Stanley to Launceston

Trip Start Jun 11, 2009
Trip End Jun 29, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Tasmania,
Saturday, June 20, 2009

We wake to a clear morning and a warmish 10 degrees, put another log on the fire and had our continental breakfast (supplied as part of our package by Charlotte). Packed and on the road by about 9.15am, with another couple of stops for photos on the drive back in to Stanley. The sun was rising on The Nut, so the lighting was a bit different. Stopped in Stanley to see if we could see through the original Van Diemen's Land Headquarters, now a boutique accommodation called @VDL. We were lucky enough to catch the owner coming back from his walk and he let us through for a sneaky peek. What a great property, right across from the water and with views across the bay, it has been restored into what looks like e very chic place to stay. Pity we hadn’t allowed an extra day in Stanley….maybe next time?? Our destination today is Launceston, about 2.5 hours drive. We detour slightly at Rocky Cape National Park to get another photo of the Nut from the other side (about 20 kms across the water), then head to Burnie where we stop for coffee and a visit to the farmers markets. Not much to see there, some local produce, sheep manure in bags for fertilizer, some live chickens and a bit of craft. Liz bought some jam for our breakfasts. Back in the car and off to Anvers Chocolate Factory in the La Trobe area, where we stop just long enough to sample some choccies, buy some more and have a brief look through into the factory to see how the chocolate is made, then down the road about 20 minutes to the Ashgrove Cheese Factory for sampling of cheeses, purchasing of same, along with a 6 pack of boutique beers, then away again to Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm (about 5 minutes) for the best selection of raspberry based foods, drinks etc we have ever seen. Lunched there as well, tried a raspberry beer, raspberry sausages and the girls had raspberry cocktails (you can even get a raspberry latte if you are inclined). We bought some compulsory chocolate covered raspberries (yes, real raspberries) and they are delicious and then headed to Launceston. Our accommodation is at the Waratah on York, right at the top end of York Street, elevated above Launceston with views across the city. Went for a brief look around the shops before they closed, back to the Waratah for beers, cheese and wine before out again to dinner. We ate at the Clarion Hotel down beside Boags Brewery, one of the only restaurants (apart from pubs) that weren’t booked out for dinner. We ate well, the food was very good and very well priced, great service and polite staff, plus the venue was also historic, which made for more discussion about how difficult life was for the early settlers.
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