25th ANNIVERSARY & LAST DAYS IN TASMANIA
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Journey: Ulverstone, Elizabeth Town, Westbury, Carrick, Greens Beach
Weather: Sunny, 25 degrees
We met 25 years ago today at "Windows of the World" on top of the World Trade Centre New York City at a Hilton Hotel function. We were both attending a 5 week Hilton training program in the city and were staying at the Vista NY, then managed by Hilton, later by Marriott. It was also St Patricks Day!!!! Sheila was a resident of Washington DC and Kath was from Adelaide!
Of course the World Trade Centre is just a hole in the ground now, but we did visit WTC, for old times sake a week before September 11 2001; strange how things turn out!
So 25 years later we wake up in the tiny Tasmanian town of Ulverstone and celebrate with a fabulous brunch at “Deli Central” (recommended by Lonely Planet); this restaurant was so cool and it was a perfect spot for this day!
We even bought some special goodies for dinner under the stars tonight. And the proprietor was so friendly and informative that we lingered longer to hear her story.
Next a visit to St Vinnies to get some books to read; they were reduced by 50% to 50 cents each so we were happier still with that.
We fell in love with Ulverstone- beautiful beaches and parks, wonderful, well kept historic architecture, interesting antique shops and of course some excellent eating places. And let's not forget friendly people! We will be back.
But for now we are heading south to Carrick to check out the Motor home Rally with the intention of spending a few hours checking out vehicles, finding friends and perhaps learning a thing or two.
On the way, we called in at Elizabeth Town to the Ashgrove Dairy and sampled and bought tasty Cheddars and indulged in their creamy ice-cream; well it is a special day! It was a really nice place to spend time and money!
After a long drive to Carrick, we found that we had to pay to get in to the rally, even though we are members of the organisation and we decided that this was a bit off and we would leave. Before we did get going, we met a lovely couple Phyllis and Costas and we talked for a couple of hours, outside the rally and covered topics from travel, family, freedom, death and so on. Woops, we had better get going- they to catch the ferry tomorrow and us to drive on to Greens Beach before dark. This is one of the joys of the road: an unexpected meeting with kindred spirits and an immediate connection! Lovely!
We drove the 80kms on the West Tamar Highway without stops to Greens Beach and arrived in time to have our anniversary dinner under the stars! The Caravan Park was just behind the sand dunes of a wide gorgeous beach, beside the best kept 9 hole golf course you could dream of and bordering Narawntapu National Park. The park was quiet and as we did not require power we found a great spot to park and stay. We negotiated a 3 night stay for $40 and that was a bargain for paradise!
THURSDAY MARCH 18, 2010
Weather: started grey and cloudy but some blue sky in the afternoon
A long walk on Greens Beach got us going and we marvelled at the distance that the outgoing tide travelled.
We have learnt to grab the day because tomorrow might be wet etc. so Sheila grabbed her golf clubs, paid $20 green fees and played 18 holes before the drizzle developed late afternoon. Her description of the course bordered on ecstatic: a little gem, superb plush green fairways, and wonderfully challenging greens. She met some local golfers who were happy to listen to her gushing praise. Kath watched from the van and did some Travelpod stuff.
As yet we have not come across a Holiday Park with a golf course alongside!
The rain came on steady and heavy that night and we had to close up the van
FRIDAY MARCH 19 2010
We had to admit some disappointment that it was still raining and very windy this morning and thought maybe we would not be able to do the “Greens Beach West Head Coast Track”. Well our luck changed and the afternoon was sunny and suitable so we put on the walking shoes and hiked the sandy, easy going track through she-oak and paperbark forests around the headland.
Views across to the national park were amazing and we did the 10km circuit in just over 2 hours. Closer to Greens Beach you pass below holiday shacks/houses that enjoy spectacular outlooks across Bass Strait.
Greens Beach is a popular holiday destination for Tasmanians and you can understand why. Beaches, general store, Holiday Park and peace and quiet. The population is around 200 but perhaps that includes residents of holiday houses because we really didn’t see many people around.
Another wonderful Tasmanian beach town!.
SATURDAY 20 2010
Journey: Greens Beach, Beauty Point, Exeter, Beaconsfield, Devonport
Mileage: 13358 kms @ Greens Beach
Weather: after a wet night the day dawned overcast and 15 degrees
First stop was “Seahorse World” at Beauty Point where we toured the research centre and learned something about these unusual creatures. We found the pot bellied specimens fascinating as they float/swim around the tanks and wrap their tails around each other for balance. Their little pot bellies are quite funny and look human.
Of course a short stop at Beaconsfield was essential and for those reading this who may not know, this town was the centre of a mining tragedy and rescue in 2006. One miner died in a rock fall on Anzac Day and 2 others were trapped 1km underground for nearly 2 weeks as Australia and the world watched the drama unfold on TV. The gold mine has reopened and the town is a tourist destination with an impressive heritage museum exploring the history of what was once the biggest gold mine in Australia.
We admitted feeling a bit “pervish” looking around and taking pictures but no one seems to mind.
A lunch stop at Exeter to pick up lunch items from the famous bakery-yum- and then on to Devonport, and Coles Beach for our free overnight stop before boarding the ferry on Sunday.
Three and a half months in Tasmania has been quite a special experience; there were some dark moments down south but in the main travel here has been easy, cheap and scenic. Free camping has been a special surprise and the exceptional beauty of the coast as well as the forests is impressive. We could have spent more time on the island, but the March 21 ferry was the last we could catch until May and we thought that a bit too much longer and probably cooler!
So now it is back to the mainland.