Nuts!! (or conquering the big one)
Stanley Travel Blog› entry 6 of 8 › view all entries
April 10th, 2008 – by: goezi
Another day, another day-trip!
We set out South and out onto the Bass Highway with the intention to cut around and head West to the top corner of Tasmania.
We didn't really have a set destination at this stage, just gonna take it as it unrolls.
One of Ma's friends worked in the paper mill at Burnie so we expected to catch up with her along the way.
Our first stop was only about 1/2 hour from Launceston, near the Elizabethtown. It was the dairy farm and cheese factory of Ashgrove Cheeses (Review).
I didn't taste or buy any cheese, and after we'd learned all we needed to know we hit the track once more.
Again Margaret was driving as I enjoyed the landscape wizzing by out the passenger's window of the hire car. We continued through the farming countryside and then hit the coast.
I still struggled with how much like New Zealand the dairy farms/ rolling pastures looked. The only really obvious differnce was the large, square, stone buildings that seemed so typical of Tassie archetecture, around this area anyway.
We decided to travel along the coast until we were ready for a cuppa. It was picturesque enough, though the road wasn't highway quality, and traffic volume was low enough that we could set our own pace, slow enough to see everything, fast enough to make it a good day's tripping.
We stopped at a town that seemed to have some interesting sights to see. We drove around the center in an effort to find a carpark so we could start our walk.
I was again in charge of the map and I have to say that the name of the place now escapes me. Mainly because we didn't get to see anything but a pleasant rose garden. Everything else seemed to be closed for some reason.
We checked out the rose garden because there was a very handy toilet at one end of it.
We wandered along the main street and found a place for coffee before we cut out of the town to continue our drive.
We stopped at a couple of little places shortly after that. One was an historical site that told a story of an Army Commander setting up a town. Unfortunately for him, the local creek was dry for the greater part of the year and they were eventually scuppered without a reliable water supply.
Apart from a bilboard relaying the story, the site had a short bush walk, a flat field, and a restored cabin. The was also 2 or 3 redcoat soldiers placed haphazardly about the place that seemed to have no real purpose but to add a contrasting colour to all the green.
Once again the name of the place escapes me, sorry.
By late lunchtime we arrived at Stanley. This harbour town is known for it's obvious landmark - a rather large mound where the beach should be!
Okay, perhaps more of a mountain than a mound, but the fact that both I (incredibly unfit that I am!) and my mother were able to walk up the track to the summit, leads me more toward the smaller noun. A Mountaineer I shall never be!!
It's because of this lack of being able to describe something between a hill and a mountain appropriately that it's called "The Nut".
We decided to hit the pub when we arrived in Stanley. Time for a nice lunch that would also serve as dinner and the pub was definitely the top spot.
The old colonial hotel has been very well restored and the dining room is a fabulous room with a great balcony that overlooks the town behind it. Across the street out front the landscape climbs to the foot of the nut and up.
Margaret wasn't going to be climbing no mountain, nut, OR mound - call it what you will, so Ma and I set off around the foothills to find the road leading up to the track.
At the end of the road is a large car park and a building where you can buy a ticket for the chairlift. I felt the walk up to the car park had built my confidence so I offered Ma some encouragement and we started our ascent (is that Mountaineer talk I'm coming up with?).
No more than 15 minutes saw us at the top enjoying the layout of the land around the jump-off point for the chairlift.
It's pretty flat on top and with a hip-high scrub making it perfect for all sorts of birdlife etc. We walked from one end to the other. We peered over the edge to look at the town. Hi Margaret!!
We also peered over the edge to look at the port, the ocean and the smoke from a distant burn-off away in the South.
Then it was time to climb down so we could work the other muscles in our legs.
I was slightly interested in taking a ride up on the chairlift but Ma didn't think that was cool, so we headed back to the main street to find Margaret.
Back in the car we headed out of town the long way.
This road lead up and around the original convict farm.
We slowly skirted the homestead that was the main house for the prison farm. A stone ruin on the opposite side of the road, all that is left of the convict lodgings.
East back to Launceston this time, with the sun fast receeding at our backs. We hadn't found our friend at home but I think it was a fortunate thing. We'd had plenty to see today and as we again got confused arriving into Launceston in the dark, we didn't have much time to catch up with old friends.
Since we didn't have to worry about dinner we settled for a couple of sandwiches and got a couple of loads of washing through the camp's laundry. Perfect!
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