We’ve sold everything and are hitting the road for an extended length of time travelling Australia. Part 2 follows us around Tasmania for 9 weeks.
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  • Day54

    Smithton

    November 25 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Camped at Tall Timbers Resort in their RV area. A bit amazing that a commercial establishment like this allows caravans to park in their grounds for free. No power or water but a lovely spot.

  • Day54

    Stanley - Highfield House

    November 25 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Highfield House, overlooking Stanley, is a wonderfully restored example of early colonial architecture. Built for the Van Diemen's Land Company in 1826 by convict labour, it has now been restored by NPWS. We spent a couple of hours there before moving on to Smithton and the Tall Timbers Resort grounds.Read more

  • Day53

    Stanley

    November 24 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    The tiny town of Stanley, in the shadow of the The Nut was next on the list, but before leaving Burnie we visited Burnie Park that we had driven past the day before. The rose display here was just magnificent and as it was early morning they were all in full glory. Some with delightful scents and some without but all just beautiful. They grow so well down here. Photo is in the Burnie stop.
    In Stanley we stopped at the RV Park that the Golf Club provides, again (almost) right on the beachfront. After setup it was off to The Nut. We had visited on the last trip but thought it was worth a return. The afternoon was quite misty but the winds were light. Lucky we did as the next day the chairlift was not operating because of strong winds. We took the chairlift up and walked down after walking around the top. It really is an incredible natural structure.
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    Stanley RV Park

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    Pademelons on top of The Nut

     
  • Day52

    Waratah - Burnie

    November 23 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Heading north towards the coast we made a small diversion to visit the old tin mining town of Waratah at Mt Bischoff. A pretty little town with an impressive waterfall conveniently in the middle of the town. The public gardens were really well maintained with lovely displays of tulips. The tin deposits were discovered in 1878 by James "Philosopher" Smith and were described as the richest tin lode in the world. With the waterfall being so handy the tin deposits were extracted by stampers that were powered by the flow of the water. In 1883 the first industrial use of hydro-electric power in Australia was generated here to help light the plant and other buildings.
    Continuing on to Burnie and finally back to the north coast. We camped at the Council provided site at Cooee Point, right on the shoreline. Again there was only one other camper there.
    To pass the afternoon we visited the lovely Fern Glade which is right in the middle of a bustling Burnie suburb. There are reportedly platypus in the creek but this time we didn't see any.
    As the Cooee Point campsite is only a couple of hundred metres from the Penguin Observation Centre we were hopeful of spying some penguins at night fall, and we weren't disappointed. The penguins turned up right next to our van to feed the chicks that we had no idea were there. The rock walls along the shoreline make perfect nests for them and the chicks started to make a noise when the adults arrived. So cute, and smelly.
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    Waratah Waterfall

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    Bischoff Hotel, Waratah. First built 1878, this one in 1909

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    Fern Glade, Burnie

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  • Day51

    Lake Mackintosh

    November 22 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    Finally! A day warm enough and still enough to hazard a paddle in the kayaks. I was worried they had actually become permanently attached to the roof racks. We geared up and hit the water for a lovely morning's exploration of the lake. Had another try to catch some breakfast (or anything) but no luck.
    The water is stained by the tannins from the vegetation but incredibly clear when you are up close. Just a lovely day.
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  • Day50

    Lake Mackintosh

    November 21 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Heading north we passed through the small town of Tullah and turned off to Lake Mackintosh, one of the hydro storage lakes along the west coast. We found a lovely camp spot overlooking the lake and not another camper in sight, although I had a nagging feeling we weren't actually in the designated camping area. Oh well. The weather was fine for a change and had warmed up a fraction. We cracked out the fishing gear and went in search of some brown trout. No luck though.
    Had a visit from the local wildlife around sunset.
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  • Day49

    Queenstown Tasmania

    November 20 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    Catch up day before moving on from Queenstown. The car received a long overdue wash, inside and out. Washing, shopping and cleaning the van were all jobs that needed to be done.
    A lovely sunset to finish our stay here.Read more

  • Day48

    Strahan - Gordon River Cruise

    November 19 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    After suffering through a dismal Queenstown day yesterday we were glad to see a little sunshine for our cruise day. The Gordon River wilderness cruise with World Heritage Cruises. The cruise departed Strahan at 9:00am so an early start from Queenstown for another winding drive through the mist.
    We did this same cruise 15 years ago but the boat we had then has now been replaced by the Harbour Master II, a purpose built $9m catamaran. Once on the water we could explore the boat and we were even welcome onto the bridge to sit and chat with the captain.
    Again it was obvious the lack of tourists here. The boat could not have had any more than 40 people on board with a capacity of probably 250. Just a few minutes into the cruise we were accompanied by some dolphins having a play in the bow wave.
    The weather was kind if not sunny and the water was calm. So calm that we were lucky enough to be able to cruise out through Hells Gates and into the Southern Ocean. We cruised as far as the Cape Sorrell Lighthouse which apparently is unusual to be able to reach on these cruises.
    Back through Hells Gates into Macquarie Harbour we had a tour of the salmon and trout farms in the area. Many many more that were here 15 years ago. The mixture of the huge amount of fresh water and sea water creates a brackish mix that the fish thrive on.
    Next to the old convict settlement at Sarah Island. The guided tour was quite enjoyable apart from one fellow passenger. Anyone who has travelled has come across one of these people. Must be first in the line, first off the boat, right in the face of the guide and just generally rude and obnoxious. Faye was sure he was stalking her.
    Back on the boat for a lovely lunch although no drink was offered as part of the lunch at all. You could buy from the bar.
    Next on to a rainforest walk at Heritage Landing, about 10km up the Gordon River. A film showing the history of the river, the piners and the environmental protests of the 70s was a great way to pass the time. We cruised past a fisherman in a small boat that enjoyed showing off his brown trout catch. It must have been close to 1m. Sorry I didn't get a picture. Enjoyed the short walk through the rainforest, back on the boat for the trip back to Strahan. A fantastic cruise.
    A quick walk around the town and a drive out to Ocean Beach before we headed back to Queenstown.
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    Faye driving

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    Out through Hells Gates and back

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    Cape Sorrell

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