It was time to continue down to the southern area of Tasmania! (See our last post, Campervan Adventure in Tasmania for the first part of the trip!)
The GoPro we had set up to capture a driving time-lapse was holding sturdy down the winding east coastal roads. So sturdy that it was blocking the windscreen wipers! A jump, skip and a hop back to 20 minutes prior we visioned ourselves clueless as I attached the suction cup to the windscreen right in the tracks of the windscreen wipers. Hop, skip and a jump back to the current moment and we were witnessing drops of water tapping on the glass in front of us. It wasn’t long before we had realised the mistake of mounting the camera in the conflicting position. Perhaps being clueless was the best way for us to go. We found ourselves nesting the car in this luscious little beachside carpark that was sunken down into a forest off the main coastal road. I do wonder if we would have stopped there without the need to relocate the camera though? The rain was really coming down by then and we watched out the windows and noticed a dog taking shelter under his owner’s truck on the other side of the carpark. After enjoying breakfast the rain had eased, I took the window of opportunity to relocate the camera and off we went! A couple of hours down the road we both glanced at a road sign promoting “Kate’s Berry Farm“. Well, well, it was an obvious choice of course, so time to take the next exit!
The day had really cleared up, vibrant blue skies and extremely hot air. Not to mention the sun felt like it was melting my soul just being in its presence. Thankfully inside the store / cafe was super chilled with air conditioning set to arctic temperatures beaming into every corner. There were a lot of different jams and a lot of different jams to sample! I might have taken some quite large samples on my quest to discover the best! It came of no surprise that both of us enjoyed Boysenberry Jam the most. The others were amazing too but boysenberry, yes please! I grabbed a jar and told Katie, this is a present for you. Maybe I kind of regret that because I’ve barely been able to have any since that day. Nah, she deserves it :). We made friends with Alita, a staff member who served us. We got on to talking about Veganism. It turns out she is vegetarian and her daughter is vegan. She shared with us some of her home grown snow-peas and was describing her place and love for gardening. It really sounded great and would have been incredible to see though we had to be in Hobart soon so it was offered as a rain check.
The van continued to move south toward Freycinet, a very popular place to be in Tasmania with its iconic National Park lingering at the south tip of the state. We stopped at a place called “Friendly Beaches”. It might not have been the friendliest place while we were there reading a warning sign right in front of the van about shark sightings close to shore the day before. It surely didn’t stop about 20 surfers enjoying themselves in the beautiful looking water below. We hiked our way down through the vegetation to get a closer look at the ocean. It was a beautiful walk, winding down this stone hill through plants that sometimes were over our heads. It reminded me a bit of a hedge maze and after each turn you wondered what surprise would await you. Oh no, I forgot the GoPro is still on the outside of the van! I quickly ran up to make sure it was still there! After a sigh of relief and an appearance from Katie emerging from the bushes we continued on.
Now we had arrived at “Dolphin Sands”. This place was extremely isolated, not even dolphins! What an incredible place and weather to be in though. It felt like it wasn’t attached to this planet, like somehow we had driven through a portal to an untouched paradise. There was more dense vegetation of succulent plants and small trees on the side of the car park that stretched for miles. The ocean breeze was offsetting the harsh sunlight and it felt extremely cleansing to get out of our shoes and drench our feet in the salty water. We walked, we talked, we took photos, found nice looking shells and made our way back to cook up some delicious food for lunch. Basking in the ocean air while sharing great food has etched its way deep into my heart.
Well, well. South again! Another beach!! “Seven Mile” beach this time. I didn’t step it out but google maps distance scale was quite on point. We found ourselves in a large carpark with scenery that felt like it was meant to be in North America or Canada. It looked like an incredible spot to free camp, protected from the wind, peaceful and easy. Too bad there was a sign saying day use only as we entered the carpark. We soon hit the bed for a much needed afternoon nap.
Who knows how much time had passed though we woke up to much fewer cars in sight and the afternoon sun had definitely ducked behind some trees and was casting brilliant golden rays through the branches. We watched minute by minute as the other vehicles drove off and thought to ourselves. Who is going to know if we stay here or not? Well, we both agreed to do a naughty naughty and stay the night right where we were! Darkness began to fall quickly and I decided I would do a naked swim just to clean myself up a bit. Stripping down on the sand dunes and bolting down to the water with seven miles of no one around felt so liberating, exhilarating, adrenaline pumping, scary, hilarious and amazing all at once. No photos of that, sorry! The water was absolutely freezing, a burning cold that seemed to be eating away at my flesh though it felt incredible at the same time to wash myself after two days of no showering. It definitely caught Katie’s attention as I saw her stripping off and running down to join me. I had barely enough time to warn her about the temperature of the water before she found out first hand. I guess she got a tiny wash in before bolting back to her clothes while contemplating what just happened.
It was pitch black in this car park now, being so isolated from any towns or just anything for that matter. I decided to mount the GoPro to the roof of the car to capture a star time-lapse while we slept. I wasn’t too sure about how well it would hold because the roof was plastic and didn’t seem to stick too well. We made it to bed and began talking about auroras and kept peaking out the curtains to see if there was any light dancing around in the dark night sky. As you can imagine, we were quick to fall into a deep sleep. Who knows how many hours had passed before the terrifying moment occurred that caught us off guard in our deep beauty sleep. My guess would be 3 hours. There was a massive crash on the roof of the van and a bounce that seemed even louder. It shocked us awake and sent vibrations of fear through both of us. Here we were in the middle of no where, where we were not supposed to be, in pitch black and had just been awoken by a huge bang on our vehicle. I know the scenery looked like there could have been bears though I also knew we were still in Australia so it was quick to cross that scenario off my mental checklist. Katie’s thoughts were all about a branch falling or someone pranking us. My thoughts went to the GoPro but there was also a lot of doubts about it. I climbed out a couple of minutes after thinking, if it is the GoPro, I’ll need to make sure it is safe from being run over by other cars or stolen the next morning. Scrambling out with a headlamp and taking a look around the front of the van I could see the GoPro laying lifelessly on the ground. It was a sense of relief though the feelings of fear remained for both of us. Surprisingly, it was again, easy to fall asleep.
The next morning brought with it a fresh awakening of beautiful sounds and brilliant fresh morning light. This makes things so much easier to start the day the right way and appreciate staying in such a lovely, quiet and dark place lost in nature for the night. Forget about sleep charging our batteries, our deep sleep in untouched nature added a tonne of new ones! It was the last day of our time here this round. We packed up the van a bit, had some breakfast and continued cleaning for the final length of the journey into Hobart.
A relaxed pace drive for 20 minutes got us to the edge of Hobart, a beautiful city located by the ocean and situated inside of a valley of hills. We were both very impressed by the layout of the city and its surroundings. It seemed to mould itself very nicely into the untouched natural appeal of this state. Even the residential houses were dotted in a very pleasing compositional way amongst the green hills looking over the sea. We came across a spectacular bridge that took us over a shallow inlet and right into the main city which looked more like a small town with a few large buildings. We weaved around the outskirts to the south and stopped off at “Princess Park” which was very well kept and laid out beautifully with a large variety of exotic looking flowers, plants and trees. Even the residential houses onlooking this park were just as beautiful. Some even had vines from the park growing up the sides of the buildings.
It was nearing the time to return our four wheeled companion. We found a place named “Straight Up Coffee and Food” to get some take away lunch for the airport. A short journey to fill up with our van up with fuel for the last time and then another 5 minutes to the relocation centre. We returned the vehicle in a better state than we got it! The airport was neighbouring the relocation centre too, so we decided to take the 10 minute walk with our carry on luggage.
It would have been a silly thing to say if we told you that our tummy’s were peaceful. We cracked open the delicious salad and bagels. It seemed like our stomachs were playing tug of war with our jaws. It was just enough food to put our rumbling parts back to sleep. We got through customs and shortly found ourselves on a very short 1 hour flight home, which we were extremely relived about after spending 9 hours on the boat just getting to the top of Tasmania! Would we do it again? Of course! Next time will be the rugged and wild west side of Tasmania!
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