Tasmania, week three. Dwarf Sperm whales and other things

Mount Field to Hobart via Bruny Island, Tahune Forest Adventures and Cockle Bay

Link to a few pictures here:

Leaving Mount Field after 4 nights we had a rough plan for the week – seemed pretty straight forward, off to New Norfolk for a re-supply mission [food, water, fuel and a new kitchen tap] and then round to the Ferry at Kettering to take us across to Bruny Island.

New Norfolk has expanded since I was last there [20+ years ago], the Woolworths was fresh, new and fantastic so we loaded up for another weeks camping and quickly pointed the truck towards Hobart and through to Kettering for the Ferry. We stopped to buy some last minute vital supplies [wine and port] and managed to miss the ferry by 10 minutes and have top wait 90 minutes for the service to restart after their lunch stop. An uneventful drive south to our coastal camoing site at Cloudy Bay, the last three kms via the beach and into a fantastic spot nestled just at the end of the beach amongst some tall trees for shade and shelter from the wind. The weather was perfect for the three days we were there. We had reasonable internet coverage and the girls spent time doing school work before heading down to the beach from a play in the sand and a paddle/swim in the refreshing waters.

The girls first day at school proved to be a little distracting as we were visited by Wallabies and a variety of bird life – plus a few pesky flies requiring a healthy amount of arm waving to get them to leave the premesis. Both Helen & I had a fish at the beach, catching a few little Australian salmon, not big enough for the table but a good bit of fun. I walked a couple of kilometers round onto a rocky headland convinced the fish were all hiding out there, but only succeeded in falling off some rocks and damaging my adventurers pride ☹ ….. it was a great spot, well worth the walk.

The real excitement was saved for our third day at the beach. After breakfast we converted the tent into a bug free, wallaby free school room for the morning classes. Sophie concentrating on her English curriculum while Zoe was working through her mathematics. After classes and lunch, we headed down to the beach to play, swim and fish but found ourselves caught up in the rescue of a stranded Dwarf Sperm Whale

The whale had become stranded at 08:30 and the team of rescuers had been busy all day trying to revive and help the whale back to sea. The whale was walked in a sling passed our spot on the beach and Zoe, Sophie and Helen got involved and helped where they could and were excited to see an amazing creature so close. There was a real sense of relief and excitement once the whale disappeared out to sea, guided by a small inflatable boat.

We have some video on iPhones which I will try and post later.

The next day the weather changed, becoming grey and overcast so we worked our way slowly back to the ferry and then through the Huon Valley and out past Geeveston to the Tahune Forest Adventure. We camped overnight in their camping facilty [car-park really] but were treated to a pleasant quiet night by the Huon River and a gentle walk alongside some remarkable Huon Pine trees.

The next day we completed the rest of the walks, Zoe and Sophie made a new friend and we chatted to some Austrian travelers who made our travel plans look like a walk in the park - it has been a real surprise to meet a number of families travelling on a global basis, giving their children incredible experiences – maybe our next adventure will be more global.

On one of the walks Zoe, Sophie and their new friend Moana, found a baby Tawny Frog Mouth Owl sitting quietly on the air-walk high in the tree canopy. It was not quite ready to fly and so we picked up the bird, carried it around the rest of the walk and then found it a safe place in the forest when it started calling for its parents. I hope there was a happy reunion but you never really know and it really is nature in action.

And then a bright green caterpillar was spotted, again not your everyday experience

After the excitement of our walks and bird “rescue” we headed south to Cockle Creek where we unhappily discovered hordes of people had also had the same idea to visit the start/finish of the South Coast Track and a very pretty part of the world where everyone else seemed to own a fishing boat. We found a spot for a quick overnight stop - there were a few happy locals enjoying their fair share of grog, music and loud chatter until 4 in the morning which meant we were up and packed reasonably early.

We managed a quick stop this morning just after leaving our campsite, I spotted a quiet bay that looked very fishy - and much to our surprise managed to catch another good sized fathead. I seem to be a single fish specialist so we again had a few small fish bites from our fish, caught and cooked at our riverside spot, delicious.

And here we are now at the edge of Hobart camped in a Scout facility with the rain starting to come in waves for the rest of the evening. We have genuine travelers needs this evening – off to find a launderette to do laundry. 😊

Regards Roy, Helen, Sophie & Zoe

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