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Peter & Joan's Adventures
4th Dec 2017 - 10th Dec 2017 - Adventure before Dementia Tour
Tasmania - Week 8 - NE Coast + NE Corner

Due to wind and showery weather this week we seemed to have spent a lot of time in the van. Because of the wind we stowed the annex on Tuesday, retreated to the van and it has remained stowed all week. However with the sun breaking through the clouds most afternoon’s we did manage to get out and about to explore the NE corner of Tassie. We started the week in Bridport with plans to relocate to Tomahawk on Wednesday but with the continuing dodgy weather we abandoned the Tomahawk plan and decided to spend an extra day in Bridport before moving further east to Gladstone, our revised base for exploring the NE corner and the Mt William National Park. 

Bridport is only a small community but it has developed a series of walking tracks that circumnavigate the township. There are three seperate walks; the beachfront walk, the river walk and the wildflower walk. Combined they total 11 klm and showcase the many facets of this wonderful beachside destination. Joan had been running these tracks each morning as part of her exercise regime and was keen to share. So Monday although overcast we headed out after lunch, climbed the road through town to the golf course and walked the wildflower walk to Granite Point overlooking Adams Beach. It was a pleasant walk but not many wildflowers on show. At Granite Point the wildflower walk morphs into the beach walk so we got to view our first group of orange lichen-covered granite boulders, that East Tasmania especially the Bay of Fires is renowned for. On this walk home we also got to visit Mermaids Pool, still too cold to go swimming, plus Mattingleys and Gofton Beaches. Tuesday afternoon we continued the beach walk south to the port before crossing the road and starting the Brid River walk which winds its way around the back of town crisscrossing the river before delivering us back to the start of the wildflower trailhead from yesterday. Walking back down the hill into town we got to appreciate the beauty of Anderson Bay and Barnbougle Beach. Obvious why this area is a popular summer destination. 

Wednesday was a miserable windy overcast day. The only time we ventured away from the van was to seek out some wi-fi to update apps and do a weekly shopping.

Thursday morning woke to blue skies and sunshine. Didn’t take us long to relocate the 60 klm to Gladstone, a small village with a corner store, pub and a population of about 1,000 residences. The attraction here, other than the free camp behind the community hall, being the gateway to Mt William NP and the NE tip of Tasmania. After lunch we headed to Musselroe Bay a small fishing village at the northern extremity of the Mt William NP. From here we worked our way down Stumpys Bay checking out all the NP camping sites along the way. Most of the roads in this area are gravel but are good dry weather roads and would have no problem towing the van here. It is very isolated with kilometres of uninhabited beaches. The camp sites are right on the beach but very basic with no amenities, water or firewood. Time limits are generous providing for a maximum stay of 28 nights. It is suggested however that only vans less than 6 metres should be considered. We drove back to Gladstone via Forester Kangaroo Drive and Mt William. Thursday evening we joined our fellow campers for happy hour at the Gladstone Hotel.

Friday we packed lunch and headed for Eddystone Point, the southern end of Mt William NP. Once again good dry weather dirt roads. First stop was the Eddystone Point Lighthouse, a striking tower constructed of local granite sitting on a point that juts out into the sea. We spent about an hour exploring this coastline and admiring the colours of the ocean and more of the orange lichen-covered granite boulders predominant along this coastline. We also got the first glimpse of the white sandy beaches of the Bay of Fires. We drove a little further north into the NP stopping at Deep Creek camp grounds for lunch. Another idyllic camping location where it would be possible to drop off the grid. After lunch we left the NP and drove to Ansons Bay. A lot of houses here but not very appealing to us, though did note the sheltered bay would be a great place to go kayaking. That night we ventured back to the Gladstone Hotel for happy hour and what turned out to be a great meal of steak and scallops in a curry sauce.

Saturday we woke to more wind. In fact very strong wind. By lunch time it had blown all the clouds away so we decided to visit the wind farm at Little Musselroe Bay on Cape Portland. This is the most NE tip of Tasmania, or very close to it. No surprises why they built a wind farm here because on this day the wind was relentless to the point it was difficult to open the car doors. It was however, only a 25 minute drive and well worth the effort with spectacular views of Bass Strait, the Tebrakunna Visitor Centre and the 56 Vestas V90-3MW wind turbines, with a total generating capacity of 168 MW, scattered around the neighbouring country side.

Sunday we had planned to move a little further south to Branxholm. As is customary on moving day, clear blue skies, sun shining and no wind. It did not take long to break camp and relocate the 60 klms. By lunch time we had settled into the Branxholm free camp. After lunch we headed off to complete the Evercreech Forest walk, one of 60 Short Walks. We haven’t completed one of these self-imposed walks since Low Head so need to play a little catch up. Another series of dirt roads landed us the Evercreech Forest Reserve. Turned out to be a very easy walk but did deliver something unique; four magnificent trees know as the ‘white knights’ - the tallest white gums in the world. A little late getting back to base so picked up pizza and currently sitting here enjoying beer and pizza for tea. The other goods news being we have the whole campsite to ourselves. 

We have a big week planned ahead so hope yours is just as exciting.

Next: Tasmania - Week 9 - NE Corner + East Coast
Previous: Tasmania - Week 7 - NE Coast

Diary Photos

Adams Beach, Bridport

Boulders, Mermaids Pool, Bridport

Port, Bridport

Musselroe Wind Farm from Mount William

Stumpys Bay

Our camp at Gladstone

Eddystone Lighthouse

Orange Lichen covered granite boulders, Eddystone Point

Sea, Boulders & Land, Eddystone Point

Eddystone Lighthouse

Lighthouse Keepers House, Eddystone Point

Day Use Cottage, Eddystone Point

Fishermen, Cape Portland

Turbine through ceiling of Tebrakunna Visitor Centre

Turbine & Tebrakunna Visitor Centre

Turbine Blade, Musselroe Wind Farm

Legerwood Memorial Carvings

Legerwood Memorial Carvings

Joan and one of the ‘white knights’

Giant white gum, Evercreech Forest Reserve

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