SUNDAY the 23rd.
06.00am: We beat the Larks again – this is becoming a habit! 😁
08.58am: We said goodbye to Hobart (and our first Apartment) and travelled North-east to Freycinet National Park leading to Coles Bay. This location has a lot going for it in terms of sandy beaches and secluded coves – it’s the home of one particular area – Wineglass Bay – voted as one of ten best beaches in the world.
We deliberately chose the more ‘scenic route’ (about 115 miles) known by the locals as it gets closer to Coles Bay The Great Eastern Drive. Although it was a straightforward journey, the mostly single-carriageway roads with plenty of curves (a bit of a feature out here) meant the journey took longer than expected even though there was hardly any traffic and they were as smooth as Mr Smooth from Smoothville.
For the first ten miles or so, we followed a camper-van boasting some typical Aussie Philosophy…
Beer! It makes you see double but makes you act like you’re single!
That put a smile on our faces! But we returned to the serious business of holiday driving before too long!🤔
Given the distances today, we planned to divide up our long journey into chunks, stopping every so often along the way, to take in the views. Our first was soon in our sights…
09.30am: Our first stop was the quaint village of Richmond.
…probably the cleanest village we’ve ever been too! It felt very English and boasts many things including Richmond Bridge that was constructed by convicts and is the oldest bridge in Australia!
The Village felt very ‘sleepy hollow’, you know, the sort of place where people leave their front-doors unlocked. Today, someone also left their CAR unlocked as we managed to get into the WRONG car just as we were about to leave. Luckily, no Police were around to throw us in Gaol!
…and they could have easily done so, as Richmond also boasts the location of Australia’s oldest existing colonial lock-up! (opened in 1825).
I even found some long-lost relatives who’d tried out the facilities… 😉
This was an impressive refurbishment that had only re-opened last year. Well worth a visit (A$20/£10.98 each).
10.25am: Next was a short pit-stop for a Coffee and a Danish in the Village before grabbing a few more photos of this scrupulously clean part of Tassie.
Petrol stations seem to be few-and-far between in these parts, so we were fortunate enough to spot that Richmond had its own. None of this new-fangled self-service marlarkey though! This was delivered by the man who err, manned the till, changed your tyres, serviced your car and fixed your flat battery – a modern example of yesteryear when compared to good ol’ Blighty!
10.40am: With us now in the correct car (!!) and filled to the brim with £20.87 of Richmond’s finest hand-delivered unleaded, we said goodbye to this village caught in its own time-warp and continued our journey.
As I mentioned earlier, the roads were almost empty and pothole-free but the journey felt like a long one – much longer than Mr Google had predicted.
12.30pm: We took another pitstop in Swansea (where we would return to later for our bed for the night) for hurried nibble and something to drink.
12.50pm: We were pleased to spot a watering hole enticingly titled: Devil’s Corner
In one corner was a viewing tower with splendid views out to sea… whilst in the opposite corner was the loo! A perfect combination then!
Back in the car and our next target was Freycinet National Park leading to Coles Bay.
2.05pm: We arrived at the latter just as the temperature hit its maximum for today of 25°C (even though it was quite chilly closer to the water).
…and we realised that in spite of the long journey, it had all been worth it for such beautiful views!
With its population of less than 1000 (even with us two swelling the numbers) it’s recognised as the ‘hub of the East Coast’. It was buzzing when we drove through it earlier today, but now it was almost deserted.
3.30pm: We found our next Bed-for-the-night easily and were soon checking-in to the Meredith House B and B. I say ‘soon’ but the very enthusiastic owner sensed our interest in the local area and Tassie in general, and proceeded to cram in 200 years of its history whilst explaining options for breakfast and the best places to eat locally! Clearly he’s the guy you need on your next Tasmanian Pub Quiz team. Amazing! 😁
Meredith House is a delightful 1853 Colonial house overlooking the Freycinet Peninsula and Great Oyster Bay. It’s enjoyed a great many positive reviews scoring between 4 and 5 stars over the years – hence why we picked it. Free parking, a BBQ area, a spacious room and well appointed room together with free Wi-fi too! What’s not to love? Oh, and a phenomenal cooked breakfast is promised tomorrow too! 😁
Given it was a Sunday, and we’d learned via our Pub Quiz Captain that Eateries tend to close up early in these parts (and they don’t like paying overtime), we quickly headed towards one of the recommendations…
5.05pm: Well, I don’t think Jamie Oliver will lose any sleep over their menu, but it did the job, and was far tastier than we expected it to be! Service with a (Texan) smile too!
…and at £14.28, don’t say I don’t know how to impress the ladies! 😉😁👍
7.15pm: That’s it for today Reader, tomorrow, we’re back on the road heading north for two nights in Launceston and our next accommodation.