Tasmania 2011 Part 5 Lake Barrington - Cockle Creek

Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 at 21:15

Navigator 1 (NSW)

Day 56 Saturday 22nd January ... Lake Barrington – Great Lake
We watched the races on Lake Barrington until midday then headed off.
In Sheffield we walked around and looked at the muriels and visited the Country Store to see the old ‘Flying Fox’ – the old system by which money was transferred overhead from the counter to the ‘office’. The fifth generation of the store’s founders run the business today.
In Deloraine, situated in a very picturesque area, we stocked up on supplies and fuel and headed off. We didn’t get far – the evening meal at The Lakes Hotel, on the Great Lake, looked too inviting. A camp site was also provided for $8.00 so we thought, why go any further! Hot showers, toilets, good food – nothing else was needed. Back on the 27th Jan we stopped at this same hotel when it was snowing. Unreal!
Distance travelled: 134 km

Day 57 Sunday 23rd January ... Great Lake Hotel – Lake Sorrel (Dargo Point)
We spent several hours chatting to fellow campers from the UK so it was another late start. Our intention today was to reach Oatlands but once again, stopping off to look at the camping area at Lake Sorrel proved too tempting. The meaning of the signs, “Lake Sorrel closed to the public” was explained once we reached the boat ramp. Workers from Tas Fisheries were removing Carp from the lake. They were using a special device which hung in the water from bow of their boat. The electric shock emitted stunned the fish and they were then scooped up. The lake had been closed to fishing for all of 2010 and it was intended that it would stay closed for another two years, a great disappointment to locals who have their fishing shacks on the lake.
With fishing banned the camping area was getting very little use. We lit a fire and settled in for a very peaceful evening with a lovely view of the lake .
Distance travelled: 64 km

Day 58 Monday 24th January ... Lake Sorrel (Dargo Point) – Ross - Oatlands
From our campsite on the Central Highland area we descended from 836m down to the historic town of Ross on the Midland Highway. It was a must to return to this quaint little town to see if it was still as we remembered it. We were not disappointed! The narrow main street was lined with Elm Trees which gave a wonderful visual appeal. We roamed the town looking at its sandstone buildings including several churches, its bakeries, antique stores, wood gallery, hotel and courthouse. It brought back fond memories! We visited the famous convict bridge built in MDCCCXXXVI and then settled in at the bakery for coffee with other travellers.
Back at the truck we met a couple who had seen HUGO in the Amesz factory, Perth, when it was in the internal fit out stage. They were busting to see it completed. An hour went by while they studied every little detail. This time spent with them resulted in an invitation to join them on their property at Tinderbox, south of Hobart. They were very keen to have Amesz build their 4WD motorhome.
Heading south our next destination was Oatlands. This town is known as ‘The Town of Sandstone’.
It was growing late, so after reaching the town, we just headed straight to the free overnight camping area on the lake. There we joined a WA couple we had coffee with in Ross.
It was very pleasant having tea while watching the many ducks and swans on the lake.
Distance travelled: 70 km

Day 59 Tuesday 25th January ... Oatlands – Bellerive
The first few hours were spent walking around the town looking at all the sandstone Georgian buildings many of which had been reinvented as retail outlets, galleries, bakeries, cafes and accommodation. Artisans in Oatlands are plentiful creating pottery, knitwear, jewellery and baked goods. The main attraction in town, the Callington Mill, has recently been restored and is the only working example of a Lincolnshire style windmill in the Southern Hemisphere. The sails gently turn by the wind and the stones roll grinding the grain into flour. Baked products, made from the flour, are available in the cafe.
We went on through Richmond, over the first stone bridge to be built in Australia, and into Sorell where we just had to get more oysters from Barilla Oysters. It was then onto Bellerive. We wanted to stay there for the night because ‘Breakfast on the Boardwalk’ was to be held the following morning to celebrate Australia Day.
Distance travelled: 93 km

Day 60 Wednesday 26th January ... Bellerive - Gordon
It was Australia Day and as planned we joined many locals and visitors on the waterfront for breakfast, the proceeds of which went to the Queensland Flood Appeal. We stayed for several hours enjoying the atmosphere.
Our plan now was the head south towards Cockle Creek, the most southerly point one can drive in Tasmania. We hugged the coast and took in the wonderful scenery of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. We were in no hurry so around 4.00pm we pulled up at the free overnight stop on the waterfront in Gordon. About a dozen caravans/motorhomes/tents were set up and as we manoeuvred into position a man came out waving and yelling, ‘Get over here’. It was Brian. We had camped with Brian & Sussie on Ted’s Beach in the SW Wilderness area not long ago. It was a great afternoon!
Distance travelled: 84 km

Day 61 Thursday 27th January ... GordonCockle Creek
We both pulled out around 10.00am Brian and Sussie headed north to Bothwell and we continued south via the coast. In Huonville I was able to get a much needed hair cut. Once back on the road we were amazed to see so many ‘For Sale’ signs on houses, properties and businesses. It appeared that Tasmania was for sale!
On our last visit to Cockle Creek in 2003 it was 28 degrees and the children had been let out of school – it was too hot! This time the sun was shining but the wind was cold. We set up ie parked the truck and it was not long before the sunshine turned to rain. This tends to happen when so far south – just look at Tasmania’s position on the world map!
Within the National Park there was limited camping but we were lucky enough to pull into a grassed spot with a short cleared pathway to the beach.
Distance travelled: 121 km

Day 62 Friday 28th January ... Cockle Creek
What a beautiful day, apart from the cold winds. It was perfect for a walk to the bronze humpback whale sculpture which acknowledged the past whaling industry. After morning tea we took another walk along the beach and back along the road where we became aware of the large timber mill that once existed just near the bridge. The huge fly wheel lay beside the concrete foundations.
During the afternoon we sat on the beach to look at the picture perfect scenery. This was short lived however as the winds were bitter.
Distance travelled: 0 km
Day 63 Saturday 29th January .... Cockle Creek
Today we were off on a 15 km return walk to South East Cape, a big effort but we thought we were up to it. The walk was quite uninspiring, scrubby bushland, open boardwalks over long stretches of marsh type land and mossy rainforest. The path was very uneven underfoot with rocks and tree roots making it necessary to watch the placement of our feet. The terrain made it a very tiring walk but he end result however was spectacular! We were looking out into the Southern Ocean, the next stop being, Antarctica. To our surprise the entire cliff was coal.

Chicka was standing up to the walk very well but I was not looking forward to the 7.5 km walk home. My right hip had decided to play up and I limped ¾ of the way back to Cockle Creek. After we got back to the Ranger Station we were informed that there is on average, 1 tiger snake per 10 sq m in this region - the highest average in the entire state. The Tiger Snake is deadly!
I was not a happy little camper when we arrived ‘home’. After a shower, some anti inflammatory medication and Rapigel ribbed onto my hip, I was tucked up in bed.
Distance travelled: 15 km – ON FOOT!
Total distance travelled in Tasmania: 3,794 km

The outback calls
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