Week 8, Roaming Tasmania, Australia

Community Highlights Oceania 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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Flowers around the teahouse beside the Shot Tower.
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Sunset tonight
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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The Anniversary Arch was originally constructed in 1913 to span the entrance and was re-erected in 1968 to commemorate the Gardens' 150th Anniversary.
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The Floral Clock was also built in 1968 to commemorate the gardens 150th anniversary.
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The Lily Pond
This garden display is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the country.
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Conservatory
It was built in 1939, it is a floral delight with amazing orchid displays, ornamental plants and is so picturesque to walk through.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Here is Ian relaxing on the beach, there is only so much fossicking he can muster.
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This beach was one filled with tiny, iny, bitty shells. Some smaller than the tip of your finger.
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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.
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This is the area we are exploring from our base at Dunalley Golf Club.
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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.
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Tasman Arch Lookout.
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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.
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Waterfall Bay walk, and some more of the amazing cliff and ocean scenery.
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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.
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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.
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We had a catch up natter as they joined us picking berries for their breakfast tomorrow morning.
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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.
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On our drive back home we passed the original Murdanna Post Office
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In Murdanna we also found Graham's Jetty.
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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.
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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!

This featured blog entry was written by iandeborah from the blog Triple C.
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By iandeborah

Posted Mon, Feb 12, 2024 | Comments