Nov 25, 2015

Tasmania Part 5 - Oatlands - Campbell Town

A 50klm drive up the road our next stopover was at Oatlands, we were 'lucky' to come in on the same day the towns local holds their garage sales, it's a good idea as it attracts people to the town that wouldn't normally bother, plus for those that sell it gives them some money for items they have no use for. 

The town has many historic buildings, the main attraction is the old Callington Mill which has been restored and used for demonstrations on grinding grain for flour. Right next door is the stopover camping area, we stayed two nights here and though the weather was windy and at times chilly it was a lovely town to enjoy a few walks. 

We were camped across the road from a wetlands and I spent some time watching the swans and ducks.

We left Oatlands and headed towards Ross, another lovely town lined with tall leafy tree's and more Historic buildings, Ross also boasts of having a Historic Woman's Factory, a rather strange name conjuring up the thought that there may have been an assembly line making women, but in actual fact it was a Women's Prison back in the penal days. 

The Bridge in Ross is interesting, many of the convicts that were sent to Van Diemens Land in the late 1700's early 1800's made a huge influence to Australia's heritage, the hardship they endured to sail for  around 180 days only to then be given hard labour building roads, bridges, buildings etc, we owe them our thanks. 

A look around Ross, morning tea at a local cafe and it was on to Campbell Town. All of the small towns we had recently stayed at have been off the main highway, Campbell Town the highway goes through the centre. Their are two stopovers in town, the larger is next to the 'Old Red Bridge' which itself is steeped in history, one claim is the bridge has not been restored or had any maintainence needed since it was built back in 1838. Like all other towns we have visited we had a look around and made sure we spent a few dollars, even something as small as coffee's and a few groceries helps the towns survive. Their is a 2nd camp area in town, a lot smaller and few level areas but it does have a dump place was the black water. 

Certainly different, complete with pot belly stove. 

A very interesting thing in Campbell Town was the row of bricks along the footpath, each was inscribed with a convicts name, crime committed, sentence and ship they came out on. It's incredible to think you could be sentenced to 7 years for stealing 3 handkerchiefs, Life for stealing furniture, our Court system has certainly changed and not necessarily for the better. 

Think of young James Binks, at 18 years of age he stole some lace (there has to be a story there) he was sentenced to Life! Plus a month on the treadmill ! ... James would have been very fit & tired by the end of that :-)

Nov 21, 2015

Tasmania Part 4 - Edgar Dam - Kempton

One area we both loved last trip was a camp out at Edgar Dam, it was here we came across quite a few Tiger snakes, we were very lucky not have been bitten as we climbed up some rocks to get a better view, looking down near my feet was a nice big healthy looking Tiger, snakes don't scare me but I'm not foolish enough to play around with them so we got off the rocks fairly quick. I was hoping we would spot some more this time but the weather conditions were a lot cooler and not a snake to be seen. 

Edgar dam is perfect for any type of caravan, the road in is 30klms of dirt but it's well graded and hard, more like gravel than dirt but it does throw up the dust, so if you don't like getting your rig dirty don't bother. If it doesn't concern you the reward is a lovely camping area complete with fire pits, full wood boxes, two shelters and a double long drop Eco toilets. In the few days we were there we saw no one else come into the camp ground, a few vehicles went further on to Huon Camp which is more suited to the tenters and hikers, we did take our rig through and got a few stunned looks.

The highlight apart from the peace and quiet was the many Pademelons that came and visited us, the pademelon inhabiting the Tasmanian forests have a variety of predators and are preyed upon by Tasmanian Devils, snakes, large birds of prey such as eagles, and even by quolls. The pademelon is a marsupial meaning that the female pademelon has a pouch on her belly where she nurses her young. After mating the infant pademelon will be born just 30 days later, when it has to make its own way into it's mother's pouch. Baby pademelon then spend the next 6 months or so growing and developing inside the pouch and eventually begin to venture out into the outside world.

We were also visited by a Eastern Quoll, not as bold as the Pademelon's, it was difficult to get a clear photo of it.

Like the Quoll the small birds were too fast and flighty to get any photos, one draw back in using a compact camera is the zoom and shutter is not fast enough. The Currawongs were friendly though

Edgar Dam gets the thumbs up from us, now being not far from Gordon Dam we thought we may as well revisit it again. Last time we were there the dam looked to be full of water, certainly not like we found it to be this time.

We thought we may stay a night at Teds Beach but the limited space was taken up by two 5th Wheelers so we instead headed back towards a little town called Pontville, we found the camp next to the sports grounds but compared to Kempton just 20klms away it lacked water access and Vickie wanted to get the washing under control, so back to Kempton we went. 

Arriving late in the afternoon, all we did was relax and read our books, the next day it was laundry day and with the wind blowing briskly it didn't take long for things to dry. Whilst Vickie was taking care of the chores I went for a walk around town, Kempton is only 46klms from Hobart but it is a very quiet town with only a Post Office & Police station, it is a very Historic town like many in Tasmania and some old buildings are still standing, many were Hotels in their day.

The local council chambers

Many beautiful gardens in Tasmania, a lot have roses.

Surprisingly the chrome bumper bar was the best part of this old relic.

Saturday we drove into Hobart so that Vickie could go to the Salamanca Markets, I wandered up and down but to me it's all the same same, I do enjoy listening to the buskers and there are some talented people out there. 

A friend told me about a hamburger restaurant in Hobart and as things happen we were standing near it but it still took us 10 minutes to find it, I ordered a burger & chips, Vickie went the healthy Caeser salad, needless to say mine was much nicer.

Leaving the markets we went for a drive around Battery Point and followed a road along the coast, after an hour or so we turned around and headed back to camp at Kempton. 

Tasmania Part 3 - Brady's Lake - Hamilton

November 13th found us cruising along the Lyall Highway, Vickie has become quite adapt at using the iPad with the Wikicamps App, and she directed me to our next camp beside Brady's Lake, the drive in was a gravelled track leading down to the lakes edge, we choose to follow it around further and found a lovely place beside the whitewater river, this river is used for Kayaking events and a lot of it has been modified to make the event challenging. There wasn't much water flowing down to keep the kayakers happy but it was flowing enough for me to throw a fishing line into, but with no luck.

Another place we should have stayed longer but we figure that we have plenty of time to find new places and we can always come back. We left Brady's Lake and drove past Ouse and Tarraleah, we were keen to check out a camp near Lake Repulse, the name didn't sound attractive but the comments in the Wikicamps gave us hope. Well after a long drive through the hills we came across a filthy rubbish strewn camp, it astounds us that humans can disregard their own backyard so badly. It was obviously a party camp with the amount of empty cans and bottles laying around, toilet paper scattered through the bush with not even an effort to burn or bury the waste. Disgusting! 

The only bright part of the day was coming across an Echidna making his way across the road, we stopped and I put my gloves on and took the opportunity to get some photos before carrying it into the bush. 

Our day ended up at Hamilton, we actually called into use the toilet dump but then realised the town had a small area available for overnight stops, there were already a half dozen other campers set up but we found a section away from the crowd nestled in between some trees, we thought we had the best position of them all. 

That's us up in the top section. Towns like Hamilton need congratulating for allowing campers to stay, some charge a small amount whilst others are free. We always try and spend some money in the town if we have stayed there. Hamilton was no different, getting $30 from us for freshly baked bread, coffee's and freshly baked pies.