The Aussie Overlanders SUMMARY Series is a wip around of the stats, tips, hits and misses of our travels. As we overland from Sydney to London, via Africa, we will build up these ‘guides’. We hope that by sharing our experience we might help others to get more out of destinations or simply inspire you to get out there.
DRIVING AROUND TASMANIA
Jumping on the ferry to Tasmania from mainland Australia feels so exciting. For us it felt like we were going overseas. Because, well, we were.
We circumnavigated Tasmania and experienced landscapes neither of us had ever seen before. In the West there was fairytale like greenscapes and in the East an explosion of prettiness as white sand smashed it up with aqua water and fiery red rocks. This was topped off with local produce and loads of free camps.
Route: DEVONPORT – LAUNCESTON – TAMAR VALLEY – NARAWNTAPU NP – WALLS OF JERUSALEM NATIONAL PARK – LAKE PARANGANA – DEVILS GULLET – DOVE LAKE and CRADLE MOUNTAIN – WYNYARD – STANLEY – ARTHUR RIVER ‘END OF THE WORLD’ – WESTERN EXPLORER – CORINNA – LAKE ST CLAIR – MT FIELD NATIONAL PARK – LAKE PEDDER – PORT AURTHUR – HOBART – KINGSTON – FREYCINET PENINSULA – BAY OF FIRES – MT WILLIAM NATIONAL PARK – HOBART again (for pre-emptive vehicle maintenance) – DEVONPORT
*Looking forward to getting the map route from our Hema. Just waiting on our compatible PC to arrive!
Days: 3 weeks (22 days from Mid-March to Mid-April)
Average price of Diesel: $1.48
Approx. Total Spend On Diesel: $647.81
Western Explorer Route
Spectacular off-road drive down the remote West of Tasmania. Quiet as can be. We drove half of this route at sunset (which we highly recommend) and the colours of the mountainside were glowing in soft hues of purples, greens and greys. An absolute joy and highlight.
Bay of Fires
Twenty vagrant squatters apparently live along this conservation area. We can understand why they don’t want to leave with beaches this beautiful and ocean front camping.
Buying From Local Farmers
Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm. Pyengana Cheese. Ashgrove Cheese. Yum. Yum. Triple Brie yum.
Hallam’s Waterfront Restaurant
Tasmania’s award winning seafood restaurant was a treat for Kirsty’s birthday. Delicious eats however dull, un-inspired service.
Mt.Field National Park
MASSIVE ancient trees. Pademelon heaven on a grassy campsite.
Hiking In the Walls Of Jerusalem National Park
The only way to access the park is by foot. In fact the National Park sign didn’t pop up until we had hiked 20minutes from the carpark along a rough track. We hiked up and back in a day. Terrible weather but it was one of the most beautiful days we have shared together. Fairy Tale landscapes. Fresh air. When ‘up the top’ we hiked through an ancient Pencil Pine forest. Trees that look something like a cross between a Pine tree and a Bonsai. All towered over by the dark, ginormous Walls Of Jerusalem.
Crossing paths with a lively couple in the Bay Of Fires. Clay and Barb are in their late 70s. They showered us with apples from their orchard. Generously gave Gareth home-made fishing sinkers and lures. And we had plenty of laughs. Loved them. AND Crossing paths with Nathan + Jodie C. from our awesome Facebook tribe. Incredibly inspiring. Making their way around Tas with 3 scally wags.
>> Touristy prices. When we are overseas our back is usually ‘up’ and wary of being ripped off. However in your own country we are naturally less guarded. As a result we got stung for $8.50 for a beer. We certainly wouldn’t think this is local price. And if it is is all seems a bit rich. We felt ripped off at the Derwent River Pub. Miss it.
>> Sea queasy on the Spirit of Tasmania saw Kirsty huddled in a ball for most of 9 hours.
>> Going to bed at 6pm because it was faaa-reeez-ing to sit outside. However we knew this would be the trade off for going at a quieter time of year.
>> Missing a trip – by just a week – with Shane W. and his crew up the West Coast. We would have loved to join you guys.
Here’s a few spots we would recommend to friends. Campground lovin’ is a personal thing. To give you an idea our preferred camps are usually in a naturally beautiful spots, quiet (if not deserted), free, and we’re not concerned with amenities as we are entirely self-sufficient. We try to stay in Caravan Parks as little as possible.
>> Donaldson River on the Western Explorer route. Just outside of Corinna. Free. Dead quiet. Wild camp in clearing by the river.
>> Cosy Corner South, Bay Of Fires. Free. Complete beach front. The ocean was so loud ‘It feels like we are on a boat!’
>> Lake Parangana. Free. River front oasis. Once in the campsite drive as far to the ‘right’ as you can. Then drive even further through small tracks. Shower in river. Roaring fires possible. Love.
>> Wynyard Caravan Park. We needed washing done and so coughed up $30 a night to stay here. Beach front. River side. Close to pub for a break from cooking. A non-windy, calm oasis in North Western Tas.
>> Port Aurthur Holiday Park. This unfortunately seemed like the only closeby option as we were doing a night time tour of Historic Port Aurthur. Aggressive possums with management seemingly not taking any steps to request people not to feed them. Plus it had timed showers – which seemed a bit rich when paying high rates for unpowered sites.
WORTH A MENTION
>> The Ferry. We reached Tasmania by shipping the vehicle on a 9 hour ferry. Our first crossing was just before Easter and we booked the day before. $429 including vehicle shipping and a private cabin with shower. However when we attempted to return it looked like we would be slammed with a 2 week wait! Luckily our wait-list ticket came through for our desired date. The return trip cost $657 and so we opted for the ocean recliners rather than the cabin. Big mistake. An awful sleepless night in amongst grubby snoring humans. G got tired. K got a throat infection.
>> Wineglass Bay is a key attraction of Tasmania. Rather than just see the bay from above we hiked down to the actual bay itself. Far quieter. White sand, red rocks. blue sky, turquoise water… colours smashing into each other. Loved it.
>> A $60 National Park fee covered entrance to all parks. We purchased this on the ferry.
>> Justin Cooper Automotive workshop. A must if you have 4WD maintenance to be done. Paul the mechanic was a Troopy master. AND he said our Troop was in top notch, “I’d say it’s the best I’ve ever driven, but bloody hell it’s slow!”
>> Get to the West if it’s at all possible. We loved it.
SEE FOR YOURSELF