Tag Archives: tamar river

The Tamar Estuary Tasmania

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Today was our last day in Tasmania and since we have become rather attached to the wonderful view of the Tamar River we have from our window, we took the advice of our home exchange hosts and drove east up the estuary and back down the other side. The scenery was rather pastoral on the way there, but although the sun was out (it was the balmiest day we’ve had yet), the sky was not very clear so I couldn’t take any photos. I saw lots of frisky little lambs though.

View of Tamar from Riverside

When we reached George Town, Hobart’s oldest town (there is always something oldest here), I asked at the service station where we could have lunch by the sea. “Go out and turn right”, began the first woman. “Are you sending her to Susie’s (it wasn’t really Susie’s but I didn’t get the name) ?”, said another woman. “Yes, why ?” “Well, her mother died so  it’s shut”. “Oh, she died, did she ? When was that?” “Oh, dunno.” “Well, then she can go to Pumpkin’s (not it’s real name either)”. “Nah, that’s too expensive”, and turning to me, “Why don’t buy some nice salad sandwiches at Dino’s Milk Bar (that is its real name) and drive down to the memorial. Got a good view of the sea there.”

Relationnel delecting his fish & chips

So that’s what we did, only we bought the ubiquitous (though somewhat lukewarm) Australian fish & chips – flathead, whitehead and flake (which is really shark) and dripping with calories – and found a table looking out onto the estuary, a little bit windy, but very pretty.

Daisies at Dotterel Point

After that, we drove to Low Head Lighthouse and Dotterel Point in Bass Strait and walked around the headland through the masses of daisies and red rocks before coming upon a beach with orange-coloured sand. To reach the car, we had to go up and down the most amazing turnstile.

Low Head Lighthouse

And there was a sort of bandstand on the other side of the beach. I discovered afterwards that it was a fairy penguin viewing stand used for nighttime tours. Like at Bicheno. Relationnel said regretfully that we could have kept an eye out for nests had we known which I thought was a bit optimistic.

Turnstile at Dotterel Point

On the way back, we passed a quaint little white clapboard church built in 1887, along the George Town historic route. It didn’t quite look real it was so pristine, more like something out of a children’s book.

Historic church in George Town

Then we drove back over Batman’s Bridge, which we were able to photograph from the road below. Another first – Australia’s first cable-stayed bridge and one of the first of its kind in the world – with a single tower 91 metres high.

We stopped for coffee (and incidentally bought some T-bones at the butcher’s – two giant slabs for a mere 12 dollars, much cheaper than fish) at a little place that had a French vanilla slice with very strange topping and pastry and awful coffee. While we were there, three people came in for toasted sandwiches, one of whom has a gluten-free diet and had brought her own bread. Not only did they accept the bread without batting an eyelid – they also charged less! We are definitely not in France.

A very unFrench French vanilla slice

As we left, I saw the sign for a bakery which even has four stars in Trip Advisor so I discovered when I got home. Oh well, we had to have an awful coffee somewhere. We’ve been lucky so far!

Launceston – Tamar River Conservation Area & Cataract Gorge

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Had a rather quiet day today. We had originally decided to go to Cradle Mountain to do the Dove Walk but the thought of driving 150 K each way on Tasmanian roads, where you usually average about 60 K, was a bit daunting. From the window of our home exchange, we have a wonderful view of the Tamar River so we thought we should get up close and personal as they say here.

View from our window in Launceston

Just a couple of kilometers down the road is the Tamar River Conservation Area with a 1 ½ hour board walk which takes you through the wetlands. It was very pleasant, mostly sunny and not too cold. We mainly saw black swans including some cygnets but with our binoculars (which we always carry with us), we were able to see some Cape Barren geese ans purple swamp hens, a cormorant and a superb fairy wren (the superb is part of the name).

Tamar River Conservation Area

We drove  back into town to have lunch on Charles Street and settled on Sporties Bistro which turned out to be “French” because we only had 55 dollars on us. That bought a smoked salmon salad and a bistro beef salad which, although very nice, were about enough to feed a starling, and certainly not amateur hikers, plus a glass of chardonnay each. We are still reeling at the prices in Australia this time. Paris is going to seem ultra-cheap when we get back!

Sporties Bistro in Launceston

After going back home to get some more dollars, we stopped along the way to watch the pelicans on the river. Then we headed for Cataract Gorge Reserve, also very close and a wonderful nature walk for the locals. I had a special thought for my high-school friend Bonny and her husband Clyde who came here 36 years ago. Unfortunately, the sun had disappeared, but we still enjoyed the hour’s walk which took us to the Second Basin and back.

Cataract Gorge

Now we’re back home and are going to try some of the spring lamb that we frisking around the fields wherever we go.

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