Tasmania Middle and East

There are train days and there are car days. Today was supposed to be a bit of both. The plan was to drive up to Devonport and the Don River Railway before arriving back in Hobart for the Festival of Voices bonfire, stopping at interesting small towns along the way. Travelling along the Midland Highway we got as far as Perth before Alex complained of feeling motion sick.

Realising how much further we still had to go we decided to return to Hobart, but via the East Coast route. It was a long, but spectacular ride. I’m too tired to write so I’ll tell the story with photos.

Morning mists across the Derwent at Bridgewater

Winter trees along Highway 1.
Historic Oatlands houses the rebuilt Carrington Mill

Post Office at Ross, another historic town just off the Midland Highway

There were many sheep farms along the way. Ben Lomond is in the background.

River along the Lake Leake Highway (B34) as we head towards the East Coast.
The Ben Lomond National Park in the background, touched by snow.
The railway followed us as far as Fingal. It would make a very scenic trip, but sadly no commercial passenger services are operated in Tasmania, only tourist trains.
From St Marys it was a nerve wracking ride across the ranges and down to the coast
We followed the Tasman Highway (A3) southwards down the coast
Bicheno was a pleasant coastal town where we stopped to buy fresh fish and a snack of oysters and fish and chips.

The Blowhole at Bicheno. We’d love to do a slow trip down the coast.
Vineyards, Great Oyster Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula
Although we were in a hurry, we couldn’t help pulling in at Swansea.

The smell of seaweed, waves gently lapping against the shore while strong surf was heard but unseen
The bare and lonely coastal landscape had a real beauty about it 

The road turns inland again at Orford

The Sun was setting and we were concerned about kangaroos on the road

We had seen these long causeways across the Coal River from the air yesterday

Finally, the Tasman Bridge into Hobart
We arrived at Salamanca Place just in time to watch the procession of singers with their torches.

The lighting of the bonfire

Showers of sparks rise into the air

We returned to the hotel where I prepared a dinner of fresh fish and pasta. Today underscored how beautiful this island state is and that this trip is just too short to take it all in.