A Travellerspoint blog

I didn't want to go anyway :(

sunny
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After yesterday's day of waterfalls. We decided to have a day at the beach. The first beach we Went to was Binalong Bay. This was quite a popular beach with the locals (there were about 15 of them in 1Km of beach). the main attraction was the crystal azure sea breaking over powdery white sands. It Was easy to see why the area is rated so highly.
After facing the crowds at Binalong, we decided to head north to the Bay of fires. This was called this not because of the flaming red rock outcrops, but because the first settlers saw fires on the shore as they arrived. It also has the advantage that it is so large, and there are so many individual beaches that you are Virtually assured you own private beach. We were lucky enough to have an entire beach to ourselves (except for flipping sand flies). We spent the rest of the day lazing on the beach, or trying to swim in the freezing sea.
As the day ended and the temperature started to drop, we headed back to our YHA accommodation, stopping off on the way at an internet cafe to see if we had details of our World Cup ticket bids; we were unsuccessful. Bugger.

Posted by jefranklin 13:05 Archived in Australia Tagged beaches Comments (0)

We didn't read the rental agreement, ok?

sunny
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oday, we woke up early with the intention of heading to St Helen's on the North-east corner of Tasmania. Before getting there however, we decided to have a day of visiting waterfalls.
The first of these was Lilydale Falls, just outside the town of Lilydale (funnily enough). The tourist guide showed that it was easy enough to get to, so it should come as no surprise that we got hopelessly lost and ended up on a farmer's private road. We decided that rather than re-enact the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, we would beat a hasty retreat to the main highway. Five minutes later, we passed the correct turn off for the falls, and so went and visited them.
Before getting to the next falls, we stopped off at a lavender farm. It was the largest in the southern hemisphere at 150 acres or so, but to be honest unless you were a horticulturist (flower person, I should probably have said) or an old lady of 85 or something, it probably would not have been of any interest. Indeed, we saw one car arrive, the occupants take a brief look around and they chucked a U-ey (Aussie term for a U turn).
We headed off to the next destination: Ralph Falls. This was about 10 kms down C road, which to give an idea, is a road (just) that has never seen an ounce of bitumen in it's life and as such is a pretty bumpy ride in a city runabout like the car we had. There was a decent layer of mud covering the car at the end of the drive.
The falls themselves are the tallest single drop falls in Australia and are right next to a gorge that we decided to walk to. Walking to this, we passed over the feeder stream to the falls at which point Heather said:
"What a cheerful little brook, little does it know what fate awaits it further down." She then preceded to do an impression of some water finding the edge of the waterfall. It was pretty funny...
The final set of falls that we saw were called St Columba. Unfortunately, these had been closed to public access due to the risk of land slippage, but were still visible from afar. They were very impressive, even from that distance.
finally, we headed off to St. Helen's, stopping off enroute to visit a cheese Making factory, where we sampled their Wares. Naturally, Heather was pretty keen on buying a couple of blocks. I think that it may take some time before we have cut out unnecessary spending...

Posted by jefranklin 16:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sounds like a deal from Del Boy...


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Today started off with a lie in until about 10:00, which was sorely needed. After facing the communal showers, we wandered into town to sort out breakfast. We still haven't got the idea of this backpacker lark yet and so spent $20 or so on a couple of foccacias and some coffee. Fortunately, the foccacias were too big, so we left them for later.
We returned to our car, and set off on the first trip of the day: the Tamar Valley island wetlands. This gave us the opportunity to checkout the variety of wildlife there, ranging from common ducks and swans, to a couple of hawks and herons. We were hoping to see the odd copper snake sunning themselves on the boardwalk, but alas it was not meant to be. This walk lasted a couple of hours, which we did at the height of the midday sun (mad dogs and all that...), but a liberal application of sunscreen and bug juice kept the worst that Nature could throw at us away.
After the walk, it was off for another drive to Batman's bridge (yes, it's real name) where we stopped to finish our dodgy foccacias and another brief walk. The final activities for the day was a spot of wine tasting at a couple of vineyards. The first (Stoney Rise) was sole trader operated, which always makes me feel bad because:

I feel guilty taking too big a swig from the glass
I feel the urge to buy a couple of cases, so I don't think that they think we're wasting their time (if that makes sense).
Nevertheless, the guy who ran it produced a really nice Rosé, which we bought a bottle of. The second vineyard was Bay of Fires was a more commercial operation, which I had no qualms about relieving them of their stock. Unfortunately, I was designated driver (as always ;), so was forced to spit, I made sure I spat plenty though. Heather had no such problems, and even went in for a second glass of their vintage Champagne equivalent, I think the lack of spitting may have added a little Dutch courage!
As the day ended we tootled back to Launceston (at 120 kph :) to our dodgy room in the dodgy backpacker hostel we are staying at, stopping off on the way for some dodgy pizza.
Wonder if that's going to be the common theme for this expedition?

Posted by jefranklin 16:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Mmm, chocolate...


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Our first full day in Tasmania started with a tour of the Cadbury's chocolate factory, just outside Hobart. Naturally, this is not the original (which is in Birmingham) but does supply the Australian chocoholics with their fix.
We spent a couple of hours on a tour of the factory and helped ourselves to whatever free samples came our way. At the end of the tour, we were given the opportunity to buy at outlet prices; suprisingly, we restrained ourselves and left with a mere 2 bottles of water!
After this, we got on the open road for the drive to Launceston. We had planned to travel via the Great Lake but a quick guestimate identified a travel time of 5 hours or so. Although we are on holiday to chill out etc, we did have some commitments for today (getting to a bank for one), so we couldn't really afford the time. As such we detoured to Sorrel Lake, with the plan of stopping at the town of Interlaken (I guess they were Dutch colonists that settled there) for lunch.
I guess five years of Sydney living has spoilt us, as we found Interlaken to be a single house and nothing else. Nevertheless, we parked up & spent the lunch alongside the lake (eating the sarnies from yesterday's inflight meal).
We finished the journey to Launceston and checked ourselves into a dodgy backpacker hostel (where I am writing this from, on my pocket PC). Having done that, it was a walk along Cataract Gorge and a pub dinner (way cheaper than last night!).
Who knows what tomorrow will bring...

Posted by jefranklin 16:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The quest begins

sunny
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After a long wait, the day has arrived - we are about to start our 6 months of travels.


After bumming around Mike & Hazel's place for the morning, Heather's dad gave us a lift to Sydney airport at 1pm for our 2:30 flight.
The flight itself was uneventful, flown with the world's worst airline. However, untypically the flight & the cabin staff were pretty good; maybe it's just long haul where they need to improve.
We landed at Hobart at around 4:30 and picked up our rental car, which was a comfy little Kia Rio. Ten minutes later and we were in the centre of Hobart trying to find somewhere to park.
We checked into the Argyle Guest House, had a shower and finished the evening at an Italian restaurant. We went way over budget, but what the hell, we're at the start of the expedition and we needed to celebrate!

Posted by jefranklin 16:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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