TASMAN PENINSULA BUT NOT PORT ARTHUR
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
322Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Overnight 7 mile Beach, Hobart
HOBART (Mileage 9461) SORRELL, DUNALLEY, EAGLEHAWK NECK, TARANNA, FORTESCUE BAY (Tasman National Park)
Sunny, 20 degrees
Called in at the famous Sorrell Fruit Farm and left quickly after encountering poor attitude and service!
40 kms on and we arrived in Dunalley, a tiny town with some impressive establishments.
We loved the attitude and hospitality of the publican at the Dunalley Hotel who encouraged us to free camp in the huge grounds of the hotel above the bay. And the Dunalley Fish Market served fantastic fresh trevalla, squid and chips.
We loved the proprietor and his low key sense of humour. The ponds of stripey trumpeters were fascinating to watch swimming around.
This was lunch eaten taking in the views over the bay. An Asian couple were busy collecting some shell fish way out past shore.
Stomachs happy, we headed on through the Forestier Peninsula and arrived at the unexpectedly breathtaking views from Eaglehawk Neck. From The Tasman National Park Lookout you see the most amazing coastal aspects across Pirates Bay and on this sunny clear day you gaze in wonder!!
Yes it's true!! Sadly this narrow 100m neck has a history of convict cruelty; along this neck a chained column of vicious dogs kept convicts from escaping.
Today you fell peace as you witness spectacular land, ocean and cliffs! There is information about keeping the Tasmanian Devil quarantined south of here in the hope of saving them from the deadly facial tumour that is decimating their population.
As we enter Taranna, on the Tasman Peninsula, we stop to buy cherries road side and realise that Cliff is the man we met at the show grounds market with the to-die for cherries. We enjoyed a chat about local conditions and of course bought a kilo of the gorgeous cherries; cliff gave us a bag of pink eye potatoes, a Tasmanian specialty.
We are just a few kilometers noth of Port Arthur and we will not be going there.
The road into Fortescue Bay, Tasman National Park was 14kms of very corrugated and pitted road so we travelled at 15 – 20 kms per hour!
We had booked camp site 39 the day before and we were happy with our spot. For $13pn it was really special and that $1million aspect was great! Did we mention that it is really heartening to know that Mr/Mrs/Ms Average can hang out in a holiday place that is only mostly for the wealthy.
We are happy! We checked out the Tasman Trail in anticipation of our trekking trips while here. Cool clear night and we slept with the windows and door open under the doona.
Friday is a chill out day. Day started at 14 degrees, misty and cold. See Sheila in "summer" gear. Kath is reading a history of Tasmania to sort out the convict stories and colonisation.
SATURDAY JANUARY 30 2010
Fine sunny and calm at 9.30am when we set out on our Cape Huay Walk. At around 24 degrees we felt very warm on the up hill climbs.
Up and down the rough rocky path was tough on the knees and often had us looking down instead of ahead to prevent ankle twists. But really these are views not to be ignored- the towering rock structures straight up out of the choppy sea look like city high rises. We are so high and very close to the cliff edges at times that you get a touch of nervous jelly legs! We watch a large group of dolphins racing through the clear water far below.
Tired, we sit at the cape and gobble our sandwich admiring the rugged coastline and huge steeple rocks, especially The Candlestick, a steep shaft of rock that a group we met were planning to abseil; we heard them but could not see them.
We are very high and warnings that you should respect the unguarded edges are not necessary for us. A local family joins us and we talk about the strenuous walk and travel in general. The whole walk is no more than 10 kms but feels like much more and takes us close to 6 hours return.
We are more than happy to reach our van and by this time we have gale force winds and cloudy skies. No chance of sitting outdoors for pre dinner cocktails tonight but it is full moon around 8.30 pm and we do venture out to locate the big yellow ball further around the bay.
We find it low above the horizon but the clouds and mist take away some of the impact.
The camp ground is full with overnight walkers, abseilers, travellers etc but most people are asleep by 11pm including us. It is a very wild night; the ocean is raucous and the winds get to scary levels but we are safe in the van.
Sunday sees another wild windy day. We chat to the ranger and tell her about www.willyweather.com for more specific local weather conditions and she starts using the information there. We take a walk to Canoe Bay to see a ship wreck called William Pitt; it looks weird and rusty, only partly submerged. We never got the story just a photo.
The camp ground is almost deserted tonight and oh so very quiet. A wallaby is happy to eat our stale carrots and the seagulls come by to check out the food supply.
Winds die sometime in the night and we awake to a calm aqua ocean.
This skinny coastal national park is spectacular with tiny off shore islands and rocky out crops, towering cliffs, white sandy beaches and so on! The weather certainly impacts here!