Posted by: Malpass Oz Adventure | March 13, 2011

Farewell Beautiful Tasmania

It’s time to leave Tasmania now, wow – how that month has flown by!  Since our last blog Tasmania’s weather has given us extremes at either end with a snow storm on Mt Wellington and a week later the kids swimming in the Ocean at Stanley.

Tobey throwing Snowballs on Mt WellingtonSwimming at Stanley

After leaving Bruny Island we said farewell to the Cullens, although we were to bump into them again on two other occasions.  It’s been fantastic travelling with our new friends, we will certainly miss you Cullens… good luck with the rest of your adventure and hopefully we will get to see you again.

Indianna and JoshJake and BaileyTobey and Ollie

From Bruny Island we travelled as far South as it is possible to drive inWhale statue at Cockle Creek.  As South as you can drive in Australia. Australia, to Cockle Creek (population 3, according to the road sign!).  There are some great camp spots near here, but with the recent rain and continuing wind we decided to head back to Southport to stay the night.  Southport caravan park is right beside the Southport Hotel, the most southerly pub in Australia.  With a claim to fame such as that it would have been rude not to have dinner there!

One of the highlights in this area are the thermal pools and caves.  As stunning as the caves looked we are really of the opinion that a cave’s a cave and decided not to take a look there, but we weren’t Warming by the fire after a swimpassing up the pool.   Arrghhhh, not so tropically thermal Swimming at Hastings Thermal Poolsthough!  Coming from the boiling mud pools of Rotorua I definitely have a different idea of what a thermal pool is.  The ones at Hastings are 28 degrees, which as you know is less than body temperature, so feel cool getting into.  We all braved it though and Mother Nature was kind enough to stop raining while we swam.  It’s a beautiful spot at the pools, great picnic area, brilliant showers and a raging fire to warm yourself afterwards.

With a little over a week to go we had to start making tracks north and had a fairly big driving day (by Tasmanian standards) to get to Lake St Clair. Cold!  Did I complain of cold before?  Well perhaps I shouldn’t have.  At Lake St Clair we had overnight lows of –4 and –2; yes MINUS 4 and MINUS 2, not so comfortable in a tent!  Just as well the area is so fantastically beautiful, you forgive it somewhat, and we had wonderful clear blue days.  A few bush walks, a little (unproductive) trout fishing and plenty of playing by the lake for the kids.  We had some interesting night-time creatures here too, in the past we’ve had the night-time scrounging of wallabies and huge possums, but at Lake St Clair we had very cute little Spotted Tail Quolls squeaking and snuffling around our camp, they make a nice change from the big, brave possums that will run towards you rather than scamper off when you shoo them from the rubbish bin. Lake St Clair is an area that you could spend a lot of time at, especially if you’re keen on walking.  From here you can walk north on the famous Overland Track to Cradle Mountain, unfortunately the two day walk was a little out of the range that the kids could manage!  A return trip with my walking buddies at some stage perhaps?

Lake St ClareSnow capped mountains from Lake St ClareWalking at Lake St ClareLake St ClairFishing from pump house at Lake St ClareSnow melting, Lake St Clair

The beautiful landscape that we’ve come to expect in Tasmania was severely interrupted as we passed through Queenstown.  The copper mines in this area have left massive scars across the countryside.  Many of the locals love the colours that the exposed rock gives and are dead against the reforestation of the old mine areas.  For us we thought it was just ugly and we ended up not even stopping in the town.  Each to their own I guess.  Further on from Queenstown, in Strahan the forests were back and we had a great campsite at Macquarie Heads for the grand sum of $6 per night.  We’d intended to stay a couple of nights here, but after chatting with a couple who had been on a cruise on the Gordon River we decided to stay another day and see what all the fuss was about.  Great decision – this cruise was fabulous, although six hours long the children were not itching to jump over at any stage.  We had two stop-offs, one to explore the penal history at Sarah Island and the other to investigate the Huon Pine forest, then in between we had a lunch with as much salmon, King Island cheese, salads and cold meats that you can eat and to top it off the kids had a TV room!

Gordon RiverTobey in Captains seat on Gordon River CruiseTrying to stay upright on deck once we sped for homeJake assisting with the guided walk on Sarah Island

What visit to Tasmania would be complete without a visit to Cradle Mountain?  About to start walking at Cradle Mountain.  Dove Lake in the background.Another wonderfully fabulous place and Tassie turned on a great day for us.  We took the shuttle bus up as far as you can go on the mountainWalking on the boardwalk through Button grass at Cradle Mountain and walked down a few of the walks.  The kids did a great job of trudging along without TOO much whingeing and whining!  We saw a wombat, paddymelon and echidnaHaving a snack break, Cradle Mountain too, so that’s something to spur them along.  This is definitely another spot I could spend a lot of time.

With our time until the ferry departs rapidly drawing to a close we made one final"The Nut" behind our camp site camp spot at Stanley on the north-west coast.  Stanley’s big feature is “The Nut”, although none of us can work out where the name came from, however impressive, it certainly looks like no nut we’ve seen before!

Walking on top of The NutView of Godfrey Beach and our campsite.  Look closely!  About a third of the way along the beach, under the pine trees.

On a day trip from Stanley we made it to the ‘Edge Of The World’ at Arthur River, not the most Westerly point of Tasmania, but fairly near and a spot that claims the ‘Edge of the World’ title.  On the way we slid down a 110m slide at Dimal Swamp to the bottom of the forest floor.  Sounds none too inviting – sliding into Dismal Swamp, but the “Swamp” was a dry sink hole and was covered in forest, so the sights at the bottom were really great.

About to slide.  Great head gear!Jake at the end of the slideBoys at 'The Edge of the World'

On our way through Burnie we stopped at the Makers Workshop and had a go at making paper, they make all sorts of handmade paper here, including paper made from cotton, denim, grasses and of course roo and wombat poo… naturally, what else would you make paper out of?  The papermaking tour was great, we actually made something that looked like paper as opposed to a mushed blob.  The last stop on our Tassie tour was supposed to be a quick look through Sheffield – “The Town of Murals”, but we happened upon the Sheffield Steam Fair… bit of a coup for the kids with rides and fairground food galore.  Sheffield is a cute town though with really well painted murals on many of the buildings.

Llama and his master on the streets of Sheffield.  Not sure which is Llama and which is master though!One of the murals of SheffieldOne of th eold tractors at the Steam fair 

Well, it’s all over far too quickly, you hear the same thing from anyone having visited Tasmania and I will say it again… Tassie is a wonderful place, the scenery is so beautiful, everything is so close and the people are so friendly.  Our only regret is that we did not plan to spend more time here, but it’s time to move on, we have other great adventures ahead.  Farewell beautiful Tasmania, hope to see you again.

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Responses

  1. Hi Malpass family (Malpii?) wonderful to hear all about your adventure so far. You are so lucky. I will write more news from here soon, and let you know what little is happening here!!! Love to you all. Jane

    • Thanks Jane, would love to hear news from home. And I love the plural of Malpass, I’m definitely going to use that one in the future! Take care and hope the boys are enjoying their new school. M

  2. Brilliant descriptions, Maria. I did a paper making workshop too last week. Alas no exotic animal poo in mine!

  3. Oh my goodness. Now I am seriously jealous. The pictures look amazing and it sounds like such a wonderful experience even if the weather has been a little tricky.
    Jake already looks way older than when we last saw him and I love the picture of Indi jumping!!
    So good to talk to you the other day. Made me miss you loads!
    XX

  4. Sounds so exciting guys. Just love hearing your adventures. ;-). Xxx

  5. Sounds like your all having a ball, we too loved Tassie and would love to go back for at least a month next time! Toni


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