Traveling around Tassie as we are, choosing the best place to be over the Christmas-New Year period was one of our dilemmas. We prefer freecamping, or National Park camps and State Reserves, this to most caravan parks and that it was the Christmas – New Years ‘between’ period was a major consideration. We tested the waters by choosing the most remote spot on the Tassie Isle that we could. Given that we are now on the Eastern Coast, and given that the crowds were fast building around the Capital Hobart, we decided to head south, down the Huon trail as far as we could.
This bought us to Franklin, which we loved. Mainly because The Man and I were very much looking forward to visiting the Boat Shed there. Known as the Wooden Boat Centre it is a school for building wooden boats it was one on our list of ‘gotta go see’. We were not disappointed!
To watch the men and women hone their skills at boat building was a delight, the tour was well worth it and we came away armed with history and knowledge that we could only wish we had time to improve on. Instead I posted off a list of course available on how to build a boat to Son no.3 and wondered if he would find it all as tempted as we did.
The reserve riverside camp at Franklin was filling fast as the holidaymakers and locals were hitting the road so we packed up… after a bit of local exploring that is, and headed further south. Our next stop was Cockle Creek, the southern most point where you can actually drive too and the last 20klm or so was dirt and gravel. We were however delighted with the available camps in the National Park there we settled down for a good few days fishing and exploring.
Discovering the old French Whaling camp and the wonderful history of the bay where not only whales once sheltered but also where those grand ships of sale first found safe harbour after their gruelling months at sea, was a wonder.
Cockle Creek is a delight and offers both free public camps and National Parks camps, over the bridge, which require the National Parks Pass to access. You can read more about it in my recent blog ‘A Tassie Christmas Season’. After thoroughly enjoying ourselves we moved backup North and onto Bruny Island having decided that perhaps the ferry toll would put many holidayers’ off and it seems it was a sound choice.
Move to Bruny Island
Camped up at the Game Reserve at Adventure Bay was everything we hoped for. The Game Reserve is all in a name… no one actually goes gaming, particularly not to shoot and trap the mutton birds, or the penguins for that matter as its an historical novelty now. However it is still called the ‘game reserve’ but the ‘game’ is protected so the only thing you shoot off is your camera.
It also wasn’t only exploring the island and the wonderful wildlife, but when we experienced a few mechanical issues as we ratted around the island, what we enjoyed most was then meeting the locals. This entailed picking up some extra parts from the ‘Mainland’ so rather than pay another toll on the ferry we headed back to the main Isle… I hesitate to write ‘mainland’ as the big island north of the little island is really the mainland.
Sorted, safe and travelling well again we ended up spending a rather quiet New Years by choice just north of Hobart at a delightful Pub Freecamp at Dunalley on the neck to the Fortescue Peninsula, which is the one above the Tasman Peninsula and The old Penal Settlement of Port Arthur.
We have been to Port Arthur a number of times on previous trips and it is always a thorough delight but this time we decided on exploring the rest of the peninsula. What a delightful surprise that turned out to be! We gave ourselves a full day to tour the island, from the convict coal mine to learn of their harsh and brutal history and then into the National Park Reserve to discover one of the most delightful NP camps I have ever come across at the Fortescue campsites.
Discovering the delights of the Huon Trail has been a rewarding experience and I would highly recommend that you take the tour down south, to find for yourself the wonderful world of wood and clinkers… you wont regret it.
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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