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Stay tuned for new features including journey maps, some missing posts, linked photo albums, minor tweaks and ultimately... the earlier trips...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 11 - Launceston

Cookie says...
Before we knew it, the final day was upon us and we headed off to another maze. It was conquered and there were other puzzles there to get stuck into.

Mikey tried to give Mim a hand in the maze

Luke and Julz supersized this game

Julz and I had to bail early as we still had something to do. I was thinking that we wouldn't get a chance to do this but we managed to sneak into a Boags brewery tour. I must admit that the first Boags I had wasn't very good so I went for several years thinking that it was overrated (but still better than XXXX). It was pretty good. We walked through a few areas where things happen (or look like they happen because it all happens within silos then we were back to the Boags building where we sampled some beers match with cheese. Checked out the gift shop (it's all about a buck these days) and then into the car to get lunch and out to the airport.

Hmm.... Beer... Boags beer...

We arrived with plenty of time, the others arrived half an hour later with plenty of time. In fact, if we had arrived when the plane was sheduled to have left, we would have had plenty of time. The flight had experienced a few delays, something Mikey's bladder had appreciated. He's now known as Michael Yo-Yo. We sat around playing cards and doing some of this blog. Finally boarded, into the air and after some more cards, we landed home in Brisbane.

That was another wonderful trip so until next time.

Bec says...
Lucky we only had about 3 hours to kill at the airport... otherwise where would Mickey have fit his 15 toilet stops in before we boarded.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 10 - Launceston

Cookie says...
Last time Mim and Mikey missed the cooked breaky but made up for it this morning. For Mikey, Bec and Luke, it was a day in while Julz, Mim and I made for the wine trail.

Mikey wonders why you can take him anywhere but out

The Tamar region has quite a few wineries however being winter, a lot of them are closed. Fortunately the main ones we were interested in were open.

It's not a wombat but Mim enjoyed another
opportunity to mingle with animals

Long live the good old days. Plus, Maunsell must be doing
something right because this bridge still stands

We stopped in the 'township' of Pipers Brook for lunch which was yummy. I say 'township' because if you blink, you would miss it.

Yup... that's all of Pipers Brook

Between the three of us, we snagged over two cases worth so we had the last venue (Pipers Brook) send them on for us.

Another town competing in the lameness stakes

Upon returning we cracked out some cheese and bread we sourced and it turns out that the others basically played games all day. Sadly, I had one more thing I wanted to do here and that was a Boag's brewery tour however when we rang to book, the first tour was full and the second tour was later than desirable for our timing for tomorrow. Oh well... next time. Thai was on the cards for the Roddas and the Cooks while the A-A's had chicken. Afterwards the games continued until the State of Origin aired when Julz and I glued ourselves to the TV. It was a success and the right result for Lockyer's final Origin but at the cost of a season ending injury for Thurston.

The games finished, I blogged and it was lights out.

Bec says...
A day indoors, relaxing, watching movies and playing board games was just what I needed. After I smashed the boys in some Citadels, I regret to report that my efforts in Ticket To Ride and Settlers of Catan leave something to be desired.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 9 - Bicheno

Cookie says...
As we had a change of plans for checking out Freycinet and Wineglass Bay, we back tracked a bit of a distance.

It seems that car lifting is a past-time that kangaroos
really get into around these parts, especially at night

When we arrived we found out that the Wineglass Bay lookout was closed for an upgrade so while Bec and Luke stayed with the cars, we tramped our way onto the beach. The beach probably wasn't as magical as it looks for afar but it was still wonderful.

No lookout view but this should give you an idea of the spot

Mim and Mikey stayed on for a few more walks while the rest of us headed onto Launceston.

Mikey in the... er... rock room not the green room

On the way there, we found the Bicheno Blowhole (it's more a crevace than a true blowhole) that Mim and Mikey saw in the morning but as it was low tide then, it was pretty boring.

It wasn't doing this when Mim and Mikey found it. A high tide helps

We had a late lunch and were back on the road again. Mim let us know where they were and after another hour or so and in true Top Gear form (actually, this was legit and not the typical staged Top Gear scenario), we met up with the others just minutes from the town. In fact, Luke thought we had so much spare time that we did a lap of a round about and that allowed the Rodda's to sneak in front. Thanks to the Roddas GPS pretending to be Tasmanian and giving them the bum steer, we arrived first.

Once again we checked into the same place we stayed the first night and then headed out for dinner. Italian was the cusine of choice and after two courses, we were heading to a surprise location.

On the way to dinner, I wasn't complaining

Bec had wanted to treat Luke to a round of putt putt and it turned into a six person affair.

Bec lighting it up on the putting green

Mim making up for her wedding day

It was fun, naturally Luke won and after dessert in a food mall, we headed home. We were keen on a late night of games but we piked on ourselves and hit the hay.

Bec says...
Tell the truth Pete... we didn't pike on ourselves - you had a unique way of clearing us out of the motel room (something that can only be matched by Mikey). My caution warning to you for next time: that kind of gas is flammable you know, and you almost cleared your wife out of the room with us!

Cookie says...
Be that as it may but I wasn't the worst offender. Someone ignored the confined space rule and cleared out a car at some point and a few of us had tender noses for the rest of the trip!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 8 - Bicheno

Cookie says...
After last nights ghost tour, I had wondered if we'd be visited in the night but no. In fact, I was almost surprised considering we woke to find that the Comfort Inn virtually looks over the site. After breaky we headed back to it to investigate it.

Port Arthur has some wonderful buildings like this church

It's a pretty good place to visit. Clearly it had quite a lot history and involvement with the penal side of things even if it only operated as such for 40 odd years.

A wing of the Seperate Prison.
Jail these days would be a walk in the park in comparrison

We did the harbour cruise but didn't step onto the Isle of the Dead, next time. Some of the buildings are in great condition but some were lost to bushfires with the church accidently burning down.

I might suggest this layout to Nathan for the hall expansion

Mikey still struggles to take good photos

It was time to hit the road again so we fanged it to Bicheno. We arrived here quicker than expected which allowed us to break out Settlers again. This time I won in a neck and neck game where I pipped Luke at the post. Time for dinner so it was off to the Diamond Island Resort. The food was okay and they showed us down to the beach to look for penguins. We found some, it was pretty poor conditions so we headed back to base and played some six handed 500 followed by Up and Down the River.

This fella was a bit shy about appearing in the blog

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 7 - Hobart

Cookie says...
There was a bit of driving today. We made it to Richmond followed by Mim and Mikey. They had an amazing time in the maze (we had conqured it in their absence) while we checked out the model village of Old Hobart Town.

It's not LEGO® but the model village was very, very good

There's also a historical prison here which most of us scoped out and afterwards we had another bakery lunch.

Mikey was busting... again...

We continued on our way again and Mim found a few detours to check out. Mim was over the moon about some tesselated pavement (oh what a highlight - she even bought a postcard) and we checked out a blowhole, Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen. Back in the cars and next stop, Port Arthur.

Mim's trip highlight shifted from wombats to this tesselated pavement

For dinner we had to eat at the information centre as nothing was open and oddly enough, it was probably one of the best meals we we've eaten so far. Our ghost tour started and it was great, Mikey didn't come though, he was either too scared or too addicted to X Construction on Bec's phone. Definately one of the highlights of the trip although we didn't experience anything ghostly and Julie didn't approve of my ghostly humour.

Bec was really getting into the local tunes

Maybe we might have some ghosts keeping us up tonight?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 6 - Hobart

Cookie says...
Even though as far as I'm concerned everyday is Holiday, the rest of the world decided it was Saturday and this meant the Salamanca Markets were on. After probably the best cooked breaky I've had ever had, we joined the masses. I'm not usually a big fan of markets but these were quite big and pretty good. Mim and Mikey had a couple they wanted to meet up with and Bec and Luke joined us too.

Behind the scenes at the Salamanca Markets

After the markets we strolled around town trying to find something to do. Oddly enough, Luke ended in an EB Games while Bec had her rings cleaned because there was nothing to do. We strolled some more, had lunch, found Mim and Mikey and headed for the Shot Tower. It was an interesting building which was built for the production of shot rounds and Mim managed to correctly count the number of steps allowing her to be presented with a certificate.

The view from the tower - 360° view

Next was Mt Wellington. It's quite a climb, even in a car, and while the view is wroth the effort, it is certainly breezy. Now, I've sat exposed on a few chairliffts but nothing prepared us for the battering we copped on Mount Wellington. With Luke being built like a rake, he had to wear lead boots to keep from flying away!

Julie is smiling... honest!

Bec and Luke headed off to do their own thing while the four of us headed to Mures for dinner. It's a flash restaurant and we were lucky to get a table. It was being shared with a bunch of girls there for a 16th birthday dinner. We had a giggle when one of the girls ordered a milkshake and the waitress replied with 'I think we have the ingredients to make it but I'll check that we can'. That's a bit low brow for this high brow kinda of establishment. But then Mikey goes and orders a bowl of chips for his entrée (the waitress even asked if he'd like a fork) and makes himself a chip sandwich with BBQ sauce! Anyway, it was a decent meal with Julz reminding me that her meal was better than mine (as usual).

This is the most expensive chip sanger he's ever had!

We had some dessert downstairs and headed back to our rooms to get some Ticket to Ride in.

Luke says...
Salamancan crepes are the best. Ham, cheese, spring onion with tomato salsa for the win. We even went back for more later!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 5 - Cradle Mountain

Cookie says...
Mim, Mikey and I rose pretty early today. They wanted to do another walk and I wanted to get more photos of Cradle Mountain if it's clear. It was, so we shot through. I set up one camera for some time-lapse while taking photos with the dSLR and the others went for their walk. I ended up talking to some guy and it turns out he was a pro who was shooting some stuff for Tourism Tasmania. I hung around him like a fly for a while and it was interesting to hear how he got into photography and videography. He even shot me (photographically that is) posing and vice versa.

This is why where here. This plus friends, cabins, wood heater,
food, drinks and games

It was the last day at Cradle and the photographer had recommended getting to some falls and Mim was keen for another walk (no surprises there) so we sent the others on their way to Hobart. We managed to bump into this guy again and he shot us walking alone the trail after I tried my hand at the falls. We bailed and caught up with the others in Ross for a late lunch.

Luke felt popular... and out numbered...

Bec and Luke stole one truck as they were staying with family while the rest of us headed to our accommodation. After a brief walk around Constitution Dock we ended up in a cheap pub eating five dollar meals and drinking a few pints of ale and cider. When we headed home we cracked out the Ticket to Ride and proceeded to have Mim slaughter us before hitting the hay.

Hopefully this isn't the only ghost we encounter

Bec says...
Attempting not to suggest any more detours in an effort to make it to Hobart by Christmas, we only made 2 official stops. The first was at King Solomon's Caves (disappointing in the end, as it cost too much to get in, and was already freezing outside the caves entrance), and the second was at Mole Creek (also disappointing, as the town was closed and all we wanted was hot chips for lunch - clearly too much to ask for).

Luke says...
Mole Creek is reminiscent of the pub with no beer.... we went to the cafe with a flashing "Open" sign, only to be told by the resident creepy man that there was no-one around to serve us. In fact, the whole town was like Adelaide i.e. closed.