On departing from Launceston (sadly) we retraced some of our steps as we initially headed north to Piper’s River then east to the very pretty, and busy, port of Bridport. The beaches are picturesque, and a number of the port’s fleet have regular trips taking goods and produce to the Furneax group of islands to the north, including Flinders Island and Cape Barren Island. Then we turned south to Scottsdale.
It was lunch time when we arrived at Scottsdale, we visited the Art Gallery and Cafe (above left) and had time to look at the different art exhibited, and the frame maker busy at work, while we waited for our lunch. Pete chose a toasted sandwich, while I had an olive and tomato bruschetta and salad, very tasty!
Detouring to see the sculptured trees at Legerwood, we then drove though Derby and on to our destination of St Helens and the Bay of Fires, situated on George’s Bay. On our way we came across the Lease 65 Pacific Oyster farm, so called in to buy a dozen oysters and a lemon for $15 – a bargain for such a delicious entree before our dinner tonight! Our hotel was opposite spectacular George’s Bay (right), and we found the delightful Blue Shed Restaurant a short walk from our accommodation. The restaurant had floor to ceiling windows on three sides of the building, providing an uninterrupted and beautiful view of George’s Bay and the yachts and boats moored for the evening in the still water.
The meal was as special as the view, we started with pumpkin sourbread with a dip of organic olive oil, balsamic syrup and dukkah, followed by Macquarie Harbour Trout for me and Battered Whiting for Pete. Dessert to die for included Affogato for Pete and a Chocolate Cannelloni filled with Salted Caramel semifreddo, Chocolate Parfait and Raspberry Gel for me! Spectacular!
Really excited the next day to be travelling to Bicheno, I have heard so much about this seaside town that I can’t wait to get there. When we left St Helens, knowing that we did not have too far to travel that day, we decided to drive along the southern side of George’s Bay to St Helen’s Point. As we approached Burns Bay we met up with two fishermen who were extremely pleased with the two crayfish they had just taken from their cray pot. They looked as though they would make a great meal!
Our travels then saw us passing through Scamander, over Elephant Pass to St Marys where we had a coffee, then a quick look at the Douglas-Apsley National Park before walking on to Denison beach where we had our first glimpse of Bicheno in the distance. We arrived in time to have a quick lunch at Pasini’s (above) and continued to explore this beautiful seaside town with its white sands.
Dinner that night was at the Sea Life Centre (above), again overlooking Waub’s Bay, where we enjoyed the view and the wonderful meal. My salmon was delicious and Pete highly praised his steak, and the apple and rhubarb crumble with cream and icecream was just like my mother used to make – delicious!
Our plans to travel to Coles Bay to join a cruise into Wineglass Bay was cancelled by two events – primarily engine trouble with the cruise boat, and secondly the trip may have been cancelled due to the storm that broke just as we arrived in Coles Bay. In either way, we missed out on the cruise – maybe next time! We ordered breakfast from our motel and headed off to Swansea via the pretty Swanwick on Moulting Lagoon, and called in to the Barkmill Café and Museum on our way for a leisurely and interesting browse through the museum and for lunch.
That night we had dinner at Salt Shaker overlooking the water (above left), this time at beautiful Great Oyster Bay. Pete chose Pepper Steak and Vegetables, I ordered Fish Pot Pie, and for dessert, Citrus Tart with icecream, and Crème Brulee – not brave enough to step on the scales after all this wonderful food!
The next morning we “ducked out” to The Ugly Duck Out restaurant opposite our motel. The restaurant promotes simple natural foods, and I enjoyed the best muesli with fruit compote while Pete enjoyed his French Toast with maple syrup, yummy!
Our travels today would take us through Triabunna, a fishing port and where the ferry leaves for Maria Island, then on to Orford on the Prosser River where we stopped for morning tea looking out at the Bridge and the river (below left), and enjoying the beautiful weather. As we took a drive around the riverside of Orford we came across an echida crossing the road (below right).
The next town was Dunalley where we saw the blackened forest that remained after the disastrous fires of January 2013, a very sad sight. Then we were entering Eaglehawk Neck and the Tasman Peninsula. After viewing some of the more famous sights such as the Tessellated Pavement, the Dog Line, Tasman Arch and Devil’s Kitchen we found our way to our accommodation for the next two nights, the wonderful bed and breakfast Norfolk Bay Convict Station built in 1838. The day was coming to an end, the wind was increasing and the clouds coming over, so when Lorella offered to cook us dinner we gratefully accepted. It was a delicious meal of salmon for me and grilled cutlets for Pete, with a healthy green salad, warm bread and a bottle of Shiraz – heaven!
We spent several hours the following day exploring Port Arthur, having a light lunch in the café, and enjoying the cruise. It was a long day and we walked for kilometres, but enjoyed every minute of being in, and imaging what it would have been like, a severe penal settlement. Thoughts of the massacre in April 1996 was also on our mind. It was suggested to us that dinner at the Lufra Hotel would be a nice way to end the day, it is only a short drive from Norfolk Bay. We shared some oysters, I opted for the delicious Lamb Shank while Pete decided on steak, eaten while watching the boats bobbing on Pirate Bay (right).
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