Northwest Tasmania Roadtrip

I’ve been living in Tasmania for over two years now and have seen some incredible places, truly amazing sights that have made me pinch myself just to check if I’m awake and aren’t living in some dream world. They’ve all been in the South of Tassie though, I’ve neglected the North of this great island State. No longer shall that be the case though. A couple of weeks ago, Gemma and I went on one of our roadtrips, to the Northwest. Gemma was visiting friends in Latrobe and Boat Harbour to catch up and say hello to a newly introduced human. We had two nights in Latrobe which meant there was more than enough time to do a spot of exploring. And looking back on the photos below, we certainly did a LOT of exploring in a short amount of time!

Our first port of call on the scenic front was Rocky Cape. Named because it’s a) Rocky and b) a Cape. Genius. Rocky Cape offers sweeping vistas across Bass Strait, although you still won’t see the mainland no matter how much you squint. It’s a pretty compact area and easily explored in a couple of hours. You can tell this place has been inhabited for a long long time, the whole area has an ancient atmosphere, aided by the aboriginal sites that dot the hillsides. The vegetation seems like its been battered by the elements for eons and the rocks could certainly tell some fine stories if they didn’t lack lungs and vocal chords and ummmm….sentience.

 

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Rocky Cape with its beautifully coloured rocks jutting in the the sea
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The lighthouse at Rocky Cape was constructed in 1968. I know, I was disappointed too when I researched it. You expect lighthouses to be these grand old dames of a time gone by when GPS was but a dream. Yes I am aware that it was still a dream in 1968 haha.
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The entrance to North Cave. The area is sacred to the Aboriginal people and therefore rightly off limits to the public. Got to respect that.
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There was a menagerie of corals and other seafloor lifeforms washed ashore on the beach.
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This beach had a strange atmosphere to it. Felt like you were being watched.
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You could just imagine the aboriginal people walking along this area thousands of years ago. And that is damn well fascinating!
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The water wasn’t still as it looks here. This is a long exposure which gives it that ghostly ethereal look. Suited the atmosphere of the place.
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I decided against walking under this rock…..just in case.
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The clearly defined line of orange algae that is so prevalent around Tasmania’s shores.
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Orange you glad I took this photo.
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A wee panorama of the shoreline around the other side of rocky cape.

We continued our adventure back to our base in Latrobe with a brief stop at Boat Harbour beach, a quaint little spot that is no doubt a favourite in the Summer months. Back on the road and our next port of call was Table Cape, made famous for its tulip farm that explodes with a carpet of colour in the Spring. We had arrived a teeny bit early so didn’t get to witness it in all its glory. Table Cape is an extinct volcanic vent and the farm has been managed by the Roberts-Thomson family since 1910, with the first tulips planted in the mid 1980’s. We managed to squeeze in one more stop on our journey home and took the obligatory selfie at the Big Penguin statue in the town of Penguin. Be rude not to 🙂

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Layer after layer at Boat Harbour.
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Best of mates. Such a happy doggy going for stroll with its horsey friend on Boat Harbour Beach.
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If you were disappointed by Rocky Cape’s lighthouse and its youth, (I know you were) then you’ll be delighted to know that the lighthouse at Table Cape was built all the way back in 1888! Much better!
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The first tulips of Spring were only just starting to appear when we arrived at the Tulip Farm. It gets rather epic in full bloom.
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THIS is how it looks in full bloom. Image copyright: Table Cape Tulip Farm
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Lighthouses and long exposure photography. A match made in heaven. Kudos to the lighthouse for not moving during this 30 second exposure……much appreciated.
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The Penguin! Happy to tick that off my list of Must See Sights in Tassie 🙂 The town of Penguin is named for the nearby colony of Fairy Penguins which unfortunately we didn’t have time to wait around to see.

The following day we had planned to do just one activity, scale Mount Roland, which dominates the skyline around the town of Sheffield. That plan evolved over the weekend whereby we figured we’d do a drive by of Mount Roland and then explore the surrounding area to see what delights we could find. As I’ve said many a time on this blog, good things come to those who wander and that’s what I love about exploring with Gemma, we rarely have a set plan. We just decide as we go to turn down that interesting looking road or check out that place that’s signposted but wasn’t on our radar. And boy did we luck out on this trip! As you’ll see below, we came across some absolutely stunning sights and amazing places, all in the course of a single day!

Mount Roland was pretty much the only concrete bit of sightseeing scheduled for the day, the rest would sort themselves out as we went. We stopped in the quaint town of Sheffield briefly for petrol and got some lovely vistas of Mount Roland. I’m not going to dwell on Sheffield too much as I’m ashamed that I didn’t take any photos of its many many murals. Definitely will be returning there to do so for a future blog post. It was on this journey that Gemma explained that many Tasmanian towns have a feature they are famous for. Sheffield’s is murals, nearby Railton has Topiary (yup) and of course Penguin has penguins.

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Another iconic slice of Tasmania to tick off my list. Mount Roland. Isn’t it beautiful? 
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Some lovely cows on the slopes of Mount Roland.

From Mount Roland we headed off down Paradise Road, venturing south into the Mole Creek area. Caves are the name of the game in these parts and there’s a few that are open to the public, albeit with a rather hefty entry fee! We decided it was a little bit steep but understanding at the same time that this is a precious ecosystem and should be respected. The high cost probably does a good job of keeping numbers to a respectable level. We backtracked towards the Mole Creek township and decided to check out the Alum Cliffs. The walk to the lookout is super easy and well worth it for the impressive views down to the Mersey River below.

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More cows, near Mole Creek.
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A towering chunk of rock near Mole Creek.
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The Alum Cliffs lookout is a lovely easy walk from the carpark.

During the morning, we had pseudo formulated a loose itinerary of what we’d like to see and Liffey Falls was definitely on that list. Little did we know, we’d actually get to see two waterfalls that day! While driving South towards Liffey Falls and the Great Western Tiers area (they are pretty great, so again, excellent naming conventions there guys) we spotted a sign for Lobster Falls. A quick Google search later and yup, that looks cool! So off we ventured on what proved to be a really really nice walk! The trail was fairly easy going but offered lovely views of the Lobster Rivulet as were got nearer to the falls. The steady rush of water grew louder and louder and eventually we clambered down to a viewing area, overlooking what proved to be a rather lovely waterfall indeed! Again that “good things come to those who wander” mantra resonating loudly here.

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Mooooooooooooo. Pretty highland cattle on a property near to the Lobster Falls trail entrance.
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A pretty Green Rosella keeping an eye on us on the way to Lobster Falls.
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Good things come to those who wander! Lobster Falls in all its glory.

Pretty epic so far huh? It wasn’t over yet, still plenty of amazing sights to behold. The next of which was Liffey Falls and we could not have arrived at a better time! The sun was dipping below the horizon and skirting just over the top of the falls. That resulted in the most amazing light as the rays bounced off the spray and created the glorious golden haze you see below. Amazing!

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That light though! Hot damn it was awesome. Liffey Falls was most epic indeed!
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It’s always humbling when you see a great big hulk of a tree just casually thrown over a waterfall by the force of the river.

But wait……there’s more!! What a freaking epic trip this was turning out to be. After leaving Liffey Falls we made our way onto the Highland Lakes Road. Hot…….diggity…….damn…..what a road! If you have a motorcycle or convertible car or any of those vehicles that just love to be on winding roads with epic vistas then this is one for you. The views of the Great Western Tiers are simply incredible. I have once again been blown away by another new part of Tasmania and OMG there’s STILL even more that I have yet to experience. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this island! *breathes into a paper bag to calm down*

Driving towards Great Lake was such a pleasant…..ish experience. Poor Gemma had to have her wits very much about her as the road was like a wildlife convention. Pademelons, Kangaroos, Wallabies, Bunnies and even Ducks everywhere! You couldn’t go 10 meters without seeing another set of eyes light up. It was rather nerve wracking indeed….and I was just the passenger.

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Another must climb  in the future to add to the list.
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Looking out over Great Lake as sunset approaches.
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Quamby Bluff. Yup, want to climb that one too.
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Plateaus…..the highest form of flattery. 
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Going……..going…….the last rays of sunshine licked the top of the Great Western Tiers as we commenced Operation Avoid Roadkill. 

So there you have it. All of the above in ONE weekend. Truly epic roadtrip, truly epic place, truly lovely company 🙂


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