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Published: February 17th 2010
The Doone Falls shot
Darryl, Sarah, Jane and Tony
Day 290 - Penguin to Sisters Beach
Since arriving in Australia in April last year we’ve managed to avoid the feeling of time rushing away from us … until now! We’re very conscious that we only have 21 days to explore this fabulous state and as a consequence are happy to rush around like maniacs trying to make the most of it. So far so good!
We’re on the move today but before we set the wheels in motion I wander into Penguin with Jane. Just as we were leaving the boys asked us to get them some bait if we pass a fishing shop and of course we said we would.
Penguin is a beautiful little place and all the houses look immaculately kept. The streets are lined with cheerful Penguin adorned dustbins and almost every shop had some sort of Penguin included in the advertising.
A quick trip to the Commonwealth Bank and I can see our final transfer of funds has already arrived (thanks to our cousin Anna back home in the UK who has done a brilliant job being our personal banking assistant all year). We need to keep up our careful spending
approach from now until the end of April or it will be vegemite sandwiches for dinner! The caravan rego needs paying so AusPost was the next stop and then we headed to the lovely chap in the tourist information office and picked up general details of the west coast, a fishing guide and the best route to our next destination of Stanley. With that done we were all set to return to the boys who had been left with the packing up while we were in town.
It’s a great walk back along the beach to the caravan, very pretty and picturesque. We must have gotten quite carried away with our thoughts as we had clearly forgotten something very important. “What bait did you get?” asked Darryl with gleeful expectation. “Bugger” came the response to which of course he thought we were joking but we weren’t, it had gone clear out of our heads.
The rest of the day was littered with sarcastic fishing comments. I can’t remember them all (obviously not if I couldn’t remember to buy the bait in the first place!) but whenever ‘fish’ came up in conversation myself & Jane got ‘tackled’ and ‘baited’
to the point of getting us going ‘hook, line and sinker’!
Our husbands weren’t the only chaps we upset this morning, next up was the cleaner who was scrubbing the ladies toilet block. There are no others on the site for us to use so he begrudgingly let us in with a huff and a puff … followed by at least two other ladies so his day wasn’t going to get a lot better particularly quickly!
With the caravans hitched up we set off for a free camp spot at Sisters Beach just to the east of Stanley on the northern coast line. We’d been given the tip of travelling via Table Cape for the view and the short walk to the lighthouse. It was worth the detour but there wasn’t that much of a view. The cloud, mist or fog (we’re not sure which) had pretty much wiped it out but the walk to the lighthouse was good and we had a nice chat with a couple from Manchester who are touring Australia for six months.
On we went to Sisters Beach but we did struggle to find the free camp spot as there are no
address details in the Camps 5 book. We got a bit scared when the local chappy we picked out to ask directions of had never heard of it! Instead we journeyed back to the General Store and were glad to be told that what we were looking for was just around the corner.
There was one other caravan parked up when we drove in, it was a bit like camping in a cul-de-sac next to a beach as there are no actual camping bays you just pull up along side the kerb.
The facilities looked pretty good with several individual toilets, an outside cold shower, separate individual changing cubicles and a free BBQ. What with the picnic benches and beach outlook it’s all rather lovely.
Once Tony has un-hitched their caravan we reverse ours up nice and close to the tow bar. We’re going out for the rest of the day in Tony & Jane’s Landcruiser so it just meant we were leaving more room for other people by doing that. After a nice refreshing lunch we headed back to the General Store to see if they had any information on the walks in Tangdimmaa (Rocky Cape)
national park which surrounds the area we’re camped in.
We decided on a ‘small’ circuit walk through the park which we hoped would give us a variety of landscapes as we went. We weren’t disappointed in what we saw at all. We’re getting used to the fact that walking in Tasmania generally means traversing hills but that also gives us great vantages points and views, today was no exception but with every walk Tony reminds us we have to remember to add the ‘GST’ - the extra steps it takes for each of the lookouts on the separate tracks and the trips down to waterfalls!
We climbed Broadview Hill for a stunning look back over the coast and across the national park. Luckily Tony was out in front because he came across a sleeping snake which quickly made its way back into the scrub. Hmmmm, we’d overlooked the possibility of snakes when myself and Darryl had put on our open toed hiking crocs! That meant Tony ‘the canary’ remained out in front for the rest of the walk!
The cloud obstructed some of the view but it was still a sight to behold. We didn’t hang around
too long up top and were soon hot on the trail for the cool and shady Doone Falls. When we got to the turn off we knew we were in for a bit of fun as the ’15 min’ sign had the one changed to a four! Somebody obviously thought it was a bit undersized! It was a single track which included a steep initial descent and with no elevator to get us back up we were not looking forward to the return climb! It was worth the effort though, the falls were great and the water a funny tan colour. Entertainment was laid on for us in the shape of Mr Howells and his ’10 second timer’ on the camera to get a group shot in front of the waterfall. This time the camera was on its tripod balanced in the fork of a tree!
Coming back up wasn’t half as bad as we’d imagined and we were soon on our way to Anniversary Bay. Here we had a beautiful beach outlook with red tipped rocks and plenty of interesting shells strewn around. This section of the walk was simple known as the ‘track’ on the leaflet and
we’d been half worried we wouldn’t be able to find a way through from here to the caves but it was easy enough. At the end of the beach the next bit was clearly marked … and it went clearly skyward! None of us had seen this coming, we’d presumed it would be a gentle amble around the rocks following the beach! Instead it was pretty steep but led us through Banksia Grove then onto the Aboriginal caves of Lee-Archer and Wet.
Sadly there are no full blooded Tasmania aboriginals alive these days, the last passed away in the 19th century, so the information on their lifestyle and habitation must have been a painstaking process to pull together. Here at the Tangdimmaa (Rocky Cape) national park are a number of caves believed to have been home to the Rar.rer.loi.he.ner people. Out of respect visitors are asked not to enter the caves so we peer into the darkness and imagine what it must have been like all those years ago to seek shelter here.
Just past the vantage point of Wet Cave we spied the car, we’d made it back. What a great walk.
Back at the camp
spot we found we had new neighbours, all around! It was a good job we’d gotten here early, it was full to bursting point. Feeling hot and sweaty from the walk the two of us braved the outside cool shower, much to the amusement of other campers and Jane who rushed over with the camera! We got ourselves cleaned up with water that can only be described as ‘refreshing’!
We chatted for quite some time to our ‘across the road’ neighbours who had somehow managed to squeeze their camp trailer in through wooden posts and onto a grassed area in the middle of the ‘roundabout’. They shared some of their travel experiences from around Tasmania and also let slip that they were gold prospectors. North of Meekatharra was where they did most of their prospecting and they’d found enough to buy the camp trailer and the quad bike in the back of the ute. Can’t argue with that!
We’d got back pretty late from the walk and none of us felt like eating a big meal so we sat chatting and scoffing cheese & biscuits until it was time for bed! Tony & Jane are terrific company, we
always manage to have a laugh about something or other.
The word went round the camp spot that the toilets are centrally locked at 8pm so wedging the doors open with a stick prior to the cut off time was the go. In the happy knowledge that we wouldn’t have to ‘bush wee’ if we woke up in the night, we toddled off to bed!
Dar and Sar
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