Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rain Forests, Beaches and Gorges

Saturday - March 9.
Nothing is far away in Tasmania or Launceston for that matter. It's only a 15 minute journey, sometimes less before you're in the country - horses, cows, crops.
Before we took our drive to the coast, we had the devil in us. We saw an advertisement for an open house inspection in the suburb of Trevallyn just up the hill from where we are staying. It was our intention to talk to the Estate Agent generally with a view to retirement here in a few years from now.
The house we saw overlooked the city and the Tamar river - the view was magnificent, the house was actually very nice. It was only a 10 minute drive to the CBD. We did mention to the Agent that it maybe two or three years down the track and we may change our mind then but she took our details and I'm sure she will be in touch in the future.
The house overlooked the Tamar river and the city of Launceston
The view from the street - the balcony outdoor entertainment deck looked over the city.
From there it was back in the car to the towns of Scottsdale and Bridport to see the great Southern Ocean on the east coast of Tassie. To get there you need to drive over the mountain ranges and rain forests. We noticed an amazing amount of "Road Kill" on the way. This consisted of mainly Wallabies, Kangaroos, Wombats, Possums and the occasional Echidna. The Crows are the best fed of any place in the whole of Australia.
We were to drive to St Helens but on reflection, a further 240 kms round trip seemed a little daunting so it was off to Bridport instead.
We had probably driven 40 kms through mountainous winding roads. The countryside offered some great photo opportunities, that is if you could find a spot to stop.
We did however find a spot to park, relax for a while and even have a chat with some fellow travellers.
The picnic spot seemed to be located at the top of Tassie but this was actually only at a lower altitude compared to some of the mountains in the Tasmanian wliderness.
At one time, this chainsaw scupture was a huge tree - we saw many of these excellent tree scuptures in the district. This one depicts a pioneer farming family - the area is rich in beef and lamb.
As I write this, I look out our apartment window and I see the mountain range we drove over. Just prior to reaching Scottsdale we stopped at a lookout area to see the valley below. We were high enough to see the mountains on Flinders Island in Bass Strait such was the clearness of the day.
We arrived in Scottsdale to refill the tank of our hire car before driving to a bakery for a chunky beef and mushroom pie each. We decided there and then that our preferred destination of St Helens on the coast was just a bit too far for the day so the coastal town of Bridport was our second option. A cycling friend of mine has just purchased an apartment here.

Arriving at the Bridport beachside we discovered the remnants of this pier.
The history of the pier was explained on the plaque. I'm never ceased to be amazed  by the history of a place when you dig a little deeper. People are the same - ask more question - listen and you experience.

Tasmania is experiencing one of it's hottest summers on record as is Melbourne. Today was one of those days so Sue and I enjoyed a beer each - a Corona with a slice of lemon while overlooking the holiday makers enjoying the coolness of an ocean breeze.

The trip back took us across the top end and back down into Launceston for a quick visit to the famous Cataract Gorge. With the hot weather, it seemed like most of the younger population of the city were here to cool off. It's a really impressive piece of natural terrain and one that Launceston is extremely proud.

I couldn't get Sue to take her brave pills to take a trip across the Gorge on the chair lift.
It proclaims to be the longest in the world.
The residents of Launceston enjoy the natural wonder of their city, Cataract Gorge. It is actually on the border of the CBD.
The brochure tells us that Explorer William Collins sailed up the estuary in the Lady Nelson to discover what he described as the most beautiful scene in the world. He may have even seen the extinct Tasmanian Tiger which would have lurked in the gorge with other wildlife. Today as you walk the paved paths, peacocks occasionally will be seen.

Yesterday we mentioned the celebrated Tasmanian artist John Glover - the Gorge inspired him to do many sketches in the 1800s. It's been a big day and so we are staying in tonight to cook pasta.

Tomorrow (Sunday) will be Sue's Foodie Fun Day at Devonport about 100 kms up the road where the Melbourne to Tasmania ferry, Spirit of Tasmania docks.


  1. Looks a really interesting place to visit. What's CBD?

    1. Its a great Island to visit and maybe a place for us to retire.
      The CBD is Central Business District.
      Thanks for reading.

  2. What a lovely spot and lots of interest and great photos in this post. Hope you are Both well D & N

    1. I guess most places have an interest - all we need to do is look. Most of the time we move too quickly and miss the lovely spots.

  3. Lovely view from that house. The area looks lovely. I imagine that it gets quite chilly in winter (at least for Australia) given it's southerly location?

    1. Hi Craig,
      Chilly, Hmmm - not often does it get below 0 degrees in winter and in summer not often in the high 30s.


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