Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
Trip End Oct 31, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Tasmania,
Friday, March 12, 2010


Mileage @ Arthur River 12791

16 degrees at 10.30am sunny and windless at last.

Journey: Arthur River, Smithton, Montagu, Stanley, Boat Harbour Beach

For some reason we had imagined that Montagu Camp ground was going to be it for a few days; our Camps 5 book told us so with a tick by the entry. Montagu camp is situated 20 kms north west of Smithton with 4 kms of corrugated gravel road at the entrance. It was a beautiful afternoon, warm, sunny, blue sky- perfect but the council owned camp ground was a huge disappointment. The "ocean front" was rocky definitely not for swimming but more a fisherman's dream. Once again there were so many “permanent” caravan sites with roughly erected shade cloth fencing delineating boundaries that it looked like caravan city. Well at $400 for 6 months why wouldn’t you set up here and fish and chill out with your mates. But this was not for us, especially as a few of the residents came out of their blocks and gave us the stare.

Let’s get going and so it was back to Stanley to our real beach side camp, battered flathead from the fish shop and walks along the shore, without the wind of our previous sojourn here. It was 25 degrees and we put out the chairs and breathed in the sea air and admired the view.

And guess what?! We got to see the little penguins this time at around 9pm but we felt sad because we had seen a dead adult bird earlier and these 2 baby ones were squealing and crying so loud that it attracted our attention and they came way out of their burrows. Kath decided that their mother was not coming but later was heartened as a few late comers were seen and heard coming ashore. These penguins "Eudyptula minor" are the smallest penguins in the world and breed here every year. The chicks are huddled into their burrows by day while the parent hunts all day and returns to feed them at night.

We are now heading back along the north coast towards Devonport where we catch the ferry to Melbourne on the 21st. While the weather is good, our mission is to find lovely beaches to enjoy the sun and warmth.

And on Friday we found Boat Harbour Beach again; we had visited here some years before and remembered its amazing blue waters and white sands with just a little village of holiday shacks and a café above!

Strangely as we left the van to look around, the women in a little yellow car ahead of us were waving and calling. For heavens sake, this was a friend of Mick and Ulla that we had met at dinner in Brisbane last year; what a hoot! she and her friend were touring around the area on a short visit to Tassie with a group of friends!

We had intended a quick visit but noticed several motor homes parked right at the beach front. We approached a lovely couple in a Trakka conversion van to check on the legality of camping here and the news was good. Yes the locals welcome and encourage you to stay over and in fact a lady comes by each evening with a flyer explaining the facilities and expressing a welcome.

So this was it and we think we got the prime spot just in front of Gerry and Tessa and their dog Bella. Sheila said this is perfect and agreed with the Lonely Planet comment that you could think you were in the Caribbean at this little beach. Sheila was soon swimming in the sea and loving Tasmania even more!

By evening there  were about 12 other lucky campers/vanners in this lovely spot and the restaurant " The Jolly Roger" was doing good business. We felt like we had found paradise and along with our fellow campers we extolled the beauty of this little beach; we were a friendly little community, with full appreciation of our good fortune!

the beach was well patronised by locals and there were children. families, surf lifesavers, dogs, travellers and even a horse came by.

after an early morning walk, some weights and a refreshing swim, it was goodbye to the others and onto nearby Wynyard. This was a place to make memories!!!

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