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TASMANIA Trip report, Great Ocean Road versus Tasmania Huon River area and some B&B accommodation

TASMANIA Trip report, Great Ocean Road versus Tasmania Huon River area and some B&B accommodation

Old Aug 6th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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TASMANIA Trip report, Great Ocean Road versus Tasmania Huon River area and some B&B accommodation

Just back from 10 days in Tasmania, in winter, and although it was not a comprehensive tour it was a most wonderful holiday.
I guess that we don't hear too much about Tasmania on this forum because there are no regular posters who are from Tasmania which is really a pity but after 10 days down there I can understand why and that is because they don't really want to broadcast their little piece of paradise and have the rest of Australia join them and spoil it.
I started off in Hobart and spent 3 days there at Clydesdale Manor B&B a lovely Georgian house on Sandy Bay Road. Sandy Bay Road is a busy road and although the windows were double glazed I could still hear the traffic which was annoying because I live in an area where I only hear the noise of crickets and possums playing on my roof. However the hosts do make up for the lack of quiet somewhat and it is within walking distance of shops and of course it is a lovely B&B.
From there we drove up to New Norfolk which is on the river Derwent ( same as Hobart) but about 45 mins drive and a quaint little place in a pretty setting amongst the hills. We spend some time there taking walks along the river but unfortunately we were two weeks too early for the trout season.
Hubby had not been to Cradle Mountain so I thought that we could drive over the mid-land lakes area to Cradle Mountain for a couple of days. I did call into the little village of Hamilton which has about 4 delightful convict houses for rent and where I have stayed before but we could not find the lady home who owns them and therefore did not stay there. It was unfortunate because these little houses are just lovely and all decked out in the same furniture of that convict era which is circa 1830. Well worth a stopover and from there it is not far to visit the Mt Field National Park.
The crossing of the upland lakes area is not in the least bit interesting but it was a short cut so I soldiered on. However the little animals can't tell the time in that area and we were lucky to come across an Echidna crossing the road, two possums playing beside the road and one very large wombat who thought that no one else should be on the road but him and did a sit in on the middle of the road for 5 mins while he decided whether or not to allow us to continue our journey. Take time to visit Deloraine another lovely little town on a river, when you get down from the high country, with little craft and nic nak shops and a beautiful outlook.
From there we visited the Rasberry Farm for afternoon tea ( don't be on a diet when you go as you will not resist the wonderfull temptations of that place) and followed that with a visit to the Cheese Factory/tasting shop which is not far down the road and the best cheese you could ever find is made there..... Ashgrove Cheese - I think it is called and of course we bought some but it has long been eaten and therefore I don't have the wrapper to check the name.
It was getting a bit late by this time so I was on the look out for somewhere to stay which was going to be nice and quiet and was lucky enough to see a sign on a farm for self-contained accommodation. TBC.....
lizF is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2005, 03:35 PM
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If you are in Tasmania around Elizabeth Town nor far from Deloraine en route to Sheffield and you want to spend some time in that area and need a base this little cottage is ideal. Its on a farm and very quiet, overlooking farm paddocks, has 2 bedrooms - sleeping 4, lounge, dining, kitchen, bathroom and laundry and with all you need to look after yourself and can be rented by the night or by the week/month etc. It is owned by Jill and Bernard Archer, "The Avenue", Elizabeth Town, Tasmania 7304 or check out the website and get the email address on www.the-avenue.com.au This would be a great place for a week and very comfortable and reasonably priced.
We set off the following morning to Cradle Mountain and it was a very pretty drive around Sheffield ( Town of Murals) Mt Rowland and into the Cradle Mt area but as luck would have it as soon as we got to Cradle Mountain it started to rain and looked like it was going to continue so we decided to push on and see where our next port of call would be.
We bypassed most of the top area of Tasmania because we have been there before and as we wanted to get down to the Huon Valley south west of Hobart and spend as much time there as possible I drove on until I needed a rest and that stop was in Ross - a beautiful convict build village in the midlands area of the state, very Scottish and particularly interesting. Fortunately I picked a great overnight stop at the Bakery and Inn. We arrived just before closing time for the bakery and feasted on a few lovely items with a coffee before being taken up to our room in the Inn next door. This Inn was built about 1820 or so but the accommodation has only been upgraded so that the bathroom bits and pieces work and the bed is lovely and comfortable etc. Breadfast consisted of cereal, juice, fruits etc followed by the largest selection of fresh baked delights - if you cannot eat it all you are given a bag to take it with you for your travels that day so that you won't go hungry for the rest of the day. Before going to bed you are invited into the guests lounge in front of the fire to partake in a selection of baked items drinks, sherry and port. A very pleasant stop over place and not to be missed. The bakers oven is wood fired and convict built and is worth a visit in itself.
Next morning I drove on down to the Huon Valley where I stayed for the rest of my time in Tasmania as there is much to see and explore around that area.
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 04:18 PM
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I did not have accommodation arranged for the Huon so went into the local Real Estate agency and asked them to direct me to somewhere they could recommend. They phoned up Matilda's and I drove around on their recommendation and booked in for one night. After seeing the room we were given I immediately asked if we could stay for two nights! The next morning I asked to extend the stay for the remainder of my time there - and I will tell you why:
If you want to partake in a little gracious living Matilda's of Ranelagh is for you. It is a heritage listed 1850's gracious Victorian home. The house, the adjoining oast house and the gardens are listed by the National Trust. In 1970 The Queen of England, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Ann took tea in one of the drawing rooms which I believe is now the lounge which guests can use to relax, play chess or cards or have a drink from the bar using an honour system of paying the owner for whatever is your choice of drink at very modest prices. There are books, a collection of videos you can borrow to watch in your beautifully appointed room which is of very large proportions and contains some wonderful antiques. I was fortunate in being in the room which had a bedroom suite previously owned by the jockey who rode Phar Lap. So there is lots of history to this house and I am convinced too that a pleasant and very friendly ghost resides there as well as Pam and her lovely Golden Retrievers. Now if you don't like dogs do not stay there because these dogs are going to be your friend whether you like it or not and I am sure that most animal lovers would just love their company while walking in the grounds or sitting in the sun on the verandah of this most beautiful home. By the way the bathroom/ensuites are of nice large proportions and have underfloor heating and spa/bath/showers. There is also a fridge and tea and coffee making provisions and chocolates and port if you like for the evenings.
Back to the ghost - I had shut the door which has quite an adequate lock mechanism and it had clicked into the lock when I shut the door and to my surprise a bit later the door just opened - stayed open for the amount of time it would take to allow someone to enter and the quietly closed itself again. There was enough time for my husband and I to look at each other, then at the door and show surprise at the happening. The story follows, on questioning the owner of the home, that a previous resident and owner ( lady) does appear to some people and is a cheerful and pleasant "person" who is pleased that people are enjoying the home and gardens.... believe it or not!
Now to the comparison between the Great Ocean Road and a tour of the Huon Valley and surrounds via all the coastal/river roads - well there is no comparison as the Huon Valley trip wins hands down. At every bend there is something more beautiful than the last, the mountains, rivers, valleys and waterways are so pretty and the little villages around that area are a treat! You cannot do that area properly in 1,2 or 3 days but I guess anything would be better than nothing. It is one of the prettiest areas Australia has to offer ( well we should thank Tasmania for that) with beautiful accommodation and wonderful places to eat. After the breakfasts we had at Matilda's of Ranelagh we could not eat all that much but one day we did have lunch/dinner at The Court of Petty Sessions at the village of Franklin on the Huon River which has a wonderful menu and even more wonderful desert menu. Hubby had something that resembled a milk and white chocolate tall glass filled with different fresh berries and double cream trimmings which looked like the most wonderful thing I have seen in a long while - so did the look on his face while eating it.....pure bliss!
The information for Matilda's of Ranelagh is Pam Meldrum-Turnbull, Matilda's of Ranelagh, 2 Louisa Street, Ranelagh, Tasmania 7109 phone 03 62643493 or if from overseas you drop the 0 and add 61 first. Email is [email protected] and the web site is www.matildasofranelagh.com.au
On our last day there and because that area is so beautiful we bought ourselves 6 acres of land overlooking the Huon River and now comes the frantic work of getting our home here in Queensland sold and building and moving to what I believe will extend my life's pleasure in nature, people and places by a long way.
There are websites that you can look at to see what wonderful places and things there are in the Huon Valley of Tasmania but nothing will compare with a visit there. If you have ever wanted to go back in time to an easier pace of life, to the finer things in life - then this place has it all. Bon Voyage.
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 06:33 PM
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Liz, enjoyed reading your trip report. We to have a soft spot for Tasmania, and especially the Huon Valley, and what a slower pace of life it has.
I feel reports like yours & other members on this board, give a greater insight into some of our natural tourist gems, well done.
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 06:48 PM
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Dear liz,

You are so imepetuous. You visit a place for 3 days and decide to move there ( granted its a bit of paradise).

I've at least visited Victoria, BC monthly for the last 7 months. Now may have finally found a place there.

good luck in your newest life


PS but what will you doi w/o the Gold Coast theme parks?
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 06:54 PM
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Thanks for sharing Liz. We love Tassie and now we'll have to go back!
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 08:25 PM
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Well, now we'll have a regular poster from Tasmania!

Liz, thanks for the great trip report.

Lee Ann
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