Eventually we left Hobart for a few nights camping at the most southerly point of Tasmania – Cookle Creek. To get there we drove through the Huon Valley, scenic apple orchard country. We stopped at Geeverston for lunch, a play and to try our luck at platypus spotting in the wild, sadly we were unsuccessful. The disappointment of no platypus sightings was made up for with an awesome playground and some top nosh.
We continued to drive south until the road literally runs out and you drive off the most southerly bitumen road in the world and on to dirt for a few more kilometers. You cross a bridge and then campsites begin to appear.
Having been to the most easterly point in Byron Bay, NSW and the most northerly point in Cape York, QLD here we are at the most southernly point Cockle Creek, TAS. We love a little remote get away, and this feels pretty remote. From this point we are closer to Antarctica than we are to Cairns and we were incredibly fortunate to not cop any winds coming up from Antarctica.
The weather was gloomy but it felt serene and peaceful. There wasn’t much on offer in terms of a campsites but we perched ourselves on a spot with view of Rechercher Bay. A couple of very low key days were in order and with Georgia becoming unwell she couldn’t muster the energy for anything too adventurous.
There were a couple of long walks near by that were too long for us, but we enjoyed a beautiful morning stroll coastal walk. Much was learned from the signage on the history of the bay. Whaling being the main industry when the bay was full of whale. It’s a gruesome picture painted by the historians and I am left wondering why have they have never returned to what now appears a very safe and tranquil bay. Are their numbers still so depleted or is the knowledge of what occurred here all those years ago somehow passed on from one generation of whale to the next?
The walk took us through some dense coastal woodlands which to me had a magical feel. Lush lichen and mosses, peppermint trees and grasses before delivering you onto a deserted beach of clear waters and white sands. We explored this bay and paddled before stopping for a snack and calling it a day. We didn’t cover much distance but we did absorb and love every minuet of the journey.
The afternoon and following day moved at a slow but blissful pace. Beach play, a walk with a massive ray, and a show put on by the arrival of a tall ship in the bay. Having been learning of the early seafarers and French admiral Bruny D’Entrecasteaux who discovered this bay, it was an amazing sight to see this elegant lady sail into Recherche Bay and stay the night.
Georgia was still feeling unwell but her tummy was settling down so it was another restful day hanging out in paradise. Ken took the pack raft out for a paddle, explore and oyster scavenger hunt. While he was successful and enjoyed shucking his first oyster, we followed the signage posted around and didn’t consume them but tossed them back to the sea.
Having all had such a hectic few weeks sightseeing and Ken working hard this little three day escape was a much need chance to take a breath and decompress. However now with a sense of our time here in Tasmania coming to an end and still much to see, we mustn’t dilly dally . That and Charlotte birthday in a few days and her request to be in Launceston playing in the back of our minds it was time to move on.
Upon leaving our most southernly camp we couldn’t miss paying a visit to Hasting Caves and Thermal Springs. So with van hitched on we drove through the beautiful Huon Valley to take the tour of the cave and enjoy a dip in the 28-degree thermal swimming pool situated at the visitors centre. Yet another crack’n experience Tassie!
Before we travel up the centre of Tassie to Launceston we decided to overnight at Port Huon and have one last attempt at capturing the Aurora Australis. Conditions where looking favorable so we were hopeful, however a storm was coming in with a horrible forecast for the next day. With everything crossed the storm would hold off for the night we found ourselves a south facing campsite settled in for a long night.
The view was stunning but the elusive “Lady” didn’t delight us and with bad weather arriving imminently there was not much point holding out for another night. It would be remiss to leave this area without stopping at one of the famous Huon Valley orchards and stocking up on apples and pears, juicy, delish and so fresh! With that our last stop we headed north for a long day on the road, nearly travelling the full length of Tassie in a day.