A Travellerspoint blog

Week 14, Roaming Tasmania, Australia

Tuesday 19 April, 2024
Moving on to Bannon Park, but before hitching up we take a drive along the other side of the Forth river to see what we can see. Not too far past the Forth hotel you can find the old, but rebuilt, All Saints church.
The original was built in 1968. A bit further along the river where the pioneers cemetery can still be found. This is located right next to the main processing plant for Harvest Moon vegetables!
The entrance is through the lich gate, where coffins were placed prior to the priest arriving to officiate the burial. The first burial was held in 1869. The cemetery also houses the grave of Sir Edward Braddon...a Tasmanian Premier and a member of the first Federal Parliament. A champion with significant input to the Federal Constitution.
Afterwards we drove 4kms up the hill behind Forth to the Braddon lookout. A nice informational spot, built on Brandon's original property, giving insight into his history and information on the farming and industry that helped Forth prosper.
Arriving at our destination on an overcast day. So much so, that on arrival at Bannon Park we hear thunder and rainfall. But it's a beautiful camp spot, right next to the river.
We both found this lovely mail box at the entry of the park.

Wednesday, 20 March 2024
Looking out the window today it is noticeable that, with the overnight rain, the river is running higher. But being a fine morning we went for a walk down along the roadside and met up with our neighbours.
Ian finished his Tasmanian library book so it is now ready to be returned to any public library in Tasmania. Although tonight was a great sunset we put on the heavy doona and just as well cause there was snow on the mountains in Tasmania. We got down to 5 degrees in the van. We even popped the gas heater on for 5 to 10 minutes to warm-up the van prior to moving.
Deborah's photographed collection of rocks.
We both went for a walk along the pebble beach and of course had to do a bit of rock skimming.

Thursday, 21 March 2024
We winged our way to Wings Wildlife Park, Gunns plains. We found a nice little spot, again next to the Leven River. It is $10 a night per person in the unpowered paddock next to the river, costing us $20 a night. If you wanted a powered site, it is a separate area, away from the river, costing a additional $10 a night,, so all up $30 for 2 adults. Both of these options avail yourself to hot showers, untimed and boy did we enjoy that! We had a little oopsie, this morning which we noticed as we arrived at Wings Wildlife Park. It entailed a return trip to Bannon Park, 10 minutes driving back to pick up the 2 yellow chocks that we accidentally left behind. On this trip Deborah had a bonus score, as when we drove past a farmhouse the first time with the van on the back we had stopped after seeing a sign "$5 for a dozen eggs". We stopped but could not find the location of the eggs. This second trip, with only the car for the chock pickup, enabled Deborah to do a thorough search to locate the egg storage box, and left with a dozen fresh chook eggs & $5 lighter. We love farm fresh eggs.
Our camping site at Wings was a great spot, we enjoyed many relaxing cuppa. It was literally on the river bank, with some nice sunsets and moon rises. The trees on the riverbank are just hanging in there.
A bite of lunch and we headed out to find the Wilmot Novelty Letterbox Trail. This is a 25 kilometre stretch of road beginning North of Wilmot and heading South.
As we passed through Wilmot on our letterbox hunt, we found the cold hard book exchange library and the Pioneer mural.
We also noticed this tiny home, how cute is this?
The views were so beautiful along the country drive.
Driving back to Wings this is the view of the campsite, and our camping patch.

Friday, 22 March 2024
This morning the temperature was a cool 7.1 degrees inside the van.
Today we went out looking for more of Tasmania's stunning scenery. Preston Falls was our first stop. An easy short walk, down some steps, with a 15 minute return. Deborah spotted a tiny frog which jumped from a tree to beside the path we were walking along. We believe our first frog sighting for this trip.
Continuing our scenery chasing journey we stopped to see some oinkers.
The drive was so scenic.
After a 30 minute drive along typical windy Tasmania roads, we found the car park for Leven Canyon. Another of Tasmania's 60 short walks. There are 2 lookouts, Cruickshanks (it is 275 metres above the river) & Edge, that can be accessed on a 1.2 kilometre circuit track. Each lookout provides spectacular and expansive views of the Leven Canyon. Enough water runs daily through the Canyon, about 45 - 70,000 kilolitres, the equivalent to the water consumption of 350,000 people. There are however a set of very steep steps between the two lookouts. We climbed all 697. Deborah loves sampling the seats along the way and she tried most of them. Each of the seats had inscribed the measurement of steps you have done & how many to go. What a great idea. The views were amazing and the ferny walk track was very lush & green. This walk took us 1 hour and a half. It is sign posted as a 45 minute return trip. We believe the timings are always underestimated here on these Tasmanian walks. We passed others along the track, they were all taking the steps down, rather than up. There was no phone reception at this location. It was a very peaceful walk.
Back at the ranch we went and did the Farm walk and saw a few of the animals they are raising, some for consumption purposes. They include Ostriches, Emus, Llama, Alpaca, Camel, Bison, American Brahman, Miniature Pony, Goat, wild Duck, Swans & Geese.
The Farm also has some tiny houses, ex 1950-1960's Public Works Department mobile huts for sale. The Wings owners are open to offers. A good project for some keen person.
Tonight's sky from Ian cam.

Saturday, 23 March 2024
After a slightly warmer start to the day with the temperature inside being 7.4, we hitched up and headed 8km up the road to the Preston Recreation Ground for the Preston Rodeo, where we camp for the night. The last Rodeo for the 2023/24 season, the Tasmanian Championship Title Decider. We certainly are excited to attend and camp up here. It was one day, but what a day it was. Bull riding, bareback horse riding, barrel racing, rope & tie and steer wrestling. Wow. We even had our very own cowboy surprise us and join us for this occasion, Uncle Harry, Aunty Gloria's cowboy! We had such a wonderful day together and learnt so much more about the Rodeo events.

Sunday 24 March 2024
After a night of continual revellery, by many of the younger contingent, we were able to arise at a decent time and head off to the next campsite at Narawntapu National Park. Not far down the road, and within the precinct of Preston, Ian got breathalysed. Good boy Ian was sent on his way after discussions about Marmalade. He loved the colour and had not seen another like it. He said he would keep an eye out for us on the road. We did tell him it's the only one in Australia. Our campsite in the National Park is actually Springlawn campground. Currently $16 a night which includes power hookup, and an ablution block with flushing toilets and $2 showers lasting 4 minutes. Water tap is available, but they suggest boiling it, so we are just using it for essentials like washing up etc.
Apparently we might hear Tassie Devils but most likely won't see them, as they are shy. Uni of Tasmania come to the park on a regular basis for a few weeks at a time to trap, tag and collate data about the Tasmanian Devil population.
We got to see a few other bits of fauna so far including birds, Pademelon, wallabies and kangaroos.
Late afternoon it was time for a nice stroll along the long, windswept, but sandy beach.
An evening for a full moon, over the top of the caravan.

Monday 25 March 2024
A nice lie in bed before a trip out to Port Sorell and Hawley Beach. We had to stop to see these mailboxes.
As we drove through Port Sorrell we came across this street Library that Ian was very impressed with how attractive and functional this Library really was.
Hawley Beach looks like an old beachside shanty town that has been discovered, so now many of the original 'shacks' have been renovated or demolished, and mansions built to take advantage of the beach location.
The beachside was impressive.
Our return trip to the campsite took us past a lovely fixer upper, complete with an old Hills Hoist in the yard. It even has a boat in the yard ready for those fishing evenings on the Rubicon River.
We took another diversion on the way to camp, this time to a place called Squeaking Point!
There are several versions of how Squeaking Point received its name. Some claim it is because the sand squeaked underfoot. The second tells how a small pig escaped and squealed its way into the bush from Captain Friend's vessel, Rebecca. Yet another version says that a constable Squeaker was once camped there watching for runaway convicts, causing it to be known locally as Squeakers Point later becoming Squeaking Point (A History of Port Sorrell Tasmania 1844 - 1944 (Port Sorell Sesquicentenary Committee)). No matter, it's an interesting name and a very nice location to visit.
Some of the locals tonight.

Tuesday 26 March 2024
We took a walk to the the Bird hide onsite in the Park, armed with binoculars, water and a hat and this is what we saw. Many black swans, ducks and, what we believe is, a White faced Heron.
Deborah really got into the feel of bird watching, with binoculars at the ready.
We continued along the track, which is classed as another of the 60 great Tasmanian short walks, so a few hours long. Eventually we turned towards the beach. So it was up and down through the sand dunes we trekked.
Once we made it to the beach Deborah was able to indulge in another of her interests, finding shells. A good assortment was found and recorded. Even a large, but dead, starfish and butterfly.
A late afternoon walk to the Information Centre looking for wombats sorta went like this. Off into the grass plains but with no wombat poo spotted, we then diverted towards the Rangers who were just leaving the Visitor Centre to go home. We accosted one, demanding to know where were the wombats mentioned in the brochure for the Park? Only to be told that in 2017 they all, but one, got mange and died. A pleasant discussion then ensued as to what the Parks & Wildlife were hoping to do about bringing in some relocated wombats, so the surviving male can have some friends.
We decided to let the Ranger go home to their waiting family, and continued our walk around the grasslands. Of course, multitudes of macropods were seen bouncing around. Cute. Ian even got to channel his inner pirate, by walking the plank.

Just to give you a heads up.
Wednesday is moving day in preparation for Easter..

Posted by iandeborah 07:48

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