The Sal's Tassie Adventure

Day 14 – Friday, 10th October  2003

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The weather woke us during the early morning. Strong thunder, heavy rain and hail. At daylight a layer of small hail covered the car. [Photo1, Photo2] We had our breakfast, cleaned up, packed the car and off we went. Bye to Queenstown and her Silver Hills, not the best part of our holiday but that was the weathers fault. 

Headed north to Burnie and it wasn’t long before we struck snow. No joking we travelled through about 90klms of it. [Photo1, Photo2, Photo3] The snow wasn’t falling other than what was falling off the overhanging tree branches. To say the amount we saw is reminiscent of post card images of Switzerland or Canada is an understatement. At the side of the road piled at least 2 feet deep, the trees sagging under the weight and as far as the eye could see. Truly awesome and will stay in our minds forever. 

Thankfully there had been plenty of traffic so the road was wet not icy. The road from Hobart we used two days earlier was completely blocked, according to the news and snowploughs were clearing the way. Thankfully that was not our problem but we nearly struck disaster at a town called Rosebery. 

We stopped for a toilet break but when Sam started the car again the battery died. Sam thought the car was sluggish starting at Queenstown so the cold has exposed a weakness. After the third attempt he let it rest and for a few minutes and then it started, phew! Come hell or high water we would not stop until we got to Burnie. 

About 40klms from Burnie the snow scene receded and was replaced by a perfect spring scene. What an amazing place Tasmania is. Anyway the priority was to find a new battery. Great! A Repco store, we parked in their backyard leaving the car idling with Darani and the girls. Sam went into the store and was given excellent service; the battery was $90, very reasonable we thought. Sam installed it while Darani and the girls went to Macca’s for lunch. No worries. 

That crisis over we followed the coast road east to Devonport, stopping at Ferndale Platypus Reserve but did not see any so we took out the bread we had and fed the ducks. They went absolutely mad, coming from all directions, even running on water. It wasn’t until we finished giving them all of the bread that Sam saw the sign warning not to feed the ducks. 

Anyway continued on the coast road, a more scenic route than the freeway, as we could see the crystal clear ocean, the beaches and headlands. The railway line is between the road and the beach probably because it the flattest land around. 

Penguin is a quaint seaside town, which uses its name to promote itself. Penguin motifs on the garbage bins, in shop doorways and the Big Penguin in the park decorate the town. [Info, Pamphlet] The kids played in the playground equipment [Photo1, Photo2, Photo3, Photo4] while Darani and Sam soaked up the sun and view. Upon leaving penguin we saw a garden that the local Lions Club has established along the railway line for at least 2klms obviously very proud of their town. 

We soon drove into Devonport. We had some time to kill so we window-shopped and then decided to watch “Pirates Of The Caribbean” at the C-Max Cinemas. Everyone enjoyed it. At the end we bought dinner from Subway and then drove to the other side of the Mersey River to line up with hundreds of other cars to board Spirit of Tasmania I. 

After what seemed like an eternity, since we had no radio as it was locked out after the battery was replaced, singing all kinds of songs even the National Anthem plus playing every possible game, the cars started moving. Hurrah.

Left the car and with the overnight bag found our way to our cabin on Deck 8 with real beds and ensuite. We also had a porthole, which gave us a view to the front of the ship. The instruction sheet on how to put on a lifejacket had an image, which bore an uncanny resemblance to Lindsey.

Before bed though Darani and Sam went up to Deck 10 a glassed in semi opened area and watched the ship rotate 180° in the Mersey River before heading across Bass Strait. The girls met up with friends they made in the cabin park in Hobart.  

Darani soon went to bed while Sam watched the first World Cup Rugby Match between Australia and Argentina; every TV in the lounge was tuned to it. By ten o’clock Sam rounded up the kids for showers and bed.

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