Richmond and Port Arthur

We’re back in Tasmania. We’ve spent more time in this state that any other so far on our travels. It could be because we bought a piece of it but it’s most likely because we love this place and still have so much more of it to explore.


At the end of the last blog we had arrived in Tasmania and drove from Devonport docks down to Richmond where we had booked a beautiful Airbnb for 3 nights to help us get settled. The Airbnb complex was called Mulberry Cottage and is a collection of individual cottages surrounding a massive Mulberry tree in historic Richmond. Maureen, our host was very delightful and the Valley View cottage we had was perfect as a decompress from the long drive.

Valley View cottage, the view of the valley of course
Richmond Bridge
You know you’re back in Tasmania when the red beanie comes out

We arranged to meet Maddy and Steve and their new dog Brownlow for the first time. The dog for the first time of course not Maddy and Steve.

Jenni, Maddy, Brownlow and Steve crossing Richmond Bridge

Brownlow is beautiful, of course, and stole the show. Was great to catch up with Maddy and Steve too though.

This is the plaque at the bridge explaining it’s history.

Pooley’s Wines

For lunch we had booked a table at the nearby Pooley’s Winery. They do wood fired pizzas and had a good selection of wines and beers. They are also an easy walk from our Airbnb so no need to worry about how much wine to order, except that I was driving later to see our new housesit people. But was a good idea at the time. Jenni and I walked there anyway, the path took us past some sheep sheltering from the sun under a tree. Poor thing’s probably nearly dying in the 17 degree centigrade heat.

Bet they wish they could take their coats off.
Pooley’s Winery, nice looking place. Pity about the name, Butcher’s Hill.
Good credentials
Bar at Pizza @ Pooley

The pizza’s were great, the wines were exquisite and the light beer I had was acceptable. If we stay in Richmond again, which we intend to, we will stay in the Mulberry Cottage and have a very long lunch at Pooley Wines.

Life, Threads and Coincidences

β€œIt’s hard to believe in coincidence, but it’s even harder to believe in anything else.”
― John Green, Will Grayson, Will Grayson

In a previous blog we discussed the coincidence of meeting this guy, who’s name is Evan, on a boat far up the Gordon River in far west Tasmania.

Evan, in the blue tights with the red top. Waiting for our boat to arrive to collect the crew.

And then again a month later at Panama Festival and realising we had a picture of him from the last Panama as well.

Evan, at Panama, never knowingly underdressed

Well, while filling up the Mazda in the Richmond petrol station who was at the same garage doing the same thing? Evan of course. Hands were shaken, hugs were given and received and an invite to Evan’s dinner party on Wednesday night was offered and accepted. We drove to Blackman’s Bay and met with our next housesit family and their cat and agreed to take on the challenge. Next day we checked out of the Airbnb in Richmond and into another in Dodges Ferry.

The view early morning from the Dodges Ferry accommodation.

It was a lovely little studio apartment overlooking Park Beach. The sunrises especially were pretty beautiful.

The views were amazing, plus the apartment had a hot tub.
Sunrise from the hot tub in Dodges Ferry apartment. Pictures of us in the hot tub are NSFW ‘R’ rating.

The next day we arranged to meet Steve and Maddy for lunch at Dunally Fish Market. Best fish and chips in Tassie we reckon.

Not much to look at but they do excellent fish and chips.

The day after this was the day of Evans’s party. He lives on the other side of Hobart in the wilderness, so we booked a place close to his to save on taxi fares.

The pademelons that roamed the grounds were happy to get the off cuts from the Mango Daquiri’s being made and offered to guests upon their arrival.

Pademelon and Mango daquiri’s

It was obviously mad shirt day at the party.

The picture is not blurred, this is how we looked after the mango daquiri’s. Note the Elmo decorations in the background.

Several conversations later we discovered a few more coincidences. Lou, Evan’s girlfriend lives in the same street as us in Brisbane. Her kids went to the same school as Jenni’s. Evan and party had lunch at Pooley wines, same day as us but a slightly later. Evan is exactly the same age I was when I was 15 years ago, That last one is a bit of a stretch I know.

The Elmo Easter decorations were up a bit early though.
How not to do an end of night group selfie, I have my, “Is this thing on?” face.
It is an obvious statement to make but we did have a great time. Much frivolity and dancing was had. If you ever read this blog, Evan, looking forward to the invite to next one.

Port Arthur Camping

Wikicamps gave Port Arthur camp site almost 5 stars, unheard of. We booked it immediately for the week after we left Dodges Ferry Airbnb. It didn’t disappoint.

As our first day on the camp site was a Friday- weekday/workday – we didn’t want to set up our tent on arribal so we booked a cabin for the Firday night and planned to put up our castle on Saturday morning.
This is our Cabin in the Woods.
And this is our excellent camp set up we constructed on Saturday morning.

The park is full of wild life, it is in the middle of a forest so it would be. We were a bit surprised you could light camp fires but, as they were allowed, we did. At dusk each day I’d light the fire and watch the pademelons and potoroos come out to play.

It was great fun each night warming ourselves on the fire and watching the local wildlfe come out to play.
Mummy pademelon and baby

The pademelons were not the only animals to visit. My chick magnetism seems to be getting stronger.

Do you remember this pic from a previous blog in Marengo Beach.
It happened again with a rozella in Port Arthur

We love the Australian wildlife and this place allowed us to get up close and personal without the animals being tamed or commercialised. As a result of all the animal invasions I kept my camera close while working outside all day. These are some of the pictures I got.

He (or she, who can tell?) came back to greet us often. Here he is on one of our tent guy ropes. By the way, in this term “guy” means “rope” in old English. So a guy role is a “rope rope”. Maybe a clickbait title, “A bird clung on percariously to one of our guys while camping, what happens next will blow your mind…” may attract more visitors.
It flew off right after I took this. That’s what happened. They are beautiful though.
Pademelon’s were everywhere but usually moving too fast in the dark/dusk to get a decent pic. I think this is my favourite one.
There was a Superb Fairy Wren in the area. “Beautiful plumage the Norwegian Blue” always springs to mind. They never stand still and rarely come close. For 4 out of the 5 days this is as close as it came.
On the last day it popped out from under the tree for half a second and I clicked this. Well, I clicked a couple of dozen on fast shutter and continuous autofocus but this one came out.
Don’t care about the tent guy rope rope scarring the picture, I’m an amateur not a pro, plus it puts it in context. Plus the little blue fecker isn’t very cooperative.
Still one of my favourite birds.

Walk to Port Arthur Historical Site.

It’s advertised as a 50 minute return trip to walk from the camp site, through the forest reserve, to the Port Arthur historical site. We booked an hour off work one day and went to explore. Turns out it was farther that we thought. These pics were taken on two separate trips. See if you can spot the continuity errors.

The path takes you though the forest reserve and some amazing trees and sights.
It hugs the coastline and is a great walk.
There are massive Eucalyptus trees all along the path.

Finally we got the the Port Arthur site however a big sign said you need to pay money to go any further. We had none with us and weren’t that interested in another convict site so I took a few snaps of the area and turned and walked back.

Port Arthur historical site.
Exhibit at the entrance to the site.
Jenni patiently waiting on Jim to stop running around clicking at random stuff and start back to the camp site,

Eventually Jenni got her wish and we headed back.

We stopped at a few beaches on the way back. Some were very rocky, reminded me of some Irish beaches.
The views of the bay were amazing and the waters so clear.

I believe it’s important to consider the micrcosm also, the clear waters allowed for some great views of the tiny sea creatures inhabiting the rock pools.

Although some of the views reminded me of Scotland.
The anenome of my anenome is my friend
Like us, another wanderer carrying it’s home with it on it’s journey. Home with a sea view this time.
The waters were so clear, I wanted to capure an image that represented this. It was then I realised how hard it is to take a picture of something you can’t see.

We arrived back to the camp site, lit the fire and watched the pademelons and potoroos bounce around for a while and then we retired. We were leaving the next day so had to get up early and get some work done. Beforfe we left though, we had arranged to meet up with Maddy and Steve and see what ele this region has to offer. Steve is a bit of and expert and recommended a couple of places. Bring it on.

Eaglehawk Neck

In a previous blog we covered our trip to Eaglehawk Neck. However in that blog we only visited a few of the local attractions. We set out to see a few more while we were down this part of the island. Oh! Just realised. Should have said. Eaglehawk neck is near where we are camping.

We arranged to meet Maddy and Steve and the beautiful Brownlow of course, at Pirate’s Bay Nature Recreation Area Car Park. This was a 3 U-Turn journey. “Oh we went past the turning” “Oh wrong road, I’ll turn around” “Oh is that it? Shit I’ll turn around again” sort of thing.

Maddy and Brownlow, Maddy’s the one wearing the cap.

Eventually we found the correct car park and set off down the beach to see what was on offer. Steve, who knows this area well, recommended we turn left and go see the Tesselated Pavement. As a follower of YouTube photographers I had heard of the famous Tessalated Pavement and was excited to see it first hand.

On our way to the Tessalated Pavement
We had to stop to dig a hole or two though, very important.

Not much further we arrived at the Tessalated Pavement.

Good example of Pan and Loaf rock formation.
It is a very popular tourist attraction and therefore was difficult to get a decent picture without people. This is the view back along Pirate’s Bay.
Enough of the tessalations already

We set off strolling back to the car, I spied some trees clinging to the sandstone clif edges. It seemed to me like the tree roots were holding the cliffs together.

We walked back along Pirates Beach to the car and on to our next adventure.

Remarkable Cave

Steve mentioned another local feature, the Remarkable Cave. Well, Jenni and I had been to the Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island so we had to go there.

The entrance to the Remarkable Cave
We could have a whole blog titled “Steve told us this”
This is what Steve told us about this scene. The white stripe you can see is seal shit. The towers on the edge of the cliffs were used as target practice by some of the original ships gunners. One time during practice a sailor fell overbaord and was killed by a shark. It was the first recorded shark killing of a white man in Australia.

Onward to the cave

On the short, but steep path to the cave this little guy was having a breakfast of someone’s discarded banana peel.
We had another great Tassie’s Top Model moment (unfortunately without Becky this time). You’ll need to be familiar with some earlier blogs to get the meaning of this.
Jenni at the entrance to the Remarkable Cave
It is said the far entrance, from this angle, looks like the outline of the map of Tasmania. So we have been to a rock with a hole that looks like the outline of Australia, now Tasmania too.
Remarkable Cave, worth a visit. At low tide you can walk through it.
The Remarkable Cave viewing platform you are not supposed to get off.

At this point we must end this chapter. Maddy, Steve, Brownlow and Jenni and I went for a picnic at Stewart’s Bay and then the guys drove back to Dodges Ferry and we packed up our camp site and drove on to our next adventure. House sitting a cat called Ruckus for a couple of weeks in Blackmans Bay. You may well hear of this in a future blog but until then, have fun.

Till next time.

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