A Travellerspoint blog

St Mary’s – Beauty Point

Day 252

sunny 25 °C
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We woke refreshed and decided to walk St Mary’s. On our return, we discovered just two doors up from the pub a fabulous vego shop. Actually we were really surprised how many great things they sold in their shop. Loads of organic flours, dried fruits, gluten free cooking items and packets of pasta etc. We sat down and enjoyed a great coffee. Steve then discovered the menu and ordered a fabulous lentil & lima bean soup. It was just amazing. They then came out of kitchen with a blueberry flan that had just come out of the oven. Well who could refuse such an offer, so we shared a piece. As we were oohing and aaahing and moaning and groaning, Wayne and Sharon walked in and couldn’t resist enjoying a coffee and a date scone that they ooohed and aaahed over.

We decided we should leave now, before we waddled out. We stocked up on loads of items including fresh cakes and other organic foods and headed off.

Wayne and Sharon wanted to get off to Launceston and we decided we would take a quick look at a property in Mathinna that we had been looking at over the internet for the last few months on the road. We drove to the next town, Fingal and then turned north and headed in to the town of Mathinna. There wasn’t much in the town. In fact it looked really sad and full of run down old houses and shacks. There were a few motorbikes parked out the front of some houses. It looked like a place that time had passed by, but it was falling apart. There was nothing left in town other than the newsagent/post office. We had pretty much decided that we couldn’t live here, as it was more than 50kms back to St Mary’s and there was still not that much there. Launceston was about 150kms from the property. We did take the next 5kms along the road out of town and then 8kms down a dirt road to the property. The drive passes around many kms of state forest tree farms. We both couldn’t live over the road or anywhere near this sort of business. Its horrible to view the raped land once the trees have been cut down, and the toxic waste has been applied to the land and its been set alight and all the animals are killed. The property happened to have a couple of workers there so Steve was able to get in and have a chat. Apparently the trees are just 2 years old. They are reticulated and are surrounded by an electric fence, I think to keep the feral animals out (apparently possums and wallabies love to eat the lovely young new growth) as well as the ferals that may want to get in and pinch the truffles at the end once they’ve started producing.

It appears that the owners live on the mainland and the 650 oaks cost $150,000 to purchase as seedlings! That’s before retic, planting, protective bagging, regular checking, water etc.

The house is abandoned and it really looks like it as the grass was more than knee high around the entire house. Steve also found it really hard to understand how they could be actually asking $380,000 for this 55 acre property and run down 4 bedroom house in the location that its in. It does appear that properties are much more expensive in Tassie than we realise.

We arrived in Launceston late in the arvo. Wayne and Sharon had wandered around town and we decided we should head out of town towards the Seahorse Aquarium to Beauty Point. We parked out the front of the building and enjoyed a relatively quiet night.

Posted by cssc 19:38 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Swansea – St Mary’s

Day 251

sunny 24 °C
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Today we took the very windy road to Freycinet National Park to walk the 4 hour walk of Wineglass Bay and Hazards Bay. It was a fabulous walk.


The beginning of the walk up to the Wine Glass Bay Lookout and then down to Wine Glass Bay Beach was the most popular walk in the area, and as such it was meticulously paved in the local pink granite rocks which were used for supporting overhanging walk paths, back filling run off banks and making resting seating along the 1.5hr walk. It was very steep and very worth while to do. Sharon was concerned about her knee injury and returned early in the walk.

Wineglass Bay

Sharon, Me & Wayne on Hazards Bay

Hazards Bay from above

We decided to keep heading round towards Launceston, as Wayne and Sharon were starting to feel pushed in how little time they had left in the state. We made it to Hotel St Mary’s just in time for dinner. Wayne rocked up about 20 minutes before us and asked if they could pay for a shower. The girl in shock (not having been faced with such a question), got the manager. “Giday, I’m Bruce” was his welcome, and needless to say they hit it off. He was happy to offer them a shower free of charge if they stayed for a couple of drinks or dinner. Easily done. Only problem was it was cold. We wished they had the fire on, but we had a great night. We were even invited to park out the back of their block behind the pub on the river. It was perfect quiet and peaceful place to stop.

Posted by cssc 19:33 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Hobart – Swansea

Day 250

overcast 18 °C
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Awoke to the discovery that we were on a fabulous dog beach. Midget played till she couldn’t stand up anymore and we had a lovely relaxing morning.

sunrise outside of the Sandy Bay Rowing Club

The boys had arranged to go on the Cascade Brewery Tour. We arrived at 1pm and Sharon and I enjoyed lunch in the café. It then appeared that a talent show was taking place outside so we were able to watch and listen to the kids performing. The boys returned to enjoy their beer tastings and then decided to take home a few packs of Cascade Black that can’t be bought outside Tassie. They were well chuffed.

tassie tiger as made for the cascade commercials - you should just be able to make the brewery out in the background

Headed north up through Richmond and then on to Swansea. The coastline is surely pretty and somewhat remote.

Swansea was a very cute little town of just 600. We noticed many of the key buildings around the town had been renovated very successfully and there were also many new buildings that fitted in beautifully with the older buildings around town. We later found this man was a rich mainlander who had “taken over” the town. Some were upset, as he was pushing and wished to get his way, I guess because he was used to it, and also because he was doing so much for the town. One old lady we spoke to said she was happy as his renovation and new additions has bought both an optometrist and chemist to the town, which they didn’t have before. Apparently the tourist season (now just finished) brings the population to 1000 during the season. But they were on stage 3 water restrictions which really surprised us how dry and baron the countryside did look.

We enjoyed fresh Swansea fish and chips from one of the three fish & chips shops in the town. The owners also had two elegant restaurants as well as the tourist icon of the Barkmill Tavern & Bakery on the outskirts of town. See http://www.barkmilltavern.com.au for more info. It was also a museum, bottle shop, restaurant, café and the famous bakery, as well as new backpackers. It was very well done. The owner had just held a garage sale yesterday selling off all the items in old building he’d just bought in the centre of town. A lovely heritage building that had been turned into an accommodation venue in the 1960s with horrid extensions (now about to be removed). There is a lot happening. It would be good to get back here one day to see how it looks.

Posted by cssc 00:32 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Bruny Island - Hobart

Day 249

sunny 20 °C
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Got a late start but managed to get on the 10am ferry back to Hobart. Found a parking bay by 11:15am and were heading down to Salamanca for the Markets. It had certainly grown in size since we were last there. Really enjoyed walking around in the sunshine and we all had a great afternoon. We then went back to our vans and found a great pub for dinner up in Battery Point. The Shipwrights Arms. What a great little place. We couldn’t get in for dinner as they are apparently booked out for dinner 6 nights’ a week! Amazing stuff. The owner sent us up the road to De Angelo’s a nice little Italian restaurant but it too, was fully booked. We settled for the Indian a couple of doors down.


We retired to the beach front out the front of the Sandy Bay Rowing Club. Still scratching dead skin off our faces!

Posted by cssc 00:07 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Pencil Pine Lake – Bruny Island

Day 248

sunny 18 °C
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Midget thinking the fish would be nice if I could get my feet in the freezing cold water...

Woke to mist everywhere. It was really beautiful. We got an early start and eventually the mist lifted an the sun came out. Another perfect day. Arrived in New Norfolk on the Derwent River in time for morning tea. Enjoyed a walk up and down the main street and the cute antique shops etc. Real Estate is much more pricy now we’re only an hour or so from Hobart.

We then scooted through Hobart and headed down south past the Weather Bureau’s Antarctica Divisions flash offices, and out to Kettering where we took the ferry over to Bruny Island. It only takes 15 minutes to reach this paradise.

sitting on the ferry

Its really amazing. There are still some farming areas on the north island, and the south is mostly holiday houses. There was also a Bligh Museum where lots of his diaries are on display. There is also a piece of the tree that Cook cut into to tie the boat up to when he stopped in a quiet bay in 1777. The tree died and a plaque now stands where the tree used to.




There is a bit of everything on this island. Sheltered beaches, lovely white sandy beaches, large mud flats, oysters galore, penguin breading, bird breading protected zones, sailing harbours and more. In fact, we’ve been told by many at the boat show, that they’ve spent years cruising around the islands of Tassie in their yachts. You can really see why after visiting Bruny.

Midget & Buster (the pub owners dog) and Daughter


There are plenty of free camp sites around the island. It’s a shame that most of the roads are unsealed. The dust is the hardest part to deal with on the island. There is nothing on the island but a pub on each island. We went to the south island pub for dinner and all had a great time. The people are very laid back who live there and the own of the pub’s dog, allowed Midget to enjoy the surrounds with him. They even had a play. Steve later took Buster and Midget over to the beach for a swim. They had a ball. Buster is a ridgeback lab cross. Really cute. He just couldn’t get over why he wasn’t allowed in… I enjoyed a glass of wine from a Bruny Island chardy and it was beautiful.


We found a nice quiet spot on the beach for the night.

Posted by cssc 00:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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