We woke up in our Glenorchy home to a beautiful, crisp winter morning and drove over to my parents place so they could drop us at the airport to pick up the van. We hired through Mighty Campers (http://www.mightycampers.com.au) because they had good rates, good reviews, and a large variety of campers to pick from. We ended up going with the Mercedes Deuce which is effectively a 2WD Sprinter van complete with toilet and hot shower (a must for getting off the grid in Tasmanian winter).
We departed from the airport and made our way towards the East Coast stopping in Orford for a coffee, a snack, and to pick up some groceries. We decided that we would aim to eat at least one meal per day in a town to help do our bit to support the local economies that have been hit so hard by the pandemic.
After finishing our coffees we walked around the foreshore and found a nice little beach with a view out towards Maria Island. The day was crystal clear so we decided to drive up the skinny dirt road to Three Thumbs Lookout and took in the stunning ocean views from there. Because we were running well ahead of schedule we did a bit of exploring and backtracked south along a road neither of us had used before. We ended up in a beautiful tiny town on Earlham Road which was so small I don’t think it even had a name. You could tell that few people had visited as I picked up a shell the size of my hand on the shore.
We stopped in Triabunna for lunch at The Fish Van (http://www.thefishvan.com.au), a brilliant little take away joint right on the marina. They cook your order fresh so there is always a little bit of a wait but my god it is worth it. I ordered a piece of Blue Eye (because why not, I’m on holiday) which I think worked out to be $14-$20 with chips, I can’t quite remember. After lunch Matt decided he wanted to go up a random hill near the main township which took us down into farmland and to a dead end with a very narrow turning circle. I got out of the van to try and help Matt turn it around and warned him that the ditch behind the van needed to be avoided. Of course he drove straight into it and got the back end bogged. To quote Matt “It didn’t look that bad”. As luck would have it despite having Telstra we had no mobile phone coverage so there was no option to call for help. I suggested that we build ramps under the back wheels with stones and sticks to give it some traction and then maybe we’d be able to get out. 15 minutes later we put it to the test and thank goodness it worked. Probably a timely reminder that unlike the Delica this van isn’t a 4WD.
We stopped again as we continued to travel North and had a look around Spiky Bridge and Spiky Beach. The weather was getting much worse and the surf was crashing on the rocks around the coast. Reading about Spiky Bridge was interesting, particularly the fact that no one seems to know why it was built with upright flat rocks along the edges giving it a spiked appearance, my theory is that it was done for aesthetics.
Because of the weather we decided to head straight to our camp for the night in Freycinet National Park. Because it was our first night we splashed out on the $16 fee for a powered site, in the national park rather than staying further out for free. It was a beautiful spot almost directly on the beach but I was a little disappointed at how tightly packed the sites were. Fortunately our neighbours were all friendly and considerate so there was no real impact. We walked down to the beach and watched the sun set over The Hazards before calling it a night.
Richardson’s Beach – I really wanted to like this camp ground more than I did. The views and location were absolutely amazing, the price was good with a fully powered site for $16pn. But we were way too close to our neighbours and the amenities block was pretty basic considering that this is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tasmania. I think next time we’ll try staying at Moulting Lagoon 6/10.