Via Swansea, Triabunna, and Richmond

Trip Start Jan 31, 2014
Trip End Feb 27, 2014

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Hobart Airport Tourist Park

Flag of Australia  , Tasmania,
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another sunny, relaxing morning to start our last full day in this lovely state. We do enjoy these short distance drives after all the long distance driving we have done exploring the mainland.

The Pyengana milk tasted very good on our rice crispies cereal. When Mike opened the new bottle this morning, a blob of cream plopped out! Haven't seen that for many years. We read the bottle 'Real Milk - like it should taste. 100% Tasmanian. Nothing added and nothing taken out. 100% Natural pasteurised milk. This milk is not homogenised. It is pure and natural, fresh from the lush pastures of Pyengana. The cream is as it naturally comes and you can enjoy it with the milk or you can easily spoon it off the top if you wish. The real taste will still be there.' When we were growing up, this is just what our mother did and put the cream on top of our fruit salad!

At 9.30am, after a long chat to our Sunshine Coast neighbours, we headed out of Bicheno towards Swansea. This would be our last relaxing drive on these good Tasmanian roads with very little traffic. It was a warm sunny morning but we were still amused when we saw a herd of cattle huddled under the shade of a tree to keep cool!...don't think they would enjoy living in hot Western Australia! We had travelled on this road yesterday on our way to the Freycinet Peninsula, so we were looking at the same sheep, cattle and landscape as yesterday.

After we passed the turn off to Freycinet, we were in unexplored territory! This area is the Freycinet coast, whereas yesterday we were on the Freycinet Peninsular. The vineyards around here are called Freycinet Vineyards - we just don't seem to be able to get away from that strange name! We continued to drive through areas with flocks of sheep in open pastureland and in the distance, a grove of olive trees came into view at the foot of the hills on the horizon. Then for the first time, here by the Wye River, we came across Walnut trees growing behind a sign 'Swansea Walnuts'. What a treat as in Perth we can only buy Californian Walnuts. Mike thought we had enough to take home in the plane with our small Huon pine boards and cheese.....but we found room for a few Swansea walnuts too!

We soon arrived in the lovely little town of Swansea located on the water's edge. We parked and walked up the street towards the Visitors Centre and the beautiful stone Anglican Church. Coming out of the Church and walking back towards town, we met a couple from Wales and stopped for the customary chat. We met them again later in the day at our lunch stop at the fish van in Triabunna. The weather  today was just lovely, sunshine and a gentle breeze. Back in the car, we continued on our way along the coast enjoying the magnificent scenery of the still, turquoise ocean with white beaches and gentle waves. The Ocean spread across on the left side of us as far as the eye could see with the blue of the ocean meeting with the brilliant blue of the sky on the long horizon. On the other side were many attractive homes along the hillside with one in particular, built of stone with a high stone chimney, which we found to be very impressive. As we continued along the Tasman Highway, we came to the designated car park for the famous Convict Built Spiky Bridge. Mike went down the slope to take a photo of the side of the bridge and I began to wonder what was taking him so long and went to investigate. He had found some more Blackberry Brambles and before long we were both down there finding many juicy blackberries and savouring the snack. 

Having had our fill of blackberries, we were back on the road enjoying the scenery as we crossed the numerous rivers, creeks and rivulets. We were soon at Triabunna, the Heart of Fishing and Forestry. We parked at the Harbour and spent a while looking at the boats including the ferry to Maria Island. We were about to drive out when we spotted the Fish Van and when it made us feel quite peckish, we realised it was after 12 noon. A parking spot was waiting for us and we were soon sitting at a bench table in the sunshine waiting for our lunch: We decided to try their tackle box and their prawn and squid box, both had an assortment of different seafoods and were very reasonably priced at eleven dollars, much less than we would have paid for similar meals in Perth. After the delicious lunch, we turned left down the road where the Circa 1858 Hotel is situated on the corner, and continued onto Orford, just seven kilometres further down. This small town has a golf course, public toilets, few houses (one in an impressive Tudor Style), garage, bottle shop, and fishing shop. Beyond the small business area, we drove along the river and through the lovely residential area with their pretty cottages and gardens. From there, the road took us up the hillside to give us a lovely view of the river below before we crossed a little bridge over the Tea Tree Rivulet which we presumed flows down to the river we had been driving alongside. 

A short while later, just before the town of Buckland, on the left side of the road, we saw a magnificent historic stone church so we pulled into the driveway. On the road side of the church is a modern cemetery and the old gravestones from the pioneering days are behind the church building. At the entrance to the church is an impressive wood sculpture depicting John the Baptist baptising Christ. We went inside the church and found it to be so beautiful we couldn't help but sing a hymn and were amazed at the wonderful acoustics! .... even our singing sounded good, to us anyway! Such a peaceful place to be but it was time to move on to Richmond.

After the small town of Buckland, the road wound up a hill with a sign 'Break-Me-Neck Hill 336 metres' and into the forest, with great views of another forest below us. Once we were back down the hill, we were in the Southern Midlands Agriculture area - Tasmania has many helpful informative signs. When we turned off the road towards Richmond, we were greeted by another sign 'Welcome to Coal River Wine Region'. Besides the vineyards we also drove passed an Ingham Chicken Farm and Farm Campagnia with an olive grove, and before us lay a valley full of vegetable farms and fruit orchards. When we arrived at Richmond we were getting a bit weary so we just stopped briefly at a stone church with a tower and then drove to the famous 1825 Richmond Bridge built by convicts during the early years. The car parking area was full so Margaret got out to take a photo while Mike went up the road to turn the car around.

From Richmond the road took us through Sorell and then we were soon driving down the familiar Arthur Highway past the Hobart Airport Runway before turning into the Hobart Airport Tourist Park to book into a cabin again. For the first time we were given a cabin with a small comfy separate lounge with both a sofa and an armchair, two bedrooms, one with a Queen bed and the other with two singles. Another good part about the configuration of this cabin was that the shower/toilet room was next to the bedroom so we didn't have to walk through the kitchen/dining area to get there as at many of the other cabins. 

After a cup of tea, we unpacked the car completely for the first time since leaving this park a month before, and then set about re-packing our suitcases ready for the flight home the next day. For dinner we had the crab and salad rolls we had bought at Triabunna at lunch time and then we had a relaxing evening and good nights sleep in our last cabin for this lovely holiday in Tasmania.

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