NORTH WEST & WEST COAST [Tasmania]

DAY 4

We arrived in Tassie and very promptly disembarked from The Spirit at 6am.

We didn’t have breakfast on the boat as it was quite early.  We found a park close to the Spirit in East Devonport and pulled up for breakfast in the van.  Plenty of parking on Wheeler Street and you get to have breakfast with river views!  Also a good spot to stop prior to boarding when going back to Melbourne.

Originally, the plan was to head Launceston way, but due to the radiator issues (read about that here) it made sense to base ourselves closer to Devonport as that’s where we had to collect the radiator from.

A quick search on WikiCamps and we found a camp spot in Ulverstone – The Blue Wren RV Park.

We pulled in here quite early (around 7.30am) and found a beautiful grassy site with ocean views.

We stayed here for four nights and used this as our base to explore the North West.

Click here for more information and pictures of The Blue Wren RV Park. We highly recommend a stay here, the owners are so friendly and welcoming!

Devonport has some lovely lookouts and walks with beautiful scenery to take in.  We wandered up to Mersey Bluff Reserve and the Lookout.

DAY 5

Today was the day we collected the new radiator from Devonport Toyota so while Justin fitted that, the kids and Selina had a relaxing and quiet day around the van.

DAY 6

With the Cruiser back to its old self, it was time for some exploring!

Click on the picture to open in Google Maps.

We set off to Gunns Plains, south of Ulverstone, to visit Wings Wildlife Park and Gunns Plains Caves. On arrival we found signs stating there was no power in the township that day due to electrical works being completed.  So this meant that both the places we were going to visit were closed!!

So, we decided to venture to Leven Canyon.  Leven Canyon is 275 metres above the Leven River and provides some breathtaking views.

The 1.7km circuit takes you from the picnic area to the Edge Lookout, then up 697 forest stairs to Cruikshanks Lookout. (You can go either way, we choose to go up the stairs).

This is one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks and has spectacular views of the canyon and surrounding forest.

We continued our loop driving through many small townships – Nietta, Upper Castra, Wilmot, Cethana and onto Promised Land.

Promised Land is home to Tasmazia and the Village of Lower Crackpot, a fun attraction full of mazes and miniature villages.  We had loads of fun here – fantastic place to take the kids!

The trip back to Ulverstone took us through winding countryside and more small inland towns.

Sheffield (the town of Murals) was a stand out with so many buildings throughout the town with these beautiful murals painted on them.

DAY 7

We were going to tow the van further west and stay near Stanley but once we arrived in Tassie and looked at distances further, we realised nothing is too far, so decided we would stay in Ulverstone and day trip west.

Click on the picture to open in Google Maps.

The North West is very pretty and you drive right along the coast with gorgeous views of the Bass Strait.

Along the way you pass through many small and pretty coastal communities, not all are on the main road so it is worth the short journey off the highway to see what each has to offer.

PENGUIN

Had to get a pic of the kids with the penguin at Penguin!

WYNYARD

Wynyard is home to the Wonders of Wynyard Exhibition Centre and we took a wander through the Vintage Car Museum.

TABLE CAPE

Table Cape is where the tulips bloom!  We were there just out of season so didn’t get to see the colours of Spring across the fields.  We did however visit the Lighthouse and Lookout.

BOAT HARBOUR

Gorgeous little coastal town with crystal clear water and white sandy beaches.  A great free camp there too!!

STANLEY

THE NUT

Standing 143 metres above sea level THE NUT provides beautiful 360 degree views of Stanley, Bass Strait and Rocky Cape National Park.

A 5 minute chairlift ride will get you to the top and a 2km circular track will have you taking in breathtaking views.

We opted for the very steep 430m walk back down to the bottom, but you can catch the chairlift back too.

The skies were a little gloomy the day we visited but it was still a beautiful view!


SEAQUARIUM

Seaquaruim was a fun and interactive experience that the kids loved!  This is only a small aquarium but still has lots to offer.

DAY 8-11

Today we made our way to Mole Creek for Christmas.

We stayed at Mole Creek Caravan Park.  We had a beautiful spot on the banks of the Sassafras River.

You can see more information and pictures about this caravan park by clicking here.

During our stay in the area we visited many of the townships and attractions.  Mole Creek Caravan Park was a great base to explore the area.

ATTRACTIONS IN THE AREA

MOLE CREEK CAVES – Marakoopa Cave

This was our first cave experience and we were not disappointed – it was amazing!

With two creeks running through the cave, a magical glow-worm display and a very informative tour guide, this is definitely one to put on your list of things to do!!

Liffey Falls – we did this walk on Christmas Day and had lunch at the picnic area when we returned.  It was beautiful and an easy 2km return walk along a well maintained track.

Ashgrove Tasmanian Cheese Farm (Elizabeth Town)  – cheese shops are sort of like butchers for us… you just have to pop in!  We bought some delicious cheese and pastes for nibbles here.

Elizabeth Town Bakery was a delicious stop for lunch – the scallop pie was pretty good!

Van Diemen’s Land Creamery (Elizabeth Town) – originally we had stopped to visit the Raspberry Farm next door but that was chock-a-block full of people so we wandered across the road to the Creamery and had some of the best ice cream we tasted on our trip around Tassie!

41 Degrees South Salmon Farm (Deloraine) provided free tasting of their delicious smoked salmon, locally made ginseng spice and honey!  We were easily led into paying $25 to wander through the salmon farm where we were able to feed the salmon and that’s pretty much it!  So we probably wouldn’t recommend that part but we do recommend buying some salmon and ginseng spice!

Melita Honey Farm (Chudleigh) is big on bee education which was interesting to read and we had some more delicious ice cream – the honey ice cream is to die for!

DAY 12

We were keen to explore some Cradle Mountain magic so we free camped at Lake Gairdner for the night and drove the short 30 minutes to the Visitor Information Centre.

Check out the details of the campground at Lake Gairdner here!

CRADLE MOUNTAIN

The walk we did at Cradle Mountain was one of the highlights of our whole trip!

Cradle Mountain has 11 short walking tracks ranging from 20 minute circuits to 3 hour returns walks, something for all levels of fitness.

We had an amazing clear and warm day to head to Cradle Mountain.  We decided to do the Marian’s Lookout walk which was an 8km loop back to Dove Lake.  The walk was quite hard in parts, with chains at the last section to assist you up, but the hard work was more than worth it with the breathtaking views at the top!  The kids did an amazing job and enjoyed the walk as much as us!

Shuttle busses run from the Visitors Information Centre to five different locations between there and Dove Lake.

Dove Lake being the most popular for tourists as Cradle Mountain is in clear view.

We hopped off the bus at Ronny Creek car park and started our walk towards Marion’s Lookout.

The first section of this walk to Marion’s is actually the first part of the 82km Overland Track, which happens to be the steepest section of the track – so well done to our kids for being so awesome and making it the whole way up!

The track starts out along a flat boardwalk and then slowly climbs to Crater Falls, the Boat Shed and Crater Lake before hitting a junction. It provides some beautiful views along the way.

From the junction it is a steep climb to Marion’s Lookout – on one section there are chains to help you up!

Once at the top WOW!!! an amazing view of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake. It’s stunning!!

After navigating our way back down the steep slopes we took the Wombat Pool Track back to Dove Lake and then a shuttle bus back to the Visitors Centre.

DAY 13-14

From Lake Gairdner we set off further west.  With a check of the maps we decided Zeehan seemed to be a good base to explore the west.  Fortunately we stayed here, as Strahan was busy and campgrounds/caravan parks booked out!

We stayed at Zeehan Bush Camp & Caravan Park – check out more information here!

On this trip we didn’t venture into the Tarkine Wilderness Forest instead just had a look around Strahan and Zeehan.

For us, as a family of four, we decided against the cost of the Wilderness Railway and Gordon River Cruise this time.

While in the area we drove to Macquarie Heads – which is the most western point you get to drive to in Tassie and dipped our toes in the very cold water at the beach!!

ZEEHAN

While in Zeehan we wandered through the West Coast Heritage Centre which had a huge collection of all things west coast.

To be honest, there wasn’t too much else in Zeehan but it was a nice quiet place to base ourselves for a couple of days.

STRAHAN

Strahan seems to be the tourist hub of the west coast.  A nice little town on the water.

THE SHIP THAT NEVER WAS – this was a highlight to our trip west.

If you are in Strahan, this outdoor interactive play is a MUST!!!!

This is Australia’s longest running play (in its 23rd year) and based on a true story about the Great Escape from Sarah Island!!

📍 Richard Davey Amphitheatre, STRAHAN TAS (next to the Visitor Information Centre)

⚓ Very funny, entertaining and interactive!
⚓ Fantastic acting!!
⚓ Great for the kids!!! They are plucked out of the audience and involved! Our kids LOVED it, our miss was picked out to play a cat and mister was “the rain”.

Running time: 1 hr 15 mins
Daily (Sept-May): 5.30pm

It’s undercover but outdoors, so make sure you take some warm clothes!!

It cost us $55 for our family of four and worth every cent.

DAY 15

After a few days we left the west coast and started on our journey east.  WOW the road out of Queenstown is steep and windy!

Along the way is DERWENT BRIDGE and we were interested to stop and see THE WALL IN THE WILDERNESS.

WOW!!!! You just have to call in and see these amazing hand sculpted timber panels for yourself when passing Derwent Bridge.

You’ll be amazed at the talent and effort that has gone into this decade of work!

No pictures allowed to be taken inside so you’ll just have to take our word for it!  Greg Duncan is one talented man!

Check out his website for a little sneak peek of what you will see!

After leaving The Wall, we were off to find a free camp along the way.

BRADY’S LAKE was just the type of FREE CAMP we had been looking and waiting for in Tassie!

We had a private and very peaceful spot for the night complete with a campfire.

This place has been bookmarked for next time.  We really liked it – check out more information and pictures here.

Click here to continue to SOUTH REGION (DAY 16-27)