Lowell and Phyllis, from Hong Kong, spent 2 weeks in December exploring Tasmania’s iconic, and some lesser known, locations and attractions. They spent the first five days driving themselves with the assistance of accommodation and tour bookings being made by Tasmania i-Drive. On day six they were joined by Rob Cooper who took over the driving duties and commenced the tour commentary on topics many and varied.
Russell Falls, Mt Field National Park and Bothwell
As Lowell and Phyllis had already seen some of Hobart and the east coast we set off for Maydena, after a hire car drop-off at Hobart airport late afternoon, for our first night on the road together. It drizzled all morning on day seven but it did not dampen our enthusiasm. We walked to the Junee Cave entrance at Maydena before visiting the Russell Falls and Tall Trees walks at Mt Field National Park. In the afternoon we drove through to Bothwell and up past the Great Lake on our way to Deloraine. We did one of Tasmania’s 60 great short walks on the way at Pine Lake.
Deloraine, Sheffield and Cradle Mountain
Day 8 saw us exploring the Deloraine folk museum and tasting truffle and honey products before doing the Alum Cliffs walk. We joined the early afternoon feeding tour at Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary and the late afternoon tour of Marakoopa Cave. The night was spent at Sheffield. We had a brief look around the murals to begin our ninth day before driving to Cradle Mountain. We completed the Dove Lake walk in around 3 hours, taking our time to identify the various conifers and myrtles. We then had the long drive to Stanley via Burnie.
Stanley, Tarkine and Marrawah
Day 10 began with a drive around Stanley taking in the Highfield historic site and the birthplace of Tasmania’s only Prime Minister, Joseph Lyons. We took the chairlift to the top of The Nut which we then walked around taking in the views on offer before taking the easy way back down. Our next destination was the Tarkine Forest Drive located in the northwest corner of Tasmania. We stopped at Trowutta Arch and Lake Chisholm for short walks to take in the beauty of these sink hole water catchments. Sumac Lookout was our final stop before heading for Marrawah and the tavern for dinner. Our accommodation for the next two nights was Arthur River.
Arthur River and The Edge of the World
Our eleventh day was a fabulous outing heading upriver with AR Reflections River Cruises. The Arthur River is truly remote and can only be accessed by boat. We saw White Bellied Sea Eagles and glimpsed the Azure Kingfisher along the way. A nice lunch and rain forest walk broke up the trip before returning to Arthur River village. We visited The Edge of The World site as our final attraction for the day.
Boat Harbour, Devonport and Narawntapu National Park
Day 12 was another big day of driving with our first stop Boat Harbour Beach. We were heading for Beauty Point on the west bank of the Tamar River, north of Launceston. We stopped for a photo of the Table Cape Lighthouse before a seafood lunch at Burnie. We then visited the Bass Strait Maritime Centre at Devonport and the Tasmanian Arboretum at Eugenana. Here we saw a platypus and viewed the rare Huon Pine. Our final stop before Beauty Point was the Narawntapu National Park where we saw Forester Kangaroos and had a close encounter with our native Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos.
We began the thirteenth day with a tour at the Platypus House. Here, Lowell and Phyllis, learned a lot about the lives of our two Australian monotremes, the platypus and the short beaked echidna. Following the educational tour we crossed the Batman Bridge before heading for Low Head and its picturesque lighthouse. We then headed east passing though the Pipers Brook wine region before lunch at Bridport. A photo of the old pier and it was off to Eddystone Point, Tasmania’s most easterly point. We had a walk around another lighthouse and then tackled the sand dunes leading to the northern end of The Bay of Fires. The tour had reached the Southern Ocean, the Indian Ocean, Bass Strait, and now, the Tasman Sea! We headed back to Gladstone for our night’s accommodation.
Bridestowe Lavender Farm, Launceston and Salamanca
Day 14, and our last full day of touring, began with the drive back to Launceston via a viewing of the Little Blue Lake near Pioneer, brunch at Derby, Bridestowe Lavender Farm, and Lilydale for a walk to Lilydale Falls. Once in Launceston we headed straight for Cataract Gorge. We enjoyed a walk across the suspension bridge before the return trip on the chairlift. We did a bit of shopping before heading to the Launceston Country Club where Lowell and Phyllis enjoyed 9 holes of golf to finish the day. They had wanted to get some exercise in to increase their appetite before dinner at the Black Cow Bistro.
Our final day began with a stroll around City Park, a visit to the Boags Brewery, and the Design Tasmania shop. We then took a scenic drive heading out of Launceston through Relbia, Evandale, Perth and Longford before taking the backroads to Campbell Town. We stopped in at Somercotes Cherries for some export quality fruit to take back home to Hong Kong. We then continued on through to Hobart with a quick tour of Sandy Bay, Battery Point and Salamanca before finishing at Hobart airport mid-afternoon.