Lewis' Exploring Oz

On and off the beaten track…………………….

Tassie…….week 4

Posted by lewisfamilyexploringoz on April 9, 2011

Hi Everyone,

Lake Peddar

Gordon Dam

New Norfolk caravan park

Well we caught the ferry back to Kettering and left Bruny Island.  It’s still raining which is starting to dampen our spirits somewhat:(  Joel has an appointment with ARB in  Hobart with some questions regarding the air-bags in the rear suspension, as apparently they are the wrong ones. We decided to head up towards New Norfolk as we wanted to head out to Mt FIeld National Park and the Strathgordon Dam.  We stayed at the New Norfolk Caravan Park which is right along the river and in a beautiful spot. However, when we arrived it was raining cats and dogs so we just unhooked the van and Joel went into Hobart to see the guys at ARB while the kids and I made some lunch and tried to set up the van as best as possible in-between massive downpours of rain.  Thankfully the rain had almost stopped by late afternoon so the boys went for a ride on their bikes.  Luckily I didn’t watch them as they showed me the hill (read mountain) that they went down, with Daniel dinking Wade on the front handle bars.  How we didn’t get a hospital visit out of that I’ll never know, but am so grateful that we didn’t:) The hill was up behind the caravan park.

Kids on Gordon Dam wall

Dan, Amelia, Bridget, Mel and Joel

Bridget doing Daniel's hair

I went to fetch the boys for dinner and as I was walking back through the park I saw this scruffy, bearded bloke and thought, I know that face – lo and behold it was Shaun Cantwell and his son James.  We knew Shaun and Mel were in Tassie as well but weren’t sure we were going to meet up.  Shaun and I used to work together at St Luke’s College – seems like a million years ago!  We arranged to meet up with Joel, Mel and all the kids after everyone was showered and fed.  We had a great night catching up and the kids got on like a house-on-fire!  Daniel became the babysitter extraordinaire and all the kids came over to our van, bunked on our bed to watch a DVD while the adults stayed outside for some drinks and a chat.  Did I mention that Shaun and Mel have four beautiful kids, Maddie, James, Amelia and Bridget, who with Dan and Wade had like a slumber party on the bed with popcorn.  I know our kids loved having some other kids to play with other than themselves for a change.

Most of the crew

Which speed?

The next day we headed out to Strathgordon to see the Gordon Dam and Lake Peddar with the Cantwells.  The weather today is sunny and gorgeous. The dam is magnificent and the kids had a blast running across the wall and yelling out and listening for the echoes.   The

Landcruisers Rule

Gordon Dam is a double curvature, concrete arch dam on the Gordon River. The dam has a length of 192 m (630 ft), and a height of 140 m (459 ft), making it the tallest dam in Tasmania and the fifth-tallest in Australia. Water from the dam drops 183 m (600 ft) underground into its power station, where three turbines of 144MW generates up to 432 MW of power, covering about 13% of the electricity demand of Tasmania. We climbed down a lot of steps to get onto the wall and Daniel was ever so gallant by offering to carry Amelia up the stairs after she hurt her foot.  We set up a mini camp in the car park and had some BBQ sausages in bread, which were delicious. As we were driving away from Strathgordon I spotted some speed signs, which I had to take a photo of as they both had a different speed limit on them!  One said 60 and the other 80. Then there were cries of having a “boys car” and a “girls car” so Shaun and James jumped in with Joel, Daniel and Wade and I jumped in with Mel, Maddie, Amelia and Bridget.  We girls led the way as both Mel and I do most of the navigating on our trips and we didn’t want the boys to get lost:)) hee hee.

Russell Falls

Russell Falls thru tree ferns

Falls along track

We stopped in at Mt Field National Park on the way home to look at the Russell Falls.  It is a lovely short walk into these falls and they were glorious.  Mel decided to stay and let Amelia and Bridget play on the swings while the rest of us hiked in to the falls.  The walk in is through a magnificent rain forest area and the tree ferns were enormous.  On the way out we stopped to watch a platypus swimming in a small lagoon.  The kids were amazing in that they stayed still for so long while we were watching it.  We all headed back to camp, where we all did some washing, had dinner and the kids watched another movie while the adults had a few beverages:)

Next day was a catch up day with washing, shopping and homework on the agenda.  Wade and James took their rods down to the river to try their luck – no fish but they had a blast.  Daniel has a new fan in Bridget, who likes to be by his side, telling him what to do – we just laughed and laughed.  We were treated to a fine dinner of burritos at the Cantwell diner, then the kids headed off for another movie night in our van, while we stayed and drank and chatted over at Shaun and Mel’s.  What a fantastic few days we have had with the Cantwells.  They are travelling around Oz as well so we have had some amazing stories and adventures to share over a few beers/wines/ciders.

Another beautiful falls

Platypus playing

Kids fishing New Norfolk

The next day we bid our fond farewells to our friends the Cantwells, as we were heading eastwards and they are headed southwards.

We stopped for lunch in Triabunna, where we tasted the most amazing pies once again.  They certainly know how to make some yummy pies down here!:) We kept heading up along the coast as we hoped to stop at a free camp site at Mayfield.  Well the gazetted campground was chock-a-block full, so we thought we’d stop at the next lookout, just a few kms down the road and

Mayfield Bay camp

Wade rinsing off

Fire and sunset Mayfield Bay

re-check the Camps 5 free camp book.  We were so glad we did as the Mayfield Bay Lookout has a large open area so we set up camp in one corner, near the edge of the water.  (Camps 5 #45)What a magnificent spot – and it was totally free.  The temperature was 28 degrees today, the hottest we have had, so with that Wade, Joel and I jumped in for a swim.  It was mighty cold but we stayed in for a while and Wade and I even tried a bit of a snorkel but the water was a bit too murky.  The view of the bay and especially at sunset were just glorious.  The kids collected some driftwood and we managed another superb fire, while we watched the stars twinkling in the sky. It’s such a hard life………not!

We headed up towards Freycinet National Park to another free camp site at River and Rocks Campground (#42 in Camps 5 ).  Another great pick although it seems a lot of locals like to camp here on

Rocks and River Campground

Rocks and River Beach

the weekends.  We found a spot in the black sand but just back from the beach

Red sea creature

front.  There is a huge amount of bird life here and we saw heaps of penguins out on the water, especially around sunset.  They look so magnificent when they are gliding in onto the water.  We set up camp then drove out to see Friendly Beaches on the eastern side of the peninsula. It was beautiful but quite windy.  There were a lot of campsites along the edge of the beach here but it also incurred National Park fees.  It did seem more suited to tent camping as the sites were very small.  We got out to explore the

Orange and blue starfish

Sunset at R and R campground

beach and heaps of rockpools, with lots of muscles, orange and blue starfish and anemones.  We also

Dan's driving lessons

found this little red creature(?) in the rockpools but I’m not quite sure what it is but it’s a very, dark crimson red.  We collected some more firewood on the way home for another great fire and met our neighbours for a few drinks, Pam and Hans.  The rain has come back tonight but it is forecast to be a nice and sunny day tomorrow.  The camp has thinned out a bit now and Joel is giving Dan another driving lesson which he is enjoying immensely.  I can’t believe he has grown so much he can really reach the pedals and quite easily see over the steering wheel.


Wineglass Bay from lookout

Wineglass Bay beach

Dan and wallaby

Wade kicking back

Coles Bay almost finished

Well it was indeed nice and sunny so we headed off to Wineglass Bay.  The hype about it is very well deserved as it is a most beautiful place.  The walk into the bay is about 3 kms, with the first 1.5 kms straight up a mountain side to the lookout, with a gradient of about 2:1.  It was hard work

Hiking along Hazard Beach

but the view of the bay from the lookout was magnificent.  The walk down to the bay was steep also but better to be going down than back up this way.  The bay is shaped like a wine glass with white sand and turquoise water.  Wade and I explored along the rocks while Joel and Daniel watched a very friendly wallaby up on the beach trying to scavenge food from passers-by.  We decided to keep hiking on the track around to Hazards Beach.  The hike itself was a little strenuous but gave us some fantastic views of the eastern, western and southern side of Coles Bay. We could look out across Coles bay and see Mayfield Bay where we had stayed a few nights ago. We only did 11.5kms this time but we all agreed we felt more tired from this hike than the 17kms we had done down at South Cape Bay. We headed back to camp, made another fire, met some more neighbours then crashed relatively early as we were all a bit bushed.  The backpackers camped just nearby asked if they could use our fire – they were pretty good and didn’t keep us awake at all!  The sunset tonight was pretty awesome too so I hurried away just after dinner to catch some pics.

Till next time



One Response to “Tassie…….week 4”

  1. Marge Hynoski (and Greg) said

    Great reading especially about the free camps as Greg and I are off to Tassie next summer!!!!

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