Tantalizing Tasmania (Part 2, the North)
Northern Tasmania has much to offer the outdoor enthusiast, be it bushwalking or beach walking, and the wine scene isn’t anything to sneeze at either, with the famous Tamar wine region nearby. I was fortunate to spend a couple of weeks in Port Sorell, with some day trips to nearby areas, including the renowned Cradle Mountain.
After passing through the town of Scheffield, famous for it’s multitude of murals, which were commissioned to help revitalize a dying city (great idea!) we headed out to Cradle Mountain, home to the Overland Track. Unfortunately for us, our plans for a hike around Dove Lake and on the Enchanted Trail were cut short by freezing rain and gale force winds. But as you can see, it’s still beautiful, even on a blustery day!
Port Sorell itself is outstandingly scenic, with a lighthouse overlooking the harbor, great fishing, and stunning beaches. My host, Derek, was kind enough to take me on some excursions on the weekends, and during the week while he was at work, I got to pedal his bike and use my own two feet. This was a nice leisurely way to explore the area. It certainly is home to golden beaches, as the welcome sign proclaims! The water is inviting, but cold enough to have some swimmers wearing wet suits.
We also made a night time trip to see the fairy penguins come in from their day of fishing to feed their young. It was magical, watching them waddle up the shore, and baby chicks fought for who got the first serving of regurgitated seafood. Picture taking is limited as they only come back after dark, and the rangers use special red flashlights so that you can see but the penguins are apparently undisturbed.
Liffey Falls is in the region, an easy walk through temperate rainforest down to a beautiful series of sparkling falls…
And then a trip to nearby Alpine microclimate to see the pencil pines.
Nearby Burnie has a Maker’s Workshop where artisans demonstrate their skills and sell their wares – jewelers, painters, musical instrument makers, and how about special paper made of Roo Poo? You can also learn about the area’s history in mining.
We drove along the northern coastal road past stunning rocky & sandy shores to Stanley, an artsy little town, to see the Nut, a large rock formation, and then on to the wild west coast, where cows and waves awaited us.
Close to Port Sorell, in Narawntapu National Park you can bush walk with the kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons & betongs!! The pademelons are shy and race away at top speeds, but the bigger kangaroos sit and look at you with curiosity, and only bound away when you get quite close. And there are trails through mysterious bush and out to a spectacular beach view as well.
Said goodbye to Derek & Jim’s good cooking, to the beaches and wallabies and beautiful scenery, goodbye to Tasmania, and goodbye to Australia!