This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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1999 Travels November 19


It was another fine day, but still cool.

I was up early and managed to get two loads of washing done before it was time to leave for the cricket run. Yesterday morning’s drive to Bellerive was so successful that John decided to repeat it today!

I drove back to Glenorchy, did a grocery shop, picked up my processed photos.

Back at the van, I read and brought in the washing. The exposed hilltop clothes lines assist drying no end! I think the wind must come straight up the Derwent – this caravan park is right beside the river.

I collected John from Glenorchy again, at night. He was a bit later, this time. He had another really enjoyable day.

We bought fish and chips for tea from a shop there – not nice, far too greasy

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1999 Travels November 18


It was a fine, cool day for the start of the cricket Test. Australia was playing Pakistan.

We set out to drive to the bus depot at Glenorchy then, in the way, John decided to drive right to Bellerive, and that I could drive Truck back to camp and pick him up from the bus, when he phoned, at night. I was disconcerted by this sudden change of plan, which meant having to find my way back without a navigator, or a pre-plan.

We got to Bellerive about 10am, after stopping at Glenorchy to buy some lunch things for John. I dropped him by the entrance and made my way back to Glenorchy. It was not as hard as I’d feared. Getting onto the Tasman Bridge and off onto the right route at the roundabouts after it, was made easier by good signage.

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The Tasman Bridge, that links both sides of Hobart, over the Derwent River. There is a wider space for shipping, in the middle.

At the Glenorchy shops, I put in a film for processing, and browsed around the shops.

After a late lunch, I read for much of the afternoon – making the most of my unfettered library access!

John caught the bus from Bellerive to Glenorchy, after the cricket, and phoned me from Glenorchy, about 6.30pm. I drove there and collected him.

John had really enjoyed the day. He was full of talk about it – how close the players are to the spectators, how well he could see,  how small the crowd was.

Tea was rissoles and mash.

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1999 Travels November 17


There was no hurry about getting up this morning.

I discovered that the tap/hose link under the sink is leaking – again – so John had to fix that. it took a while. It is a good job that he is good at fixing irritating little things like that.

Today was basically a city shopping and organizing day.

We drove to the Glenorchy shopping  centre. I visited the Library there and joined the Tasmanian State Library. It means that I can borrow and return books all over the State, which is great!

John has decided to renew his lapsed passport and posted off the application to a former colleague, to witness.

I bought bread, milk and a paper – not a big shop, because I had done that in Scottsdale for when I thought we’d be spending weeks on the east coast.

Had  lunch back at the van.

We went to Tandy and Dick Smith. John bought printer ink refills and a small indoor aerial for the TV.

We drove into central Hobart – it is so small and un-busy compared to Melbourne central! It was easy to find a convenient place to park too. Went to Myer where John got a part he needed for his shaver and bought a Solitaire computer game.

At the Hobart GPO we got bus details, relevant to the cricket, which is over the Derwent River, at Bellerive Oval. We booked his ticket for the cricket there. Decided that he should have the dearest seat – under cover, and a proper seat, as opposed to sitting on a bench, or the grass. It cost $98 for the 5 day Test, and a reserved seat that is clearly his alone.

We drove back through North Hobart, Newtown and Moonah, for a change, to get fuel – 75cpl – and to check out the Glenorchy bus stops. In Moonah I saw a Knitters Club shop, so we had to stop so I could have a browse. But I was very disciplined and only bought two balls of cheap wool.

Tea was potato soup, lamb chop, sausages and vegies.

The new indoor aerial seems to work well in Hobart – it has certainly improved the TV reception over what it was last night.

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1999 Travels November 16


The drive on down the coast, through Swansea and Triabunna, was beautiful. Around Swansea we looked over the bay to the Freycinet Peninsula – superb outlook. I am frustrated that we are just “passing through” all this lovely coastal region.

I had thought we would have a final coastal taste by staying the night at Orford, with its outlook to Maria Island, but John decided he did not want another single night’s stay along the coast, but would press on to Hobart.

We lunched by the river at Orford, after overshooting the entrance to the beachside picnic area.

After Orford, the highway departed from the coast, and the way was through a mix of forested country and farm lands.

Drizzly rain started as we came though a hilly section near Buckland.

We went to the caravan park at Cambridge that had been recommended highly to us by other travellers. It looked very pleasant and rural. I thought that, from here, I would be able to do some interesting cycling around the area, while John was at the cricket. However, John asked about the TV reception and was told that it was not great, so he decided that we would go elsewhere! I was cross that bloody TV took precedence over all the attractive aspects of the place.

For Plan B, we continued on towards the main part of Hobart, and the Berriedale Caravan Park that we had stayed at in ’93. They charged us $16 a night, with the seventh night free.

There were not many empty powered sites. A few up on top of the hill, with a nice outlook over the river, were exposed, small, and surrounded by permanent vans. We ended up on the flat area down the bottom of the hill, backing on to a childrens’ playground, with quite a hike up the hill to the amenities block. However, at night, that walk up there was attractive, with the city lights all round. It partly made up for the general bleakness of the place in daytime. The park at Cambridge was definitely much nicer, and without the traffic noise that is a background at Berriedale.

We set up fully, for a week’s stay, at least. We have not really discussed options once the cricket is over.

It was cold and grey.

Tea was potato soup, ling done in a Dijonnaise sauce – nice.

11-16-1999 to hobart

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1999 Travels November 15


Today’s was a picturesque drive following  the coast. The road was rather narrow in places and John did not get much chance to look at the scenery we travelled through. Again, we were passing through areas that cried out for us to linger and explore!

We stopped at Bicheno to buy a paper and a focaccia bread for lunch.

Turned off the Tasman Highway to go into Coles Bay, the township by the Freycinet National Park. This was going to be a place we spent some time at, before the cricket intervened!

Booked into the Iluka Caravan Park – $12.50 for a powered site. It was not a very attractive caravan park, but was adequate. We were able to stay hitched up.

John was told as we booked in that TV reception is poor, here, but he spent ages fiddling with the TV aerial. Then he thought he would go fishing – the beach and some rocks were virtually over the road.

I went for a long walk. Followed the shoreline around, had a look at the “centre” of town, walked around to the National Park entrance and had a look at the campground there. I decided we were better off where we were – what I saw of the campground was not very attractive.

The scenery across the bay to The Hazards was spectacular. It is the scenery and walking in the National Park that makes this place so popular.

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The Hazards

When I got back it turned out that John did not go fishing, after all – he couldn’t be bothered getting out the gear – but he’d been for a walk, too.

Tea was soup, asparagus frittata, salad, and strawberries. We love the strawberries we have been buying from farm gate stalls – really tasty.

11-15-1999 to coles bay.JPG

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1999 Travels November 14


We had to do a full pack up this morning, and got away about 10am.

We decided to take the Tomahawk Road and go through Gladstone and on to the coast at Ansons Bay. As far as we could tell in advance, this route would avoid the steep and winding mountainous terrain of the main road to St Helens, although much of it was unsealed.

We refuelled at Bridport – 85cpl.

We stopped at the farm gate to buy some more bunches of asparagus.

The gravel sections of road were good at the start, but deteriorated for a while to being rather soft and loose – but not enough to give us any problems. The section through Gladstone was sealed.

It was a varied drive, quite of lot of it through the sort of coastal scrub you get on grey sandy soils, but some through farmland, and some through more forested country. At some points there were blue mountains in the distance. There was almost no other traffic on the roads.

Gladstone was tiny – far smaller than I’d expected. A couple of people in the streets there looked surprised to see a caravan and turned and stared at us!

We detoured into the hamlet of Ansons Bay and ate our lunch by a sea inlet there. It is mostly made up of lots of shacks, from the little we saw.

I found it rather frustrating to be rushing through this area – had hoped to spend some time camped somewhere on the coast north of St Helens. We might get back up here later in the trip, with luck.

We got to St Helens mid-afternoon. The night on a powered site at St Helens Caravan Park cost $15. We were able to leave the rig hitched up.

After basic set up for overnight, we went for a ride on the bikes, down into the town – the park was up on a hill – and around the waterfront. It looked an attractive town – I would like to have a longer stay here. The exercise of the 6.5km ride was welcome, even though it was very windy.

Tea was soup, cold lamb and mash, followed by strawberries.

11-14-1999 to st helens.JPG

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1999 Travels November 13


I walked to the shops in the morning and bought the paper, then sat outside in slightly warm sunshine, reading it.

John went off to bowls after an early lunch. It was “social” bowls – except it wasn’t very social as there was only one other player! However, he enjoyed himself.

I went for a long walk around the town, which I enjoyed.

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Once was a jetty

I made potato soup and cooked a lamb roast dinner. We had strawberries after.

The week at Bridport had been really enjoyable – lovely and laid back. I would have liked to stay longer. However, John had discovered that a Test cricket match was to be played in Hobart soon, and he really wanted to go to it! So, the original plan of dawdling down the east coast, before the holiday period, and summer crowds, were abandoned.

11-12-1999 dusk light bridport.jpg

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1999 Travels November 12


The weather was not particularly pleasant today – cold, chilly wind, grey.

We drove to Scottsdale to do a grocery shop.

John then went fishing again in the late morning – no luck.

After lunch went for a walk, down to the boat mooring area in the Brid River mouth in the middle of town. We looked at the fishing boats tied up there and at some boat building that was going on. It was quite a long walk there and back.

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Orange lichens – often found on seaside rocks in Tasmania

Tea was bought fish and chips, which were quite good.

It was a really windy night.

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1999 Travels November 11


We woke up at 9am to sunshine, blue sky with a few clouds.

After breakfast, John rotated the Truck front wheels with the two spare wheels.

I walked to the shops and bought rolls for lunch, then packed some salad to fill them, when we were ready to eat, later.

We left Bridport about midday, thinking we might visit Sideling Lookout or Mt Barrow or Cypress Falls, then decided to visit the Lavender Farm at Bridestowe Estate, instead. Our time was limited, as John wanted to go to bowls practice at 4pm at Bridport.

We drove to Scottsdale where we needed to visit a bank. Looked in real estate agents’ windows, out of curiosity – prices in these parts seem fair.

It was a bit of a roundabout route to get to the Lavender Farm from Scottsdale.

An immigrant family in the 1920’s brought French lavender seeds with them and began the crop in this area, so it is an old established operation. The French lavender is the one that is of great value in the perfume industry. The shop at the farm was interesting. I bought some oils, incense and postcards. Unfortunately, the lavender is not in flower yet – it would be spectacular when it is. We watched a video about it.

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The Bridestowe Lavender Farm

Ended up eating our lunch rolls very late, like 2pm, because we couldn’t find a place to stop for lunch, on the narrow, winding roads. We probably should have just eaten in the car park at the Lavender Farm! John eventually pulled over at a road corner, in front of a fire station, and I put the filling in his so he could eat it going along. I ate mine unfilled as we went.

We got back to Bridport about 3pm, which gave John time for an hour’s fishing, before going to bowls. All he caught was a toadfish.

11-13-1999 J fishing at Bridport.jpg

I walked to the shops and went to the Post Office – there was mail for us.

There were some rain showers in the late afternoon, which gave some really pretty light effects on the bay and an interesting sunset.

11-11-1999 sun on jetty

Sunlight on the jetty ruins

John came back happy from bowls practice, and has arranged to play on Saturday afternoon.

11-12-1999 Bridport sunset light.jpg

Dusk light

There was nothing of note in the mail bag, and nothing personal from anyone.

Tea was asparagus soup, and a hokkien noodle and vegetable stir fry.

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1999 Travels November 10


Again, we slept in. Yesterday’s storms had gone. The sky was blue.

After breakfast, John went fishing just down from the van. He caught a good sized flathead, which will make a good meal for him. His first Tasmanian fish!

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First Tasmanian catch!

While he was doing that, I walked to the shops, bought a paper, checked at the Post Office, but there was no mail for us. The bakery was open, after a five day closure, so I bought rolls for lunch.

About 3pm, John decided we should go to Weymouth, back to the west of here, to check out a beach the caravan park manager had told him about. Gem fossickers had been active there a couple of years ago, apparently, after petrified wood and agate.

We drove back about 30kms towards Georgetown, then took the Weymouth road, to the coast. Weymouth is where the Piper River enters the sea. We parked by the river, then walked along it to the mouth and the beach. There were some odd stake structures in the water of the river – could not work out their purpose. It was a very pleasant walk.

We then drove around to the beach which was made up of sea-polished pebbles. John found some petrified wood and we gathered a few other pretty stones. Probably spent about half an hour on the beach, looking at pebbles. Exposed as we were, the afternoon wind was rather cool.

Tea was asparagus soup, which was very nice; flathead and fries for John, I had flake from the freezer with my fries, all followed by tinned pears and yoghurt.

11-12-1999 cloud light bridport.jpg

The ever-changing light across Anderson Bay was fascinating