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 Cindie's Tasmania, Australia Blog and Daily Journal.
Travel Writing, Travelogue

Devonport to Devonport, Australia
(Nov 13, 2006 - Jan 4 2007)


WB01618_.gif (290 bytes)    Previous Journal Thumbnail Photo Page for this Journal

Tim's Letter for this Journal

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Nov 13 Melbourne - Devonport, Tasmania.  We packed like mad the whole day. Tim tried to post the new video about David's Cyclist Home Stay and the connection kept dropping off.  So he went down to the local pub that had wifi and tried to post it again. Again, the connection kept dropping off.  So the video was ready but we couldn't put it on our server.  We ran out of time and had to ride to the ferry for Tasmania.  We had heard that the ten hour crossing to Tasmania was rough and I was worried that Tim would be miserable for the entire trip.  So I brought ginger pills and Dramamine, I wasn't sure which would work so I gave him both.  Just as we left Jon's house he said, "I don't know what you are so worried about, the last time I went to Tasmania I slept the entire time."  Little did I know that he was 100% right. The crossing was uneventful for the first 2 hours but when we got out to open water it was quite rough.  But by that time Tim was sound asleep on the floor. I on the other had could not sleep much, our neighbor was snoring and it was all I could do not to go over and wake him up. So when morning came I was bit groggy.  Not Tim he was wide awake and ready to go.  
Nov 14 Devonport - Gowrie Park.  We were the first deck to be called to get our vehicle, our bikes.  We happen to be at the front of the boat and to my joy we were the first people off the boat, before the trucks and everyone else. There were two other cyclists on the boat and they could not find their bikes, I wondered where those two Swiss girls ended up. The only thing that was open was McDonalds so we had a bottomless cup of coffee, ah one of the perks at McDonalds.  We set off early and the first thing we did was look for an internet cafe, we still had to post the video to our server.  As were were reading the street signs we rode up the left lane to the stop light.  There were a line of cars in the right lane, all stopped and waiting for the light to change. A guy from a stopped car yelled  a bunch of obscenities at us and something like, Get off the road you are going to get killed.  This was quite a shocker to us.  Tim proceeded to get off his bike and push it over to the drivers side of the car.  I heard him ask the driver, "Are you actually cowardly enough to yell at me from inside your car?" the driver was surprised that Tim did this and rolled up his window and drove off.  Our first encounter in Tasmania has not been so pleasant. We continued down the street looking for an internet cafe and found a computer store instead.  I went inside and asked the owner if he knew where an internet cafe was where we could connect our laptop computer.  He was in the process of packing his office because he was moving the shop and said, Come on in, you can use my connection.  Over an hour later our video about David Home Stay for Cyclists in Malaysia (45 mb)

http://www.prescottyellowpages.com/Video/3Malaysian_Cyclists_Home_Stay.wmv

 was posted.  The owner refused payment.  We tried to send an email out to our mail server but we could not send email.  Well half the job was done.

The ride - rolling hills through farm country, traffic was light, we rode toward Sheffield and then from there to Gowrie Park. We are using two bike books.  One Lonely Planet, Cycling Australia and the other Bicycling Australia by Ian Duckworth, an older but well done book. We followed Ian's path first.  We arrived in Sheffield before the rain hit.  It looked like we would be stuck in Sheffield with no caravan park or budget accommodations.  The cheapest room was $65 a night.  The weather cleared and we pushed on to Gowrie Park.  Near Gowrie Park there was a free place to camp but I really needed a shower so we stayed at the old Hydropower station bunk house. It was a good thing too, it rained and was very cold that night.  The evening forecast was for snow down to 400 meters.  We planned to stay another night, depending on the weather.

45 km
Nov 15 Gowrie Park - Cradle Mountain.  We woke to a beautiful clear day, I assumed and assumed wrong that the strong storm that was suppose to arrive had blown thorough during the night.  In reality it had not arrived yet.  We set off for Cradle Mountain and had some climbing to do, something like 800 meters, the day was clear and the scenery pleasant.  We reached Moina, the top of the first climb around mid day and had lunch.  The sky was clear during lunch but the clouds rolled in fast.  Suddenly we had snow flurries, we stopped put on our jackets, started riding again, and then the sun came out.  We still had 25 km to go and thought that it would go pretty quick. Well the wind came up and it was in our face, the weather had turned and now our odometers were not working. We had no idea how far we had to go. We pushed on, there was nothing else to do, as we climbed higher it got winder, colder and the snow flurries continued.  Finally we saw the turn off to Cradle Mountain and stopped to look at the map.  The weather did not look good, the sky was white, like a white out, the snow flakes were getting bigger.  Ut oh, the storm blew in and we were standing  in a Blizzard with 3 kilometers to go. Yikes.  We do have experience with mountains, altitude and snow.  We have ridden through the Andes, ridden through the Himalayas but never in a Blizzard, and if you would of told me that I would ride through a Blizzard in Australia I would have laughed.  So much for my expectation that it was always hot in Australia.  I didn't panic, we only had 3 kilometers to ride.  The snow was coming at us sideways and I had to cover my face with my hand because the snow was stinging my face.  I had Tim to follow little did I know that Tim could not see anything, he tried to follow the white line and almost wrecked when we came up to one of these traffic calming devices.  It seemed like forever to get to the campground. Finally we arrived with over an inch of snow on our bags and the sun came out.  See no need to panic.  The ground was wet, there was snow on the ground and were were wet and cold.  We opted for an Alpine Hut.  An Alpine hut is basically a wooden tent, perfect out of the snow and off the ground.  We tumbled into our new humble abode and ate.  To my delight there were pademelons, in the marsupial family, smaller than a kangaroo and wallabies.  Momma was out feeding at dusk and to my shear delight a baby popped out of her pouch to have a look around.  A wombat also wandered by, I love this place. 55 km
Nov 16 - 17 Cradle Mountain.  The next two days we spent hiking in Cradle Mountain National Park.  What a beautiful place the day walks are clearly marked and we had two pleasant sunny days.  What a change from the day before.  We heard that the storm moved from east to west and Sydney had it lowest temperature in over 100 years.  Victoria also got snow too. I hope this helps their water shortage but I know it is only a drop in a very dry bucket.  We met all kinds of hikers and campers from Australia, the States, and Europe.  Cradle Mountain is the beginning of a 7 day or 80 km hike to Lake St. Clair.  It is so popular that they have to limit the number of walkers and charge Au $100 ($75) plus park fees.   
Nov 18 Cradle Mountain - Tullah.  The weather was still holding so it was nice and sunny when we left Cradle Mountain.  Dave from Yorkshire showed us where the free camp sites were on this leg of our trip so we planned to camp at the boat ramp near Tullah. We picked up dinner at the store in Tullah and rode to our campsite.  The lake was down but it was still a nice spot.  As we were making dinner a truck rolled up and a guy pulled a small kayak from the roof and went for a paddle.  It turns out he was a mining engineer working for the local mine.  When I told him I was a geologist he immediately asked me if I had a work visa.  I said, No I have a tourist visa.  He said, that is too bad if you had a work visa we could have hired you for a fortnight (that two weeks) to log some core.  Well an opportunity missed but in reality, I would rather ride my bike around Tasmania. Fun to think about though.  It has been an awful long time since I looked at core and logged it.  So it would have been a tough task. 

The ride - Flat at first but then a few steep climbs, we rode over the highest point in Tasmania (I think), at 926 m. Then it was a nice coast down to Tullah.

65 km
Nov 19 Tullah - Strahan.  We added 10 km on the day because we wanted to free camp and not stop in Roseberry. Of those 10 km 5 of them were up hill.  So our cycling books said it was an easy day but we were quite worn out when we arrived in Strahan.  It took us 6 hours to get to Strahan with a stop in Zeehan. 87 km
Nov 20 Strahan.  It was a rest/work day.  We had a ton of laundry to do and the weather was perfect for drying clothes.  We were in luck, Strahan gets about 20 sunny days a year and we were there for one of them.  We met a Canadian couple, Mal and Mary Anne, who began there trip in the south of France. They were bike touring also.  Then they planned to fly to Sydney via Dubai on United Arab Emirates.  When they were boarding the plane they were told that their bikes would cost 1800 Canadian dollars to Dubai and another 1800 Canadian dollars to Sydney.  They had to make some decisions to make and they decided to send their bikes home.  What a very sad story, it broke my heart to hear that they had to send their bikes home.  The price was way too high, we probably would have done the same thing.  They made the best of it and now were touring Tasmania and off to New Zealand soon.  
Nov 21 Strahan - Queenstown.  The ride was hilly but not too hilly.  We are following the Lonely Planet book and they made it sound like a tough day.  Since we had fresh legs it was not too bad.  The temperature for the day was around 25 C (75 F).  What a difference a couple of days make.  A blizzard a couple of days ago and now summer.  I prefer summer. 43 km
Nov 22 Queenstown. A rainy day off.  I finally had a chance to catch up on my journal, it was a rainy wet all day.  We met an Australian family, mom dad and 5 yes 5 kids.  They are taking a year off and traveling around Australia.  Now that is an adventure. The kids range in age from 2,3,6,9, and 12.  Great kids.  Honestly, Mom and Dad did not look that old to have 5 kids.  They were off looking a whale bones and saw a seal too. The kids are getting a great education. It seems that we are meeting more and more families that are taking a year off and exploring their own country or some where else.  
Nov 23 Queenstown to Collingswood Camp site.  The ride to Lake St. Clair in both the Lonely Planet book and the Cycling Australia book was done in one day.  We decided to break it into two days, especially because of the weather and internet.  Internet is expensive and at dial up speeds, we are a long way from civilization it seems.  So we decided to post our photos when we could and then leave town. That was at 1 pm and the weather did not look good but we thought that Queenstown is not a place to wait for good weather.  We left between rainy weather.  We were told over and over again that this was a dangerous road to ride a bike on. Honestly, it was not any different then any other road we have ridden on, sure it was windy but traffic was light and there was enough room on the road for everyone.  I really hope that other cyclists did not change their plans to ride this road based on what car drivers have to say.  We also had a very strong, a bit too strong at times, tailwind.  I could not imagine what these gale force winds would be like as a head wind.  We stopped at the camp site on the east side of the Collingswood River. It was easy to miss because there were not signs saying camping.  Only a sign that said it was a fee area. So we pulled in found a nice place to camp, it was quiet, wet like you would expect a rain forest to be like and there was a toilet near by.  What more could you ask for.  We were making dinner and Tim lifted up his hand and said, "Look, what is this on my finger?"  I looked over and realized that he had a leach on his finger and said, "Git rid of that thing, hurry".  Tim yanked it off his finger and said, "Why".  I said, "Haven't you seen a blood sucking leach before?. He said, That was a leach, hmm that is bigger than the ones in Indiana. 47 km
Nov 24 Collingswood Camp site - Lake St. Clair. We had a warm but rainless night and in the morning the sun was out so we could dry out our damp clothes before we set out.  There was a pretty nice size climb of about 500 meters and when we reached the top the weather was changing so we rushed on over in the rain/snow flurry to Derment Bridge.  The weather again cleared and we started for Lake St. Clair, this is when we saw a pair of cyclists coming from the other direction. We waited for them at the turn and it was a Dutch couple coming from the other direction.  That was nice because we exchanged information about the road ahead.  We camped in the campground near the visitor center   Camping was $12 ($9US). One of the cheaper places to camp, it also had a nice camp kitchen with a gas heater to warm up the place.  As we wandered around camp we saw a family feeding a wallaby and later we saw someone else petting the wallaby.  This one was pretty tame.  Well tame animals like people food and in the middle of the night I heard something, got up and turned on my flash light (a torch to you Brits) and to my huge surprise there was a wallaby, probably the one that every one feeds, sitting between our tent fly and the tent.  He was trying to get to our food bag through the tent wall.  I yelled at Tim to help and he put his light on to scare it.  Nope that did not work, he had to physically push it away from the tent. 49 km
Nov 25 - 26 Lake St. Clair.  We did a short hike in the morning and looked at Platypus Bay to see where the platypus hang out. We decided to come back in the evening to see if we could spot one.  They had a stuffed one in the visitor center (poor thing) and now I know what to look for, they are smaller than I thought.  We went back to Platypus Bay about 7 pm and sat for about 10 minutes before I spotted the little fella in my binoculars.  He had popped up to the surface, dove down and came back up again, it seemed to me that he was doing the back stroke. Then he was gone never to be seen again for the rest of the evening. Oh happy day, I saw the strange creature in it's own habitat.  By the time we left Platypus Bay it was dark and we saw all kinds of animals on the way back. We saw plenty of pademelons (we call them kangaroo juniors), a possum (we were wondering if they are native to Tasmania or not) and a feral cat, we know they are not native.  It was cold and nice to get back to a warm building.  We went to bed and I woke up in the middle of the night freezing cold. It was a clear and cold night.  The second day at Lake St. Clair we did a short hike in the morning and we went back to Platypus Bay in the evening to see if we could spot another platypus.  We went to the bay area first and within 10 minutes we saw a platypus swim along the entire length of the bay. Around 7:30 we started back up the trail and when we got near the blind we saw two more platypus and a little while later two more. They were all fishing and two of them swam together and either were fighting or mating, I can not tell the difference. Whatever they were doing it was fascinating to watch. On the way back we stopped in the cafe and had dinner. An international crowd works at the cafe, we met people from France, Korea, and Japan and a few Aussies too.  What a great way to spend a year on a working holiday.  I originally thought that only people from the commonwealth were allowed to work in Australia but it seems that they take youth ages 18-30 from all over the world.  
Nov 27 Lake St. Clair - Tarralleah.  We had a beautiful day for riding and planned to stop in Tarralleah to see if they had internet like the caravan park brochure announced.  Instead of taking the highway the entire way we turned 25 kilometers from the park onto a dirt road C601.  It was mostly flat to downhill with a few minor climbs.  It also shortened the distance to Tarralleah by 5 km.  It was slower than the pavement but still nice. We got into the caravan park and the first thing we did was check to see if they had internet. Well they did but it was not working.  We were getting ready to leave when Tim picked up a wireless signal.  He took the laptop into the building and walla it was working. One of the girls was happy to see the internet going again the other was quite annoyed we were there.  It seems were were bogging down there system, so we downloaded our email and left, once again we could not send email.  This has been getting troublesome because we have email we want to send and can't.  So anyone who is waiting to hear from us, well it will probably be another week before we can send email.  We disconnected our laptop and left.  The women who was annoyed with us, not sure why, asked us to schedule time for the internet when they were not trying to use the system.  Ok sounds fair to me.  So when we were finished with our showers and dinner, it was now after 5 pm, I went over to the office and asked if we could connect to the internet. I got a resounding now with a couple of reasons, one we do not have it set up so you can pay, two we pay for the amount of download, and three we do not know what you are downloading.  So I replied, Oh we would be happy to pay for the internet and we are downloading email and asked if they paid for uploading to the internet. She said, no and that we still could not use the internet. Well great that was the whole reason we stopped at this little town.  She was very suspicious of what we would be doing on the internet.  This is not the first time I have come across someone paranoid about the internet.  Fear of the unknown takes on may forms in this world.  Honestly, it reminded me of the Chinese government. 49 km
Nov 28 Tarralleah - Mt. Field National Park.  We rode to Ouse which had a nice downhill and some rolling terrain, then we took a side road to Mount Field National Park. I thought it would be an easy ride and for the most part it was but we hit a few steep hills after Ouse.  We are now riding through farmland and past nice English style cottages.  At Mt. Field the campground is pretty basic with just a  BBQ and no camp kitchen so bring your own stove and utensils if you come this way. 79 km
Nov 29 - 30 Mt. Field National Park.  The first day we did a tour of Russell Falls a magical place with gully ferns, clear running stream and the falls itself.  The falls are not running up to par, the drought in Australia is evident here as well.  Rumor has it that there are platypuses in the stream but I did not see one but plenty of people did.  Then we strolled along the Tall trees walk where some of the trees are as wide as a small car.  The second day we rode up to the ski area 15 kilometers away and over a 1000 meters (3280 feet) climb.  It was much easier unloaded.  Near the top is a cluster of older bunkhouse accommodations with a nice picnic table area where we had lunch.  Turns out that you can rent the bunks for AU$11 (US$8.25), now that would be a nice place to stay.  The wildlife in the evening would be stunning.  
December 1 Mt Field NP - Hobart.  The ride from Mt. Field to Hobart was fast, we followed the lonely planet guide but stayed on A9 until it ended near the Bridgewater Bridge, then we crossed the highway to the old road into Hobart, traffic was light and we followed the railroad tracks in.  In Claremont, Home of Cadbury Chocolate, we picked up the city bike path and rode that all the way to the harbor downtown.  It was a pleasant ride in although the about of road kill on the road was ghastly, poor things. 

While we were in Mount Field we contacted John who is on the Warm Showers list.  This is the first time we have used www.warmshowers.org Warm Showers is maintained by roger and is a collection of touring cyclists who invite other touring cyclists to visit their hometown.  It is an interesting concept and we thought we would try it. We called John and it turned out that he was cycling in Melbourne but his wife Alison said we were welcome to stay.  We rode into Hobart and up to their house.  We met Clio who is 6 at the gate along with the family dogs Bella and Lufa.  We were welcomed with open arms and we made ourselves at home.  We had a great BBQ in the evening up near the reservoir.

80 km
Dec 2 - 3 Hobart.  We stayed two days and three nights in Hobart.  We were lucky to be in town for the annual tour of the parliament.  This is when tours of the Parliament building was given by none other than the Speaker of the House, President and other workers.  The tour lasted close to two hours and we loved it.  The building is old, built by convict labor (parts of it) and richly decorated with Tasmanian wood and in the house of Lords, a very large painting of Queen Victoria.  On Sunday we went to the Tasmanian Museum, it was free and well worth it, lots of good exhibits. They have some film footage from the early 1900 exploration of Antarctica that was fascinating.  While in Hobart we decided that we would housesit in Melbourne so we need to get back before Jan. 1.  We originally were planning to go down to Bruny Island and have decided to go over to Port Arthur instead, then up the east coast and back over to Devonport to catch the boat back.  This is a tentative plan and always subject to change.  
Dec 4 Hobart to Eaglehawk Neck.  It was a beautiful morning and everyone was off to school and work so we were back on the road again.  We had a wonderful stay with Alison and Clio, and we even watched a movie, King Solomon Mines, with Clio. 

The Ride - We went back down to the center of town and road along the highway towards the Tasman Bridge.  We had to poke around to find the bike path that took us to the separate pedestrian sidewalk. We found it and rode over on the very narrow barely wide enough to ride walkway, maybe the road would have been better.  At the end the walkway on the other side of the bridge we were dumped onto nothing, no way to get back to the road.  We had to go over a curb to get back on the road.  The highway had light traffic so it wasn't too bad. We followed the signs to Sorrell and stopped there for lunch.  We met Mathew a cyclist from Melbourne in Sorrell and we rode together to Eaglehawk Neck.  A9 the highway was a bit busy and narrow so we turned onto C334, a dirt road and took that way over to Dunally.  It was about 30 km of dirt and 10 more kilometers than the the main road.  Stayed at the Eaglehawk Neck Backpackers, it was ok, I think the owners have been in the tourist business too long, they need a break, they were grumpy and repeated rules over and over.

85 km
Dec 5 Eaglehawk Neck - Port Arthur  Went to the Blow hole, Tasman Arch and Devils kitchen went through Doo Town.  Doo Town is where all the house names have a Doo in it like, Doo drop in, Doo nothing, Doo all, This will doo, we thought of some names ourselves like Doo da, Doo whap, Doo ee, and my favorite Dog Doo.  It was a short but hilly ride in and out of the Doo town and then a rolling ride to Port Arthur.  In Port Arthur we stayed at the Caravan Park, it was huge and had a great camp kitchen.  There were over a hundred kids there from the Launceston Grammar School, they were on their grade 10 camp out.  Activities were planned for each day and included, sailing, surfing, sea kayaking, kayak surfing, biking, bush walking, and history which included a trip to Port Arthur.  Wow what a school.  The kids also made their own meals in groups of three.  A great way to learn to cook.  The whole thing was very well organized, it was obvious that the staff had done these outings before.  Where was that school when I was a kid. 35 km
Dec 6 - 7 The 2 day ticket to Port Arthur is $Au 25 ($US 19.25) per person, it includes a 45 minute guided tour and a boat ride around the Isle of Dead, the cemetery.  Well worth it.  Port Arthur was a penal colony and more.  It was settled by ship builders but also had over 300 soldiers and a large civilian population. The prisoners were housed in the Penitentiary, an old granary turned prison.  Also on site were other cottages that housed political prisoners, the asylum (mental hospital), and the separate prison.  The separate prison was the eeriest, the prisoners were not allowed to speak, they wore a hood that hid their identity, and had a badge with a number and that is what they were called.  They also had solitary confinement in the solitary cell, when I went in there the hair on the back of my neck stood up, it was creepy.  A chapel was attached to the prison and each prisoner was separated from the others by wooden doors.  Strange.  They could only see the minister when they were in their separate areas.  Some of the things that stand out for me is how separate the civilians and soldiers were from the prisoners, they had huge gardens that separated them. So in one small area there were many different societies and they did not mix, a type of class system.  The convicts did not sit around in their cells, they were put to work felling trees, ship building, road building. Essentially, Tasmania was tamed by convict labor.  Port Arthur is also where the largest mass murder in history (not 100 percent sure) occurred.  It happened in April 1996, a lone gunman shot 35 people dead.  Before I arrived in Port Arthur I was not sure where this massacre happened, I thought it was in town some where but no it happen at the historic site of Port Arthur.  When we first arrived at the historic site of Port Arthur we were wandering around and came across the memorial and reflection pool erected in the memory of the people who died there.  It was a very touching memorial and heartbreaking as well.  The old cafe stands as a gutted building, the owner could not rebuild it.  I really do not know much about the people who were killed except that they were locals and tourists.  The gunman was caught and taken into custody not far from the site.  He pleaded guilty at his hearing so there was no trail and he had been in maximum security every since, he is kept separate from the other prisoners.  I know there are more facts but I do not know them and did not want to ask anyone in the area.  The information here was related to me by some locals we met in a caravan park. A sad, sad event, my heart goes out to the families impacted that day.   
Dec. 8 Port Arthur - Sorrell.  Some days are plans are changed for us and this was one of those days. We originally planned to ride north of Dunally past Breem Creek and over to Orford.  As we rode closer to Dunally we saw smoke from a bush fire.  Ut oh not a good sign. At Dunally we stopped at the local store and picked up supplies.  We asked about the bush fire and if C337 was closed, the women I asked about yelled at me that we could not go that way. So there ya have it, no way of going that way, the road was closed and I could not think of a worse thing than to ride into a bush fire.  So we were detoured back to Sorrell.  The wind was from the northeast so we were basically pushed west all the way to Sorrell, the smoke from the fire was also pushed west as well and it was so thick it burned our eyes and throat.  So we camped the night at a local park, there are no caravan parks in Sorrel, it was tempting to go back to Hobart but we didn't. 76 km
Dec 9 Sorrell - Tribunna.  We loaded up on more food and set off for Tribunna.  The wind was in our face and the hills kept getting bigger. All and all not a bad ride.  At one point near Buckland we had Bush fires on both sides of us.  Yikes.  They were not close but the one to the south near Breem Creek looked real bad, so I am glad we went around.  We were hoping to stop in Orford but the campground at the beach was closed, it seems that a few endangered birds are nesting in the area.  What a pretty spot too. So we rode to Tribunna and stayed at the caravan park near the highway. We met a couple (3) local motorcyclists they had some nice bikes too.  To our good fortune we missed the Toys for tots rally in Hobart by over 7,000 motorcyclists.  These guys watched to event unfold and then rode north to get ahead of the group.  T 62 km
Dec 10 Tribunna - Swansea 54 km
Dec 11 Swansea. Gale force winds ground us in Swansea, we hear they are 100 km/hour.  We did our laundry and it was dry in 15 minutes.  
Dec 12 Swansea - Freycinet National Park. 59 km
Dec 13 - 14 Freycinet National Park. We walked the wineglass bay to hazards beach and back.  The view was nice but the smoke from the fires to the north are starting to creep in.  Thursday morning we woke up to a combination of smoke and fog.  We could barely see the Hazards from Richardson's beach.  The national park is closed for the day due to a fire ban.  
Dec 15 Freycinet - Bicheno.  We rode through an area where a fire was recently put out.  It turns out it was started by a home owner who decided to light a bull ant hive on fire and it got away from him.  The winds were from the south and we were in Bicheno in no time. 40 km
Dec 16 - 26 Bicheno. The fires to north near St. Mary are still raging.  The road along the coast to St. Helen through Four Mile Creek and Scamander is open but it is still very smoky.  We have decided to wait here for a few days and see what happens.  We can see the smoke near Elephant pass and by the coast.  I guess the fire got out of control and went though the town of Four Mile Creek.

While we are here we decided to visit Nature World, an animal rescue park located 7 kilometers north of Bicheno. It costs $15 per adult for entry.  It was a fascinating park and I even got to feed a kangaroo.  The highlight was the Tasmanian devils, wombats and koalas.  At feeding time, the little devils went crazy for the milk.

 

Stopped to work on our book for a bit and decided to stay here for Christmas and Boxing day.

 

 
Dec 27 Bicheno - Scamander 62 km
Dec 28 Scamander - Russell River 35 km
Dec 29 Russell River - B 55 km
Dec 30 B - Myrtle River 65 km
Dec 31 Myrtle River - Lugana 40 km
Jan 1 - 2 Lugana  
Jan 3 Lugana - Asbestos National Park I apologize for my not keeping up on my journal.  I have had a stomach ailment and it has kept me down. I really do need to rave about this park.  I am sad that we did not plan to stay longer. We stayed 1 night but I could have stayed 3. The park is located 40 km from Devonport, the name has been changed to an Aboriginal name, unfortunately my map and book still call it Asbestos National Park.  We camped at the powered site near the visitor center to be near the animals.  That is what is fantastic about this park, the animals.  We were camped next to some wombat burrows and just about sunset I asked the kids next door, Patrick and Jessica ages 4 and 6 if they wanted to see a wombat house.  We walked over to the bridge and as we looked down the dry creek. I said, look at those holes, wombats live in there, and look there is one now!  Just as I pointed to the wombat burrow one came out.  All three of us squealed in delight.  We were bonded, those kids followed me all over looking for animals.  Later their parent took them down towards the bird blind, I was walking in with my flashlight and they were walking out.  As we were standing there we heard something running through the bush, it made me jump.  It came to a stand still next to the trail, it was a huge wombat.  Mom told me about seeing an eastern spotted quoll up the trail. I had never seen one so I was off hunting for this new creature.  Eastern Spotted Quolls are carnivorous marsupials, so are (Tasmania devils).  They look like a weasels with a brown coat and big white dots.  I was in luck, as I came around a corner I saw three of them scamper down the track. By now it was getting very dark.  I walked in a little further and then turned around. Again, I saw a spotted eastern quoll, when I shinned my flashlight on it I also attracted bugs to my light.  To my amazement the little guy came over to my light, grabbed an insect with his two front paws, and proceeded to eat the bug, crunch crunch crunch.  He was not even afraid of me, he was so close to my foot I thought he would sit on my foot.  We played this game for 20 minutes or so, he practically followed me back to camp.  The only thing missing was my camera, I will never leave home with out it.  I went to sleep that night listening to pademelons and wallabies hopping by our tent. I am so lucky that Tim enjoys these safaris as well.  
Jan 4 Asbestos National Park- Devonport.  We had a little time before we had to leave so we did a short walk to the beach, a beautiful place and no one on the beach for miles.  The dunes were high, vegetated and covered with animal tracks.  I could have spent a good day looking around. We decided to get back to camp and ride as we climbed a dune a small wombat about the size of my hand came flying over the top. He was all by himself, this time we were prepared, Tim pulled out the camera and caught some footage of the little guy. He was so small I wondered where his mom was.  Before we came here I asked a local about the park and he said, why would you want to go there, there is nothing to see.  He happened to be a tour guide too.  We decided to ignore his comments and go anyway.  For me, it was a delightful place, it all depends on what your in to, for him the local wild life is boring, for me it is not.   

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INDEX #4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

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 South Australia
Adelaide to Mount Gambier (Sept 15 - Oct 20, 2006)

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Culture Shock in Australia

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Thumbnail Pictures of the state of South Australia

Full size Picture Pages

- The city of Adelaide
- Tanunda, Barossa Valley
- Cudlee Creek and Gorge Wildlife Park.
- Barossa Valley Wineries and Vineyards
- Murray River Pictures of Tanunda to Strathalbyn
- Macclesfield to Menengie
-Coorong National Park from Parnka Point to 42 Mile Crossing.
- Robe to Mt. Gambier


 

 Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Nelson to Melbourne, Victoria (Oct. 21 to Nov. 12, 2006)

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Full size Picture Pages

- Nelson to Port Fairy
- Warrnambool to Princeton
- Otway National Park: camping under the Koalas
- Apollo Bay, Lorne to Geelong
- Castlemaine with the Melbourne Bicycle Touring Club MBTC
- Melbourne Australia the capital of the state of Victoria, Australia.


 

Tasmania
Devonport to Devonport (Nov 13, 2006 - Jan 4 2007)

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Downloadable Malaysian Video Postcard From the Road

Best Place to see Pictures for Tasmania

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- Devonport to Strahan
- Cradle Mountain National Park Tasmania
- Strahn to The Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and World Heritage Area
- Lake St. Clair Wilderness Park
- Tarralleah to New Norfolk
- Pictures of Mount Field National Park
-Hobart Wharf, Salamanca Market, Parliament Building in Tasmania
- Eagle Hawk Neck dog line to Swansea
- Port Arthur National Park and Penitentiary Ruins. #1.
- Port Arthur National Historic Site and Prison Ruins #2
- Swansea to Bicheno
- Freycinet National Park
- Nature World Animal Park
- Bicheno to the boat ferry at Devonport


 
 Victoria
Melbourne to Jindabyne , Australia  (January 5 - February 9, 2007)

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How do we stay married while traveling together 24/7?

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- Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory National Park
- Tarra Bulga National Park
- Bairnsdale to Jindabyne


 
 New South Wales
Jindabyne to Mudgeeraba (February 10 - April 24, 2007)

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- Jindabyne to Khancoban, Australian Alps
- Wild Flowers of Mount Kosciusko Peak Hike.
- Threadbo ski field and snow sports area
- Khancoban to Adaminaby
- Adaminaby, NSW to Canberra, ACT
- Parliament House in Canberra to Sydney
-Sydney Australia with the Aquarium, Opera House and walk across the Harbor Bridge
- Sydney to Diamond Head, Crowdy Bay National Park
- Port Macquarie to Nimbin.
- Nimbin to Mount Nimbil Lodge Campground Gold Coast.


 

 Queensland - Outback
Sunshine Coast, to Wollogorang Station (April 25 - July 23, 2007)

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- Sunshine Coast and Maroochydore surfing beach
- Snorkeling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef at Lady Elliot Island.
- Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo
- Lamington National Park
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Brisbane, Australia.
- Cairns to Atherton Tablelands
- Cairns Rain Forest Botanical Garden
- Mossman Gorge in the Daintree National Park
- Atherton Tablelands to Georgetown, Queensland, Australia
- Georgetown to Burketown
.- Burketown to Wollogorang Station


 

 Northern Territory and Outback
Wollogorang Station to Darwin
(July 22 - September 14, 2007)

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LETTER

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- Wollogorang to Borroloola and Heart Break Hotel
- Daly Waters to Katherine
- Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory
- Yellow Water Boat Trip #1
- Yellow Water River Cruise and Boat Tour #2.
- Aboriginal community Oenpelli (Gunbalanya) and festival
-Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr and Merl campground in Kakadu National Park Northern Territory, Australia


1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

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