Roy and Lynn, now residing in Cairns, Far North Queensland, and formerly from England, spent a few days with Tasmania i-Drive exploring Tasmania. This was a relaxing tour with plenty of free time for Roy and Lyn to do some exploring on their own.
Our first meeting was on the Saturday and following the airport pick-up we drove around Battery Point before they checked-in to their Salamanca hotel. They spent the afternoon on their own looking around the Salamanca Market.
Sunday, and day one of the tour proper, saw us heading down to the Huon Valley. The Tahune Airwalk was still closed so we visited the Hartz National Park instead. A blustery and showery walk out to Lake Osborne saw umbrellas damaged beyond repair and no time to be standing around admiring the view. Things could only get better from here, and they did! Back at Geeveston we saw a platypus and called into the Visitor Information Centre where we saw many wonderful turned wooden items and a small Huon Pine. Lunch at the Kermandie Hotel was followed by a wine tasting at Home Hill Winery. We then drove to the summit of Mt Wellington and were almost blown off our feet. The view, however, was fabulous and made up for the discomfort. A drive around Sandy Bay completed our first day.
Monday was a free day with Tuesday being our second day touring. Today we headed for the Tasman Peninsula and the Port Arthur Historic Site. We stopped at the Pirates Bay Lookout for fabulous views of the bay adjacent to Eaglehawk Neck. Next stop was The Tessellated Pavement followed by Devil’s Kitchen and Tasman Arch, in the same area. We reached the Port Arthur Historic Site for an early lunch. We had a look around the very informative gallery before joining the 1.30pm walking tour. A look through the Separate Prison, Church ruins, and Penitentiary buildings followed before boarding the 3.00pm boat cruise. We saw the Isle of the Dead and Point Puer and learned a little of their history. We made a brief stop on the way back to Hobart, for a chocolate tasting at the Federation Artisan Chocolate factory, at Taranna.
Our third day touring and we were heading for Launceston the long way!
We drove through New Norfolk and crossed the Derwent heading for Hamilton. We turned off the main road just before Hamilton and headed to Bothwell. This is the home of my ancestors and we spent some time driving by properties with a connection to my family’s past before visiting the Bothwell Golf Museum. Lyn & Roy are both keen golfers and enjoyed the self-guided tour through the memorabilia.
We then drove through Oatlands on our way to lunch at The Man O’ Ross Hotel. We then took a stroll around the village of Ross including the bridge, built in 1836, and the Tasmanian Wool Centre. Our next stop was Launceston and Cataract Gorge. We walked around the site including the suspension bridge and, for some, a ride on the chairlift.
Day four of touring was the Thursday and we were heading for Cradle Mountain. We drove through Deloraine and stopped at 41 Degrees South Salmon Farm for a taste and self-guided walking tour. The next stop was Melita Honey, at Chudleigh, before a pleasant walk out to the Alum Cliffs Lookout. We stopped for lunch at the Mole Creek Hotel before heading to our final destination.
As the weather was clear we hopped on the shuttle and went straight out to Dove Lake. The weather was perfect for some great photos of Cradle Mountain from the iconic boat shed. We then took the shuttle to Ronnie Creek where we took the 20-minute walk out to the replica Waldheim Lodge. We had a couple of close-up encounters with wombats on the way which was great. We then took the shuttle back to the visitor centre before dropping my guests at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge.
Friday, and our fifth day touring. We left the vehicle at the Lodge and walked the 40-minute return King Billy Pine Walk. We saw wallabies along the way and the biggest King Billy Pine that I have ever seen! We then took a stroll around the Interpretation Centre and stopped for photos at the small Cascade Falls which are surrounded by Pencil Pines.
Our next stop, and highlight for the day, was Devils@Cradle. Here we learnt about the Tasmanian Devil and its cousins the Spotted Tail Quoll and Eastern Quoll. We then drove to Sheffield to wander around the town’s park full of magnificent murals. On our way back to Launceston we called in at The Tasmanian Food & Wine Conservatory, at Sassafras, and Ashgrove Cheese, Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm and The Van Diemens Land Creamery, at Elizabeth Town. It was then back to their hotel in Launceston to complete a big day.
Saturday was another free day for Lyn & Roy to do some more exploring on their own. Sunday morning was also at their leisure before being collected at noon. We drove to nearby Evandale, one of the jewels in the north of Tasmania. The Sunday market was still in full swing so we had a stroll around the various stalls before making our way to the town centre for lunch at the local bakery.
The short drive to Launceston airport followed another quick meander around the shops. This historic town has many beautiful buildings and gardens and was the perfect village in which to complete our Tasmania tour.
It really did remind them both of England and perhaps they will be back again one day for another reminder!