The Retirees in Tasmania – Back in Hobart

We had an uneventful trip back to Hobart where we spent quality time doing family things. Our time was just about up but one more trip was possible and we chose to grab a boat cruise from Adventure Bay #Adventure Bay on Bruny Is#Bruny Is to the Friars a rocky outcrop off Bruny Is, southern point Tasman Head. Advertised as a 3 hour wilderness cruise tickled our curiosity.

It started with a bus ride down to Kettering to board the car Ferry to cross to Roberts Point on Bruny Is then travel down Bruny Island Main Road to Bruny Island Honey – the sweetess spot on the island. I was taken with the display of bees entering the hive and Kerry was taken by the honey.

After being sweetened we travelled to the Neck (the isthmus joining north and south) where we visited Truganini Lookout #Truganini a timber stepped boardwalk which gives 360 degree views. Looks like hard work and it is.

After recovering we rejoined the bus and ended up at Adventure Bay where we suited up for the ride.

Wisely Kerry chose to sit at the transom of the boat. Despite the wind being strong the boat was often “flying” over the water. We went from the relative calm of Adventure Bay into the open Great Southern Ocean. We passed Penguin Island and sailed along the coast to Haulage Bay. Rugged and inhospitalable comes to mind.

We were taking it easy travelling south so that we could take in the landscape and go pretty close to the rocky outcrops. We came across what looked like and underwater gas coming to the surface. As we drew closer we could see it was a blow hole spouting as the waves rushed in and out.

We moved onto Boreel Head, Bridge Rock and our southern most point the Friars where we encountered Fur Seals – lots of them.

Thos two pinnacles in the distance are the Friars and once around those it was full throttle return trip – 4x250hp outboards jumped into action. No more skirting the coastline but skipping across the ocean like a stone. Smashing into the ocean some of the adventurous were now quite squimish and it was only the sighting of a gliding albatross that slowed us down – the skipper wanted to take a good look at him. As we rounded Fluted Cape there were many sighs of relief as we sailed more sedately into Adventure Bay and home port. To gain these fabulous photos for you I stood with the Skipper all the way around but I could not get any clear photos on the return due to sea spray washing the boat. So I was tired (from holding on for grim death) and welcomed the relative peace of sitting on the bus all the way to Hobart.

The Retirees in Tasmania – Go West Young Man

Having been to the coast we decided on our last day to go west into the hills behind St Helens and see what we could see.

Yesterday we had seen a sign to Priory Ridge Wines and decided that looked a good place to go. So after a hill climb we came upon the winery and cellar door.

Located in the small settlement of Priory, and just 3kms from the town of St Helens Priory Ridge winery is a family owned boutique winery. We found our way to another shack this time representing the cellar door. The door was open but no one in sight. We looked here there and everywhere not a soul could be found. Puzzled we were about to get back in the car when Julie Llewellyn came across from the vines pushing a wheel barrow full of cuttings. She was surprised to see us just as we were to encounter her. We shared a laugh and Julie then wiped her brow washed her hands and welcomed us to Priory Ridge Wines Estate #Priory Ridge Wines Estate.

Julie explained that she and her husband David had developed the vineyard on 20 hectares with ideal north facing slopes to maximise sunlight. The soil is Devonian granite rich in mineral content, transferring a unique “terroir” to the wine. Formally known as Tarpot Farm, the property has been in the ownership of Julie’s family (Reid/Clifford) for over 120 years. Julie’s Great Grandparents settled at Priory in 1889 after migrating from England in 1880.

Before its conversion to grapes the property was mainly used to graze sheep as an adjunct to a much larger property, grazing sheep, cattle and some cropping. Priory Ridge has the George River as its Northern boundary and the vineyard draws its water from a small dam on the property.

The shed was full of electic bits and pieces as well as wines. Kerry found some labelled plastic glasses which she purchased for our picnic set and a memory of our visit. I am pretty sure we also purchased a bottle or two.

We spent some time at the winery but hunger finally tore us away. So we returned to St Helens for lunch and decided to visit the sandhills behind Steiglitz/Akoroa. We were winding down to return to Hobart tomorrow so we were not looking for too much activity but come on the fact that the word includes “hills” should have told us what to expect. So we drove up to the starting point for the walk through the sandhills. Beautiful views and a convincing argument that all we needed to do was look grab some photos and go home and put our feet up.

That evening we packed and prepared to return to Hobart and our family. Our excursion to Tassie was coming to an end. A few days with the family and back to Brisbane and reality.

The Retirees in Tasmania – St Helens and the Bay of Fires

After our long day yesterday we got an early night keen to explore the Bay of Fires #Bay of Fires. The Bay of Fires is located on the northeastern coast of Tasmania. It includes a gorgeous coastline that stretches over 50 kilometres from Binalong Bay #Binalong Bay in the south to Eddystone Point #Eddystone Point in the north. The northern section of the bay is part of Mount William National Park # Mount William National Park; the southern end is a conservation area. The conservation area is divided into three sections, with Ansons Bay #Ansons Bay dividing the southern and northern ends. This popular conservation reserve is actually a string of breathtakingly beautiful beaches, interspersed by lagoons and rocky bluffs. Famous for the orange lichen-covered granite boulders, combined with the powder-white sand and turquoise waters, we wanted to see for ourselves and St Helens being the gateway to the Bay of Fires and Binalong Bay made an ideal starting point.

We drove out to the Tourist Information Centre at Akaroa #Akaroa where we were looking at booking a boat trip (Eco Tour) which is not really part of Binalong Bay but it gave us a taste of what was to come. We drove south across Medeas Cove following Treloggens Track to St Hellens Point past this timber and tin shed which we later found out was the Tourist Info Centre where you booked the Eco Tour. Out here we are in Burns Bay but the orange lichen-covered rocks were there to see. There were a few houses enjoying the serenity.

Driving back to St Hellens we pulled over at the tin and timber shed. Hello heres the Tourist Info Centre. Great little centre – here we could book boat tours (weekends only at the present so missed out there) and get maps and buy trinkets from local businesses. There was a coffee bar – hot water and instant coffee, and a range of sugary snacks and chips. No sale this time. But the view from the shack was a great panorama of the typical coast we would find. Did I mention that you could book a boat tour?

We then proceeded north back the way we came to the track along Binalong Bay. And this is what we saw –

These few photos don’t do it justice. It was difficult for an over weight 65+ old to scramble over the rocks and through the bush but we were rewarded with some great scenes. The road was suitable for a passenger car and it is probably good that 4 wheel drives aren’t permitted to drive where ever they can. there was a caravan park somewhere in all that (outside the conservation area) and it looked popular but pretty raw.