Arrived back yesterday from our trip to Tassie. Itinerary changed a bit from the original plan (see initial forum post link below) to spend more time in places and less time driving.
Sorry it's so long but I found it hard to be brief!
Arrived at Launceston Airport and collected hire car. Visited Cataract Gorge. Walked across suspension bridge and took chair lift back. Good views.
Stopped at Marakoopa Caves near Mole Creek. Did the Underground Rivers & Gloworms tour, very impressive cave formations.
Very windy road from there to Cradle Mtn, numerous hairpin bends at very slow speeds. Scenic route though with some lookout points for photographs.
Parked car at Cradle Mtn visitor centre and caught the shuttle to Dove Lake. Good decision as this road was also very narrow and winding. Did a couple of short walks to the Boathouse and Glacier Rock. Soaked up the stunning views with the area bathed in sunshine. Timed our return perfectly as it started pouring with rain on the way back, almost out of nowhere. Tough driving for about 15 mins in pouring rain before it cleared.
Went via Sheffield on our way back to see the murals. Also stopped for coffee and cake as we missed lunch! Saw some steam operated machines, apparently in action as part of Steamfest. Hoped to get a good photo of Mt Roland but the weather had become a bit gloomy.
Headed south, stopping at Evandale to view the heritage buildings. Lunch at Ross Bakery Inn with "the world's best vanilla slice". Wouldn't disagree! Photographed the famous bridge from various angles and strolled the tree-lined main street. Cute town.
Then headed east to the coast. Road more windy than expected.
Checked into motel at Bicheno. Strolled around the orange lichen-covered rocks at the nearby beach. Amazing sight. Saw The Blowhole in action. Had fun trying to capture it on camera.
Walked to the beach at sunset. Rugged and blustery but alas no penguins.
Coles Bay and Freycinet National Park. Did the walk to Wineglass Bay Lookout. Challenging but well rewarded with stunning views. Really pleased with ourselves for making the effort and getting to the top. Must get fitter! Thank goodness for the shaded parts along the way. Appreciated the various views along the way which kept us going.
Also went to Honeymoon Bay, Sleepy Bay and Cape Tourville. Honeymoon Bay was easy, just a few steps from the car, a relief having just done a big walk. Sleepy Bay involved a bit of walking on uneven surfaces. Stunning turquoise water. Then a nice easy boardwalk at Cape Tourville to finish off. Knackered by then!
Headed south this morning, enjoying the lovely coastal views along the way. Stopped briefly at Spiky Bridge, built by convicts.
Drove through Dunalley, very sad to see ruins of houses destroyed by the recent bushfires. Such a pretty area too.
Arrived at Port Arthur about 1pm. Stayed at Port Arthur Villas which turned out to be very handy as we were given a special key that allowed entrance to the Historic Site through the back gate! Nice to leave the car behind for a change. Did the guided walking tour and habour cruise before exploring individual buildings. Was quite interesting but we felt by the end of the day we'd seen enough, even though our tickets allowed entry for two days. Appreciated being able to walk back to the motel. Noticeably quieter at the site after 5pm once all the day trippers had gone.
Woke to the sound of cows mooing. Felt very rural!
This morning we did the Tasman Island Cruise. I was very anxious about how I would cope with the waves. Was relieved we hadn't gone the previous day when they had 7m swells! Today was only 1m at times. There was a period of about 10 mins when I wondered how I'd cope as the boat was bouncing around in the waves of the Southern Ocean but after that it got better and I could enjoy it. Highlights included fur seals, numerous birds and spectacular rugged scenery as well as a bonus encounter with a pod of dolphins who seemed to love swimming with our boat.
Picked up the car and headed towards Eaglehawk Neck to view Tasman Arch, Devil's Kitchen, The Blowhole and the Tessellated Pavement.
Arrived in Hobart late afternoon, having decided to visit Richmond another day when we have more time. Hotel is right in the centre. Bit of a shock to have cars whizzing by after waking to the cows this morning!
Went for a walk by the waterfront and had dinner at Fish Frenzy. Very tasty fish & chips and well priced. Admired some of the impressive architecture on the walk back.
Drove to the top of Mt Wellington to see the wonderful views of Hobart and surrounds. Didn't realise how freezing cold and windy it would be (should have given it more thought!) but luckily we had jumpers in the car. Wind was still biting cold though.
Then did a tour at the Cascades Female Factory (former prison for female convicts). Most of the structures were destroyed by fires but the knowledge and passion of the volunteer guide made it a very interesting tour.
Spent the afternoon wandering around the city photographing impressive buildings and walked up to the historic houses at Battery Point. Brought back memories of strolling through Hampstead - had that same "villagey" feel. Then went to the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery. Was good timing as it had apparently just reopened today after more than four months of renovations. Lasted a bit more than an hour until my feet were begging for a rest.
Strolled round Salamanca Markets and wished we hadn't already eaten breakfast. So many yummy smelling foods.
Went to Richmond to see the lovely bridge and look around the town. Enjoyed the small, but completely intact, Old Richmond Gaol. Have learnt a lot about convict history the past few days! Enjoyed lunch at the bakery. Set off to St John's Catholic Church, apparently the oldest Catholic church in Australia. Ended up having to make a quick dash from the car as the weather came in and it was pouring with rain.
Time to go home.