On the Way to Devonport

13 February 2014


The famous Nut with Stanley nestled at its foot 


A reasonably early breakfast again at Moby Dick’s at Stanley to get us ready for our drive to Devonport.  Before we left we took the opportunity to see the cottage where Joseph Lyons was born, (the only Tasmanian Prime Minister), opposite the bluestone National Heritage building built for the Van Dieman’s Land Company (right).  Sadly we then said goodbye to Stanley, a very pretty seaside town in the north west of Tasmania.

Our first photo stop was at Port Latta, a little known but major export base for Tasmania (below left).  It is located between Stanley and Wynyard and exports iron ore pellets to Port Kembla and China.  Turning off the main road to pass through Wynyard, we found the coastal road to be full of scenic surprises, including the light house at Table Cape (below right).

Arriving at  Wynyard, it had started to rain lightly, but we did not want to miss the Information Centre holding a fabulous collection of vintage cars, all fully restored.  The exhibition is manned by volunteers who maintain the vehicles – and love their work!  As well as vintage cars there were vintage motor bikes and bicycles – the museum is a real credit to the volunteers and a must visit for all vintage car lovers.

We decided to stop off again at the Information Centre at Burnie, but this time to see the exhibits of the Makers Workshop within the centre.  There were wonderful displays of paper sculptures (right), glass bead jewellery, wood carving, wooden violins, ceramic jewellery, textiles, art, and paper making machinery and equipment.  There are examples of Tasmanian produce such as cheeses, wines, preserves, teas – an endless and colourful display.

When we ordered lunch the waiter encouraged me to try French Earl Grey tea – a “stunning brew with bergamot, hibiscus flowers, sunflowers and rose petals”, so delicious I had to buy a packet to take home!

Penguin was our next stop, a cute little coastal town – with model penguins everywhere including one giant penguin on the foreshore.  Continuing to hug the coastline, we reached Ulverstone, a city much larger than anticipated.  In Shropshire Park we viewed a display of Royal Australian Naval history.  We were fortunate to meet up with Mrs Boyd who had come to the park to place flowers on the grave of her late husband who had served in the Navy in WW11 and was prominent in the planning and maintenance of the Naval display and she explained some of the history of the park and the effort by local ex servicemen and volunteers to create and maintain the display.

Finally we reached Devonport and settled into our motel opposite the Mersey River close to the Victoria Bridge.  There was a nice walk along the riverside with a  shipyard near the yacht club.  We drove to the town centre to see the Spirit of Tasmania already loading its cargo of vehicles and passengers, and decided to go back to the river to watch the vessel begin its voyage to Melbourne.

We returned to the foreshore after 7pm to wait for the Spirit of Tasmania,  and what an impressive sight.  This gigantic vessel dwarfed the river and surrounds as it regally sailed down the river, and set up a huge wash as it made its way down toward the open ocean.  Passengers lined the decks waving as she sailed past us, and we waved back!

We thought we might miss out on dinner as it was almost 8pm by the time we arrived back at the motel, however they were happy to feed some hungry latecomers.  I was able to take some nice shots of the pretty sunset behind the Victoria Bridge over the Mersey River, a lovely ending to a busy day.

Tomorrow we set off for Launceston

Penguins are prevalent in Penguin, they’re even on the garbage bins!

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