The west & north west coast of Tasmania

Rainforest wilderness, wild, windy beaches, steam train rides, river cruises and plenty of history - this is an great area to visit.

Central Launceston - just what we wanted

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 8, 2013

The Penny Royal Apartments were central, which was just what we wanted. We didn't want to be out of the way.

Note to self, or anyone else wanting to stay there, the rooms are not available until 2.00pm. So don't bother arriving earlier unless you have something planned to do in Launceston. They will let you utilise the car park if you're early.

The studio room apartments are nice and have been recently refurbished. The studio apartment rooms consist of a room in which there is a queen sized bed, a work table a small dining table with two chairs and a comfortable lounge. There is also a partially equipped kitchenette with a fridge, microwave, toaster, plates, utensils, etc. Lastly there is a small ensuite.

The room was clean and well presented - just as a motel room should be.

The Hotel and Apartments is reasonably centrally located being approximately -
5 minutes walk from the Cataract Gorge walking track and the same from the Kings Bridge which is where the walking track starts. The Cataract pool and cafe is about a 30 minute walk along the Cataract Gorge walking paths after that.
Just across the road from the waterfront where the is a an mill converted into a cafe/restaurant and also a waterfront park and walkway.
About 5-10 minutes walk from the centre of town.
About 15 minutes walk from City Park and the Automobile Museum.
About 5 minutes walk from Murphy's Irish Pub.
About 10-15 minutes walk to the river cruise terminal.
Penny Royal Hotel and Apartments - Leisure Inn
Launceston, Australia, 7250

Pleasant surroundings in a great location

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 8, 2013

This was a great find, a nice apartment in a great location for a good price -$110 per night.

The apartment consisted of a fully equipped kitchen, a combined bathroom and laundry with a separate toilet. There were two bedrooms, one was the main bedroom with a queen bed, tables and wardrobe. The other bedroom had a set of single bunks and a separate single bed. The living room/dining room had a lounge and two lazy boy chairs, a wood fire place and a table with 6 chairs.

Outside there was a carport, a clothesline and a garden.

The decor is nice and nothing is falling apart. Everything is well kept and clean.

All the mod cons you'd ever need.

The apartment was in a location which was within easy walking distance to -
The centre of Stanley - 5 minutes
The Stanley Hotel - about 5 minutes
Stanley Port - about 10 minutes
The Stanley Nut - about 7-10 minutes to the cafe and car p ark, depends on you fitness how long it takes you to get to the top.
Highfields Historic Homestead - about 20-25 minutes
Beaches -about 5 minutes to Godfreys Beach and about 10 minutes to Tatlows Beach - Godfreys Beach is one of the locations where the little penguins come ashore.
And only a few minutes from a number of other tourist spots.
Pol and Pen Cottages
Pearse Street, Stanley
Stanley, Tasmania, 7331

Another great location, why drive if you can walk

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 8, 2013

I am glad I booked a deluxe cabin for our 4 night stay in the Strahan Holiday Park, I've stayed in standard cabins in other parks and they're usually not much.

The cabin had one main room with a fully equipped kitchen which we quickly filled with enough food to get us over the 4 nights, a lounge and a table with 4 chairs. There were two bedrooms, one was the main bedroom with a double bed, side tables, wardrobe and counter with mirror over. The other bedroom had single bunks. There was also a separate ensuite. The basics - that's all you need.

The outside veranda had a couple of chairs on it. There was each car parking space for one, maybe two cars.

On site services include a laundry, bbqs, the reception that has tourist information and brochures and on the road there is a small corner shop/takeaway shop that supplied the basics, cold drinks and takeaway food or there were tables and chairs so you could eat there.

The location of the park is opposite the harbour, not far from a small harbour beach. The cabin we had was right next to the neibouring bush land. Nice and quiet with a bit of bird life.

It is about a 10 minute drive to the north headland of Macquarie Harbour and the big sand dunes.

It is about a 7-10 minute walk into town or the Main hub for tourist sightseeing departures, around the waterfront and the same distance to the supermarket.

From town it's another 10 minute walk around to Regatta Point or about 7 minutes to The People's Walk or Risby's.
Discovery Holiday Parks Strahan Lodge
8 Innes Street
Strahan, Tasmania, 7468

Great place, great location, great price

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 8, 2013

Wow, this was a find. I looked up accommodation in the Cradle Mountains and the Highlanders Retreat came up.

I selected the Bushman's Cabin, not only because of the cost - only $110 per night - but also because of it's location - only 5 minutes drive from the Cradle Mountain National Park - great location.

We came close to the retreat a wombat walked out on the road to cross to the other side - another plus, love to see the wildlife like this.

We walked into the reception area to collect our key and we didn't walk out again until another 1/2 hour later -yet another plus, helpful, friendly staff, love it even more.

We approach our cabin and there's a sound of leaves rustling. On closer inspection we discovered where it came from - a pademelon, a small wallaby type marsupial, and what's that in it's pouch, yip it's a joey (baby) - god it's getting better.

Further down the little walk track leading to our cabin we met a currawong - a native bird - who has a misshaped beak - the top part is too long and he has to pick up food by turning his head sideways - funny to watch.

Next delight is our cabin - it was all decked out just like a traditional Bushman's hut except with an ensuite, running water and electricity. Simple in design, basic in decor but just what we wanted for a bit of a wilderness feel. There was single room with a bunk set up with a double bottom bunk and a single top, a two seater lounge, a small table a two chairs, a gas fire, a small fully equipped kitchen area and a ensuite bathroom - don't need much more.

The small outside veranda had a bench seat where we sat and watched the pademelons hop around. We fed them a little bit of bread we had - I bet everyone does and that's why they hang around

And the breakfast delights that I ordered for the following day, that were ready for us, in a basket on the bench, were a lot more than I was expecting for the price - $20 each - with eggs, bread, packs of jams, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc. - yummy.

The location is not too bad, about 5 minutes drive from the Peppers Cradle Mountain Resort where there is a tavern/restaurant, also about the same time to the Cradle Mountain National Park gates and a couple minutes drive to The Cradle Mountains Visitor Centre where there's a cafe/restaurant and you can catch the shuttle bus and purchase entry tickets into the park.

Yes we will be back and one night is definitely not long enough - next time it will be for three or four.
Cradle Mountain Highlander Cottages
3876 Cradle Mountain Road
Tasmania, Australia, 7306
(03) 6492 1116

Day 1 Launceston to Cradle Mountain

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 8, 2013

The plane from Sydney land in Launceston at about 11.30am, we picked up our rental car, and headed straight of to our first destination - Cradle Mountain.

As we only got the cheap seats and didn't get food we were starving so the first stop was at cafe near Deloraine - our first taste of the delicious food that we would be having while we were here - although I do wish we had stopped at the raspberry farm and cafe we saw previously on the road.

Then it was on the road again, travelling along country roads, winding their way through the wilderness with plenty to see - high rocky mountain ranges, pastures with cows, sheep or alpacas and small townships. We stopped to watch a echidna waddling it's way along the side of the road. All this before we actually reached the Cradle Mountain area.

Once we entered Cradle Mountain area we seemed to encounter more wildlife - a wombat walked out across the road, another echidna and small pademelons - small wallaby type marsupials. Great to see.

Our accommodation was at the Highlanders Cabins in a cabin called the Bushmans Cabin. Nice place, nice location and nice cabin. The cabin was about 5 minutes drive down the road from the entry to the Cradle Mountains National Park.

The cabin was just what we needed - a small rustic cabin with a combined bedroom/living/dining area, a fully equipped kitchenette and a ensuite. I had requested breakfast for the morning so there was a basket with bacon, bread, eggs, tomatoes and the works - yummy.

After booking in we strolled around the grounds and came across some more of the wildlife - more pademelons and a currawong (a native bird with mainly black feathers with white in the tail feathers) with a mis-sharpen beak.

After our stroll around our cabin grounds drove down to the Peppers Cradle Mountain Resort and a short wilderness walk called The Enchanted Walk. It was a quiet walk along a stream side path, through native bush and shrub. There was a bridge that was blocked off due to, so called, structural damage. Dale ignored the signs and crossed anyway followed closely by me. It only took about 1/2 hour to walk and ended up at a small pond where resort stayers could fish for trout.

The resort had a pub/restaurant where we decided to stop for dinner before heading back to the cabin. The food was good pub food at a good price. On the way out we met a wombat wandering across a grassed area. On the way back to the cabin we bumped into a number of cars parked on the side of the road - there was another wombat wandering around in a clearing.

Upon getting back to the cabin we made a cuppa and sat on the stairs outside and watched the wildlife hop around. One of the pademelons had a small joey (baby) in it's pouch. There were probably other mothers around too.

Love this place - will stay longer than one night next time.

Day 2 Cradle Mountain Walk and on to Strahan

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 8, 2013

It was a beautiful day, we said good-bye to the pademelons that were hanging around our cabin, wishing we were staying another couple of nights.

We went down the road to the Cradle Mountain Visitors Centre and purchased tickets to gain access to the Cradle Mountain National Park, waited for the shuttle bus a started out on our adventure.

We were heading to Dove Lake, a walk my boss had said was worth going on. We had got up early to take advantage of the still weather, there was not the breathe of wind, great for water shots.

We filled in the hiking book that was compulsory before setting of on any walk in the area, you have to fill out the time you leave, the walk you're going on and how many of you - great idea.

We were ready to set off, we took the bus drivers advise we're went anti-clockwise, whereas most people were going clockwise - apparently there were less steps in the direction we were heading.

The walk wasn't too bad at any point, there were a number of steep steps but I didn't think it was too difficult so long as you took your time. The walk followed the lake around, past a boat shed - plenty of photo opportunities here - up a number of stairs to a high vantage point and then down to just above the water line again where it continued for the rest of the way. At different locations you can get access to some beach areas or climb up to rocky outlooks - not too high but great views over the lake. It is a pleasant walk through native bush and scrub and along the way you see different wildlife - pademelons, wombats, platypus and even tiger snakes (don't go near these, they are extremely verminous).

Loved it, took us about 3 1/2 hours and we didn't even notice. It's was shame to get back on the bus and go. Even worse when we got in the car to leave the area but we were due to be in Strahan that night.

We spent the next couple of hours winding our way through some amazing country roads and, at times, some not so amazing areas - always the same good with bad but the bad was only the last 1/2 descent into Strahan. About half way along we stopped a a lakeside resort in Tallah. It was interesting looking around the pub area as it had many photos of the area - mining, people and wilderness - and there were plenty of other curios hanging of the walls and ceiling and on the floor.

We arrived at the Strahen Holiday Park, our accommodation for the next 4 nights. Not too shady but I had made sure I had booked a deluxe cabin as I know what some of the standard cabins can be like. A fully equipped kitchen, living/dining area, two bedrooms and an ensuite, what else does a person need?

After paying for the cabin and off-loading our luggage we headed out to book a table at the Risby's for the night - a highly recommended restaurant with seafood and other meals - and to pick up our tickets, from the Gordon River Cruise Centre, for our West Coast Wilderness Railway trip the next day. At the same time we also booked our tickets for the Gordon River Cruise on Christmas Day - recommended by the reception at our accommodation.

The small tour of the town also showed us just how small Strahan is, one petrol station, no bank, one camp/holiday park, a number of restaurants, two pubs, one supermarket and a number of other accommodation options. Everything is within walking distance.

Dinner at Risby's was everything we had heard it would be - yummy. Dale enjoyed his seafood tasting plate and I my Caesar salad.

Day 3 The West Coast Wilderness Railway

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 8, 2013

I had booked this trip before we had even arrived in Tasmania as I had heard only good reviews about it. I had only booked standard tourist seats but when we arrived a Queenstown Railway Station, after getting a bus from Strahan - a 3/4 trip with a interesting video about the railway history and a brief commentary by the driver - we decided to upgrade to the premier carriage and take advantage of some free drinks and additional free food along our trip. The tourist seat ticket holders only got a free lunch and drink at the nominated lunch stop.

Along the length of the trip we got free Tasmanian wines and beers, fruit juices and water. For food were started of with locally made chicken and clam pies, then it was lunch of at filled roll with ham salad and fruit and a juice and then it was a cheese platter to finish. There was something else between the pies and lunch but I can't remember what it was.

All this food was eaten as we chugged slowly through pristine wilderness, stopping at different stations along the way to get a look around and view different aspects of the way of life in the area and how the railway works.

The first stop was Lynchford where everyone could get of the train and have a go at panning for gold with the help from a guide. We didn't do this but they had a small display outlining gold digging in the area so we looked at this and walked around a bit. We went to the bridge that crossed the Queen River. The river runs a horrible brown colour here - apparently it is from the mining and it is a lot cleaner than it used to be, back in the day the water used to have the consistency of cement and you could throw a stone in the water and it would take a while to sink, they are slowly cleaning it up and it's a lot cleaner now.

The track is what is called ABT System - using a rack and pinion to negotiate the steep sections of track. They needed this as they had no way to haul the loads from the mine to the harbour and normal trains at the time were unable to deal with it - I'm not sure how it all works but the next sections of track utilised this method of travel along the track. It took a few minutes for the train to hook up the the system and then we were of again.

Next stop is Rinadeena Saddle where we sat down and had out lunch in the station cafe. After lunch we also wandered across a overhead pedestrian bridge for a look around. It is also here where we picked up a second Diesel engine - this engine was not to help the steam engine but the steam engine was to help it the Diesel engine manoeuvre over the steep ascent and descent.

The next stretch of track has some amassing scenery over the King River Gorge. It is here where the train follows the King River and the train stops one the bridges that overhang the gorge for people to take photos. Apparently back in the day the train used to stop here and let people of to go and have picnics down by the water. - it was a long way down and very steep, it would have been a fair hike for them.

Next stop was Dubbil Barril where we could get of the train again. At this stop they detached the steam engine. It was here that they demonstrated the used the the turn table that is used to turn engines around and change the direction of the train. Apparently it is in this area some farmer thought he could set up a sheep farm - it didn't last long as the area is not suitable.

We then continued on with the Diesel engine only as it steep sections were over with. The last station we stopped at was called Lower Landing but it was only a brief stop so nobody got off. The last section of the track following Lower Landing followed the King River and the harbour to Regatta Point, Strahan which was the end of the track.

Wow, what a great day, great trip a real hoot.

We walked back to town and then to our accommodation via a waterside pathway the whole length of the way. Most of the people got a bus back - the walk didn't take too long, about 1/2 hour most depending on where you stopped to have a look.

Day 4 Christmas Day Gordon River Cruise

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 8, 2013

On the day we arrived in Strahan the receptionist at the Strahan Holiday Park, where we were staying, recommended that, if we had nothing organised for Christmas Day, the Gordon River Cruises had a cruise operating that would be good to go on and that it was advisable to book the tickets as soon as possible so we decided it sounded like it was a great idea.

We walked from our accommodation, around the waterfront, to the wharf where the Gordon River cruise boat was docked and waited with all the other passengers to board the boat - it appeared to be booked out so lucky we did book out tickets, there were a couple of people who were disappointed about not getting the seats they wanted.

After every was boarded the cruise started by heading, at top speed, out the the heads of Macquarie Harbour, popularly called Hells gates by the Early convicts that were bought through here on there way to their new home on Sarah Island, deep in the harbour. The opening to the harbour is a very narrow stretch of water that was very shallow in the old days, a sea wall was constructed, by the convicts, that allowed the water to get deeper. There are two lighthouses, on either side of the heads, to guide boats safely through the waters - in the old days the lighthouses were manned but now the operation is automated.

We then passed through the heads to the open ocean where we got a glimpse of the larger lighthouse at Cape Sorell before heading back again to view the salmon farming arrangements located on the southern side of the harbour.

Then it was on to the Gordon River, located a the to of the Harbour where we slowly cruised along a stretch of the Gordon River to the location of the Heritage Landing Nature Walk where we were allowed of the boat to enjoy a pleasant, cool walk through a stretch of the native forest to view some of the native flora and fauna - look out of the tiger snakes, we saw three of them sunnying themselves on a fallen tree trunk 1/2 way around the track.

Back on the boat again and it's time for lunch - a buffet of all you can eat, something for everyone - salads, hot verges, meats, etc. - very nice, what a feast.

Next it's a stop at Sarah Island to walk around the ruins of the male convicts quarters and the other people that lived on the small island. The were two operations - the guided tour or the do it yourself tour - we opted for the second option but I wish we'd done the guided tour ax you would have got more information. There were placards a different locations and we were given paper maps with information about all the different ruins that we passed. Very interesting and there was a small island adjacent that was said to have been where the woman were kept. This convict settlement was opened before the larger one at Port Arthur. The convicts were mainly used for harvesting the logs of the trees on the forest.

On the last stage of the cruise we were served up dessert on our way back to the wharf at Strahan. Once again it was a buffet, with Christmas puddings, trifle and jelly, as much as you can eat - yummy.

The cruise was well worth it and very informative. The captain was very good and gave us a full running commentary throughout the whole trip. Loved it.

Day 5 Zeehan and The People's Walk

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 8, 2013

Today we set out for Zeehan along the main road B27 - if you go via the GPS it would probably take you via the other route which passes through Queenstown. On the way to Zeehan we stopped of at a small lookout which over looked a small tract of native scrub and the edge of the sand dunes at Ocean Beach. These dunes are supposed to be some of the highest and you can hire snowboards in Strahan to go down the dunes on.

Then it was onto Zeehan where we were going to have a look at the Pioneer Museum. Zeehan is one of many mining towns that exist on the West Coast of Tasmania - whereas the East Coast is scattered with abandoned tin mines the West Coast has many operating mines and these small towns have been here from the start. The Zeehan Pioneer Museum is just the place to find out all about the history of the West Coast area, not just Zeehan, the people, the events that happened and of course the mining operations.

The main Museum houses a exhibition about mining including a large underground mock-up in the cellar so you can get an idea on what it's like, there are rooms with articles about the people who lived there and important milestones that happened here. Outside you can wander around old pieces of machinery, steam engines which were important for transportation in the area, many sheds and smaller buildings holding old electrical generators, farm machinery and there is also a forgery.

The museum also includes some of abandoned buildings of the town. One of the buildings is an exhibition about the Masonic Lodge with some of the lodges items in it and an interesting commentary that explains the clubs workings and what it is all about. Another building has a mock-up of a police station and court room and the last building is the Gaity Theatre which has been restored to is former grandeur - they also have a documentary running in here, not sure what it's about as we got there at the end of it.

The museum is very interesting and gives the visitor a great insight into the history of the area.

After visiting the museum we decided to go out to Trial Harbour for a look as we asked the girl behind the reception desk at the museum what the road was like and she said most of it was sealed and about a 1/3 of it wasn't. Well that wasn't exactly true, about 1/2 of it was sealed and the other 1/2 was a very narrow unsealed section of road that wound it's way through the countryside, down to the sea and a small coastal township. We thought the bay might be sheltered as the wind was blowing a bit, but it wasn't, so it meant Dale couldn't going fishing. The bay looked like it would have been a pleasant place to spend the day on a nice day. We stayed for some lunch and made our way back to Strahan.

On the way back to Strahan, just out of Zeehan, on the way we first came we found a small old pioneer graveyard. Unfortunately a fire had been through the area and a lot of the headstones appeared to have been damaged during it - they were all broken and charred.

Upon arriving back in Strahan we decided to go a see what a small park called The People's Walk was all about. We drove around the waterfront to the park, opposite Risby's, got our walking shoes on and ventured down the path. Sign posts at the beginning indicated that Hogarth Falls were also down the track and that the path was not difficult to walk and that the round trip would take 3/4 hour depending, of course, how often you stopped to look at things. The track took us through a beautiful piece of forest, following a small brook, with placards at different trees and plants saying what they were. Near the end the track rises gently to a small viewing area at the same height of the falls. There are a few stairs to the base of the falls to allow you to get photos or cool your feet of, if you wish. The track ends at the falls and it's the same track back.

For dinner we walked from The Stahan Holiday Park to the restaurant that is part of the Strahan Hotel - it does have it's own name but I can't remember it - the food was great and a reasonable price.

Day 6 Strahan to Stanley

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 5, 2013

We woke, packed our bags, packed the car and headed to Stanley, via Zeehan, Rosebury and the Hellyer Gorge.

Like Zeehan and Queenstwon, Rosebury is a small mining town with working mines in the area and hence most of the residents are mine workers and their families. As with the other towns there is a lot of history surrounding the place and houses have been here many years - some since the original settlers in the area.

About 3/4 hour later a windy stretch of road winds it's way from high ground, down through a pleasant tract of rainforest, to the Hellyer Gorge and a bridge across the Hellyer River and up again on the other side. There is a car park at the bridge and a bit of a walking track if you need to stretch your legs. There is an area set aside for campers and RV's to set up for the night if they wish.

At Somerset, on the coast, we head west along the coast to Stanley via a quick photo stop at a lookout at Table Cape.

Once at Stanley, Dale headed for his bed as he wasn't feeling well and I headed of on a short tourist walk around Stanley. We were staying at an apartment called the Pen, one of two called the Pol n Pen, run by the Stanley Hotel. The apartment was self contained with bathroom/laundry, two bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen and living/dining area.

I started at the old settlers graveyard, from there I went to the grassed shore area where the little penguin burrows are - all you can see are the holes to the burrows where the chicks are hiding, the adults are out at sea during the day and only come back at dusk to feed the chicks. Then it was past the old churches, located on a side street, to the Main Street of Stanley with the old shop fronts and hotel all fully restored. After that the walk continues along the top terrace of the town, with all the old homes all nicely restored, past the home that was the birthplace of the first Tasmanian Prime Minister, to the port to look at the Stanley fishing fleet. The walk then runs back thru the centre of town, past the old school back to our apartment. It took about 2 hours with plenty of photo opportunities. It was a good way to finish the day.

Day 7 Seaquarium and Highfields, Stanley

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 5, 2013

Dale wasn't the best this day, after his belt of gastro the day before, so we decided to stay in Stanley and not venture too far.

First of all we went down to the Seaqurium, which is situated down at the Stanley port area. This isn't your typical aquarium where you see tropical fish and the like. These tanks hold fish that the local Tasmanians would find in the sea - leatherbacks (fish with sharp teeth), octopus, lobsters, seahorses, sharks, salmon and other interesting things. It's well worth the visit and at $12 per adult, not too badly priced. We spent about 1 1/2 hours there looking around.

Then we headed to Highfields Historic Homestead, situated on top of the hill over looking Stanley. This large homestead and it's surrounding barns and buildings, was built by convicts, for an early settler in the area. Originally it was a sheep/livestock farm which failed due to the grazing being unsuitable in the area. The homestead fell into ruin until the Tasmania Heritage Group and Government joined forces and rejuvenated it and bought it back to something close to it's former glory.

The ground floor has the salon, dining, kitchen, study, nursery and the top storey has the three bedrooms. These have been refurbished to what it may have looked like back in the homes heyday. The cellar and crockery rooms have been left as they were found as it shows how the building was constructed.

The chapel, which is a separate building and also has a small school room above, and the barn are sometimes used for weddings or other events. The chapel was getting done up for a wedding the day we were there with flower arrangements placed in several locations - lively place to have a wedding.

In the grounds there is a small memorial garden the owners planted in memorial of their 2-3 year old daughter who was killed when she was getting pulled along in a cart by their pet dog, when the dog saw another dog and took of after it with her on the back. Unfortunately she hit her head on a gate post and she died.

Further down the road are the ruins of the convicts quarters and further down there is a great roadside view of The Nut.

Day 8 Arthur's River Mouth & a look around, Stanley

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 5, 2013

In the morning we headed of to the mouth of Arthur River - it was overcast and blowing a gale so we were wondering if that was such a great idea or not, but it wasn't raining so we kept going. We headed out through Smithton to the blustery west coast where the mouth of the Arthur River is located.

Dale was hoping to go fishing but, unfortunately, the wind was blowing way too strongly for casting fishing lines even though a couple of locals were giving it a go - it didn't look like they were getting anything.

I could imagine that on a nicer day it would be quite a beautiful, scenic place to be. On the day we were there the weather was wild, the sea was wild and the skies were grey - it was great scenery and beautiful in a different way.

As the weather was not the best we didn't stay long but returned to Stanley for a drive around to see some other things we hadn't seen yet. Dale wanted to check out the east and west inlets - sea water inlets that are each side of the road leading to Stanley. We then found a lookout just down the road from the Highfields Historic Homestead - nice views of Stanley and The Nut.

We had lunch at the Port Cafe and Dale tried his hand at fishing at the port but it was too windy so he gave up.

For dinner we went to try our luck at a couple of restaurants but were out of luck - it was Saturday night and things were really busy, we were told that we should have booked in advance. We ended up at the take away/cafe on the corner of the road that head down to the port and had fish n chips - great food at a great price.

After dinner, at about 9:30pm, we headed down to the shore area to wait for the little penguins to come to land to feed their chicks. We got a great kick at watching two fluffy chicks that would rush out of their burrow every time an adult penguin would waddle past to get fed - they either got a peck for their effort or, if they were lucky, they might get a small snack.

Day 9 The Stanley Nut, Stanley

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 5, 2013

This was the day that we set out to conquer The Nut, a large volcanic rock formation that is said to plug a hole in an extinct volcano. It dominates the coastline behind Stanley.

We stand at the base of The Nut looking up at the, somewhat, daunting task ahead of us - nothing could really prepare you for the steepness of the 450m length of track that leads to the summit. At some locations it feels like it would be easier if you walked on your tip-toes. Lucky it is a zig-zag track as it gives you a chance to catch your breathe at the locations where the path changes direction. It's a good calf workout.

For those who are not up to being that active and don't want the workout, there is a chairlift which you have to pay for, not sure of the cost, but the walk is free.

At the top of the ascent there is a track that takes you around the edge of the top, past lookouts, past shearwater nesting burrows - you don't see any of the birds because they are out at sea during the day and only come back to land at dusk-night, but you see all the holes of their burrows where the chicks are hidden - and through native flora. It takes about 3/4 - 1 hour to walk and is very scenic.

Going down was so much easier, thank goodness.

After lunch Dale went fishing of the wharf at the port and managed to bring home some sea mallet for dinner - yummy.

After dinner, at about 9.30pm, we headed down to the shore area to wait for the little penguins come to land to feed their chicks. We got a great kick at watching two fluffy chicks that would rush out of their burrow every time an adult penguin would waddle past to get fed - they either got a peck for their effort or, if they were lucky, they might get a small snack.

Day 10 Kanunnah Bridge, the edge of the Turkine, Stanley

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 4, 2013

We headed inland on this day and drove out through Irishtown and Edith to Kanunnah Bridge which is just beyond the edge of the Turkine Wilderness - beautiful, leafy, rainforest country.

It's was only about 1 hours drive each way, except for on the way back when we came across a herd of 50-100 cows crossing the road heading for the milk shed, we had to wait for about 1/2 hour for them to finish crossing - gotta love the countryside.

Kanunnah Bridge is not a town or anything like that, it is just a bridge that crosses the Arthur River. If you carry on across the bridge you hit a unsealed circuit road that takes you on a scenic tourist drive around the Turkine rainforest area.

We didn't feel like being that adventurous so we just got out of the car at the bridge and walked down to the river for a wander and a look - saw a couple of trout in the water - should have bought the fishing rod. We also went a short way up the tourist road to a lookout which had a great view over the trees.

After our 3-4 hour trip we headed back for a relax before dinner - we had booked at the Stanley Hotel again as it was the only place that had something going on for New Years Eve. We headed there at 7.30pm and got a seat near the window - love to have a view - we had a lovely dinner - started with entree, had yummy mains and even had dessert. All the food was good. Had a bit of a laugh with the locals and other visitors before heading home.

Happy New Year

Day 11 Stanley to Launceston

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 4, 2013

We got up early and I cooked up the food that remained for breakfast more than enough to keep us going for 3 1/2 hours.

We didn't stop anywhere along the way as the wind was blowing a gale. The road took us back along the coast, through Wynyard, Somerset, Burnie, Sulphur Creek, Penguin, Ulverstone to Devonport and then inland on The Bass Highway to Launceston.

The beaches on this coast are bit more wild then the east coast, with large rocky outcrops at each end of any beach. It was a very scenic road to travel as it followed the shore line.

We stayed at the Penny Royal Hotel in Launceston. When we got there the room wasn't ready so we went for a walk into Launceston to get something for lunch - as it was New Years Day there was much open but we found a bakery which was doing a roaring trade.

We then went for a walk around the Cataract Gorge. We had been there 2 years earlier but hadn't done the circuit track. We tackled the difficult side first - it was a steep track from the bottom of the gorge to the top and back down again when you reach the green, with a couple of lookouts along the paths. On the return trip we took to easy path which followed the bottom of the gorge all the way along the length. Very scenic and not too difficult. Enjoyed the walk, don't mind getting a bit of a sweat up and it was during the first half of the walk, cooled down again on the way back.

The room/apartment was newly renovated with a combined bedroom/living area, a partially equipped kitchenette and ensuite.

We went to Murphys Irish Bar for dinner that night and we were glad we did - the food was nice and the atmosphere was great. It was only a short walk around the corner and across a couple of streets.

After dinner we walked around the waterfront back to our hotel - it's great to visit places where it's easy to get around on foot.

Day 12 Launceston Automobile Museum & lunch in City Park

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by auskiwi on January 4, 2013

This was the last day of our brief trip to Tasmania. We stayed the night in Launceston so we can be handy to the airport, hence we woke up reasonably early to pack our cases and put them in the boot of the car. At 9.00 we headed of to the Automobile Museum, located opposite City Park in Launceston.

The entry fee was $12(AU) per adult.

When you first enter there is a small floor area where they have special displays - when we went they had a show that had all the iconic Australian motor vehicles - Ford and Holden vehicles.

The museum has a great array of vintage and prestige car on show from all countries - Mustang, Chevy, Jaguar, Fiat, Ferrari, etc just to name a few.

There is also a mezzanine level that has a great display of various motorcycles, once again from all over the world, Harley, Indian, Honda, Triumph, etc. These were my favourites.

There is also a gift shop once you exit where they sell all sorts of vehicle memorabilia - car and motorbike scale models, key rings, licence plates, etc.

We spent a great 1-1 1/2 hours roaming around the museum, pointing out the cars and bikes we always wanted.

After we left the museum we had about 1 hour before we had to leave for the airport so we went across to the City Park Cafe. We had a yummy toasted Turkish bread sandwich each and a large cuppa coffee. The park also has a caged area which houses a troop of monkeys, there is also a large green house, a duck pond and a small train runs around the park paths giving children rides.

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