We had been working at Pedder Wilderness Lodge for nearly 2 months and with the end of the season looming we were coming closer to our final days at the lodge and in Tasmania.
We worked our final day on Monday and even managed to fit in a last minute abseil down the 140 metre wall of the Gordon Dam. It was a brilliant way to end our stay in the remote wilderness of Tasmania’s South West and reignited the sense of adventure as we prepared for the next instalment of our trip.
After a morning spent putting the car back together and packing up, we left Strathgordon and headed through the driving wind and rain, making our last trip down the impressive Gordon River Road and onwards to Queenstown.
The rain relented and destined us to an early night. We opted for convenience and camped up in the town’s Oval. We woke up to even heavier rain and bleak gravel surroundings. Not the ideal start. It takes a while to get into the swing of life on the road and the first night certainly left us questioning whether or not it was still the way we wanted to live.
But as ever the smallest thing can throw everything back into fairer light. After a quick visit to Strahan to see the infamous Macquarie Heads we decided to cut our losses and head for fairer climes on the north coast of Tasmania. We arrived at Burnie and had our first glimpse of the sun in what felt like weeks. We realised how much we had missed being near the sea after months in the mountains. We spent the night camped at Sulphur Creek with the waves crashing not 2 metres from where we slept and penguins waddling around on the rocks below.
We woke up to the sun rising over the ocean and remembered exactly why we’d fallen in love with the nomadic lifestyle of the road. Normalcy resumed.
Reinvigorated by glimpses of the sun and a dry night’s sleep we mustered up the courage for one last journey into the heart of Tasmania’s mountain country, Cradle Mountain National Park. We’d only driven past Tasmania’s most famous peak before and wanted to undertake one its many walking trails to get a closer look.
We hiked from Ronny’s Creek and followed a 2-hour trail to Dove Lake via Crater Lake and Wombat Pool. Despite the relentless rain the walk was really pleasant. The landscape inside Cradle Mountain National Park is truly unique. The Tasmanian Alpine is a surreal environment with button grass, moss and gum trees brushing against alpine palm and pine trees. The weather didn’t permit a clear view of the Cradle Mountain peak but we felt satisfied with what we’d seen and decided again to escape the weather and head back to the north coast for our final few days.
Spending the night at Turner’s Beach we couldn’t believe how neglected Tasmania’s north coast is by tourist guides. Brochures and guidebooks all point towards Hobart and the east coast but beaches like this one rivalled almost any we’ve seen in Australia.
We spent the next day working on our website and catching up with an old friend from Western Australia. After travelling for over a year, it’s so nice to be able to have a network of friends around the country!
Our final day in Tasmanian was spent further exploring the North coast. On a whim we drove to Port Sorrell and were bowled over by how amazing the empty beaches were. Framed with mountains and rainforests, it was truly unique and impressively quiet. We sunbathed on the beach and tried to remind ourselves why we were leaving such a beautiful pocket of Australia.
With a heavy heart, we toasted to our time in Tasmania as we huddled around the campfire that night. We had arrived with incredibly high expectations and Tasmania and met, and surpassed, them all. Not bad for the tiny island state!
We left with the sunrise the next day and boarded the day ferry back to Melbourne. We nabbed some seats on the top deck and settled in for the 9-hour crossing. Then the storm hit. Our previous crossing had been so calm and carefree that we hadn’t even begun to consider that it wouldn’t be so again. An hour into the journey we were both horribly seasick. The waves were so big that they were crashing at the windows of the top deck and you felt it every time the ferry dropped down the side of a wave. It was horrendous. Luckily, our seasickness tablets knocked us both out and we slept through most of the awful journey.
Eventually we docked in Port Melbourne and stepped back onto mainland soil. It was time for a new adventure.
Do you have any suggestions for our trip up Australia’s East Coast? Let us know in the comments below or via our social media pages!