Discovering Stanley and the Wild West
Zara and her family had a holiday on the beautiful Apple Isle. This is her first report.
Although isolated from Australia, Tasmania is a spectacular and unique part of our heritage.
This island has ever changing scenery and landscapes, an incredible amount of wildlife and a weather system that changes so suddenly it can bewilder you.
Fortunate to have four weeks break we had planned the time driving around this diverse island. With a national park pass and camping gear packed we crossed the Strait and then set off from Devonport in an anti-clockwise direction on an exploration of discovery.
From the rugged beauty of Cradle Mountain we made our way to the quaint and historic seaside town of Stanley which is a small fishing village in the top North East corner – just packed with character. The boutique shops that line the main street give the real sense of old-world charm and it felt like we had stepped back in time.
Stanley’s defining feature is the unusual land formation known as ‘the nut’ which is a sheer sided bluff which can be seen from kilometres away. We decided to skip the chairlifts and clamber our way to the top and marvel at the spectacular views.
The sunsets here were magical and after last light we made our way down to the viewing platform. Here, by soft red lighting, we sat wrapped up warm and waited very quietly and patiently for which we were rewarded with the slow waddle of the penguins that come ashore for the evening.
Moving on from Stanley it is worth mentioning our short stop at Arthur River. This remote area on the western coast swept us away – literally! Stopping at ‘Edge of the World’ lookout to admire the coastal views in the blue skies and sunshine, we had walked no more than 20 metres when the most powerful gusts of wind I have ever felt came through and nearly knocked us off our feet. My glasses were blown off my face, we grabbed a child each and got pushed backed to the car just as the hail came down. This was all within one minute! It was time to leave behind the wild and unpredictable west.
Many areas were devasted by the bushfires along the long and slow unsealed roads heading south to Strahan. The roads then snaked into the mountains, where steep and winding sealed roads wound their way towards Hobart. It was such a contrast in landscape over just a few hundred kilometres.
Located in the remote town of Derwent Bridge, off the beaten track stands an epic masterpiece called the ‘Wall in the Wilderness’ This attraction is an unforgettable experience and should not be missed. One hundred metres of wooden carvings that bring the history of the area to life. The scale of the project and the detail in the work is absolutely breathtaking. This was the perfect stop to break up our drive to Hobart.
Could the east side of Tasmania be just as beautiful as what we have seen so far?