We were roused from our bunks at 5.15am by the dulcet tones of the captain, who informed us we were 45minutes from Devonport and advised he would be calling people to their cars to roll off the ferry soon. Despite the early time, the kids were up and. Eager for the day ahead, we got up, had a quick shower, and packed and headed back to the car. We were one of the first off the ferry, and after a quick inspection by Quarantine again, we were off! At 6am. Mr BGs words on this time was “I’d never really realized how early we’d be arriving…”
First stop was breakfast at 6.30, and there was a local hotel which catered for the ferry arrivals. Over a breakfast of bacon and eggs (well, Miss BG had my bacon) and copious amounts of coffee, we decided what to do. Launceston was about an hour away by car,but we could not check in until 2pm, and we had over 7 hours to fill in. We decided meander, and take our time.
We visited Latrobe, and stopped by the river for a little break and said hello to some suspicious cows. The kids were very amused to see them line up obediently for milking. We passed fields of cotton and hay bales and discovered turnoff signs in Tasmania are called junctions, or JCN for short. It’s the little things like this that make you realise you’re somewhere different.
We reached Deloraine at 8.30 and had a wander around. The town is set on the Meander River (yes, very apt!), and quite pretty. The local tourist information bureau also provided access to a folk museum, which was created from an old pub, and a display of silk artwork tapestries depicting the history of the town. You are able to get up close and see the hundred of hours of work that was pit into the artwork by dozens of people. Deloraine is the site of a craft fair every November, and work like this definitely showcases the region.
We ended up at Chudleigh around lunchtime and had to make do with honey ice cream-I know, poor us! It was declared to be the best ice cream, even better than the gelato in Italy.
Then it was on to Launceston! Driving in cities that love one way streets makes for an interesting time, but we managed to find our way to the City Park to see the Japanese Macaque monkeys and their enclosure. We couldn’t access the house until 2pm, but we had a great half hour sitting under the trees, admiring the hydrangeas in the conservatory and playing giant chess.
After finding our way to our lovely little cottage, we flopped. I popped out for a walk to grab supplies (the property owner had left very detailed guide to the area and its amenities) and check out the neighbourhood.
It was a lovely neighbourhood with little cafés, a green grocer, a pub and a supermarket all within a 5 minute radius. No bottle shop unfortunately, as I reported back to Mr BG. Later in the afternoon, he dropped down to the pub for a drink and returned with a 6 pack. Below is the conversation with the publican.
Mr BG: do you have a bottle shop?
Publican: Nah mate, sorry- what were you after?
Mr BG: Just half a dozen
Publican: that’ll be $20