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Tasmania Trip Report - My Third Visit to This Great Island

Tasmania Trip Report - My Third Visit to This Great Island

Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 08:27 PM
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Tasmania Trip Report - My Third Visit to This Great Island

This was my third time in Tasmania.

Bottom line. If you like forests - to include temperate rain forests, lakes, shorelines, wildlife, and a bit of history then Tasmania is a great place to visit. There is also some good food and without question - some excellent wine. Where else can you find Wallaby on the menu?

Travel Hints.

1. Don't get a Vodafone SIM card because it has almost no coverage in Tasmania. Telstra is a good choice.

2. Get your food stocks in larger towns. Do not assume a dot on the map, such as Derwent Bridge, which might have "groceries" will have much more than sodas, chips, and milk. It takes more planning in Tasmania to self-provision. This is especially true for items such as meats, chicken, etc. It also largely applies to selections of fruits and vegetables.

3. Do not come in high season to remote areas and expect to find accommodation. I watched quite a few people try to stop in Derwent Bridge. They were not happy to find that the only possibility for accommodation was 50 to 80 kilometers further down the road.

4. As always, if you really want to eat at a given place or have a given activity then pre-book. For example, the restaurant at Risby Cove was completely booked both nights I was there. Then again, no problem for me, I had bookings.

5. It can be warm and sunny in Tasmania. It really does happen. When it does, the Tiger Snakes, do like to make a showing. I saw three in two weeks which is a high number based on my experience. If you want piece of mind then buy a pair of gaiters. These will give you protection up to your knee.

16 February 2009. Hong Kong - Melbourne. Melbourne.

This was a travel day starting in Hong Kong and ending in Melbourne, Australia.

After checkout from Airport Regal Hotel I checked in with Qantas. Since Hong Kong is Cathay Pacific's home station I made my way to their First Class Lounge for breakfast. There was actually a short queue for breakfast so I enjoyed a cup of coffee and some fresh orange juice while pecking at my laptop.

About an hour before my flight I made my way to the British Airways-Qantas Lounge which was at the opposite end of the terminal. I wanted to see the lounge as well as it would be more convenient for boarding when the flight was announced. The lounge was fine but nothing special.

The Qantas flight departed on schedule but arrived 30 minutes late due to strong head winds. The total flight time was over nine (9) hours. The flight was noteworthy only in that I observed a couple drink a serious amount of champagne and wine. In fact they exhausted the airplanes supply of Dom Perignon and then went to work on the Taittinger. They were clearly good consumers because they did not forget to drink copious quantities of red and white wine. One of them tried to talk to me but he was almost incoherent.

Before landing the captain announced that a passenger was ill and the plane would be met by paramedics. He asked that we allow this passenger to disembark with decorum before rushing the airplanes exits. Happily he was wrong. On landing there was not a paramedic to be found.

The airline gods were smiling as I quickly cleared immigration and found a customs person to stamp my customs form. Fortunately I was passed directly to the exit. There was a horrendous looking line of at least an hour for a more extensive customs clearance.

I checked into the Hilton at 11 PM across the street from the airport for a less than eight (8) hour overnight visit.

17 February 2009. Melbourne-Hobart. Derwent Bridge.

By 7 AM I was back at the airport to check-in for the flight to Hobart, Tasmania. I had a light breakfast at the Qantas Club and napped during the one hour flight to Hobart. A hot meal was served on the flight.

Tasmania was bathed in glorious sunshine upon my arrival. I collected by bags, picked up the rental card, plugged in my GPS, and set forth to find the Tasmanian Devil at my first stop - Mount Field National Park.

However, I detoured to stop in New Norfolk which at one time was the largest town in Tasmania. As they say, you would never know it today. I visited two food stores, Foodworks and Woolworths. Foodworks was a mistake since it was one of those older local affairs with limited selections while Woolworths was a much larger and more modern food market. I stocked up on some breakfast and lunch items as well as some snacks.

My final stop was a Bottle Shop where I obtained a couple of bottles of good Tasmania Pinot Noir. In Tasmania beer and wine are sold in separate stores. In Australia this is a state-by-state arrangement but is quite typical.

I continued my drive and arrived at Mount Field National Park. This park has some spectacular sub-alpine areas but I was there to do a few short walks as I still had to drive 1.5 hours to Derwent Bridge.

My original plan was to a circuit consisting of Russell Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Tall Trees and Lady Barron Falls. This was not possible to do as one circuit since the bridge to Horseshoe Falls was being rebuilt. I walked to Russell Falls which is a popular and attractive waterfall. The path is paved but it was still a nice walk.

I then drove to a small parking around and visited the Tall Trees before taking the one hour walk to Lady Barron Falls. Lady Barron was a very nice walk with nary another person. The whole area consists of beautiful temperate rainforest. I would certainly return for more walks in the higher elevations of this park.

My next stop was my lodging for the night - Derwent Bridge Chalets. Derwent Bridge is a very small dot on the map. The very few residents claim that this is the most isolated community in Tasmania. I am here for a visit to Lake St. Clair which is part of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park.

The lodging I have selected is a "spa" chalet. For some reason I continue to select these Jacuzzi equipped rooms even though I never use the spa. The chalet I am in is a standalone building that is spotless and fully equipped - or self contained-catering in the parlance. The chalet has a kitchen with microwave, burners, oven, and refrigerator. There is a full set of cooking utensils, dishes, cutlery, and even plastic wrap, and aluminum foil. There is a washer and dryer - with powder. There is a sleeping area with a queen size bed and a sitting area with a television (three local channels) and a wood fire stove.

There is plunger coffee, a few mints, and a pitcher of port. They offer a continental breakfast for $8 AUD but I have already provisioned with tomato juice, corn flakes, and currants. I acquired a liter of 1% milk from the Hungry Wombat Cafe which is 50 meters down the road. The chalet is not far from the road but is very quiet. The road which is the Lyell Highway does not have all that much traffic and very little at night. This is not a place to drive at night.

Derwent Bridge is really just a dot. The only other "place" is the Derwent Bridge Hotel where I went for dinner. This place serves good food. You order at the bar and they bring the food to your table. I ordered a Porterhouse with Vegetables. I asked for Medium-Rare and it was also hopping around on the plate - moo moo moo. The Porterhouse was served on a large bed of nicely seasoned and properly cooked vegetables. A bottle of Clemens Hill (2005) Pinot Noir helped me settle in and enjoy my meal.

The Derwent Bridge Hotel is about 700 meters from the Chalets but with my bad foot I drove. Given the very nice weather it would make for a good before and after dinner walk.

18 February 2009. Lake St. Clair National Park. Derwent Bridge.

I slept in until 8 AM and then enjoyed several glasses of tomato juice, a few cups of coffee, and my cereal before making my way to the Visitor Centre (vice Center) at 10 AM. A comely lass accosted me as I walked towards the Visitor Centre to tell me that a 1.5 hour boat ride on the lake would leave at 10:30 AM.

I had considered the walk from Echo Point to the Visitor Centre but the boats for that walk depart at 9 AM and 12:30 PM. I decided to go on the lake trip and then do some short walks. This was a good idea.

It was a fantastic day for Tasmania - sunny and warm. The boat went to various sections of the lake and stopped for 20 minutes at Echo Point. This gave me a chance to review my hiking option and I decided that I was correct in not selecting the 3-4 hour hike from Echo Point to the Centre. More on this in a minute.

Upon return to the Centre I spied a small lump moving on the bush. It was a baby Spiny Echidna looking for grubs and ants. I got down on my belly and took a few pictures. After my lunch I went on a circuit of three walks with a combined length of about five (5) kilometers. After two hours I barely managed to limp my way back to my vehicle.

I started my walks with the Larmairremener tableti which is an Aboriginal cultural walk. The walk is quite nice and a bit sad. The Aborigines in Tasmania did not fare very well at all. My walk continued to Platypus Bay - no platypuses in the afternoon, and then back along the annotated nature trail.

For dinner I returned to the Derwent Hotel with the remainder of my bottle of Clemens Hill Pinot Noir. I had the Game Keeper's Platter that had Platypus (just joking) - but did have Wallaby, Possum, Kangaroo, and several other local residents.

19 February 2009. Lake St. Clair National Park. Tarraleah.

Today I thought I would go or a short walk along the lakeshore but... I started on the path to Shadow Lake and could not stop. It was a beautiful trail. The trail climbed about 1,000 feet through five or six different bands of growth. I did jump a meter off the ground when I came across a Tiger Snake on the trail. All told this took me four (4) hours and I had a gigantic blister as proof. Oh yes, my limp is more pronounced than ever.

As I finished my hike I found my second juvenile Spiny Echidna. This one was better than the first as it was digging termites out of a stump. It did not care about me at all.

My lodging for the night is the Lodge at Tarraleah - it is awesome. Ultra modern with a great staff and attitude to match. Unfortunately I am here for only one night. Contrary to my standard operating procedure I just finished a soak in the spa tub with some soothing bath salts. The lodge is ultra-modern in styling. My room has a flat screen TV - with satellite channels - now watching BBC, wonderful bed, balcony, and a bathroom to for which you might kill. Molton-Brown toiletries. There is broadband in the room which did not work at first but is now operating correctly.

I was tempted to have dinner at the Lodge but the four course menu was a bit too fancy for my tastes tonight. I headed to the Highlander Inn. No homemade pate available so I had the Salt and Pepper Squid as a starter. Then... a giant Scotch Fillet with Vegetables and a bottle of "The Hairy Pinot". Friendly staff and a wonderful table outside.

20 February 2009. Franklin River Walk. Track to Frenchman's Cap. Strahan.

Breakfast at the Tarraleah Lodge was spot on. Good food and a great staff. There was a small buffet set with a fresh fruit salad, cereals, yoghurt, and fresh juices. Their was freshly squeezed orange juicy that was sweet and pulpy. There were several hot cooked to order breakfast options. These included eggs any style, omelets, and Apricot Pancakes. I opted for fried eggs. I asked for "everything" and found I had two fresh eggs, on whole wheat toast, mushrooms, smoked salmon, spinach, potatoes, and bacon.

After breakfast I set off for Strahan with several planned stops en route. My original plan was to do three relatively short walks.

Franklin River Nature Trail - 25 Minutes
Donaghys Hill Lookout - 40 Minutes
Nelson Falls - 20 Minutes

I did the Franklin River Nature Walk. The walk was reasonably nice and had some sections that were along the river. The walk is predictably close to the highway and you can often hear the passing vehicles.

While reading the information sign at the Franklin Nature Walk I saw there was another short walk up the road that include a swing-bridge across the Franklin River. It also said that this was the track for the four to five day Frenchman's Cap track. There was a recommended three hour hike to a saddle for a view of the back country area and Frenchman's Cap. Since it was a nice day I opted for this hike.

After crossing the swing bridge the trail went through an area of button-grass. The track was boarded ties to protect the area. The track then got a bit "rooty" with significant muddy sections. After the button grass the track climbed steadily or 1,000 feet or more to the saddle which was the turnaround point. I enjoyed the view and my sandwich. On the return it clouded over and I heard the ominous sound of thunder. Sure enough, it began to rain, and rain hard. For the next 45 minutes I enjoyed a soggy return to my vehicle. Fortunately I had my rain parka. It took 3.5 hours to complete the walk.

As you might expect my enthusiasm for further walks was diminished by my 3.5 hour adventure - and soaking. It was still raining when I reached the Donaghys Hill Lookout. In fact, I was driving through low lying clouds and thus decided a "lookout" was not promising given the conditions. I also bypassed Nelson Falls and continued to Strahan.

My lodging for two nights in Strahan was Risby Cove. Once again I can say this was a splendid choice and highly recommended. My "room" was a standalone apartment just a few meters from the water. The room had a small kitchenette with a microwave oven, plates, bowls, and a refrigerator. There was complimentary plunger coffee and port. The kitchenette area had a table with two chairs. In the same area was a sofa with a television and a wall heater. This whole area faces the west for a spectacular view over the harbor and sunset. There is also a deck with chairs.

A separate room contained the queen size bed, another television, and a bathroom with a spa tub. They provide free Wi-Fi and there was a strong signal in my room. The televisions got a few local channels some of which had marginal reception.

I had made reservations for dinner at the restaurant. Dinner was very good. My entree consisted of local scallops on an Asian slaw. As a main I had a shallow water fish called Trevella that was served with potatoes. A bottles of Pages Pinot Noir complemented the meal.

21 February 2009. Strahan. Piners and Miners Excursion.

Today's activity was an all-day excursion conducted by the Pure Tasmania company entitled "Piners and Miners". This was an outstanding excursion with one notable shortfall. I began the day with some coffee, juice, and cereal in my room - self-catered. The excursion included a "light" breakfast but I wanted to have some food before getting started.

The Piners and Miners Excursion began at 7:15 AM and concluded at 5:30 PM. You do not go hungry on this excursion. At 7:15 AM you meet at the Pure Tasmania office which is opposite the Strahan Activity Centre. They provide everything - backpack, rain jacket, gaiters, a cap - it says Piners and Miners, and a bottle of water. They can also provide rain pants, gloves, fleece jackets - if needed. Hiking boots are suggested for the walking segment of the excursion but other than the guide I was the only one wearing boots.

After medical and release forms are collected everyone hops in the Hi-Rail vehicle. This is a one of a kind vehicle in that it is designed to travel four wheel drive (4WD) roads as well as the West Coast Wilderness Railway. The vehicle seats the driver, guide, and eight passengers. On my day there were six passengers. To the surprise of the guide I took the seat next to the driver - after all, it has the best view.

Awaiting you in the vehicle is a light breakfast consisting of some pastries, fruit, and a large bottle of apple juice. I gave mine to the guide. After a short drive the driver aligned the Hi-Rail vehicle with the rails of the railway and changed the vehicle to rail mode. We effectively became a one car rail car. The central theme of the excursion is the story of the competition between two men and their respective mining companies. These men and their companies established separate mines, railways, and port towns. In the end, one lives - Strahan, and the other, Pillinger, becomes part of history.

As a rail car you travel 22 kilometers of the 34 kilometers of the West Coast Wilderness Railway. It is a very enjoyable experience. During the rail journey the vehicle makes stops are four locations. Each location has a story.

Following the rail journey the vehicle converts back to road mode and travel commences on sealed roads to a view point where a morning tea is served. The tea consists of fresh muffins, a large platter of fruit, and choices of coffee or tea. After the tea the vehicle travel continues. Right after our morning tea I spotted a small Tasmanian Devil on the road. The vehicle eventually goes onto a gravel road and then turns off onto the 4WD to the Bird River Track. While this track is nominally 4WD it has been upgraded so that it could easily be navigated by a conventional 2WD vehicle.

At the end of the 4WD track we dismounted, put on our gaiters, and walked along the Bird River on what was the abandoned railway line of the North Mount Lyell Mining Company. The walk is along beautiful rain forest. We began the walk at 12 PM. During the walk you come across various elements of the railway. The experience is one of nature and history. Unfortunately what should be a spectacular rain forest experience was marred by three members of the party did not stop talking - ever! Even more frustrating was that these people were employees of the company on a familiarization trip. I have written a letter of complaint.

The walk ends at 2 PM upon reaching the abandoned port town of East and West Pillinger. The walk is almost entirely flat with a few very minor ups and downs. As advertised the track can be muddy. Awaiting you at this point is a surprisingly good lunch. Under a sheltered tent-like area is a table and barbecue. There is a cook, who was also the captain, for the return boat trip, and an assistant.

On the table there is a selection of hors d'overes. These consisted of Tasmanian King Island Brie on Bread, Salmon Mousse on Cucumber, and Fresh Macquarie Harbor oysters in a Thai Chilli Sauce. There are two types of red wine - Pinot Noir and Cabernet-Merlot and two whites. There is also a selection of beers and soft drinks.

What follows is a three course meal! We first had Scallops and Sea Trout. These are pan-fried. Next was a Grilled Vegetable Brochette served with Grilled Quail. The final act was Grilled Fillet and Grilled Wallaby. Also on the table are two green salads, an interesting Potato and Yam Salad, and a variety of condiments.

After lunch the guide takes you on a walk through the ruins of East Pillinger - once a thriving mining town. There are the remains of brick firing ovens, boilers, the bake shop, and the original jetty.

At 4:30 PM you board a waiting boat for the one hour trip back to Strahan. On board the boat there was a platter of four Tasmanian cheese with dried fruits, nuts, and biscuits. You could also continue with your deserved beverage - wine, beer, soda, etc.

With the exception of the talkers this was an exceptionally well executed excursion. It is not cheap - $345 AUD per person.

Unlike the previous night the return engagement dinner at Risby Cove was a disaster. I had Salt and Pepper Calamari. It was bad - the dressing I asked for Soy and Ginger was pure Soy - way too salty and the Calamari were doughy. I did not finish the dish and when asked told the wait staff the issues. I was not charged. My main of Ocean Trout was under cooked.

22 February 2009. Montezuma Falls. Cradle Mountain National Park.

The day dawned as beautiful as it can get with clear blue skies. My main activity was to walk the abandoned tramway to Montezuma Falls. The start of the walk is a one hour drive from Strahan.

The walk begins at a car park near the old Williamsford township. The turn-off to the township is well marked and is just south of the mining town of Rosebery. The walk is through rain forest along what was once a narrow gauge tramway that carried ore, wood, and passengers between the area of the township and the town of Zeehan. The tramway operated until 1914.

The walk is along a very easy grade - almost a road - and ends at Montezuma Falls. The falls are presumed named after a mining company that once operated in the area. The falls are the tallest in Tasmania. A fourteen kilometer 4WD track can also be driven to close to the falls. A new addition at the falls is a very long swing bridge that spans the chasm below the falls. The walk is 9.6 kilometer return and takes three hours. This is a popular walk.

It was a little over another hour of driving to the Cradle Mountain Lodge where I am spending two nights. I stopped in Rosebery to visit their sole ATM and obtain some additional track snacks.

My lodging is a Spa Cabin. It consists of a kitchen area that has a sink, refrigerator, and a few utensils. There is dried coffee but I have brought some plunger coffee from my last location. This room has a table, two beds - queen and single, and a wood stove - primed with wood and ready to go. In front of the stove are two very comfortable easy chairs. There is a bathroom is the spa tub. There is also a rear deck with two chairs.

The lodge has four types of rooms - which are duplex cabins - scattered over a large area. The cabins are pine furnished. There is no TV but there is a CD player. The main lodge area has a formal dining room and a tavern inn and bistro for more casual dining. The lodge has it own set of trails and is within walking distances of the Visitor Centre.

Dinner at the Tavern was OK but certainly not the best food I have had in Tasmania. I ordered a Trio of Dips and the Local Catch. The dips and my fish came at the same time. The fish was battered and deep fried. Tomorrow I will either have Grilled Salmon or a Fillet.

23 February 2009. Cradle Mountain National Park.

It is a cool and grey morning. At least at present there will not be any breathtaking views of Cradle Mountain since it is wrapped in clouds.

A full breakfast buffet is included in the price of the room at Cradle Mountain Lodge. The buffet is respectable but not noteworthy. As usual the scrambled eggs are tasteless. The fresh fruit and bakery items are better options. The hot buffet also has mushrooms, bacon, baked beans, tomatoes, and potatoes.

I took the free shuttle bus from the Visitors Centre to Dove Lake and walked the circuit trail around the lake. With my recently broken foot this made for a 2+ hour walk. The clouds stayed low although the sky did begin to brighten.

By the afternoon the sun was out and I returned did a few more short walks. At 5 PM I returned to Dove Lake and watched the clouds scoot by Cradle Mountain. My next stop was Ronny Creek, which is a short distance from Dove Lake, to look for Wombats. A few Wallabies but no Wombats.

A short distance from Ronny Creek was the Waldheim and Weindorfers Forest Walk. I pulled into the parking area and a Wombat strolled down the hill, across the parking area, and back into the forest! The Forest Walk is a short 15 minutes but very nice. As you might expect when you visit these places in the early evening you are very likely to be the only person.

As I waited for some additional creatures to visit it began to rain. It was time to return to the cabin for a soak in the spa tub, a warming fire, and another glass of Tasmanian Pinot Noir.

Dinner was once again at the Tavern where I had the Grilled Salmon. During and after dinner it rained, rained, rained.

24 February 2009. Coles Bay.

It was still raining in the morning. After breakfast I set out for Coles Bay which is close to Freycinet National Park. On may way I took a very roundabout route to a walk to the Alum Cliffs. This is one of the 60 Great Short Walks. The walk goes to a viewpoint over the Alum Gorge. The area was very special to the Aborigines.

I continued my drive. Just outside of Perth I stopped at a spot by a river to eat one of do-it-yourself sandwiches. I had about 20 very friendly ducks for company. At this location I noticed some people picking fruit - it was wild blackberries. I got a bag from my car and picked myself four pints. Yummy.

After 4 PM I arrived at Coles Bay at the Edge of the Bay Resort where I will stay for two nights. The resort is a short distance from Freycinet National Park and sits on Coles Bay with a great view of the Hazards. The Hazards are a prominent geographic range of hills-mountains in Freycinet.

The room, which is relatively small, has a full view of the bay and a contemporary design. There is a flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi, mini-fridge, couch, and a queen size bed. There is a set of dishes and cutlery which is convenient since I have restocked by supply of Corn Flakes and Milk. The room price includes a $30 AUD credit for each night at the on-site restaurant. Even with the credit the room price is relatively high to what is provided. Tonight I will dinner at the on-site restaurant which is only open for evening meals.

The dinner menu at the on-site restaurant, The Edge, consists of six starters and six mains. There are also three desserts and a cheese plate. I starter with Salt and Pepper Squid and then had some Trevella. The latter was served on a Potato Rosti. Both dishes were acceptable. Portion sizes were average. The restaurant has a nice situation facing the bay with a good view of the Hazards.

25 February 2009. Freycinet National Park. Coles Bay.

The day began with low hanging clouds and strong winds. The bay was awash in white caps. Rain showers and strong winds continued until the early afternoon. I went for a few short walks but the hike to Wineglass Bay and the Lookout were not good options. The folks at the Visitor Centre noted that the weather forecast missed the mark - it was for showers and then clearing.

26 February 2009. Wielangta Forest. Tasman National Park. Port Arthur.

The winds from the day before had subsided but the morning was overcast with a few showers. I set out driving south. The further south I drove the weather continued to improved.

At Orford I left the Tasman Highway and traveled on an unpaved road through the Wielangta Forest. This was a very nice 30 kilometer drive. On the forest drive their were several nice picnic spots and viewpoints. Also on the drive their was a short, but beautiful, rainforest walk.

I continued to the Tasman Peninsula where I stopped at several lookouts - Tasman Arch, the Blowhole, and the Devil's Kitchen. These spots are popular with the coach tourists as they can pull up, walk for five minutes, and then get back in the coach. I then went on a 1+ hour walk from the Tasman Arch to Waterfall Bay. This is one of the Great Short Walks. The weather was perfect and the undulating walk provided several excellent viewpoints.

My lodging for the next two nights is Stewart's Bay Lodge. The lodge consists of one, two, and three bedroom cabins. I have selected one of the newer one bedroom spa cabins. The "cabin" is a small house and appears brand new. There is a full kitchen - this include a full size refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave oven, stove with oven, and a full set of plates and kitchen utensils.

From the open plan kitchen there is a six person table and a living room. The living room has two sofas, a coffee table, and a 51 inch flat screen television. The television shows three local stations. There is also a CD/DVD player and a Bose sound system. From the living room there is a deck with a table and four chairs and a lounger. There is a view of the ocean.

The bedroom has a king size bed and an attached bathroom with a spa tub and shower. There is also a washing machine and dryer. Unfortunately there are no powders or toiletries for use with the spa tub. No detergent is provided for the dryer.

Overall the cabin is very nice. Occupancy of the Lodge appears to be very low.

Dinner was at the on site restaurant - Taylors. I started with a Warm Summer Scallop Salad that contained a credible number of scallops, some greens, tomatoes, sausage, and asparagus. The starter was good. The main was Lamb on a Sweet Potato Mash. This dish was terrible. The lamb, described as medium rare, was completely overcooked. I complained to the staff but they appeared to not care.

27 February 2009.

The day began with a small bit of cloud but became generally warm and fine. I drove to Fortescue Bay which involved a 12 kilometer drive on a bumpy gravel role to a beautiful bay. I then hiked to Canoe Bay and a bit further. The hike was easy and the only thing I met was another Tiger Snake! The first part of the hike was across the sand of the bay and then up and down as one hiked across several headlands.

After the hike I went to the Mussel Boys bistro-cafe in Taranna for lunch. This was a highly recommended eating spot. My meal of fresh fish with spinach and potatoes was good but not spectacular. There were four pieces of fresh fish and a lot of potatoes.

Given the disappointing dinner, I drove to Nubeena, the provincial center of the Tasman Peninsula. I was looking for the supermarket which I found after I drove through Nubeena. The town is very small. I picked up a steak and a few tomatoes. On my way back to Port Arthur I saw some people picking wild blackberries and joined them. Hmmm.... very good.

Dinner tonight was Porterhouse Steak cooked on the barbie. Unfortunately there is a total fire ban in place so I had to use a gas grill as no fires are allowed.

28 February 2009. Salamanca Market. Hobart.

Through fortuitous timing my last day in Tasmania is a Saturday. Saturdays are when the Salamanca Market is held from 8:30 AM to 3 PM near the harbor in Hobart. The Salamanca Market is pretty much what you would expect - folks selling handicrafts, fruit, food, etc. I especially liked the food sellers grilling rack after rack of sausages.

After perusing the market area I walked along the Hobart waterfront. The weather was quite good. The Sea Shepherd boat, bearing the name "Steve Irwin" was in port and giving tours. For lunch I went to Mures. They have a lower deck serving more casual food but I ate at the upper deck. I started with a very nice Octy Salad and then had some Ocean Trout that was served with Potatoes, Avocado, and a Pesto Sauce.

My afternoon flight to Melbourne departed on schedule. I will overnight at the Hilton at the airport before departing tomorrow morning to New Zealand for explorations of the South Island.
AlwaysOnTheRoad is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 11:42 PM
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Excellent report! I very much enjoyed reliving my trips to TAS while reading about your adventures. I found the information about Tarraleah interesting, as we'd stopped there a few months before they opened for business. The Piners and Miners sounds like a great trip. Now I want to go back!
Melnq8 is online now  
Old Mar 4th, 2009, 03:20 AM
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Really enjoyed this trip report and great timing from my point of view. It is only in the last couple of days that I have been considering spending about 10 days in Tassie, basically on the west coast.

Your report covered a number of activities that I have been considering and several of the places that I was thinking of staying so you have given me a lot to think about. Many thanks.
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Old Mar 4th, 2009, 01:04 PM
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We will be staying in Cradle Mountain and Freycinet Lodges at Easter. Thanks for your trip report!
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Old May 8th, 2009, 11:46 PM
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Enjoyed reading your trip report...seeing as this is your 3rd trip to Tasmania, I was trying to look for your other two reports. If you have them written, can you tell me where I could find them. Going to Tasmania in Dec and looking to get as much advice as I can. Cheers.
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