Rose

Rose, it is windy when it is and nice and fine other times in between.

We chose not to see the penguins on Bruny but will see them again.

Definately loved the oysters. Also chucked them off the rocks in the ocean near Gordon at low tide. Yum!

by iandeborah

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