Feature Story

An Aussie Roadtrip Adventure Pt VII

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Day 7 – Port Melbourne to Kingston Beach

Up and down, up and down, up and down. I am on board the Spirit of Tasmania II, bound for Devenport, and its 4.30am. Why have they turned the lights back on so early? Anyway, I am awake now, so I tidy up my blanket and pillow, slip my shoes back on and head off in search of coffee. I find some at the Lavender Café on deck 7. I walk past lots of sore heads from too much indulgence last night, and some green faces who clearly didn't find the ships rolling as soothing as I did.

Back at our seats I find Alli still asleep, but mum and dad are awake, luckily had had brought coffee and hot choccies for all. The announcement comes over the loudspeaker that we will be soon arriving in Devonport. I wake Alli, she has slept like a log all night. I had no need to worry about any sea-sickness she may have inherited from her father. She is bright and well rested, more so than the rest of us, maybe I should buy her a water bed when we get back home. Soon we are instructed to load into our vehicles and prepare to disembark. Before long we have cleared all the security checks and are officially in Tasmania.

I had planned to head West, but the bad weather from the day before has followed us and we are advised to head to the more sheltered East Coast. As soon as we clear the city of Devonport we spot snow covered peaks in all directions. The rain continues and we gaze at the beautiful scenery from the windows of the car as we drive past, heading for Launceston and the Basin Gorge. We take a short work over the Alexandra suspension bridge, around the basin and back to the car park before continuing on.

We head in the direction of Freycinet National Park, in particular Wineglass Bay. The scenery on the drive is stunning, green fields, fat sheep and snow covered mountains as far as the eye can see.

We arrive at Wineglass Bay for an early lunch. We pull into one of the many beachside parks, but the wind is blowing so hard that I can hardly push the car door open. We decide to look for somewhere more sheltered. We find a quiet cove with a view of the Hazzard Mountains and enjoy a lunch of cold cuts, gourmet cheeses and local wines.

Lunch over we head South, planning to camp at the Glenorchy Showgrounds near Hobart so we can be a good position to take in the snow covered Mount Wellington and the Cadbury Chocolate Factory in the morning. Near Swansea we spot a sign for "Kate's Berry Farm". We wheel in to a picturesque cottage farm with neat rows of berries and unruly daisies. I am no longer intent on driving around Tassie, I have decided I will eat my way around the state, starting now. I taste several jams, liqueurs, wines and chocolates, before buying some chocolate coated rasberries and a waffle cone piled high with homemade boysenberry ice cream – delicious!

As we near Hobart the weather once again turns against us, winds of 130km blow off snow and we decide to try and find accommodation that is less likely to blow away during the night then our tents. I start calling hotels, motels and caravan parks. Two things are soon apparent, Hobart's accommodation is completely sold out due to an international field hockey tournament and hotelier's in Hobart are a rude, uncaring lot that aren't at all interested in helping a weary traveller, not even bothering to recommend somewhere I might try when I ask.

Eventually we find ourselves 20km South of Hobart at Kingston Beach, in an overpriced, older style motel. It is dry, clean and warm, the owners are helpful and happy and we are right on the ocean.

Now only if it would stop raining. After settling in, we wander through the rain, along the esplanade, to the nearest fish and chip shop. The cooks are clearly supporting Hawthorne in the AFL Grand Final, and attempt to take our order without turning their heads from the screen. Eventually, once the final minutes have been played and the Sydney Swans are named victors, a dejected chef hands over a huge bundle of food and we wander back to our motel to eat, shower and sleep.

I consider editing some photos, but decide to fall asleep watching Harry Potter instead.

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