In line with my usual blog presentations, I always commence each page with a favourite photo.

It was too difficult to select a favourite photo from this trip. I threw around a few ideas.

How about a photo that portrays the essence of Tasmania - too hard.

My actual favourite photo? 

Mmmm, impossible.

So I ended up with a photo of one of my favourite memories of our holiday here.  More about that in a later chapter.


So below is a few favourite photos and a quick run through some of our amazing experiences during this short 2 week drive around Tasmania.


Omg!  This is why people like us come to Tassie.  The fresh seafood is divine!  And there are plenty of vineyards to choose from for those of us that like the finer things in life.   And while we are at it, Tasmania also does beer pretty good too.
So of course our trip included plenty of the above!!  Check this out! 

And let's not forget the pie.

So if you are a foodie and have not visited Tasmania, shame on you!!

More food... Please?.... Lol.



Tasmania has some amazing scenery!  Every day we saw something new and interesting.
Vineyards, Lavender farms, fire coloured boulders, white sand beaches, blowholes, waterfalls, rolling green hills, mountains, to just name a few.

Here is just a small snippet to capture your interest.

But wait.....! There's more.
So please read on.



There's no doubt that visiting Tasmania is best in autumn.  The colours everywhere are glorious.
And it's chilly enough to put some logs on the fire and sample a few of Tassie's best Pinot Noir.



Visiting Tasmania reminds me a lot of Europe.  Everywhere we visited had colourful brick buildings and an old colonial feel.

Port Arthur Historical Village was a pleasure to visit.  Just checking out the buildings built by convicts was well worth seeing.  I want to tell you more, but not now.

Hobart.  Now this place is brimming over with fantastic architecture!  I needed to remind myself to watch where I was walking lol.  Nevertheless I made sure that a few good red wines every evening alleviated my daily crook neck feeling.

And that's not to mention the old bridges and churches.



Like what you see? …. We did too.
Bet you are still thinking about the story behind the pig pic..... 


But first, let's have a look at what we got up to in Launie. 


Just a big Country Town


Australia is a big country.  Hubby and I still have a few places to see.  Tassie was one of them.

We had heard of the stunning countryside and fabulous food and wine and we always knew that one day we would visit.  I had been slowly over the years showcasing Australia to our overseas friends through my previous favourite travel site, virtual tourist.  Sadly, that site is no more.

Anyway, after our last Virtual Tourist meet in Sydney 2016, I advertised the next one - a road trip around Tassie.  So even though VT shut down, us travel friends from around the world haven't.



Favourite Launceston photo was taken at City Park down the end of the street from our hotel.

Launceston has some nice parks. I liked City Park.  It is obviously popular with families.  Kids were riding on their bikes or the little train around the park.  There is also an enclosure with monkeys.....?

Yes monkeys.

We liked the nice historical house at the entrance.  This is actually a radio station – City Park Radio.  We didn't know that at the time, but it made a great background for our photos.



Our friends had all arrived so we decided to meet up at a local restaurant that our taxi driver recommended.   Previous plans were to meet up in the afternoon at the famous local brewery but that didn't work out.   Never mind.  That's were plan B comes in.

Only this plan B worked out to be rather expensive.   Oooops. Black Cow Bistro, unlike its presentation, in an old butcher shop in George Street, turned out to be a fine dining experience. Yes, the food was real good and presented nicely, but the wine!  Omg!  It was double the price that we normally pay.  And we lashed out and bought 2 bottles!!  Goodness.  Lol.

Anyway, it was a nice way to catch up with old friends from different parts of the world.

Left to right - 

Jennie from Florida. 
Nancy and Jeff from California. Steve from Brisbane. 
Hubby and I from Perth.  
Ann & Charlie from Florida were going to catch us up on the road as they were attending a wedding in Jamaica.



Launceston is like a big country town.  George Street is where the restaurants are and Brisbane Street is the main street with shopping and banks.  I liked Brisbane Street as it was lined with deciduous trees with red and gold leaves and wonderful old buildings with lovely architecture.



Our taxi driver told us an interesting story about the fountain in the middle of Princes Park.

It was made in France and apparently destined for Launceston in Cornwall haha.

Obviously they got their Launcestons mixed up and this lovely ornate fountain found itself all the way downunder.

Needless to say, Launie in Cornwall still hasn't got a fountain lol.



We stayed at the Grand Chancellor Hotel.  I stumbled on a great deal through Expedia so cancelled through booking.com.  I like booking.com as I can cancel and re-book if I see a better deal come through.  

This time booking.com didn't come up with the goods so I went through Expedia and saved $100 on the accommodation which also included a buffet breakfast each day which was great.



The good thing about the Grand Chancellor is that you can walk through to Yorktown Square where we found this quaint café. 

 Not much was opened in Launceston on Sunday so this little place was a hive of activity for Sunday brunch.

The owner kindly moved a few people around to place us all together.

I am not really a sweets kind of person but thought a waffle with fresh banana and strawberry sounded pretty good.  Turns out this was a great decision and Howie and I shared it so what you see below is half of the waffle which was just enough for me.  Washed down with a nice earl grey tea. Yuuuum!

This cute little café was also decorated with a ton of souvenir spoons.



We had a fun time on the Batman Bridge lunch cruise.  The boat wasn't very big but was utilised well.  We enjoyed the amusing commentary and wine tastings.  Lunch consisted of an assortment of sandwich rolls and fresh fruit.

Batman Bridge is located about half hour upstream.  It was the first cable-stayed bridge in Australia and one of the first of its kind in the world.

Of course I had to ask why is the bridge called Batman Bridge?   Visions of a dude with a cape came to mind. No not that Batman. 

Batman Bridge was named after the founder john batman who also founded Melbourne. Apparently this Batman wasn't a nice fella.  He was known as a rogue, thief, cheat and liar and a murderer of the blacks.




I chose the Alchemy Bar, phoned and booked us in before the trip.   So I knew it was going to be good.  Well it was more than good. The Alchemy Bar exceeded our expectations!

This place had a warm and homely feel.  Unlike that other expensive and more clinical bistro up the road.

The Alchemy Bar has a wide variety of wines and cocktails and the food.

 Omg... The food was real good!!



Well Launceston was fun.  And moreso because hubby and I had not seen our close VT friends for a while.  It was real good to catch up again.

So now, the start of our drive around Tasmania. Time to pick up the campervan at hertz near the airport and hit the road.

Tomorrow, 2 Wineries and a Lavender Farm.



2 Wineries & a Lavender Farm

We were on our way driving around Tasmania.

Tagalong convoy consisted of Hubby and I in a campervan, Steve in a campervan, Nancy, Jeff and Jennie in a car.

We were headed north and then across to the eastern side of Tassie to drive down the coast to Hobart.  Western side is very wild and remote.

The drive from Launceston to Scottsdale is only 1 hr, but we were taking the slow lane to a couple of wineries along the way.



This was my favourite winery. It was small, had a lovely view, cute tin can goats and the owner was friendly and personable.

We had a wonderful cheese board here.



With a name like this we knew the bay of fires winery was going to be up-market.  
Yep.  We were right.

But well worth a visit and it was time for lunch.  The wines here were nice and we had a lovely garden setting surrounded by shrubs and flowers with a view overlooking a small valley covered by grape vines.



This place was awesome.  I can still taste those fresh lavender scones and lavender earl grey tea.... Yuuum!

Plus the setting was gorgeous with rolling hills of lavender as far as the eye could see leading to mist covered mountains in the background.  Even though the lavender wasn't flowering, it was still just beautiful!

Hubby and I also went crazy in the shop.  We bought rhubarb & lavender jam, tomato & lavender relish, gourmet herbs de Provence and some nice lavender hand cream for me.  Nancy also bought us all a little tub of lavender oil that you rub into your temples to assist for a good night's sleep.  I love that!  Thanks Nancy.




So …. Our tummys were full and we had a wine supply.  Time to bed down for the night.
Those of us with campervans chose northeast camp grounds in Scottsdale.  This is a free camp site. Bargain.
Nancy, Jeff and Jennie booked into their B&B which turned out to be just across the road lol. Great!

The camp site has a lovely lake

 with ducks and swans.  Behind was

 a farm with nice green grass.  A 

pretty setting.

The local ducks were so fat!

Obviously too cute for us 

tourists to resist feeding.

Next - trees carved with war heros, a nice cafe at the old tin mine centre and a pub with a roaring fire and good red.



Carved Trees, Crank It Café and a Pub with a roaring fire and a little Australian History Lesson. 


The scenery was nice this part of the trip with lovely rolling hills of green farm land.

This sort of scenery continues all the way to the coast. Today we were heading east and down south. Not quite on the coast yet.

First stop was a little detour to Ledgerwood.  An interesting place.



We were about to drive through the historical part of Tasmania.  Legerwood was a fine source of myrtle and blackwood for the early settlers.  The arrival of a railway line in 1889 between Launceston and Scottsdale made it easier for loggers and sawmills sprang up all over the place.

In 1918 trees were planted on the main street heading into Legerwood as a remembrance of the WW1 war heroes from Tasmania.  In 2001 the long lasting trees were declared no longer safe. So it was decided that each of the trees would be carved into one of the soldiers.
This is a great place to visit. The carvings are amazing.



I had one of the best burgers ever here.  Later.

Derby is known for being a tin mining town.  I am not really into history but don't mind learning a little bit here and there.  Apart from logging, the early European and Chinese settlers came looking for gold but found tin instead.

Derby has a tin museum located behind the Crank it Café, but because we took a bit of time in Legerwood and here at the Crank it Café and it looked like the weather was closing in, we decided to give the museum a miss and continue on.

Crank it Café, as the name depicts, has a bicycle theme.  Why?  Well Derby is also known for its Blue Derby mountain bike trails.  They have various competitions throughout the year.
So the cafe also sells bike parts and fixes the bikes.  Well this little cafe was busy and I can only imagine how it would be in mountain bike competition season.

Back to my burger.

Well in our travels I now have 3 favourite cafes in Australia that make the best burgers.

1. Mayse’s Café, Pine Creek NT.
2. De Millaa’s Café, Millaa Millaa QLD.

and now –

3. Crank it Café, Derby TAS.

Here in Derby, the burger was huge and oozing with juicy taste!  Totally up there with the best 3 burgers ever.



We had a slight time constraint so had to continue on to the Weldborough Hotel camp ground for the night.

Hubby and Jennie drove back to Launceston as Jennie's mum Ann and Charlie had arrived from Jamaica and were going to join us for the rest of the trip.  I hitched a ride with Steve in his campervan.

Campsite here is only $10pp to stay for the night.  Bargain!

Unfortunately the weather wasn't kind to us and I soaked one of my shoes in a puddle in the middle of the night going to the amenities lol.

But the pub was good.  Wasn't real hungry as that burger filled me up, but a few good local reds and the roaring fire soon thawed out any dampened spirits.

Apparently this area is good for gem fossicking.  I had planned to do some but unfortunately the weather was not cooperating.  We weren't the only ones that looked like drowned rats.  There was a volunteer group of some sort camping in tents and a television crew also.  Downtown Weldborough, consisting of just a pub was quite busy.

The old hotel across the road which was originally a Chinese Casino.  Interesting.

Next up - The cute pig.



Pub in the Paddock, Cheese Tastings, Picture Perfect Waterfall and The Shop in the Bush.


Ahhh.... The pig!

Guess I can't keep you waiting any longer. The highlight of today was meeting the pigs at the Pub in the Paddock.

These pigs are special pigs.  You see they all like a beer!

It started with the famous beer drinking pig called Priscilla who is no longer with us.... Mmmm.

But we were pleasantly surprised to learn that the other pigs love a beer too.

So this was the highlight of our trip.  Of course the beers are majorly water....  but the novelty certainly makes for fun photos and a great story.  Not to mention those all too cute pigs.  Never knew a pig could be so cute.

And of course the pub was pretty good too, decorated with lots of pig memorabilia amongst other stuff and also had a roaring fire.  I loved this place!!




Actually the Pub in the Paddock was not the last thing we did in Pyengana.  This place has a few touristy things to see.  Our first visit was the holy cow café located a Pyengana Dairy Co.  Just in time for some cheese tastings and a wine.

I loved the rolling green hills in the background complete with a soft layer of mist.  Made for some nice photos.

Across the road a cow and newly born calf were jogging across the field.  Jogging?   Yep, that's what they were doing.

  Unfortunately I didn't get a good photo as I was too busy enjoying the scene.



I've been talking about the lovely green rolling hills of farm land. However, there is a pocket of rainforest here.  I would never have thought that Tasmania would have rainforest. 

 Weldborough where we had just come from is situated right in the middle of the rain forest and we had just driven down windy roads to arrive here in Pyengana.

So it was no surprise to us that Pyengana has a waterfall.  St Columba waterfall was a nice easy 15min walk down hill through lush moss covered greenery.  It made for some nice photo opportunities.




Time to hit the road to St Helens on the coast. But first of all - a little shopping.

The Shop in the Bush, just outside of St Helens was a nice little surprise.  What a great name!

This place was an Aladdin cave full of antiques, jewellery, glass ware, and collector books.  I was in my element.

I bought a tiny china gold edge decorated plate with painted birds to add to my collection of appetizer plates and bowls.



Our stop for the night - St Helens big 4 Caravan Park.  This was a nice place.  We had our own ensuite which was a bonus.  The bushland surroundings made for a nice setting.  

But it was cold and we were looking forward to getting our little fan heater going and enjoying a comfortable sleep.

Tomorrow - fire coloured rocks.
Please refer to Tasting Tasmania Part 2 for the rest of the story.


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