The last 7 Days of our Tasmanian trip.

Friday, Apr 18, 2014 at 16:41


I got a bit side tracked and didn’t get around to covering the last 6 days of our trip, so I have sat down to compile those days as asked by some of our friends.

March 31st was spent travelling back to Longford as the caravan park had vacancies now that the V8 Car racing at Symmons Plains was over. The rest of the day was spent settling in on our site which this time was next to the river. The park was still pristine even though they said that they had around 120 camps and vans on site.

On April 1st we headed up the West Tamar Valley and visited Carrick another historic town, Westbury with the huge Tasmanian Alkaloids (Opiate) processing factory. It would appear that this is where most of the Poppies are processed. We then headed north through Glengarry and across to the Tamar Valley at Exeter. The views all along the river valley were very good, with the large expanse of water visible from a number of towns along the way. One town in particular is called Deviot, I’m not sure who named it or if they realised the connotations of the name. We stopped at Beaconsfield where the miners were trapped. The town doesn’t look like a typical mining town, it is neat and tidy and is trying to encourage tourism as most people we spoke to believe the mine will probably never open again. We stopped at Beauty Point to have lunch and then headed further up the valley. The final stop up the valley was at Greens Beach and then to West Head From here we could see the Eastern Side and the Low Head Lighthouse where we had been previously.

After back tracking a little bit we turned west at Yorktown and headed up into the forest planning to look at Budehaven, but when we came out onto the bitumen road again there were roadwork’s and diversion, so we decided to head back to Longford.

The 2nd of April was a rest and wash day at Longford. In the afternoon we took a short drive to Perth to visit the Honey Factory and bought an assortment of Honey, plus a big tub of my favourite Leatherwood Honey. I had come across this honey in the northwest in the early part of the trip and had run out. We then went to Evandale, and just outside the town is farm business that makes very nice sauces. They have savoury types and sweet types and some very hot. And after sampling a number and spending some money we went back the caravan park. That night we went out to a very nice dinner with some friends that used to live near us in Gippsland before they had to move, for work, to Hadspen near Launceston.

April the 3rd was another big day with a trip to the Great Lakes. We headed south through Cressy and turned off toward Poatina and a big climb up to Mt Blackwood. This area was one of the first Hydro Electricity generation areas for Tasmania and has seen many changes over the years. On the top of the plateau we headed south around the Great Lake through a place called Flintstone and diverted to Arthurs Lake where we stopped for lunch. The area was well set up for fishing with lots of cabins and fishing lodges scattered in various settlements along the way. The boat ramps were prominent and even had floating docks alongside to aid launching. In fact the whole lake system has these settlements all the way around.

Then heading west we stopped at Miena which is the site of one of the first Hydro dams which was started in 1910 by a private company and then after financial difficulties it was taken over by the Tasmanian Government. Hydro Tasmania then finished the dam in 1918. Further works have been undertaken since then and the dam wall made higher and additional PowerStation’s added. The remains of the 2 original dam walls were visible when we were there as the lake was down after the summer. Continuing up the Western side of the Great Lake through an abundance of fishing huts and lodges, we then headed north through Deloraine and back to Longford through Westbury.

There are 2 well know historic homesteads close to Longford, so on the 4thof April we headed out to see them. These farms were owned by 2 brothers, but operated separately. The first one is just out of Longford and called Brickendon and is still owned and operated as a farm by the descendants of the family. The original buildings are on the Eastern side of the road and are set out for people to look around. The buildings all have signs on them indicating the original use and the dates of operation. There is also a shop and information centre where you can get a brochure to guide you. The large homestead is on the Western side of the road and was built by later generations. It is not open for viewing, but the gardens are open and contain a huge range of plants and trees.

The other farm is called Woolmers and is situated a few Kms further along the road. The last descendant of this brother died a bachelor and left the property to a trust and the farm is now open for viewing and there are tours through the house. The furniture, art work etc is unbelievable. It is just as the family left it and nothing has been brought in to add to the display. There is a very interesting pump house where a horizontal capstan pulled by a horse was used to pump water up to the house.

We were booked on the ferry for the night crossing on the 5th, so having organised a late check out from the caravan park we packed up and made the leisurely trip to Devonport. We underestimated the travel time so spent some time at the beach next to the breakwater on the eastern side of the Mersey River. Later in the afternoon we headed to the Terminal area which was just up the road. There is plenty of parking, especially as it was a Saturday and a large area where a number of Vans, cars and RV’s were already queuing up. Eventually we loaded aboard, found our cabin and relaxed with a meal. It may be of interest to other travellers that there are 3 caravan parks near the breakwater beach just up the road from the terminal. There weren’t many shops open if you want a coffee or an ice cream though.

Sunday, after disembarking we headed straight down the Beach Rd to North Rd and across to the freeway via Wellington Rd and home to Gippsland.

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