SATURDAY 15 JANUARY HOBART
This was a driving day, and another hot one, despite some cloud. Finally, it seems, southern Tasmania is having a run of summer days!
We set out with a broad idea of exploring some of the southern Central Plateau area.
Drove up the Midland Highway again, as far as Melton Mowbray, then turned north west for Bothwell. From there, we decided to take a dirt road to the north east, to Interlaken, which is located on a narrow section of land. between Lake Sorell and Crescent Lake.
It was a pleasant route, climbing to the upland, cooler, plateau country.
We ate our picnic lunch by the lake side, at Interlaken, which was not particularly scenic, in itself. It is a place I’ve long hankered to visit, but I’m not sure why. Probably heard my cousin and his mate talk about fishing trips up there, and it stuck in my imagination. Anyway, have seen it now – and there is no reason to go back!
We then drove west, to Steppes, encountering some traffic on this unsealed road, which was unexpected, as we’d met no-one else on the leg from Bothwell.
As we came close to Steppes, saw that there were hundreds of cars parked by the roadside – amazing, in the middle of nowhere! Then we discovered that it was the Steppes Rodeo! There were cars and people everywhere.
Just after we turned south onto the sealed Lakes Highway, saw a sign to the Steppes Sculptures, which we stopped to investigate. These were quite impressive bronzes of Australian wildlife, by a Stephen Walker.
John got talking to a Tasmanian lady who was also there. He told her that I was of Tasmanian descent too, and had the scar on my neck to prove it. Facetious man! (I have a scar across my neck from a thyroid operation). Quick as a flash, she answered: “No, it’s not in the right place – has to be on the side of the neck”! For once, John was outdone.
Then, just down the highway from the Sculptures, there was a breathalyser station! John registered zero. We decided the presence of this probably explained the traffic we’d met on the Interlaken road. Revellers from the rodeo taking the back way home.
The highway took us back to Bothwell. From there, we continued roughly south, to the Lyell Highway, near Hamilton. We wanted the more scenic route back to Hobart, along the Derwent valley. However, we found the country in the upper Derwent to be very dry – rather bare grazing country, clearly drought affected.
Today’s was a most enjoyable and varied day of driving. We covered 326kms – a huge day out in Tasmania! We bought apricots and cherries from roadside stalls, too.
Tea was fish and chips – edible but nothing special.