Sunday, February 14, 2016

Off to Find the Beautiful Beaches

One night in Richmond was enough. At least we were out of the city  of Hobart and somewhat on our way to the Freycinet National Park where we would stay at Freycinet Lodge for two nights. We tried a few places for Sunday dinner in Richmond, only to be told the kitchen was closing or that they only had snacks. Finally, we found a lovely winery cellar door in town! And it had a restaurant!

There was only one couple eating and a few outside tasting wine. It looked like they were getting ready to close, too, but the owner and his wife were smart business people and offered to cook us a meal even though the chef had left for the day. While we waited for food, several more customers arrived so I think they had more business than they expected on a late Sunday afternoon. Hopefully they will keep the doors open a little later during tourist season.

Our lodging was an interesting experience. The place looked good on paper, but was rather eclectic and needed some TLC. A family has owned the property for 30 years and they looked as weary as the place. It was clean and it sort of grew on us, but I was glad it was only for one night. The place is called a “manor” on  a 100 acre working farm and is publicized as an event and wedding venue. Humm…

They turn the horses and sheep loose to “mow” the grass so the entry gate has to be closed while they are grazing. Larry, the ram, greets you with several loud Baaaas! Then he settles down. The owners were lovely people, but the furnishings and layout left something to be desired. But it was just a place to get a good night’s rest and we did. Breakfast was hearty and served with a pitcher of home-grown apricot juice. They used to raise a lot of apricots and made apricot wine. The orchards have aged and the production is low now.

Now we are off in search of the beautiful white sand beaches of Tasmania. And, boy, did we find them. They are miles long, wide and windy. The wind coming off the Tasman Sea gave us a sandblasting and forget wearing a hat or visor if you ever want to see it again! They are absolutely stunning. Second only to the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia.

 The biggest difference besides the wind is the various rock formations along the beaches. There are no crowds as these beaches are a long way from population centers so it would be a weekend trek or holiday vacation to bring crowds out there. You can just pull off the road onto a track and head toward the beach. People were camping near the water in many places.
We finally found a place to eat on Sunday night!

Along the way we stopped at Convicts’ Spikey Bridge to see a rock bridge build by convicts. Like I mentioned before, a lot of Aussie history centers on the convicts.

There are a number of Convict Bridges in Tasmania, but this one is known for its rock spikes. It was in service until they moved the highway a few years back. We drove across it just to do it!

For lunch we found Kates Berry Farm and saw an interesting array of ice cream flavors, including lavender. I had a taste – nothing distinctive.
This was the first stop along the way! Beautiful!
We stopped at several beaches along the road,
Convicts' Spikey Bridge
This is how it got its name!

Time to keep going toward the Freycinet National Park to get there before dark.

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