Marg and Rob purchased a Horizon Wattle (Mercedes Sprinter) motorhome built by Ballina Campers and are planning to circumnavigate Australia over the next couple of years.
In 2011, we travelled from Brisbane to Perth return accross the Nullarbor both ways, and in 2012 we travelled various places on the Easr Coast of Australia. The highlight of the year was our October November trip to Port Douglas which included the total eclipse of the sun.
Just a couple of days to go, and we will head off from Brisbane on a clockwise journey around the continent. Along the way we will share birthdays with a couple of our grandchildren - one joins the 'Teen set' - how the years have flown.
We plan on frequent updates of our progress on this site.
March 9th 2014
After our very busy day at Port Arthur yesterday, we had a quiet Sunday morning before going to find out what is remarkable about Remarkable Cave. A name like that entices the imagination to create images of stalactites, glow worms and a zillion other things. There are two things remarkable about this cave. Firstly, we were able to navigate there without Tommy's help. Now that came about because he did not know where Remarkable Cave is. So we had to rely on good old fashioned map and signpost navigation. The drive to Remarkable Cave takes you through a couple of sheltered bays that make up the small community of Carnarvon. When Port Arthur was closed (1877) and the Queen ordered that the site be wiped off the map, in typical Aussie fashion the township was renamed ... read more
March 8th 2014
It seems strange that one of the blackest pages of history rates as one of the most visited sites in Australia. There is no attempt to gloss over the past of the convict era or the more recent tragedy other than the perpetrator of needless pain is not mentioned by name anywhere or by anyone on site. The Port Arthur European history took a major step forward when the British decided that they should raise their flag here before the French or even the Dutch. There are many French names on Tasmania from their early explorers, but the Brits wanted the land. How do you colonise such an island that has no roads, resources or settlers? Well you send convicts to provide a population base, and then offer these people as workers to free men to ... read more
March 7th 2014
The day started with a partly clouded sky, but we have come to realise that by late morning, this cloud seems to open up to beautiful blue skies. And that is how it happened again today. We drove from Richmond to Sorell to top up both pantry and fuel before heading down the peninsular. Naturally we chose the longer route to White Beach going to the Tasman Lookout. We were expecting a climb to some great vantage point. No, our morning walk was about 20 meters return from the car park to the cliff edge and back. Still the view is great as the rugged formation of the Tasman Peninsular really shows. This coastline has incredibly high cliff faces down to the ocean. There was still some haze at this point, but we got the taste ... read more
March 5th 2014
I cannot ever remember watching a colourful sunrise while being in the middle of a thunder storm. But that was our experience at Mayfield Bay. The sun rise was over the Freycinet Peninsular directly across Great Oyster Bay from Mayfield Bay. Must say we experienced unusual difficulties with auto focus because of the driving rain between us and the sunrise. However, by fixing the focus on infinity the problem was solved. Mind you, the camera still sounded like a concrete mixer and was tricky to operate. It was not long before we arrived at the little port of Triabunna. Many tourists travel from here by ferry to Maria Island, but for us, we have insufficient time/funds to do everything we see that we like. We were staggered at the number of motorhomes free camping here. Some ... read more
March 4th 2014
The morning broke with clear skies and the only thing making a ripple on the bay was a float plane taking a group of tourists on a scenic flight around the Freycinet Peninsular. As the engine reved up the sound echoed a few seconds later off the surrounding granite hills as if a second engine reved up. It was only an echo, but quite dramatic. I went up to the info centre as soon as it opened to see if there were any cancellations for sites for tonight, but the news was all bad. Plan B kicked in so we left the camp quickly and drove over the peninsular to Tourville Lighthouse. There is a really good walk from the car park out to the rocky east coastline, around the lighthouse and back to the car ... read more
March 3rd 2014
Sunday morning at St Helens was misty and wet, so we decided after looking at the weather maps to head south killing a day until the wet passed over this area before heading into Freycinet National Park. We wandered down the coast and then decided to head up to St Marys via Elephant Pass. Our impression was that the road rose steeply from the coast via a twisty road. The road came up through very pretty forest areas, and eventually came to a quaint little town on a plateau at the top of the pass. The hills were shrouded with mist, the rain we experienced earlier on the way south stayed away but the temps were coooool. The most exciting thing at St Marys was a trotter training on the track next to the free camp, ... read more
March 1st 2014
With a cool but clear morning, we headed east from Derby towards St Helens with a view of camping at one of the free camps on The Bay Of Fires. First stop was at St Columba Falls, tucked into the hills via a twisting sealed road to the car park. Well, car park might be an exaggeration, as there is not really much space for more than 3 cars. Still we tucked ourselves into a space in line with a fence that separates the road from the public toilets. From there it is an easy 600 mtr down hill walk through a beautiful valley of trees. There were fern trees, myrtles, red gum and many others shading the path. The sounds of rushing, tumbling water leave no doubt that there is a substantial waterfall close by, ... read more
February 26th 2014
Todays journey continued north east from Lilydale to the coastal town of Bridport. This is a very attractive and sheltered port supporting maritime industry and fishing. The hilly land drops quickly down into the harbour with trees adorning the area. Adjacent to the boat ramp is the remnants of the pier that disappeared which makes an interesting photo study. The view north from Bridport looks out to Flinders island in the distance, the Strzelecki Ranges dominating the horizon. To the right of Flinders island are two smaller islands. From the beach they all look joined, but that is only an illusion. We moved south east from Bridport to Scottsdale. This is a small but active rural town with a variety of interesting things to see. One local has a rhubarb farm and has recently started a ... read more
February 25th 2014
Today was a day of contrasts. Clear skies of the morning gave way to a hazy day caused by smoke drifting from a coal mine fire in Victoria. Apparently a wind change expected overnight will give us smoke free vistas again tomorrow. Grindelwald is a Swiss styled resort a few kilometres out of Launceston, and has become a tourist attraction as well as somewhere to stay, play Putt Putt or more serious golf, or just dine to the cardiologist's horror. Still, the resort is worth a stop even for curiosity value. We were impressed with the art work around the grounds, and Marg was impressed with the stylish dresses for sale at good prices in the resort shop. While very attractive, maybe not camping style! From Grindelwald we drove into Launceston and to the upper car ... read more
February 24th 2014
I had never heard of Beauty Bay until a few days ago, though the neighbouring town of Beaconsfield will be etched in our minds after the epic survival of two miners trapped by a rock fall, 937 meters underground. We have stayed in the Beauty Point caravan park for three nights. A chance for a rest, bring the blog up to date after the day at Evandale Penny Farthing Races, and the use of the park laundry. Beauty is a very appropriate name for this point on the Tamar River. We see sunrise on one side of the point and sunset on the other, all about 50 meters from our site. There are beautiful flowering gums all around the area, and plenty of cheerful birdsong throughout the day. The river here is of course tidal, so ... read more