A Travellerspoint blog

Week 16, Roaming Tasmania, Australia

Tuesday 2 April 2024.
Today finds us heading off towards Ross for lunch with Lauren, Mark and Lauren's mum Jean who is 97 they drove from New Norfolk.
Before we left Ian took advantage of the rain, by giving the car a quick rub down.
Travelling the first stop is Lake Leather, obvious shop selling some leather goods, and a nice bag for Deborah.
Travelling onwards towards Ross we pass through the historic town of Campbell Town, settled in the early 1830's, just like Evandale and Ross. Campbell Town was also our stop for coffee at The Book Cellar, a bookshop and coffee shop housed in The Foxhunters Return Cellar, an old hotel.
Campbell Town also has a walkway containing tiles with the names of convicts, age, ship they came over on, their crime, punishment and year of death.
Plus the Red Bridge built in 1838 using convict labour. The convicts produced 1.25 million hand made bricks, and constructed the bridge on dry land. Once the bridge was completed the convicts were then tasked at rerouting the river to go under the bridge by cutting a diversion from 1 kilometre in both directions. This bridge is the 3rd oldest in Australia, but the oldest being used on a major highway handling 2 million vehicles annually. The convicts were housed, overnight, in cells below the aforementioned Foxhunters Return.
Ross Bakery 31 was the spot for lunch. Nice pies and rolls filled the available space.
Ross also has an old bridge, a few years older than Campbell Towns, also built by convicts.
Ross is also one of the early settlements, with the town proclaimed in 1821 and by 1838 the Anglican church had been built.
Ross was also the site of a Female Factory, a lovely euphemism for reform prison. By 1848 the Ross Prison was now turned over to female prisoners. Rather than flogging and iron collars they now started using solitary confinement and unremitting labour of spinning, weaving and washing as part of the daily routine aimed at 'reforming' the women. Most women were committed for 1st offences of petty theft and sentenced for up to 7 years. Most had been servants of some description, housemaids, farms, kitchen maids. The free population had even less sympathy for the female convicts than they did for the males. Solitary cells at Ross were approximately 1.3m X 2m. The children and babies spent the day and night in the one room with only nurses for company. After weaning there was very little contact with mothers, and a child born to a convict mother faced 14 years in an institution: 3 years in the Female Factory and then 11 years at the Queen's Orphanage in Hobart. This practice was to get the best work out of the female prisoners at that time. For more detailed information click on these links.


1838 St John's Anglican Church

And a clearing weather pattern for this last night at Evandale.

Wednesday 3 April 2024
Falls Park, Evandale, behind us is another WA family from Bunbury, who caught up with us before we left.
Today was moving day. We left our free camping spot (register online) at Falls Park, Evandale after a beautiful 2 nights and drove just over 20 kms to reach Old Mac's Farm at Launceston for a few nights. It's $20 per night, unpowered, with access to water + @ $2 a fill, flushing toilets and a dump point. We settled in to a lovely grassy spot in front of a rather large dam. We took the opportunity to go for a walk around the dam and up to see a Sea Eagles nest, along the way we saw some donkeys, various water birds, black swans, lizards, a frog and butterflies.
We have parked up next to Marian Simmons & Peter Simmons in a Sunland Patriot.
Deborah had organised a catch up with a few other Sunland Caravan owners for a mini gathering here in Tas. We enjoyed an afternoon tea/ Yappy Hour together discussing our travels around Tasmania so far.
This photo was supplied by Marian Simmons, thank you for sharing.
Another Sunland Van, a Winton arrives with Greg & Rosemary to join us.

Thursday 4 April 2024
We had booked a Riddle Me Adventures picnic today from Launceston. After solving a riddle we headed off to our
first pick up point of the day. A latte & a cuppa chino were the drinks of choice. While drinking our delicious coffee we indulged in our origami challenge and made a butterfly each. Then we were directed to find a bronze statue in a park close by and take a selfie by it. Then after solving another word challenge we found the next batch of goodies to pick up and add to our stash in the picnic basket. After doing a quick and repetitive tongue twister we headed off along a scenic drive to a small batch winery for another food pack pick up, where we also sampled some wines. Another word challenge and we were sent off to our final food pick up location. Adding this to our picnic stash also. Solving another word puzzle & coding of letters, provided the names of suggested picnic spots for us to choose which would best suit us. We choose a picnic setting at a beach. Here is our picnic stash.
To our surprise on our way to the picnic location we came across an array of interesting letter boxes.
Back to the Old Macs Farm to meet up with our Sunland Caravan Group, a batch of quality people, for afternoon tea.
Followed by Yappy Hour at a local pub. Meeting up with a few more local Sunland owners for dinner.

Friday 5 April 2024
Our group was invited to a lovely spread, morning tea, with Sunland locals Peter & Jan & Tracey. Discussions about all of our travels around Tasmania was enlightening.

Ian & I took at look at Richardson's Harley Davidson shop in Launceston.

Dinner for the final 4 was at Apricus Restaurant, at Old Macs Farm. This was our groups finale.
Photo below was supplied, with thanks, by Marian Simmons.

Saturday 6 April 2024
The Harvest Markets at Launceston are on, so we are going!
After a cuppa coffee back home at Old Macs we head off to Devonport for a cheeky & cheerful surprise 80th Birthday Party.
Today is Aunty Gloria's 80th Birthday celebration. 4 Generations were around to celebrate with her. It's always an interesting drive through the Tasmanian city streets.
We took the opportunity to explore Old Macs further by taking the Riverbank walk along the North Esk River. And then enjoyed a nice sunset this evening.

Sunday 7 April 2024
We wind the clocks back 1 hour as daylight saving has come to an end for this summer season. We have 2 hours left to change back before reaching home in WA. We wake up this morning to an overcast & rainy day. Showers are forecast to ease later in the afternoon. Today is moving day. And what a day it was. As ever, each day brings new experiences, and today didn't disappoint. Our drive away from Old Mac's was up the steep incline, and the signs say to allow vehicles to clear the hill before driving up/,down.

Arrived at our stop for the next few days, Watermill Cottage Camp Ground at York Town, and the sign said 'Closed for Winter' and a chain across the gate! Not to be put off Ian rang the number and got special dispensation from Steve the owner to enter the hallowed ground. $10 a night, what a bargain. We are the last campers here at this picturesque location. A great location for a future gathering too.
York Town, the 1st permanent settlement in Northern Tasmania, is actually one of the oldest British settlements in Australia, dating from 1805. It was initially considered a good spot to establish a town, and convict barracks. However, after the rosy glow disappeared they realised that the tides were huge, so ships struggled to get to the settlement, and when it rained it flooded the area so that of the 800 odd cattle that got transported there only just over 200 survived the first year. Plans were made to move the settlement to a new town, Launceston. By 1807 most of York Town had been abandoned. The small weatherboard cottage is an example of those used to house the soldiers, their wives and family, during the days of the settlement.

We took a drive to the Sculptured Wood Gallery and this is what we saw, a giant platypus & wheel barrow in the garden entry. The entrance was made up of brick and an array of tools. Lots of wood artists bring different wood sculptured in to be sold from this location. All of the wood has been repurposed. One of these looks like wooden coasters and a tea pot stand, but it actually is a sun catcher, so that the sun shines onto and through these pieces and forms an art piece with the light shining through the holes.
We were told about a house 1km up the road that the extended family, between themselves all make, bake, collect and sell jams, farm fresh eggs, figs, apples, cakes and scones. They usually take these to the Evandale markets each Sunday to sell. Unfortunately it had been raining through the night and during the morning, so fortunately for us and others, they were selling them from their home today. We bought a dozen fresh eggs & a Hummingbird cake. That will go very nicely with our cuppa of a day for the next few days.
Exploring the area we had a look at Greens Beach, unfortunately it was at low tide at the time we took the pictures.
We also saw some lovely beach shacks.
Driving along the main road we saw something that put a smile on our dial, some street art on the side of the road as we entered Greens Beach, then another on the opposite side as we left.
Kelso, another small town along our drive, we noticed this renovators delight.
We explored Clarence Point, a lovely small seaside town.
There was a book library we both swapped a book at, in town as we were leaving Clarence Point. It was so cute we just had to stop & look.
Back at camp we had a walk around to explore. Ian was looking in the fresh water dam above the river that flows in from the ocean, but no platypus today.
We are camped by the water wheel along side of the pond with loads of Lillies growing. There is even a boat on the dam.
They have a great area for people to sit in the rotunda and have a happy hour if you wish. They have had music events here from time to time.
Ian was having a bit of fun with these stocks.
Deborah found this lovely Tas Rock. She has decided to bring it home to pop in our garden, a little memory from Tasmania.
Sunset had some soft orange hues tonight, but the night stars were amazing to see from this big paddock in the country away from other bright lights.

Monday 8 April 2024
Today we decided on another tourist destination, Seahorse World. Beauty Point is the location of Seahorse World, but it's not really that beautiful and that's a story for another day.
So, it's only about 9 kms down the road from our camp, and we chose a 11am tour time to give plenty of beauty sleep (no pun). Well, it's really interesting. They actually breed thousands of Seahorses and export all over the world. Originally just to supply the traditional Chinese medicine market, but now more for supply to other aquariums and research facilities.
So, Seahorses actually he as because scaly armour over their bodies, so they're pretty tough cookies. They can live up to 10 years if left alone. They also have a prehensile tail to anchor themselves seagrass and other stuff so they don't get washed too far. The Tassie one is the Potbelly seahorse, and it's pretty nifty in that the male gestates to be babies. The female provides the eggs which are fertilised by the male and then inserted into the large male pouch. He develops them for 3-4 weeks and then gives birth to up to 1,100 babies. The fry are on their own, with 4-5% chance of surviving the predators which include fish, birds and even their own parents!
We also saw Weedy Sea Dragons. Now, although these live to up to 12 years, they are not actually Seahorses. They do not have armour or a prehensile tail. Which means they need to be better swimmers. They don't have a pouch, but the male carries the fertilised eggs under their tail.

They even had a rare seahorse fossil, Hippocampus ramulosus found in northern Italy, and from the Pliocene era.

Many other sea creatures were on display including cow fish, Port Jackson shark, Trevally, Blackheaded Puller, Rays, endangered Tasmanian hand fish and a multitude of others...
Back at the camp we were provided with some light entertainment...

Ciao for now!

Posted by iandeborah 11:31

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Wow ...more amazing pictures and adventures. My end of the state and locality... ❤️
Yep fixed my log in too Deb

by RoseandRob

Rose,fabulous news.

by iandeborah

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