Is it really true? Yes it is indeed! We are still based in Mac`s beautiful beach shack at Eggs and Bacon Bay, south-east of Tasmania! Did we stop our trip? NO! It is just a perfect place at this time of the year (winter is coming… and there are some really cold nights already) to discover Tasmania. Is that boring??? NOT AT ALL!!! Here you can find a lot to see and many people to meet…
We are not getting tired riding around all this little roads (sometimes even with a bus which Mac sponsored us for some days ;). Mainly gravel but mostly in really good condition. The autumn tints everything in beautiful colors and after the morning mist we have mostly sunny days – it can get really cold at night and we always adore having our warm dry shack to come back to. Several trips provided an insight into different sceneries and scenarios. On the Tasmanian Peninsula for example we got shocked; still you could see the leftovers from the bushfires from the beginning of the year. Properties and houses burnt down completely… On the other hand you find beautiful wild cliffs to hike along. And when it was time for dinner a guy just passed by and gave us a big piece of fresh blue fin tuna. When we stayed overnight next to the “Remarkable Cave” we met a nice couple, Barbara and Sean from NSW. They visited us in our shack for a night and we had a good time together. Another day we went up to Mt Wellington (1270m) where we could overlook Hobart and the whole south-east of Tasmania from above. We had a great boat trip with Mac and his poodle Noodle on their new sailing boat to a 30-year-old shipwreck. For one night we had the possibility to host Cat and Kev (http://www.rtwadv.com/) and exchange experiences. For a longer trip we went up the east coast; Coles Bay, which lies beneath pink granite peaks and where we met Lindsey (travelling around Tassi on his Enfield Bullet 500; further up to the Bay of Fires with endless beaches and lovely rock formations where you really feel like you reached the end of the world; and finally we crossed to the middle of the east part of the island. A spectacular ride was the “Jacobs Ladder” on Mt Ben Lomond with nobody else around. When we were leaving our camp in the forest and heading towards it early morning, Ben Lomond was still covered completely in clouds. We chose forest tracks and enjoyed beautiful morning scenarios while coming closer. With our arrival the mist was gone or rather was bedding low below us in the valleys below. We had stunning views when we were climbing up the “Ladder” with its narrow dirt serpentine up to 1574 meter!!!
Beside the trips there are wonderful things to do in and around our shack. Like going fishing, collecting shells and building wind games out of it, cleaning up the garden, fixing the fence, reading a good book or just watching the bay and listening to the waves with a glass of wine or two. Meanwhile we became friends with our housemates, a mixed possum couple (golden and black) and we converted our barbecue to a bird feeding station (if we sleep to long and they cannot find bread crumbs they knock the door).
You always meet interesting people if you take your time and chat around. Or they approach you; as we met “The Dragon Lady”, Atti, during shopping, who became famous riding her bike around Australia and we meet her regularly. Or Rolf, German, but living since 30 years in AU, who stopped us on the road because of the German number plate and invited us to his home where Anna his wife prepared yummy snacks for us. The time of the year was maybe not perfect because you would not like to stay every day in a tent. But thanks to this entire lovely people we got the possibility to enjoy and discover Tasmania intensive and always in a good mood.
Soon the day will come to say good-bye to everybody. The ferry is booked and we will head off to mainland at May 28th. Like usual the route is not fixed but we will head direction Sydney. About km South of Sydney we are going to meet some friends again, Barbara and Sean, the couple we met here in Tasmania – we are looking forward to see them again!
Sascha installed heated grips on the Twin, what a difference this is! Hands are not freezing anymore. It´s much safer and convenient as well… ;) And Kerstin inherited his merino wool gloves.
passing the magnificent western wilderness to the southernmost point of mainland Tasmania, shelter at “Eggs and Bacon” and finally FISH!
Even though we became a little bit nervous on the farm, because we stayed much longer than initially planned, we enjoyed staying there and the mixed pickles of all the different people around. Really heavy rain and cold gusty wind let us rest a couple of days longer than expected with our friends. We had a lot of fun doing “Ravioli à la Oscar”, roasting a pork head and sitting together in front of a warm oven. Sunday noon the weather cleared and we went all together to a forest close by, exploring the wilderness and a huge waterfall. At Stanley, the historic town with his iconic “Nut”, a 152m high cliff jutting out from a narrow isthmus once created of a long-extinct volcano. We walked up to the „Highfield Point” where we had great views all around. This sunny afternoon we decided to leave the next morning to go and see the rest of Tasmania.
So we did. We head west, passed Stanley and Smithon and reached “The Edge of the World” – a rugged coastline that was created by the wild “Roaring 40s”. Breathtaking huge waves came in and giant timber was all over the coast line. You really feel so tiny at this beautiful place. The weather was just fantastic; no wind and a sunny day let us undress more and more. From here we drove south. The “Western Explorer” a gravel road (someone said it is probably the most precious and expensive dirt road on our planet because it is made of white, crisp in the sun glittering Silicone Dust from the silicone mines on its way. You maybe got some of this dust in your computer or phone as it is exported to China and made into nice little gadgets and send all over the world again), passing several impressive wild coast beaches and entered the “Tarkine”, which is the largest temperate rainforest in Australia and the second largest in the world. We had two stunning days riding through this wilderness. The winding good gravel road made us just smile and each corner was presenting a new gorgeous view to us. The night we spent up on a plateau overseeing the spectacular wild scenery. We had some walks around but as soon as the sun set it became really chilly. We spent another half an hour watching the sky with its bright stars and sneaked early into our tent. When we woke up with the sunrise the next morning all the valleys around were still in thick mystical mist – it was cold but we were just happy and enjoyed the view while the sun was slowly warming us and we were sipping our hot coffee.
We loved the area so much that we decided in Corinna to do an extra loop instead going straight down to Strahan. We went up again, direction north-east to Waratah, the town of tin, and from there south again to Tullah, which sites beneath the 712 meter Mt Farrel, next to Lake Rosebery. While we were cruising around we found a lovely place at the lakeside and we spontaneous decided to stay overnight for the full moon. Some eagles were watching us when we were putting up the tent and our camp neighbors invited us to join them at their fireplace and so we spent the night chatting and drinking at the warm fire while drinking and chatting. Via Rosebery we followed a pleasant twisting road to Zeehan and shortly before Strahan a gusty cold wind with some drizzle of rain made us taking out our warm clothes and rain gears. I did not look good at all what was coming up there from the sea… and we shortly decided to go ahead and passing if possible the mountain part of the Lyell Highway. The scenery was great and the rest of the day we were continuing driving; always just escaping the black wall behind us. The wind became more and more gusty and cold and finally we left the high mountains behind us. Even though the storm went stronger and the dark wall came closer it was time of the day to look for a place to pitch the tent. We found a place next to a lake which seemed to be pretty sheltered. We put up the tent and had the worst cooking experience ever. The stormy wind was changing every second and just covering everything with sand dirt and leaves again and again. We somehow managed to cook and eat quickly when the rain started. The other day we bought a huge plastic cover but it was more keeping us awake and made horrible loud sounds at night flapping around in the storm. We had an early night; sitting inside the tent, looking at the map and wondering what we going to do tomorrow and how the weather will be…
Ahhh! Forgot one thing: We saw an Echidna!!! But the moment we recognized it on the side of the gravel road and stopped it disappeared in the high grass… and was never seen again unfortunately! Kerstin really hopes to see one once again; more closely!
When we crawled out of the tent the next morning it was bitterly cold but the weather was not looking too bad. If possible we wanted to drive the Gordon River Road to Strathgordon today. This is a 100km dead end road up to the Gordon Power Station Dam. But when we reached the crossing to turn into this road we were already wet and frozen. We were lucky! We had a contact south of Hobart who offered us to host us when we are around. We called Mac to ask if we could pass by already today and the answer was: “Of course no problem!” On the way we did some shopping and two hours later we arrived at Mac`s place. Mac and his Puddle Noodle welcomed us warmly with a cup of coffee and then he passed us the key to his beach shack at the “Eggs and Bacon Bay” with the words:” Stay as long as you want.”
We left Mac´s town house behind and drove into a black wall of rain. When we arrived at the bay the sun came out and we spent the evening watching the sunset and drinking a glass of vine on the rocks in front of “our” shack. The shack is a little house just one meter from the waterfront; you overview the whole bay from the window while you listen to the waves. The day after we arrived, we realized HOW lucky we are once again. It was “Good Friday” and the shacks around became more and more busy. Easter weekend! And we had a beautiful place to stay!!! And we really appreciated this fact especially during the stormy Easter nights.
The weather is changing constantly from a sunny warm summer day to chilly autumn just some hours later. We love the “Eggs and Bacon Bay” (though we would rename it to “Sunny Side Up Bay” from our point of view) and it is the place where we are still at the moment ;-) Since nearly two weeks now. We are fishing a lot and actually if we would only eat fish we would be completely self-sufficient, no need to buy anything. Fishing is a pleasure here, you just collect some mussels at the rocks, put them on the hook and throw it into the water and within seconds they are biting. It’s really surprising what you can find in these waters here. While fishing on a rock just 2-3 meters from the shore suddenly a 4 meter manta ray comes and looks what you are doing there. Hmmm, OK as far as I know they are not attacking when you are on a rock, my feet in the water though. But this one famous Australian Adventurer got killed by one, right? Never mind that one was not in an attacking mood. Than a day later on the same rock suddenly 3-4 seals passed by to say hello (and took all fish with them, no reason to continue fishing for that day). The shore is full of oysters and mussels which you just can collect to upgrade your lunch or dinner.
For us it is so great to have a warm dry beautiful base to explore all the surroundings! We did several day trips: to the Gordon Dam, where we could see the Russel Falls on the way and a lot of rain later on. To Bruny Island, this is nearly 100km long. From the tip of Dennes Point in the north to Cloudy Bay in the south the landscapes change from sandy beaches, tall forests to wild coastlines and we rode nearly each single existing road. We went down to the beautiful Cockle Creek at the South East Cape which is the southernmost point of mainland Tasmania – you cannot drive closer to the Antarctica!!! Or we just discovered the closer neighborhood… If it becomes too cold and windy we adore Mac`s great book collection and/or watch the stormy sea from our warm sheltered place. Or we work on our update ;-) And finally today we figured out the internet after we reinstalled the aerial on the roof. Hurray!!!
Only one morning we were a bit worried… suddenly we did not have water anymore. The rainwater tank was empty. As we could not see a connection to the roof when we arrived and the tank seemed already pretty empty we did not concern that much because we thought there must be any other water supply… and we did not think about it anymore – stupid us! We text Mac if he has any idea and he replied he filled the tank just recently. Hmmm… of course it was a Sunday! Luckily we still had some water bottles filled. We checked the pipes and found two leaking points which we fixed as good as we could. And Monday morning we found a freshwater supplier who came like promised in the afternoon and filled it up again for 115,- bugs. We are living here nearly alone in the Shack, nearly because there are several possum families all around. One family is an albino one, absolutely white. They are not shy at all and are having hard parties on the tin roof some nights… We saw on the road one Tasmanian Devil but it was too busy for a photo shooting (got one though), never mind next time Mate ;)
Like you see we have a pretty good time over here in Tasmania and we slowly have to plan how to travel on and explore the rest of it. We are so much obliged that Mac left us his slice of paradise for the time being what makes it so incredible much easier to us to discover and enjoy this beautiful part of Tasmania.