February 5 Horbart – Cockle Creek
We woke to the sounds of market stalls being set up. The showgrounds holds a weekly swap meet and farmers market. We packed up early enough to enjoy a shower and a wander before we headed in to Hobart Baptist Church for morning worship.
We were greeted warmly and felt very welcome. Worshipping in these old buildings is really cool!
After Church we drove the windy road up Mt Wellington. It was steep in parts but Blu kept on chugging. The view was breathtaking and the wind chill was literally so! Tasmania is like a constantly changing picture. Every moment there is some new and beautiful to see.
After a few quick snaps (we were still in our lovely flowy summer Church clothes) we headed towards our evening destination hoping to find a park to pause in for lunch. We stopped in Kingborough by a creek. Before lunch could be made, we changed the kids as there was no keeping them out of the water or the blackberry bushes. These kids are born nature explorers!!
We continued on to Cockle Creek (the southern most campsite in Australia) which was a long 2hr drive. We were greeted by clear waters and lovely white, soft sand. The nature explorers were off again this time up a huge tree. Its great to be a kid!
February 6 Cockle Creek – Lake Rosebury
We packed up early as the planned drive was set to be huge. Now I know you are all thinking “come on Michelle its Tasmania how can the drive be huge?” Well, as we wanted to drive up the west side to somewhere close to Cradle Mountain, we had to go back into Hobart and then wind up and down through the hills and mountains to Queenstown, an old mining town nestled in a rugged valley that feels more like something out of the old west than part of Tassie.
We also stopped at Nelson Falls to stretch our legs, stunning!
The roads are very windy and steep in parts so the drive took us 9hrs with a few stops, but the stunning, constantly changing views made the time fly by.
We set camp on a ledge overlooking Rosebury Lake which was lovely. Shepherds Pie on pizza dough pastry was a huge success for dinner!
February 7 Lake Rosebury – Cradle Mountain – Penguin
With conquering Cradle Mountain as our objective for the day we dressed for lots of walking and removable warmth and set off in search of adventure. A short drive saw us standing at the foot of the towering mountain. I found myself feeling a bit like Dory in Finding Nemo as she says to Marlin “We going in there?” “Yep” “P.Shermann 42 Wallaby Lane Sydney?” “Yep” … Lets do this thing!
The ascent was pretty instant. Stairs yet again and lots of steep ones at that. The first 1/2 hr was a little dramatic by our little miss with lots of “I’m tired” or “I can’t do this”. The motivational power of a few lollies when we get to that next ridge is truly amazing. The grumbles were soon forgotten as we pushed on.
The views at the top….I’m lost for words. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
As you know heights and I don’t get along so I can honestly say I have never been to scared in my life as I climbed along the cliff face and then down towards the lake! There were parts that were literally shear rock hold on to a chain kind of scary.
We reached the Ballroom Forest and were immersed into a hidden world where you could just imagine little mice and hedgehogs living in the trees like in Brambly Hedge.
After 5 1/2hrs of constant climbing and walking we arrived back at Big Blu. I was so proud of the kids (so were a few other climbers) as apart from the first 30mins there were no complaints just determination and fun as they pushed themselves to explore new heights. I was also super proud of myself as I made it down alive and still smiling.
We drove on to Penguin Caravan Park for the night as a warm shower for our sore muscles was definitely in order!
February 8-9 Penguin – Sisters Beach
After a very windy night at the foreshore park we packed up and headed to the Penguin Mountain Bike Park. We left the boys there and headed to Burnie to restock the fridges.
The kids enjoyed exploring the beach while Adrian and I reloaded food and bikes. They are amassing quite the collection of shells now.
We drove into Burnie to show the kids where Nan and Gran had grown up. We also went past the airport where Adrian had done his solo flights when he was learning to fly.
We arrived at Sisters Beach and set up camp. Clarissa had been eagerly waiting all day to arrive as we were staying at Miss Kelly’s house. She arrived late that night after a work BBQ and greeted us with a tight squeeze. We made plans to catch up more the following day.
The next was a lovely Tassie wet day. Of course it was….I had lots of washing to do. We soldiered on and got it on the line before heading out to Stanley and The Nut. We decided not to climb it as we were still a bit achy from Cradle and it was steadily raining. Instead we looked through some of the shops before enjoying lunch and a hot raspberry chocolate…yum!
The kids were excited to show Andrea their shells as she has quiet a collection too. We enjoyed a chat and catch up and decided to look for shells on the beach after tea. The beach is only across the road so it was a lovely way to end the day and the stay.
The next day was to be our last in this amazing State!