Devonport to Cradle Mountain

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July 20th 2014
Published: July 21st 2014
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We were woken this morning with a PA announcement at 5.05am so that we would be ready to disembark when we arrived in Davenport 40 minutes later! The biggest problem that we had all night was that the cabin was HOT, very, very hot! The crossing was as smooth as silk so there were no problems with nearly being tossed out of our bunks or anything like that, but we were awake a couple of times overnight throwing bed clothes off because it was so hot and we couldn't find a thermostat to turn the temperature down.

We showered and dressed and we were ready to head down to the vehicle decks when they asked for passengers parked on levels three and five. Bernie was sure that the CX-5 was parked on level five so off we went to the Level 5 garage, but no CX-5. I had a feeling we were actually on level six, but I wasn't positive so didn't say anything until we established that we definitely weren't on level 5. There was no access to level 6 until levels three and five were cleared, so we went back up to level seven to wait for the call for drivers parked on level 6.

Finally, after levels three and five were offloaded, it was our turn to drive off the Spirit of Tasmania and roll our wheels onto the Apple Isle, Tasmania. We programmed the satnav to take us to the nearest Caltex petrol station to fill up with premium diesel. With the car all fuelled up we tried to find our way to the Laneway Cafe which was highly rated on Trip Advisor. Actually located in a laneway it wasn't all that easy to find the cafe. When we did locate it, it wasn't open so we decided to find our way to Coles instead to buy some fruit and other food supplies for the next few days.

With the Esky all stocked up we headed back to the Laneway Cafe for breakfast. The cafe was now open - not bad for 7.45am on a Sunday! We both had the Eggs Benedict that were served with a mountain of ham and house-made hollandaise sauce. Yum.

After breakfast we headed along the North Coast through Leith, Ulverstone and Penguin to Burnie. We cruised around Burnie until we found the Burnie Surf Lifesaving Club. After a brief stroll along the sea front we took a photo of Bernie in front of the Burnie Surf Lifesaving Club. Corny, but it was a photo that just had to be taken!

With accommodation for Sunday night booked at Cradle Mountain we drove back along the North Coast on the Bass Highway, rather than the coast road, and then started heading south to Nietta. From Nietta we made our way to Leven Gorge. I had been told that the amount of roadkill in Tasmania is very high, but that still didn't prepare me for (at least) a dozen pademelon corpses on the road into Leven Gorge. It was very distressing seeing so much dead wildlife.

Leven Gorge itself was very impressive. We headed off on the circuit walk that took us up to Cruikshank's Lookout, some 275 metres above the Leven River and then negotiated the 697 steps down the Forest Stairs Track to the Edge Lookout. From both lookouts we had spectacular views of the Leven River cutting its way through the gorge. To complete the circuit we returned along Fern Walk to the car park.

We thought about cutting across to the Sheffield for the murals, but with the weather absolutely perfect decided to head to Cradle Mountain for the afternoon. After checking into our cabin at the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village we drove into the National Park to take some photographs of Dove Lake with Cradle Mountain behind it. From the Dove Lake car park we walked a short way anticlockwise around the lake and then headed clockwise around the lake to Glacier Rock snapping photos of Cradle Mountain with its reflection in Dove Lake to our heart's content. There are going to be too many shots to choose from!

With our mirror image shots in the bag we drove back to our cabin to put our feet up for a short while before dinner. Unfortunately the in-house restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday nights so we had to drive along to the Cradle Mountain Lodge for dinner. Within metres of leaving the driveway of the the Wilderness Village we saw a pademelon and a wombat in the headlights. It was nice to finally see some live wildlife instead of just road kill.

With upmarket and budget options to choose from at the Lodge, we opted to eat in the tavern tonight and ordered the fish and chips. They had gl├╝hwein on offer so I had a glass of that while Bernie opted for a beer.

15,115 steps (10.29 km)

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21st July 2014

Brings back memories
Weren't you lucky with the weather at Cradle Mountain. It could have been a blizzard at this time of year. Once I saw a timber mill on fire in the snow on the way to Cradle Mtn. I climbed it once, a long time ago (but couldn't do it now). It's still just as photogenic. Hope the weather keeps up for the rest of your stay and that you do get to see the AA.
25th July 2014

Very lucky indeed!
Hi Joy, we cannot believe what fabulous weather we have been having in Tasmania in the winter!! We have been hearing about the fog in Melbourne so I think it may be nicer down here than in Victoria. Cheers, Tracey,
22nd July 2014

Glad you are having a great time on your journey through Tasmania and that the weather is perfect. You are right, the bird is a green rosella. We are in The Alice waiting for our plane to get out of the Melbourne fog to come up here and take us home. Love Robyn and Ian
25th July 2014

Melbourne fog
Hi Robyn and Ian, I hope you are home now after the delay caused by fog in Melbourne? It can cause quite a few problems with air travel at this time of year!! Love, Tracey and Bernie.
28th July 2014

Melbourne Fog
Hi Tracey and Bernie, Our plane ended up being 3 hours late but we were rewarded with some extra hours in Alice Springs (as Qantas texted us about the delay) and magnificent scenes of very low lying cloud (fog) over the Melbourne basin as we descended into Tullamarine. The pilot apologized for our late departure due to tarmac congestion (3 planes) in Alice Springs! Love Robyn and Ian

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