A Travellerspoint blog

Week 17, Roaming Tasmania, Australia

Tuesday 9 April 2024
It's coming to an end. But before then we awoke to a 6.8 degree morning, inside the van! Not much warmer than inside the fridge.
Today was another exploration, this time to the eastern side of the Tamar and in particular George Town and Low Head. George Town is the 3rd oldest settlement in Australia. To get there we drive over the Batman bridge again, as we did on the way back later that day, but still no Robin!
But wait, holy pylons Batman, I see Robin.
Low Head and George Town face the Bass Strait, which is actually rift valley known as the Bassian Depression. So that is why it's the Bass Strait.
About 10,000 years back a great heathland lay between Tassie and Victoria. As the climate warmed the sea rose and flooded the strait. Some parts are relatively shallow at 45 metres deep.
Low Head pilot station was established around 1804, and is the oldest continuously operating from its original site. The flag tower shows how signals were sent to ships and also inland via several other flagpoles using the semaphore system. The buoy on display was built in the mid 2800's by local coopers using Huon pine, and they would have been used to mark rocks along the Tamar and also on Hebe Reef.
The Hebe Reef a few k's off the Tamar entrance was named after the ship Hebe which was wrecked in 1808. The most recent shipwreck was in 1995! The lighthouse was originally erected in 1833 and upgraded in 1888. It is 19 metres tall but the light stands 43 metre above sea level.
Due to significant river and sea fogs a foghorn was installed in 1929. Built in the UK it was used until 1973 and could be heard up to 32 kms away. It was restored in 2001 and volunteers sound the horn every Sunday.
Views from the lighthouse. And the penguin rookery entrance.
The Lead Lights on the Tamar. These are 2 smaller lighthouses known as lead lights. Positioned near each other, the front light is lower than the one behind. At night when viewed from a ship, the two lights only align vertically when a vessel is positioned on the correct bearing.

Low Head and George Town both have chainsaw sculptures done by Eddie Freeman. Eddie is a self taught artist, who has been carving for over 35 years. Eddie started in the timber industry with a chainsaw, got his tree-fallers ticket and developed his skills into what we can see around Tasmania, today in places such as George Town, Low Head, Ledgerwood, Campbell Town and of course his in his home town of Ross has a wombat on a dozer.

George Town
Watch House (1843), built on this site, of the first gaol. But if you relieve yourself in the street you might end up in the toilet lockup.
Deborah has one final shop that she needed to hit. Patchwork Plus in Anne Street. A lovely shop but Ian was shocked when Deborah came out empty handed. Meanwhile, Ian had wandered over to the local Opportunity Store, he also came out empty handed.
We found the best fish & chips shop in Tasmania @ George Town Seafoods. It was Angie's Birthday, she's the one in the middle of this picture. We both had Blue Grenadier and chips in tempura batter. Not the biggest serve but the tastiest that we have tried in Tasmania.
The 'Art and Artisans' store had a wide variety of locally hand crafted items by lots of very talented artists.. A lovely shop to visit and not to be missed at 83 Macquarie Street, George Town. Something that took us by surprise was a therapy harp. It was a favourite for Deborah's & Ian's. Ian loved the wood construction and the beautiful sounds eminating from each string. The gentleman who makes them David, visits the old peoples homes and plays for them. There was something in this shop for everyone, from $3 to thousands of dollars.
Mount George Lookout
Driving down from Mount George.

A night for a camp fire, our first that we started in Tassie. And some potatoes were put in the coals later. Yum.

Wednesday 10 April 2024
We wake up to a slightly warmer morning at 8.1 degrees inside the van.
Went for a walk to buy local organic greens, the sign at our corner said 900metres. But ended up being 2.4km each way. But hey the greens were very fresh and tasty from York Town Organic Greens.
We came home with baby cucumbers, baby carrots, micro greens, baby tomatoes and salad leaves. Guess what we had for lunch? Fresh bread and Duck River butter and yummy, so so fresh salad and tuna.
It's our last night at Watermill Cottage and on the menu was pizza tonight.
We have had a lovely time here and Steve the owner was so generous inviting self contained vehicles to stay.

Thursday 11 April 2024
It's moving day, today we drive to Horsehead Creek, Devonport for our last night in Tasmania. On the way we drop into Beaconsfield to fill the caravan water tanks at the local dog park. And a small Robin came to watch.
Deborah has been on a bike ride with her cousin Sally. The girls road 20km along the riverbank to Don River Railways and back. No platypus was sighted today they were being shy. Ian stayed behind to do some reading and last minute preparation for our cruise Friday on the Spirit Of Tasmania.
Our last dinner in Tasmania was with Aunty Gloria at her house as Uncle Harry had already sailed to Flinders Island with a mate. We were sent back to the van loaded up with some beautiful fillets of salmon.

Friday 12 April 2024
The chooks went off at 5.45 am (alarm). It was up and adam. We made it into the queue to board by 6.18am. We enter the customs controlled area to show our boarding pass. The caravan gas cylinders were I selected to ensure they were turned off and was tagged. The inspector then entered the van to check under the bed and in the shower. We boarded the Spirit of Tasmania 2, level 3 at around 7.15am. Disembarked the vehicle that was in park, removed our reversing mirrors, with hand brake on, and engine off, then headed onboard to level 7 to settle into our chair for the next 10 hours. We literally bumped into Meg & Pete, our newly engaged friends, we had met at the Forth Valley Blues Festival,(we were all volunteers) and live at Margaret River.
We all walked up to level 7 found 4 seats and started talking about our adventures in Tasmania. A few games of monopoly deal were had between the card sharks.
We did a bit of reading, played Solitaire, did a bit of crocheting along with walking around the ship to stretch the legs and build up the step count for the day. It was a smooth sailing. And maybe we closed our eyes for 5 minutes at one point when Meg snapped this pic. We arrived in Geelong by 6.30 and departed the Spirit by 7.30pm.
In the middle of the Bass Strait we passed the other Spirit, Spirit 1, heading towards Devonport.
The return trip on the Spirit cost us $965.95. We didn't book a cabin as our return cruise was during the day.
Our destination tonight was 28km out of Geelong at Bunjil Lookout and Maud Recreation Ground donation campsite. Bunjil is a wedge tail eagle, and the carvings and building celebrate the story of Bunjil. Check the YouTube link...
It was dark on our arrival to the campsite, so we will explore more in the daylight tomorrow.
A map roughly showing where we traveled in Tasmania.
That's a wrap, now for the trip home.

Posted by iandeborah 11:04

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Welcome back to the mainland! We have so enjoyed sll your posts about your epic trip. Safe travels back to the West. Hope to catch up soon.
Margot & Andrew xxx

by Holdensam

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