Day 5 – Climbing the Knob

Day 5 – Climbing the Knob

We decided that it had probably been long enough since our trek down to Wineglass Bay that the excuse of not being able to do any long walks due to having sore legs had probably run its course. So we laced up our boots and headed off to conquer the mighty summit of Archer’s Knob.

Our luck with the weather continued and we set out into a sunny still day. We began our walk along the sandy track towards the paperbark swamp and the bird hide. The swamp was amazing but the hide was disappointing, I’m certain there are heaps of interesting birds there normally however all we saw was a couple of ducks. Oh well. The climb up the 114m knob was not particularly strenuous and the views were absolutely incredible. We were even greeted by a friendly roo at the top.

On the way back to our campsite we decided to go across Springlawn rather than completely back tracking. This was not a clever plan, the track was poorly marked, we lost it within minutes and ended up sloshing our way over the soggy grass and getting swooped by plovers. There were kangaroo bones scattered everywhere which gave the entire thing a very eerie feel. After some bush bashing we managed to refind the track and following that successfully back to the van.

Matt was keen to reach Marrawah for the night so we hit the road and hightailed it to Turners Beach where we briefly stopped to have a coffee and some cake. I found it weird being so close to Burnie and just burning through without seeing Matt’s parents but they were both busy and we needed to speed through.

I had been really keen to stay in Stanley for the night tonight so as a compromise we stopped in for lunch. It is one of my favourite towns in Tasmania and I just love the historical houses, The Nut and the beaches. We had lunch at Hursey Seafoods as there was literally nothing else open. I had fresh crumbed scallops and Matt had salmon. Yum.

We briefly stopped in ‘mifton (Smithton) to fill up our water tank, empty the grey water and the loo and then continued West until we reached the coastal town of Marrawah. On a national and international stage Marrawah is known for its outstanding surf but locally it is more renowned for a murder that occured in the pub in 2013 that hasn’t been solved and it is generally believed that whomever did it is still a part of the community. We were hoping to visit the pub but it was closed so we went for a walk on the beach and parked up in the car park/campground.

Campground Review

The Marrawah free camping area is effectively a flat bit of carpark near the beach. I think you were able to park on the grass previously but that was shut when we were there. It’s a nice spot, the toilets down the hill are great and there is a cold shower if you are feeling brave 7/10.

Finding Egg

Finding Egg

So you’ve decided to travel around Australia now comes the most important part. It’s not trip planning or budgeting, it is picking your vehicle. Matt and I are intending to travel for 12+ months so for us buying something was the easiest and most budget friendly option. For shorter trips there are many companies that will hire out vans and cars for travelling around Oz or you could try your luck with buses and trains (few and far between).

Most of the blogs I read about this process are very sensible. They say not to buy the cheapest thing that you find and not to get something just because it works for your #vanlife aesthetic. Instead it recommends looking at sites like Gumtree regularly and preparing yourself to drive a lot of duds before finding The One. That did not happen for us. One morning in May for some unknown reason we were both on Gumtree, both looking for campervans and Matt found it, our perfect van, a 2005 Mitsubishi Delica 4WD, the ultimate adventure machine, 141,000 on the odo annnnnd it was converted as a campervan. Unbelievable luck.

The Universe had dropped this van in our laps and we had to see it so we organised a meet up with the German couple that had bought and converted it that night. Matt took it for a quick spin, we looked over it, and decided to buy it. A glorious white van that the Germans had dubbed “The Egg” because it looks like an egg from the back.

There was one problem…finances. Matt immediately started applying for a loan and I ended up chatting about the situation with my friends, one offered to lend us the money while we sorted out the loan (and it is her alone that we can credit for enabling us to get our van, thank you). There was a rush on the purchasing because sadly the Germans had to go back home to care for a sick family member, their freshly converted van handed on to finance their home flights. 5 days after seeing The Egg for the first time we drove out to a random house near Ipswich and picked it up.

I can not reiterate this enough, follow the advice of the other blogs, take your time, think about what you want and try lots of different vans. Purchasing a $20,000 vehicle that The Universe has dropped into your lap is ill advised, I’m glad we did it every day but that is not the sensible way to go about things…then again we aren’t very sensible people.