This is the route we took:
Saturday 7 January 2012 Fly to Launceston
We caught an early, but not too early, Jetstar flight to Melbourne, then another to Launceston. At the airport, we picked up our hire car, a nice Rav 4. We drove to our first accommodation, Leisure Inn Penny Royal Hotel & Apartments. We had a big 2-story apartment.
We went for a walk in Cataract Gorge, which was nice and close.
We saw peacocks displaying and peachicks.
We found a Subway for dinner.
Sunday 8 January 2012 In Launceston
We had a nice breakfast at Seaport then headed to Beauty Point.
We enjoyed them all very much. At Platypus House, we saw platypuses and had echidnas walking around our feet.
At Seahorse World, we saw the breeding setup. It was amazing.
In the late afternoon, we went to the Oasis Club in Georgetown. We had a nice dinner and waited there until it was time to go to our booked activity, the Low Head Penguin Tour, which was on at 9:00 pm. It was pretty cold down on the beach, so we all rugged up. I bought a souvenir beanie. We went to some stands on the beach and sat and waited. The little penguins came cautiously out of the water, lined up and then walked up the beach in groups, right past us. They were just lovely to watch.
Monday 9 January 2012 Launceston to Sheffield
This morning, we checked out then had breakfast at Cataract Gorge. We saw the peachicks again and had a lovely ride on the chairlift.
We drove to Tazmazia and the Village of Lower Crackpot. When we got there we were hungry, so we ordered some deserts. I got the most massive serve of pancakes. When I saw the waitress carrying it, I said “I hope that isn’t mine” but it was! We had a fun afternoon playing in the mazes and little houses. It was a wonderful place to take a young family.
We drove to Sheffield and checked into Kentish Hills Retreat. We had fun feeding the alpacas and Russell the sheep.
Tuesday 10 January 2012 In Sheffield
We went into town to the chemist and the ATM ate my credit card. Thank goodness they could open it up and get my card because I wouldn’t have been able to pay for anything. We saw a man leading an alpaca down the main street!
We had lunch at an excellent café at Mole Creek.
At 3:30 pm, we went on the King Solomons Cave tour. We loved it. We were lucky it was such a cold day; it was 8oC outside and 9oC in the cave. We were dressed just right all day.
Back at our accommodation we fed Russell the sheep and five alpacas: Wind, Elinor, Diego, Crimson and Pedro (I think).
Wednesday 11 January 2012 Sheffield to Cradle Mountain
We had a breakfast of bread rolls then went into Sheffield to see the World of Marbles. It was a fun place to visit. After this we went to Railton and visited the Fibre Optic House and Topiary. Tom got a lightning lamp.
We drove to Cradle Mountain and checked into Cradle Mountain Lodge. Our rooms were small but the location was great. Around us there was so much wildlife, including pademelons, echidnas, wombats, wallabies.
We had lunch at Cradle Mountain bistro.
At 5:30pm, we went to Devils@Cradle and watched the feeding of Tasmanian devils
At 8:00 pm, we had dinner in the restaurant at our accommodation. Some of the meals were very small for the price.
Thursday 12 January 2012 Cradle Mountain
This morning we had breakfast at our accommodation then went for a couple of short walks near the lodge to Pencil Pine Falls and Knyvet Falls. The rainforest was lovely and damp and looked like the rainforest in all the Tasmanian posters.
We had a rest and had biscuits for lunch!
We went for a couple of short walks from Dove Lake carpark and did the Waldheim Forest Walk.
For dinner, we ate pizza and ice-creams at the Information Centre Cafe. Back at our accommodation, we went for a walk around the buildings. There were lots of animals shuffling around. We spent ages watching an echidna snuffling in a log.
Friday 13 January 2012 Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair
We had breakfast at our accommodation then drove to Zeehan.
We stopped at the West Coast Pioneers’ Museum and had a good look around. It was interesting and a good place to stop.
We drove to Queenstown and had lunch in a shop in the main street. I love it because there are mountains at either end.
We went to a lookout, then another lookout on our way out of town.
We stopped at Iron Blow Lookout, a mine site with a suspended lookout.
Nick and I went on a short walk to Nelson Falls, which were remarkably pretty.
We arrived at our accommodation, Lake St Clair Lodge, and found that we had a roomy two story cabin. We went for a walk and saw quolls, echidnas and possums. We had our dinner in our cabin.
Saturday 14 January 2012 In Lake St Clair
We woke up late and had cereal for breakfast. Later we had coffee at Lake St Clair Café. We saw an echidna!
We went for a nice walk around part of the lake then had lunch at the café.
At 3:00 pm we went on the Ida Clair Ferry cruise around the lake.
There were two stops where we got off and had a look around. We saw a cabin where people who walk to and from Cradle Mountain stay, and we went for a short walk in the rainforest there. The best part was seeing Shirley the platypus swimming near the jetty in Narcissus Bay.
When we got back, we saw a tiger snake quite close to the jetty, and near the lodge. His name was Charlie and he was right near a sign warning people about tiger snakes!
Sunday 15 January 2012 Lake St Clair to Hobart
We left Lake St Clair early to get to a booked activity, the Maydena Railtrack Rider. It was a pedal railway and we had lots of fun.
We had lunch in a café by a river near Maydena then drove to Hobart.
We checked into our accommodation, Quest Trinity House, and had a bit of a rest. Our apartment was big with a good lounge and we had our own washing machine and dryer.
At 5:30 pm we went on a booked activity, Sea Kayaking around Hobart’s shoreline from Sandy Bay. It was Hobart Paddle – Twilight Tour with Freycinet Adventures but may not run anymore. Paddling was really hard work as we seemed to be going against the current. We stopped in a bay and were given fish and chips to eat in our kayak, which was nice.
Monday 16 January 2012 In Hobart
We woke up late and went to Salamanca Place. We wandered around, bought some small souvenirs and had ice cream and coffee.
We went back to our accommodation and read books, watched movies and I did the washing. It was very hot – 33oC and humid.
Later, Nick and I went to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. We had pasta for dinner.
Tuesday 17 January 2012 Hobart to Port Arthur (Taranna)
We checked out and drove straight to the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park at Taranna. We saw devil and quoll feeding and a bird show. Cheeky the corella said “Hello!” and spun around. We had lunch there.
We checked into our accommodation, Abs by the Bay, which backed onto Little Norfolk Bay. We had a nice room with decent beds, king singles, for Tom and Ash. The owners let us borrow some kayaks, and Tom and Ash had a paddle in the bay.
We had a very generous dinner at the Fox and Hounds Inn.
Wednesday 18 January 2012 In Port Arthur
We went to Port Arthur Historic Site and spent the whole day there. We even had breakfast, lunch and dinner there!
We found the Model Prison and the church the most interesting places.
During the afternoon, we drove to Remarkable Cave. When we came back to Port Arthur for dinner, we saw two potoroos.
Back at our accommodation, Tom and Ash kayaked from 8-9 pm. I think I saw an albatross.
Thursday 19 January 2012 Port Arthur to Port Huon
We checked out then drove to Eaglehawk Neck. We looked at the formations around the area: Tasman Arch, Devil’s Kitchen, blowhole and tessellated pavement. We saw an echidna at the Tasman Arch.
We had ice creams from a vendor for breakfast, and they were so good we got another one each!
We saw the cottage and dog line, sat on the beach for a while then drove to Port Huon. We stopped for lunch along the way. Nick and I had Indian food.
We checked into our accommodation, Port Huon Cottages, which had a nice view over Port Huon Bay. We had dinner at the Kermandie Hotel.
Friday 20 January 2012 In Port Huon
I had food poisoning during the night, most likely from the Indian lunch because the place hadn’t looked busy. I spent all night in the bathroom. I didn’t feel well , but managed to get into the car and enjoy our last day.
We had breakfast at the Geeveston Bakery then went to the Geeveston Forest and Heritage Centre. We went on a walk which included the Tahune Forest Airwalk and two suspension bridges. We saw an echidna on our walk.
Lunch was at the Airwalk Cafe and Ash and I admired a wonderful textile wall hanging of landscapes.
We went to the Big Tree, a Eucalyptus regnans which was 87 m tall and weighed 405 tonnes!
Saturday 21 January 2012 Port Huon to Hobart International Airport, fly home
We checked out, drove to the Hobart Airport, returned our car and flew home.