Launceston and North Tasmania

Our last few days in Tasmania until we need to board the ferry back to mainland Australia. Driving inland from the beautiful East Coast, we checked out St Columba Falls –  a 90m year-round waterfall, before taking the long and winding road towards Launceston, Tasmania’s second major city. The main highlight in town is clearly Cataract Gorge, a piece of wilderness just minutes away from the city centre. It has a few walking trails, the world’s longest single span chairlift, swimming pool, cheeky peacocks, plenty of wildlife, beautiful gardens, suspension bridge and panoramic lookouts with spectacular views over the natural gorge. We took the chairlift up the hill to enjoy the views, then walked down the trails past the suspension bridge, and wrapped it up with a nice meal at the cafe.

St Columba Falls
St Columba Falls

Moving on, we hit the road again, driving past little towns till we got to Westbury where we spent the night. Quite a funny little town where ‘Andy’ seem to have taken over quite a few of the businesses – Andy’s Bakery Cafe, Andy’s Caravan Park, Andy’s Service Station. Must be a good businessman.

The following day we decided to spend some time doing fun stuff for the kids. Steam World has the biggest collection of steam engines in the Southern Hemisphere, not to mention the tractors and the unforgettable ride on the mini steam train around the complex, driven by the old chap who owns the place. Later on, we incidentally ended up in town where they’ve had an event with heaps of old-fashioned cars. We then hopped on to Railton town and visited a Little Shop of Horrors with plenty of toys and surprises for children of all ages. Our boys were over the moon!

Next stop was Sheffield – a friendly, quirky rural town where history and art merge to create an entire town of murals. The streets are filled with beautiful murals and its main road includes plenty of shops including a very unique ‘marbles’ shop. Outside of town is the Devil’s Gate Dam where we stopped to have a look at the dam and power station, before heading to our last stop on this busy day – Devonport, for a late check-in at a caravan park two minutes away from the ferry wharf. Needless to say we were all exhausted.

Early morning, we were already queuing up to onboard the Spirit of Tasmania and farewell the beautiful island of Tasmania. Ten long hours of smooth sailing back to Melbourne had gone by, enough time to rest, hang around the ship and recharge. Once we got back our phone reception we realised we’re back in the big city. Compared to the relatively cold weather down in Tassie, Melbourne felt surprisingly warm as we are heading to our next destination – the Mornington Peninsula.

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