Touching ground on the most southern road in Australia in the remote SE of Tasmania was a special moment for us. We spent a few days down in Cockle Creek, at the National Park camp, which only required the wonderful ‘National Park Pass’… a must for the Tassie adventurer. There are a few public camp spots at the end of the track as well, but we found the NP camp the most accommodating and certainly worth every cent of its relatively meagre cost for the Parks Pass which covers so much of Tas’.
The winds off the Great Southern Ocean here in Tas’ are wild and often wooly, but we loved the small fishing and farming communities along the drive deep down into the southern frontier. This spot is the fruit bowl of Tasmania but what is obvious is that it also is where the wonderful old wooden boats, those tough little trawlers and the majestic boats of sail hold their own.
The most astounding thing we found is that it wasn’t so much the 20klm of gravel and dirt road to get there, nor the realization that the next stop, aside from a few islands, was Antarctica, it was the knowledge that at some point, Aus’ has an extremity. It was that it has taken us 3 years for this concept of an ‘extremity’ to touch us. That whales once frolicked happily in this beautiful bay at Cockle Creek, and that seals once rested here makes you wish that perhaps one day they will happily return to this lovely retreat.
We’ve toured so much of Australia in our lives, and particularly in the last three years. There is so much to see and so much to experience and yet we feel that we really have only grazed the surface of this wonderfully diverse country. It is a continent of magical experiences and deep mystery, long distances and gorgeous light. It is truly a place of wide, endless red plains trimmed with those beautiful white and gold sands. Harboring in its special places the noisy glory of the bush night and the green lushness of a rainforest. However, it was here in Tassie that we had our first real sense of an extremity. The Nullabor (colonial spelling) or rather the Ondirri Plain offers you a sense of agelessness, The Kimberley a sense of timelessness and The Cape gives you a sense of ageless continuance… but here, at the very end of the continental shelf of Aus you find that sense of extremity. It is in the clear aqua waters, the cold cutting breezes and the sea mists that role in just above the roof or camp-tops… all escaping for the extremes of the Great Southern Ocean.
At the moment I am putting together the 2016 edition of ‘Discovering Australia and Her Lore’. It is the collective of our travel experiences over the years and a great reference for me in our travels. I personally love to curl up and flick through the pages as it takes me back to the memories we have painted in our minds. The wonderful experiences and good friends who have littered our lives in these last years. This is what is the best of travelling this diverse continent.
It is at present the Christmas season also, and for the first time we will not be surrounded by family and our precious Grandies, but will be celebrating with new friends and total strangers. I planned a roasted and toasted ham, but the temptation was too great and we ate that. So instead it will be roast pork with salad and I am looking forward to the crackling.
We are camped up for the Christmas break, on Bruny Island at the Game Reserve (managed by NP) at Adventure Bay and it is delightful. We moved up here from Cockle Creek when the holidayers moved in as we figured that Bruny Island might offer us fewer crowds… and it does… up to a point. But then again when we reached that point we simply had a great campsite so ‘what the hell’.
What has been our biggest surprise is that this is summer… and we are bloody freezing at times! We knew Tas could get cold but we are still waiting for the summer we understand to arrive and are still invested in jumpers, beanies and warm socks. I have figured that this year we will miss out on summer, given that we don’t leave Tas until March all but arrives, but then I guess we will make up for it next Christmas season. We have plans for a more northern summer then. But what really made it feel like something special was when we stumbled across a very unexpected white wallaby… that was a real Chrissy present we won’t forget!
What I have enjoyed most about travelling around Tassie is a kaleidoscope of things. Firstly the wildlife… it is magnificent! Then there is the fact that Tassie is nearly half National Park, Conservation Reserve, Forestry Reserve, etc… and what is more it is a place of true wilderness. We loved being camped up at the Lakes, or settled deep in the forest wilderness and coastal reserves with the penguins.
Today we are sitting here in the early morning on Bruny Island, under the roll of a sea mist. This is a magnificent cloud that rolls over the landscape like a blanket and is burnt off when it touches the heat of land. It is really a wonderful entertainment and offers the photographer some amazing opportunities.
Anyways… I’m off to enjoy the day and explore more of what Tas’ has to offer, that is after I enjoy the best of the Chrissy Season even more. You can also follow our journey not only here on the blog, but RVDaily.com.au is publishing a travel series on our adventures over the next months. Check out the articles in the Flash Fiction section where you will find direct links to the already published articles… which is a page that I might really have to consider renaming. Or nip over to their web site and catch up on some great travelling articles. It is a brilliant e-mag and one I highly recommend for its integrity and some really great info.
Take care, and Travel Well
Greetings of the Season to You!
Jan is a Traveller and an Author. You can find out more about her books on travel on the page dedicated to Oldies at Large, where you will also find a list of her blog postings in topic.
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A white wallaby…now that’s a different take on a white Christmas. Thanks for an insight into a corner that so few of us have seen. It is certainly on my bucket list.
It is a lovely Island, off a lovely island. 🙂 And the white wallabies are a feature of Adventure Bay I have since been told. It certainly gave us a delightful surprise! Have a great Chrissy season Itching.