Day 1

Today I’m travelling from my home in south-east Tasmania to Devonport on the north coast.

Bridgewater on the Derwent river marks the northern extremity of Hobart; you can see several species of swans and ducks feeding in the shallow reeds by the causeway.

As I have a spare couple of hours, I’m taking the back road north, through Bothwell and the highland lakes of Central Tasmania. Liawenee is generally regarded as the coldest spot in Tasmania (if not the country); but the “town” itself is not much to look at: a police station and a Fisheries Department outpost on a bare stony shore.

But get up high and view the panorama… this is where I’d like to retire; God’s own country. Damn near froze my hands off taking these shots though.

And here’s why: fishing heaven! All I have to do now is wait for the kids to grow up. And convince Mrs Oz 😉

The road north from the Great Lakes is particularly spectacular, and winds through rugged mountainous terrain until it descends to the northern coastal plain.

That’s a bit warmer. The Spirit of Tasmania docks on the eastern shore of the Mersey River, which runs into Bass Strait at Devonport. I’ve got a couple of hours before I need to check in, so I’ll show you around Devonport…

Spirit of the Sea: a giant bronze statue of Neptune guards the headland at the mouth of the Mersey.

The tidal surge at the mouth of the river is strong enough to allow surfing—for those with pretty thick wetsuits, anyway. Brrr!

If you ever find yourself in Devonport, do yourself a favour and eat here: the Dannebrog Cafe, bar and grill. My mate Jan Nielsen will give you a really warm welcome. Magnificent Australian and Danish fare. Probably the best cafe in Tasmania.

Tasmania actually has a strong cultural link with Denmark. Princess Mary, consort of Crown Prince Frederik, is Tasmanian born and bred; Frederik and Mary visit here regularly.

Into the belly of the beast. The trip across Bass Strait to Melbourne takes about 10-11 hours, and can get quite rough at times. I always keep some sea-sickness tablets handy.

That’s all for today; I’m off to bed. I’ll get back to you tomorrow with more shots of the road to Sydney.

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