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Monday 19th March:
Left St Helens for Launceston (170km & 2.5 hours) in some wild and woolly weather. The car was getting buffered but I did feel for a group on motorcycles who were being blown all over the road.
Once we hit Launceston the rain eased and the wind dropped out so managed a stroll round Launceston.
I haven’t had a haircut for 5 months so I was looking a little rough round the edges. Found a very nice hairdresser who was on her third year apprenticeship and asked if it was okay for her to cut my hair. She did a great job and I am now looking normal once again.
Tuesday 20th March:
Off to Beauty Point and Beaconsfield today (120km round trip).
First stop was Beauty Point where we visited the Platypus House, which also included Echidna. Across the road was the Seahorse World. All together we learnt about the life, love and goings on of all these animals and got to meet them up close and personal. Great place and definitely worth a visit.
We had the best seafood lunch at The River Café in Beauty Point.
Next stop was Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre. This gold mine has operated (on and off) from 1889 to 2012. Since 2014 it has been open to the public as a part of the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre.
In 2006 Todd Russell & Brant Webb spent almost 14 days trapped underground in a cage measuring 1.45m x 1.25m x 60cm.
They were both rescued and survived. They had a replica of this cage that you could get in. Absolutely scared the crap out of us both.
Wednesday 21st March:
Exploring Launceston today. First stop was the Cataract Gorge
This gorge is 10 minutes from central Launceston although you wouldn’t know it. We caught the chairlift across the gorge to the restaurant for lunch. After a long and yummy lunch (more seafood….) we wandered round some of the walking trails and lookouts.
Then off to downtown where we visited the old umbrella shop. They had old umbrellas going back 100 years. The one thing that hasn’t changed much over time is an umbrella.
Dropped into the Kings Park and guess what we found?
We travelled all round Queensland looking for a Bunya Nut. Even went to Bunya Mountain NP looking for one. No luck.
Then we find one in Kings Park in Launceston. Brought down from a huge Bunya tree in the last few days by the wind.
While in the park we watched the Macaque monkeys in their enclosure. It is sad to see these animals in a cage.
Thursday 22nd March:
Had a day to kill as our ferry doesn’t leave Devonport till 7:30pm. So did a road trip to the Stanley Nut National Park and Sheffield (400km round trip).
At Stanley it was blowing a gale with the odd shower of rain. We passed on the chairlift to the Nut top. But did have another awesome seafood lunch at the hotel.
Then headed inland to the township of Sheffield which is famous for its mural on the walls of the town buildings. Very impressive.
Back to Devonport, loaded onto the ferry and off to Melbourne.
Friday 23rd March:
We had an 11 hour ferry crossing of Bass Straight and the first 5 hours were not very pleasant at all. Quite a swell running. Luckily we had a cabin so I could lay down which helps heaps with my motion sickness. Even Guy felt the swell and had to stop reading and lay down.
The last 6 hours weren’t too bad as it flattened off and we both managed to get some sleep. Made it into Melbourne at 6:30am.
Once we unloaded, we headed out of the city to the Yarra Valley (1 hour away). As we arrived in Healesville at 9:00am, we found a coffee shop and had some breakfast.
Now checking time was 2:00pm so we had a lot of time to kill. But at 10:00am we received a text to say our room was ready. So off we went and unpacked. Did a bit of a drive by on a couple of local attractions then back to the cabin to wait for Jo, Dave and the kids as they arrived later in the afternoon.
Saturday 24th March:
Rained most of the day so we were cabin bound. All good though as the kids loved all the attention. Jo and Dave were off to a wedding at 4:00pm so babysitting duties prevailed. The kids were actually pretty good (didn’t push us too far) so had a great time with them.
Sunday 25th March:
Gloomy morning but the rain held off for the day. The kids left for Albury, then Canberra at 10:00am and we had some time to kill before we could check into our Melbourne Airbnb apartment.
We decided to visit the local Healesville Sanctuary. Quite a unique place focusing on assisting injured Australian wildlife. They even had a large hospital there where you can watch and see how they treat animals. Sadly they only manage to save about 15% the animals that are brought in. But they said that that 15% makes it all worthwhile.
Guy has always wanted to get up close and personal with a wombat and today her wish came true. She got to meet Jen, a rescued Wombat who is now doing extremely well. We got to pat her and found that her hair is very course, not all soft and fluffily.
Left for Melbourne at 3:00pm and 1.5 hours later we arrived at our Airbnb apartment (on the 10th floor) overlooking Federation Square. Here for the next four nights.
As we are now back in the land of good Internet it was time to update our iPhones and Apps.
Life is good.
Trevor & Guy