14 February 2014
The Spirit of Tasmania on her way down the Mersey River heading for Melbourne
Breakfast at the Devonport motel (unremarkable!), then a walk around the river side and park, Mersey Bluff , and the light house. At the Bluff lookout we had a great view across Bass Strait, saw some dolphins way out diving in the water. The statue of the Spirit of the Sea at the mouth of the Mersey River, guarding the port, is impressive – a good photo shot.
We were determined to catch the 10am ride on the Don River Railway, and were there early to inspect the signal box and the workshop, together with the numerous engines and carriages being restored, including the Royal Carriage used by Prince Edward (then Prince of Wales) and the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) who had visited Australia in 1927 to open the new Parliament House in Canberra.
Then we were off to Sheffield, known as the Town of Murals, with over 60 murals depicting life in and around Sheffield, throughout the town. Walking around the town and taking photos made us hungry so we had morning tea at the Chocolate and Fudge cafe (much better than our breakfast!)
Next stop was the Anvers Chocolate Factory where we saw chocolates being made, and a wonderful display in their shop (above left and right), and the Cheese factory outside of Latrobe where we tasted some of their cheeses (below left and right).
Deloraine is famous for their scallop pies, so after a quick visit at the Raspberry farm we drove to Deloraine where we stopped for lunch – I was able to have the last scallop pie! Yummy! Deloraine is also the home of the statue of the famous racehorse Malua, winner of numerous races.
By 3.00pm we were settled in to the Colonial Quality Hotel in Launceston, an icon of the city, and on such a beautiful sunny afternoon we decided to go to Cataract Gorge Park, First Basin. We took the chairlift to other side, returned via a very pleasant walk through the park and over the suspension bridge. Back to do some washing at the hotel, decided to have dinner inhouse – long wait for dinner (over an hour) as very busy with Valentine’s Day – but worth waiting for and they decided they would not charge us for our wine!
Tomorrow we will explore the country north of Launceston on the east a west of the Tamar River.
Our engine awaits us at the Don River Railway, Devonport
At Sheffield, the town with over 60 street murals
Soaring above the Cataract Gorge Park in the chair lift