Day 1 – Hobart to Eaglehawk Neck
We cross the Tasman and land in Hobart, 10 minutes later after a quick stroll across the carpark a camper home induction with the lovely staff at Britz and we’re on the road.
We have a plan and a shopping list. Our 1st stop on route to Eaglehawks Nest is Sorell. I’m feeling a little unsure as to my overall size when driving this big vehicle but I need not worry as everywhere we (the RV travellers) are, we are well catered for. We stock up on food and wine and we are on the road again in no time. We arrive at the entrance to Eaglehawks Nest we park up at Pirates Bay Lookout.
The view is incredible, today the ocean is like a mirror, dead calm, not a breath of wind. Looking south towards Antarctica the vista is countless cliffs and bays, some of the tallest sea cliffs in Australia. It looks like a painting. I love my coffee and am spoilt as the Coffee at the lookout is exceptional! The Cubed Espresso Bar is a mobile solar-powered, eco espresso bar at the top of the lookout. Not knowing at the time but this coffee would become the benchmark during entire time in Tasmania.
Day 2 – Eaglehawk Neck
We have a trip organised with Wild Ocean Tasmania, we’re off to swim with Australian Fur Seals. Our local guides Damo & Suzy are full of enthusiasm and passion about the local wildlife both in the ocean and on land. We cruise the coastline for a short while, spotting dolphins, and countless sea birds, before long we in front of the jaw dropping Dolerite sea cliffs and a colony of inquisitive and playful Australian fur seals. In the Afternoon Damo & Suzy invite me back out on the ocean. We come very close to a bait ball in full swing, seals, birds, it’s going crazy on the surface, its wild! It quickly pitters out and we decide not to drop in. Our first day was hectic and the homely pasta and wine we cooked up that night in the camper made for an even better nights sleep.
Day 3 – Eaglehawk Neck to Fortescue Bay
We’d created an itinerary and gave ourselves a couple of flexi-days as well as a plan B should the weather get really bad. Thankfully we saw nothing but sunshine today. We drove down to Fortescue Bay, organised a camper site in the national park and then headed out on a 3.5 hour walk to Cape Hauy. Today much like yesterday was perfect in everyway. Sunny, windless, simply spectacular. We were left breathless at every vantage point. The last section of the walk is reasonably steep, but with stunning panoramic views of the cape, the Devil’s Arch, Cape Pillar and Tasman Island. The effort is well reward. The sea cliffs of the Tasman Peninsular are the tallest in the world, a humbling and wonderful reminder of mother nature’s grandeur!
We were left breathless at every vantage point.
Day 4 – Fortescue Bay to Lake St Clair
Some lessons learnt, we got a flat battery due to the key being left in the ignition incorrectly. A quick jump start by a friendly well travelled camper we’re off again. Our sat-nav settings tooks us 1 hour off course. A missed turn and it recalculated a super long alternative. Wasn’t a complete waste of time as the drive anywhere here is enjoyable. With the ever changing scenery of forest, towering mountains, rugged wilderness and beautiful fields provide the backdrop on our drive to Lake St Clair. We overnight in the Lake St Clair Tourist Park. With plenty of short walks and it being the start/finish for those doing the Overland Track. It’s a great camp ground. The lodge has a real ski vibe about it, it’s cosy and a good spot for a wine and a pub meal. The campground is on the edge of the Lake. Your view over the Lake is toward the west, with the mountain range on the horizon, looking ominous as a storm seem to be coming. This is Tasmania, Four seasons in a given day, wild and untamed.
The day is full of awesome short walks
Day 5 – Exploring the Pumphouse
We don’t go far today, we’ve treated ourselves on this trip to a night at the pump house. This boutique hotel is actually the converted 1940 hydroelectric pump station. Located at the end of the 250m long wharf out on Lake St Clair. The perfect setting for a Stephen King novel.
The day is full of awesome short walks before taking in the late afternoon in the hotel sampling some amazing Australian Gins. Dinner is a communal arrangement and we meet some great people, share stories, drink fine wine. Sunset flashed before us and what unfolded was a spectacular purple and pink fire in the sky. Thankfully I had put my gear together and capture the pump house under a fiery sky.
Day 6 – Lake St Clair to Cradle Mountain
Drove to Cradle Mt. via west coast. took way longer than expected so was pretty tired. Scoped out cradle. apart from the park being great everything else is overrated on all fronts. food, service, accom, etc and 4x the rest of the country thus far.
We arrive late to Cradle Mountain, the west coast drive took longer than expected, we do a quick lap of the main road and work on our plan for the evening and adventures tomorrow. It’s very geared the busloads of tourists. A few hotels, the pub and a campground. All this at tourist inflated prices, making it much more expensive that the rest of Tassie. With Dove Lake on the list of places to photograph for sunrise we discover that heavy vehicles can not drive into the park. With normal car we could have driven in parked and walked a very short distance.
Day 7 – Cradle Mountain – Little Blue Lake
It’s 4:30 am, We have a 10km walk ahead of us under the light of the full moon. It’s brisk, not freezing but eerily dead quiet. We do a good time and get to Dove lake 20 minutes before sunrise. Not a human around I set up for the shot, take a few long exposures and the wind is up and is making the lake choppy. We head back towards the public bus pickup zone, we spot a few wombats in the distance, they make themselves scares. One adult decides to venture out once we passed.
Thankfully we’re on the other side of the river so he’s not at all phased by us. He struts his stuff only the man made boardwalks with the morning light warming him up. We jump on the first bus of the day to the driver’s surprise. He likes the fact we made the effort for sunrise. We sit back to enjoy the 10km back to where we started our walk listening to some funny yarns the driver had.
We whip up a quick breakfast back in the camper and hit the road. Heading North East we stop in Launceston do a quick food shop. By mid afternoon we arrive at the unique old tin quarry ‘Little Blue Lake’
We spend hours wandering over rocks
Day 8 – Bay of Fires
We enjoy a free camp and the lack of people again. The morning is overcast, the forecast has it clearing at 10am. I’m confident the clouds will clear. They do like clockwork. The Aqua colouring is phenomenal.
Next Stop Binalong Bay and the Bay of Fires. We hit the beach, it’s pristine. White sands, Crystal clear water and surround with the famous boulders covered in bright orange lichen.
We spend hours wandering over rocks, I’m mindful of scouting locations for sunset and sunrise. We freedom camp the night in prime position for sunrise. The mornings scatter cloud makes it interesting as the light dances across parts of the rocky outcrops.
Day 9 – Bay of Fires to Wineglass Bay
A quick pit stop in Bicheno and then through to Coles Bay. The Iluka Holiday Centre is home for 2 nights. Which now seems like a long time anywhere. Facilities are fantastic and there’s a great pub next door, we treat ourselves to a meal and a couple drinks, a reminder that simple pleasures should not be taken for granted.
The following morning we make an early start for Wineglass Bay and the hike up Mt Amos. Its a steep ascent, like straight up, some boulder over rocks etc not for the faint hearted. But geez the view atop Mt Amos will blow your mind. Panoramic views of the gorgeous Wineglass Bay, pristine oceans, bright white sands, lush green wilderness – simply sensational. No better place to have a picnic lunch. Did I mention we did this twice. Our early ascent was overcast. As soon as we returned to the bottom it cleared. So back up we went. Our reward was Honeymoon Bay at the end of the day. Swimming here was majestic it really was stunning, not too cold but the perfect remedy for some well walked legs.
Tip: Anything you do with the camper you should do as early as possible, you just want to ensure you get a big parking space for your big camper, this mean avoiding to have to park kilometers away and walking in (we saw this everywhere as we left places)
Day 10 – Wineglass Bay to Seven Mile Beach
We do an easier walk into Wineglass bay, longer but not as crazy steep. I take the underwater gear in with me. I decide on not taking in fins and a hoodie, bad idea. It was much cooler on this side vs Honeymoon bay and I couldn’t explore so much without the aid of fins. It was again pristine.
We hit the road, its a reasonable last leg back into Hobart. Our final destination before leaving Hobart was the Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park, a great spot directly across from the beach, which was rugged, beautiful and practically deserted. It’s the perfect spot to relax and unwind before our flight out the following day. The holiday park is close to the airport (only 2.5km) but you still feel like you are off the beaten track and surrounded by nature.
Day 11 – Hobart
Our last day was spent in Hobart, we’d done some driving and clocked up enough km’s hiking. We started off the morning with a beautiful cafe breakfast, followed by a few hours in a Spa / Sauna house followed by a amazing lunch at Stefano Lubiana Winery.
It’s over, we’re packed, tidy and refreshed not to mention extremely well fed. We drop the campervan off, take the quick 5 minute stroll across the carpark to the terminal and board our flight home to Sydney.
We are already planning our next trip.
Tasmania, February 2017
Approx. reading time: 7:05 minutes