A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: iandeborah

Millstream National Park

15.7.24 The week of our Millstream National Park stay.

Firstly a huge shout out and thankyou to Devil Creek Gas Plant where we fill up our water tanks if we're passing the turn off to Gnoorea Point (40 Mile Beach). They provide this freshwater facility for a gold coin donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
It was an uneventful drive along the Red Dog Highway to the park today. Along our trip down from Karratha we noticed a lot of Ore trains parked up/stationery along the line, and at one spot a crane parked up lifting a derailed train off the tracks. A bit further along we had to slow down to let a Dingo pass. He stood in the middle of the road and stared us down, before running off into the scrub. The last 7 kilometres of corrugations were quite rough and unforgiving although it was a workout for our DRS = dust reduction system, which did it's job. Arriving at Miliyanha Camp Ground in Millstream Chichester National Park.

November 2023 there was a huge bush fire in the park which meant a lot of vegetation was burnt and starting to grow back now. There also seems to be a lack of Native animals which might not have returned yet.

Millstream started as a pastoral station in 1865. In its heyday the station covered more than 400,000 hectares and ran 55,000 sheep. The present homestead was built in 1919 and housed the Gordon family until 1964. It was a Tavern between 1975 and 1986, when the lease was purchased by Department of Conservation and Land Management, now the Department of Biodiversity and Attractions. The older building out the back was part of the original homestead but was still used as a kitchen for the new homestead.

This national park was previously two separate parks, Millstream and Chichester. They were joined as one park in 1982. Yindjibarndi people have the opportunity to continue their long association with the area through training and employment as Rangers and contract workers. It has some nice short walks around the Homestead. Unfortunately the Wetland Trail had been closed due to the November fires, but another walk through the trees near the creek was open, and we took a nice late afternoon stroll.

Because of the large in-ground aquifer there is an abundance of water available at Miliyanha campground. There are 27 sites available, all large and well spaced parking bays. This area has drop toilets, flushing toilets available at the Homestead. Camp Kitchen with gas bbq and gas stovetop, double basin sink, but byo fridge. Lovely bench seats to sit on and enjoy. This campsite also has water taps situated throughout the grounds.

Michele and Gary joined a short time after we arrived. We all got settled in and had daily 5'zees which included much light hearted banter and felt very relaxed and at home in our surroundings. The stars in the outback are truly spectacular. We also had a number of locals join us each day, such as the native Spinifex pigeons.

Most of the National Park comprises of rolling Spinifex hills and spectacular escarpments in contrast around the Millstream Homestead area can be found a lush oasis of wetlands and Fortescue River pools. The water that feeds the Millstream Oasis springs from an aquifer, and underground reserve contained in the porous dolomite rock. The aquifer has an estimated area of 200 square kilometres and believed to contain 1.7 Billion cubic metres of water. The water from the aquifer along with the Harding Dam supplies water to industry and housing in Wickham, Roebourne, Point Samson, Dampier and Karratha. The downside to this in the campsite is hearing a constant thrum from the pumps the Water Department is using, unless the wind blows the sound in the other direction.

During the time we were camped at Miliyanha we undertook a few activities. The Warrungunha Trail which is an 8 kilometre return walk to the Cliff Lookout. Normally you would see melaleuca woodlands, hummock grassland and riverine woodland. Along the trail we did see some palm trees which we learnt are native to the area, named Millstream palms a relic from the paleoclimate. It looks like a bush oasis although further along the trail towards the cliff lookout, the deviation from the bushfire is noticeable with most undergrowth missing and bushes and trees starting to show regrowth. We even managed a shot of a Rainbow Bee Catcher, last photo in this following lot....

The Clifftop Lookout had views over one of the pools on the Fortescue River and the distant Hamersley Rangers in another direction.

The local swimming hole is Deep Reach Pool (Nhanggangunha) where we took the opportunity to hop in and go for a swim. This pool is believed to be the home of the mythological serpent or Early by the local Yindjibarndi people and a high level of respect is called for whilst using these pools. This is where we spotted some large Mulla Mulla flowers developing.

Another drive out we took was along Snappy Gum Drive, which is roughly a 33 kilometre round trip, but we only managed about 7 kilometres as the road was closed due to flood damage. We went past some of the pumping stations owned by Water Corporation.

As part of this drive we did manage to cross both the Millstream Creek and the Fortescue River, but not before testing the depth of water across the road. We also explored, on foot, the rocky picturesque hills along the Fortescue river and at Palm Pool. Deborah & Ian both found many rocks to admire.

Upon our drive to our next location we encountered a couple of people riding bicycles heading North up the Coastal Highway. Also 4 Harleys past us going southbound carrying the Pink Panther.

Until next time, stay safe, be happy, and do something you have never done before.

Posted by iandeborah 12:12 Comments (0)

Millstream National Park and beyond

Tuesday 9 July 24
A chance meeting as we left home on our trip. We took Marmalade to the Caravan Doctor for an adjustment to the new screen door. Not long after and at a Bunnings shop for a pool noodle we caught up with Ian's Sister Lynne over a coffee. After this chance encounter our journey began.

Next stop was Singleton where we caught up with Mel & Neil, Ian's Brother. After a cuppa and a yarn we drove the short journey to Pinjarra RV stop for the night. We camped with another half a dozen campers, all sourcing the high ground. Unfortunately due to recent rains this stop was a bit like a paddling pool. We took the initiative to email the council to thank them for providing the stop and ask were there an plans for remediation of the area. Their response was immediate and very positive. They intend to upgrade the drainage and improve and Mark caravan parking before the end of the year. We look forward to seeing this.
The Pinjarra Council has also bought the old Australind Train which is parked next to the RV park. The council have plans to retrofit the train for accommodation for hospitality workers.

Wednesday 10th July 24
On our way through Perth we caught up for a coffee and natter at Lot 6 Zero with our daughter Natalie.
After putting the world to right we headed off towards Lower Chittering to see the block of land that our friends Andrew and Margôt have just purchased. The views are lovely.
In the same area, Bullsbrook, is the Rural Building display home the house they are interested in building.
After admiring the house we set off North to our stop at Drummonds Reserve, 4.5km off the Brand Highway.
Two other campers spent the night under the stars. It was very quiet and peaceful.

Thursday 11 July 24
Listening to the ABC radio this morning on our journey we hear an interview with Torvill & Dean, British Ice Skaters who are coming for a final tour down under. We had a good day of travels and parked up at the Billabong Roadhouse and enjoyed a free hot shower. We were in the company of Baker's dozen. Nice sunset and then sunrise the next day. Deborah enjoyed her play time.

Friday 12 July 24
A relatively early start to the day. We passed through Carnarvon around 11 and had a compulsory stop at Bumbaks for a mango smoothie. The vans heading South the last few days but even more so today just keep coming. It could be due to the end of school holidays. We find we are travelling in the right direction. We parked up for a nighttime stop at Barradale Rest Area with another 50 or more. There wasn't much water in the Yannarie River. It is the dry season.

Saturday 13 July 24
A rather quiet night last night considering the vehicles camped up. Today we head to Peedamulla for a nights stop and cultural experience. We were excited to be visiting Peedamulla during NAIDOC week.
Deborah had to take a walk to surveil the surrounds.
Seems like most of the 20 camp sites were booked, and people drove in from Onslow plus a free bus services was provided from, and back to, Onslow for the feed and Corroboree. A hundred or more people had a great time. The kangaroo tail stew was a surprise. Although not much meat on the bones it was extremely tender and mild, nothing like previous kangaroo dishes we had tried. A lovely camp fire afterwards where we met a few more station locals, Onslow locals and mine workers.

Sunday 14 July 2024
And off we trip towards Karratha. First a quick shower in the hot Peedamulla ablutions, and we head off. A water fill stop at the Devil Creek gas plant along the way ensures our time in Millstream will be flush.
Karratha Coles Express overnight stop (on the highway) turns into the Hampton oval in Dampier, a further 20 kms up the road. Also, this means we can catch up for a dinner with friends Michele and Gary who are staying the night at Dampier Transit Park.
Before dinner we take a walk along the beach front. Great big busy boat ramp. These Dampier people must have a few dollars. And a lovely beach park, even with hammocks for adults.

Monday 15 July 2024
Dinner at the Mermaid Tavern in Dampier was a hit, all you can eat buffet including prawns. Go back to fill up as many times as you like until 8pm. And even a skimpy or 2 in the bar.
After a night in the 'no camping' Hampton Oval we set off from our night in the Hamptons towards Millstream National Park, and another meet up with Michele and Gary. We see the beach one last time from Marmalade before setting off.

Posted by iandeborah 00:18 Comments (0)

Tasmania, The Journey Home - Wudinna to Busselton, WA

Wednesday 24 April 2024
Leaving Kimba, the wind gods were kind to us as we head westward again towards Wudinna (wood-nah). This town has an RV parking area at the showgrounds, providing power and water for $15 per night with toilets, and a shower if needed for an extra $2. Or unpowered and no water hook up for $10 per night. We opted for the $15 option. Deborah got the washing sorted and cooked her delicious sourdough bread for lunch.
After setting up we took a walk around the town to check the shops, including op shop, bakery, Foodland and Library. They also have a statue, 'The Australian Farmer's, a contemporary 8.5 metre high granite sculpture. Representing the early settlers of the region with wheat sheaths on the torso with sheep around the base. It's amazing to see day or night.
Stores in town
They think of everything and everyone at the RV Park.
Ian was a happy chappy after seeing the towns Library.
Afterwards we took one of the suggested scenic drives. This one took us to Polda Rock and dam.
This is the rock surface.
The Dam
We then drive past Turtle Rock and on to the magnificent Mt. Wudinna. Mt Wudinna is locally claimed, at 260 metes high, to be Australia's second highest granite monolith. It sure has great views from the top.
Ian did a bit of pondering right up the top. Secret Mens business Deborah was told.
After walking very carefully down from Mt Wudinna Deborah decided a little rest was in order. The views were magnificent from a special seat she found.
A little walk to see the picnic facilities, iron art and fire pits around the bottom. Unfortunately you cannot camp here but certainly would be a great picnic spot. The views are magic from this area. We could see for miles and miles. What a privilege to climb this beauty.

Thursday 25 April 2024
Anzac Day, Lest we forget!
The road beckoned once again. Where will we end up today? Lunch was at Wirrulla. This has a nice $15 a night campground with power and water and wait there's more, showers. After picking up 2Litres of milk at the general store we moved on. There was a lot of traffic heading East but very little travelling Westward like us. Fuel and a free hot shower from the Ampol Service Station, in the town of windmills, Penong. But our stop for the night was Cohen Old School Site, 14 kms West of Penong. A sunny day and we reached 21 degrees maximum today and a minimum of 9.7 tnis morning.

Friday 26 April 2024
10.1 degrees in the van this morning . We hit the road running to see how far we could get, 569km to be exact. There were lots of long straight stretches of road, not a sharp corner or steep hill to be seen.
Unfortunately the road kill count in SA, in the first hour of travel included 4 wombats. Luckily 2 Emus strolling across the highway were spotted in time for us to slow down and safely avoid them. A lot of traffic we passed was headed eastward. Including a couple of vehicles we literally had to get off the road for them to pass.
Our morning tea stop today.
We reached an auspicious milestone, pun intended, Rocky the Jeep ticked over 100,000km.
At peg 70, 70km east of the WA/SA boarder we saw an optical illusion which turned out to be 2 trucks back to back, not one truck.
Today we gained 45 minutes near the boarder. After passing at the boarder today our inspector just happened to be a Manchester United supporter. Initially he was going to refuse us entry due to our car number plate (MANCTY FC), luckily for us his wife is a MAN City supporter. He asked permission to take a photo of our plate to show his wife and cousin who is also a City supporter. We are happy to report we were let back into WA as we passed the inspection with flying colours. We seem to have gained another 45 minutes. Our watches are in denial at the moment, however tomorrow with internet reception we feel it will all be resolved. We have now crossed the boarder and are now several hundred km into WA. The outside temperature reached 21 degrees. Our night stop is at Moodini Bluff. Deborah baked a loaf of bread upon arrival for tomorrows lunch.
Today has been a big day due to the added 1 hour and a half of daylight.

Saturday 27 April 2024
We hit the road again and not long down the track Ian spied a dead dingo on the side of the road. We encountered 2 push bikes and riders, heading in our direction, so we gave them plenty of room as we travelled by.
Our coffee stop today was at Caiguna near this sign
Ian spotted an emu running from one side of the highway to the other, as they ran just behind a car that was driving towards us. It reached 26 degrees by 1.30pm WA time. Deborah got her wish, she was handed the keys and drove the second half of the 90 mile straight and beyond. No animals were harmed on this adventure. Although Ian's blood pressure medication helped him as he sat in the passenger seat admiring the view.
Our lunch stop was at Harms Lake. Just as we drove off again about a kilometre into the journey Deborah noticed on a hill about 500 metres from us, was about a dozen free range camels. These are the first camels we have seen this trip. We have been passing a heap of Variety Bash cars going in the opposite directions, here is one of them.
As we were driving along we saw evidence of the bush fire along the Nullarbor from February earlier this year where a 370km of the Eyre Highway was closed.
Our destination today is Norseman free RV camp, the end of the Nullabor drive.

Sunday 28 April 2024
Getting up this morning was a cool misty morning, not too dissimilar to our mornings at Bannon Park free camp in Tasmania.
Morning tea today was at the beautiful townsite of Salmon Gums. One of the main events of the day happened as we were leaving Salmon Gums. Many salt lakes were seen on our drive although all empty of water but full of salt. Rain drops falling on the car. Ian stopped to put the wet weather flap in the Dometic Dust Reduction System (DRS)in the caravan. Continued on uninterrupted to Ravensthorpe. A well oiled pitstop. We hit the toilets, drove to the very conveniently located water tap and Ian topped up the tank while Deborah weaved her magic in the kitchen, to make a delicious soup and sourdough toast. We then headed to Hopetown Free RV camp. A along the way avoiding a troupe of Emus in the paddock next to us. Deborah yelled, STOP. As Ian screamed to a holt, no breaks or following vehicles were damaged in this endeavour. Deborah had spotted a lovely T-Pot, picture perfect but too big to take home. It was tight, but luckily we could fit into a designated spot to stay for up to 48 hours. Went for a walk into town to pick up some Fish & Chips and prawn fritters for dinner from Go Nuts. It was cooked by the same guy as always and to perfection. The temperature reached a sweltering 17 today and most of the day we had cloud cover. We still reached 100 percent in the battery on-board the caravan.

Monday 29 April 2024
We had a walk into town to check out the bakery. Enjoying a relaxing day today. This afternoon we had a lovely stroll along the beach. The weather started off sunny and then early afternoon it turned windy and overcast.

Tuesday 30 April 2024
The ranger came around this morning and issued move on noticed to those who have not had an officially dedicated grey water tank and a toilet onboard. The bucket underneath just doesn't cut it at Hopetoun.
A revisit to Fitzgerald National Park was in order today. On the way into the park is a small camping area run park the Parks Department, Four Mile beach which has beach access and close by is Barrens Beach.
Barron Beach
We last visited the park in September last year with the Busselton Naturalists, on our 2023 long range camping trip. Spring had then provided a good array of wildflowers and fauna, but mid autumn still provides a beautiful outlook but with less flowers at Barrens Lookout.
Mt Barren
Lunch back at the van was a triumph of Deborah's skills. A huge bun in the oven, delish.
And finally a walk around town took us past the Shire information office, Community Resource Centre and Library. A lovely window plus native garden with interpretive signage. On display were some Pincushion Hakea flowers, which reminded us of our own garden.

Wednesday 1 May 2024
A visit to another previous wildflower destination, Borden. Whilst driving along we were listening to the ABC rural hour, as you do, and talking about running out of hay for stick feed. And what should pull out ahead of us but a double banger truck load of hay bales.
Ian had poo pooed the idea there'd be much in the way of wildflowers at Borden at this time of the year. But we found what appears to be an orchid just opening, a few other flowers and a huge moth about 8 cm long. Ian named this orchid the MayDay Orchid.
The Borden School entrance wall art was impressive as was the street art and the song.
Borden is such a quiet, payback town we do love our visits here. On our walk around town we saw some great specimens. The protea looks so happy where it is planted.
We spent a couple of dollars in town by going out for dinner at the Tavern. Great food, friendly and welcoming staff. Would we swing by again and use the free camping options, we most certainly would.

Thursday 2 May 2024
A leisurely start to the day after our cuppa as we have a planned lunch date at the famous Mount Barker Bakery, only 160 kms away.
The mountains today had clouds sitting on top. It was drizzling throughout the day. At one stage we saw an Emu right beside the car as we drove along the highway. In Mount Barker we spotted this fabulous wall art.
Tonight's destination is Rocky Gully, WA, a free camp opposite the newly renovated and reopened Rocky Gully Roadhouse. Check it out online. Our camp spot is also the school bus pickup/drop-off point.

Friday 3 May 2024
After an extremely quiet night due to lack of night traffic on the Muir Highway we headed off for a morning tea catch up in Manjimup. Within the first 5km Ian started to rapidly slow the combo down, as we saw two kangaroos a Mum or Dad and the young one, right beside the bitumen on our side of the road. The Adult crossed, the youngster hesitated but then jumped across the road. Luckily we avoided these two and continued onwards. We caught up with Lynne, Joc & Dan. Fuelled up and headed to Balingup for our overnight stop, this is our last night out on this trip. A walk into town to browse the local shops. Then home for afternoon tea. The night markets were on in town tonight. We picked up some fresh honey from this beaut ute. Deborah does love a good looking ute.
On our last night out in Marmalade for this trip we though we just had to finish it with Tasmanian cooked salmon and chips and veggies.
Our site, beside the oval.

Saturday 4 May 2024
This morning we were entertained by a game of soccer. The under 15s second game of the season. The Bunbury team played Balingup.

We swung by Donnybrook and saw they have updated the information at the transit park.

We arrive home in Busselton, our home today after almost 5 months on the road and 15,309 kilometres travelled. We have had an epic adventure. Ian & I would like to thank you for coming along on the ride with us.
Until next time.

Posted by iandeborah 06:37 Comments (2)

Tasmania, The Journey home, Wirrabara to Kimba

Sunday 21 April 2024
Off early for a walk to visit of the Producer Markets in Wirrabara. Lots of fresh produce locally grown and produced. Picked up some last minute groceries and The Sunday Mail paper, hooked up and we are on the road again.

Wilmington to Quorn, South Australia
Had a short break in Wilmington before continuing our journey to Quorn. First stop was at the Railway Station/Information Centre to pick up our tickets for the 2.30 Tour of the Railway workshop.
We found a lovely bush camp for the night $18 a night and maximum stay of 2 days. Ian set up camp as Deborah prepared lunch and a lovely cup of tea.
A little light reading then off down town on foot, we go, to take a walk through town. Have a close look at these front windows.
A few buildings around town and the new town centre & water feature with Ampitheatre.
The Anzac Memorial Area.
We found the Library for Ian at the school for everyone to visit.
The 2.30pm Tour of the Pichi Richi Railway Workshop & yards. The workshops span across several sheds. Each holding various steam and diesel electric engines and multiple rail carriages, some in varying states of repair. They are always looking for volunteers to help. The tour was extensive and took over 1.5 hours. They even have a carriage from WWI that has etchings done by soldiers carried by the trains. Plus a sleeper carriage that has a ladies and gents end. Deborah inspected the plumbing and seating. Ian quietly waited.
Amazing renovation work is done here and they currently have 3 working steam trains, plus the diesel electrics. Here we also show an undercarriage of a W class plus the steam chamber being readied to install back on to it.
Many engines were built in England, others USA and others in Australia.
One of our favourites was the Coffee Pot train. We had tried to book a trip on it, but as it only goes a few times each year we were out of luck. It's called a motor carriage rather than a train, but it is really a steam driven engine. They even have a coal stash in the yard for it and the other steam engines.
Quorn, South Australia, the Silo night show at Quorn.
What we can tell you is these silos of a day are just that, with no painted pictures on them but at night as the sun goes down the light show begins. Like at the drive in theatre you drive and park up, turn your radio to 87.6 and watch & listen to the show, for about 30-40 minutes. This show also incorporated an Anzac Tribute.

Monday 22 April 24
We headed off on the road towards Iron Knob but along the way we thought we would revisit, 8 years later, The Australian Arid Land Botanic Garden, near Port Augusta. The plantings have expanded 2 fold. The area and plants and wildlife are impressive. Still a number of plants flowering, places to relax and sculptures to admire.
We passed wind turbines in the distance.
A salt lake.
It is noticeable the dryness out here. It hasn't rained in a while.
Continuing our journey we noticed in the distance as we were driving towards Iron Knob at the top of the hill 2 bursts of dust fill the air, which turns out to be the planned mine explosions today at 2pm.
We drove in and parked up for the night at the Iron Knob Community Run, donation campground. It has a camp kitchen, new toilet and shower block, hot water not attached yet. But as today reached 28 degrees we decided a cold shower would be refreshing tonight and it didn't disappoint. We visited the Post Office next door and met Markus the Postal Officer come general store person. We bought a drumstick ice cream each at $2.50 each, bargain and a dozen fresh and large free range community garden eggs at $4.00 bargain. We got the info on the land we had been passing on the left side, which is owned by the Army. All we could see driving past was danger, no entry. Markus tells us they have war games over there at particular times of the year, only known to the Army.
Below is a photo of Deborah's latest new friends. Not counted in the 150 residents living in Iron Knob.
The camp

Tuesday 23 April 24
Today we leave Iron Knob after a very warm night, something we haven't been used to during our trip around Tasmania which got down to 17. But firstly Ian inspects the van.
Deborah checks this structure out in the distance, it was confirmed it was used to load trains back in the day.
We take a stroll about 1km to the Iron Knob Tourist Information Centre and Museum. A compact display of the history of iron ore mining and other activities in the town. We also got to watch an informative video covering the main events in the mining journey of the town which established the iron ore and steel industry in Australia.
We hit the road, after arriving in Kimba for our morning tea stop we decided that, due to the strong headwinds, we'd stay the night. So we parked up in the Kimba Recreation Oval donation camping area. This provides nice ablutions which included access to $2 hot showers. A walk around town to the op shop and the Workshop 26. It's where Industrial meets country in an abandoned tractor shed. You meet the makers and creators breathing life into this unique country town in the heart of Eyre Peninsula. Local artisans, produce suppliers and secondhand antiques are on display and for sale. You will find Ian sitting by the fire waiting for his cuppa and the movies to start.
Tonight we took the opportunity to see the Kimba Silo artwork lit up. Very nice and a different reflection from our previous daylight viewings.

Wednesday 24 April 2024
We're off again....

Posted by iandeborah 08:58 Comments (1)

Tasmania, The Journey Home, Bunjil Lookout to Wirrabara

Saturday 13 April 2024
The journey home begins in earnest. But first a look at some artistic wonders along the way.

Avoca, Victoria
This artwork commenced in March 21. Painted by Jimmi Buscombe. It is the 47th Silo to be painted. It is the only glow in the dark Silo in Australia.The artwork depicts the Barking Owl, a bird native to the local Pyrenees Ranges. And a enterprising house across the road makes and sells metal artwork and fire pits.

St. Arnaud, Victoria
Artist: Kyle Tourney, painted by Ktorney Art and are officially the 38th set of silos to be completed in Australia.
Titled 'Hope', Kyle has told the story of three pioneer residents of St Arnaud, a former gold mining town, situated between Ballarat and Mildura. During the 1800's 'Hope' was about a miner looking for a fleck of gold in his pan, 'Hope' for his wife, will she be able to buy food and clothing for her family and 'Hope' that a young child will prosper. Kyle is a local resident of St Arnaud and is dedicated to the promotion of his town through tourism. He has now painted many murals throughout the town.

Boort, Victoria
We ventured out to the town of Boort with a population of 700, to see the "Spanner Man's Metal Sculptures" made entirely from old spanners. Artist John Piccoli. John contracted polio in 1949, he carried on farming his third generation Central Victorian property from a wheelchair before retiring to embrace life as an accidental artist. Mr Piccoli sourced spanners from far and wide to create his many sculptures, eventually, he was convinced to open his farm to visitors. He was terribly artistic a friend said. He used to lie in the dirt on his back to weld. " He had the incredible ability to achieve perspective." He didn't want to make money out of it, he just wanted to see the pleasure that people got out of his artwork." John died suddenly in April 2021. His Son is now opening up the garden for people to view these spectacular one off artwork sculptures. He used to fund his spanners by running tours of his sculptures around his garden.
He spent 6 months and more on many of these spectacular pieces. They do 2 tours a day, book in if you want to view his one of artworks.
A couple of the animals at the farm
They also have collections of items from the past.

Nullawil, Victoria
and St Joseph's Catholic Church.
The town has free showers for travellers Tonight we chose to stay at a donation camp-site in town, out the back of St Joseph's Catholic Church. The stars are definitely bright in small outback towns.

Sunday 14 April 2024
Sea Lake, Victoria

Woomelang, Victoria
Artists : Seven including Jimmy Dvate, Andrew J Bourke and Kaff-eine to name a few.
I June 2020, the town of Woomelang invited seven artists to transform mini silos into a tourist attraction for the town. Featured on the silos are the likes of spotted tail quolls and other endangered species of the area.Located around the town of Woomelang, Victoria.
They have a small donation caravan park in the centre of town for 2 vans, power and water supplied to each site. Toilets and hot showers next door. A communal fire pit and a painted Silo across the road.

Lascelles, Victoria
Renowned Melbourne Street Artist "Rone" has painted the images of a local couple Geoff & Merrilyn Horman on the silos in the Wimmera-Mallee Victoria. The town has a population of only just 48 people on a good day, but Rone selected the Dorman's above others. They are a humble couple, who are both wise and knowing and who have nurtured the town with their vast farming experience and longstanding connection to the area. Their family has lived in the area for four generations. Geoff and Merrilyn were both born in the district and then married in Lascelles in 1967. Together with their two sons and now their families also, they have continued the family tradition of wheat farming and strong community involvement. In mid 2017 Rone worked for two weeks to transform these two GrainCorp silos which now portray Geoff and Merrilyn looking over their hometown forever. They are the eighth silos to be included in the Australian Silo Art Trail.

Patchewollock, Victoria
GrainCorp Silos at Patchewollock - Victoria
Artist : Fintan Magee
Patchewollock is a very small town in the north-west region of Victoria. And Ian was intrigued about the Mobil sign next to the Bowser with no fuel. They also have sheep races opposite the local pub. The town also marks the beginning of the 'Silo Art Trail's from its northern end.
The GrainCorp Silos at Patchewollock were the forth set of silos to join the Australian Silo Art Trail Collection and the second to be painted in Wimmera-Mallee region in Victoria. It's always been one of my favourite silos as I love the rich colours in this one and the story behind it also. They were painted by Brisbane artist Fintan Magee. For inspiration for his silo mural and to get to know the people in the area, Fintan booked a room at the local pub so he could mix among the local community. It wasn't long before he met the subject for the Patchewollock Silos. A hard working lanky local by the name of Nick "Noodle" Holland who exemplified the no-nonsense, hardworking spirit of the region. These twin silos were built in 1939 and was transformed in late 2016.
Met a few of the locals riding by as we were enjoying our lunch today.
Here's a blast from the past.
These are for the sheep racing.
Ian's found yet another one.
Every town has at least one church.

Walpeup, Victoria
This Silo is a tribute to Harold Thomas Bell, a local boy from Walpeup, a little town in the north west part of Victoria, who became a trooper of the 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment after using his cousin's last name Wickham, to disguise his true age to enlist and fight in World War 1. This boy was shot in the leg during the Battle of Beersheba on October 31, 1917 and died of his wounds the following day. He was just 16 years old. Located in the town of Walpeup on the Mallee Highway, this piece was painted on the Grain Corp silos and allows viewers to reflect, and to pay respects to the bravery and sacrifices made during the war.
This project took 5 years in the making and the preparation only took a few weeks to paint.
The Artist was Julian Clavijo and Camilo Delgado.
Dryland Memorial Garden
Ian's been a busy boy visiting some of the libraries in this area.
Another town and another Church. Although some towns have 1,2 or 3 churches maytimes they whittle them down to 1 church. This is not that church. This one closed a few years ago. It's still here to visit.

We are staying the night in the Walpeup Wayside Stop. It's a campground in town near the Silo. Ian gave Deborah the option of sites tonight, a $9 unpowered or a $10 powered, water hook up, toilets and hot shower in the ablution block a further $3. Well Deborah chose the $10 powered option as it seemed like a no brainer. It's a very busy park and full tonight with 8 powered sites and lots of unpowered sites. Having a shower in our van, using our gas. Tomorrow we head through the 1st Quarantine drop going north. I have taken the opportunity to cook up our fruit and wash the few potatoes I have left. We also are a piece of Uncle Harry's beautiful salmon for dinner and used up our salad. I also took the opportunity to do some washing as one does when on power and water.

Monday 15 April 2024
Mildura, Victoria
We head to Mildura today and are stayed at the Red Cliffs Golf Club a donation camp site. Passing through Ouyen (owe-yen), we stopped at the Mallee Bakery also Roxy Theatre reopened, after community restoration, in 2007. And a few other items of interest in the town.
From the Lookout over the mighty Murray River.
The Red Cliffs Golf Club camp kitchen, but wait there's also a cool book exchange and a lovely sunset.

Tuesday 16 April 2024
The Traditional owners of the Mildura area are Maraura, Barkinji, Dadi Dadi, Jari Jari Ladji people.
The Jeep (Rocky) was having his 100,000 service today in Mildura. We are out and about in a sporty MG, sorry a Chinese MG3.

We managed to catch the paddle boat as it came into Lock 11 to be lowered down to continue it's journey downstream. The water level in the lock changes roughly 3.5 metres up/down.
The weir and lock, Lock 11, were built between 1923 and 1927. This, and the other 12 weirs, helped fulfill the shared vision of William and George Chaffey, for a permanently accessible source of water for irrigation and water transport along the Murray River. The weird and locks help manage water levels, creating a more reliable level for irrigation. Previously the floodplains and wetlands experienced wet and dry cycles. The weir at Mildura comprises 24 steel and each weighing 11 tonnes. These can be raised during flood events or for maintenance.
If only the 13 Weir's had been installed during the Chaffey Brothers development in the Mildura area was in full swing it's full potential might have been realised earlier than the early 1920's. As it was the Chaffey brothers (Canadians) came over from the US of A to Mildura in 1886, where they sweated blood to help create the first irrigation scheme in Australia. Initially successful, they built Rio Vista the house in 1889. However Williams first wife Hattie died in 1889, and the 6th baby soon after. Not to be downhearted William married Hattie's niece, also called Hattie, and had a further 6 children.
The Mildura irrigation scheme finally faltered when a drought occurred, and the brother's fortunes dwindled.
Eventually the weirs and locks were built in the early 1920's and crops, all along the Murray, began to prosper again. The house, Rio Vista, is an amazing example of late 19 century buildings, and preserved and presented in excellent condition. Loved the led lighting throughout the house.
We had a noisy miner over for lunch.
A bit of a drive around town also meant discovering another one of Ian's libraries.
We came home to a surprise. New neighbours, Sharon & Peter (Korker Adventures), in their Sunland Phoenix. We met them last in Karrinyup Waters Caravan Park, Perth, W.A. We had a good chat, it was great to see them & hear all about there travels. Redcliffs Golf Course had plenty of room for an Army of campers.

Wednesday 17 April 2024
A day for checking out a bit more of Mildura, in particular some op shops and sports shops. Nothing much to report, although there are quite a number of opportunity shops in town. No great purchases were made. We also checked into see Woodside Gems, which was a lot larger than we had anticipated, an Aladdin's cave if gemstones and jewellery. Again, no purchases happened.
Afternoon saw us visiting Cappa Stone Wines and Dynasty of Tea. A family owned business making wine and blending their own tea styles. A bit of tasting, presented by Kade one of the wine makers, had us taking home a few bottles of vino, and an album. Yes, another purchase of a vinyl record by Ian, who got into deep discussions with the winery owner, Kade's father Dale, about record players, amplifiers and other 2 channel music equipment. Seems he used to repair record players in a previous life. Ian finished the evening cooking the salmon dish outside the caravan. Once again, thankyou to Uncle Harry the fisherman in the family.

Thursday 18 April
Off to our next night time destination, Waikerie in South Australia. Yep, we're crossing the border. But along the way we have some Silo art and a Quarantine border crossing to negotiate.

Werrimul, Victoria
Is a small town, with a shop post office and a pub. It's also got camping across from the pub which has a combo toilet/shower for free. Nice Silo artwork as well, done by Jimmy Dvate and Justin Fennel seed.

Paringa, South Australia
Our next artwork, and lunch stop at the bakery. This silo art is done by Jack Fran using exterior acrylic enamel paint, applied with brushes, rollers and airless spray gun. Paringa is near Renmark and was also the base for the Chaffey brothers of Mildura fame, to setup their younger brother Charles Frances. To oversee the irrigation and agricultural development for the Renmark region. He is depicted on the silo artwork along with Sister Elaine Balfour-Ogilvy 1912-1942, a nurse from Paringa who, along with other nurses and civilians were deliberately gunned down by the Japanese in 1942, after the fall of Singapore. The incident became known as the Bangka Straits Massacre. Also depicted is a paddle steamer with Captain Pearl Wallace and finally a silhouette representative of First Community Inhabitants.
A bit of confusion as we had checked online what we were allowed to bring through quarantine into SA. The information led us to believe we needed to eat the fruit & veg of which we had 1 banana and 1 apple. That was easy to eat. A few cherry tomatoes, so we snacked on them. But the other information led us to believe we could take in washed potatoes, or cooked potatoes, raw silver eat and raw green stir fry vegetables. But as we passed the turnoff to bin, we noticed another sign, " No fruit and vegetables allowed. We quickly halted and made a U-turn to the bins and decided it wasn't worth the risk, although we were confused we felt it was best to bin any vegetables we had before driving to the quarantine check point. We stopped as directed and an officer checked the car and van including the fridge and pantry. The officer said, "no fruit or veggies are allowed". We had a discussion about the signage and discrepancies. For a brief moment as the officer asked Deborah to open the pantry, he said, do you have any honey? Deborah had an anxious moment as she had previously thought we needed to eat that before crossing the boarder, but forgot about it. Deborah said yes, here it is, we bought it in Tasmania. Fortunately there is no Varroa mite in Tasmania he said, you can bring that in. He checked the bottle was tightly closed. He also said if I purchased it in NSW he would have taken it away and fined us. With a sigh, we locked up the van and Deborah told Ian to , "Start the car" and off we drove. Meanwhile, due to our lengthy inspection and one lane only for caravans, we had now backed up the caravan row of others waiting to come through this inspection point.
After leaving we start to head through Renmark town itself. A quick visit to 23rd Street Distillery is in order. A tasting flight of gin and whisky before resuming our drive.

Waikerie, South Australia
Finally at Waikerie, named after the indigenous word for the local rain moth 'wei kari'. We take a few shots of the Silo art and along the Cliff Top Walk. This also gave us views across the Murray River and the local ferry, which is the only way to cross the river in the town.

Walkerie Cliff Top Walk
A bit of street art in town
Waikerie is known for its iconic citrus industry, so we had to look into one of the factory outlets, Nippys.
Tonight our camp is at Waikerie, by the silo art, free camping. We had another 3 caravans in the carpark as our neighbours. The area next to the Silos has been designated by the local council as free RV camping. The silos are also flood lit at night.

Friday 19 April 2024
Across the Mighty Murray.
Heading off from Waikerie we decided to take a slightly different route, so we could make use of the 'free' ferry across the Murray. No bridge, so this is how the towns people get over the other side. Easy and quick.

Eudunda, South Australia
Silo Art - The Storytime Silos.
Artist : Sam Brooks
Sam was commissioned to creat an "identity' for Eudunda and to inspire, challenge and stimulate local tourism, as well as to develop a Public Art Project that is Creative, Artistic and Innovative. This massive 30m tall, six silo project.
The Silo tells a story about two children, sharing stories about their past and their culture and connections to the area. Famous local author, Colin Thiele, wrote Sun on the Stubble as he reflected about this area. The book tells about the hardships, farming community and day to day experiences of rural life in Eudunda. The young girl in the painting carefully steps through her magical book, experiencing cattle, sheepdogs and horseback riders as they travel through a golden dust storm.
Driving through the country we found this fixer upper.

Farrell Flat, South Australia
Artists :Jarrod Soden and Matthew Knights.
Completed November 2020.
150 Litres of paint used.
30m tall Silo.
Art piece total size : 900 square metres.
It depicts the last passenger train to pass through this historic township in the late 1900s. We also noticed that the newer silo next to the painted ones were getting a lick if paint around their tops. And, even though it might be a one horse town, it still has a functioning hotel open 7 days a week. The train station is now a private residence in the throes of being renovated.
Population : 300.
Check out one of the two guys on the top of the white silo.
A short drive along we chanced upon the small town of Yacka, and an amazing find for Ian. The Mobile Library was in town.

Laura, South Australia
Check out this Yakka mural.
Inside the North Paddock antiques and gift shop you will find not only a coffee shop but these beauties.

Wirrabara, South Australia
Wirrabara is a town located in the Southern Flinders Ranges in the mid north of South Australia. The Horrocks Highway passes through town and it sits along the Rocky River. In April 2018
Wirrabara Silos
Artist : Sam Bates, 'Smug'
The local community did not want a local resident painted on their silos, so Smug chose Dion Lebrun to be the inspiration for the Wirrabara Silo Art.
The artwork also depicts the rich history of the area which has strong ties to the forestry industry as well as referencing the beautiful local flora and fauna for which the area is well known for. The Viterra Silos took Smug three weeks to complete in 2018.
The site includes generous parking spaces in the designated car park for several buses, caravans and cars.

Tonight's camp is at Wirrabra Community Caravan Park. Our choice was $20 unpowered or $25 powered and water with access to an ensuite style toilet/shower. We chose powered. The sites all have there own firepit should you choose to use it. Initially we decided to stay one night.
Ian's cooking tonight, well he chose to take Deborah out to the local pub and it just so happens to have a happy hour from 5-7pm, with a raffle drawn about 7pm if you choose to buy a ticket or 3. A walk through the arboretum to the pub revealed some local metal artworks.
And finally during dinner...Woo Hoo, we won a $30 voucher for dinner/lunch at the pub.

Saturday 20 April 2024
We have extended our stay to two nights to utilise our $30 dinner voucher we won.
We took the opportunity to take a walk around the town today. We checked out the local we) stock & reasonably priced corner store with some artwork outside it including a Bubble O' Bill. Also a craft shop/information Bureau. Lovely cute small home found in the streets, Deborahs step size 14 x 10. We stopped and peered through the window of a wood craft store and The Book Brothel. Later to find out, the owner passed away in March, so they won't be opening again. The Book Brothel used to be open 24/7 on an honesty base. Further on our walk we walked along the back streets and passed the local police station that doesn't look like it's open much. We saw very few people wandering around town, although we are told there are approx 300 people in the district. The playground area was well utilised today. Some painted and tiled murals were found around town. Tonight we take walk through town to the pub for dinner.

Posted by iandeborah 08:04 Comments (0)

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 Comments (1)

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 Comments (2)

Week 15, Roaming Tasmania, Australia

Wednesday 26 March 2024.
We moved on to Deloraine to spend Easter on route for Deborah to go for a special visit to a Tasmanian dentist as she has cracked a tooth in half, which previously had a crown from many years ago. It was in need of smoothing a out by a dentist.
Parked up at the Deloraine RV site, at $3 a night it's great. Of course there seems to be the d'heads that think it's free and don't want to pay $3.We had a walk into town so Ian could return his library book, which was borrowed at the Scottsdale library. Borrow a book at any Tasmanian public library and return to any other Tasmanian public library. Fantastic service for visitors.
An early evening walk to do some platypus sighting/s. A small one and a larger one were spotted tonight.

Thursday 27 March 2024
Today was Deborah's day of reckoning, the appointment with the smile merchant, Longford SmileCo. Tooth smoothed by Dr Richie Wang we were on our way. We took a wander around the historic buildings of Longford. Many of these were built in the early to mid 1800's. The church was built in 1839. Just after we took the photo the bell did a single 'ding' for 1pm.
The Old Flower Mill, now a roaring cafe.
The wagon style seats around town.
Ernest and Ernist The Coffee Shop with a difference, was the General Store and Dwelling back in the day. The seats were so unique, they are actually tractor seats.
A town Mural
The Town Hall
We stumbled upon the Queen's Arms, which was the Kings Arms Inn.
We enjoyed some delicious pumpkin soup and bread at the Sticky Beak Cafe in town. What a fabulous dinner. Set in the middle of this bustling busy town called Longford. Fabulous service and a hidden gem.
How about this shop.
Junker Jayne, previously a Drapery Store
Ian was a very happy boy when he found some Conkers on the walk path. It brought him again back to his childhood.
After getting back to camp it was time for another platypus spotting. This time we managed to sight 3 different ones, and got photos of 2 of them.
This is your photographer, Ian working hard getting you these very special shots.
Today it reached 23 outside, it felt like 33 back home. We even put the air conditioning on in the car to stay cool.

Friday 28 March 2024, it's Good. Good Friday that is.
A trip to the Great Lake (yingina) was in order today. Up those ziggy zaggy roads again, with our first stop the Great Lake lookout. Spectacular views.
Driving onwards along the western shoreline you encounter heaps of shacks of varying standards, from humpys to large house style buildings.
Stopping to chat to a couple of ladies in one of the side streets we got all the inside knowledge about these enclaves of humpys. Seems that many are old holiday shacks used mainly in the summer months and the land was leased. In more recent times they have been allowed to buy and own the land, after having to install proper sewerage systems. Most run on gas stoves and gas fridges with small solar/battery systems for electricity and wood heating. We stopped to have a picnic lunch at a boat ramp near Miena under a lovely shady tree.
We watched people put their boats in and out of the water & even witnessed a humpy owner filling an IBC on the back of his trailer with water from the Lake, as they do, using a a pump to fill the IBC on several occasions.
The Great Lake, as it is, came about after the building of the Miena dam in 1922, with a further dam in 1967 creating the 3rd largest lake, and the highest in Australia. Travelling home up the eastern side of the lake takes us past the Poatina power station, where water from the Great Lake travels 900 metres downhill to the station, which is itself 150 metres underground in a massive artificial cavern. Poatina meaning 'cavern' or 'cave' in the indigenous language. When the water is released from the power station it rushes down what is called a Tail Race, dropping over multitude of small weird for several kilometres towards the Derwent River.
Driving a little further we came to the village of Poatina, built to house the workers during the building of the power station infrastructure. Since 1995 it has basically been owned by a Christian group which interviews anyone looking to move to live in the village. It's a lovely view from the village across the valley.
Our trip back also took us through a village called Bracknell . In the back garden of one of the houses we noticed this small caravan very similar to the ones that Wings Wildlife Park had for sale. Old mobile accommodation used in the 1950's and '60 for remote workers. This particular example was in renovated condition, most likely a cubby house.
Another native that you need to keep an eye out for on the roads.

Saturday 29 March, 2024
It was an exciting day today as we were expecting visitors. First ones for morning tea were our friends from Busselton Mark & Lauren. Not too long after our late morning tea and lunch guests arrived. It was none other than Aunty oria & our fisherman Uncle Harry. Mark & Lauren continued there journey to New Norfolk. Aunty Gloria drove us to lunch at Frank & Lotti, a trendy cafe in Deloraine.
We went on another early evening Platypus perusing prowl and spotted 3 different Platypus playing in the Meander River. They are such a delight to watch.

Sunday 30 March, 2024 also Easter Sunday.
Whilst Ian watched some clothes go around in the laundrette Deborah took a look at the Silk Yarns Artwork in Deloraine today. This is a unique treasure viewable 7 days a week, 9.30am to 4pm at the Great Western Tiers Visitor Centre, Deloraine, Tasmania. An entry fee of $10 is payable. Here you will find four quilted, soft sculptured silk panels that are hung on the walls & are the size of King sized quilts along a wall. 10,000 hours of work by 300 women over 3 years using numerous hand working techniques and is a unique world class attraction. You know what they say, " it take a community, well that it did. Each covers the 4 seasons of the landscapes, starting with Spring filled with culture and Heritage of the Meander Valley people. This is a truly magnificent piece of work, each stitch stitched with tender loving care, stitching beautiful memories. Funding was secured to house them in a purpose built room which is climate contolled, and soft lighting to best preserve the work, they ask for no flash photography.
I will let the pictures tell the stories, all of the local animals can be found in these artworks. Feel free to add a comment with the animals you have found.
These are the magnificent 300 women who made these exceptional silk wall art quilts.

Out the back of the information centre, included in your ticket you will find examples of early pioneer village buildings including the Blacksmith cottage, outhouse and many of the old equipment used in days gone by.
The magnificent views from the back deck.
Tonight we started the celebration of Ian's forthcoming Birthday by going out to dinner at The Little Green Men Brewing Co.
On our way back we walked along the river back and again managed to spot one of the local platypus out feeding.

Monday 1 April, 2024
Today is Ian's 66th Birthday. Let's just start this day off the way it should be.
Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Ian, Happy Birthday to you!
It's moving day, today we depart Deloraine and our beautiful Platypus friends and move to Evandale. Along the way we pass these treasures.
Setting up at the RV camp area in Falls Park we set off for a walk along the historic streets of this lovely village.
Many buildings are in very good condition, including the Anglican church with its steeple. The Uniting Church which is one of the most important colonial buildings which has retained its interior and exterior without alterations. The first Presbyterian minister, Reverend Robert Russell, was the minister for nearly 40 years These, and many other buildings, were built in the early 1830's.
Also some interesting bronze sculptures including one of John Glover a well renowned landscape artist born in 1757, who came to Evandale, Tasmania in 1831 and developed australian landscape painting....his paintings regularly sell for large sums, in the millions.
Evandale is also the host of the national Penny Farthing race, held annually in February. Some artistic versions of the bikes can be seen around the town as well as a bronze sculpture..
After a late lunch we took a drive to another bucket list item, Jacobs Ladder in the Ben Lomond National Park. This is a zig zag section of the road leading to the Ben Lomond ski fields. A hairy raising section of gravel road.

Returning to camp we also passed by a great stone building, unfortunately in a bit of disrepair.
Also we noticed that Brown Brothers wines aren't the only ones using Tasmania for cool climate grapes, Penfolds has some huge vineyards.

Posted by iandeborah 08:10 Comments (0)

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 Comments (0)

Week 13, Roaming Tasmania, Australia

Tuesday 12 March 2024
We decided to stay another 2 nights in Sheffield as our base to look around the area.
It was a warm night here last night in Sheffield. The temperature today reached 23 degrees.
After a spot of washing we headed off towards a town called Penguin.
It looked like a lovely relaxed serene town. Not to busy. The water looked very inviting and it we were lucky it was almost high tide. We stopped to walk along the foreshore at Stubbs Point and came across this chap.
The bins were tastefully made & the street poles.
A little further a quirky book Library was located. And Deborah found a book she was interested in, so took a few moments to peruse it's contents whilst enjoying the sea views.
We also found the Penguin Memorial Library.
Our drive eastwards along the waters edge revealed Three Sisters Goat Island Reserve.
The Three Sisters Nature Reserve.
We drove into Ulverston to try a scallop pie in Mornay sauce at McCarthy's bread Lounge. The crust was beautiful and flakey with a base that was made with the perfect base. There were over 6 scallops. The Mornay accompanied and enhanced the scallops. The best so far.
Deborah hit the Cranberry Crafts shop and picked up some material to add to her stash.
Ian went to the Op Shop next door to peruse there wares. He came out empty handed.
Travelling further Eastward we dropped into a shop at Devonport which had been recommended to us called Antique Emporium. What a shop. It is Tasmania's larges antique and collectable store and they weren't wrong. It has 3 levels of treasures of yesteryear & some more recent material. You could spend a half a day in this shop easily so when you visit make sure you have eaten first as you will need your energy. Do you remember any of these items from when your childhood?
A visit around the corner with Aunty Gloria & Uncle Harry before heading back. Again we were sent off with lovely freshly caught salmon, freshly hand picked from Uncle Harry's garden were spinach, beans and a beautiful organically grown tomato. This was very special. There is nothing like the taste the lovely freshly home grown produce. That tomato was full of flavour. We have not tasted one this good in years. Well done & thankyou Uncle Harry & Aunty Gloria.
We left with plenty of time to get home in daylight before the animals wandered onto the road, (roadkill) we headed south to Lake Barrington for a look. It is a huge Lake. No free camping is allowed here. It is only for day use. It has the International rowing set up.
On our journey back to Sheffield one last time we drove past Mt Rowland then through a town called 'No Where Else.' And the clouds started to build.
Home safely after a big day out.

Wednesday to Friday
We sallied forth to Forth. The reason for this trip was to volunteer at the 27th Forth Valley Blues Festival, in Forth Tasmania. We undertook a bit of early prep work prior to the event. The first Artist came on stage at 5pm on Friday afternoon finishing at midnight. By chance we met a lovely young travelling couple from Margaret River known as the "Travelling Wookies." Megan & Pete are both returning on the Spirit of Tasmania on the same day as us. The stage looked a bit empty, but filled up as the night went on.
It kicked off at 11.15 in the morning and went through till midnight again. Many acts were Tasmanian with a few from the Mainland. The clean crisp air here down in Tasmania presented us with some talented musicians. We had not heard of many prior to this event, but also a few we had, including Blue Shaddy, Dave Hole (born in Cheshire). Some highlights included the Sheyana Band, 8 Ball Aitken, who owned the stage, Dillion James and the guitar slinger Chris Finnen.

Sunday, 17th March
St Patrick's Day down under.
What can we say, we love a good concert, so we left the Forth festival pack up crew to drive over to Shearwater Resort, in Shearwater, for another musical event. This was Wendy Matthews in concert. An interesting venue, at the back of the resorts restaurant/bar area. A sunny Sunday saw everyone diving for shade and grabbing whatever chairs they could. It was a very warm day. We'd been forewarned to either get there early and have lunch (being inside already), or wait until gates open at 2pm and bring your own chair. We took the safe option by taking chairs and hats with us in the car, but also getting there early and having lunch. Brilliant idea. And Wendy also was brilliant.

Monday 18 March 2024
As the festival was officially finished we had to move the caravan off the oval, and park up on the area around the edges of the oval. Ever the one to frequent a quilting material shop Deborah had a list of shops in Tasmania that she'd like to visit. So we took a drive to Cooee Point, near Burnie, to the Apple Patch Sewing Centre. Of course whilst you're on the road why not check their other shop in Devonport soooo of we go. It's not far really, and at least the road is a good one with straight good quality roads and with no windy bends.
Lunch was taken, Woolies was shopped, and Uncle Harry and Auntie Gloria visited. Good to see recycling in action at the IGA in town.
Back at Forth for the night we found a few extra camping buddies hanging around. Even had Buzz Lightyear hanging onto Woody nextdoor.

Posted by iandeborah 09:25 Comments (0)

Week 12, Roaming Tasmania, Australia

Tuesday 5th March, 2024
The day started off overcast after another cool night, which had required the thick doona. But after a visit from some fellow Sunlandians, Shauna and Danny, the sky started to show us the blue sky and sunshine. This then meant a wardrobe rearrangement into short sleeves.
Eventually, as don't forget we are on holiday, we walked into town to do some more intensive shopping. The op shops didn't provide any goods, but Deborah managed to find some quilting material she liked at the Craft Collective. Also the bulk goods stored had just the right muesli, nuts and some other cooking condiments. Yum.
Ian's eyes lit up with childhood memories when he noticed some horse chess nuts, the main ingredient of the classic game of conkers.
This evening we took our own, unguided tour, this time as we walked around the river bank to do some platypus spotting. Firstly we sighted the geese, ducks and a Turbo family with chick.
Wasn't until a bit later we spotted a platypus swimming along and feeding. It seemed to be heading to the opposite side of the river, so we hot footed it across the bridge but we eventually lost sight. As we were starting to give up we commenced our walk back to camp. Along the path we met a lady photographer, knowledgeable about the platypus and we espied a youngster who'd only left the burrow in the last couple of days. We found out that the lady, Joy Kachina, is also named the Platypus Whisperer www.joykachina.com.au or Facebook @platypuswhisperertasmania. This platypus also decided to head across the river. Finally deciding to head home we saw a few people gathered near the road bridge. Eureka again. Right along the rivers edge was a wonderful Platypus feeding and unfazed by us onlookers.

Wednesday 6 March 2024
Today our maximum temperature reached 26 degrees and a minimum of 5.
An easy going day today so we decided to go out to lunch.
This evening we took another walk into town for a another platypus peruse along and around the Meander River in Deloraine. Again we weren't disappointed, however no photos tonight. It is such a privilege to see them swimming in the wild.

Thursday 7 March 2024
It was a cool morning, low single digits and a jacket was called for.
Is moving day but not before our first ever morning meander around the Meander River to see if we could spot and follow any platypuses today to say farewell for now. We awoke to our alarm (Ian's chook sounding alarm in fact) at 6.45, had our showers, dressed for the occasion & had a hearty breakfast. We were then off walking across the suspension bridge into a very quiet town and around the Meander River for one last time. The river was calm, with hardly a ripple. Perfect conditions for platypus spotting, the morning was quite cold, none the less but we were rugged up for the occasion. A good time to see them in the morning we were told was around 8am. With our 4 eyes peeled looking up and down stream, watching for the round circles within circles to appear and the bubbles, which were often fish. It took a while as it often does and as we walked right around the river and as we crossed the bridge near the caravan park in town we spotted a large platypus swimming under the bridge, close to the banks. As we watched it for a few moments it then disappeared into what seemed to be it's burrow underground probably off to sleep during the day as it had eaten all night. They do not like to be seen out in general of a day as the predators can see them easier. We continued our walk across the bridge and along the path and passed the caravan park along the Meander River and who did we see but the baby, as tiny as your hand. Little BB (Bon Bon) it has been named. BB was in the middle of the river, swimming & fishing & playing with such energy. Up to float and eat it's prey from the river and down to fish again. They can be underwater for about 3 minutes but float and swim to the surface to eat and can eat twice their body weight in a day. They usually come out of a night but as BB is young, it has no inhibition about the risks it is taking. BB was such a pleasure to watch. BB was swimming in the middle to the far side of the river and of tiny stature we were unable to get a clear happy snap for you. We are told in October is when lots of platypus are seen surfing on the Meander Weir, in the Meander River, and it is a sight to behold.
We headed back to the van to pack up, connect up and drove off by 10am, our destination today is Sheffield. We snagged a prime position (right beside the water tap) as another van was preparing to head off. They were locals who live in Penguin. We are parked up at the RV stop in town (next to the Steam Festival event). A fellow pops around to collect your fees late afternoon, $10 a day for fully self contained vehicles. This is is monitored strictly and no grey water can be released onto the grounds. A dump point is available on site.

We took a drive into Devonport to have a cuppa tea and catch up with Aunty Gloria. We were given some lovely freshly grown vegetables and salmon for which we are very grateful for. A fuel up for the Jeep and of course a Bunnings trip to purchase an exclusive tap set up for ease of refilling water at the taps whilst travelling. A little tip Ian picked up from one of our fellow caravaners in this RV park when he filled up some portable tanks of water on our patch. Here is the pic.
Sunset tonight was quite colourful.

Friday 8 March 2024
A settling in day, so a ride into town and the shops was on the cards. After a few hours wandering, and buying, it was time for a little lunch come afternoon tea. The BlackSmith cafe provided the sustenance, and an eclectic display of teapots, most if which were for sale.
Town of Murals
Beautiful gardens
Back at the campsite we had entertainment from our new neighbours, a team of 6 bullocks. All they needed was their water tank topped every now and then and they were very quiet overnight. Not so the local cockerels!
And late evening walk, after dinner, was welcome to settle everything nicely.

Saturday 9 March 2024
Steamfest, day 1. Forecast warmer weather, but it started as a grey, overcast and misty day. But so much to see and enjoy. After the bullocks were moved from our next door paddock for their performance, we gained the lawn mower racers. What a great activity.
The whole area is used on a regular basis, and train rides are always on offer, so we took the up the offer for a short steam train ride. There's also the model railway building on site.
Obviously a highlight of the Steamfest are the steam engines, some of which are huge and old, but have been lovingly restored. Ian found a couple from his home town in England, Sandbach. Foden was a company that continued after the steam era into making trucks, or Lorries in english.
There were, of course, many other brands of steam engines, all in working order being driven around the fields and through town.
Meet 'Flick' the Austin 7
The tug of war competition with a steam train v the kids. Ofcourse the kids won.
The tiny penny farthing with a child riding it behind all the steam engines.
Miniature goats were also playing around.
It wasn't just the big Steam Engines that attract. The festival is related to the history of farming which utilised many of the steam engines for work such as running the threshing machines, pulling logs or carts. So the Steamfest includes other smaller machines and tractors relating to life in farming communities. And a tractor pulling contest had to be on the agenda.

Sunday 10 th March 2024
Day 2 of the Steamfest and also the Taste of the North West festival was on in Sheffield today. We took the opportunity to see both today, which also had helicopter rides. Deborah met a new friend at the Taste of the NW, Pedro the Poser. Also a bit more tracker pulling was in order at the end of the day.
Back at the Steamfest we watched the Australian Lighthorse Infantry display. Quite impressive what they can get the horse, and rider, to do. Also a bit of heavy work from a steam engine running a rock crushing machine.
Our neighbours walked back home again with their owner.

Monday 12th March 2024
Day 3 of the Steamfest, can you believe it!
A walk to the blacksmith at the men's shed, and a bit of heat from the forge.
We finally got to see Brian and our neighbours, the bullocks, do a bit of walking/working.
And the back to the tractor pulling. Why not! This time it wasn't competition day so a bit of a plat around. Some of the double pulls, modifieds and
even lawnmower pulls.
Just kidding, but passed the Rowland Miniature Goat display. Deborah liked this one.
The end of the event, as everything is packed up and trailered or trucked away.
Wishing you a lovely week ahead, until next week.

Posted by iandeborah 09:59 Comments (4)

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 Comments (4)

Week 10, Roaming Tasmania, Australia

Tuesday 20 February 2024
Top temperature today was 22 degrees.
Leaving from our camp site for the day at Mayfield Conservation Camping, we head to Coles Bay. We traverse some of the normal (Tassie), narrow highways that they seem to call a road. There is even more roadkill we needed to watch out for here, Deer.
We stopped at the Coles Bay Tas Parks Visitor Centre to pick up some relevant information. Before we drive off we took a short 10 minute easy walk down to the beautiful sandy beach at Great Oyster Bay.
On the way back to the car we had a walk through the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service, caravan camp grounds. There were 18 powered sites with water for $16 a night, but they are very popular and need to be booked by a phone call well in advance. We saw lots of blue wrens on our walk.
Cape Tourville was an easy 20 minute circuit walk around the lighthouse with panoramic views towards Wineglass Bay and Friendly Beaches. It is suitable for wheelchairs. It had spectacular views.
From Cape Tourville lighthouse you can see The Nuggets. A very barren isolated set of rocks that are fantastic places for birds to roost and breed.
Another short drive brings us to Sleepy Bay. A 5 minute walk downwards on a flat track brought us to a beautiful rocky bay with turquoise waters and orange lichen rocks. The view was next level. This beach was full of tiny stones, not sand, or stones. We highly recommend doing this walk.
Continuing 15 minutes along the track you encounter steps up and down, around and around and the occasional tree routes. It had lovely coastal views. At the end the track does have a steep descent to a small cove, a paradise and it passes high cliff tops. We highly recommend the walk but only for able bodied people. This walk was named Sleepy Bay Beach.
Driving back towards Coles Bay we took a look at Honeymoon Bay another small beach with beautiful coloured rocks with a small easy walk.

Heading back towards Coles Bay Town site we pulled in to Richardson's beach to have our picnic lunch. Another lovely sandy beach for swimming in the right weather.

One consideration we had was camping at Friendly Beach after we move on from Mayfield, however we learned that camp area is closed to camping due to a fire destroying the area in 2023. The Parks Staff aren't sure if it will open again till 2025.
On the last leg of our return to the camp we took a diversion into Devils Corner. It didn't disappoint. Went up the Great Oyster Bay Lookout and then went downstairs for a quick taste before heading back to camp.

Wednesday 21 February 2024
Temperature today reached 20 degrees.
Sees us welcoming another Sunland (Patriot) to beautiful Mayfield Bay, the owners were Max & Marion. They too are heading anticlockwise like us. After saying hello we went for a walk Southwards along Mayfield Bay Beach towards the Tasman Sea Salt works. It started off very wet from overnight showers and windy and turned into a lovely blue sky day, although the wind held up.
We took another look at the 3 Arches Bridge.
We enjoyed a lovely happy hour with Max & Marian.

Thursday 22 February 2024
It's moving day. We say good bye to Max & Marian & beautiful Mayfield Beach Conservation Camping site, a donation campsite.
Heading off the road provides some nice foliage to break up the many narrow and winding roadways.
A diversion into Devils Corner for a paparazzi photo shoot with Marmalade.
Driving further north to our next destination we travel through Bicheno. A side trip stop at the blowhole was a must. Although as we left Mayfield the temperature gradually rose to a peak of 31 degrees at Bicheno we encountered a very windy day. But spectacular.
Leaving Bicheno, after a quick provisions and fuel pickup, we arrive at our destination Iron House Brewery, Distillery and Vineyard. This is a free camp, with $3 washing machines. It's also a rugged bit a beachfront. It did have a few locals that came to welcome us.

Friday 23 February 2024
We awoke to a beautiful fine day, calm ocean waves and the sun was shining. Whilst St Helens was flooded we didn't feel a drop and we were a short distance away. We got the washing out the way and enjoyed a mighty fine Smeg coffee while watching it dry. Decided to take Deborah for lunch to the slightly salty cafe. On our walk over we heard some other lunch guests arriving.
Lunch was delicious and reasonably priced.
Ian noticed a colourful picture on a small rock on top of a wine barrel near the window and went to investigate. It was a Tas Rock - aka a kindness rock. These small rocks are hidden in different public location for people to discover and bring you joy. It is your choice to keep it or find another home to leave for another gentle soul to find and bring them joy. We have thanked the artist on the Tas Rocks Facebook page. Decided to keep it for now, take it home to Busselton with us in our Sunland Caravan across the Bass Strait, and release it in WA, on a full moon around our famous longest wooden pile Jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.
Took a drive to see Lagoon Beach ( where you can free camp for up to a month). Lovely spot between the ocean and the river where a bit of salmon fishing was happening feeding the campers. Lots of locals camped up. Looks like a great spot.

A short drive to 4 Mile Lookout.

Saturday 24 February 2024
It was an early pack up as we had been told we needed to get to Bay of Fires as early as possible in the morning.
As we drove through Scamander we took the opportunity to top the tank with water, dropped off our rubbish to the bins. Shortly after it was an IGA and Bakery stop at St Helens to pick up the necessary items. St Helens was a beautiful scenic beachside town. Recently it flooded here. We could see evidence at the sides of the roads on our drive. A few more kilometres down the road and we were at Swimcart Beach, Bay of Fires Conservation Reserve. We spied a mini van moving out and happened to snag a beachside spot. We parked up, set up. First task was to get the Smeg coffee machine out and Barista Ian made us a delicious coffee that went very nicely with the vanilla slice. Thanks Chef.
A nice walk along the beach provided a few shells for the collection, and later in the afternoon a first outing for Deborah's kite.
The evening also provided a full moon for our enjoyment. No werewolves were harmed in the taking of these photos.

Sunday 25 February 2024
A relaxing start to the day. Had a phone call From Aunty Gloria, they had arrived and parked up in our beach front street at Swimcart Beach. What a delight to catch up. Deborah had made a big sour dough loaf for us all for lunch. Everyone enjoyed it, not a crumb was left.
We set off for our afternoon reconnoitre firstly we visited the camping spots further north along the Bay of Fires.
Cosy corner South, Cosy Corner North (good spot to camp), Sloop Lagoon, Seatons Cove, finishing up at The Gardens, a small hamlet at the end of the road.(no camping allowed here) We discovered a lovely small Container house at The Gardens. Notice the chains holding down the water tank, as when it's empty it could blow away.
Today was the day we decided to reach the furthest eastern point in Tasmania, Eddystone Point (Larapuna). The lighthouse was built in 1889, is 35 metres tall and has a range of 26 nautical miles. The old Lighthouse Keepers Cottage, there are three of them, are now used as tourist accommodation. There is a boat ramp here for people to use. If you intend to come to this destination you need to be totally self sufficient.
We arrived home in enough time to share Happy Hour with Aunty Gloria & Uncle Harry.

A bit of a sunset bike ride adventure as Ian Jeep ducked a beautiful white Laredo parked up at Swimcart Beach. The idea is to share a smile with another Jeep owner.

Monday 26 February 2024
Saint Helens exploration day but firstly after cooking up a sourdough loaf we had a delivery to make to Aunty Gloria & Uncle Harry who had moved this morning to Dora Point, in the Humbug Point Nature Recreation Area. (Free camping). Our delivery turned into a cuppa and chat time. As usual Aunty Gloria shared some lovely home made slices. On our drive we encountered a kangaroo bounding across the Nature Reserve.
Had a wander through Saint Helens, and found in particular two lovely shops. One was Annie's Cottage Craft where I found some lovely material & some triangle templates that I will put to good use at home.
If you are passing through you must also visit Mint Gallery & Gift Shop in Cecilia Street, Saint Helens. It sells products made in Tasmania or some were designed in Tasmania. We certainly have supported this beautiful picturesque town. Recent Saint Helens was chosen as a spot to be rained upon & flooded by Mother Nature. The surrounding area got nothing. Headed back to camp to see our last sunset at Swimcart Beach. The sand here is beautiful and white, the ocean is the colour of blue/green crystal clear water with small white waves. Tonight there is a very slight breeze. We are sitting in our dining area of our van watching the moon rise over the ocean. It has been such a relaxing place to visit. Everybody who comes to camp wants a beachside camping spot. We were so fortunate to secure one.
Tomorrow is moving day, more on that next week.

Posted by iandeborah 10:59 Comments (2)

Week 9, Roaming Tasmania, Australia

Tuesday 13th February 2024
Moving Day, but before we left we had one last look for a seal. Although no seal to be seen, we did chance upon the Dunalley canal bridge being opened. The canal was built then opened in 1905 to shorten the trade route distance between east coast Tasmania and Hobart. It originally had a hand cranked bridge but now uses an electronically operated swing bridge...which really stops the traffic. It is really only now used for pleasure craft too tall to fit under.
Dunalley Hotel is located beside the bridge in town. Camping is available to the left of the pub.

Moving sees us drive from Dunalley to Churchill, Campania near Richmond. A lovely large bush camp-site costing $10 per night. An afternoon drive takes us to some towns with tremendous history. First stop is only 1 km up the road, Campania. An amazing sculpture of school children next to the old mill 1884, now being used by the local school as it's manual arts and technology rooms.
Campania was established as an estate of the same name, becoming one of the premier wine making regions in Tasmania. It wasn't declared a town until 1882, but by then there was a general store 1879, a tavern 1877 and post office 1873. Wine was being produced from 1826.

What an enchanting town it has street signs with windmills etched into them.
The Blacksmith's Cottage, 80 High Street.
Oatlands Coach House.
The original convict built rubble stone cottage was built in 1829 and leased to the Military that was overseeing convict labour for the construction of the road from Hobart to Launceston. It was then used for a variety of purposes including an Inn, a hospital and a Post Office.
Oatlands Lodge
Built in the 1830's. It has been a girl's school, a bootmaker's shop.
The Heritage Post Office circa 1835
So many beautiful homes in this beautiful town.
We took a walk to Lake Dulverton Conservation Area, land of the Lairmairrener people of Big River nation, a sanctuary of birds since 1929.
It was an easy walk, an expanse of water, a place for wildlife to thrive. Home to the rare Great Crested Grebe, white bellied Sea Eagle and many others. The 7km walking trail follows the south eastern side of the Lake, linking Oatlands and Pattah townships. Just over 100 different bird species have been recorded in & around the Lake.
Oatlands has a pancake & crepe shop, but sadly it was closed the day of our visit.

Callington Mill was a premier flour producer when first built in 1837, and it's the only authentic 19th century tower mill in the southern hemisphere and the 3rd oldest windmill in Australia. You can still see the original granary, stables and miller's cottage all lovingly restored at the Callington Distillery.
The Lake Frederick Inn, registered on the National Estate list as a particular example of an early coaching inn.
This Inn was later known as The Lake Dulverton Inn and The White Horse Inn sometime after 1853.
The Commissariat Store and Guard House. Used to secure and store provisions vital for survival.
On our way home we drove through a tiny town called Kempton. Another historical town which even has a Distillery called Old Kempton Distillery.
The General Store was a beauty.
We overtook a train, must have been heavy as it was pulled by 5 loco's. It was carrying lots of carriages with timber logs.
Back home at Churchill we passed the Farm Homestead. The temperature today rose to 30 degrees and quite late in the day, but overcast. Tonight we had strong gusts of winds with some rain showers.

Wednesday 14 February 2024
This is our day to drive into historic Richmond. As we arrive who should we see, Linda and Harry fuelling up their motorhome. So we had a chat and organised to meet up for a scallop pie for lunch at the Bakery before they headed off for there flight tonight.
Richmonds soil was considered the best in Australia in the early 1800's and, with plentiful supply of convict labour, soon the town was built. Many were of the English Georgian style and made from local sandstone and mud clay bricks. A gaol was one of the first buildings built in 1825, and is the oldest intact gaol in Australia.
The Bridge Cottage was built in 1823 (and up 4 sale), the same year as the Richmond Bridge. The convict built bridge is the oldest still in daily use in Australia.
You can also see over 50 period buildings still in good repair around the town, including the old Dispensary and Morgue, Old "Richmond Hotel" c1830s, the Village store c1836 and still being used as an IGA, the Court House c1825, John Sewell's cottage c1830s, The Woodcraft shop c1840, and also previously used as an exchange or 'Penny Library ', I just love the stone steps.
Round back of one of the buildings, old "Mrs Currie's House", can be found a knife sharpeners in residence. Nice old shed, and still standing.
One of the sad sides to any historic town is the empty and, sometimes, run down houses. An example in Richmond are the old colonial cottages and former shop c1840s. One is being lived in and one has been empty for nearly 20 years. Guess which is which?
A couple of pictures around the shops today. Richmond has something for everyone.
We could not leave Richmond without a visit, taste & purchases of cheese from the Wicked Cheese Factory. We saw the staff turning the cheese and emptying the brine from the cheese. Back to Churchill, our camp, for the sunset and last night before moving day tomorrow, and a chat with some of the locals at the farm.

Thursday 15th February 2024
Today we head to Triabunna our base for a few nights.
Along the drive, about 4kms south of Buckland, we came across the Tasmania Bushland Garden. We love a garden, so popped in to see this 40ha of natural bushland with walking trails. It also has an additional 1.5ha of landscaped display gardens planted with endemic SE Tasmanian flora. There's also a series of nature themed sculptures including eagle, thylacine, dinosaur, fish in pond and a thoughtful person. The gardens have all been developed and maintained by volunteers, and currently under the ownership of Landcare Tasmania.
A few bits of fauna were also spotted along the trails.
Deborah just loved this individual seats around the site.
There is also a bbq area for groups to use.

Friday 16 February is Maria Island day.
Up early, 6.50am, for an 8.30am ferry across. It's a half hour trip and today's weather was clear blue skies with very light winds and a maximum of 23 degrees.
Offloading at Maria jetty and it's a quick ride to the old convict settlement Darlington, and straight out the other side to head to the Painted Cliffs. Best seen at low tide, our 8.30 ferry got us there at 9am, great as low tide was 9am.
We continued our ride south on the compacted gravel road/track which, as with all Tasmanian roads, is up and down etc etc etc. Bring slippy gravel surface made riding a slight challenge, with some small holes and wash outs. We made it to Four Mile Beach and stopped for a rest and morning tea break.
By this time we had seen birds and a few wallabies, Pademelon and Cape Barren geese but no wombats.
Our return ride back to Darlington still provided only the same animals, but lovely scenery.
Darlington, a probationary settlement started in 1825, has many buildings reminiscent of the convict era with the Penitentiary in perfect condition still used as accommodation for campers. Some houses were built at a later date when entrepreneur Italian Diego Bernacchi, leased the island, and established vineyards, cement works and a silk worm business on the island around 1884. The Coffee Palace he built was used as a dining room for later settlers and in one photo here you can see a possible ghost playing the piano.
After a quick lunch at Darlington sitting, appropriately, outside the Coffee Palace we set off on the bikes once again. This time our destination was the Fossil Cliffs and the old Fossil Quarry. Thank the powers that be for electric bike power, but even this hill made us both get off and push the bikes up. Spectacular views yet again, and so many fossils at the quarry. The quarry was mined and fossilised shell stones trollyed over to the jetty area in the 1920s, where a huge cement works was located. All thats left is some silos.

Of course one of the main things we wanted to see was a Wombat. Not just any, as we had seen one at Cradle Mountain, but a mum and baby. So it took a while, several hours in fact, but we achieved our goal. Not once, but 3 times we found different mums and babies wandering around. Plus, a bonus was 3 individuals. 9 in total. How privileged do we feel? Very.
This was one of those days Ian & I will remember for a long time. Seeing the wombats in their own environment in the wild was next level. We had one wombat walk along the white sandy beach waddling along and it came up through the rows of rocks that would have been 3 foot tall to eat the grass in front of us, as if it was saying "Thanks for visiting, it was great seeing you, safe journey home. "

Saturday 17th February 2024
A bit of a planning day today, a small ride around the Triabunna townsite, watched the boats and ferry and had dinner from the local Fish Van.

Sunday 18th February 2024
Farewell to Triabunna and hello to Mayfield Bay Conservation Camping. And also our first dip in the ocean in Tasmania. Warning, topless bathing photo.
Nearby is a little known remnant of the convict era. A short walk brought us to the 3 Arch Bridge. The bridge spans the outlet of the Old Man Creek. It can't be seen from the road as the A3 Tasman Highway was built over the top of it. It was built in 1845 by convict labour from the nearby Rocky Hills Probation Station. Prisoners from the same station also built the Spiky Bridge further up the highway.
Monday 19th February 2024
Our exploration today took us slightly northward towards Swansea. First stop was Spiky Bridge. Also built by convicts but no one is sure why the spiky stones were placed on top of the bridge walls. Probably built at a similar time to the 3 Arch Bridge in 1845 to provide a better road between Swansea and Little Swan Port for transport of goods and produce.
Moving further along we saw a sign for Kate's Berry Farm so hoping to pick up some fresh berries we drove in and we found berry products such as jams, sauces, chocolates and ice cream but no fresh berries.
Checking out another free camping area at Swan Reach, by the river, it looked a very nice place to stay with a small jetty to throw in a fishing line, or just to chill out.
Had a look through Swansea and picked up some produce, and some water where Deborah found many friends. Then we saw a glimpse of a Jetty nearby and some very interesting housing options in town.

On our way home we stopped at the Mayfield Lookout to see the view. Not quite the same as the day before at our campsite when we watched the kites flying in beautiful clear blue skies.

Deborah then baked a twin loaf back at the ranch and what a twin loaf it was.
Catch you on the flip side next week.

Posted by iandeborah 09:20 Comments (8)

Week 8, Roaming Tasmania, Australia

Tuesday, 6th February 2024
We awoke to an opportunity we could not miss. One of the 10 powered sites had become available. Originally we were on an unpowered site costing $10 per person, per night. So for us that meant $20 a night. A powered site is $25 (for 2 people). So we hooked up and moved the van. A cuppa was in order before we went on our first excursion of the day. Being members of the Naturalists Club we decided on an adventure to Fossil Cove was something that might enhance our credentials. So off we went. After a medium intensity walk downhill we made it to the secluded Fossil Cove and what we consider to be a hidden treasure. Not another person was sited but millions of Fossil imprints, mainly shells, could be seen in the strata of the rock. The rocks and Fossils date back around 250 million years. After a couple of hours exploring it was time to set back up the steep climb up the hill. On this adventure we were pleased to see close up a kangaroo, 3 wallabies, an echidna and some small lizards sunning themselves on rocks. What a hidden gem this was. Such a beautiful spot.

On the drive home we took a look at the Kingston Beach. You could sit here for hours and watch the waves gently roll in.

It was back to camp for lunch and a cuppa tea before heading out on our next excursion to Mount Nelson Signal Station. This is located in a prime position overlooking Hobart City, The River Derwent and Bruny Island. It was built in 1811. It was the first signal station constructed in Tasmania. Initially it used semaphore flag signalling to notify the City and also Port Arthur what ships were arriving. So signalling done initially using flags but, by 1831 they were using upright posts with arms. In 1880, only 4 years after the invention of the telephone, the first telephone line was established between Hobart and Mount Nelson eventually rendering the semaphore redundant. The signal station ceased operations in 1969. The signal masters house and station masters house are still there for people to visit. The views are amazing and now there is even a cafe there.
Of course we had been warned about the possums and their liking for food, even to the point that they had bricks glued under the lids of the bins at Mt Field National Park. At Lea camp site they mentioned that tent campers should put food in their cars overnight as possums had been known to rip tents apart to get campers rations. We heard a noise this night and found the food burglar outside. Luckily we are in a caravan, so no ripping our walls apart.

Wednesday 7th February 2024
A bit of paperwork was required to be sorted this morning, namely a new drivers licence requiring a new photo id. Off the the Post Office and the Library for printing, certifying and back to the Post Office for posting.

Then it's a drive to Snug Falls which are, not surprisingly, just outside the small town of Snug. As usual it's up a hill we drive. And, as usual, it's a hilly up and down and up and down walk, and so many trees roots along the pathway that it required concentration not to twist an ankle (or break the fifth metatarsal on your left foot). Suggested 1 hour return, but we never stick to convention so we took 1 hour 40 minutes, with a lovely time for a photoshoot at the falls. Ok, they weren't running with a huge amount of water, but oh the ambience!
On our drive we spotted an echidna on the roadside, such a spectacular site to see, waddling along happily.

Shot Tower
This tower was built in 1870 and basically its purpose was to produce shot pellets for guns. The process involved melting lead blocks at the top of the 60m high tower, the molten lead fell down and was filtered, during the drop, through a colander type vessel and the drops then hit cool water at the base of the tower. At the time of building it was the tallest structure in Australia, and is still the tallest cylindrical sandstone tower in the southern hemisphere.
Must be a great view from the top of the tower, but we didn't do the climb after our earlier adventure at the falls. But the view from the ground was pretty good.
Flowers around the teahouse beside the Shot Tower.

Sunset tonight
Today's temperature reached 21 degrees, can you believe it with mainly blues skies.

Thursday 8th February.
Still at Lea Scout camp ground. And although feeling from yesterdays excursion we decided on another Falls walk. This one called Silver Falls just out of Fern Creek. The beginning of the walk is a slight incline on the pipeline track, even saw some prams begin walked on the track. The creek along the track was to flowing nicely and the falls themselves were also looking good. Not huge but very pretty and cool. The area around the falls has been a picnic spot since there late 19th Century. The next part of the walk was less constructed, more natural, but not overly difficult. Spotted a couple of Pademelon, a few smalls lizards and a huge arse fungi. But no platypus or echidna.
The drive up to the falls and back down was very scenic, with amazing views but very very steep driveways to the houses. They even have signs telling where horses should be ridden.

The way home found us trying to locate another bush area with walk tracks, the Peter Murrell reserve. Mrs Google sent us down a few interesting directions, but we eventually found the reserve. A note to whomever, please mark the tracks better. We tried, but eventually failed, to find the tracks listed on the map at the carpark. So, back home we drove. Just before we made it all the way, we noticed some wild roosters. These had been mentioned to us, as being unwanted roosters dumped by the locals, we'd never seen these dumped roosters anywhere else. This time we did, and also blackberries and some skittish Pademelon and Turbo chooks with some babies.
Today we reached 22 degrees. Sunny, with a little cloud developing in the evening.

Friday 9th February
Hobart Day. We hit the road and head North to Hobart, a gentle 15 minute drive. We stopped at 24 Cambell Street to check out Quarter Inch Quilt for Deborah. Ofcourse it had coffee as a sweetener for Ian. On the verandah sipping coffee in the sunshine one could think you were far from the big smoke of Hobart. It was a very relaxing start to the day.
Deborah had won some tickets from the radio station a week or so earlier, so we took a gentle walk down a few blocks to collect them and as we walked back to the car we could feel that vitamin D beaming on the other side of our body. It would have reached a balmy 22 degrees today. Not a breeze in sight.
Ian had an appointment with the Blood Bank, donating plasma. It was very busy with a high turnover of donors. Ian enjoyed a bit a quiet time and used his time wisely by reading his book.
Deborah took the opportunity to take a further walk to another craft shop called Thread, Needle and Patchwork at 139 Liverpool Street and find her way back to Ian and the car. Another lovely quality material store with good old fashioned helpful staff. What was deadly was this store handed Deborah a list of quilting stores within Tasmania. Deborah left fully armed with potential stores to visit.

We drove to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.
What a beautiful place to visit. So well manicured and looked after with so much care.
The Japanese garden & Cactus Collection were closed due to the Tasmanian Wine Festival being set up for this long weekend. Monday is Regatta Day in Tasmania, it is a public holiday. But what we saw was outstandingly presented and maintained. This walk through these gardens was a very pleasurable experience. People were enjoying picnics throughout the different areas. Such a delight to see.
The Anniversary Arch was originally constructed in 1913 to span the entrance and was re-erected in 1968 to commemorate the Gardens' 150th Anniversary.
The Floral Clock was also built in 1968 to commemorate the gardens 150th anniversary.
The Lily Pond
This garden display is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the country.
It was built in 1939, it is a floral delight with amazing orchid displays, ornamental plants and is so picturesque to walk through.
Gatekeeper's Cottage
Originally designed by colonial architect William Porden Kay, who also designed Government House. The building was finished in 1845 and housed the Gardens Overseer.
The Arthur Wall is an interesting construction. Built in 1829 it was constructed with ducts running through the wall which channeled heat from a furnace at the end. The idea was to provide warmth to fruit trees planted near the wall to promote growth and protect them during poor weather.
The Tasmanian Community Food Garden
Famous as ABC TV Gardening Australia Veggie Patch, the Tasmanian Community Food Garden supplies local charities and is rich with edible plants and creative gardening ideas that visitors can take away and use. Just look at these huge pumpkins, beautiful lush tomatoes, plump and juicy looking fruit, all very well nurtured by the grounds staff. The garden itself started in 1806 as Hagen's and then became the garden and orchard for Government House, which is next door.

A whirlwind visit from Harry & Linda, friends from Busselton, who are also holidaying in Tasmania for a short time. They hired an Apollo Van to take in a few sites. It was the first time we were near enough to each other to be able to catch up for a chin wag. It was a lovely catch up and sharing stories about Tasmania's hidden treasures over a cuppa and snacks.

Saturday 10th February 2024
An early rise for our drive today departing before 7.30am, into the big smoke to find street parking near the Salamanca Markets. Quiet to start at 8.20am. Stalls were open from before 8.30am. It certainly got busier by 9.30. Two small cruise liners were in also. Viking Sky & Saeborn Odesy. A load of variety of shops, something for everyone. Even an open top horse drawn carriage, if you fancied.
And then, we have a reputation of winning items through our local Bunbury Radio Station so we thought we would try and keep up the trend on the local Tasmanian Station when we heard a competition advertised. And woohoo we did it again and today we took advantage by using our mini golf vouchers. What a hoot & Deborah was the winner with a hole in one on the 17th hole and finishing on Par overall. Ian needs more practice.

Sunday 11th February 2024
It's moving day. Today we head to Dunalley, and the Dunalley Golf Course (a donation) which is a donation for camping. Heading out of Lea Scout Campground we came to the Rooster dumping corner where a film crew appeared to be waiting for us, not only that it appears Marmalade (our Sunland Scorpion caravan) by another Sunland travelling on the highway above us we are told. As we leave Hobart we traverse the Tasman bridge.
We drove, around after unhitching, to see a few of the sights. One of those was the Dunalley Hotel which also offers free camping. Boy was it heaving in their paddock, and so close to the bridge over the Dunalley canal which vibrates ever time a vehicle goes over it.
A check of the Dunalley beach provided Deborah with more shell fossicking time. The tide was really out.
Here is Ian relaxing on the beach, there is only so much fossicking he can muster.
This beach was one filled with tiny, iny, bitty shells. Some smaller than the tip of your finger.
They also have a very cool sculpture of a Tasmanian Wedge Tailed Eagle in town. This was to commemorate the updating of the Arthur Highway, and courage and resilience of the local community.
This is the area we are exploring from our base at Dunalley Golf Club.
We finished the day by having a meal and beve at the Golf Club. They are open for meals Wednesday to Sundays. We enjoyed a lovely crispy coated schnitzel with chips and a salad.

Monday 12th February 2024 - a public holiday for a large part of Southern & Eastern Tasmanian, It's Royal Hobart Regatta Day. Regatta Day is a three day event. It celebrates the first Regatta in 1838.
Our adventure for today took us past the 'The Dog Line', on Arthur Highway, at Eaglehawk Neck. In 1832 a line of up to 18 vicious dogs were chained across the 30 metres of the 'neck' to help prevent prisoners leaving Port Arthur.
Tasman Arch Lookout.
Devils Kitchen, and Blowhole, a 5 minute walk. Ian captured a picture of a lizard sunning itself along the path & was quite relaxed. We saw 2 in total on our walk.
Waterfall Bay walk, and some more of the amazing cliff and ocean scenery.
It was then time for a visit to the Port Arthur Lavender Farm where we chose to try some of there fluffy scones along with jam and lavender cream with a much needed cup of coffee.
We needed a walk after these so went for a walk through the three lavender paddocks. It was so peaceful and had a great ambience with all the purple around not to mention the big bumble bees.
We had a little stop at Eagle Hawk Neck to pick a few Blackberries growing along the side of a park. As we were picking, eating, picking we heard a van pull up behind us and they were taking pictures of us. We turned to see who it was and it was Linda & Harry (friends from Busselton WA, our home town.) in there hire camper.
We had a catch up natter as they joined us picking berries for their breakfast tomorrow morning.
We both parted ways as Linda & Harry continued their journey to Port Arthur and us to our next destination The Tessellated Pavement back at Eagle Hawk Neck. The 300 milion year old rock is fractured by earth movement into polygon blocks. 'Pan' is where water wears away the centre of the block, and 'loaf' is where the edges are eroded away leaving a crown resembling a rising loaf.
On our drive back home we passed the original Murdanna Post Office
In Murdanna we also found Graham's Jetty.
We were looking to see if Neal the seal could be seen, but he has been moved away by Parks & Wildlife to a safer location. We are told he has 2 cousins in town, Noel & Noelene but we have not sighted them yet. However we saw a beautifully manicured train in one of the locals front yards.
After we made it back to home base at Dunalley we had a planning meeting and decided our next destination will be Churchill, for self contained vehicles near Richmond. $10 a night it will do us just fine.
Ian has organised with the caretakers for us to stay 2 nights and explore the area.
Until next week, we wish you all safe travels !
Bee happy!

Posted by iandeborah 10:52 Comments (2)

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