The day finally arrived… We woke up at 3am New Years day in Healesville (just couldn’t sleep!!) and headed off to Station Pier at the Port of Melbourne to catch the ferry to Tasmania… Of course, we arrived way before departure!!! Too excited, but just couldn’t wait!! We were scheduled to depart at 9am and arrive in Devonport at 6pm… long trip but totally worth it!! It was a beautiful day with low swell (lucky us!!) and the ship is so well equipped for the 9 hour trip across Bass Strait!!
The crossing was uneventful and we disembarked the ferry in Devonport on schedule. Then headed to the nearby Abel Tasman Caravan park to rest up.
To avoid the holiday crowds that would most likely congregate around Cradle Mountain and East Coast, we decided we wanted to cover the Western half of the state first then loop around for the more populous East Coast afterward.
So, upon waking up the next morning, we departed Devonport Westward on the Bass Highway toward Stanley, stopping at Burnie along the way for fresh provisions.
Late in the afternoon we arrived in seaside village of Stanley. With a population of just 500, it is still the second largest town in the North West corner of the state. Even from a distance it’s easy to see Stanley as its biggest landmark, “The Nut” at 143 metres tall, dominates the landscape.
After chatting to a couple staying next to us at the Caravan park, we set out to the nearby town of Smithton early the next morning with empty bellies and a tip for a source of cheap oysters, fresh from the farm!
After tracking down the farm, we purchased a bag of two dozen oysters and left town. The Hema map in the car had informed us Anthony had his very own beach located nearby on the coast between Stanley and Smithton!
For a change of pace to the next leg of the trip, Anthony’s parents Jenny & Peter also arrived in Tasmania to do some travel with us on their motorbike. So we left off from Stanley together toward Roseberry so we could do some bushwalking.
After walking to Montezuma Falls we looped around the South of Cradle Mountain, then up the East side of the National Park beside the Great lake.
Many kilometers of winding road later, we stopped for a break and a quick walk to see the Alum Cliffs.
We also went to the nearby Mole Creek Karst National Park on a tour of the Marakoopa cave system. The cave stays at a constant 9 degrees Celsius and boasts the large glow worm colony in one of the front chambers (no pics allowed).
After an amazing day hiking and touring the cave, we headed North over the Gog Range to stay the night in Sheffield. Waking up early the next morning, we were all super excited to look around the town at its collection of murals that are painted on the side of most buildings.
After embracing the local art scene it was time for lunch at Bossimis Bakehouse. Anthony got another scallop pie, which he has proudly proclaimed was the best to he has had in Tasmania on the trip to date!
Lunch was bittersweet though, as the time had come for us to part ways with Jenny and Peter. They needed to get back to Devonport so they could go back home to the mainland. Whilst we headed back to Stanley again via Penguin and Somerset, so we could explore the West Coast proper.