Tasman Peninsula an unforgettable trip of spectacular proportions. 

This coastline is the Tasman Peninsula, officially Turrakana / Tasman Peninsula, and is located in south-east Tasmania, Australia. With its lush forests, sheltered bays, beautiful beaches and close proximity to Hobart, the Tasman Peninsula offers an abundance of fun for the adventurer. Every year, this nature rich Tasmanian jewel provides nourishment and shelter to thousands of sea creatures. Humpback and southern right whales, dolphins, seals and sea eagles are everywhere.

Have you ever been totally gobsmacked at the sheer beauty of nature around you. Has it been one of those overwhelming experiences that you just feel you could never put words to the beauty to explain it to someone else. We if you have you will know the difficulty we are having to explain just how magnificent the Tasman Peninsula is. 

Sure you can tour it by car or by walks, but to experience it’s sheer awesomeness is to see it from the ocean. Ok right you know we are sailors so you would probably expect a comment like that from us. But it is truly the only way to see this incredible coastline with the highest vertical towering sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere, there are waterfalls, unusual rock formations, archways and deep-sea caves and an abundance of sea life and for us it was all up close and personal. 

We saw it all the feeding frenzy of diving gannets, albatross and sea eagles wheeling on the wind, cliff-nesting cormorants and peregrine falcons and a playful pod of dolphins surfing the bow wave of the boat. We had the front seats to Mother Natures show. Dressed in our red condoms to ward off the bitter cold wind we embraced this amazing opportunity to take in everything we could that this wild seascape offered. 

Yep Red ❣️ condoms head to toe.

We started our tour just down the road from where we were camping in the NRMA Park. From the tour office we took the option to take a 15 minute walk to where the boat was moored in Stewart’s Bay. Once dressed (in our red condoms) and seated onboard we were asked to place all belongings off the floor and to fasten our seatbelts for a ride like no other. This purpose built boat offers covered but open to the air, tiered seating with an excellent all-round view to connection with the environment. The boats are comfortable and gentle on the environment due to their fuel efficiency and low emission operation. 

Being environmentally friendly is of particular important to the operators of this tour company, family run with a 21 year history, Pennicott Wilderness Journeys has become a highly acclaimed environmental tourism operator and has won 29 Tasmanian, 1 Victorian and 14 Australian Tourism Awards. Driven by a desire to share their success and give back to the environment and community, they established the Pennicott Foundation as a flagship for important philanthropic activities. A portion of our cruise ticket goes to the Foundation, which has contributed to eradicating feral cats from Tasman Island and rats from Big Green Island. Since the successful eradications, over 100,000 breeding seabirds are saved each year, and breeding is now well established back on the Island. The foundation continues to work and support many projects close to it ethos. 

Leaving the dock at Stewart’s Bay, we first toured Port Arthur the skipper gave a running commentary which we must say with the wind in our ears was very hard to hear most of the time. From Port Arthur itself we headed along the protected shores overlooked by Arthur’s Peak. This is where we picked up some hitchhikers on the bow wave and they were certainly in a playful mood.

One of the most fascinating behaviors of dolphins is when they ride the bow pressure waves of boats. There is often quite a bit of jostling for position at the bow, as dominants of a group edge others to a less favourable position, or as one is displaced from the bow by another one approaching. It was great fun to lean over the bow and watch these interanimal antics. For us we have seen it many times but you never tire of seeing it and it was a delight to hear others onboard seeing it for their first time.

We continued on with the dolphins staying with us for quite sometime, but as we neared the open water the swell increased and the dolphins probably knowing that we had more to see peeled off one by one into the deep ink blue sea. Coming out through the heads of Port Arthur there was certainly a change in the sea conditions we were all asked by the attentive crew member if we were all feeling ok. Everyone was doing fine, though the swell had increased it was a moderate day with no white caps to be seen just a good size ocean swell, the weather gods had looked kindly on us today. It’s worth mentioning at this point that the cruise is weather dependent and the route that you take may vary due to weather as well. But it was all good so far. 

At the start of Tasman Passage we encounter the sheer dolerite cliffs rising 280 metres from the sea. Beyond The Blade is Tasman Island, and ahead we could see Cape Pillar in the distance, what a spectacular sight.

Continuing on through Tasman Passage we encountered our first of the sea birds, sea eagles circling high catching the thermals and looking for prey. On the cliff faces we saw nesting cormorants perched high on the smallest of outcrops. How can they sleep and not fall off. Then we turned the corner to see Tasman Island. One of the most isolated light stations, the island is now part of the Tasman National Park. 

Separated from Cape Pillar by the narrow Tasman Passage, the island’s formidable appearance is awe inspiring. With the highest operating lighthouse in Australia, since 1906. Automation of the lighthouse was in 1976 signalled the end of light keeping as a way of life with keepers withdrawn in May 1977 Tasman Island is an icon of Tasmania and is known as the home stretch for the world famous Sydney to Hobart race. Now a safe breeding sanctuary for fairy prions and safe haven for a seemingly endless number of and sea life. It is here that we see our first seals, leisurely taking in the sun rays beating down on the rock ledges they really didn’t take much notice of the ooo’s and aah’s of the tourists on the boat so close I could feel I could reach out and pat them. 

Now it is time to follow the spectacular sweeping coastline to Cape Pillar. Cape Pillar is the jewel in the crown of the Tasman Peninsula’s colossal coastline, with cliffs rising to 300m high. The rock is Jurassic dolerite, the remains of a drowned escarpment, with kilometres of columns, stacks, chasms and great walls rising abruptly from the deep ocean waters, but with just as much below the waterline. Cape Pillar itself is quite extraordinary and descriptions such as “awesome coastal scenery, once seen, never forgotten”, “one of the world’s most fearful sea cliffs” are the quotes that come back to me as I stare at this magnificent landscape before me. It is simply breathtaking.

Climbers abseil down to then climb the Pillar
Can you see the climbers

From Cape Pillar we ventured our further into the ocean to spot more beautiful creatures of the sea. These boats move fast so you real do get a lot packed into your 3 hour tour. Heading back towards the coast you get a true perspective of the grandeur of this landscape. This is as close as we would dare bring Our Dreamtime to the coast and this cliffs still look huge. We are now going into see some unusual rock formations, if we hav yet seen some 😜

Tessellated Pavement this unusual geological formation gives the rocks the effect of having been rather neatly tiled by a giant. The pavement appears tessellated (tiled) because the rocks forming it were fractured by earth movements. The fractures are in three sets. One set runs almost north, another east north east, and the third discontinuous set north north west. It is the last two sets that produce the tiled appearance. This tessellated pavement is one of the largest in the world. This was very hard to photograph from the ocean with the wrong tide, but this is a photograph taken from Eaglehawk Neck on our walk.

Tasman Arch A natural arch which is an enlarged tunnel running from the coast along a zone of closely spaced cracks and extending inland to a second zone that is perpendicular to the first. The roof at the landward end of the tunnel has collapsed but the hole is too large and the sides are too high to form a blowhole. The tunnel was produced by wave action. The arch ceiling is 52.7 m above sea level. Most people only see the land-side view – but from the boat alongside the coastal cliffs offers a different and amazing perspective of the arch.


Tasman Blowhole the largest blowhole on theAustralian coastline, it takes the form of a long tunnel which opens out into a large collapsed cavern into which the waves of the ocean blow. On days where rough seas occur, the water can spurt over 10 metres high. It is best seen at high tide, but is attractive at any time. We were there on what is considered a calm day. Because of this we were able to get up close a personal to all of these amazing costal features.

The sea was very calm today so the blowhole wasn’t in action

This has truly been an unforgettable journey to the island’s most south-easterly tip.

In summary, we totally enjoyed this cruise and recommend doing it, however it is expensive and for some it maybe out of reach but if you know the costing before venturing to Tasmania you could budget for it in advance and we believe totally worth it.

Photo above provided by Pennicot Wilderness Cruises
this shows how close to get to this magnificent landscape
Take a camera with a good lens to capture the wildlife. The boat is constantly moving and this is an iPhone pic you can see the difference.

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 Launceston.

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 👍

















From Mining riches to busts and a fight to save one of the most important wilderness sites in the world – Strahan

Strahan is a harbour-side village with a dark and fascinating convict past set on the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Strahan is full of stories from the days of convicts and pioneers toughing it out in Tassie’s wild west. Nearby, in Macquarie Harbour is Sarah Island, once a notorious convict prison and a powerful reminder of the brutal treatment of Tasmania’s convicts.

These days, Strahan is an iconic travel destination with shops selling artisan wares.

There are long stretches of wild ocean beach to explore, massive sand dunes to conquer and forest adventures to be had.

We arrived in Strahan (Straw-n) on a mission. Back in October, yep months earlier we had booked two tours the “World Heritage Cruise” and the “West Coast Wilderness Railway”. Both of these tours book out quickly and with the added restrictions of COVID19 we new these were going to be very hard to schedule. Of the popular tours to take in Tasmania these are on top of the list. And yes if they are popular there are going to be crowds, but sometimes this is the price we pay to see beautiful places. As it turned out we couldn’t organise the tours on conservative days and needed to book for five nights in the caravan park, as there are no free campsites in the area. Wow this is going to put a hole in the budget.

We figured the four actual days in Strahan would be filled easily enough between washing, catching up on vlogging, blogging and to take in all the local sights. We arrived late afternoon set up camp and Rob said it was his turn in “Our Galley” awesome that means we are going out for dinner. After loooong showers we headed downtown to find a suitable eatery. 

Set up with the annex, awning and privacy screen

The beachside caravan park is situated at one end of the bay, the township at the other end, so we had a lovely walk along the waterfront. We’d been told that the Bushmans Thai Restaurant served awesome food, upon arriving at Bushman’s we were asked if we had a booking.

Best to book

No …. (But there were plenty of seats available). “Well I’m sorry we are not seating anymore guests this evening” really it’s only 7:15pm? ….. Ok spying the takeaway menu we picked it up and said we would settle for takeout “Sorry we close our takeaway orders at 6:30pm”. Mmmmm… Could you suggest somewhere else to dine, “ Hamer’s the hotel, but they can get busy” thank you and we left to find the hotel. “Do you have a booking” ….. no but it seems you have plenty of tables available. “Well no ….. we can put you on our wait list” does that guarantee that we will be fed? “No sorry we close the kitchen at 8pm”. Ok do you think there is somewhere else we could find a meal. Oh yes maybe at Molly’s they serve pizza. Guess what Molly’s closed at 6:30pm ……  this seems to be the normal situation in Strahan after talking to locals they say it is the biggest complaint that they get from tourists …… everything closes early. So the food maybe great but make sure you book and eat at toddler hour or you will be hungry. Well of course we didn’t starve that night with a well stocked pantry there is always something that can be whipped up.

There is always something in Our Galley to cook

One of the reasons we occasionally stay in Marina’s whilst sailing or in a Caravan park whilst vanning is for the convenience of provisioning, cleaning, filling with water, the odd repair job and laundry. At almost all parks we find they have clothesline’s which saves on the washing bill, at $8 on average to dry a load it can certainly add up in a dryer. In a park you can also walk away from your laundry whilst washing and get other jobs completed in the meantime, however at a laundromat you really need to stay with your washing. With a list of things needed to be done our first day in the park was full of activities. One of our major jobs was to look into a water leak we had discovered. More on that later. We must say that the facilities at the park were a little odd and old, the toilets were in a separate amenities block to the showers and separated by about 30 meters. Caravan parks also need to know that shower curtains are really not suitable for communal use 🤮.

The second day of our stay was our trip on the World Heritage Cruise. So after Pizza from Molly’s at 6:30pm …. we hit the pillows early 🙄.

No visit to the west coast of Tasmania is complete without a cruise on Macquarie Harbour and the ancient, mirror like water of Macquarie Harbour and the Gordon River.

Up early we walked the 1.5klms to the dock, we were excited to be doing this cruise and our expectations were high. This is a six hour cruise on the iconic Gordon River, a river that none of us really knew about until 1982. When a group of protesters and environmental activists worked to stop the damming of the Franklin River. Support for the ‘no dams’ campaign exploded across the country in that year. Protests spreading to mainland states, with Dr Bob Brown and other members of the Wilderness Society travelling the country to raise awareness. 

No Dams Protestors over 1200 of them were arrested

They highlighted the potential destruction of habitat for endangered species and the certain loss of important Aboriginal rock art only discovered in 1981. The fight to stop the dam and the devastation to the delicate ecosystem including Gordon River downstream continued until 1983. Where in May 1983 the then newly elected federal government led by Bob Hawke introduced new regulations under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 and passed the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983 that protected the Franklin River, which had been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1982. 

Historic photo showing the blockade

But the battle was far from over. The Tasmanian government was determined to build the dam and the federal government then took them to the High Court to force them to stop work, arguing successfully that federal laws were to be sustained in state contexts when they were upholding the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The Tasmanian Government was forced to abandon the Franklin Dam project. One of the worlds most significant wildernesses was saved for future generations. 

A barge with fire hoses tried to blast the protestors

The cruise boat owners that we are travelling with today have strong links to this area long before the days of the protests, their heritage dating back to 1896. Five generations on, the Grinings continue their century-old family tradition, adding a wealth of local knowledge to the mystery and serenity of this special place. Macquarie Harbour is the second-largest natural harbour in Australia after Port Phillip Bay in Victoria. However, the real glory of Macquarie Harbour is not its size but its setting. The dense, temperate rainforest is dark, gloomy and teeming with life that we were about to discover.

Enjoying the aft deck view

Once onboard, we travel out to Hell’s Gate and thankfully our weather is calm. We can imagine the weather different from this, as this is the West-coast of Tasmania and those roaring 40’s that blow around the Southern Ocean are well known in these parts. The narrow and very shallow 120 metre wide entrance to the huge Macquarie Harbour was discovered in 1815.

Going through Hell’s Gate

Within a year, timber cutters moved in, navigating the narrow entrance and its sandbar was the biggest hazard to getting the timber out to Hobart. A signal station was erected near Cape Sorell in 1822 which indicated conditions entering the harbour. The station was manned by convicts from the newly established penal settlement at Sarah Island. 

The Entrance Island light, one of the most photographed lighthouses in Tasmania, guards the notorious entrance to the harbour. The name of the channel relates to the original convicts claim that it was their point of entrance to Hell, their hell being the Macquarie Harbour Penal Station on Sarah Island. Today we were fortunate with the weather and were able to safely transit Hell’s Gate to view the outlying Cape Sorell Lighthouse.

Passing back through Hell’s Gate

Back safely in the harbour we are now cruising down the majestic Gordon River. Past 1,000-year-old Huon pines growing in one of the world’s last temperate rainforests. This is a true taste of this rugged corner of Australia, something that we will never forget. We are treated to panoramic views from our extremely comfortable seating, apart from our seat we can enjoy a covered aft deck for an up close view of our surroundings.

Comfortable seating with huge windows to take in the view
Cheers to us

The staff are well trained providing a personal service from the time we stepped onboard until we stepped off. We took the option of the fully inclusive deck, tasting some of Tasmania’s finest produce, an individually packed lunch, freshly prepared on board was served along with morning tea and freshly brewed coffees of our choosing.

Lunch freshly prepared onboard is delivered to your seat

As we cruise we experienced expert commentary from the skipper along with audiovisual presentations from others, experts in their fields which brings the river and its rich history to life. We are certainly pleased we did pay the upgrade to be on this deck as the inclusions along with the more spacious deck (with no children) and with limited passengers was well worth it.

The every differing view keeps you entranced

There are so many highlights to this cruise we can’t write of them all, but one of the standouts is the visit to Sarah Island. Tasmania’s first penal settlement was established in 1822 on Sarah Island (Port Arthur was established in 1834, after Sarah Island was declared unsatisfactory). We believe that this part of the tour deserves much more than a few words, so much so, that we have written a separate blog just on this part of the cruise you can read about it here

Our final stop on the cruise was at the Morrison’s family owned and operated sawmill specialising in Huon Pine and other unique Tasmanian timbers. Operated from this location since the 1940’s it is still a fully functional sawmill. Walking into the sawmill is like going back in time – we saw for ourselves how Huon Pine is transformed from a “salvaged” log to a beautiful piece of craft timber.

The following day we completed the extra chores that were needed to be accomplished and had a look around town. Set on a quiet bay, Strahan is a small, picturesque frontier-style town with an abundance of character and a variety of stories to tell of the West Coast’s pioneering days.

From its beginnings as the location for bushmen seeking precious Huon pine, Strahan became the railway port for a rich copper mine inland. Mining and forestry operations based around the magnificent Huon pine, famous for its oily shipbuilding qualities, commenced in the 1880s, making Strahan, the small fishing village now the centre of activities on Macquarie Harbour, the second-busiest port in Tasmania a century ago. Those days are long gone, and the only reminders of the copper boom days are an impressive post office, steamship offices, a few workers cottages and the restored railway. 

The old workers cottages are now holiday lets

Impressive buildings still line the street
The harbour side is picturesque

Strahan is surrounded by a wild environment, that Australia’s most picturesque tourist rail line, the West Coast Wilderness Railway, winds its way from Strahan to Queenstown. On tracks laid down more than a century ago to carry ore from Queenstown’s mines to port facilities on Macquarie Harbour.

This is our next days tour. We had originally booked for the full day tour taking us on a 9 hour journey to Queenstown. Unfortunately due to Covid and staff shortages, they had to cancel our journey but were able to offer us a half day in the Wilderness Carriage.

Now this is civilised
Our carriage well appointed with a rear viewing platform.
this platform was brilliant for filming, make sure you subscribe to our blog so we can let you know when the YouTube Episode is released.


Again this is a fully inclusive experience is certainly well worth it, you feel that you are truly experiencing rail travel of a bygone era. Starting with the Car Attendant welcoming you onboard with a glass of champagne.  Followed closely by canapés, then morning tea consisting of light fluffy scones and jam. Lunch and dessert were served on our return trip accompanied by a lovely bottle of Tasmanian Champagne that we purchased from the bar.

Why are the scones serve with Blackberry Jam? you’ll just have to journey on the Wilderness Carriage to find out.

The Queenstown-based Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company decided to build a railway to link Queenstown to Strahan, so that they could transport the mined copper to the port. They had one problem, though: The terrain here is made up of rainforest and steep mountains.

original bridges still service the line.

The company decided to tackle this issue by using what was then a state-of-the-art rack-and-pinion system called the Abt system for the steep sections. This system was designed in the 1880s by Swiss locomotive engineer Roman Abt and the Mount Lyell company’s railway would be the first in Australia to use this technology. 

We simply can’t imagine the toughness of the men who built the railway. Through seemingly impenetrable rainforest and across daunting, slippery ravines, between Strahan and Queenstown in the late 1800’s. Covered in leeches and facing daily life-threatening challenges. And the tenacity and devotion of the women who brought up kids and kept home fires burning in the most demanding, inhospitable of situations. The railway officially opened in 1897, and again on 1 November 1899 when the line was extended from Teepookana to Regatta Point and Strahan. The railway was the only way to get copper from the mine at Queenstown to markets. Until 1932, when a road link from Hobart was completed, until then it was the only access through to Queenstown.

On the river cruise you get to see the spectacular eco system that has now become legionary, with the rail journey you get the opportunity to see the rainforest up close as you wend your way through it. The rail journey stops along the way at remote stations where you can take short walks into the beautiful ancient wilderness to gain another understanding of this unique part of the world. Again we were pleased that we spent the extra dollars on the all inclusive Wilderness carriage, not only were we spoilt with scrumptious food but we had a viewing platform where we could step outside to enjoy the rainforest as we traveled. Where we filmed for the upcoming YouTube Episode for you to enjoy. 

Tasmania’s west is often only remembered for the conflict between forestry workers, governments and environmentalists to save the flooding of Lake Pedder, but once you have visited you’ll get an idea of what the protest was all about, and thank the environmentalists for their dedication and the federal government at the time, for their foresight to save this precious area.

Oh and that pesky water leak was a hose fitting that had come loose, thankfully we have a separate switch to turn off the water pump otherwise we could of been faced with a very wet van.

Following are a collection of photos from other points of interest that we saw in Strahan we how you enjoy them.

A picnic lunch at the peoples park where you will find Hogarth Falls
Quiche made in ”Le Frog Box” oven 🙌
Hogarth Falls a short 20 minute walk

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 when we free camp in one of the most incredible places on the edge of a cliff…

Montezuma Falls 


Montezuma Falls, near Rosebery in Tasmania, is Tasmania’s highest waterfall and is truly spectacular and well worth the visit. This incredible, sleepy giant is located on Tasmania’s Wild West Coast and is accessible via an easy yet very scenic rainforest track. It is certainly amongst the most stunning waterfalls in Australia with a permanent drop of approximately 104 metres. And for this reason it is perhaps one of the most rewarding short day walks in Tasmania. We found that the Montezuma Falls track was a great addition to our visit to the West Coast. We had initially had this walk listed as a maybe, if we had time sort of thing, wow we are certainly glad we did it.

The track to the falls begins at Williamsford, two kilometres south of Rosebery, and leaves directly from the carpark. The area is rich in railway and mining history with you literally following a late 1800’s route of the former North East Dundas Tramway right to the base of Montezuma Falls.

Historical photo of North East Dundas Tramway

The initial surveying of the tramway was initiated in 1895, and by 1897, the first section of the tram way being used. The official opening of the tram way from Zeehan to Williamsford (Where the carpark area for Montezuma Falls is situtated) took place in 1898. The tram way used a narrow gauge of rail, which is why it was regarded as a tram line, and not a rail line. Today, some of the original sleepers from the tram line can be seen on your walk, with signage encouraging you to locate them. The waterfall was named after the Montezuma Mining Company which derived it’s name from the last emperor of the Aztecs.

The 10klm, three-hour return walk along a level track takes you right to the base of the 104 metre falls through pleasant cool temperate rainforest of leatherwood, myrtle, sassafras, giant tree ferns and eye-catching fungi. It amazes us at how different the rainforest here is compared to the tropical rainforests we are used to. These seem more park-like, as if someone has come through and cleaned up. At every turn there is a new vista to take in. The path is often wet in sections as it meanders through cuttings, often adjacent to creeks and streams running alongside. Good hiking boots with some waterproofing is recommended, not pretty pink Palladium Boots as Karen soon found out. 

Some level of fitness is required, the walk is listed as a grade 2, but even though the track is wide and mostly level underfoot it is somewhat deceiving in the amount of undulation. (120 metres total elevation gain)

Rob taking his chances in the dark wet tunnel

The trail passes many points of interest highlighting the mining history of the area including an open mine shaft just before the Falls. (Flashlight required) The open mine shaft is at the end of a dark short wet tunnel, no glow worms were sighted but it does seem to be a place for them to hangout. An old tramway bridge across the river is slowly being reclaimed by the rainforest and aged sleepers on the trail with railway spikes still embedded.

You may also see native wildlife along the way, including potoroos, several species of birds. Notably White’s thrush, which is a medium-sized and speckled brown and white ground dwelling bird. It forages quietly on the rainforest floor and, when disturbed, flies only a short distance before settling again, enabling you to get a second look. 

However you do need to be aware of one local that likes to lay in sun spots on the track, yep tiger snakes love to bake in the sun. Tiger snakes are a large and highly venomous snake. The bite of a tiger snake, if left untreated for long, is fatal. But seldom do these snakes attack humans.

Can you see the Tiger Snake? this as close as Karen would get.
Rob did get better video footage and photos
Zoomed in on Karen’s photo

Tiger snakes vary in their appearance according to region. The ones who inhabit Tasmania are mostly jet black in color. We happen to come across three of these guys on our trek and one in particular just did not want to give up his spot on the track, that would be most of the width of the track. It took a little coaxing, but finally he/she found a sunny spot on higher ground. We took a wide berth and moved slowly by. 

The creek immediately below the falls was once spanned by a wooden trestle bridge, 160 feet long and 50 feet high. Today derelict pieces of timber, moss-covered concrete piers and rusty bolts are the only remains of this bridge.

Karen hates heights

In it place a suspension bridge crossing the gorge below provides a brilliant viewpoint to witness the sheer magnitude of Montezuma Falls. To the left of the suspension bridge is a narrow broad walk that takes you for a close up view of the base.

The broad walk that leads to the base of the falls

Depending on the season, the waterfall can range from a gentle pour to a powerful waterfall which is almost impossible to get close to. We visited in February and we fortunate to have a steady stream with us able to scramble the rocks to get a closer view.

Both view areas are worthwhile seeing providing spectacular views. Once you have finished gasping at the falls, you need to return along the same way you came, this to us was the only downside to the walk. What had taken us a couple of hours to stop look, photograph and film, now became a route march back to the carpark and onto Strahan. But the pay off at the end was the fact that we had seen these magnificent Falls and walked a 100m long suspension bridge. One of our favourite hikes in Tasmania.

The afternoon sun playing through the rainforest was stunning

Note: Take plenty of drinking water with you as these pristine looking waters are polluted with chemicals from the mining days.

If you are in the area you should not miss these falls. They are well worth travelling to even as a day trip from either Strahan/Queenstown.

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 👍

Following are more photos of Montezuma Falls, we hope you enjoy them.


Join us next time when we travel to Strahan to retrace history.

Gold, Cannibalism and Bob Brown – Corinna


To get to our next adventure, the town called Corinna in Tasmania we needed to transverse the Western Explorer ”Highway”. Whoever named this piece of road a highway either has never traveled on a highway or is romanticising. There is no better way to describe this road as bone jarring and van build testing. Thankfully our van building skills are better than our bones and the civil engineering on the ”Highway”.


If you are looking for a road trip adventure take the Western Explorer Highway it is a unique beast that is isn’t the fastest way to get around the coast but it is the most interesting. Known variously as the C249, the Western Explorer Highway or the road to nowhere, this deliciously remote route through dense forest and buttongrass plains that crosses the Tarkine Wilderness and has the feel of a true adventure, albeit a pretty safe one that connects the Arthur River with Corinna.

The road to nowhere
An endless road


A 4WD is recommended, although 2WD vehicles regularly make the three- to four-hour passage. We recommend that you check the weather before setting out. 2WD in anything other than bright blue skies would be a concern. Take your time and enjoy the spectacular scenery. We wish we had known about a few stops along the way that campers have used. Sleeping out here under the stars would truly be amazing, however we had a booking at Corinna so had to push on.

The ”Highway” is undulating with twists and turns

Corinna is reputedly derived from the Peerapper word for a young Tasmanian tiger. Peerapper, is an aboriginal language of Northwestern region of Tasmania. Corinna is a historic gold mining town, set in pristine rainforest on the banks of the majestic Pieman River in western Tasmania. Corinna is, as the sea eagle flies, 60km north of Strahan, 70km west of Cradle Mountain and 18km from the Southern Ocean. It sits at the southern end of the Tarkine the largest temperate rainforest in Australia – and is the northern most point where the famous Huon pine grows. This ancient unbroken tract of rainforest shows a world beyond human memory and is a living link with the ancient super continent Gondwanaland.

What was once a thriving gold mining town, Corinna is now an oasis for nature lovers wanting a genuine wilderness experience. The staff at Corinna provide a warm welcome, this hospitality was put to the test when we breezed into town. After a gruelling days drive over the Western Explorer “Highway” we fronted up to reception eager to find our campsite. As cheery as can be they said “we are fully booked up tonight, your booking isn’t until tomorrow”. But “not to worry we will find you a parking spot to sleep and maybe you would like to dine in the restaurant after taking long hot showers in camp”. Soon we had a glass of red wine in hand, laughing that Karen’s well planned schedule was up the creek without a paddle. The hospitality and quality of the food and beverages in the Tarkine Hotel and Tannin Restaurant add another dimension to our Corinna visit. Secretly we were not disappointed to gain an extra day in this exquisite place.

Remnants of the gold rush days

The camp provides an unforgettable wilderness experience that is difficult to find in Tasmania and elsewhere in the world. There is a range of unique wilderness experiences to do here, including the cruise on the Pieman River in the legendary Huon pine vessel, MV Arcadia II. Or a range of outdoor activities such as kayaking, walking, boating, fishing, bird watching and nature experiences are available. Opportunities also abound to explore and recall the exploits of the early miners and the aboriginal communities who made the west coast home as many as 30,000 years ago. 


The campsite is only small 8 sites in total, however there are the ensuited, eco- friendly retreats for those wanting a little more luxury. We were delighted with our campsite with views of the Pieman River at our doorstep and an abundance of wildlife that just walked, hopped, flew and crawled through the site whenever it suited them. We were exactly where we wanted to be. 

Wildlife that are just as curious about us as we are of them

Totally relaxing you can do as much or as little as you want.


Corinna was inhabited by white settlers in 1881 and proclaimed a town in 1894, following a flood of people coming to the area in pursuit of gold. The township of Corinna (in the Pieman River State Reserve) is singularly placed in Tasmania’s history as a unique example of a remote mining town that has survived. Before that, the Tarkiner people made Corinna and the nearby Tarkine areas their home for 30,000 years.

There are three noted river cruises on the Tasmanian west coast – the one at Arthur River (which unfortunately we had missed), the Gordon River cruise which leaves from Strahan which we are booked on and the small, intimate and fascinating cruise which leaves Corinna and travels to the mouth of the Pieman River. 


Named the Pieman River Cruise it journeys in the The Arcadia II a magnificent 17m craft built of huon pine in 1939 and listed on the Australian register of Historic Vessels in 2009. It is reputedly the only huon pine river cruiser in operation anywhere in the world.

Rob at the wheel

She has a leisurely cruising speed of 9 knots. Originally a luxury pleasure craft based in Hobart, it was requisitioned to serve in the Second World War in New Guinea as a supply ship. After some seasons as a scallop fishing boat on the East coast working from the Coles Bay area, the Arcadia ll was commissioned as a cruise boat on Macquarie Harbour and the Gordon River in 1961. In 1970 she moved to Pieman River where she faithfully served her new owners, as the first regular cruises on the Pieman River.

Amazing reflections.


The cruise is a unique opportunity to travel the length and see the heads of the Pieman River, admire the fauna and flora of the area and to experience a rare pristine part of Tasmania’s West Coast rainforest. With excellent commentary, stunning reflections it’s a truly personal experience with the river and rainforest.

Solid Huon Pine build.


The entrance to Lover’s Falls

The cruise passes close to the wreck of the SS Croydon at the mouth of the Savage River and to Lover’s Falls near the mouth of the Donaldson.

Morning Tea and a picnic lunch is included which you can take with you if you wish to walk to Hardwicke Bay and take in the magnificent view of the Southern Ocean something we were keen to do.

The heads of the Pieman River
Southern Ocean

This is an uplifting and authentic experience, rich in history, nature and personal anecdotes. when you journey on the Arcadia II You must ask the story of how Lover’s Fall was named it’s a fascinating tale.

How Did The Pieman River Get Its Name?


There is an argument, with some small level of plausibility, that the Pieman River is named after a pastrycook, Thomas Kent of Southhampton, who was transported to Van Diemen’s Land in 1816 and nicknamed “The Pieman”. 

The more plausible explanation is that it was named after Alexander Pearce, a convict who because of his repeated cannibalism, became known as “The Pieman”. Both men had escapes that led them to the Pieman area. The Pieman though has a long history, the river was originally called the Retreat and was renamed the Pieman in 1823 by Captain James Kelly.

So is this why the rivers name was changed? Alexander Pearce was born in County Monaghan in Ireland in about 1790. He was a small, pockmarked man who was transported to Hobart Town in 1820.

Drawing of Alexander Pearce (Photo courtesy Sarah Island archives)

His crime: he had stolen six pairs of shoes. His punishment: seven years in Van Diemen’s Land. Two years after his arrival Pearce was found to have forged a money order. Right now you have done it mate! and In June, 1822 he was sent to Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour to serve out the remainder of his sentence.

By September of that year he had managed to escape with seven other convicts. Their plan was to cross the island and escape to China. They got hopelessly lost, ran out of food and took the easy option: they started eating each other. The rest of the gruesome story you can find in the history books. But it is obvious that Pearce was the lone survivor. Pearce was eventually caught. He admitted to cannibalism but the authorities didn’t believe him.

There are many historical books relating to Alexander Pearce.

He was sent back to Sarah Island where, a few months later, he escaped with another convict, Thomas Cox.  Once again Pearce found himself without food and, to solve the problem. Yep you know the story but the fool was recaptured near the King River, Pearce admitted to eating Cox. There was no argument this time because when he was captured Pearce still had bits of Cox’s hands and fingers in his pockets.

He was subsequently executed in Hobart on 19 July, 1824.  It is reported that just before he was hanged, Pearce said, “Man’s flesh is delicious. It tastes far better than fish or pork. As you cross, or cruise down, the Pieman, think of Alexander Pearce. A unique footnote to Australian history.

Copy of Death Sentence.
(photo courtesy of Tasmanian Government)

There was a time when schooners laden with huon pine left the river through the Heads, and when steamships, not much bigger than the Arcadia II, came up the river and discharged their cargoes at Corinna and the nearby Donaldson’s Landing.

To take the journey on the Arcadia II to Pieman Head, the return trip is an unforgettable experience. The skipper takes the Arcadia close enough to the banks for you to actually feel as if you can touch the ancient rainforest, including many specimens of huon pine. On the journey, it is not uncommon to see platypus and sea eagles, and always possible to see the rare and endangered slender tree fern.


Other than the cruise we came here to be one with the wilderness and the only way to truly do that is on foot. Using Corinna as our base, this is our chance to embrace and really explore the wilderness of the west coast on foot with some iconic walks that range from accessible to challenging. 

Our first was the Whyte River Walk it is the most popular walk in the area. The track leads away from the township and which has boardwalks and stairs at strategic places. The walk is easy, and is an ideal introduction to the rainforest ecosystem.

The Huon Pine Walk is what this area is known for. One of the truly memorable moments Karen says she can remember in Australian environmental history is a young Bob Brown standing next to a modest huon pine and pointing out that it had been growing in that place on Tasmania’s west coast from before the time of the recorded birth of Christ. The huon pine is a remarkable, fine grained, slow growing tree and this short walk has interpretative signs along the way.

You see beautiful specimens not only of Huon Pines but others such as leatherwood, celery top pine, sassafras, king billy pine, myrtle beech, pencil pine, native laurel, soft tree fern, slender tree fern, blackwood, cutting grass, native plum, whitey wood and the commonly named, “horizontal” and if you search some eucalypt species like the mountain ash, that grow in these rainforest conditions. An understory of ferns, mosses, liverworts and fungi form an important part of the rainforest habitat and ecosystem. There are more than 400 species of diverse flora, including a range of native orchids and many rare and threatened species. There are more than 250 vertebrate species of fauna, 50 of which are rare, threatened and vulnerable. These include quolls, Tasmanian devils, eastern pygmy possums, wedge tailed eagles, the white breasted sea eagle, orange bellied parrots, white goshawks and giant freshwater lobsters.

It is so different to the rainforests that we are use to walking through. The cool temperate rainforests seem quiet, tidy, clean and in order. Where the tropical rainforests that we are use to seeing are disorderly, larger than life and busting with colour.

The township works with nature in mind and it is powered by an eco-friendly solar system with back-up generators. It has pure rainwater (probably the most pure water in the world) and all waste is removed from site. The general store, old guest house and original buildings bring alive the history of Corinna, which is a starting point to connect with the surrounding wilderness in all of its facets. Once visited this area it will always be part of you forever.

From Corinna, our next stops are Zeehan and Strahan and both we are looking forward to visiting especially the Montazoma Falls at Zeehan and the Gordon River Cruise. But to get to these we need to cross the Pieman using the ‘Fatman Barge’. The barge only operates limited hours so if you are coming this way make sure you plan your crossing!  Given that the point of crossing is 130 metres wide and 20 metres deep, the “Fatman” barge is a “local crossing” method. It is small so towing rigs are also limited. Check out http://www.corinna.com.au/barge-access-and-times/ for costs limits and times.

Following are a collection of photos we hope you enjoy




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 stay at the best ever tFREE campsite in Tasmania.

The Western Wilds of Tasmania – Tarkine Wilderness


The route we followed completing the loop to continue on to Corinna

If you are looking for the ultimate Tasmanian road trip into the wilderness, then you need to head west. Home to untamed rivers, ancient pine trees and giant sand dunes, the west coast is at the heart of Tasmania’s wilderness. It is isolated rough country, associated with wilderness, timber harvesting and mining. It served as the earliest location of an convict settlement in the history of Van Diemen’s Land, and contrasts sharply with the more developed and populous northern and eastern parts of the island. 

Now known as the gateway to Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area, its rugged mountains, ancient rain forests and heath make Tasmania’s west one of Australia’s last true wilderness frontiers. The island’s West Coast consists mostly of lush national parks. Fill your lungs with what is said to be the world’s cleanest air and be fascinated by the climate resulting in icy winters with freezing temperatures and pristine white beaches with unbelievable surf breaks. Western Tasmania is a place of contrasts. 

Just another country road

TIP: If you want to visit these National Parks and you most surely will want to, you can save money and reduce the risk of hassle by investing in a Holiday Pass or as we did a two year Tasmanian National Parks Pass. All the island’s national parks take entrance fees, but some of them have no controllers, instead just trusting in that you are honest and pay when entering.

Yet, despite its remoteness, there is easy access for those brave enough to tackle the Western Explorer Highway. It is a unique beast that is the most direct way to get around the coast and is most interesting. Known variously as the C249, the Western Explorer Highway built in 1990 it is the road to nowhere, this seriously remote route through dense forest and buttongrass plains crosses the Tarkine Wilderness has the feel of a true adventure, albeit a pretty safe one that connects the Arthur River with Corinna.

“The highway”

The “Highway” rewards those who drive it carefully – wildlife is abundant views are spectacular and this was the last known habitat of the Tassie tiger; take care lest it emerges from the bush. But be warned the term “Highway” is a very romantic view of a piece of gravel road, at 77 kilometres long you will know that you have traveled every inch of it by the end. However it opens up to a truly memorable experience. 

We leave our beach side camp at Montague ready and committed to do the Western Explorer Highway, this will be a real test on our van conversion building skills and how well “Le Frog Box” handles such roads. 2WD vehicles regularly make the two- to three-hour passage. At the north lies surf beaches like Marrawah, fishing settlements at Couta Rocks and Temma. And to the south lies the spectacular Tarkine wilderness rainforest, which will be our first overnight stop and then finally onto the settlement of Corinna.

Even though we are here in mid February don’t for one second believe that this is the Australia that is known for hot days and a baking sun. Instead, pack warming clothes, thick wool socks and rainwear. The wind is howling today from the southwest and there is nothing and we mean nothing between this coastline and Antarctica. At least the surf will be pumping at Marrawah, not that we intend on putting our toes in the water.

Marrawah is Tasmania’s westernmost settlement. It is a town known in the surfing world for its outstanding big wave surf which, in extreme weather, has produced waves reaching 19 metres. Apart from surfing Marrawah is a tiny outpost servicing the surrounding rich farming and dairy area. Beyond the town the farmlands tumble down to the sea at Green Point and West Point.

Beautiful campsite with BBQ’s and shelters but not in this weather


We had initially marked the free campsite here as where we wanted to stay tonight, but when we heard that wind arrive through the night and as dawn broke that wind was howling, we new Marrawah wouldn’t be suitable. We still wanted to see this famous surf beach, and are so very pleased we did. The waves were pumping not to the record highs but enough that the windsurfing guys were having a great time.

Windsurfer making the most of the windy conditions


A stunning beach area in the right conditions

We turned “Le Frog Box” in the direction of Arthur River.  This small town lies 16 km south of Marrawah and, although it is a tiny isolated settlement, it offers cruises up the Arthur River. The family owned Arthur River Cruises on the M.V. George Robinson leave Arthur River at 10.00 am, travel upstream for 70 minutes past banks densely forested with myrtles, sassafras, celery-top pine, laurels, blackwoods, and giant tree ferns. It includes lunch and a walk in the riverside rainforest, and return to Arthur River by 3.00. Unfortunately we had missed the timing for the cruise but definitely wanted to see what the locals call the “Edge of the World”.  

Rob braving the cold and standing on ”The Edge of the World”

Gardiner Point, which lies to the south of Arthur River, has called itself “The Edge of the World” because, apart from its isolation, it is further south than Cape Agulus (the southernmost point of Africa) and therefore the waves breaking on the shores have come uninterrupted all the way across the Great Southern Ocean from Argentina.

The edge of the world

With today’s conditions we totally believed we were standing on the “Edge of the World”. Karen was so cold her teeth were chattering. Time to move on and find some shelter.

Karen hiding from the winds at the mouth of Arthur River.


Leaving Arthur River means we are now officially on the Western Explorer Highway. It doesn’t take Karen long to question her plans to come this way. A number of times within the first 20 kilometres did she asked if “Froggy” was ok and asked “should we turn back?” 

The highway takes you through vastly different vegetation


An hours drive from Arthur River is the 447,000 ha Tarkine Wilderness Area Loop Drive, (FYI: It’s pronouned “tar-kine”, rhymes with “fine”, not “tar-keen”, rhymes with “mean”.) a vast wilderness of myrtle, leatherwood and pine trees which was once part of the mighty continent of Gondwana. However, whilst there is no official recognition of the name “Tarkine” I think Tasmanian’s have accepted the name, and it is generally agreed that it stretches from the Arthur River in the north to the Pieman River in the south and is bound by the west coast and the Murchison Highway. The Tarkine flanks the old mining towns of Roseberry and Corinna and includes the Sumac, Norfolk, Waratah, Rebecca, Pieman, Temma, Blackwater and Corinna Roads.

The Tarkine is vast and diverse. Some is wild, windy coastline, some is beautiful button grass plains, some majestic rainforests, some shack communities and townships, some farms, forestry and some of it mined. It is a beautiful area and anyone who has spent time exploring it will know there is a lot to see and a lot to take in.

The region has almost no permanent residents, but it has lots of wildlife including populations of endangered Tasmanian Devils. You can also find some of the richest aboriginal historical sites in the Tarkine, including shell middens and rock carving sites. The Tarkine is definitely off the beaten path so it’s not overrun with tourists, but it is still easy enough to get around.

The “Loop Drive” takes you through natural and dramatic landscapes beginning with Kanunnah Bridge, taking its name from the aboriginal name for ‘Tasmanian Tiger’.


you then come to, Sumac Lookout surrounded by rainforest and tall eucalypts and gives a more impressive widespread view of the river and beyond. From there the Julius River Forest Reserve has cool temperate rainforest to explore. The next stop Lake Chisholm Forest Reserve has flooded limestone sinkholes and meandering walks through old myrtle forests and alongside still watered lakes. Completing the loop is the Trowutta Arch Rain Forest Walk; a stunning and natural geological structure. This area is richly woven in human history and natural beauty. 

Sumac Lookout

The Loop has well marked signage for each of the places of interest.

One of the best places to get an overall good look of the area is at the Sumac Lookout viewpoint. A breathtaking view over the majestic Arthur River and the surrounding cool temperate rainforest. It is an easy, 10 minute walk. This area is again receiving a lot of attention by conservationists over the destruction caused by logging. A protesting blockade has been re-established in the Sumac area to hinder further logging. The Bob Brown Foundation says ‘while we wait for political leadership, we will occupy these forests in a peaceful vigil aiming to prevent their loss to logging’.

The view from Sumac Lookout shows the beauty of the area

Julius River

Julius River Car Park

The green on green on green of the temperate rainforest is enchanting at Julius River. And it made it one of our favourite parts of the Tarkine Drive.

A beautiful river walk


There are two short loop walks at Julius River. The shorter one takes about 30 minutes. It leaves from the end of the carpark and runs next to the river, over a bridge and then up a hill back to the start. The scenery here is just primeval, with tree ferns and lots of ancient plants that date back to Gondwana, the ancient supercontinent that formed most of the modern continents.

The longer walk takes in a few stairs

The longer walk takes about 40 minutes and makes a loop through the forest, it is a worthwhile walk but if you are short on time take the 30 minute one. The picnic ground at Julius river has tables, barbecues and toilets, which makes it a nice place to stop for a break.

Lake Chisholm


Imagine, if you will, a beautiful lush rainforest, still and peaceful with a sense of remoteness, and in the middle of it a calm lake with mirror-like reflections. That’s pretty much what you’ll find at Lake Chisholm.


How big did we say those trees are.

A picturesque short walk through tall trees, ferns thigh high (well Karen’s thighs) and mixed eucalyptus forest leads you to one of the finest examples of a flooded limestone sinkhole in Australia.

This was the day that we found out our Great Grandson Hudson Robin had been born. Karen named this tree after him wishing him a long and
healthy life. One day he may visit this tree too.


The forest you walk through is simply stunning in its lushness.  What sets Lake Chisholm apart is its origin. The lake was formed when a sink-hole in the limestone countryside became blocked. Water flowing into the hole had nowhere to go, and accumulated until a decent sized lake had formed.

Perfect mirror image


Being in a low lying area, the lake is sheltered from the winds common in the area, and so the surface is still and mirror-like. Platypus have been sighted here however we were not here at dusk or dawn so our likely hood of seeing these beautiful mammals was non existent. The path is a gentle incline and is listed as Moderate, there are stairs and some uneven ground and it takes approximately 30 minutes.

Trowutta Arch

The path is a very easy walk. there are some stairs to navigate.

A short walk through lovely rainforest takes you to an extraordinary and rare geological feature. The Trowutta Arch walk begins by entering the dense temperate rainforest beside an obvious sign. The walk is very easy and follows a wide, clear trail with little to no elevation gain. Along the way, you’ll get to experience the incredible beauty of The Tarkine, a true global treasure. Giant fern trees (man ferns) and fungi-covered logs dominate the understory, with towering eucalypts on all sides. Trust us when we say that if you’re visiting Tasmania’s Wild West Coast, you’ll want to add the Trowutta Arch walk to your list of things to do. The Trowutta Arch is also one of the most accessible around and one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks.


At the end, you’ll find a set of beautiful green cenotes (sink holes) framed perfectly by a tall arch, the remnants of an ancient cave. Trowutta Arch was formed by the collapse of the cave. The roof fell in leaving a section between two “sink holes”. When we visited the sink holes were full of water. However we have been told at times the water level is very low or non existent, it would still be worth a visit no matter what.

This has to be seen to be believed. straight out of Jurassic Park you can imagine Dinosaurs roaming these parts.
Pristine temperate rainforest

We pulled up stumps for the night in one of the National Parks Campgrounds 200 meters up the road from Julius Creek reserve. This is available to park pass holders and gives you the true feeling of being in the remote wilderness of the Tarkine. There are only 5 campsites you need to be totally self sufficient and leave no trace only your footprints. There is no booking system it is first in gets the spot.

It was truly a beautiful experience going to sleep with the forest noises of the nocturnal animals going about their business and then to be woken by the squawking, laughing and chitter chatter of the birds at dawn. Thank you Tasmania Parks for giving us the privilege to experience this.

Our camp for the night. Totally secluded surrounded by nature.


A warming Curry with garlic naan bread for dinner


We weren’t sure what to expect when planning our roadtrip on the Tarkine Loop Drive but we are soooooooo glad we went. It’s such a beautiful place and is still quite off the beaten path. There were only a few cars at most of the places we stopped. We even had some of them all to ourselves. If you find yourself in Tasmania, make time to drive the Tarkine, you’ll love it. However whilst the Tarkine Wilderness is magnificent, we felt a little disappointment with the loop road leading to it – the South Arthur Forest Drive (or the Tarkine Forest Drive, as Forestry Tasmania prefers to call it). 

Maybe our expectations were too high. The tourist literature portrays it as an unspoiled wilderness experience, but it isn’t. Most of the countryside the road passes through has been – and still is – extensively logged. The predominance of regrowth forest and the frequency of logging roads are a constant reminder that the area is far from pristine.

In a way, the “managed” forest along much of the road serves to highlight the unspoiled nature of the forest reserves within it. And for sure the reforestation ”Managed” forests are far better than logging natural forest. For us, the signs of logging outside the Lake Chisholm reserve provided a stark contrast with the forest within, and emphasised the beauty. A mirror-perfect lake at the end of the walk was a welcome sight. We both spoke of the timber industry leaving a corridor of growth so you can’t see the destruction, but this would be a false illusion. Better we see it so we can acknowledge what man does to earth.

Join us next time when we explore Corinna Tasmania’s Wild Western Frontier and the majestic Pieman River. Full of histoy and scenery to take your breath away.

Please find following more photos of this beautiful area, we hope you enjoy them.

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 👍

Marrawah


Edge of the World


Arthur River

Julius River




Lake Chisholm





Trowutta Arch




Cradle Mountain a place you always want to return to

On the road ….. now finally provisioned up on fresh Tasmanian produce it was time to kick Le Frog into gear and head up into the central North of Tasmania to Cradle Mountain. But of course we aren’t taking the normal route, no we are going to take some of the back roads and discover some of the hidden gems along the way. 

Follow our route on Wikicamps and by subscribing to the blog

Taking our route along the Northern A1 west from Devonport. We turn left about 7 kilometres before we reach Ulverstone. As you come down the hill there is a sign that says, Wilmot Road …. Cradle Mountain. This is the road of our discovery. We would not advise it if you are hauling a large rig. This road is rather tight with lots of twists and turns but magnificent views with very little traffic. We will need to go back through the dash cam but if we said we had passed 6 cars we could be exaggerating. 

This route takes you through Wilmot and on to Letter Box Drive of funny curiosity letter boxes.

The whole town has developed this quirky letter box trail

It meanders through the “valley of views”, to a look out over Lake Barrington and beyond to Mount Roland and the Promised Land. Yes there is such a placed called the  “Promised Land”, and we can’t forget Nowhere Else, yep you certainly wouldn’t want to live “Nowhere Else” in the “Valley of Views”. And when we got to Middlesex it was time to remember why we were here ….. why were we here oh yes Cradle Mountain. 

Mount Roland dominates the skyline with most of the peak shroud in cloud
Lake Barrington in the middle ground

Arriving at the Cradle Mountain Discovery Park, we discovered an envelope with our name on it. Contactless reception, it doesn’t quite feel the same as a welcoming face behind a desk. Oh well the instructions were straight forward and we headed for our campsite. Each campsite is quite private with a lot of natural bush separating them. The ground is rough gravel and quite uneven, so be ready to sleep on a lean or spend time using your ramps or whatever to try and level up a bit. We found our site also had the track to the amenities building beside it but some thicker bush maintained our privacy to an extent. This is a no frills campsite. Whatever you bring in you take out and there is no drinking water available. We opted for an unpowered site to save money as our solar is keeping us well and truly juiced up. We were into bed early to insure we were up early for our next challenge …. hiking Cradle Mountain.

Our campsite at the Discovery Park Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain is a locality and mountain in the central highlands region of Tasmania. The mountain is situated in the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park. At 1,545 metres (5,069 ft) above sea level, it is the 6th highest mountain in the state.

The area around the mountain has a large number of day walks, as well as being one terminus of the Overland Track. The Overland Track winds through a variety of landscapes to its opposite end—80.8 kilometres (50.2 mi) to the south at Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest lake.

The mountain is climbed by walkers virtually all year round. It is a strenuous return hike from the Dove Lake car park with a recommended allotted time of six-and-a-half hours. This was not something the Dreamtime crew were about to embark on but we were envious of those with younger legs venturing off. We had chosen to do the lesser but still fitness testing, Dove Lake circuit. 

The circuit follows the lake around to the base of the mountain retuning you to the famous boathouse

Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain National Park is a wonderland of spongey moss-carpeted floors, rolling buttongrass moors, scenic boardwalks, curious wildlife and the kind of trees that play host to entire worlds of budding, miniature greenery.

Such a diverse eco system

This beautiful national park was our absolute must do stop in Tasmania and if you love being out in nature it should be an essential stop on your Tasmania itinerary as well. We had travelled to Cradle Mountain some years back on a short visit day tripping from Launceston. It had such a lasting impression that we knew one day we would be back.

If you are heading this way ….. These are a few useful things we found helped us to prepare for our visit to Cradle Mountain National Park.

Like all national parks in Tasmania, you’ll need to pay the entry fee on arrival at the Visitor Centre which includes access to the Cradle Mountain National Park shuttle.

The entrance fee is $25.00 per adult per day, but if you’re travelling in a family group or visiting more than one park in Tasmania, it’s often more economical to buy the Holiday Pass which costs $40 per person or $80 per vehicle and is valid for 2 months.  We took the option of the 2 year pass for all Tasmanian National Parks, for 2 vehicles for 2 seniors at the amazing fee of $46, sometimes it pays to be old 😜. (prices as of January 2022). Check here for more info. 

Our seniors passes ready for the windscreen.

Since October 2018, the free Cradle Mountain shuttle bus is now the only way to travel through the park during opening hours, that is, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. during summer (October through March) and 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m in winter. Shuttles leave every 10-minutes or so from the Visitor Centre (more frequently when demand is high) and can drop you at any of the main stops within the park, including the Interpretation Centre, Snake Hill, Ronny’s Creek and Dove Lake. See here for more info. When arriving at the beautifully designed information centre there are a number of staff on hand interested in what you want to see and will help you choose which walk is best for you. 

Though some visitors grumble about the fact they can no longer take their own cars into the park whenever they wish, we actually think this is a fantastic system that is efficient, convenient and goes a long way to easing congestion on the narrow winding roads. It is less of a disturbance to the wildlife and disperses visitors throughout the park very effectively.

We arrived in Tasmania in late January …. In the heart of Australia’s summer …. and despite the wonderfully balmy temperatures of 30 degrees + along the east coast of Queensland that calls for daily swims and lazing in the sunshine, we did welcome the Cradle Mountain moderate temperatures of 24-28 degrees, blue skies and cooler nights. Perfect weather for outdoor activities and then snuggling up at night preparing for another day of trekking.

Even if you’re visiting in summer like us, you’ll want to come fully prepared for wet, chilly conditions. We were exceptionally lucky to score crystal clear days for the whole time we were there. Seriously, it rains about three quarters of the year up there and a summer bout of snow is not all that unusual. Yes, snow in Australia… in summer, who knew!

Layers are key so be sure to pack essentials at any time of year: a thermal base layer like merino wool, warm fleece or puffer jacket and durable waterproof jacket. In winter when average temperatures hover around zero degrees, a scarf, beanie and gloves are all so a good idea. But alternatively you require hat, sunscreen and plenty of water for the hot temperatures that can come in summer. The hikers registration points have written guides on what they recommended you to carry whilst trekking in these mountains. The weather can change without warning and they are very forthcoming that hypothermia can kill.

Given the area receives an absolute drenching of rain, a solid pair of waterproof hiking boots and hiking socks are also the way to go. I love my new Keen waterproof hiking boots which are lightweight and super comfortable, with my quick dry bamboo socks, as well as my new hiking pole. I was set. Rob opted for a more traditional walking shoe as he feels more comfortable with nothing wrapping his titanium ankle so he wears these ones from Anaconda, I also picked him up a new hiking pole. 

Between the plumes of mist and bearded trees, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d just stumbled into Middle Earth, and while the gloomy skies actually lend rather well to these fairytale landscapes, if you’re here to hike, you’ll want to take full advantage of the fine weather. If your plans aren’t fixed and you’ve got some flexibility in your itinerary, don’t hesitate to make a beeline for Cradle Mountain if it looks like you’ll have a clear window. Or if the sky is clouding in head for another activity, nothing is far in Tasmania. There is a webcam available here for you to checkout the weather in real time. https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-parks/cradle-mountain

Whether you’re driving or walking, Cradle Mountain provides plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting.

Around dusk, wombats emerge from their burrows in full force, as do wallabies and Tassie Devils, and it’s not unusual to find them waddling across the road in a slight daze from their daytime slumber in search of an evening meal. If you’re behind the wheel, travelling on a winding road at the 45km/h dusk to dawn speed limit, this can still take you by surprise, so be sure to keep an eye out for anything ferreting about on the roadside and always be prepared to stop. If there is road kill on the road Tasmanian Devils find it irresistible to have an easy meal. We were advised if we were unlucky enough to hit and kill an animal, if it’s safe to do so stop and pull the carcass into the Bush. This stops Tassie Devils from venturing onto the road for a feed and becoming the next victim.

Out on the trails, you’ll more than likely see the full collection of Aussie cuties – echidna, Tasmanian Devils, wallabies, wombats and, if you’re really lucky, the elusive platypus. Generally, the animals will keep their distance so please repect that and certainly don’t go traipsing across the grasslands to get a closer photo – we saw this happening all too often! Keep your distance and, whatever you do, don’t feed them! We had a very inquisitive Pied Currawong. They feed on a variety of foods including small lizards, insects, caterpillars and berries. This one had us in fits of laughter because at first we thought he/she wanted our lunch. But we soon worked out that when we sat and opened our lunch the flies arrived in numbers. This bird was so clever it sat near us eating all the big fat marsh flies. Forget the Aeroguard. Really what every picnic table needs is a Pied Currawong.

The best fly catcher we have seen
That Pied Currawong didn’t want any corn beef sanga, fresh flies are the go aparently.

With wisps of mist unfurling rapidly between the peaks and radiant golden light glimmering across the landscapes, Cradle Mountain is an absolute feast for the eyes, and the lens. You can’t take a bad photo. As you walk your eyes are constantly drawn to the peaks and at every turn you take another amazing vista appears. So tantalising is the scenery, it’s easy to take much longer than the stated estimated time for your chosen hike as you are always stopping to admire the view and get another great photo.

Us on one of the many beaches

Dove Lake and its insta-famous boatshed are the obvious choice as they’re easy to access at any hour, offer up clear views toward the twin peaks and, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a perfect reflection to capture. It’s only a short walk from the drop off point so if you’re time limited, you can easily walk to the boatshed and take some Insta worthy pics and be on your way.

Rob taking his YouTube shots of the famed boatshed

However the Dove Lake walk is certainly a must if time permits. Take the day and don’t rush it. It’s not often you get to walk in pristine wilderness surrounded by such grandeur. You do need a modest level of fitness as there are broad walks, stairs,  and some steepish inclines. There is no rush so allow the time to be in your comfort zone with the pace you walk. It’s certainly possible to set your sights higher and enjoy the dawn light from one of the upper ridge-lines if you are fit and agile but remember to always register your plans when taking on the more challenging trails.

Reflections on a clear summers day not the norm

You’ll quickly notice that there are absolutely no rubbish bins anywhere around Cradle Mountain National Park. And yet, the landscapes are completely pristine and untarnished by the piles of trash that sadly are so pervasive in many other natural areas we have been to around the world.

This does, however, mean that you need to plan ahead. If you’re bringing any food into the park or hoping to have a picnic lunch, remember to bring an extra bag with you to take away all your rubbish. This includes tissues, food waste (even fruit peels and cores), and of course, any plastics. Then, dispose of your rubbish responsibly when you’re back at your accommodation.

Cradle Mountain National Park is by no means over crowded, but the early bird does get to enjoy the soft morning light and have the trails more to themselves.

No crowds early in the day

As the vast number of people visit on a day trip from Launceston, staying at the Discovery Wilderness Park certainly gives you the advantage to get on one of the first shuttles of the day and hit the trails bright and early. You’ll have plenty of time to disappear into the wilderness before the bulk of tourists arrive to spend their afternoon flitting around Dove Lake, as the crowds usually arrive around mid-morning. 

The walk varies from broad walks to steps to natural path ways.

But having that advantage does cost and at $75 per night in January to park your camper van or pitch a tent it is really up there. With that price you do get to use the amenities, it does not include power or water so you must be self sufficient as the water that is on site is non potable. We have to say, we wouldn’t return anytime soon. In our current situation with Covid we would expect the amenities to be cleaned but on both the times we used the showers they were not clean and Rob complained about the same two bandaids in the drain of his shower cubicle over two consecutive days 🤮. We felt the camp was very over priced for what you got. There is accommodation areas popping up along the roads into the park and some offer RV camping, so it would be worth looking at these as an option. But if you are wanting to stay in the heart of the National Park we have listed the info of the Discovery Park below, bookings are essential.

Cradle Mountain Peaks demand your attention

Put simply, Cradle Mountain is a place of magic, with its alpine heaths, overland tracks, rugged terrain, as well as its diverse flora and fauna.

White flowers were to be found everywhere, apparently the colour changes with the seasons.

From to the lush microcosms of budding greenery that dress every tree, to the fields of tea tree bushes blanketed in tiny white flowers that shimmer beneath the sun filled sky. From the abundance of wildlife and their freedom to roam to the ephemeral mists that roll across the mountains. From the sun-drenched boardwalks to the enchanting forests.

The rich tannins that seep down from the button grasses turns the water to the colour of rich tea.

It’s a place we were eager to return to as soon as we had left.

We will be back.


(please find following a collection of photos from our Dove Lake walk, we hope you enjoy them)

Join us next time when we explore some amazing waterfalls.

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 👍

Discovery Parks  | This Australia-wide chain run holiday park offers powered and unpowered campsites, dormitories and basic cottages for larger groups. Facilities include a shared guest kitchen, barbeque and laundry. Check rates and availability here and here.

The boat shed Cradle Mountain