Back way to Hobart

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Our goal for today was to drive back to Hobart where we would stay tonight so we had just a short drive to the airport tomorrow. Majella had wanted to visit The Wall again to see how it had progressed since we were there in 2016 so I had planned to drive a slightly longer route to Hobart via Queenstown and Derwent Bridge.

The sky this morning was mostly clear and blue. Things were still wet and, despite the early morning sunshine, the air was cold: 2.2ºC feels like -2.2ºC according to the BOM app. We felt it as we walked down for breakfast at 8:00 am.

After breakfast we completed our packing and were checked out and driving away a little before 9:00 am. There were some clouds in the distance and thick mist lying in some of the valleys. A short way out we stopped at the lookout where we had paused on the way in. Majella declined to get out of the car which by then had begun to warm. I walked the 200 m up the hill for a view over the valley. Cradle Mountain was partly shrouded in cloud but another nearby peak stood out clearly.

We drove west until we reached the Murchison Highway and then south until just beyond Tullah. From there we took Anthony Main Road south past Lake Plimsoll and through the mountains to Queenstown. By then it was approaching 11:00 am and we stopped for coffee. 

To this point Majella had done all the driving, leaving me to navigate. Today there was enough driving to need a change so I drove out of Queenstown and east along the Lyell Highway. About 90 minutes later we arrived at Derwent Bridge to find The Wall was closed for winter – June, July and August. I hadn’t thought to check if it would be open, probably assuming the artist might work year round. We would very likely have come the same way in any case, for the sake of seeing places we had not seen previously.

I drove on as far as Ouse. We had thought we might find lunch at Tarraleah but missed the turn and did not go back, thinking it might be closed too. At Ouse we found a roadhouse and had hamburgers for lunch.

Majella drove on, taking the alternative route via Ellendale rather than straight down the Lyell Highway. That took us through some low hills, along the Derwent river, and past several fields set up for growing hops. The trellises were bare at this time of year.

We were earlier than expected into Hobart and diverted in search of a cider tasting venue for Majella but the one we located by map must have moved on. So did we, and arrived at Orana House a bit before 4:00 pm. Once we had checked in we relaxed until dinner time. Our room is at the front of the house with a view over the garden toward the river and the Tasman Bridge.

We had noticed a restaurant on a nearby corner as we approached Orana but on checking found it was closed tonight. The Beltane Hotel was not much further away but the rain was enough to encourage us to drive. I had steak with chips and salad and a glass of red. Majella had the sous vide lamb but declined a cider then in favour of taking one back to drink after she had driven back. On the way out we picked up a cider at the bottle shop. There was a minor issue with getting out of our hillside parking space behind another car and I finished up driving us back to Orana.