Well we’re on the back end of our fabulous time exploring Tasmania, Suze’s home state and an island crammed full of spectacular scenery and sights.
We pick this one up at Bicheno, a coastal town on Tassie’s east coast and a great place from which to visit the Freycinet Peninsular. We stayed in a self contained and renovated beach shack on the hillside looking across Diamond Island, white sandy beaches and the bay toward Bicheno, making for a cosy spot in what turned out to be a rainy couple of days.
We had planned to climb to the Wineglass Bay lookout but showery weather made that seem a pointless exercise, so we instead explored the pretty Coles Bay and surrounds. The area has plenty of walking trails to explore, taking you into secluded little bays, around rocky headlands and to lighthouses overlooking some impressive Southern Ocean seascapes.
The east coast of Tasmania is renowned for colourful lichen coloured rocks, from pinks to orange and yellowy green. Although lack of sunshine had subdued the colours the seaside headlands showcased this effect in multi-hued displays at every turn.
Our main reason for heading down to Tassie was an overdue visit to Suze’s brother and family so with the weekend approaching we skipped down to Hobart for a few days of site seeing and touristing with them. A great time was had, starting with dinner and a theatre sports show on Friday night followed by a day exploring the botanical gardens and hanging out for a good old catch up chat at their home. Sunday saw us head down to Margate for a yummo breakfast at the Brookfield Shed then a visit to the local iconic market built in and around an old steam train.
After making our farewells at Margate we did a little more exploring, catching up with one of Suze’s long time friends and ending the day with coffee and cake at Hobart’s Mount Nelson Signal Station café.
Our last day in Tassie blessed us with great weather for our run up centre of the island, but we still had a few items on our list to see and do.
The morning’s drive followed the Derwent River up its valley through picturesque farmlands and townships, the river constantly changing from a broad slow moving waterway until it became narrow and shallow, gurgling through deep cuttings and fizzing as it riffled over pebble and rocks bars in the upper reaches.
We eventually came to Derwent Bridge, a crossing of the river that accessed the very impressive timber sculpture work known as the The Wall. Enclosed in a huge shed is a series of huon pine panels into which the artist has carved friezes that retell Tasmania’s colonial story of European settlement and establishment. Photographs are not allowed of the sculptures but this link will direct you to their website that includes some images of the great artistic work and the statement it makes.
With the lunch time tummy grumbles setting in we headed to Lake St Clair to check out this very scenic area and grab something to eat at the National Park visitor centre café.
Our afternoon drive took us through the Great Lakes district of central Tasmania, across the Central Plateau and then down onto the coastal farming strip of the state’s north. Although uneventful the drive opened up to beautiful vistas at each turn, making for a great road tour in its own right.
Our fortnight exploring Tasmania was wonderful, consistently turning on breath taking scenery and natural spectacles day after day that kept us entertained and gave a deeper appreciation for why these places need to be protected and preserved.
We were soon aboard Spirit of Tasmania for our over night crossing back to the mainland then the long haul back up the Newell Highway to Brisbane. The trip homeward went mostly to plan although in typical Travelling Two fashion our drive coincided with another dousing of torrential rain that saw us detouring around flood closed roads to get home, but that just adds to the adventure. 😉
We are planning toward our next big trip, crossing of the Simpson Desert following the Madigan Line in June, but before then will sneak out on a couple of short adventures – subscribe to the blog to keep track of where we’re travelling to next.