Southern Tasmania Highlights

7 02 2013

We’ve been in the south of Tassie now for about three weeks.  Really looking forward to wearing shorts and t-shirts again.  Since being down south it’s been pretty cold and many times you’re sure the wind is coming straight off the Antarctic!  Been loving my woollen socks I got especially made before we left.

Our first stop was Franklin on the Huon River.  Lovely, peaceful location.  We had no luck with fishing here but we did enjoy the produce of apricots, peaches and cherries.  There was a girl on the side of the road with a wooden cart.  She wore a long shirt and blouse and looked like she stepped straight out of Little House on the Praire.  Her fruit was divine!  I was told it’s because they are picked ripe rather than the supermarket stuff that is picked early.

After five nights in Franklin we travelled as far south as you can to Cockle Creek.  One has to try a fresh oyster off the rocks when in Cockle Creek.  Dan was our brave man who wanted to try one.  “That’s not quite what I was expecting” was his calm response after his first bite.  He didn’t want any more.  I have to admit that this was my first ever oyster too and I was pleasantly surprised although the look and texture was still very hard to come by.  I think I’d like to try them quickly fried with garlic.

We copped some rain in Cockle Creek but in the moments when the sun came out the beach and surrounds were just beautiful – crystal clear water!  Every night the pademelons come around and nibble the grass.  It was quite funny listening to them all munching away in the evenings when you’re trying to sleep.  Cockle creek is a free camp with pit loos.

After a week in Bruny we came back to the other side of the Huon river and stayed at Gordon on the D’entrecasteaux Channel.  Such a gorgeous location.  We camped right adjacent to the water and took the kayak out a few days.  We did have to watch the wind as it could get quite rough out there!  We caught plenty of flat head in the channel and enjoyed a fish and chip lunch.  Gordon is a reserve that is set up for campers for $5.  There are flush toilets and a dump point, but no readily available water – although we managed to get ours from the sinks in the bathrooms.

I managed to book into a free photography workshop with Wolfgang Glowacki through the Huon Valley Environment Centre.  It was a drizzly day but the rain held out just enough to experience the amazing Weld Valley deep in the forests that are logged as it seems much of Tasmania is.  The hope is to get world herritage listing for this valley and rightly they should.  It was a beautiful spot of amazing tress, ferns and biodivsersity.

The Middleton annual fair was a great day.  We went for the day and enjoyed the stalls, fire brigade home made hot chips, alpaca fleece spinning and their many products and of course a talk on growing and preserving your own veggies from Matthew Evans and other locals.  It was a great talk and also a highlight to meet Matthew Evans and have a quick chat.  Meanwhile Stephen sat up the back in the foyer as the hall was full and nattered away to Tino (Gardening Australia) and Sadie (Matthew Evan’s partner).  All in all we had a great day.

Our last day in the area had a stage of Targa Tasmania going through it.  We drove into Cygnet, spotted a rally car (the Mayor of Hobart), followed it to the next stage, parked and watched about 25 cars or so come in and start their next stage of racing.  It was exciting to see as back in our younger days we used be involved in car rallies with our family and friends.

Overall the Southern part of Tassie is just like I imagined Tasmania to be before arriving.  Many winding hilly roads, road side stalls of fruit and veggies, orchards, beautiful water ways and community events.  We’ve perhaps stayed a little longer than previously thought, but we’ve had fun and experienced many new joys.  The Cygnet side of the valley has a lovely feel and I could definitely return one day to enjoys its wonders further.

Camp spot at Franklin on the Huon River

Camp spot at Franklin on the Huon River

Kayaking down the river

Kayaking down the river

Swan on the Huon River

Swan on the Huon River

Feeding the swans

Feeding the swans

Camp at Cockle Creek

Camp at Cockle Creek

"Not quite what I was expecting" - Oyster

“Not quite what I was expecting” – Oyster

As far South as you can get (by car)

As far South as you can get (by car)

Beautiful beach at Cockle Creek

Beautiful beach at Cockle Creek

Kayaking in the Channel

Kayaking in the Channel

Cooking biscuits - we used the grill with success to cook them

Cooking biscuits – we used the grill with success to cook them

A cup of tea with out a biscuit is a missed opportunity

A cup of tea with out a biscuit is a missed opportunity

Sunset on the Channel

Sunset on the Channel

Scarecrows everywhere for the Middleton Fair - including our campsite!

Scarecrows everywhere for the Middleton Fair – including our campsite!

Moon rising over the channel

Moon rising over the channel

Weld Valley

Weld Valley

Weld Valley

Weld Valley

Weld Valley

Weld Valley

I want a farm just like you Matthew Evans

I want a farm just like you Matthew Evans

Some of the catches from the channel - flat head.

Some of the catches from the channel – flat head.

Campsite at Gordon

Campsite at Gordon

Sunset on the Channel

Sunset on the Channel

Morgan doing Targa in Cygnet

Morgan doing Targa in Cygnet

Corolla doing Targa at Cygnet

Corolla doing Targa at Cygnet

MG doing Targa in Cygnet

MG doing Targa in Cygnet

Mustang doing Targa in Cygnet

Mustang doing Targa in Cygnet

Escort doing Targa in Cygnet

Escort doing Targa in Cygnet

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