Farewell to Hobart and hello to the East Coast
This morning we left Campania for the Tasman Highway to Triabunna then further north to Swansea and Freycinet. We had a short stop in Triabunna before turning north to Friendly Beaches on the Freycinet Peninsula.
On the way north we stopped at Spiky Beach and the Spiky bridge just south of Swansea. The Spiky Bridge is part of the old convict coach road that connected Swansea with Little Swanport and the east coast road to Hobart. It sits beside the current east coast highway, approx 7kms south of Swansea.
By the 1820’s the reaches of white settlement were being pushed further up Tasmania’s east coast. Settlers such as George Meredith and Francis Cotton, were drawn to the area by the prospects of farming and whaling. Despite constant complaints from the settlers to the Government regarding the lack of road access, by 1840 there was still no road between Little Swanport and the Swansea district. At Rocky Hills Probation Station, the convicts were primarily employed on road works in the area, as well as clearing land and constructing station buildings. The Spiky Bridge and parts of the old coach road which are still visible today, remain enduring legacies of the convict workers from this station.
The jagged rocks used to ornament the bridge provided the bridge's name. Built in 1843, it has been claimed that the spikes were designed to prevent cattle falling over the sides.
While we were in Swansea we looked out for my brother Paul's old holiday house, Scarecrow Cottage. We found the current owners had communicated with a ghost, believed to be William Fogarty, the original builder of this stone cottage.
We had lunch at the Bark Tavern, Museum and Bakery. I believe their Steak and Pepper pies were arguably the best I had ever eaten.
Picture below is our campsite at Friendly Beaches. This is a national park and proved to be very popular with campers. Toilets and campsites only were provided. Our first day was rather overcast and cold but the next two days were quite sunny and warm.
We went down to Coles Bay to see The Hazzards, the majestic bare rocky outcrops and mountains that frame Coles Bay. We enjoyed Sleepy Bay and the beaches to the north of Coles Bay. In particular, the Oyster Farm was a highlight for me.
On Wednesday, we broke camp and headed north to St Helens. On the way we stopped at Bicheno to see the Blow Hole. We were able to buy some very nice Blue Eyed Trevalla at The Gultch at a seafood place.
I went out fishing with Michael of Gone Fishing along with a grandfather, son and grandson at Ansons Bay, St Helens on Thursday. We had a wonderful three hours of fishing. we went out in a six metre boat with a 150 HP outboard (Michael said to hang on as he had 150 horses and he used every one). between us we caught about sixty fish of 14 different species. Here are a few photos.
We arrived back in Launceston yesterday for two days to help Paul celebrate his birthday? Our final road trip in Tasmania would be the central north with visits to Mole Creek, Cradle Mountain, Burnie, Port Sorell and the Narawntapu National Park.