Tasmania Trek 2012 Day 1
7th April Saturday
So far have travelled through Ambleside, Latrobe, Sheffield, Kimberley, Elizabeth to Red Hills. The Deloraine Apex Club put on a BBQ for us
Leaving c/park 4.30am Driving on freeway Waiting to board ferry Boarding ferry Axemans Hall of Fame Parading up the street Narrow one way bridges Lex’s, our tour leader Group photo at Red Hill
Day 2 8th April Sunday
Deloraine, Westbury where we went through Pearns Steamworld , Shaw Tractor Shed , travelled on to Longford.
Day 3 9th April Monday
Left vans behind so the boys could have some fun on the back roads with there tractors. We came across a broccoli farm where they will produce 4,000 tonnes at finish of harvest, off approx. 100 hectares. Travel via Cressy to Ross and the Midlands countryside. After leaving Ross we had a BBQ on Boyles farm, near Mt. Joy, we had been invited to there farm
Day 4 10th April Tuesday
Had a coach tour of Launceston Cataract Gorge, SwissVillage, Motor Museum and of course ladies do shopping.
Day 5 11th April Wednesday
Left Longford heading along West Tamar Highway to Becketts Mining and Civil Contractors, huge amount of machinery here. Then just up the road a sawmill in Exeter. Then onto Beaconsfield Gold and Mining Heritage Museum. Pulled into Goaty Hill Winery and very warmly welcomed. Onto Pipers River for the night, on another farm.
Day 6 12th April Thursday
This farm is a conglomerate owned by R.C.Rowlands. Saw potatoes being harvested on the farm and they are getting 20-23 ton a hectare. All taken to Olverston where they handle 350,000 ton from Jan to June. Leave Pipers River for Bridport, morning tea stop Bridport then onto Gladstone for lunch. Travel from Gladstone to Anson’s Bay then onto St Helen’s in caravan park. But on the way to Gladstone 22ks out had to put a head gasket in Well Bugger Me, the men looked like bees around a honey pot, in no time it was going again. But then Clearveiw had a fuel leak so all hands on deck again, by passed the original tank to spare one. So off we go finally. But Barrie Hall and Helen Taplin are having a steering problem which they thought they had corrected overnight.
Day 7 13th April Friday
Leave St Helen’s heading for the shops and Well Bugger Me has another fuel blockage and two men that had pulled up to have a look told us we had the muffler hanging down must have happened when they did the head gasket. So the guy said drive it out to my unit and he would weld it for us, very nice of them, so off again. But had 2 more fuel blockages but then went for hours without stopping. Called in to Brewery at White Cliffs Estate. Head south to Bicheno for lunch where the guys put a steering box in Barrie Hall and Helen’s tractor in a small park in the main street. Well we must have had the whole population of Bicheno watching them. Collected money in our collection tins as well. Change of plans now heading to Swansea for the night in caravan park.
14th April Saturday
We leave Swansea heading for Triabunna. Saw Cressy beach, Spikey beach and Spikey Bridge
When we get to Triabunna, we head off for a boat trip to Maria Island from 1-4pm very interesting colony was there a long time ago. Wine tasting was ready when we got back to caravan park put on by owner for us
Called the Painted rocks Maria Island Maria Island
15th April Sunday
Left Triabunna for Sorrell Markets we had been invited to attend. On the way there is an 1800 year old church in Buckland very beautifully kept and an old cemetery as well. We caused quite a stir turning up at the markets a lady had organized where we were to park. There was a lot of interest in the tractors and what we were doing.
Quite a few purchases were made by the tractor people as there was all sorts of goodies to be had. Onto Ross, had a look around and into antique shops and lunch. Then headed to Cambridge for the night.
16th April Monday
Coach trip to Hobart, had a great driver he knew his job for sure. We went up Mt. Romney Lookout which was narrow, steep and very windy. On the way up I heard one of our driver’s say, “What a brilliant idea putting a lookout on top of a hill, who would have thought of that?” Very quickly an answer came back, “It wouldn’t have been the council” laughter everywhere. We couldn’t go to Mt Wellington as it was covered in clouds. Lunch at Fish Frenzy on Constitution Dock.
Then a tour of Penitential Goal Hobart.
Back to Caravan Park where we had a wake for Peter Barr. Peter was a much loved and respected member of the club and will be sadly missed.
17th April Tuesday
Coach tour to Port Arthur, then boat tour there so much history here. Back on coach 2.30pm and out to Dog Bark Road to see some machinery, drop men off and rest go to Remarkable Cave, lovely spot. Got back to pick up men and they were waiting for us. On the way home saw Devils Kitchen Blowhole and the Tessellated Pave Way, lovely scenery all the way, beautiful colours of autumn.
18th April Wednesday
Coach trip to Hounville, where we saw a boat museum making huon boats. Then onto a sheep cheese factory but there was no sheep being milked but had it all explained to along with cheese tasting. Our coach driver is so knowledgeable about everywhere we go, great info.
19th April Thursday
Left Cambridge after 4 days, having a look at a salmon farm on the way out. Camped at Dunrobin Bridge, what a lovely spot to camp, overlooking the bridge and water, with the autumn colours on the trees. Probably 100 black swans on the water also.
20th April Friday
Quite a few tractors had to fuel up at Ouse then over to the Derwent Bridge. Just before Tugbar turned off onto dirt road which ended up at Derwent Bridge. Went passed The Wall, so a few went back to see The Wall, It is an exhibition of hand carved scenes of the history of the area. If you are ever in this area you must stop and have a look, it is one man’s work and will not be finished till 2015. Onto Queenstown, what a narrow road to come down and very, very steep so it was full concentration by the tractor drivers, but we all made it with any mishaps. Underground mining here silver, copper, zinc and gold.
21st April Saturday
All met down town, after you had a self-guided tour. Neville Thompson drove in making a bad noise, another head gasket gone. So men are all hands on again and in no time we were ready to take off. Local police officer stopped to tell us we had to be in Strahan before 1pm as the road was going to be closed and we wouldn’t be able to get through after that. The Targa Australia was on in Strahan, we made it in before road was closed. Later in the day went down town in tractors only, to be put on display for the Targa Rally. Quite a lot of interest here for tractors.
Five women decided to go to Button Island to see penquins, leaving around 5pm, was very smooth ride both ways, but as we were between seasons didn’t see to many of them. They are the short tailed shearwaters of ferry penquins. There are 18 species all together.
22nd April Sunday
Boat cruise up the Gordon River, via Hells Gate and Sarah Island ,where people got off in the rain to have a look at the island. Not a good day as it’s very overcast. Poured down with rain later in the day. Quite a few went to the concert ‘The Ship That Never Was”, very enjoyable.
23rd April Monday
Off to Zeehan to look at the Mining Museum, then onto Corina via the Fatman, a punt. We all had to go over one by one, took a while. So we stayed the night, as next leg is very hilly to Arthur River. Quite cold here.
24th April Tuesday
All but 3 tractor owners went on a wooden boat cruise up the river and out the heads but was to rough to go out the heads, walked the beach, raining and cold. 3 Tractors owners took off to Arthur River, but we took our time as there was no hurry, so 4 hours later we got to Arthur River. Used intermediate low gear quite a lot. Very hilly, foggy and light mist all the way, would have been lovely scenery but for the light misty rain. In the second group to take off, one tractor got caught changing gears up a hill and ran back into another but only the roo bar got damaged, thank goodness.
25th April Wednesday
Left Arthur River to Marrawah, where we found a good look out there, then onto Smithton to Lex’s place our tour leader. There was a BBQ being prepared for us. Checked out what Lex had on his property then into the drinks, waiting for the BBQ. What a feast, there was everything to eat and they had even made sweets for us, just beautiful. Thanks Lex and
26th April Thursday
Lex took us on a tour of Smithton and up to the lookout very different to the image in your mind. Then onto Stanley, up to A high point to look at Stanley from a distance. Left Stanley to head for Wynyard, most went for the scenic tour around the cape and lighthouse into Wynyard.
27th April Friday
From Wynyard we went out to R & L Walsh”s property for morning tea, who is the Mayor of Wynyard and his wife. Another shed full of machinery for the men but his wife had a collection of tea pots that the women took a look at. There was another lovely morning tea for us yet again. They also have chooks which they show and are right into breeding.
Onto Burnie for the Makers Gallery, an arts and crafts place, then onto Penquin for lunch, also around to Rex’s place to see his tractors. Onto Olverstone for the night. Had a get together in common room and met a couple who have John Deere Tractors so we thought but as it turned out they were replicas, so they explained but we are still going to see them anyway.
28th April Saturday
Karinda and Dale met us at the caravan park to lead us to their farm with Karinda giving us a commentary all the way. Well were only 2 John Deere’s in the shed, a large on and a small one for small jobs around the house etc. But inside the house from the front door to the back there is John Deere replicas of everything John Deere. To name a few, tractors, clocks, games, mugs, cutlery, wall plagues, petrol bowser, coasters the list goes on and on. We had never see so much of a collection of this type anywhere. Oh forgot, Karinda even had a bedspread which was pink but had green John Deere tractors on it. Karinda had a bad accident on a quad bike about 5 years ago but has recovered remarkably. Morning tea was put on us, fit for the Queen, we didn’t need to eat much the rest of the day or we shouldn’t have needed anything. They are a very hard working family
Big Thanks to Karinda, Dale, family and friends it was a great morning. What lovely people to meet.
Then we headed to Devonport and Karinda showed us the way giving a running commentary all the way about who owned that farm and what they did on it. This was really super as otherwise it would have been just another farm to us.
Stopped to look at Railway Museum and Karinda departed us there. We went on a train ride then headed off again to Devonport. Now it’s time to get on the ferry again, very windy so will be a bit rough but as most of us have cabins we will sleep as it’s a night trip.
29th April Sunday
Getting off ferry went well and we all grouped up and headed for Echuca where we had our evening meal together in the local pub as this was when the Trek officially ended.
We raised quite a sum of money for the Children’s Hospital in Tasmania on this Trek, so were quite happy with that.