Saying farewell to southern Tasmania today we are legging it up the guts of the island on probably the straightest road Tassie has. Once past Hobart it was easy highway driving till we stopped for a latish lunch at Ross. Like Richmond a very historic town with another stunning convict constructed bridge. We checked out the bakery, (because it was the only place open) and had lunch by the river and bridge. Very windy, very cold but still very beautiful.
We chose to stay just outside of Launceston in Longford. This turned out to be a good choice. The caravan park was lovely, the supermarket in town amazing and some Zoners already hunkering down to ride out the storm. We had met this family in Coolum so was funny to run into them again in Longford.
Our first day we really just rode out the weather. It was cold, wet and windy not much fun to out in. However it all blew over in 24 hours and we had a stunning afternoon the following day at Cataract Gorge. A stunning recreational area with walks, hiking tracks, playground, pool, beautiful gardens, cafe, peacocks and wildlife and the worlds longest single span chairlift. The sun was out which was a treat as we haven’t seen a lot of it lately and throughly enjoyed our play, chairlift ride and walk.
The excitement has been building all week and final Lotte’s birthday had arrived! The day started with gifts in bed and breakfast before Ken and Charlotte went off to do a bit of a ropes climbing adventure. Charlotte had done a little of this on a school camp and loved it so has been hoping for the last month we’d be here to do it for her birthday.
Meanwhile with the birthday girl was out the van Georgie, Lulu and I got on with the business of cake making and decorating. Looked fantastic and should have tasted delicious but to be honest I haven’t nailed this gluten free / dairy free baking. At least the toasted marshmallow on top where still delicious and quickly disappeared. The rope climbing had been a lot more challenging and Charlotte was feeling pretty down about how the day was panning out but thankfully her choice of restaurant for dinner was a winner.
We ate at Stillwater Restaurant in Launceston, an iconic waterfront flour mill, turned bar, restaurant and now accommodation. Very classy, like our young 11 year old daughter. Charlotte sure does enjoy the finer things in life and when it come to food she just loves a great dining experience. Couldn’t fault the place, but the most noteworthy moment came when we were presented with the menu’s and they had typed up a specific coeliac and dairy free menu for Georgia and dairy free menu for Lotte.
Total wow! The little things really do matter, being able to walk into a restaurant and order anything off the menu is a rare and wonderful thing. Since October last year (2018) neither girls have been able to do this. So it was really special for them to just be able to choose whatever they wanted, from the menu in front of them, and know they weren’t going to end up being told they can’t have it or suffering the ill effects of poor planning and knowledge from the skilled professionals in the kitchen. Might not seem like much to others but it was just fantastic for us. Food, wine, service and setting all 5 stars! Thank you Stillwater Restaurant, Launceston and Tassie for such fine produce.
Our final day in Launceston / Longford we lunch the at low carb / high fat cafe Broth me before driving to and up Ben Lomond. At 1,572m (5,157ft) it is Tasmania’s second highest peak and its premier Alpine skiing destination. Stunning, dramatic, windy and freezing. The photos really speak for themselves.
Leaving Longford we made our way to Penguin hoping to spend some time with some little fairy Penguins. We stayed at a free camp just outside Penguin. The view was fantastic with the stony beach just 1m away but a couple of meter the other way was a train line. Luckily it was for freight only and not that busy but it did make for dramatic train spotting. No fencing or signage to stay off the line which actually was nice.
We had read that the penguins would come up and shelter under the van during the night. It did seem by the poo left around that they were coming but to be honest it was so freezing we weren’t hanging around to watch and didn’t want to startle of blind the gorgeous little things. We did however spot a few nesting during the day.
We had a wonderful relaxing time here, be it hanging around the van or wondering around Penguin or nearby Sheffield. Penguin town is full of character with Penguins everywhere and view across Bass Striat. The view was so distracting in the library I was having trouble readin the booking the books. The town had developed a wonderful scavenger hunt that took us on a lovely walk and to all the major sights. Very well done Penguin 🐧!
From Penguin we did a day trip to Sheffield. Had a delicious lunch, potter around the town and an explore for all the murals the town is famous for. We happend to be here when the annual Mural Fest was on so there was plenty to admire. This is when we weren’t admiring the magnificence of nearby Mt Roland. What striking and towering natural beauty to have as a backdrop for the town.
We’ll be seeing a lot more of Mt Roland next week as we have book some accommodation for a few days looking directly on to it.
Our final day camped just outside of Penguin was a very relaxed one just soaking up the views, a chance to have a slowish day catching up on bits and bobs around the van. Tassie continues to deliver and we can’t get enough. 💜 ♥️ ❤️ 💜