A Travellerspoint blog

Week 11, Roaming Tasmania, Australia

Tuesday 27 February 2024
It's moving day from Swimcart Beach, Bay of Fires. Today we hit the road heading West towards Pyengana. As we head through St Helens we took the opportunity to top up the water tanks, pick up some groceries and both went to the Barbers Shop & had a much needed hair cut. Both very impressed with the cuts. After a total journey of 42 kilometres we arrived at Pyengana donation camping . This campground has just about all you need. Huge campground, big enough to land a space ship. It has 4 clean flushing toilets, beautiful soft toilet paper, 2 showers, $2 for 3 minutes of hot water. A tennis court for those inclined and a football oval next to it, if you want a run. You even have an electric power point in the Ladies. The Men don't. There is even 3 rubbish bins on site. Our closest neighbours are cows on all sides. Such a peaceful, quiet and respectful location.

A few hours after our arrival who should turn up but Aunty Gloria & Uncle Harry for an overnighter. Deborah looked out the window mid afternoon to see Aunty Gloria doing what looked to be upside down CPR. Deborah opened the window and yelled out, "are you okay over there." To be told Aunty Gloria was manipulating his back. Uncle Harry said Aunty Gloria has saved him thousands of $ by doing this. Deborah is happy to report they both made it to Happy Hour that day and it was the talk of Happy Hour with other campers that had noticed this event too.
The famous Pub in the Paddock with Priscilla the beer drinking pig is just 250 metres walk down the road.

Wednesday 28 February 2024
Today's temperature driving was 26 degrees.
Today was a day for adventure, first stop was Little Blue Lake. It was originally a tin mine hole. It has a vivid aqua blue colour from the minerals left over from the mining. It is not recommended to swim here.
Whilst viewing the Lake we found a painted TSV Rock. With these rocks you choose to keep it, or rehide it, and to take a picture and add it to the specific facebook page. We chose to keep it for the moment.
Driving back through a town called Pioneer we saw these interesting pot plant holders.
We visited one of the Tin Dragon Discovery Trail Interpretive markers at Moorina. The Markers have stories of success and despair, transport of the precious tin, and of bodies. All these stories relate to the Chinese workers who arrived in their hundreds in the late 19th Century to work in the tin mines.
Continuing our adventure we went in search of Mt Paris Dam. Following the limited sign post with map in hand we failed in our endeavour. However all was not lost as we found many blackberry bushes from which we filled our bucket with ripe fruit. It was obvious we were doing the right thing as a butterfly came to help us out.
Ian is always up for the challenge of finding the most interesting spots for our picnic lunch. Today, it was in a green park in a tiny town called Weldborough, which also has a nice Penny Farthing on someone's front porch.
After lunch we take a gentle stroll through Weldborough Pass Rain Forest. Along the way we met up with Grandma & Grandpa Myrtle.
Arriving back to the camp in daylight, we had enough time to take a walk up the road 250 metres, to visit the Pyengana Cheese Factory & Cafe.
After walking back to the campsite it got warmer. It started to rain very lightly, and thunder continued for several hours. The wind built up and it felt like we were on the ocean during the night. It was a warm night.

Thursday 29th February, 2024
Today's adventures took us out to Halls Falls, and the rock pool, flowing along the Groom river. It was named after Willis Hall, who set up a portable saw mill near the Falls. The Falls also includes an area below called the rock pools, and above it is a weir built in the late 19th century by the Chinese tin miners.
We continued along the road a few more kilometres of gravel track to the Anchor Stampers. These stampers are all that remains of machinery from the Anchor Tin Mine. The Mine operated, in many guides, from 1880 until finally closing in 1996. The two remaining Stampers were positioned into the Mine in the 1930s, as you can see one was built in the 1880's.
The Stampers hydraulically crush the tin ore, before it is washed, to separate the tin from the remaining rubble. In it's hay day there were a hundred of the stampers at the Mine. This is where we left the TSV Rock for someone else to enjoy.
Back to the camp for a cuppa and lunch before a drive out to Saint Columba Falls. When you arrive at the carpark you can hear, and even see the falls as the South George River tumbles down a series of steep cascades. Walking down the well constructed track, suitable for wheelchairs through a cool and shady rainforest and some of the tallest tree ferns you will see anywhere, you eventually arrive at the base of the falls. At a height of 90 metres it is one of Tasmania's highest Falls. We sat watching & listening to the water as it flowed mesmerisingly in all directions falling through one rock at a time to the next from the top of this amazing waterfall to the bottom.

Friday 1st March 2024.
Today we upsticks and moved on to Scottsdale, donation camp for a night, but as we were passing we took the opportunity to drop into Ledgerwood to see the carved Memorial Trees. Originally trees were planted in 1918 to commemorate the 7 fallen soldiers from the region killed in WW1. Unfortunately in 2001, a report indicated the trees were unsafe and needed to be removed. But rather than cutting them down completely each of the stumps was carved into the likeness of the soldiers by chainsaw carver Eddie Freeman. Various scenes depicting WW1 were also carved.
Private George Peddle, he was a Sawmill Manger, Bullock Driver & Bushman.
Private John Henry Gregg McDougall, he was a railway porter at the Ringarooma Rd, Railway Station
Private Robert James Jenkins, a great tenor, in demand around the local halls. Robert (Bobby) was engaged to marry Miss Amy Frances (Tippy)Forsyth, of Ringarooma, when her beloved Bobby was killed.Tippy never married but for the rest of her life kept her engagement ring in a box next to his photo on the dressing table.
Private William Henry Hyde, he was a past employee of the N.E. Sawmilling Co. and it was noted the Union Jack was flown at half mast and the mill ceased work for the remainder of the day upon the news of Private Hyde's death.
Private Thomas Edward Edwards, worked at the N.E. Sawmilling Co. Thomas married Florence Patricia Down in 1908. On 21 May 1921 Florence remarried George Henry (Tas) McDonald. Tas was with Thomas on the front line when he was shot. Thomas asked Tas to look after his wife before he died. Photos of Thomas were always on display in Tas's home.
Upon arriving and driving through Scottsdale we found a similar carving at the Scottsdale Cenotaph representing Australia's involvement in WW1, WW2 and the Vietnam War.
A visit to the Scottsdale Library was not only a photo shoot today. It turned into Ian, starting a visitor membership to borrow, a book called" Troubled Blood" by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling). The bonus of this membership means he can take it back to any library in Tasmania.
A quirky fence line spotted at Scottsdale. When is a fence not a fence, when it's a door, and which one will you go through?
It's a full house tonight at this camp site. We are right on the Tasman Highway and although we are the furtheredt away the traffic of a day was loud, something we are not used to at most of our campsites. However we are happy to report the traffic had slowed since nightfall.
We had a walk around the park behind the camp site before dusk where we found some local history.

Saturday 2nd March 2024
Before we left Scottsdale today Ian took Deborah out for morning tea run to the Springfield Tea Rooms. It's a real working Amish (are-mish) farm with a tea room attached. They sold & produced so many home made goodies, organically grown produce, lip balm, hand cream, even hand cranked Ice cream and whisked cream. Ian's coffee was hand ground at the time, Deborah's peppermint tea was grown & produced in house. So many tea varieties were for sale on the shelves to purchase. It doesn't end there, they sold quilting materials, cutting mats, sewing materials and had hand sewn quilting blocks on the walls and even produced & sold template patterns. Very craft oriented people. These people were extremely friendly and willing to converse and provide information.
Some of the apple's they grew were huge and many varieties, such as Pippin and Bramley, Ian remembered from his childhood days in England.
They take either bank transfer or cash for payment. There was no EFT available. Our bill was added up with the calculator, the waitress even doubled checked. You could even take a look at some of the farm animals or buy plants to take home.
This is a hidden gem!
We passed a few keen bike riders along the way.
Off on another adventure, we head off with the van through to Lilydale Falls and the free RV parking for the night. Our first stop however was at Bridport. A lovely beachside town, with a beautiful beach and sunny outlook.
Leaving Bridport we anticipate our next stop. Unfortunately when we arrive at Lilydale Falls RV stop it's not as we imagined it would be. We had to negotiate reversing out of the entrance driveway onto the main road, as we were advised by another caravanner there was no turnaround or camping spots for large vehicles. We parked up on the side of the main road and walked back to look at the Falls. A nice walk, and the first Falls were interesting with some water, but lack of rainfall didn't do the top falls any favours.
Back at the car we reviewed our camping options for the night. Swan Point Paperbark RV free camp spot came up on Wiki, so that's where we pointed the car. Along this drive we were happy to spot an Echidna walking along the edge of one of the roads. Beautiful. This drive also took us over the Batman bridge (sorry, no Robin). The bridge was named after John Batman, a Launceston businessman and co-founder of Melbourne. It was the first cable - stayed bridge in Australia and one of the first such bridges in the world.
Swan Point parking area is quite small, you get very cosy with your neighbours. But it's also got great views from the far side of the area as it looks back up the Tamar River towards the Batman bridge, again no Robin. It was quite blustery and one wind surfer got on for a very short ride before having to walk his rig back along the foreshore.
We were also entertained in the late dusk by Pademelon and Bandicoots jumping around the campsite.

Sunday 3rd March, 2024
Temperature reached 14 today.
We head off by 9am, as that what was required from the free camp spot, to commence today's adventure. It's a drive to Deloraine or, more precisely, the Deloraine low cost, self contained RV camp ground. We had booked and paid for 3 nights at a grand total of $9.
Our first thought after setting up was to find The Empire Hotel. Not to get an alcoholic beverage, although Tassie roads do tend to drive you to drink, but to find out about the next free platypus spotting tour. It was too windy today, but we have been given the all clear for Monday night at 7pm. Next we took a wander around the main street and did some window shopping research for a possible raid on Tuesday. Many pole top metal sculptures can be found around Deloraine.
Deborah found the sweet spot in town, the Deloraine Creative Studios and Pottery Working Hub. Artisans can be found here creating pieces of magic in front of your eyes. Pottery, Wood Turner's, quilting (this shop opens Tuesday, it was closed today) Material crafts, rock painting, jewelry, ceramic items and even buttons, coloured stained glass sculpture, cards and magnets all hand made, wool and silk designers and more all made in Tasmania by local artists.

Later in the afternoon we decided to reacquaint ourselves with Liffey Falls. At the start of the walk the temperature was at 10 degrees in the late afternoon. If course Mrs Google likes to take you via the supposedly shortest route. This one became the slowest, with many kilometres of gravel track. It was much quicker coming home! Lovely Falls though, even with little recent rainfall. A bonus was the sighting of a platypus walking out of the water on the edge of the top of one of the falls. Magic! The water was so pure, no sediment here.

Monday 4th March, 2024
What a chilly night it was, it got down to icy conditions in some close areas. In Deloraine it was 2 degrees. We decided we wanted to be Spelunkers today. We dressed to the occasion and not wanting to be led astray we set the destination into the gps. Traversing through lovely countryside we reached our destination of Honeycomb Caves, near the locality of Caveside. With no sign posts to follow, we found a track leading into one of the main caverns. It was a tricky track to navigate and Parks & Wildlife have signs warning of the dangers of entering the unlit cave system without a guide or proper equipment.
Ian was able to enter the main cave but had to rock jump over the running stream. The main cavern runs for several kilometres. This was not a time to flaunt the rules, we wanted to be safe & be careful. Ian walked with his torch in one hand, camera in the other.
The first cave closest to the car parking area was our second cave. It was a lot easier to enter and navigate through and out the other end of this small cave. This is where Deborah revelled in the occasion.

On the side of the road we noticed an apple tree on the roadside verge with plenty of apples underneath. Deborah investigated and brought some home and stewed them up. On the way home passing through Chudleigh we stopped to pick up some farm eggs and carrots. They had loads of fresh produce available. You could put cash in the money box or bsb bank details were available for payment.
Parked up out the front of the local cafe, (not open Monday and Tuesdays) was this beauty.
Tonight we met at the Empire Hotel at 7pm to be taken on a search of platypus by Mark the owner of the hotel, previously from WA. As we walked along the edge of the Meander river Mark gave us insight into the life & habits of a Platypus and how to spot them in the water. We spotted a lovely one, it was on the far side of the river so difficult to photograph but beautiful to watch.

Until next time, stay safe, but have fun out there.

Posted by iandeborah 11:33

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Beautiful memories of many adventures in North East Tasmania
My Mum born and bred in Derby.My grandfather had a tin mine there when my grandmother met him.. she always laughed and said "he never told me it had no tinm left in it when he proposed to me".
Such awesome adventures your having
Been to Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm yet? Rose x

by Rose

Fabulous, I would be taking a drink or two if we were towing a caravan on those Tassie roads:0

by Jan

Fabulous photos, Did you buy any fabric Ms Deb?
Love the waterfalls.

by Annette

Ooh the photos and stories seem to be getting more and more interesting 🥰 Becoming concerned the two of you might never come home 🥹 Very happy for you though!

by Michelle

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