Linda & Bill from Virginia, and Deb & Barry and Pete & Billie from South Carolina, were travelling with a small group of dedicated travellers throughout Australia and New Zealand. The six friends chose Tasmania i-Drive to show them Tasmania’s iconic tourist sites before joining the main tour in Melbourne.
The tour began with the group well rested after a Hobart airport transfer to their accommodation the day before. It was a morning drive heading toward the Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula. Our first stop was the Pirates Bay Lookout to take in the panoramic view featuring Hippolyte Rocks, Cape Hauy, and Pirates Bay at Eaglehawk Neck. Our next couple of stops were visits to the geological sites known as the Tessellated Pavement, Devil’s Kitchen and Tasman Arch. Then onto the main attraction, Port Arthur Historic Site. The group were very interested to learn more of the history of the penal settlement during the introductory walking tour and boat excursion to Point Puer and The Isle of the Dead. We had time for a wander around the site exploring various buildings before setting off for Coles Bay on the east coast.
Our second day began with the climb to the Wineglass Bay lookout. We were fortunate enough to get some good photos of the iconic beach and begin our descent before the mist rolled in. Next stop was Cape Tourville and by now there was a light mist falling. The view was not as spectacular as usual but we still enjoyed visiting the lighthouse and taking in the brisk clean air on the cliff tops. We then went for lunch and a wine tasting at Devils Corner Vineyard before setting off for Cradle Mountain. We took the Lake Leake turnoff north of Swansea which brought us out at Campbell Town. From there we took secondary roads taking us through farming land heading for Longford. There were photo opportunities along the way with a large field of bright yellow canola and another of a paddock of merino sheep. We drove on through Deloraine and stopped in at Ashgrove Cheese for a tasting. Our next stop was Sheffield for a quick look at the wonderful murals before pushing on to Cradle Mountain.
Our third, and final, day of touring saw us on the Cradle Mountain shuttle bus around 9:30am. We went straight through to Dove Lake and walked around to the boat shed for the obligatory photos of the shed and lake with Cradle Mountain in the background. The return shuttle came across a large wombat in the middle of the road in no particular hurry to move. The cameras were going crazy! Our next stop for the day was Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary at Mole Creek. The guided tour learning about the life of wombats and Tasmanian devils was enlightening and the kangaroo feeding was a highlight. Following a couple of hours at the sanctuary we set off for Launceston. Our final tourist stop for the day was Cataract Gorge. A pleasant walk around the site including the suspension bridge and a ride on the chairlift was a great end to the tour. The following morning it was straight to Launceston airport for the group of friends to fly onto Melbourne to continue their tour.