The Retirees in Tasmania – the Bay of Fires

After resting up getting up and packing up, we are on the move again driving over to St Helens #St Helens on the southern end of the Bay of Fires. We got a few hot tips on places to stop on the way over and one we found by ourselves.

What would a country trip be without a renowned chocolate shop on the way. Introducing the House of Anvers # House of anvers and Anvers Choclate Factory cafe and museum. Situated in the former Wyndarra Lodge #Wyndarra Lodge 9025 Bass Highway Latrobe, the House of Anvers is a factory a cafe a museum and a gift shop. Bass Highway is a pretty busy little road so keeping an eye out for signs and avoiding getting the bloke behind running up your bum made getting there a bit interesting. Wyndarra Lodge (now the House of Anvers) is a 1928 bungalow style building set in parkland right on the Bass Highway between Devonport & Latrobe. Acquired by Anvers in 2002 it was and is ideally suited to transfer the chocolate factory into and showcase the products and the stroy of chocolate. After making a dash across the oncoming traffic and arriving at the Lodge we were firstly taken with the large rose bushes dripping with flowers and the bungalow style how looking as though it was still in the 1920’s. First thing was a cup of hot Belgian chocolate in the lavious cafe then a visit to the mueum and a sticky beck at the chocolate makers but lastly a visit to the choclate shop. Not a place to visit on a keto diet.

Now we could have remained longer but our travel schedule prohibited lingering stays at choclate shops. We moved on until we saw some cows beside the road and spotted the signs to Ashgrove Dairy #Ashgrove Dairy – not where you would buy a pint of milk. All of these cows are fake, the milking herd obviously is some where else probably not as flash as this. We decided we would have a cheese platter for lunch and this was just the place for it. We toured through the museum of milking past the pasturising into the gift shop – oops too far. lets go back to the selction of cheese and the tables of tourists chomping on cheese. I still drool when I see the rounds of parmesan and blue vein cheeses. Of course we had to pass through the gift shop and we gather a few more bits to satisfy that calcium craving.

Now its quite a long trip from Wynyard to St Helens and we needed petrol and we were approximately in the middle of Tasmania on a highway with no apart fueling stops. Oh what a minute there’s one. Of course there had to be a truck stop nearby and as we pull in around the back we see the truckers trucks in the back yard – a rough sort of lay over for 18 wheelers and above. The “diner” was a trucker’s dream – every style of deep fried something imaginable and fresh sandwiches too. There were washrooms but I guesses each driver would sleep in the back of the truck. After refueling (the car too) we wandered amongst the trucks toward a strange looking brick wall that seemed out of place – and there it was Tassie Truckies Memorial Wall #Tassie Truckies Memorial Wall. I had not seen this before and there was a small grave there as well which looked like a child of one of the truckers – the grave was not inscribed so we will never know.

We moved onto to St Helens which was a winding trip through the hills before dropping down to the coast. And there I must leave it. We found our apartment and washed off the dirt of the road and settled in for the night. The resort was beside a marsh and the noise of the marsh sang us to sleep. The day had been long but a few Anvers losengers helped us to relax. tomorrow its the Bay of Fires.

The Retirees in Tasmania – Hobart

Our family has become very dispersed – our youngest and his family having taken up residence in Hobart Tasmania. #HobartTasmania The Covid restrictions have prevented us from travelling particularly to visit our family so with a lessening of restrictions in November and December 2021, we returned to Hobart and Paul’s home.

Living below the summit of Mt Wellington (pictured above) they have a charming semi rural property with fabulous views but close proximity to Hobart and its surrounds. We stayed with them for a few days during which we took in the sites before visiting the north and north east of Tasmania.

One of the places we visited was the historic village of Richmond about 25 km north-east of Hobart, in the Coal River region. Richmond’s most famous landmark is the Richmond Bridge, built in 1823 to 1825, around the time of the town’s first settlement. It is Australia’s oldest bridge still in use. The town was initially part of the route between Hobart and Port Arthur. Present-day Richmond is best known as being preserved as it was at that time. It is a vibrant tourist town, with many of the sandstone structures still standing. But we had come with the intent to see the model village of Hobart Town circa 1820 – OLD HOBART TOWN.

At the end of a driveway off the main street is this model correct in every detail (or so they say) – minuature in scale it is like a picture of the town one hour of one day over 200 years ago. Individually handcrafted with passion by Andrew and John Quick over a three year period, the authentic model village has been reconstructed from original plans and it gives a unique glimpse into the tough life of Australia’s convict past. I was taken back by the detail which included an interpretation of life for the inhabitants the harshness of that life including executions on the gallows and flogging with a cat-of-nine-tails. The Hope and Anchor pub shown in the pictures below still exisits but I am not certain that it is the original building or in the original location.

We then strolled through Richmond seeking the historic bridge and some of the original sandstone buildings.

After returning to the car we travelled further into Coal River Valley and onto our lunch venue Coal River Farm. A family run business owned by Daniel and Melanie Leesong with an urge to celebrate Tasmania’s world class produce they opened the doors at Coal River Farm. They have developed a reputation for cheese and chocolate in the form of a high tea and that is what we were there for.

A modern building greets you set in a picutresque part of the valley and the building makes every attempt to allow you to observe your surrounds. Inside you pass a window onto the chocolate maker pouring his moulds and then are forced to walk past each and every kind of chocolate until you reach the dining room with its cheese fridge and choclate dispalys. The menu includes other fresh produce but we were there for cheese and chocolates. Delicious! Satisfied we went to return to our car and the trip home but our grandaughter Lola became sidetracked by a lonesome goat hungry for the greener grass outside his enclosure. After the goat became distracted by other visitors we escaped to the car and home.

The next few days were spent catching up with our family in Tassie before we headed north.