On a early Thursday morning 8 March, we packed our bags and headed towards Devonport, our next destination – but not without a few pit stops along the way. My favourite was the Wicked Cheese Company in Richmond, Tasmania. A well-stocked shop with an array of cheeses, chocolates and wines, we had a coffee and a piece of cake for breakfast at the cafe. It was also fun to see the company’s sense of humour on display.
A popular local spot in Launceston beckoned us as we drove towards Devonport -Cataract Gorge, a river gorge found at the lower section of the South Esk River. Home to the world’s longest single span chairlift, a suspension bridge, walking trails and more, it wasn’t as appealing for us as we thought it would be – except for the scenery.
After a quick lunch at the Basin Cafe, we headed back to our next “home”, an Air B&B at Devonport, an hour’s drive away. Our host John, who gave us tips on places to see close by, stressed the importance of going to Cradle Mountain, part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. We took his advice and headed for the world-famous Mountain – and I’m happy that we did.
Like the rest of Tasmania, the drive was picturesque, albeit the curvy roads. We passed by small, quiet towns and gorgeous views courtesy of Mother Nature. One and a half hours later, we reached the visitor’s centre, where we took a shuttle bus to explore its attractions such as Dove Lake and Marion’s Lookout Walk. There is plenty to do at Cradle Mountain and all in the Great Outdoors like the Devils@Cradle, a refuge for Tasmanian devils, hiking and walking tours of various lengths and levels. Best to keep a day free for the lovely mountain, but if you are short of time like us, I would recommend short walks at Dover Circuit overlooking the Dover Lake and St Clair Lake.
We also went to another of John’s recommendations – the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse. A red and white lighthouse, it was built at the end of the 19th century was converted to electric power in 1920. Admittedly, the lighthouse doesn’t have much to offer accept a beautiful view, which are aplenty around the state. Devonport is also where the Spirit of Tasmania departs for the mainland in Port Melbourne, Victoria – which we took on a sunny Saturday, marking the end of our Tasmanian tour.
In hindsight, maybe if we had planned our trip a little better, we may not have needed to miss out of things like Bruny Island and the famous Salamanca market. Still, I wouldn’t have changed our go-with-the-flow itinerary for anything else in the world. Tasmania is a photographer’s dream come true, a nature lover’s paradise and a beautiful discovery for me.
*All photos taken on my iPhone6.