2nd February, 2018.
Next stop Triabunna, a small fishing village which is the gateway to Maria (pronounced Mariah by the locals) Island, another fairly short drive. Two camps to choose from. One behind the pub and one opposite on a vacant block of land owned by the local take away shop. We opted for the vacant block which allows only self-contained vehicles, no whizz bangs, cars or tents, not because we are snobs but we have found these sites to be more peaceful. When we arrived we were pleased to see Stephen and Carol, whom we had first met at Smithton and subsequently at Old Macs Farm and Sorell, plus our neighbours from Sorell both set up there. That was a good enough endorsement for us as Stephen is very particular about where he camps and has been known to pack up and leave if the generators become too much for him. We aren’t quite that selective.
Later in the afternoon, we set off for a walk around the town using a mud map supplied by the Visitor Centre; first along the esplanade and past Dead Island before circling back through the main street.
There are only a couple of noteworthy buildings in the town. This is the Old School House, built in 1925 on Maria Island. When the cement works on the island closed the building was relocated to the District High School.
The Colonial Tea Rooms built in the 1880s.
I’m not sure if Erich considered applying me for the job but I don’t have a boat in any case.
Triabunna House was originally built as a hotel, became a family residence in 1875 and operated as a boarding house from 1906 until the 1930s.
The Old Barracks.
The pub architecture left a bit to be desired.
The fish van in Triabunna is reputed to serve the best fish and chips in Tassie so we felt it our duty to check it out. The fish was fabulous (flathead from memory) but their chips left a lot to be desired in my opinion. At that stage, our vote for best fish and chips would go to the van at Eaglehawk neck.
During our visit to the Visitor Centre, we booked the East Coast Cruises Maria Island Cruise for the following day. However we were warned that a minimum of 8 people was required for the cruise to go ahead and they were still short 2 people. A phone call late in the afternoon confirmed that the cruise was cancelled for the next day so we asked to transfer to Sunday with fingers crossed for sufficient numbers.
3rd February, 2018.
So with no plans for the day now, we decided to head north to check out our camping options on the Freycinet Peninsula. Driving without towing the van allows us to venture into out of the way places that we dare not take the van. This lookout point at Spiky Beach was a lovely stop with views across to Freycinet.
The Devil’s Corner Cellar Door was along the route and, luckily for us, we arrived there at lunch time. Unlike most cellar doors we have visited, the actual winery was nowhere to be seen although there were plenty of vines around. However the views across to The Hazards on Freycinet were spectacular.
There are 2 food outlets adjacent to the Cellar Door, one serving delicious looking pizzas and the other selling local seafood. We didn’t need to think much about our choice.
First we shared a dozen plump juicy oysters from the Freycinet Marine Farm on the Peninsula and they rivalled any oysters we had previously had. A couple of glasses of Devils Corner bubbles helped them down.
Followed by Coconut Chili Mussels also from the same farm. They were delicious.
There was a great camping area at Friendly Beach on the surf side of the peninsula but only a couple of sites large enough for a caravan and they were already occupied. However, the beach was stunning.
Coles Bay looking across to The Hazards.
We checked out a few more camping sites. The only one suitable for caravans in the National Park is subject to a ballot so not for us. A couple of others that were recommended just didn’t feel suitable with lots of deep sand which I hate towing on. We had a look at the Golf Club which offers camping for $10 per night and decided that, while there was not much ambiance or sea view, it would suit us for a couple of nights to explore the peninsula.
Returning to Triabunna, we stopped at the aptly named Spiky Bridge, across the road from Spiky Beach, a relic from convict days. No one is sure why the bridge was built this way but it has certainly survived well.
The day’s route.