Tasmania 2011 Part 6 SE - Cockle Creek to Bruny Is/Tasman Pen/Friendly Beaches

Friday, Sep 30, 2011 at 18:27

Navigator 1 (NSW)

Day 64 Sunday 30th January ...
On our way north from Cockle Creek we called into Southport not being able to remember if we visited back in 2003. While in town we learnt that a convict probation station was once there and that in 1835 the ship, George 111, ran aground off this coast with a loss of 133 lives, 127 being convicts.

In Dover we past the Wooden Boat Centre where timber boats are made to order and young apprentices learn the trade.
After stocking up in Huonville we made our way to Kettering and boarded the ferry’ Mirambeena’ for Bruny Island. $35 return was not a bad price to pay for the 20 min trip over the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Having not explored the northern part of the island previously we worked our way around the coast in a clockwise direction looking for a place to pull over for the evening. The boat ramp at Barnes Bay proved to be a perfect spot. It was a peaceful, protected little bay in a farming area with only a few homes in sight.
Distance travelled: 129 km Wow, now we’re moving!

Day 65 Monday 31st January ...Bruny Island (Jetty Beach)
We continued our exploration of the northern section of the island then headed south. Just before taking in the spectacular view of the Neck, an isthmus separating the northern and southern sections of the island, we called in for oysters on the beach. With ‘Get Shucked’ just down the road, this enterprising oyster farmer set up his umbrellas on the beach. For $10 a dozen, with enjoyed shucked oysters with lemon. Perfect!
Once on the southern side we went to Adventure Bay an historic area where early explorers Cook, D’Entrecastreau and Flinders took shelter here. Apart from the Museum our interest was the Bruny Island Cruise which explored this wonderful coastline. We hadn’t booked but after only 1 ½ hours, time for lunch, we were on our way. Decked out in red neck to ankle raincoats we sped down the coast all the way to ‘The Friars’, the southern end of the island. The tall cliffs with their many caves and the Australian fur seal colony made for a fantastic trip.

Back on the road we continued south to the lookout at Cape Bruny Lighthouse. Unfortunately heavy rain had resulted in deep run offs across the beach making the beach run across Cloudy Bay far too risky. We made a decision to camp the night at the close by Jetty Beach campground. It was not pleasant – black sand and rain! The tide was in so a run out on this beach was also out of the question. We pulled up in the camping area and just stayed inside the truck.
Distance travelled: 92 km

Day 66 Tuesday 1st February ...Bruny Island - Tinderbox
It was still raining so we made the decision to leave the island but not without first calling into the famous pie shop at Lunawanna. Jenny had spent 6 years building up the business and along the way had won countless awards, the ribbons and certificates being displayed on the wall. Chicka had two pies, I had one – they were FANTASTIC! Jenny took a break and sat with us and filled us in on a little local knowledge. She wanted to swap the Business for HUGO!!!
With 10 minutes to spare we made the 12.35pm ferry back to Kettering....Still raining!

We headed to Tinderbox to visit Carl and Annie whom we had met in Ross. They asked us to visit so they could take more time to check out the truck before making their final decision to put in an order with Amesz Design, Perth.
The GPS co ordinates took us to a beautiful, modern home right on the coast with 300° views overlooking the Derwent River. We had a wonderful time discussing the house, the truck and our travels. They too have done a lot of travel on mainland Australia.
Distance travelled: 102 km

Day 67 Wednesday 2nd February ... Tinderbox - Long Spit Private Nature Reserve
At 12.30 we headed back to Hobart and over to the Tasman Peninsular camping the night at Long Spit Private Nature Reserve.
Distance travelled: 76 km

Day 68 Thursday 3rd February ... Long Spit Private Nature Reserve – Fortescue Bay
The Forestier Peninsular and the Tasman Peninsular are separated by Eaglehawk Neck. At the northern end of ‘The Neck’ we looked at the Tessellated Pavement – an unusual coastal rock formation and the old Dog Line and Officers Quarters from the convict times. This station was set up to catch convicts who were trying to make their escape from Port Arthur.
On the southern side our first stop was the picturesque Pirates Cove, a safe anchorage for sea vessels. It was also the base for the cruise boats similar to those on Bruny Island. Next we took in the breathtaking coastal scenery from the cliff tops- Tasman Arch, Devil’s Kitchen and the Blow Hole. SPECTACULAR!

Enroute to Fortescue Bay we travelled along the forest tracks. Things were much the same at the bay as in 2003 but for the new parking area for cars and boat trailers and a new concrete wharf. Once again we managed to get a front row camping site with full view of the bay. We sat on the wharf for afternoon drinks and watched the sun get lower and lower in the sky.
Distance travelled: 70 km

Day 69 Friday 4th February ... Fortescue Bay – Roaring Beach
We moved to the day picnic area for breakfast and then took a long walk along the beach. The bay was calm with just a slight wave rolling onto the sand. It was a very pleasant walk spoilt only by the carcasses of two unfortunate seals.
We visited Historic Port Arthur on our last visit so we decided to just explore the area. After leaving Remarkable Cave, yet another scenic coastal area, we ventured out onto a small peninsular just south of Port Arthur. To our surprise the sign on the locked gate indicated that the area was the historic site of Port Puer – the boys’ penitentiary. Over its years of operation it saw some 3000 boys pass through its doors. It was recommended that visitors to the area take a guided tour out of Port Arthur but a self guided tour was also allowed. Very little of the structures remain but it was an insight into yet another facet of the penal colony in Tasmania.
We headed over to White Beach, Nubeena and then our camp spot at Roaring Beach. Tucked into the sand dunes we were well protected from the wind. Until nightfall we were kept company by the continuous stream of surfers.
Distance travelled: 62 km

Day 70/71 5th /6th February ... Roaring Beach – Lime Bay
Our route to the north was blocked by locked gates so we returned to Nubeena then north to Premaydena before making our way through Saltwater River and onto Lime Bay Nature Reserve. This is another historic area associated with the Penal Colony of Tasmania. When a coal seam was discovered in the area the worst of the Port Arthur inmates were sent to the coal mines established here. It was a place of hard work, long hours, harsh treatment and harsh punishment. Remains of some of the stone buildings remain and are now protected. We were able to walk inside some of the solitary confinement cells and read about life in this establishment. The views were fantastic but it is certain that the convicts would not have even taken a glance.
We arrived at Lime Bay camping are around 3.00pm and once again, found ourselves in a front row position. Shortly after our arrival a Swiss couple arrived in their very distinctive 4WD motorhome, T-Rex. Its paint job was very eye catching!
The next day was very relaxing taking in a long stroll along the beach. During the afternoon we compared vehicles with the Swiss couple.
Distance travelled: 33 km

Day 72 Monday 7th February ...Lime Bay – Primrose Sands
We left early – 11.35am, and continued our tour of the Coal Mine area. From the Main Shaft we followed the narrow pathway down to the shore. This was once a double track, one to transport the coal to the shore and the other for the return of the empty coal ‘trucks’. It was an ingenious system whereby the weight of the laden trucks pulled the empty ones back up the hill. Before leaving the area for Dunaley we had a quick look at the air shaft – a beautifully constructed round shaft dug down into the rock, the top section in loose earth being lined with stone.
Day 73/74/75 8th/9th /10th February ... Primrose Sands – Sorell - Rosny Park
We followed the coast to Sorell which provided an excellent campsite for the night then onto Rosney to await the Wooden Boat Festival commencing the next day.

Day 76/77 Friday 11th, Saturday 12th February ... The Wooden Boat Festival, Hobart, Bellerive – Little Sandy Bay
We arrived at the waterfront area in Hobart and parked on the docks. A lot of the exhibitors were still setting up but most of the boats were in place. It was hard to believe that so many wooden boats still exist, many of which having been lovingly restored. It was a full day admiring and reading all about the individual boats. We spent the evening at Bellerive Cricket Stadium then returned to the Wooden Boat Festival before heading a little south to settle in on the foreshore at Little Sandy Bay.
Distance travelled: 36 km

Day 78 Sunday 13th February ... Little Sandy Bay – Berriedale
Chicka went to the Wooden Boat Festival again and I went into Hobart to shop. Wow! I bought 2 T-shirts.
We spent the afternoon at MONA, a newly opened private museum,. The owner, a multi, multi, millionaire had spent several years building the multi story building which had been excavated down into the rock. The entry was free and on display were the artworks and artifacts he had collected over the years. I might add we thought it was all a little weird.
We stayed the night close by on the foreshore. Tasmanians are happy for motorhomes to pull up anywhere.
Distance travelled: 78 km

Day 79 Monday 14th February ... Berriedale – Sorell
We explored the opposite site of the Derwent River, especially Otago, where we discovered beautiful properties on acreage. I have finally found where I would like to live ie if I had money. On the shore we discovered the hull of the Otago and another vessel.
We had to return to Sorell as the truck was booked into the mechanic for a service the following day.

Day 80 Tuesday 15th February ... Sorell – Buckland (oval)
The truck was serviced and it passed with flying colours.
Today we were finally going to leave the area and head up to the Freycinet Peninsular. Instead of the normal highway we decided on a short cut through the farm land. With only 19km to the coast, we had to turn back due to the track being too overgrown for the truck. The good thing about this little adventure was that we came across a magnificent, historic 2 story stone homestead called Stonehenge. The property is still maintained today by the current owners who run sheep. The shearing shed was massive. We will try to find some information on this property one day. With daylight running out we stopped for the evening at Buckland Oval.
Distance travelled: 100 km

Day 81/ Day 82 Wednesday 16th/ Thursday 17th February ... Buckland (oval)- 9 Mile Beach – Coles Bay
At Swansea we called into Katies Berry Farm for coffee. It was delightful! We then travelled out along 9 Mile Beach and found the only access point to the water. Once again a waterfront overnight stop. Once again the wind was blowing strongly.
On Thursday we travelled onto Freycinet Peninsular to Coles Bay where we did the 1 ½ hour return to the Wineglass Bay lookout. The pathway had been vastly improved since our last visit. The view from the lookout was postcard perfect. Magnificent!
We managed to find a spot to pull over for the night, right on the foreshore. The general store had been recently burnt to the ground.
Distance travelled: 190km

Day 83 Friday 18th February ... Coles Bay – Friendly Beaches
With only a short drive we arrived at the Friendly beaches. The camping area was very ordinary with little sites tucked well into the coastal vegetation. The day was overcast making the whole scene a little bleak but we still strolled for a long way along the beach. Here we were to end the South East section of our trip. Coming up, the North East.

Total distance travelled so far in Tasmania ... 4,957km

The outback calls
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