After a week and a bit at the marina in Lonnie we packed up Kitty, picked up a campervan rental and hit the road. We've never been to Tassie before so we wanted to make the most of our time here and see some of the spots we wont be able to reach by boat.
First stop was the iconic Cradle Mountain. We'd seen photos of the mountain before but nothing can do justice to the incredible grandeur of this place. And it wasn't just the mountain - the whole park was absolutely spectacular. There are so many walks to do, ideally we would have liked a minimum of three days to do it justice.
We chose to do the three hour hike to Marion's Lookout, sooooo worth the steep scramble!
Boathouse on Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain in the distance
View to Marion's Lookout
Next we crossed to the West Coast of Tassie, Macquarie Harbour, the Gordon River and the town of Strahan. We had seriously considered sailing to Strahan from Three Hummock Island, but because of our fuel tank issues decided to head straight to Launceston for repairs. We compromised and agreed to visit Macquarie Harbour overland. To get a taste of the Gordon River we bit the bullet and hitched a ride on one of the commercial vessels that takes tourists out into the harbour and up the river. We had a fantastic day, despite wishing it was just the two of us on our own boat. The weather was perfect, and the crew were fantastic. When the Captain Andy learned we were sailors he insisted on pulling up his charts of Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour, pointing out the best anchorages, where to get water etc and telling us how fantastic and unique it is. It was not the first time we'd heard about this amazing place, and it really was the clincher in making the decision to extend our time in Tassie and visit.
But back to the Gorden River and Macquarie Harbour! Here are a few photos.
This is the entrance to Macquarie Harbour - called Hell's Gate. A very narrow and dangerous entry - remember this was a perfect weather day!
Michael and Andy the Captain on the bridge
Ruins on Sarah Island - site of an early 19th century penal colony and setting for the classic Australian novel "For the Term of His Natural Life"
The spectacular Gordon River - Commercial vessels are (thankfully) only permitted to go 12 miles up the river, so we cant wait to come back here on our own boat and explore further. Thank goodness for the activists in the 80's who saved this river from being dammed.
The next few days we explored through the Wild Rivers National Park, Mt Field National Park and parts of the South West National Park. So many waterfalls, so little time!
Huon Campground in the South West National Park - yes, campfires allowed, and wood provided!
Russell Falls, Mt Field National Park
Horseshoe Falls, Mt Field National Park
Finally we headed back to Launceston via the Derwent Valley and the midland highway, making a detour to visit the Jansz winery in the North Tamar.
The mill in Oatlands
The bridge at Ross
It was a great trip that really just scraped the surface for us. It was strange though - we were both so happy to get back to Bass Voyager and our own beds. It was the longest time we've been away from her since we moved aboard in April last year. I'm sure you can relate to that feeling of relief when returning home after a holiday - it really brought home to us how much Bass Voyager has become our home!
So what next? Well, as I said we have decided to extend our time in Tassie and make the most of our time here. We are currently sitting at George Town near the mouth of the Tamar waiting for the weather to settle before we head around the corner and sail South.We cant wait to explore down the East coast, and to the wilderness of Bathurst Harbour and Port Davey. Eeep!
More from Hobart...
Caitlin and Michael