Hobart Macquarie's Coach Tour

Recently 33 members of Hobart Macquarie enjoyed a four day Coach Tour of the far Northwest Coast of Tasmania.

After an early start from Hobart the first stop was the historic township of Ross for Morning Tea.

Whilst travelling west they drove through Railton with its topiary Street Art, stopping next, for lunch, at Sheffield, noted for Murals in and around the township.

The next town on the list was Penguin on Bass Strait with a “mandatory” photo stop with the penguin by the sea. Two travelling current members were married in Penguin some 60+ years ago.

Back in the coach and off along the Bass Highway to the Tall Timbers Resort at Smithton, the accommodation base for the next three nights. Tall Timbers provided great food & accommodation; some brave souls went swimming in the heated pool! Along the highway  Port Latta was passed, with a 1 km pier out to sea, where iron ore pellets are received from Savage River some distance inland and processed for transfer to the ore carriers waiting at the end of the pier for shipment overseas.

Next day it was off further west to stand on the “Edge of the World” - next landfall is South America. Boarded the George Robinson Boat for a cruise on the Arthur River with a stop for an interpretation walk and lunch BBQ in the rainforest at the confluence of the Arthur and Frankland Rivers.  Arthur River, a wild fresh water river runs through dense rain forest and flows out to the wild Southern Ocean. Sea eagles can be seen along the river and give a display when catching/dining for fish thrown from the boat.

Before coming “home” to Tall Timbers for dinner and overnight the day was extended with a visit to the village of Stanley and the feature known as “The Nut”, an ancient volcanic plug extending with sheer sides into Bass Strait. The chair lift took members to the top.

An early breakfast then a drive to the ex Van Diemen’s Land (VDL) Company Estate, Woolnorth. First a visit to the Woolnorth Wind Farm operated by the Hydro Tasmania which was an experience to be amid the rotating wind turbines; the wind blew at only 20odd knots which is most unusual for this location. Then to the Estate, with many historic buildings, which is one of the largest Dairy Farms in Australia, with its lush green pastures and ranging herds of dairy cattle. Then a drive through the Estate, to Cape Grim on the far Northwest tip of Tasmania where Telstra has a Radio Communications Tower and the Bureau of Meteorology operates a Baseline Air Pollution Station which measures the world’s air as travels around the globe without any obstructions. Also, the scenery is breathtaking at Cape Grim with views out to the Southern Ocean and nearby Bass Strait Islands.

A great BBQ steak lunch was enjoyed in the old Shearing Shed ( a 13 stand shed- sheep were once run on Woolnorth). Home was again to Tall Timbers Smithton.

The last day dawned and after brekkie, onto the coach for the return journey to Hobart. Along the way a quick visit “drop in” to the popular seaside holiday home village of Boat Harbour with its tempting water. The opportunity was taken to go out to Table Cape (another old volcanic  plug) to view the colourful Tulip Farms, guess what? they export tulip bulbs to, of all places such as The Netherlands!

A further drive and it was to Burnie for a visit/tour of the Hellyers Road Whiskey Distillery together with a “platter lunch”. This was some experience especially with the tastings at the end of the distillery tour. The platter lunch was most enjoyable mainly consisting of local products.

Back down the Highways to Hobart with a stop at Ashgrove Cheese Factory for tastings and purchases.

The three night four day Coach Tour was voted a great extended Club Excursion and experience by all the travellers and the weather, in all locations, was mild with lots of sunshine.”

The attached photos are of most of the travelling Group with the penguin at Penguin and  some of the members “ framed”  at Stanley with “The Nut” in the background.