After a week sightseeing around Launceston we decided to move along and head east.  With no real plan we set off towards Scottdale and onto Branxholm.  Instead of heading around the main road to Derby we went via Mount Paris Dam and stopped off to explore.

The dam was built in 1936 to supply water to the Mount Paris Tin Mines. Although it has been empty since 1970, an opening was blasted at the base of the dam to allow the natural flow of the Cascade River, making it a beautiful spot to wander around.

After our look around the dam, we continued to Weldborough and further through to Pyengana and we are really happy we did as it was the pick of the free camps we had come across today.

We are staying at the Pyengana Recreation Reserve, just up the road from the Pub in the Paddock. Great spot with ample space and very well maintained. The Rec Reserve provided a great base to explore the surrounding area.

DAY 10

We had some sight seeing in mind today and first up we headed to St Columba Falls just West of Pyengana. This is one of the highest falls in Tasmania with a drop of around 90 metres. The walk is a short 1.2 km return wander through a stunning rainforest to the bottom of the falls.

After the falls walk, we called into Pyengana Cheese before heading back to the van for lunch. Unfortunately, there was no cheese tasting due to covid but we purchased some anyway 😉 and the dairy wasn’t operating either but Tyler said the milk we bought was the best he’d ever tasted!!

We headed back out after lunch to check out Halls Falls. This hike had us wandering along the river and stopping in at a few different vantage points to view the rock pools, falls, and weir. Another beautiful Tassie walk.

It was then onto the Anchor Stampers. These old stampers were used by Anchor Mines in the early to mid 1900’s to crush the ore into fine particles for processing. They are now sitting amongst the rainforest which is slowly taking them over – quite a pretty sight!

Our next adventure was to find the old Don Mine. This is not very well signposted but we found it on WikiCamps and followed the directions from the comments. It was a beautiful walk through quite dense, and very leechy, rainforest but we were rewarded with a big cave to explore through at the end.

A fun day exploring, all within 20 kms of Pyengana.

DAY 11

Today we packed up and continued towards the coast. A drizzly start to the day made stopping in St Helens and Scamander a little unpleasant, however, we spent time here on our last trip to Tassie so continued on to find some sunshine.

We have a few roads in the middle of Tasmania, back inland, that we haven’t yet marked on our map or explored so we detoured towards St Marys and onto Campbell Town where we set up camp at Blackburn Reserve for the night. We always make sure we wander around these little towns – there are always interesting bits and pieces to see!

DAY 12

Our plan over the next few days is to head to the Tasman Peninsula. We are keen to visit Port Arthur again and head to the other side of the peninsula to explore the coal mines we didn’t do on our first visit.

With this in mind, we started making our way towards the coast. We stopped off in Ross on the way and walked through the Ross Female Factory and learned the history of the female convicts. A gorgeous little town – we really enjoyed wandering the main street too.

DAY 13

We continued to Oatlands where we had a delicious lunch at Kettish Hotel and did a spot of grocery shopping and a boring but necessary load of washing. Our plans were to head to Tooms Lake, which we did, however, when we arrived it was nothing like we thought and we weren’t keen on staying so we backtracked to Oatlands and set up at the free camp in town. This turned out a great stay and the kids loved the playground that was next door!

Again, this is a town that a wander around is a must and you don’t have to walk far to find some history!

The Callington Mill was built in 1837 and is Australia’s third oldest windmill. It has been restored and is now the only fully operational Lincolnshire windmill in the Southern Hemisphere.


To be continued…