Tasmania: East Coast - Day 19

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 01:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

We didn't really want to leave because finally we felt we'd found a beach that was worth staying at. David however, was in search of the "greener pastures" further north, so we agreed to spend half the day here first and then move on.

Leah made friends with Sarah 4yrs and Georgia 2.5 yrs from Mt Gambier, previously of St Helens and they swam and enjoyed the beachfront until we lifted camp at around midday. Our aim today was to find our final camp on the coast for a 2 night stay.

The Jacka's and Martins have travelled together before. Our last trip together was when Leah was a baby and we spent 5 weeks doing the Red Centre and Kimberley in 2001. Some travel nicknames we picked up then have stuck for this trip too. David is the WBTL (World's Best Trip Leader), I am the WBM (World's Best Mother), Colin is the WCM (Worlds Cleanest Man), and Sandy is the WPP (World's Perfect Photographer), however this has recently changed to One Eye since being in Tasmania and just the other day we improved this to President MegaPixel, which really gives me the giggles. David's nickname was earned because he is a fanatic about leading a perfect trip and keeping everybody happy. He makes it his mission to find the perfect campsite with all the perfect features - no other campers, ideally have fresh water, come at no charge and have no restrictions on making a campfire. If wood isn't available, he will go and collect it.

So, with that explanation covered you might appreciate what was involved for us to check out all campsites from here up to Mt William National Park, making GPS recordings, notes and photographs as we do of every thing. I am just about going crazy with the amount of research we have collected and although its all going on the computer in the first pass, I know it will need a lot of work before publication is possible when we return to the office.

Some of our finds today are worth noting here - just around the corner from Humbung Point is Binalong Bay. It's a picture book perfect place with white sand, azure blue water and the granite rocks are speckled with orange lichen that gives the view an attractive glow. These rocks are nicely rounded and protrude from water on low tides - a photographers delight!.

When we first spotted Binalong Bay from a lookout at Skeleton Pt, it appeared quite large, but on arriving it was only housing, and we couldn't find a single shop. We were only hoping to buy milk and bread but what we did find was a very trendy Cafe called Agostinos? The construction was so modern it was almost out of place in Tasmania. It had all the trendy stainless wire and tubing balastrades, cafe blinds, red shade sails, and undoubtedly the best view in town overlooking the main beach and the views to the north along the Bay of Fires. I wasn't going past a latte here!

Inside, we found they sold basic supplies such as loaves of fresh bread, fresh milk, various juices, soft drinks etc and chips whilst the trendy kitchen pumps out quality cafe style meals and lunches plus a take away option is avail. Before the boys had a chance to complain, we had ordered fish and chips ($10) each, and settled back on the balcony overlooking the best view in Tasmania. We were brought a highchair for Chardae and chilled bottled water on arrival etc. It was just all very civilised and everything just tasted sooo good - funny what travelling and camping does to you. Tom the owner (young) loved our car and pointed out his Troopy and told us his story of travelling around Oz for 10 yrs before setting up his cafe and now he just works 2-8mths per year. Tom let us fill up our water tank from his tank, and let us dump our rubbish in his commercial bins out the back. So far, we have found the Tasmanian's to be really friendly, down to earth people who have a wonderful attitude to travellers and don't treat you differently because you might have a dirty vehicle and have grubby clothes!

We dragged ourselves away and headed north to the Gardens (dead end) via Cosy Corner (perfect) and Sloop Reef camps (not so good but views good). If you go out to the Gardens (not really worth it) you need to double back a bit to pick up the track (signs says 2wd with care, but I wouldn't take my 2wd car on it!!) to pick up the main unsealed road C843 towards Ansons Bay. We were told Policemans Point was the best of the camping here but although we drove all the way out there, we found it was very windy and the best of the camps were taken. We were getting very fussy to find the perfect last camp so we continued on up to Mt William National Park.

At the junction of the Eddingston Point turnoff we met up with a group of fire workers in 75 series utes and asked their opinion of whether the camping at Eddingston was better than at Stumpys and they said Stumpys so taking local advice that's where we headed. Indeed, we found perfect campsites, setback from the beach under shady canopies of she-oaks but close enough to still have a beach view. Stumpys Bay has 4 campsite areas spread about 1km apart with each area holding about 10 groups comfortably. We were the only people at camp ground 2 and there was firewood everywhere etc. We arrived at a civilised time of around 2pm which gave David time to break down the vehicle for a handbrake tightening exercise in the campground using a tree stump as a jack to rest the diff on because the sand was so soft. Later in the afternoon one more vehicle arrived and since they young kids it turned a great camp into a perfect camp because now Leah was fully occupied.

The only complaint was that the beach was not safe enough for the kids to swim and Dora Point was probably better suited for that, however as an overall area the kids really enjoyed this place and there was more to do in general. In particular, there are nocturnal animals creeping about. I took Leah spotlighting with the torches but you can see just as many animals sitting at your campsite. We saw wallabies, (one with joey in pouch), wombat on beach, pottraoo, owls and rabbits. Fairy wrens and wattle birds were prolific during the day.

Dinner - no fresh meat now, so using left overs and adding bits to make it interesting. I made a favourite easy dish by cooking some rice, roasted blanched almonds by wrapping them in foil before putting on coals, and mixed this altogether with freshly chopped green and red capsicums, the chopped left over minted lamb roast, and drizzled a Thai lime and coriander salad dressing over the top. Mum served up hot plum pudding and custard for desert.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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