Saturday 19th February continued.
We had not done any cloths washing for a while so we decided to lay up in a van park for a couple of days to complete the necessary before continuing the adventure.
Rod had booked a site in the Apex Caravan park at Ulverston from Melbourne before the trip over the pond.
After getting to the park we set up the washing machine in the van and started the first of about 5 loads. The wind here was terrible and it rained for most of the time but our goal was achieved, we did smell a lot better with clean cloths grin. Don’t think I/we would recommend this park too highly. The woman in the office was not too friendly and the office stunk of cigarettes. Having said that the camp kitchen was great with a fire place, wood supplied and every convenience that you could want.
Sunday 20th February.
Started the tourist thing with a circuit run south towards Willmot. This gave us a great view of the countryside. What superb country. An added bonus was the site of Cradle mountain from a not so famous angle.
We left Ulverstone heading for Wynyard passing through Burnie and on to a free camp per Camps 5 at the Show ground.
Bit of a shock greeted us at the show grounds, have a look at the sign posted at the entrance.
“No camping or caravans permitted”
Being defiant types with our noses out of joint we did camp here and were disturbed by a security guard at about 8pm telling us that we could not camp there but could stay the night and move on in the morning.
What an RV friendly town, so much so we did not pick up our 150 litres of diesel there or the required groceries but left the next day after a visit to Table Cape and a few other local attractions before moving on to “Black River camp ground just before Stanley, yet another great site beside the River !.
Next Morning we headed off to explore Stanley and its great attractions. Even managed a cable car ride to the top of the famous Stanley Nut followed be a beautiful walk around on the top of the Nut. Yummy ice creams followed this strenuous work out (someone has to do the hard yards).
Mavis did find a seafood provider at Stanley that had some frozen Scallops and just had to buy some.
Well done girl they were a superb feed in a curry sauce a little later down the track.
Our next camp was at Montagu camp ground north west of Smithton. If only a bloke had a tinny (sigh) this place was a fisherman’s paradise. We took a walk down to the boat ramp after setting up camp and met a couple of blokes, one cleaning flathead and the other Abalone. We watched the chap with the abs for a while and Mavis asked all about the cleaning and cooking of same (she being the hunter gatherer) and the bloke gave her all the good gen.
Later that night he came over with some strips of seasoned ab for us to try. Gotta say that the frypan was on before he left our camp and the abs were superb.
In the morning we packed camp and let out for Marrawah our next camp. This entailed heading back into Smithton then South West to the coast.
On the way back into Smithton we saw a toilet dump sign and as we with toilets in our RV’s know you take every opportunity to have a dump when it presents itself.
This site was not in our Camps bible but we need to share the experience with anyone that will listen.
Picture if you will a park beside a river with bbq’s tables and well manicure lawns. On the road side was your average run of the mill CMCA supplied toilet dump point. Beside this was a potable water tap to top up your tanks. Beside this was a toilet module, the likes of which we had never seen.
A button had to be pressed to gain entry to said toilet. Once inside a second button had to be pressed to lock the door. Pressing this button started a recorded message that stated that you had precisely 10 minutes to complete your business, God knows what would happen if you over stayed your visit but Rod was not going to find out. After the recorded warning the booth was filled with very relaxing music yep you heard right music. I could not wait to finish and get Mavis in there to enjoy the experience grin.
An added bonus to this visit was that about 100 meters up the road was an oyster processing building. Mavis went in and returned with two dozen Beeeutiful Pacific oysters for the grand sum of $14 yummo.
That is not a look of displeasure.
Marrawah was a little spot on a beach and had a great view of the huge wind farm at Woolnorth in the distant north from our camp. Have to say that we have seen a lot of wind farms in our travels but the size of this one impressed.
From Marrawah we drove down to Arthur River and booked a cruise for the next day (Friday)
The company that we did the cruise with was the Arthur River Cruise company. It was superb. The vessel was an old river boat built in the 1930’s, she was beautiful and the two man crew were also great. One of them had a great gift of the gab and kept us all enthralled. After about 15 minutes of the trip they pulled into the bank and fed two Sea Eagles that had a chick in the area. It was a great site seeing them swoop down from their high perches to pick up the fish on the
wing. A bit further on they showed us their nest which had been documented as having young in it for the last 43 years. That made the old girl at least 48 as they don’t breed until they are at least 5 years old, the nest just keeps getting added to.
Lunch was supplied as a bbq in the rain forest at the junction of the Arthur and Frankland rivers. A great talk was given about the rain forest while we supped on supplied wines and the bbq was cooked. Great experience would both thoroughly recommend it.
Back to Marrawah after the cruise via the local pub for some much needed supplies and relaxed and relived the great day in our camp.
Saturday morning we set off on the Western Explorer road heading for Corinna. This entailed a run on dirt of 80kms to our next camp at Donaldson River and then another 40ish to Corinna.
We passed two push bike riders on this dirt section that we recognised as having been on the same Cruise as we did. Neither of us were envious of their 120km dirt road trek to Corinna, the Western Explorer was extremely steep in places and would have made life miserable for them.
We made camp at Donaldson River a free camp beside the road. We were enjoying a few cleansing ales and in Mavis’s case a cleansing wine when the two bikers pulled into the same camp. The lovely lady Sharon was completely spent having travelled in the saddle for 6 hours and 40 minutes covering 81kms of rough dirt road. The kettle was boiled and tea supplied for them while they recovered from the ordeal.
Ron had coped much better and set up their camp for the night.
Next morning we headed for Corinna, passing the bikies just out of Donaldson River camp.
Beautiful spot but expensive! We went to the pup that was the centre of the little town and asked if they could fit us in the camping area. After looking there was now where that we could fit so they graciously let us stay in the car park with no amenities for only $25, how good is that not.
We met our biker friends who had checked into a cabin for the night and we all had dinner in the pub. The food was great.
From here we did the Pieman River cruise which was good but not near as good as the Arthur river cruise. Magnificent scenery .