Saturday, January 11, 2020

Tasmania Travels - Devonport to Stanley

I'd planned this trip meticulously, with spreadsheets, notes, timetables down to the minute, so we could see everything we wanted and also have a little downtime for kicking the footy in the park or lazing on a beach somewhere. I had it sorted.
By the time we had finished breakfast and were finally in the car for our first outing, we had uttered the words that became our holiday motto "we're behind schedule".
But we were on "Tassie Time" now, so off we went to see how our day panned out.

At Stanley, we caught the chairlift up to the top of The Nut then walked the 2km circuit around the summit, admiring the views, wildflowers, birds and a couple of wallabies before descending the very steep walk down to the carpark.

Stanley Tasmania

The Nut Stanley
A walk around the marina, watching a fishing boat unload its haul and seeing the beautiful, bright vessels moored nearby.
Stanley Tasmania

Stanley Tasmania
A stroll along the historic town streets, collecting our first Tiger Track stamp and first Scallop Pie of the trip. YUM! 
Tasmanian Scallop pieA penguin rookery with a viewing platform and an old cemetery had us exploring further than my itinerary had anticipated. 
Stanley penguinsThe weather turned cold and rainy as we headed to Table Cape. The lighthouse was just closing due to low visibility, so we got a stamp, took some photos of the surrounding tulip farms and poppy fields and headed off to find fossils.
Table Cape lighthouse

Table Cape lighthouse tulip farms

Table Cape poppy farms

It was a short drive to Fossil Bluff. The meet and greet person looked like he knew a thing or two about fossils. 
Fossil Bluff Tasmania
We rugged up with our winter jackets and hiking shoes and spent an hour or so checking out the rugged cliffs, rock pools and pebble covered beach.
Fossil Bluff TasmaniaFossil Bluff Tasmania

One of the many perks of taking our car was that we could pack extra clothing, balls for the kids to play with, a big plastic tub of food and snacks and a large container of water to refill our bottles with. And our own pillows - because in our family, we don't leave home without them. 

Speaking of cars, we ventured indoors at the Wynyard Visitor Centre and checked out the veteran car collection on display, which included vintage motorcycles and bicycles for the two-wheel fans.

Wynyard Vintage CarsWynyard Vintage Cars

The rain had stopped, so we drove to the local platypus playground, Fernglade Reserve. The overcast day made the water seem darker, the reflections more vivid and the lush green rainforest even greener, if that's possible.

Fernglade Reserve Tasmania

The 1km return walk along the Emu River was so peaceful and relaxing, I think the platypus must have all been having a siesta. We did see the cutest baby pademelon cross our path, so that made up for the lack of platypus...platypuses ...platypi  ummm, you know what I mean.

Fernglade Reserve Tasmania

Back on the highway, past the town of Penguin, in search of actual penguins smaller than this guy.

The Big Penguin

Our wildlife quest continued a little further down the road at Lillico Beach. A Park Ranger and a couple of volunteers met us there at the penguin viewing area just on sunset. We were worried an approaching storm was going to spoil our plans, but we watched as it rolled over Devonport in the distance, leaving us to watch the little penguins come ashore and find their nests in the dunes below where we stood.
Too dark to take photos, too wet and cold to hang around for long, but definitely worth the (free) visit to see these little guys, without hundreds of others for company and without a hefty price tag.

Seafood chowder and local lobster for dinner completed our day. Bellies full and bodies tired, we headed back to our accommodation to rest up before we headed south.

Tasmania Seafood

What: Devonport to Stanley

Where: Northwest Tasmania

Why: chairlifts, penguins, seafood

When: Daily 

How much: varies 

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