Tasmania 2016, Day 5

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Today was a slow day for my camera. I managed just 15 photos compared to about 80 on each of the previous days since we arrived. That wasn’t that we didn’t have fun and see some interesting things but we did spend a lot of time in the car and saw less photogenic scenery than on previous days.

Majella had planned an early start  to get us back from Bruny Island but when we arrived there we discovered that our complimentary breakfasts would arrive at about 8:00 am. We decided to wait for that and were happy that we did. The contents were simple – croissants, good bread, butter, jam, and vegemite for those who need that to start their day – but plentiful and delicious. We enjoyed a hearty breakfast and packed the remnants for later.

We headed north as soon after 8:30 am as we could manage hoping for the 9:30 am ferry to Kettering. We arrived at the ferry point in the nick of time and a slick driving manoeuvre by Michael got us into the last space on the ferry just before it left.

Our visit to the whisky shop yesterday had gleaned information about excellent chocolate to be found at Nuthatch Nougat on the north side of Kettering. That store opened at 10:00 am and we arrived from the ferry at about 9:58 am. The chocolatier had a variety of tasty offerings and we picked up treats for immediate consumption and some supplies for later. Majella had a raspberry confection on the spot and some Turkish delight for later. I picked up some fig, ginger and walnut dark chocolate for nibbling along the way.

From there we headed to Grove where we visited the Apple and Heritage Museum (Apple Shed). We viewed the exhibits of old machinery used for processing apples and information about the history of the industry. Most of the group had coffee but Majella suggested we try the cider tasting paddle with 4 different ciders. We shared those but our preferences varied. Majella did not fancy the very dry cider but was taken with the cherry. That may have been affected by the sweet berry and elderflower scone that she had with it. I followed the cider with coffee as insurance against relaxing too soon.

Fay and Jim had been advised by Fay’s brother that they must see Cygnet so we headed there next. Along the way we passed Pagan Cider and surmised that may have been the reason for the recommendation as Pagan was Fay’s maiden name. We stopped there for a photo before rolling on to Cygnet where we could see no other obvious reason for our visit.

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Next stop was Franklin where we visited the Wooden Boat Centre. We had expected that to be a quick visit but the guided tour took about an hour. Our guide was an enthusiast who was full of interesting information about the building of boats, the history of boat building in Franklin, and the qualities of Huon Pine, King Billy Pine, Blue Gum and other Australian woods as boat building material. It was good to hear it all from somebody so obviously passionate about the work being done by the centre and its role in reviving the local community by drawing on its history and training new shipwrights who are finding employment around the world.

We had planned to have lunch in Franklin at the Lady Franklin pub which is operated by former Toowoomba mayor, Di Thorley. Lunch was advertised as available from 12:00 until 2:00 but by the time we had finished with the wooden boats it was 1:45. We headed up the street to the Lady Franklin where we arrived with 5 minutes to spare. The woman who greeted us ducked out to check and confirmed that we could still get lunch. Our selections from the menu included stuffed mushrooms, Thai style pork and noodles, panko crumbed prawns, and crumbed flathead. All were good though the Thai was hotter than expected. After we had eaten Di came out to talk and regaled us with tales of her time in Toowoomba politics. We left there at about 3:30 and headed for our next stop at Geeveston.

Majella’s original plan for Geeveston included the Tahune Airwalk, which would have got us into the treetops. There had been some doubts expressed earlier about that activity but by the time we arrived at Geeveston it was probably too late to be worth trying and once we discovered it was 30 km out of town it was definitely off the agenda. The other attraction at Geeveston was the platypus viewing area. We tried that but the platypus were as elusive as the white wallabies on Bruny Island.

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After a brief look around the local shops we headed on to Dover, our stop for the night. Majella had booked us with the Fisherman’s Wife in 2 houses. The first of those was by the edge of the bay with a view through the mouth of the bay to Bruny Island. It had 3 double bedrooms for 3 couples. The second house turned out to be a converted church with 2 double rooms, one in the loft, and an enormous living area that occupied most of the former church. We opted to eat together there and sent shoppers off to find food. They returned with sausages which Jim cooked in the kitchen when the barbecue gas ran short. We ate those with bread and onions, and followed them with the selection of fruit – apples, pears, plums, cherries – and sweets that we had picked up through the day.

It was an interesting and varied day if not so photogenic. We had covered a fair bit of ground and learned something about the history of the Huon Valley. Tomorrow we head north and west.