From Our Worst to Our Best Accommodations

Trip Start Feb 26, 2013
1
13
30
Trip End Apr 15, 2013


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow
What I did
Nelson Falls
St John the Baptist Church - Ouse
St Matthew's Church - New Norfolk
Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

Flag of Australia  , Tasmania,
Monday, March 11, 2013


I suggested to Doreen that we have breakfast in town before we check out.  So we tried to do just that.  Unfortunately, Queenstown conspired against us since most places either were not opening on Monday - this was also a holiday - or opened at 9:30 am or later.  One cafe was open for breakfast but when we first stopped by, the lone man running the place was totally swamped.  We walked up and down the main street and nothing else was open.  We decided to pack up the car and check out.  When we came back to the one open cafe; the man behind the counter was very pleasant just like the rest of the Tasmanian people we've encountered, and we placed our orders.  I had a full brekky or something like that, with a large mocha coffee.  The coffees here are expensive everywhere (Starbucks prices) and a plain coffee is just as expensive so I decided to go for the mocha and it was quite nice.

Even though I thought Queenstown was a cool town, we didn't explore it further and left right after breakfast.  The first section of driving was over a windy mountain road through the national park.  I think it was pretty much National Park and windy roads until we reached the town of Derwent River on the other side of the park.  We did stop at one overlook where I tried to take some photos of Queenstown in the valley.  We drove through what appeared like mining area that was devoid of trees.  We then stopped for the Nelson Falls walk that took around 20 minutes and was very pleasant - a walk through the shady forest to a waterfall.  The waterfall might have been less spectacular because it has been a dry summer here in Tasmania but it was still pretty. 

We might have taken more walks, including one at Frenchman's Gap, if Doreen hadn't announced that she forgot to look at the gas gauge before starting out and and the fuel light had just turned on.  We discussed how many km before we ran out of gas.  I tried to calculate how many km before we reached a town on the other side of the park and the possibility of a gas station.  Somehow I assumed we would be OK but I was a bit concerned about whether we could stop safely on a shoulder - there weren't that many - off the road should we run out of gas.  I could tell that Doreen was worried.  We drove on, crossing our fingers, and Doreen tried to avoid accelerating much.  Eventually we reached Derwent River and found a hotel.  We couldn't tell if this was the only service there or whether it or anywhere else nearby had gas.  It turned out that there was a station just down the road so we breathed sighs of relief and got gas there.  Yay!!  I also washed our dirty back window.  The guy on the Ducati motorcycle getting gas on the next pump said hi.  There seemed to be quite a few motorcyclists here at the Hungry Wombat Cafe.

Once refueled, we drove on through farming countryside.  There were fields of yellow and green - some with grasses.  There were cattle - Black Angus and Hereford as identified by Doreen - and some black and white cows that looked more like dairy cows.  There were the little grey-brown blobs in the fields that turned out to be sheep.  And there were some grape vines toward the end of the drive.  The vegetation changed and we were back to more straggling eucalyptus and more grazing or farm land.  At one point shortly before arriving in New Norfolk, we went through an area that had had a major fire.  Doreen said she still smelled smoke.

We reached our destination - New Norfolk-- around 3 pm and went to the tourist info center where we inquired about accommodation.  The woman there was very nice and showed us the list of places.  Doreen noticed one of the places offering cottages and it seemed pretty suitable since it was on the river - we are after ambiance, after all.  The tourist info woman called and they did have a cottage available that they would give us for a reduced price so we took it.  It wasn't too hard to find the place but the map we have of the town is really confusing - the map doesn't seem to correspond that closely to the actual streets, but we did find Shingles Riverside Cottages OK.  A young blonde woman greeted us and led us to our cottage.  It is very modern in contrast to some of the other places we have stayed and it is set in some gardens with a view to the Derwent River.  Quite a good choice for a final splurge after last night's disappointment.  I forgot to mention all the rowdy old men partying in our hotel last night.  Our door didn't lock so I pushed a chair against it - just in case one of the rowdy old men got lost.

Once we settled in and walked around the garden - the hard way down the hill through the lawn instead of the path, we went into town to look for provisions and some of the pretty little painted cottages.  The light wasn't great for photos but we did find several quite attractive cottages and a B&B.  St Matthew's Church and the cemetery were also on the list of places to see.  We had stopped at a catholic church in Ouse and visited both the lovely old church and its cemetery there.  I can hear ducks - or geese - making noises on the river right now.  How exciting!!  So we got in to see St Matthew's before it closed.  It is the oldest church in Tasmania I believe.  We walked around a bit and bought some tomatoes for dinner as well as a bottle of the 42 S wine - a sauvignon blanc this time although I picked up the wrong one and had to exchange bottles...and prices.

We got back to our cottage and I realized I couldn't get any internet so I went over to the owner's and asked about it.  She said there was none available in the cottage but I could get it on her porch so I came over with my netbook and checked my email, emailed Heather and then checked facebook to see if she sent me another message.  None from Heather, but I did send her one from my gmail account and responded to a facebook comment or two.  I returned to the cottage and Doreen was talking to her son so I went out and took a few photos of the grounds.  There are four cute little topiary animals on the path to the river.  When I walked down to the river, I decided it would be great to go down there to drink our wine and went back to suggest this to Doreen.

When we went down to the chairs on the dock, we ran into our neighbor cottager.  She invited us to join her and we chatted.  She took some photos of the ducks and sunset and said she would email them but we never exchanged emails.  We chatted for quite awhile until she left, then Doreen decided we should have our dinner as well.  The other woman was born in South Africa, went to school in England and has lived in Australia for the last 22-23 years.  We traded Tasmania travel experiences with the consensus that spring in Tasmania would be the peak experience.  Although I have found nothing to complain about with this season we are in now.  She and her husband did the train ride while we did the cruise from Strahan.

Those ducks or geese or maybe coots are still making noises. 

When we came back to our cottage, Doreen and I made our dinner of scrambled eggs and toast.  I made the toast despite my tipsiness.  Then we sat on the sofa and chatted - mostly about travel experiences - and then Doreen announced it was time for her to go to bed.  So then it became, de facto, time for me to blog and upload photos.  Today I have yesterday's photos to upload as well since I spent last night writing postcards so I could send them today - before I leave Tasmania for the Northern Territories.  Only one more whole day....


Slideshow Report as Spam

Post your own travel photos for friends and family More Pictures

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: