Day 275 of retirement

March 18, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 12th March:

Back to Port Arthur to complete our tour. All done and dusted by late morning so off to see the Remarkable Cave 5km away. A really impressive cave/hole in the rock that extends out to sea.

For lunch we went to the Lavender farm. The food was awesome. And the rain set in for the afternoon so perfect timing.

After lunch we ventured to the old coalmine 30km north of Port Arthur. This was a coal mine operated by the convicts from Port Arthur. It’s 30km north of Port Arthur. The rain broke just longer enough to see the site. Back to our cabin for a cup of tea and a lay down.

Tuesday 13th March:

Google Maps took us on an adventure today. When planning today’s trip from White Beach to Swansea Google Maps gave a trip itinerary of 152km and 2h 17m. The trip time sounded a bit high but Google Maps can be a bit off.
So off we went and to cut a long story short we ended up doing 35km on dirt road and 25km of that on a logging forestry road. At times we were down to walking speed as we negotiated wash aways, big potholes, steep hills and tennis ball sized gravel sections.
And we weren’t the only ones caught out by Google. We passed 6 others doing the same road following Google. We passed one couple in a camper van crawling along. Felt sorry for them in their “truck” rocking and rolling all over the place.
But all good and the mighty Mazda got us through to Swansea. At least Google got the roads correct so we made it out of the forest. And the view was awesome.

Wednesday 14th March:

Off to explore the Wineglass Bay area today (150km). First stop was the hiking trail into the lookout of Wineglass Bay. An awesome place and so so impressive.

Also checked out Sleepy Bay and Cape Tourville. Stopped for lunch at the Freycinet Marine Farm. We had a dozen Kilpatrick oysters and then another half dozen oysters with smoked salmon and Brie cheese. So so yummy.

Thursday 15th March:

Off exploring the Swansea area today (150km round trip).

We visited 9 Mile Beach, Moulting Lagoon, Freycinet Marine Farm (awesome seafood lunch again), the roadside Pondering Frog Café for afternoon tea and the Swansea foreshore area for a wander.

Very stunning, peaceful, and quiet part of the world.

Friday 16th March:

Left Swansea for St Helens (150km & 3.5 hours) with a few stops along the way exploring, Bicheno among them.

Made it to St Helens by 1:30pm and down came the rain. It poured for most of the afternoon so we curled up in our cabin with a nice hot cup of tea.

Saturday 17th March:

Off exploring today (150km) along the coast and back into the foothills.

We visited:

~ Binalong Bay and Bay of Fires

~ The Gardens

~ Sloop Rock

~ St Columba Falls

~ Pub in the paddock (meet Pricilla the beer drinking pig)

~ Pyengana Cheese Factory

~ St Helens Point conservation park

On the way back home from St Columba Falls we came across an accident. Two cars hit each side on a sharp corner. The airbags in both cars activated so all people were okay.

Sunday 18th March:

Foul weather today (cold, wet & windy) so went for a drive to the Mount Elephant Pancake Barn (140km round trip). Now this place is a bit out of the way but well worth the trip as their pancakes are awesome.

And thanks Ben for the tip that XPD 2018 Tasmania “Bay of Fires” was starting in St Helens today. We missed the start but swung by the MTB to Kayak transition point in Scamander.

The rain did clear late afternoon so the racers just have to put up with the cold and wind. Glad I’m a spectator.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy



Day 268 of retirement

March 11, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 5th March:

Left Strahan for Hobart (Risdon Discovery Park) and had a few tourist stops along the way (310km and 6 hours).

Awesome cabin that is a small house including a washing machine and dryer. Time to catch up on some washing.

Tuesday 6th March:

Off to explore Hobart today. First stop was Mount Wellington where we had awesome views of Hobart and the surrounding countryside.

Then down to the Cascades Female Historic Site. This is on old female convict site. We were part of the play where we followed the life of Mary and her treatment whilst in this institution.

Such brutality towards the women and especially their babies. Never learnt this in history.

We enjoyed a very nice seafood lunch at Mako’s on Constitution Dock.

Back to planning the next week and discovered that there is a public holiday on Monday.

Had a bit of trouble getting accommodation for the weekend but all good, as we are all booked up till Tuesday next week.

Wednesday 7th March:

Visited the Museum of Old and New Art (Called Mona) today. Now I’m no art critic but this is the most amazing, bizarre art gallery I have ever visited. We both loved it including the awesome 5 star lunch in the Source Restaurant.
The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is an art museum located within the Moorilla winery on the Berriedale peninsula in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. It is the largest privately funded museum in Australia. The museum presents antiquities, modern and contemporary art from the David Walsh collection. Walsh has described the museum as a “subversive adult Disneyland.

An awesome place and definitely worth a visit if you’re in this neck of the woods.

Thursday 8th March:

Left Hobart for Snug Beach (35km & 40 minute drive) where we are staying for two nights.

We arrived at 11:15am so way early for a 2:00pm check in. Called into the park anyway and our cabin was actually ready so great to have an early check in.

Dumped our gear and went for a drive down south of here. Stopped at the Peppermint Bay Hotel for an awesome lunch.

Only realised after a text from my sister Lyn that this is the same establishment that my niece Petrina and hubby Benji got married some 3.5 years ago. Small world. Guy and I were in Vegas attending her daughter Jo’s wedding at the time so couldn’t attend.

Continued round the peninsula looking at some local spots of interest. Off to Bruny Island tomorrow for the day.

Friday 9th March:

Off to explore Bruny Island today (185km & all day). Caught the ferry for a 15 minute ride then headed south and worked our way back.

We visited:

~ Cape Bruny Lighthouse.

~ Bruny Islands Premium Wines for an awesome lunch.

~ The Berry Farm for desserts.

~ Adventure Bay where Captain Cook landed.

~ The Bligh Museum.

~ The Neck lookout.

~ The Chocolate Factory for some samples.

~ Dennes Point.

Made it back to Snug Bay by 5:30pm for a cup of tea and a lay down.

Saturday 10th March:

Left Snug Beach and made our way to White Beach Tourist Park (150km & 3.5 hours with stops) which is 10km from the Port Arthur historical site.

Made a few stops in the Eaglehawk Neck area to see some of the local attractions:

~ Eaglehawk Neck beach.

~ Eaglehawk Neck Tessellated Pavement.

~ The Blowhole

~ The Archway.

~ The Devils kitchen.

Also had a very yummy Scallop pie for lunch (thanks Pia for the tip).

Sunday 10th March:

Off to the Port Arthur historical site for the day. Back tomorrow to finish it off, as you need 1.5 days to really see it all. Today we attended 2 tours. One was a general tour highlighting some of the buildings and the goings on in them. And the other a boat tour round the island of the dead (Cemetery) and the boys incarceration island.

We also attended 3 performances by local actors on the history of the people at the Port (good & bad). We were thoroughly exhausted by day’s end but had an awesome day.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.

Day 261 of retirement

March 4, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 26th February:

Off for a drive to Burnie to see my sister’s old house and the cheese factory. Found the house but the cheese factory has closed and is under extensive renovations.

There was a small display in the Information Centre so we did get some very yummy cheese.

Back to the cabin and Guy snuggled up in bed as she has a bit of the flu.

I made my way to Devonport Mazda to get the broken door handle replaced.

Awesome service. After breaking a door handle a few days before heading to Tassie for 4 weeks holiday we rang the folks at Devonport and they organized the parts and then fitted them today. Huge thanks.

Tuesday 27th February:

Headed for Cradle Mountain today for a hike round Dove Lake (150km round trip).

Arrived at the visitor centre and caught the shuttle bus to the Dove Lake car park. There were lots of “tourists” there but once we got 500m from the car park they all disappeared. We pretty much had the whole 6km track to ourselves from then on.

Guy has a touch of the flu but she soldiered on and made it with a few rest stops.

It really is a beautiful part of the world here and we loved the hike.

Wednesday 28th February:

We were going to leave early and make the trip to Stanley but as Guy’s flu wasn’t the best we slept in instead.

Left for the Wings Wildlife Park animal refuge at midday. Had lunch at the park before going to the Tasmanian Devil feeding. After the feeding we wandered round the park taking in the animals present.

Called into Leven Canyon on the way home. As we hiked to the lookout a huge thunderstorm hit (lightning and hail). We were prepared with Gortex jackets and umbrellas but torrential rain and hail ensured that what ever wasn’t covered up got wet.

We pushed on to the lookout but it was a complete white out. Back to the car and a slow trip home on very wet roads.

Thursday 1st March:

Left Ulverstone for Strahan (250km) with a slight detour via Leven Canyon. We tried to see Leven yesterday but got caught in a thunderstorm. All good today as we were greeted with stunning views of the canyon.

On the way out we stopped at the Kaydale Lodge Gardens for home made muffins and a hot cup of tea. Also went for a walk through the vast gardens that the family has built over the last 39 years.

Arrived at Strahan late afternoon and as we explored the front street we found the boat tour company so booked a Gordon River cruise for tomorrow.

Friday 2nd March:

Off on the 6-hour Gordon River cruise today. Along the way we visited Hell’s Gate (entrance from the ocean to Lake Macquarie and the Gordon River), salmon & trout farms, rain forest walk and Sarah Island (old convict settlement).

What an awesome cruise. We were upstairs in the captain’s cabin where everything was catered for. As you may or may not know I love smoked salmon. Well I had thirds of the locally grown and smoked salmon and it was some of the best I have ever tasted.

The rest of the food wasn’t bad either. The weather was mirror calm all day so it was an extraordinary cruise in a magnificent part of the world

Saturday 3rd March:

Bit of a rest day today. After a sleep-in we wandered round some of the local Strahan attractions. Had a very yummy seafood lunch as part of our travels.

In the evening we went to the longest running play (The Ship that never was) in Australia (24 years). It tells the story of the last boat built on Sarah Island (convict settlement in the bay) and how it was pirated by 10 convicts who sailed it to Chile looking for freedom.

They all finished up in different parts of the world. Some with new lives and some sent back to Port Arthur. A great show with audience participation.

Sunday 4th March:

Off to Queenstown (90km round trip) today for the West Coast Wilderness Railway tour.

The Rack and Gorge is a spectacular half-day steam train journey departing Queenstown Station and travelling to Dubbil Barril along the steep grades of the rack and pinion that the West Coast Wilderness Railway is renowned for. The King River Gorge and old growth rainforest complete the experience. We sat back in comfort as our guide brought stories of the railway and its resilient people to life.

A fantastic tour and highly recommended if you’re in this part of the world.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy




Day 254 of retirement

February 25, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 19th February:

Left Lakes Entrance for Inverloch (250km @ 3.5 hours). Rained most of the way and stopped when we arrived at 1:00pm but it was still very windy and cold.

After checking into the cabin we drove 12km down the road to Wonthaggi as it has a Woolworths (mainly for our fruit supplies). Had a very nice Chinese lunch while we were there.

The rest of the afternoon was spent having a cup of tea and a lay down while listening to the blowing wind.

Tuesday 20th February:

Made our way to Phillip Island (160km round trip) for some exploring. We will be back later in the week to stay on the island for two nights so just scoping the place out today.

Stopped at a few local attractions (Point Grant, The Grand Prix Circuit and the township of Cowes) and booked our Penguin viewing guided tour for Friday night. Had a very nice lunch on the island before following the coast road back to Inverloch.

Wednesday 21st February:

Off to Wilsons Promontory NP for a wander today (150km round trip). Made our way to Tidal River, which is the end of the road. Then slowly made our way back stopping in at most of the lookouts and beaches along the way. Very beautiful part of the world.

Thursday 22nd February:

Left Inverloch for Phillip Island (55km). Only a short drive, so when we arrived the first stop was the National Vietnam Vets museum. A very interesting and moving place.

After lunch we checked into our cabin and headed for the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. They have a 2:00pm tour of the facility but as the world superbikes are on this weekend the tours were off due to practise sessions today.

So next best thing was the Phillip Island chocolate factory. After a self guided tour and a few samples we left with some very yummy treats.

Friday 23rd February:

Went exploring Phillip Island today in the drizzling rain. Rained most of the day unfortunately.

But we did have an awesome lunch at The Cape Kitchen restaurant. The outlook from our table over the shoreline was amazing.

Did a drive round the island stopping at a few more landmarks. No walks though due to the rain.

At 7:00pm we headed to the Penguin Parade on the western end of the island. There were lots and lots of tourists there to see the Penguins come out of the ocean after dark and make their way to their nests.

We did a guided tour with a Ranger so got to hear all the history of the little Penguins and also got to go to our own exclusive viewing area away from all the “tourists”.

Saturday 24th February:

Left Phillip Island at 10:00am for The Spirit of Tasmania wharf in Port Melbourne to commence boarding at 6:30pm (9:00pm departure time). As we had 8 hours to kill we detoured down the Mornington Peninsula right out the end and back. Called into Portsea and Sorento and a few other lookouts as well.

Arrived at Port Melbourne at 3:00pm so just chilled till load time. The ferry was delayed by an hour due to bad weather in Bass Strait so hoping it wasn’t a bad omen for us.

We were all loaded and on our way at 10:00pm. We had booked a cabin so once we dumped our gear we explored the ferry, which took all of 10 minutes.

Sunday 25th February:

On the 9-hour crossing we both managed some broken sleep, as there were a few time when we were woken by a rolling boat. But I must say that laying down certainly help my seasickness. I actually felt okay (apart from being tired) when we arrived so very happy with the crossing.

On leaving the harbour we found a nice little café for breakfast and a very nice hot cup of tea.

As checking in for our cabin isn’t officially not till 2:00pm we gave them a call and they said we could have the cabin round 12:00pm ish. So after a wander round the markets in Ulverstone, we settled into our cabin for some sleep and route planning for the next four weeks.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy



Day 247 of retirement

February 18, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 12th February:

Left Jindabyne for Mount Beauty (300km & 5 hours). There is about 100km of this road that is very steep, narrow and windy so it took us 2 hours just to drive this section (Thredbo to Khancoban).

Also got caught at three lots of roadwork sites which slowed us down. But arrived safely mid afternoon to another very nice cabin and park that is practically deserted so nice and quiet.

Tuesday 13th February:

Off exploring today on the road to Falls Creek (70km round trip).

We had lunch ay Falls Creek and visited a number of lookouts along the way. Quite by accident we found Lake Guy, a lake named after Guy… ha ha ha.

On the way back we stopped at the Fainter Falls hiking trail and hiked in to see the falls. Beautiful spot.

Just as we were leaving we found an iPad and glasses that a couple we meet coming in had left behind. By the time we got back to the parking area they had gone.

So we dropped off the iPad and glasses at the Mount Beauty Police station. At 4:30pm I got a call from a lady who was very very grateful for getting her iPad and glasses back.

Another very pleasant day exploring the high country. We both love the snowy mountains and all it has to offer.

Wednesday 14th February:

8 years ago (been together for 13 amazing years) I married my beautiful wife Guy. We have had the most awesome adventures together and look forward to many many more. Life and love is good. Love you my wife.xxxooo

After a very nice sleep-in we went for leisurely drive (60km return) through the mountains to Bright for lunch. A very nice lunch was had by all then we headed back to Mount Beauty for a cup of tea and a lay down (siesta).

Thursday 15th February:

Left Mount Beauty today for Lakes Entrance (270km & 5 hours) with a few stops along the way at lookouts. Left the mountains for the beach.

In 1 week we have gone from the top of Australia (2,228m (7,310feet)) to sea level (0m).

Arrived mid afternoon and had a very nice late seafood lunch. As we’re back on the coast and fishing village, I feel some seafood coming our way.

Checked into our Big4 cabin, which is just across the road from the pedestrian bridge to the ninety-mile beach. Had a short stroll today but looking at a longer walk tomorrow.

Friday 16th February:

Quiet day in Lakes Entrance today. We went for a 5km stroll along the beachfront (inside the lagoon as it was blowing a gale on the ocean beach) checking out all the fishing fleet.

Found a very nice restaurant that served a great seafood platter of local delicacies for lunch. This was followed up by a dessert consisting of locally made Baklava.

Back to the cabin early afternoon for a cup of tea and a lay down. Also did some booking ahead for the rest of next week as we get on the Spirit of Tasmania on Saturday 24th February for 4 weeks. Also booked a cabin for our arrival in Tassie.

Saturday 17th February:

A wandering day today. We just got in the car and drove, stopping wherever we felt like. Great way to explore as we get off the beaten track.

Back to Lakes Entrance for one of the best seafood lunches ever at the Ferrymans Seafood Cafe. We had a platter of local fresh seafood, which was awesome. The desert wasn’t bad either (Hazelnut Daquoise).

Then our usual back to the cabin early afternoon for a cup of tea and a lay down. After our siesta its a walk along the esplanade to wind off the day.

Sunday 18th February:

Late morning we headed of on a 6km walk along the surf beach then back along the calmer lake side. Stunning walk topped off by a pod of Dolphins that checked us out to the bar entrance.

After building up an appetite we went back to the Ferrymans Seafood Café for a magnificent seafood lunch. The food was outstanding once again (we were there yesterday for lunch as well).

Back to the cabin for our cup of tea and afternoon siesta.

On the move tomorrow across to Inverloch (Philip Island & Wilsons Promontory NP area).

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 240 of retirement

February 11, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 5th February:

Left Sydney for Tumut in the snowy mountains (430km & 6 hours). Had a slow run due to 3 lots of major road works. Arrived mid afternoon to our magnificent cabin right on the riverfront (20 steps away).

We have only booked for 2 nights but after getting a heap of tourist info from the info centre we might have to extend it to another night.

Tuesday 6th February:

Today it was off to the Yarrangobilly Caves in the Kosciuszko National Park (210km round trip). There are six caves in the complex with one of them being self-guided and the others you need a guide.

We did the Jillabenan Cave with a guide and as it turned out there were only four us on the tour so a very personalized tour. We then did the South Glory Cave on our own (self guided tour). Very interesting as each cave is slightly different.

Finished off the day with a hike into the thermal springs (down a big hill) only to discover the springs were not so thermal. Cool springs would be more appropriate. But we did go for a swim in the lovely pool.

Wednesday 7th February:

Road trip today where we visited local attractions in Adelong, Batlow and Tumbarumba (220km round trip).

Some of the attractions we visited were the Adelong Falls gold mill ruins, the Sugar Pine Forest Walk and Paddys River Falls.

Had a very lovely country lunch in Batlow and as this is a huge apple growing area we finished up the lunch with apple pie and whipped cream.

Thursday 8th February:

Left Tumut for Jindabyne (260km & 5 hours with some stops) on the Snowy Mountains Highway. This is a beautiful drive and I would have loved to have the old Ducati today for the ride.

On the way, we visited the Blowering Reservoir, 3-mile dam and the big trout in Adaminaby.

Arrived mid afternoon and hit the information centre for local info and attractions. Lots more to see in the next few days.

Friday 9th February:

Road trip today to Thredbo, Crackenback, Perisher, Smiggin Holes and Charlotte Pass (150km round trip).

At Thredbo we checked out the car park and chairlift as tomorrow we hope to catch the lift to within 6.5km of Mount Kosciuszko (highest point in Australia) and hike in the rest of the way. It will be a 13km round trip so a big day (for us mere mortals).

Awesome drive through the mountains. Short hike into the lookout at Charlotte Pass as it was drizzling a bit.

Lunch at the Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery. Awesome food but didn’t try the schnapps.

Saturday 10th February:

Summit day as we head for Mount Kosciuszko (2,228m (7,310feet)) the highest point in Australia.

It was an alpine start (ha ha ha) to the day (up at 6:30am) as we had breakfast and headed to Thredbo Village (37km drive from Jindabyne). Arrived to catch the 9:00am chair lift up to the Eagles Nest on top of the ski slopes. From there we hiked 6.5km to the summit then 6.5km back (13km round trip) through the beautiful alpine meadows.

We both made it in good spirits and a little body weary. The hike down was a breeze as we descended from the mountains.

The top of the chair lift is 1,927m (6,322 feet) and Mount Kosciuszko is 2,228m (7,310feet) so it was a 301m (988feet) vertical climb. Guy and I are not as nimble as we used to be so are feeling it tonight.

But it was an awesome hike/climb and if you’re ever in the area definitely worth a visit.

Sunday 11th February:

Rest day after our big climb yesterday. Went back to the Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery for lunch. Such an awesome place with some of the best food we have eaten so far.

Did a bit of a random drive round the district sightseeing. Off to Mount Beauty tomorrow.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 233 of retirement

February 4, 2018

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Hi All

Thursday 25th January:

Left Crookwell for a short drive through the rolling hills to Moss Vale (120km).

We arrived at our cabin 3 hours early but it was ready for us so we moved straight in. It is an Executive cabin and is basically a small house. Very nice as our base for the next four nights as we explore the Southern Highlands.

Off to Bowral for lunch (awesome Thai lunch) and to visit the Don Bradman museum. I’m not a huge cricket fan but this place was very interesting. Learnt all about the origins of cricket through to the World Series and Kerry Packer’s influence (take over….) on the game.
My Dad would have loved it here.

Friday 26th January:

Happy Australia Day you all. Guy and I spent it in the lovely country town, Berrima (Southern Highlands). Great day with trinket and food stalls (food from all corners of the world) to be explored.
At midday there was a good old-fashioned parade of vehicles of all shapes, sizes and vintages along with a marching band.
Saw a few old vehicles that I grew up with which brought back fond memories of years gone by.

Following the parade we visited the old courthouse and did a self guided tour. Very interesting to hear some of the cases tried in the court and how brutal some of the punishments were.

A couple who murdered the husband of the woman were hanged, buried standing up (so that they could never rest) and had their heads removed and sent to Sydney as a warning to others. This is what the judge ordered.

Saturday 27th January:

A road trip today (Moss Vale – Fitzroy Falls – Kangaroo Valley (lunch) – Robertson (pie shop & cheese factory) – Moss Vale). A 100km round trip.

Had a great country steak lunch in Kangaroo Valley and made a few purchases in the cheese factory and the pie shop in Robertson. Won’t go hungry tonight.

It was a very leisurely / pleasant drive through the rolling foothills of the southern highlands.

Sunday 28th January:

Off down Bundanoon way today and the Morton National Park. First stop was an hour long hike in and out of Glow Worm Glen, where we planned to come back when it’s dark.

It was a steep hike into a part of the canyon where at night the walls come alive with glowworms. Great spot.

Then lunch and off to the Morton NP to various different lookouts. Just love this park and can’t get enough of it.

Just back from Glow Worm Glen. We hiked in just before sunset and waited till dark and the whole wall came alive. Well worth the walk in and out.
Really hard to photograph in the pitch darkness.

Monday 29th January:

Left Moss Vale for Dee Why (Jordan’s place and our old apartment (150km & 2 hours)).

Arrived lunch time and proceeded to completely unpack the mighty Mazda. It has to go in for some routine repairs over the next two days so she is ready for the next 12 months on the road.

As we have good WIFI at Jordan’s, I spent the afternoon updating two iPhones (apps & OS) and my MacBook Pro (programs & OS) then backing it all up to two USB drives.

Tuesday 30th January:

Up at 7:00am (haven’t been up that early for a long time) and dropped the mighty Mazda off for some work before our next 6 months on the road.

Had lunch with Myrna (Guy’s friend and our Reike masseuse) then rested up for the rest of the afternoon. Guy had dinner at the RSL with the girls.

Wednesday 31st January –Saturday 3rd February:

Hung out at the apartment, caught up with friends, picked up the mighty Mazda and gave her a good wash and clean inside.

Tried to capture the Eclipse and Blood moon but too cloudy.

Sunday 4th February:

Back on the road tomorrow so did a bit of reorganizing of our gear and packed the car. Be good to get back exploring once again.

Making our way through the Snowy Mountains to Melbourne and then across Bass Strait to Tassie.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy