April 2022 Newsletter

Tour of Tasmania 23 Newsletter #4.

 Welcome to the April Newsletter.
The Booking information/form was sent out by email, earlier this month, so hopefully you have received it.  If not, please check you junk mail folder or contact us at rileytasrally2023@outlook.com and we will send out another one.  Yes, we have changed email addresses to make the sending of updates and booking confirmations easier but the Gmail account (rileytasrally2023@gmail.com) still exists, so if you have used that don’t worry we will still get your email.   Bookings are coming in.  Accommodation rooms are being held until 31/5/2022 so we would encourage you to book before then.

 In the last Newsletter we looked at Hobart and surrounds and Day Trips from Hobart.  We did not manage to fit in an alternative day Trip to Bruny Island, so that is included this issue, but Swansea is our main focus this issue.

But, before we get started, here are another couple of “Tassie Facts”. 
These are from the  “Unofficial  Tasmanian Passport “

“ This passport allows the bearer to become an honorary Tasmanian and freely move within this great little paradise. The bearer is also entitled to the following Privileges:  To breathe the world’s cleanest air, To enjoy the world’s most civilised licensing hours, To partake in Tasmania’s ABC Apples, Beer & Cider. 

… but Citizenship carries with it onerous responsibilities. Therefore, you must adhere to these rules:

1. The area of land to the North of Tasmania must at all times be referred to as the North Island. Anyone calling it the Mainland can expect a long tern in the Port Arthur Penitentiary.

2. Tasmanians are very proud of their heritage. Most of their forebears were chosen by England’s best judges.

3. Rain will be call Liquid Sunshine. Cold Weather will be called Refreshing. Bad weather is Rather Inclement.

FACT1. That if flattened out Tasmania’s land mass would make it larger than the North Island.   

FACT2: That if a Tasmanian migrates to the North Island the I.Q. of both islands goes up.”

Bruny Island (Full Day Trip) from Hobart  

For something a bit different you may like to tour Bruny Island, a 362-square-kilometre island located off Kettering south of Hobart. The island is separated from the Tasmanian mainland by the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, and its east coast lies within the Tasman Sea. Storm Bay is located to the island’s northeast. Both the island and the channel are named after French explorer Bruni d’Entrecasteaux. It’s traditional Aboriginal name is lunawanna-allonah, which survives as the name of two island settlements, Alonnah and Lunawanna.  The ferry from Kettering leaves every 20 mins for the 3.5km crossing.   Bruny Island is famous for its cliff-top views accessible by numerous walking trails. Bruny Island is a must for photographers and nature and wildlife lovers. If you want to taste premium food and wine, there’s gourmet cheese, wine, whisky, and oysters plucked fresh from the ocean to savour.  Do some great exploring by road or experience its unique marine adventures where you can see migrating whales, seals, seabirds and dolphins up close.   The coastal walk at ‘The Neck’ takes you up close and personal to a colony of cute fairy penguins.

 Pennicott Wilderness Journeys – hear informative commentary from highly experienced guides as you cruise the stunning Bruny Island coastline. 

The 3 Hour Wilderness Cruise departs daily from Adventure Bay on Bruny Island, 11am or 1.30am, (must be there 30mins before) and explores the coast line from the sea. Adults $145

SWANSEA: We will spend two nights at Swansea.  You will have one fully day to look around Swansea and surrounds and probably a few hours after arriving from Hobart or before leaving for Launceston.  Swansea is on the east cost of Tasmania overlooking Oyster Bay. If you are an early riser it is a great place to go for a walk on the beach and catch the Sunrise across the water. The town was established in 1820 as Waterloo Point it is one of Tassie’s oldest town with a rich history.

Around Swansea
The Swansea Town Heritage Walk (900m) takes you past some of the Georgian Building, from Morrison General Store at the north end of town, to the East Coast Heritage Museum (worth a look inside there’s always a great  display and passionate staff to share their knowledge). Continue past Meredith House, the Old Rectory and on to Schouton House.   Combine this walk with the loontitetermairrelehoiner track  (1.1km, also known as Waterloo Point Walk). It goes between Schouten  Beach to Waterloo Beach via  Waterloo point and has wonderful coastal scenery.

Bark Mill Museum & Bakery  a restored bark mill and museum was established in 1885 to mill bark used in the tanning process.   The building also houses a bakery, restaurant and bar.

Just a few kilometres south of the Swansea township is Kates Berry Farm.

This is the place to spoil yourself with delicious scones, ice creams, waffle, crepe, fruit pies, and savoury dishes. Be it raspberries, strawberries or blueberries Kate grows them all. There are also preserves and wines.
If lunch on a quite stretch of sand watching the waves roll in appeals to you, there are a few choices south of Swansea.  Within 10km there is Coswell beach on the outskirts of Swansea, Piermont Beach a short walk south of Coswell.   Cressy Beach, 5km to the south, then Spiky Beach and Kelvedon Beach. 

There are also some wonderful convict built bridges along this stretch or road. Look out for Spiky Bridge, Three Arch bridge.

If seeing some of the east coast by Pushbike sound like your thing, Swansea Bike Hire does half and full day hires.

 A day trip South to cruise the East Coast Islands.

Triabunna is 50km south of Swansea (approx. 40mins)  and Triabunna Wharf, is where East Coast Cruises depart from.  There are two cruises, offered on different days. At this stage the “Ile Des Phoques Cruise” operates on a Monday which is when we will be in Swansea. This is an all day event.

ill be in Swansea.  This is a all day events, departing the wharf at 9am (so an early start) and returning at 4.30pm. The cruise includes lunch and time to walk around Maria Island.  Description below from their website:  https://www.eastcoastcruises.com.au/ile-des-phoques.php

The Ile Des Phoques has been our favourite place to cruise, swim, dive and explore ever since we began in 2006. The Ile Des Phoques (French for Island of Seals) is an absolute haven for marine life and has been declared one of the best cold water dives in the world.  Your cruise to the Ile Des Phoques will capture the stunning views of Maria Island, including famous landmarks such as the Painted Cliffs and Fossil Cliffs, spring-fed waterfalls, limestone sea caves, cliff-top stalactites, Bishop & Clerk mountain range and the stunning granite cliffs of Maria Island’s east coast. At the northern tip of Maria Island the cruise will head north to the Ile Des Phoques, a 30 minute boat ride from Maria Island. On the way to this remarkable granite island you can see albatross, dolphins, Australian fur seals and whales (depending on the time of year) as well as majestic panoramic views of Maria Island and the Freycinet Peninsula. Lunch is enjoyed on the boat whilst at anchor in an idyllic remote location at Maria Island.  A large selection of cakes are provided for morning tea from our cafe as well as complimentary water, tea, coffee, orange juice, soda water and soft drinks!   In the afternoon, both tours will dock at Darlington. The perfect way to compliment your cruise is to stretch your legs and enjoy a guided tour through Darlington’s fascinating collection of preserved convict buildings, learn about the town’s remarkable history and come face to face with Maria Island’s resident wombats.  If history is not for you, then simply soak up the sun on Darlington’s white sandy beach or swim/snorkel in the waters of Maria Island’s marine reserve. Adult @225/ Senior $215

Plenty of time to return to Swansea for the Mid–Tour Dinner.

A Day Trip  North  to Bicheno Or  Coles Bay & Freycinet National Park 

Heading north for the day there are two options. Bicheno 45km north of Swansea, or Coles Bay is 60km.   Along the way to either location you pass through  Dolphin Sands, Cranbrook and Apslawn.  
Kings Fine Art Gallery & Tea Room and Melshell Oysters Farm Gate are at Dolphin Sands.  Milton Vineyard, Craigie Knowe Vineyard , Gala Estate and Devil Corner Winery  are on your way north through Cranbrook & Apslawn.  Some of these have café or restaurants and the lookout at Devils Corner at Apslawn is worth a stop.

At Bicheno there is plenty to do:

Diamond Island, a granite outcrop is just of the coast and you can walk out to it at low tide.

The blowhole is one of Bicheno’s natural wonders where you can view saltwater blasts from the top of this unique geological feature. Air is blown through a small hole at the surface due to pressure differences between a closed underground system and the surface. When the seas are pumping, the blowhole puts on a spectacular display!
The 80 tonne boulder next to the blowhole rocks with the tide.

 Bicheno’s Glass Bottom Boat offers excellent viewing of creatures and plant life that live in the cool temperate waters off the east coast.  The experienced guide provides a comprehensive and knowledgeable interpretation, and East Australia currents result in something different every day.  46 Esplanade Bicheno   Tours 10am / 12pm / 2pm 40mins duration   Adults $28

East Coast Natureworld sits amongst 150 acres of natural parkland and lagoons. The perfect place to experience Tasmania’s unique animals, birds, reptiles. You can wander around at your own leisure, the Gallery Café has food & drinks and there is an extensive display of Tasmanian wildlife photography. You are greeted by two very chatty Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, some very inquisitive Wallabies and an amazing view of the lagoon. Adults $29/Seniors $24.

Coles Bay & Freycinet National Park 

 To enter the National Park you will need to buy a day pass or have purchased an Annual Pass (details were provided in your Rally Booking Information documents sent out in early April).

Freycinet National Park is home to dramatic pink granite peaks, secluded bays, white sandy beaches and abundant birdlife. The park occupies most of the Freycinet Peninsula and looks out to the Tasman Sea from the eastern side and back towards the Tasmanian coastline from the west.  Some of the best know features are the pink granite peaks of the Hazards Range that dominate the Peninsula and the iconic Wineglass Bay. There are many walks across the park that are suitable for all abilities and that lead to secluded bays, clean beaches and bird-filled lagoons.  

The wineglass bay lookout walk/hike is 2.6km return, allow 1.5hrs and is a bit of a scramble, but it’s well worth it for one of Tasmania’s most photographed views. Longer and more difficult walks are also available.  Friendly Beaches or Sleepy Bay have a range of shorter walks.

If you want go to Freycinet but are not into hiking, well you can drive to Cape Tourville and do the east boardwalk (600m/20 mins) easy flat walk which still has lovely views, then visit Richardson’s beach and have lunch at the cafe or restaurant at Freycinet

Alternatively do the Pennicott cruise into wineglass bay.   Sea Cruises include:  
The full wineglass  3hrs  9—12.30, 
Schouler Island  Explorer  2.5 hrs   2.00—4.30,   from $145

Freycinet Air flights depart Friendly Beaches airport and offer a variety of flight routes

including Wineglass Bay, Freycinet Peninsula, Schouten Island, Maria Island, Bay of Fires and Port Arthur. Start at 30mins for $145

If you want to enjoy some of Tasmania’s best fresh seafood, then call into Freycinet Marine Farm. Enjoy oysters and mussels harvested fresh from their farm daily, or scallops, abalone and rock lobster, salmon sourced from local fisherman, on the deck or taken away.  Oyster Bay Tours, also offers water and land-based walking tours of the farm.

NEXT Newsletter: Launceston and Surrounds   

                                                     Contact us at:rileytasrally2023@outlook.com