Saturday, March 14, 2015

Australia - Tasmania / Melbourne - Day 6 (Part 2 - To do/see, to stay, to eat)

To do:
Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park

Tasmania's most recognisable landmark is the craggy profile of cradle mountain reflected in the waters of Dove Lake. There are many superb short walks from the park visitor centre in Cradle valley and from the Dove lake car park.

There are 3 sections for walks from visitor centre to snake hill and to ronny creek and to dove lake. Below is a map similar to the one used at the visitor centre. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle bus from the Cradle Mountain Transit Terminal aka Shuttle Bus Terminal for all 5 stops (Shuttle Bus Terminal, Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre, Snake Hill, Ronny Creek, Dove Lake.
Cradle mountain map
On top of the glacier rock (Cradle Mountain)

We took a free shuttle bus from the base carpark (Cradle mountain transit terminal) and head up to our first pit stop - Dove lake loop track which is a great introductory walk. We have been forewarn that the dove lake loop walk is more than the 2 hours stated in the brochure. So we walked to the Glacier rock, aptly named as a testimony to the action of glaciers in this region during the past Ice Age, picnic on top of the rock and made our way to the boatshed.  The boat shed was built in 1940 by the first Ranger at Cradle Mountain, Lionell Connell. The shed was built largely of King Billy pine. Although some restoration work was completed in 1983, the shed remains substantially unaltered from its original form.

Cradle Mountain, Dove lake and the boat shed

So other walking options is from snake hill to ronny creek. From other visitors we heard that many wombats roam the area. At 3.30 pm we head back from dove lake room to the visitor centre but the exhibits are closed for the day so we took a very short walk to see the waterfall and make our way to Strahan.

We did not manage to do alot today as the we drive 3 - 4 hours from Bicheno to Cradle Mountain. From Cradle mountain to Strahan is another long drive 3 - 4 hours again.

I wished we had more time to spend at Cradle mountain for the Tasmanian Devil night tour. Too bad time and money is a limited resource.

Word of caution: The roads from the visitor centre are very very tight and you must be very good at maneuvering tight spaces if you don't wish to be driving off the ledge. The bus drivers communicate frequent via their speaker service to adapt to the driving conditions.

Other things to do: Visit the Devil's Cradle (3950 Cradle mountain Rd).

To Eat:
Blue Edge Bakery - 2.5 stars, budget

55 Burgess Street, Bicheno 7215
Blue Edge Bakery

We ordered sandwiches from this store. And seeing all the awards won, naturally my expectations for this place went up a notch. However, i am sorely dissappointed with the place. The bread that we ordered is merely ok. Maybe, we just ordered the wrong dish. The food we packed also is the much the same.

Risby Cove - 3.7 stars, mid-range

The Esplanade, Strahan, Tasmania, Australia

From Day 1 till today, this place has one of the better food we have tried. The beautiful sunset at the cove is a bonus.

Risby Cove

Beautiful sunset hues at Risby Cove
Risby Cove
 Oysters are fresh as usual but it i think the earlier ones we tried are better. Fish taste good as well. I a little dissappointed with the rack of lamb i ordered. I was expecting more flavourful and tasty lamb rack. Turns out the meat is a bit tough.

To stay:
Strahan Franklin Manor Bed and Breakfast
75 Esplanade, Strahan TAS 7468, Australia

Franklin Manor
This Manor previously named as Moona has a very long history. It was built by Edward T. Miles and was pre-cut in Hobart and shipped to its site in Strahan for assembly. Miles personally supervised every minute detail of construction, and imported rhododendrons from China to take pride of place in his garden, where they continue to thrive to this day.

In the B&B, photos of the house previous occupants are hung in the living room. The home is very nicely decorated and i really like the feel and ambience of the old home.

The current owner is very friendly and warm. Advising us of the nearby places to eat (its few) and the attractions we should explore before the sun go down. We have expecting a very tight schedule for next day again as we have Gordon River Cruises in the morning till about 2 pm and its another 4 hours drive to Launceston.

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