North West Tassie – Days 1 – 4

Day 1 – 01/11/15 – Davenport to Stanley via Burnie and Wynyard (150km):

Docked at Davenport at 6am and disembarked at around 6.30am.   The crossing was reasonable just a bit of swell once we left the Port Phillip Bay.  Neither of us slept much and we were up at 4.30am to shower and re-pack our bike packs.  The day was overcast and drizzling – I’ll have to talk about the weather as it is a Haines tradition and in any case it determines a lot of what we will chose to do.

Bikes on Ferry 0630 011115

We stopped at Wynyard for breakfast at around 9am – bad breakfast.  We always wonder how cafes can stuff up poached eggs and bacon.  Coffee was acceptable though.  We continued on towards Stanley riding along the coast road and I really do mean coast – the ocean to our right about 5 – 10 metres from the road.  It was amazing and even though the weather wasn’t all that pleasant the views were spectacular.   Everything is so green.   Passed many farms with milking cows, lots of poddies, the best looking healthy chocolate coloured earth and a definite smell of spring onions – I know you thought I was going to say something else – well there was that cow poo smell too.  We continued on to Stanley a small fishing village, a top national and state tidy town winner – the reason very evident.  I think they have rules that you have to paint your home every year as every house is so neat and tidy.  It really is a beautiful village.  We found accommodation at Stanley Village which was once the railway station now converted into a restaurant, café and office with cottages on site.  We booked in for 2 nights.  Accommodation very comfy and cosy warm which we needed as we were freezing.  After we settled in we went for a walk along the harbour and jetty.

Stanley Fishing Boats and Harbour 011115

Unfortunately it was a long weekend for northern Tasmania and many of the local seafood restaurants were closed for the two nights we were there.  We were told that the pub was only restaurant open so a reservation was made for dinner.  I ordered abalone served with chilli, ginger and coriander and a green salad.  Very tasty although a bit chewy.  Ricky I’m sure you would have done it better.  Barry had a Cape Grim steak and was very happy.  The accommodation provided ear plugs in case the Fairy Penguins got a bit noisy during the night when they came ashore from their fishing expedition.  We didn’t hear them at all and no we didn’t use the ear plugs.  The next night we went where the locals said to go to see if we could see them coming in but after waiting in the cold we gave up and went back to the cottage.  We found a nice Shiraz to have with dinner – from a town called Penguin funnily enough located between Davenport and Burnie.

Blue Penguin Shiraz

Day 2 – 02/11/15 – round trip from/to Stanley – the Tarkine Loop (200km)

After breakfast we headed off about 9am and completed the Tarkine loop taking in Smithton, Marraway and Arthur River, Couta Rocks along the coast and then back inland toward Kunnunah Bridge, Edith Creek to Stanley.   This whole area is quite bleak and scrubby and the road surface pretty bumpy.  It’s a draw-card for four wheel drives and campers.   We arrived back into Stanley for a late lunch at about 3pm and then too the chair lift up to the top of the Stanley Nut.

Stanley Village 021115

The photo above is taken from the Nut overlooking Stanley Harbour and Railway Station which is the red roof buildings and the cottages to the left are where we were staying.  The photo below is The Nut.

The Nut Stanley

Stanley history lesson –

Stanley was originally know as Circular Head when employees from the Van Diemen’s Land Company settled in the area in 1826.  The first school opened in 1841 and the post office in 1845.   The Nut is the most distinctive landmark in Stanley, an old volcanic plug discovered by Bass and Flinders in 1798 who named it Circular Head.  It has steep sides and rises to 143m with a flat top.  Stanley currently has a population of approx.. 500.  It was renamed Stanley in 1882 after Lord Stanley, British Secretary at the time who went on to become British PM for 3 terms.  Joseph Lyons our 10th PM was born here.   He was PM from 1932 to 1939 when he died suddenly from a heart at age 59.

Day 3 – 3/11/15 – Stanley to Strahan via Somerset, Waratah, Tullah, Zeehan (280km):

Had breakfast at 8am, left Stanley at 9am in howling winds, back along the coast road towards Burnie, turned off at Somerset down the Murchison Highway.  Wet, windy and windy roads.    We were glad when we reached Strahan at just before 3pm in time to see the Melbourne Cup run.  Checked in to our accommodation at Strahan Village – were up on the hill overlooking the harbour.

Strahan Harbour

The sun started to shine after we arrived.  We went for a long walk around the harbour, found a seafood restaurant for dinner which we booked in at 7pm, came back to shower and change and headed out for a drink before dinner.   I had a beetroot, fig and goats cheese tart with garden salad – bit too sweet for my taste buds but quite tasty.  Barry had scallops which I wish I had had too.  For mains we both had locally caught fish – Stripey Trumpeter with potato scallops and crunchy green vegetables.  Yum!  On our way back along the harbour we ran into friends from Melbourne who are here with a group of 4WD enthusiasts.   Back to the accommodation and a load of washing / drying.  Some jobs just have to be done.

Day 4 – 4/11/15 – round trip to Queenstown (100km)

Awoke to beautiful sunshine, had breakfast and headed off to Queenstown.  Winding roads.  Not much to see in Queenstown, had a walk around, coffee and headed back towards Strahan.  Arrived back for a late lunch.  Here I am doing this blog update and Barry is working on an ignition problem with the 750 sport.  Not sure what we are doing for dinner tonight.  We may catch up with our friends for a drink and fish and chips.


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