Taste Testing Tasmania’s Best (part 2)

From Bruny Island to Port Arthur.

Oh no it’s raining, the wind had blown stronger throughout the night but we didn’t hear the rain. “Le Frog Box” is so well insulated that we hadn’t realised that it was raining until we opened the door, and it was freezing! Our plan today is to drive closer to Port Arthur sampling wines and produce all the way along. No set plan had been made on where we would pull up stumps for the night. Karen had marked a number of free campsites along the route we would just see how far we travelled.

Our first stop was Get Shucked for a dozen of the mixed oysters for breakfast! Yep oysters for breakfast, the best (cheap) beautiful fresh oysters for breakfast.

Yep Oysters for breakfast … why not

So fresh we could hear them being unloaded this morning as we stayed right next door last night at Bruny Island Landscaping. So good in fact there was a dozen natural purchased to be taken away. Next a double back to Bruny Island Cheeses yep we know we were there yesterday but we know they have fresh Sourdough sticks just about ready to come out of the wood fired oven.

After we collected these essential items and secured them safely it was onto the barge for the return trip to the mainland. TIP: Just a reminder here, if you catch the ferry from the mainland to the island at the “Supersaver” time slots it costs a lot less, you can return at any time to the mainland even at peak times and it won’t cost you anymore.

As mentioned our plan was to taste Tasmania on this leg. We were going to be passing a lot of distilleries, wineries, cheese makers, fresh produce shacks and we intended to try everything, well as much as our bellies could take. Also remembering drinking and driving is very much frowned upon, so Karen will be drinking and Rob will driving.

In the harsh early days of the colony, convicts, soldiers and free settlers all favoured a drink or two as well. Presented with an abundance of pristine mountain water and land perfect for growing barley, the colonists were soon producing their own spirits, with sixteen legal distilleries and countless small-scale farmhouse operations by 1824. 

In 1838 a new governor by the name of John Franklin decided that spirits were a bad influence on the colony, (BOOOOOO!) and banned distillation outright. (Double BOOOOO!!) This prohibition would last for over 150 years. But in 1990, Bill Lark managed to get the law overturned and established Lark distillery in 1992, launching the modern Tasmanian whisky industry.

Historical Photo of Sullivan’s Cove.
Photo Courtesy Tasmanian Government Archives

Sullivans Cove Distillery was established in 1994 at its original location at the old brickworks at Sullivans Cove, making it the second oldest whisky distillery in Tasmania. In the early days, the reputation of Sullivans Cove was poor to say the least, but in 1999 new ownership vastly improved the quality of the whisky being produced. 

The Barrel room. Tours of the Distillery are available,
bookings are essential.

This was the first distillery of our choice to visit, located now in Cambridge it was on our foraging trail today. Tasting took place in their beautifully appointed cellar door where you are asked to take a seat in leather wing-backed chair or on a Chesterfield lounge, very boys club.

Cellar Door and tasting room

We were guided at leisure by one of the knowledgeable cellar door staff members who talked us through the various whiskies on offer and answer any questions we had. We of course had many. After your chat about the Whisky they ask, you to choose from three different tasting flight options which include 3 x 10ml samples (approx. 1.2 std drinks): Karen chose the whisky flight with three of the core range/cask variations. Karen is a scotch drinker and likes a fine drop, but in her words “these are out of this world”.

Karen taking one for the team and tasting the Sullivan Cove Whisky

The attentive staff member answered all of the questions she had and then offered her a special tasting of a limited edition trail barrel that had just been bottled. Did this have something to do with us filming for YouTube or did Karen’s charm work a treat on this young man. Whatever the case we paid for Karen’s tasting $30 and left empty handed, Karen only really liked the $400 bottle, typical.

On existing the tasting room we find, thankfully that the skies have cleared. Onto our next destination and “Le Frog Box” led us right there. Frogmore Creek. The highly acclaimed Frogmore Creek wines are from the genuine cool-climate of southern Tasmania, where grapes benefit from a long growing season amongst a pristine environment. These slowly-ripened grapes develop pure fruit flavours, fresh natural acidity and are perfect for making world class cool-climate wines. We were truly looking forward to trying these wines.

Where to find Frogmore Winery, easy trip from Hobart.

Frogmore Creek vineyard

Elegant Cellar Door, breathtaking views,
beautiful wines and a restaurant we didn’t get to eat in.

This winery is home to both the Frogmore Creek and 42 Degrees South wines, the vineyard is situated in the produce-rich Coal River Valley wine region. The tasting room and restaurant is set amongst the vines, with breathtaking views over the surrounding valley and waterways. It is a perfect place to get acquainted with some of Tasmanian award winning wines.

Our Sommelier guided us through a variety of wines encouraging us to try various varieties that we would not have normally tasted. With her guidance we found new and exciting wines that could well become our favourites.

Well on this occasion we didn’t leave empty handed. Where to store all this wine? You can always store wine right! We didn’t stay for lunch as much as Karen would of loved to try a number of the menu item’s. We had a few more discoveries to make along the way.

With wine goes Cheese. High on Karen’s list to visit was Wicked Cheese Co. Wicked Cheese are boutique cheesemakers based just outside Richmond. They have emerged, in a few short years, to gain recognition as one of the most impressive, high-quality, hand-made cheese ranges in Australia.

love their label 💋

They have won numerous awards including best Brie in Australia, champion goats cheese two years in a row and Supreme Champion cheese at Royal Melbourne Show. Not only do they showcase their own produce but they have teamed up with other small local produces, making their destination a one stop shop.

Tastings at Wicked Cheeses

You can view the product being made onsite

It is an amazing outlet to find, jams, small goods, chutney, sauces, Australian native spices and herbs. After a generous cheese tasting experience, Karen filled her basket and we were off to find a place for lunch, to try some of her purchases.

Timing was right for us to enjoy Richmond and maybe have a lunch stop at the popular Richmond bridge. Richmond is rich in history and architecture, with more than 50 historic buildings, mostly from the 1820s. This is a wonderful town to explore and to learn about Tasmania’s past while enjoying visits to galleries, museums, cafes, retail therapy in gorgeous historical landmarks.

Beautiful streetscape
Lots of wonderful shops, cafes and restaurants
Australia’s oldest intact jail.

But in it’s past it was an important convict station linking Hobart with Port Arthur, and Richmond is known for housing fascinating landmarks, such as Australia’s oldest intact jail (1825) and Australia’s oldest remaining Catholic church, St. John’s, built in 1836. 

The most photographed landmark in Richmond is the oldest bridge in Australia that’s still in use. Built by convicts in the 1820s, it is made of sandstone and was completed in 1825 when Richmond was the 3rd largest town in what was then called Van Diemen’s Land.

And here is just one more photo taken to add to the collection.

We doubt that the convict builders ever envisioned the types of vehicles that now use this historic bridge, let alone the weight it carries. But here it stands testimony to their great engineering skills. This is where we decided it was time to eat, into the galley Karen went and a cream of Mushroom soup made from some wild fungus that she had purchased along the way, served with a sourdough stick fresh from Bruny Island this morning accompanied by cheeses from Wicked Cheese Co and a shared bottle of Pagan Cider, life is good.

After that feed it was time for a tour around town and to catch up on some history lessons. The Richmond Jail, is the oldest gaol in Australia. Built in 1825, it was in use until 1928 and gives glaring insight into the difficulty of convict life in the 19th century. It’s open for self-guided tours daily, and as you explore the cells you can learn about the stories of some of the notorious inmates, including the famous convict “Ikey Solomon”, who many say was the model for the character of Fagin in Charles Dickens’ novel “Oliver Twist”. you could wander this beautiful town for days, photographing every building, it is so picturesque.

Our thoughts turned to where are we going to rest for the night. As mentioned we had earmarked a couple of potential free and low cost campsites for the night. Tomorrow is our first day to explore Port Arthur so we certainly wanted to be close enabling a full day at the historic site which opens at 8am. We drove into the Dunalley Hotel, which if eating and partaking in an ale camping is free or they ask for a donation.

As found on WikiCamps, Dunalley Hotel would be a
great stop in different weather.

There were quite a few already in for the night and still plenty of room for us. However the wind was howling up there. Affording fabulous views also sometimes means if the wind is coming from the wrong direction you don’t have shelter. One stop to keep noted for another time with much more favourable weather conditions.

We both looked at each other and said “we are so close to Port Arthur let’s just go on through”. We had booked at the NRMA caravan park in Port Arthur for two reasons, there is no close free camping and we wanted to be close to the historic site to take full advantage, and we needed to know our site would still be there after touring all day. We called in to see if they had room for us tonight…. No sorry we will see you tomorrow. So what do we do now. There is a free camp spot on a gravel/dirt road 20klm away or we could try the other caravan park. Trying the other park was a wise decision. A non powered site set us back $30. The park is right on the beach and the amenities were spotless. We pulled in made dinner and fell into a deep sleep with the sound of the waves washing up on the beach …. Perfection. 

Join us next time when we explore the Historic Site of Port Arthur and surrounds.

If you would like to ride along with us whether it be on the high seas or on a dusty road out west, consider being a patreon find out about it here 👉 Dreamtime Patreon every little bit helps to keep us on the road producing Youtube and writing blogs as we hope you enjoy them. 

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We love to read your comments if you have any questions pop them below, we will be sure to get back to you.

If you are interested in the products we used on our build on our product page is a list. Many of these items we sourced secondhand, others we purchased from the manufacturer or retailer. We have found them online and listed them for you. Some of the links supplied we have an association with and we will receive a small commission if you purchase through the link, but it is free to look and do your research 😊 we can not promise all links to work as retailers may remove items, but we will do our best to update them 👍


A Pilgrimage to the most Southern road in Australia

Cockle Creek sits on beautiful Recherche Bay at the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and is the furthest point south that one can drive in Australia. It’s a place of tranquil coves and sandy beaches. Distant mountain peaks, make a spectacular backdrop to the calm waters. This is one of those anchorages yachties dream about and we were thinking that Our Dreamtime would look perfect anchored out there in the bay. 

Tip: You will need a Tasmanian park entry pass to enter the National Park. It is easy to organise before you arrive in Tasmania here

It is here that tannin-rich streams meet the ocean, ending their meandering journey through buttongrass plains. The sheltered coastline and forested hills are home to an abundance of wildlife including shorebirds. That unlike other birds of the same species don’t want to steel your chips but are happy with the fresh catch from the sea.

A rich cultural history exists, being the homeland of the Lyluequonny Aboriginal people. For centuries this was their harvest ground for the once abundant cockles, oysters and mussels found at its mouth as it enters the sea. Middens in the region speak of the aboriginal presence here, well before  Europeans arrived.

The encounters between the indigenous people and Europeans is well documented, thanks to a French expedition, that sailed into Recherche Bay in 1792 on a mission to find the lost explorer La Perouse. However Bruni D`Entrecasteaux’s voyage had another purpose beyond the rescue of La Perouse. The voyage was also invested with the task of recording and documenting the environment and the people of the new lands that they encountered.

The expedition carried scientists and cartographers, gardeners, artists and hydrographers – who, variously, planted, identified, mapped, and marked the countries that they visited. They first visited the southern region of Tasmania in April 1792, and, desperate for water, they harboured in a bay that they later named Recherche Bay, after one of their sailing ships.

The ship Recherche that the bay was named after

The meeting of the local indigenous people and the crew were very harmonious. The readings from this voyage are very interesting and it was portrayed as a joyful experience meeting, conversing and learning from the local inhabitants. The remains of a garden planted by the French were found here in 2003, resulting in the creation of a reserve to protect the area. 

But the area was not settled but the French. The British initially settled in the area as a base for whaling, timber and coal industries in the early 1830’s, the settlement was given the name Ramsgate, when land was officially surveyed and subdivided. The many whaling stations were manned mostly by free settlers and ticket-of-leave convicts. Whilst many of the early habitations were crude and short-lived, some dwellings or buildings made use of convict-made bricks from Southport; some remnants can still be seen, such as the whaling hotel at Fishers Point.

Once a settlement with over 2,000 residents, its rich history is found today in Aboriginal sites, abandoned tramways, gravestones and ruins. Sheltered among the tranquil cove of Recherche Bay, Cockle Creek has campsites and basic facilities but no shops or services. There are two separate camping areas and each provide a number of campsite options. These days it’s a departure point for treks into the South West National Park, or for those wanting to kick back and relax. A simple stroll along the beach at Recherche Bay is enough to take in the peace, quiet and beauty of this remote place.

There is even more of Tasmania, south from Recherche Bay, including Australia’s southern most point. So often we hear of the legends of Cape York Peninsula, those who have made the trek north to one of Australia’s ‘last frontiers’. But how often do you hear of those who have been to the most southern point in Australia. Google it and see what you find. For two pages you will find that the reference talks of the southern points on the mainland. Little is said about one of the most southern points in the world before Antartica.  

Photo from the internet credit to Hobart and beyond.

And many Australian’s couldn’t name it, it is simply known as South East Cape. It is said ”Drive to the end of the road at Cockle Creek, then a well maintained walking track takes you to Tasmania’s South Coast. Stand on the cliffs of South East Cape bay, a bracing wind blowing from Antarctica, surf rolling in from the Southern Ocean. You are the southern most people in all Australia”.

As sailors it is one of the inherently crazy things that is talked about whenever the subject arises of circumnavigation. South East Cape being one of the 5 great capes of the southern ocean, and yet so few know of its existence.

We were fortunate to score the most southern campsite, we were quick to make came and then settle in to watch the sunset on another magnificent day of travel.

The following day we woke to the sound of the waves lapping the shoreline. Time to discover more of Cockle Creek. After a long walk along the beach to take in the beauty of this remote place. We then continued to Fishers Point Navigation Light and Pilot Station Ruins visiting the Whale monument along the way. Where we stood at the whale sculpture at Cockle Creek, 30kms south near South East Cape, we were in fact closer to Antarctica than to Cairns, and were feeling it too, despite it being summer. Cockle Creek is the most southerly point able to be reached by road in Australia. From nearby South East Cape, if you were to somehow sail due west, the next landfall you’d make would be South America, and to the east it would be the narrow sliver of New Zealand with nothing beyond that until South America came around again.

We decided that we weren’t going to do the walk to the South East Cape, we have been on the go it seems since we arrived in Tassie and this place was so quiet we wanted to just sit and take it all in. Maybe we will regret not doing the walk but some times it’s not about ticking a box but truly enjoying the moment.

For those wanting the information about the walk to South East Cape, this is the info friends of ours who live in the area told us. Behind the Rangers’ hut, there is a walkers carpark and walk registration both.

The first 3km the trail undulates across rocky ground and light forest, then becomes duck board as it crosses the buttongrass moorland. Wonderful wildflowers in late spring.  A little more undulation and coastal scrub, until you suddenly emerge onto the windy cliff top overlooking South East Cape Bay. Brace yourself for the wind here blows up from Antarctica, surf rolling in from the Southern Ocean: As an optional extension, continuing down the staircase provided on the western side of the cliffs. South Cape Beach is about 1km long to the western end where there are toilets. For those interested in a challenging hike there are organised trekking in Tasmania and one of their popular treks is the 3 Cape Track. located on the south-east coast, the route opened in December 2015 and remains one of Australia’s most coveted and essential hikes. Just 48 people are allowed on the track each morning. The four-day, three-night journey begins at the historical penal colony of Port Arthur.

Following are a collection of photographs of this magical place.

Rob making YouTube
Take nothing but memories and leave only footprints
Our Campsite Cockle Creek
View from our campsite
The most southern campsite
Waiting for sunset we phone sailing friends on SV Whoosh to tell them about this amazing anchorage.
Curious wildlife

Camping information

Cockle Creek is a very popular destination for families, offering a variety of recreational activities such as bushwalking, swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, fishing and bird-watching.

The shady campground within the Southwest National Park is known as Boltons Green. Approximately 10 sites are available here for tent and caravan camping. Although caravans can access this campground, please be aware that the road is rough and flat campsites are limited.  

An additional 3-4  small tent sites can be found further along the road before you reach the ‘NO TENTS beyond this point’ sign.  Beyond this point there are limited sites available which are only for self-contained RV campers. Sites are not numbered so please try not to spread out too much, allowing for other groups to utilise the campground.

Basic facilities include pit toilets and a water tank at Boltons Green. Water is untreated and must be boiled before drinking. There is a public pay phone available at the visitor information shelter.

The Southwest National Park is a fuel stove only area​, no fires are permitted. 

Dogs are not permitted once you cross the bridge at Cockle Creek and enter the Southwest National Park.​

The following map shows the zones outside the Southwest National Park where dogs are permitted, where dogs must be on lead and the off lead dog zones.

  Map of Designated Areas- Southern Section – Cockle Creek – Recherche Bay NRA   (4Mb)

Other campsites

If you prefer to have a campfire or are bringing your dog on a lead, you can choose a campsite north of the bridge within the Recherche Bay Nature Recreation Area. 

There are a number of camping areas on the northern side of the Cockle Creek bridge and further north at Catamaran, Finns  Beach and Gillams Beach. See Recherche Bay camping for these sites. 

If you would like to ride along with us whether it be on the high seas or on a dusty road out west, consider being a patreon find out about it here 👉 Dreamtime Patreon every little bit helps to keep us on the road producing Youtube and writing blogs as we hope you enjoy them. 

Please subscribe to the blog so you will be notified each time we post. To subscribe head to our home page.

We love to read your comments so if you have any questions pop them below, we will be sure to get back to you.

If you are interested in the products we used on our van build, our product page has a list. Many of these items we sourced secondhand, others we purchased from the manufacturer or retailer. We have found them online and listed them for you. Some of the links supplied we have an association with and we will receive a small commission if you purchase through the link, but it is free to look and do your research 😊 we can not promise all links to work as retailers may remove items, but we will do our best to update them 👍

Join us next time when we discover Bruny Island.

East bound taking in Queenstown, Derwent Bridge and Mount Field National Park

Up early we leave Strahan to allow time to checkout a few of the tourist hot spots along the way to Mount Fields National Park. We have had a mix of weather on the west coast and have used more winter gear than we do in a whole winter in Queensland so we were looking forward to the 30 degrees that Tasmania promised us today.

Nestled in a valley between Mount Lyell and Mount Owen, Queenstown is the largest town on the West Coast. Surrounded by dramatic hills that provide stark evidence of a history that once made it one of the richest mining towns in the world.

Today, Queenstown is experiencing a rebirth with a growing tourism and arts culture. But it will never rid its past for its unique landscape was formed by Copper smelting and excavating stripped the hills around the city bare and has stained them with unnatural colours. The hills have had a hard time regenerating so much that the moonscape is still there all these years later for you to enjoy. It’s a beautiful but rather haunting reminder of man’s greed and his responsibility to Mother Earth.

East of Queenstown we have the 99 bend challenge…. The staging ground for one of Targa Tasmania’s toughest sprints, the 99 Bends may not actually have quite as many twists and turns as its moniker suggests, but it is still an incredibly challenging drive that any hillclimber will love.

However Karen reminded Rob “we are not in a Porsche, but a distant European cousin called “Le Frog Box”, watch them sharp bends boy”. You can thank nature for shaping the winding roads that cover the island state – and the stunning, movie-set views you see from them. Believe it or not, the speed limit through the 99 Bends is 100km/h.

We wouldn’t suggest you try hitting it given the big drops off to the side – the elevation change in these 4km of

driving is around 200 metres. Surely someone is taking the p …. out of us, with those speed signs.

Our next stop has become quite a phenomenon in Tasmania. Wherever we went people remarked “have you seen the wall” … well no we haven’t and it hadn’t really come up on our research radar. Mmmm …. what is this wall about. Only the night before had we been told “Oh you must book, they don’t allow walk ups”. So onto the internet and sure enough “Bookings are now essential. To avoid disappointment book online before midnight the day before”. We booked and pay for our tickets $20 each, our only problem was we could only get a 1pm booking, once booked we received our booking confirmation, including very strict details on conditions of entry no photographs, no video and if we missed our time slot by 15 minutes we would forfeit our tickets. Oh dear best be there on time, which unfortunately meant we would be missing a particular walk that was on the way to Derwent Bridge, as we couldn’t risk being late. 

Derwent Bridge is at the southern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and surrounded by wilderness country. There are a number of accommodation options for walkers and those wanting to play in the winter snow. On arrival at “The Wall in the Wilderness” down the very long driveway we came across an extremely long building in the middle of nowhere. The building itself is impressive so it set our expectations high.

We think this hawk is the most photographed piece of artwork at the wall.

The Wall itself was created amidst adversity. The artist Duncan and his wife sold all they had, purchased the land and, as he says, “went for it”. It was a huge gamble. Was it too far out in the middle of nowhere? Would people travel? Construction issues also plagued the first years with Duncan building a lot of the shed himself in harsh winter conditions. The gamble has definitely paid off with more than 75,000 people visiting The Wall each year, 

The artist’s statement reads “On the 1st March 2005 in one of the most beautiful parts of Tasmania I set out to undertake sculpting a wall that would be 3 metres high and over 100 metres in length. The material would be Huon Pine. Through an often arduous at times but also immensely satisfying journey and over a decade and half later I welcome you to visit what is simply known as The Wall”. – Sculptor Greg Duncan

This fascinating piece of instillation artwork was created from the determination and ambition of the artist, to pay homage to the history of the Central Highlands of Tasmania and the grit and resoluteness of the people who make up its history.

The wall, features beautifully scented and rare Huon Pine, represents an ongoing project in which the artist has sculpted the story of the area. He depicts the history right from the beginning when the indigenous population lived in the area, to the pioneers who began harvesting timber from the ancient forests. Following the pioneering era, there are images of the pastoralists, miners and hydro-electric scheme workers, shown along with the many animals found in the area and the horses who worked alongside pioneers. Throughout the work you can read the political statement the artist is making about the environment and mankind’s effect on earth.

Though you are not permitted to take photographs the internet is full of them and following are a series of photos available.

Artist at work.

After doubling back to the local servo to fill the tank of very expensive diesel we devoured the best chunky steak and mushroom ”hot” pies from the Hungry Wombat Cafe, in the front cab of froggy with the heater on …. Where is that promised 30 degrees …. It’s currently 17.

As the winding road ascends through Mount Field National Park the stunning natural flora transforms, offering a constantly changing view as you climb to higher altitudes. Known as ‘the park for all seasons’, Mount Field is Tasmania’s first National Park and part the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Site and home to some of the world’s tallest eucalypt forests, as well as a unique array of alpine vegetation.

There’s a wide variety of wildlife in the park, including many of Tasmania’s native mammals and endangered species, such as the eastern quoll and the eastern barred bandicoot. Eleven of Tasmania’s twelve endemic birds can be seen here, too. Spectacular glaciated landscapes compete for attention with cascading waterfalls, including the breathtaking, three-tiered Russell Falls arguably Tasmanian’s say one of the most impressive waterfalls in Tasmania. 

We pull in late to the campground to find it absolutely full. It’s a Sunday what’s going on we haven’t seen this many people forever it seems. Karen goes over to the ranges hut to see if there is availability at another ground, Oh it’s a public holiday weekend, well that tells a story.

Ok back to our trusted APP WikiCamps. Just down the way is “Left of Fields Campground” their marketing spiel reads “So much more than just a campsite but a destination itself, boasting beautiful gardens, a unique 18 hole golf course, regular live music and generous space”. Yep it’s quirky to say the least. The sites are big, you are encouraged to have a campfire, it is a must to have a game of golf and to soak in the fireside bathtub. Oh and don’t forget to feed the chickens and if you find any eggs they are yours.

Fireside bath tub
Fire pits are supplied for you to use at Left of Field Campground
The chooks are very friendly at Left of Field Campground
Free eggs 👍

It Valentines Day, and not that we need to remind ourselves of the special relationship we have but it is rather fitting that we are going to visit what Tasmanian’s call their most romantic waterfall. Now it is going to have to be good to out do Lovers Falls and our very own private waterfall at Trial Harbour

Beginning our Mount Field visit with a leisurely hand in hand walk through the towering tree ferns and giant eucalypts on the short walk to Russell Falls sounds just the thing lovers should do.

Gentle Giants stand as sentries

Russell Falls is the star attraction and even featured on Australia’s first stamp. It deserves allthe attention it is simply breath taking. It is very popular so having the falls to yourself is difficult. However if you wait for all the lovelies to get their instagram pose just right you to can try one with your selfie stick.

Russell Falls cascades over three drops
Abundance of wildlife
These Fairy Wrens are a joy to watch as they flit about

The falls are only a short, wheelchair accessible journey from the visitor centre, through enormous fern forests and some of the world’s tallest trees. The wildlife is abundant with the potaroos enjoying the fresh shoots and seeds by the pathway.

Easy pathway to Russell Falls

But …. If you have had your weetbix this morning start the climb of numerous flights of stairs to take in the breathtaking view over Russell Falls to the valley below.

Ok there are steps to climb, lots of them.

Now that we have your breath back, If you continue the climb you will be rewarded with Horseshoe Falls and then beyond to Lady Baron Falls.

The top of Russell Falls
The view from the top is worth the climb
Horseshoe Falls are just up stream
Horseshoe Falls may not be tall but they are delightful
Baron Falls cascading

With stunning vistas, great walks, abundant wildlife and excellent visitor facilities we understand why with an easy drive from Hobart, Mount Field has been popular with nature lovers for well over a century. If you are here during the winter season, Mt Field National Park becomes a whole new playground offering downhill skiing and snowboarding, with tows operating and good cross-country skiing across the higher plateau. We were happy to see the blanket of green not white.

Join us next time when we camp in the most southern campsite available in Australia oh and it’s free. 

🌟TIP🌟 It pays to have your Tasmanian National Parks Pass. Apply online prior to travel save $$$$

Following are some more photos of our time at Mount Field National Park.

The national parks have included information
boards on fauna and flora along the walkways
We kept a watchful eye for platypus but unfortunately we didn’t spot any

If you would like to ride along with us whether it be on the high seas or on a dusty road out west, consider becoming a patreon you can find out about it here 👉 Dreamtime Patreon every little bit of support helps to keep us on the road/sea producing Youtube and writing blogs as we hope you enjoy them. 

Please subscribe, like and share to the blog so you will be notified each time we post. To subscribe head to our home page.
We love to read your comments if you have any questions pop them below, we will be sure to get back to you. 
If you are interested in the products we used on our build on our product page is a list. Many of these items we sourced secondhand, others we purchased from the manufacturer or retailer. We have found them online or the retailer and listed them for you. Some of the links supplied we have an association with and we will receive a small commission if you purchase through the link, but it is free to look and do your research 😊 we can not promise all links to work as retailers may remove items, but we will do our best to update them 👍

The best ever Free Campsite in Tasmania

It was sad to be packing up to leave Corinna, we really could have spent another couple of days here enjoying the remoteness. Sometimes you need to unplug from the world. Our schedule wasn’t so hectic that we felt rushed, but it wasn’t giving us much downtime and that’s what we really needed. 

Our campsite at Corinna Wilderness Experience
What a stunning peaceful place

Our next couple of days promised to provide just that. We had marked a couple of free campsites on the map hoping that one of them would provid a place to sit and watch the great southern ocean roll on in. This of course was all dependant on the weather, and as we have had no phone service since  the start of the Western Explorer “Highway” we really had no idea what the forecast was going forward. For sailors this is an uncomfortable feeling.

Fatman Barge over the Pieman river

We were packed and ready for the first Fatman Barge crossing of the morning across the Pieman River. We then set just a steady pace so that we could enjoy the journey without rushing. The wilderness on this side of the river is just as spectacular. With very few visitors on these roads, we expected the surface to be a little rough, but it is well maintained. The weather looked awesome for camping on the west coast, a light breeze of around 8 knots and blue skies. 

The first on our list of our free campsites was Granville Harbour, 30 kilometres from Corinna. We passed through the Granville Harbour Wind Farm project, consisting of 31 turbines. Between the Granville Harbour and Cattle Hill wind farms they are expected to boost Tasmania’s renewable energy production from 95.6 per cent to 100 per cent by the end of this year (2022). The Granville Harbour turbines are almost 200 metres tall, have blades with a rotation the size of two soccer pitches and sit on foundations each made of around 100 trucks of concrete. The energy is being sold to Hydro Tasmania and transported via an 11 kilometre transmission line to Reece Power Station. When we sailed the Wales coastline we actual sailed through a section of a wind-farm, totally an amazing feeling to be sailing under these giants.

We hope these are the way forward for power generation.

The road in actually had roadworks in action, they were putting in new culverts and grading the gravel road. It amazed us that out here in the middle of nowhere this work was being carried out but of course we realised a little further on that this is the road in and out to service the wind farm. All of this road works were happening without a lollipop person to be found (traffic controller). 

The road is an easy drive in and would be suitable for all towing rigs. Arriving at Granville Harbour we found a sleepy fishing village with a beautiful beach. Originally a soldier settlement after World War 1, Granville Harbour is now a small community. It is a popular fishing destination for locals and a holiday destination for miners from both Queenstown and Zeehan. Archaeological research has been conducted on aboriginal middens on the coast between the Trial and Granville area. After a drive around town and stopping to take photos. We eventually found the entrance to the camping area situated to the right hand side of the beach looking to sea. We were stunned to find so many signs indicating that they have had many problems with people leaving their trash behind. On the drive in we had passed a refuse station that was a drive through, we thought it was pretty cool that you could drive through and dump your rubbish. So what is wrong with these people, you are given a free campsite so take your $*#+ing rubbish with you! Rant over!!

Come on guys clean up after yourselves
A stunning place to set up camp.

The beaches between Granville and Trial Harbours

The entrance to the camping area is good with toilet facilities available, however past that it is really a sandy 4WD track. When you get told about these campsites not always do you get told the whole story. Not that we were disappointed in the drive down to Granville, totally the opposite. If we had of been told the conditions of the campsite roads we may not have driven down, and we would of missed checking out this beautiful spot. But there was NO chance of us risking “Le Frog Box” down a sandy track even if the campsites looked so cool. So if anyone ventures further than us, let us know in comments below what you thought. 

Well on to Trial Harbour, 55 kilometres away, these are not big distances to travel, but they are narrow, winding roads and caution is required. As we came to the intersection from Granville Harbour to the main road we came across a group of bicycle riders that had been at Corinna. These guys had come across on the Fatman Ferry with us and were now already at the turn off. The average age of this group would of been 70, total respect ✊ yes they were on electric bikes but you still have to pedal at some point no charging units to be found out here. But the one thing we were pleased about, we would not have them on the road ahead of us.

We didn’t see any 4WD but we are sure they were out there

The roads in this part link up with many 4WD tracks, you can see the entry and exit points all the way along. Many aren’t signed so we expect there is a 4WD book detailing the trails. We certainly hope so as it is a very inhospitable country side. We are yet to see a 4WD bounding out of a side track. We were told by people we met in the Tarkine that the Climies Track links Trial Harbour and Granville Harbour and they were hoping to tow their camper along the track with a distance of 25 km. Note: Climes track (one way) starts at Granville Harbour and traverses the cliff tops of the coast before finishing at Trial Harbour.

The sharp downward hairpin

Originally to service port for the mining town of Zeehan, Trial Harbour, once was a thriving town with shops, hotels and businesses. It is now home to just a few houses that are mainly holiday shacks with it looks only a few permanent residents.

Just 30 minutes from Zeehan, you can understand why locals love coming here. Trial Harbour is a picturesque surprise after journeying the gravel road through rain forest and button grass plains. The road in, is windy, steep in places and then the last hairpin corner is a beauty. We took a 3 point turned to get around and we’re very pleased of no oncoming traffic at the time. This isn’t a road for big rigs, or towing caravans. We were silently pleased we had a LWB and not and ELWB.

Stunning visas of Trial Harbour. you can see our campsite, the twisty road along the cliffs

Trial Harbour is stunning. There are magnificent surf beaches, (link for live surf conditions https://www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/Trial-Harbour  ) fantastic views and by all reports great fishing. However active pursuits were going to wait. We wanted time-out and we needed to find a campsite. Well …… a campsite we found. Bare with us when we use every superlative we can in this next paragraph. 

Imagine if you can …. Pulling up on the edge of a stunning, high cliff with just enough room to park “Le Frog Box” and roll out the awning.

Pulling into our campsite at Trial Harbour
Set up as close to the edge as we dare

A crystal clear freshwater waterfall to our right (10 meters away) feeds a rock pool teaming with tiny friendly colourfully striped fish. The waterfall is surrounded by button-grass and native flowers making it a private and tranquil space. It trickles over the rock pool edge to meet the the southern ocean across the rock shelf below.

That’s right, from high above on our cliff face campsite, the stunningly deep blue and unusually placid on this occasion, southern ocean washes onto the rocks below us with an ever so beautiful sound of waves meeting land. In a word, the views in every direction were breathtaking. The air is said to be the cleanest in the world and our spot for the afternoon and evening simply mind blowing. It was very easy to sit there in awe.

The view from the galley, Karen prepares Sundowers
Happy to sit back and read our books for the afternoon

Have we over done the superlatives. Not a chance we simply can not tell you how magnificent this campsite was and all FOR FREE!

Oh and then the sunset, we popped the cork on a bottle of Moët that we were saving for just an occasion like this (thank you middle child). The Southern Ocean lit up in an amazing array of colours and we silently watched the sun set on another perfect day of Vanlife. 

Breakfast the following morning … Explain to me why we are leaving?

We hope you have enjoyed this blog.

If you would like to ride along with us whether it be on the high seas or on a dusty road out west, consider being a patreon find out about it here 👉 Dreamtime Patreon every little bit helps to keep us on the road producing Youtube and writing blogs as we hope you enjoy them. Please subscribe to the blog so you will be notified each time we post. To subscribe head to our home page.

We love to read your comments if you have any questions pop them below, we will be sure to get back to you. 

If you are interested in the products we used on our build on our product page is a list. Many of these items we sourced secondhand, others we purchased from the manufacturer or retailer. We have found them online and listed them for you. Some of the links supplied we have an association with and we will receive a small commission if you purchase through the link, but it is free to look and do your research 😊 we can not promise all links to work as retailers may remove items, but we will do our best to update them 👍

Join us next time as we take on Montezuma Falls hike.

Stanley is truly a quaint town.

It was hard to drag ourselves away from our outstanding Free campsite at Sulphur Creek, but when we did we meandered along to find more adventures.

Sulphur Creek Free Campsite

Stanley is a town on the north-west coast of Tasmania, Australia. Travelling west it is the second-last major township on the north-west coast of Tasmania.

The township of Stanley with ”The Nut” dominating the skyline

Stanley is a truly remarkable town. Not only is it steeped in the early history of Tasmania (for it was from here that the mighty Van Diemen’s Land company operated from Highfield House) but it is also a town full of beautifully preserved historic buildings.

See our next blog which features Highfield House

Not surprisingly it is a classified town. As a bonus it has one of the most remarkable landforms anywhere in Australia: the Nut, the stump of an old volcano, towers over the town. Although the Nut can be bitterly cold when the winds are blowing as it was the day we visited, it is a magnet for everyone who wants to get a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.

The panoramic view from The Nut.
Looking west along the coast from on top of The Nut

Stanley was named after Edward Smith-Stanley, known as Lord Stanley who, at the time, was the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. He later became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom three times. Until 1842 the town was also known as Circular Head, a name it had been given by Matthew Flinders, and is still used today in marketing and tourism brochures. 

Street scapes that are so quaint and beautifully preserved
Perfect for movie sets

Stanley is a tiny romantic town with quaint streets and beautiful views making for a perfect leisure seeker’s retreat. It is used by many for that special romantic getaway. Sitting on a slender sliver of land jutting out into the Bass Strait on Tasmania’s northwest coast it is remarkably well-preserved.

We are asleep until we fall in love!”

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

With many colonial buildings surrounding the port and dominated by the massive volcanic plug “the Nut”. The plug rises 150 metres out of the water and it over shadows the small towns skyline. But the name of the volcanic plug belies Stanley’s quaintness. Called “The Nut,” Stanley’s cheeky geological feature is what visitors remember most. Volcanic rock spewed into the sky and cooled before it had time to come back down to the ground. Now this massive geological feature is a world-famous marvel.

It offers 360° views from the top. It is a strenuous hike that takes you 150 meters above the sea where you can marvel at Tasmania’s beautiful and rugged northwest coastline. Or you can opt to take the chairlift if the steep hike is too much. Be sure to look below for sea lions basking in the sun and tiny Penguins coming back from a day’s hunt out in the Bass Strait. Even though we love a good hike we decided to take the historic chairlift. At the base of the Nut we were quite protected but as that chairlift rose over the crest the 35 knots of wind darn near lifted us off our seats. The walk around the top of the Nut is very picturesque but in the weather conditions we found ourselves in it was one of the quickest laps anyone visiting has achieved. 

The chairlift in 35 knots of wind was not for the faint hearted
Hold on to your hat Karen

Stanley is rich in history but its importance as a port has faded through time. Now Stanley is a quaint little fishing port that relies heavily on tourism. Tourists flock to this small peninsula for its remarkable geological feature, it’s beautifully preserved colonial buildings and fresh boutique seafood.

Romantic BnB’s and seafood restaurants draw the crowds

Compared to the rest of the world, Tasmania’s northwest coast is rather sparsely populated, Stanley itself has a recorded 560 residents. That means the ocean waters beyond are some of the wildest and least touched marine habitats on the planet. And you can taste that unspoiled natural beauty when you order seafood in one of many Stanley restaurants. The fish and chips alone draw seafood lovers from all over Australia.

As the westerly winds were blowing cold on the day we visited (in the middle of Summer) we chose to eat indoors and try the seafood chowder. Thankfully it lived up to the waitress’ enthusiastic description, served with a fresh hot loaf of crusty bread, it was perfect to warm us up.

On a cold summers day just what we needed.

We finished our day with a walk around the town popping into each of the quaint shops and particularly the ones that showcased local produce and alcoholic refreshments. We didn’t quite know the extent of the local production of whiskey, gin and vodka not including the vineyards and their fine wines. Of course from these visits we have topped up the larder for our next few days 🙄.

More provisions for the larder.

Join us next time when we explore Highfield House.

“I’ve never had a moment’s doubt. I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one. My reason for life.”

Atonement by Ian McEwan

If you would like to ride along with us whether it be on the high seas or on a dusty road out west, consider being a patreon find out about it here 👉 Dreamtime Patreon every little bit helps to keep us on the road producing Youtube and writing blogs as we hope you enjoy them. 

Please subscribe to the blog so you will be notified each time we post. To subscribe head to our home page.

We love to read your comments if you have any questions pop them below, we will be sure to get back to you.

If you are interested in the products we used on our build on our product page is a list. Many of these items we sourced secondhand, others we purchased from the manufacturer or retailer. We have found them online and listed them for you. Some of the links supplied we have an association with and we will receive a small commission if you purchase through the link, but it is free to look and do your research 😊 we can not promise all links to work as retailers may remove items, but we will do our best to update them 👍