I woke up this morning excited and looking forward to the day ahead. While the last two days were new places for Matt today was the first day I felt like I was getting to explore. We sipped our coffees while Fairy-wrens hopped around our feet. I spotted a Beautiful Firetail in the She Oaks and some young Green Rosellas eating the cones.
Because we were in the area we quickly popped up to The Gardens. The water was way too beautiful for me to resist and I ended up having a bit of a paddle in the freezing ocean while Matt looked at me like I was a moron. It would be the most perfect spot in summer.
Rather than taking the fast route up the coast we drove inland and into dairy country. We decided to stretch our legs and take the 1.3km walk to Halls Falls. Photographing waterfalls on a sunny day is an absolute pain in the bum but I was pretty happy with the images I captured.
When in one of the best milk producing areas of the state there is one thing you have to do which is eat some dairy. We stopped at Pyengana Dairy for morning tea, ate some ice cream, grabbed some cheese, and sat in the sun to watch the cows. After a snack we were both still in the mood the see waterfalls making our way to one of the tallest in the state, St Columba Falls. The recent heavy rain made the 90m high cascade hugely impressive and it showered us all with a fine mist.
Against my better judgement rather than heading back out the way we came in Matt suggested that we go down Forest Lodge Road and then up and over the top of the hill to Ringarooma. If you are in a van, that isn’t a 4WD I can not reiterate this enough Do Not Take That Road. It is honestly beyond me how Matt avoided putting the van into a huge pothole or significantly damaging something on the underside of it by hitting a massive rock. We reached the Ralphs Falls carpark in one piece much to the amazement of a couple of families in 4WDs.
We rolled back down the other side of the mountain and reached a smooth gravel road that I could have kissed after having every bone in my body shaken for 20km. Our hunt for lunch was oddly challenging to the point where we ended up stopping in all places, Derby. As two avid mountain bikers it was completely bizarre being there without our bikes but it did give me the time to reflect on the incredible things mountain biking is doing for these little towns in Tasmania. I had nachos which were great!
Our final touristy stop for the day was the aptly named Little Blue Lake. A favourite for people on the gram this toxic blue lake is the result of mineral leaching from the rocks after the alluvial tin mine was abandoned and left to fill with rain water. After having a look around there briefly Matt let me stop in the Gladstone Fossicking Area and have a hunt around for minerals while he had a nap (I say “let” because he isn’t very supportive of my rock collecting ways 😉 ).
The campground we selected for the evening was Petal Point which is almost as far North and East as you can get in Tasmania and it was a good example of how WikiCamps can lead people astray. The spot where we pulled up was only given 2.5 stars but it was spectacular. There wasn’t a breath of wind and we had views across to the wind farms and over to Cape Barren Island. I took a walk on the beach before settling into the van for the night.
Petal Point – I think this is one of those sites which is either amazing or horrific dependent on the weather. A lot of the other reviewers talk about the horrible wind but what would you expect camping in the same place as a wind farm? We were blessed with complete stillness and were amazed at the beauty of this campsite. I would have happily stayed another night to watch the sun rise and set over the water. There were no showers and basic but nice drop toilets 8/10.