Tasmans Arch, Devil’s Kitchen and The Blowhole

Traversing Tasmans Arch, Devil's Kitchen and The Blowhole
Lookout at Tasmans Arch
Lookout at Tasmans Arch © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The Tasman Peninsula is a very unique part of Tasmania. It has played a very significant role in the state due to its tragic history and its natural beauty. Today, I had the privilege of admiring some of the latter: Tasmans Arch, Devil’s Kitchen and The Blowhole. What do they all have in common? They all were once sea caves and they are all very close to one another.

Tasmans Arch

Tasmans Arch
Tasmans Arch © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

A sea cave that has lost most of its roof, Tasmans Arch is remarkable. Why visit? It’s beautiful! I enjoyed admiring the arch from the viewing platform near the carpark. Little did I know that you can also walk across it! How wonderful! You don’t even realise that you’re walking across it as it feels like any other part of the path! On the other side of the arch is a lookout that gives stunning views of the coastline.

Devil’s Kitchen

Devil's Kitchen
Devil’s Kitchen © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Devil’s Kitchen is no longer a cave as it has lost its entire roof. Here you can see stunning rock formations, the surging sea and a shelf of rock that resembles the nearby Tessellated Pavement. Make sure that you have a look from both vantage points as they offer two very different views.

The Blowhole

The Blowhole
The Blowhole © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

On the other side of Doo Town, facing onto Pirate’s Bay, is The Blowhole. I haven’t seen a blowhole like it before! Behind the sea cave, the blowhole is exposed. You can walk around the rock pool, viewing the blowhole’s activity from a variety of angles. The seas weren’t high when we were there but it was still impressive.

Lookout at The Blowhole
Lookout at The Blowhole © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

While you’re at The Blowhole, take in the views from the nearby lookout. There is a stunning outlook onto Pirate’s Bay. I also enjoyed watching the waves crash against the cliffs from another vantage point. There are more unusual dolerite formations to admire. There is a toilet block as well as a nearby jetty for those who would prefer to cast a line.

Getting There

Dolerite Cliffs
Dolerite Cliffs © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

You’ll find Tasmans Arch, Devil’s Kitchen and The Blowhole at the southern end of the Eaglehawk Neck isthmus. Just turn left, drive for four kilometres and you’ll be in Doo Town. After admiring the many “doo” themed shacks, follow the signs either to The Blowhole or to the other two sites. There is no need to drive your car between Tasmans Arch and Devil’s Kitchen – simply walk the gravel loop track.

Cost

Devil's Kitchen
Devil’s Kitchen © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

There is no cost to visit Tasmans Arch, Devil’s Kitchen and The Blowhole. If you’re feeling peckish, there is a food van at The Blowhole or a café a short distance from Doo Town. Please respect our environment by taking your rubbish with you, including food scraps. Our wallabies suffer from lumpy jaw if they eat processed food.

Enjoy your trip to a very special and scenic part of Tasmania! For more things to do in southern Tasmania, click here.

Turners Beach

Traversing Turners Beach
Treasure Hunting
Treasure Hunting © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

This week, we stayed at Turners Beach. The beach faces onto Bass Strait and is strewn with large pebbles, sun-bleached driftwood, seaweed, sponges, cuttlefish and other fascinating offerings from the ocean-floor. At low tide, the sand is revealed, along with more gorgeous pebbles, shells and sponges. Turners beach is a treasure-hunter’s paradise.

High Tide
High Tide © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

At high tide, the only way of moving along the western end of the beach is to walk on the pebbles, which is an adventure. You never know what you’ll find among the driftwood. Unbelievably, there were surfers in the water, taking advantage of the high-tide waves. The sound of the waves dragging back across the rocks is very unusual! It was a fantastic sound to fall asleep to.

Low Tide
Low Tide © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

At low tide, you can walk the length of the beach on the sand. You can also see why there are so many warnings signposted on the public access points to the beach. Sandbars and previously hidden piles of pebbles create brilliant waves but, combined with strong currents, make for less than ideal swimming conditions. Have a lovely paddle and explore the debris instead.

Public Walkway
Public Walkway © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Public access to Turners Beach is via the esplanade. The most prominent access is via a wooden walkway opposite the popular La Mar Café Providore. This entry has some carparking and two picnic shelters. There is also a viewing platform which is a great spot for taking photos and enjoying the atmosphere of the beach at high tide. When you reach the sand, walk to the right and you’ll find the River Forth. To the left, you’ll find the unusual pebbles and oceanic paraphernalia that make Turners Beach so distinctive.

Getting There

Turners Beach
Turners Beach © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Turners Beach is approximately 15 minutes’ drive from Devonport along the Bass Highway. Coming from the west, it’s a 5-minute drive from Ulverstone. Drive along the esplanade until you reach the end. Parking is available near the public entry to the beach.

Cost

Turners Beach
Turners Beach © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

There is no cost to visit public beaches in Tasmania. I encourage you to pay for your visit in kind though, by taking three for the sea. I also highly recommend visiting La Mar Café Providore. They have a great menu, lots of options for those with food allergies, a lovely atmosphere and a wonderful variety of food and home-ware items to browse. It’s winter now and sitting beside their wood fire was an absolute treat!

Read more about my adventures in Tasmania’s north west here.

Leven Canyon

Traversing Leven Canyon
Leven Canyon
Leven Canyon © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Today, it snowed at Leven Canyon in Tasmania’s north west. I know this because I was there. By there, I mean at Cruikshanks Lookout, high above the thundering rapids, being blasted with snow. It was awesome!

 

Picnic Area
Picnic Area © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

We arrived to a scene from a fairy-tale. Trees towered above us. Ferns surrounded the picnic area. The ground was covered in snow. If we had wanted to, we could have made a fire in the barbeque hut and cooked lunch but I’m glad that we continued to the lookout instead. It was perfect timing.

Track
Track © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Access to the lookouts is via the Fern Walk (from the lower picnic area) or via the path to Cruikshanks Lookout. The walk can be done as a circuit. I recommend visiting Cruikshanks Lookout first as you can then descend the almost-600 steps to the track below instead of ascending them.

Cruikshanks Lookout
Cruikshanks Lookout © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

When we reached Cruikshanks Lookout, it had just started snowing. The lookout juts out from the hill and is very exposed. Hold on to your hat! The Leven River roared below us and limestone cliffs stood around us at a commanding 300 metres. The wind whipped snow into our faces. It was an incredible sight: Leven Canyon seen through a veil of snow.

Forest Steps
Forest Steps © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Descend the (many!) Forest Steps to the Edge Lookout below for another spectacular view. This time, you’re much closer to the rapids but still at quite a height above them. As always with Tasmania, the weather can change at any moment. When we stepped out onto the Edge Lookout, we were greeted with the warmth of the sun (and a small pocket of phone reception!).

Leven River
Leven River © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

From the Edge Lookout, it’s an easy walk back to the carpark. Well, almost! There might not be any steps but the uphill trudge was hard-going! The track is well-maintained. There are benches at regular intervals along the circuit’s tracks. These are essentially horizontal signposts, showing you how far you are from the nearest location (car park, bridge, lookout) in either direction and are a great motivation to keep going!

Getting There

Roadside View
Roadside View © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The Leven Canyon Lookout is approximately 45 minutes’ drive from Ulverstone via the B15 or the B17 (the latter goes past the turnoff to Wings Wildlife Park). The drive there was very picturesque, with snow beside the road and on the distant mountain tops. As always with Tasmania’s country roads, take care on corners, particularly on icy days like today. When you arrive at Leven Canyon, there is ample car parking. Watch out for our native animals.

Cost

Leven Canyon
Leven Canyon © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

There are no entry fees at Leven Canyon. Toilet and wood-fired barbeque facilities are available for public use. Do not light the barbeques during a total fire ban! There are also plenty of picnic tables for public use. It’s a great spot to visit.

You can read more about my adventures in Tasmania’s beautiful north west here.

Ben Lomond in Winter

Traversing Ben Lomond
Ben Lomond in winter
Ben Lomond in winter © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Ben Lomond in winter. Skiing. As my husband says, it’s “an adventure”! I may be slightly traumatised from my first ride on a T-Bar lift, from losing a ski on a black slope (we were crossing it to bluer or greener pastures!) and falling off one of the Poma lifts, but I still highly recommend a trip to Ben Lomond in winter. Why?! Read on.

Ben Lomond
Ben Lomond © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Firstly, your ascent to the mountain is horrifyingly spectacular. Horrifying? If you don’t have your own chains, you’re in a beaten up, mud-caked LandCruiser with no seatbelts on Jacob’s Ladder, which is a very tricky piece of road. Spectacular? Look at the stacks of rock rising on either side of you! Look at the view!!! It was so breathtaking that I didn’t even worry about the crazy road.

Wallaby
Wallaby © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Secondly, I saw wallabies in the snow! There were at least three of them. What an unexpected sight! Remember not to feed native animals (even if they do look cold and hungry!) as processed foods can give wallabies lumpy jaw which is an awful disease. I enjoyed photographing them from a distance.

Poma Lift
Poma Lift © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Thirdly, the “adventurous” conditions are strangely comforting. The lifts that break down, strange bumps on the Poma tracks, rocks everywhere, people in hodgepodge clothing (including one of my workmates in his ex-postman one-piece!) and so on only add to the fun.

Snowman
Snowman © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

If you’re looking for a family day out, there is a roped off area just for tobogganing. Forgot the toboggan? You can hire a toboggan and skiing or snowboarding gear on the mountain. Warm up in the café with hot food and drinks or in the public shelter next to the log fire. Don’t know how to ski yet? Book a group beginner’s lesson with Ben Lomond Snow Sports School at 10am or 12noon or a private lesson at 12:30pm. Make sure that you book your lesson the day before you visit the mountain.

Ski Fields
Ski Fields © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Finally, you’ll find lots of lovely locals at Ben Lomond in winter. Thanks to the ranger who greeted us. Thank you to to the shoe-fitter, who got my boot size just right. Thanks to the skier, who gave us great tips. Many thanks to the lady who rescued my ski!!! It would have been a long hobble across the slope without it!

Getting There

Ben Lomond
Ben Lomond © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Ben Lomond is about an hour’s drive from Launceston via St Leonards. Follow signs for Ben Lomond National Park. There are a few kilometres of gravel road to drive on when you reach the park. A ranger will greet you and you’ll need to pay for your entry to the park if you don’t already have a Parks Pass. Unless you have snow chains, you’ll need to park your car and take the shuttle to the top. Chains, fuel and parks passes can all be purchased/hired in Launceston or Hobart. You won’t find fuel for sale or chains for hire on the mountain though.

Cost

Shoe Library
Shoe Library © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The cost for a one-day Parks Pass for one vehicle is $24 or you can purchase a holiday pass for $60. If you purchase your pass at Ben Lomond, you’ll need correct change. An additional $15 per person will see you shuttled up to the snow. You can hire gear at reasonable prices. If you arrive later in the day, gear hire and lift passes are cheaper but you will be left with the scraps when it comes to gear. Lift passes are $70 per adult per day or $45 after 12:30pm. All this is worth it, for the adventure that is Ben Lomond in winter.

On your way to or from Ben Lomond, why not stop at Corra Linn? Staying a while? Read more about my adventures in Tasmania’s north and midlands.

Corra Linn

Traversing Corra Linn
Blessington Road
Blessington Road © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

This is my 50th post about a Tasmanian experience or place. I spent a long time contemplating where to go, what to do, but all these plans were laid to waste when, unexpectedly, a friend introduced me to his favourite place in Launceston.

Rapids
Rapids © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The best thing about living in Tasmania is when you find gems: a person you’ve never met, food you’ve never tasted, a place you’ve never seen. This week, I visited Corra Linn for the first time. Although I’d heard plenty about it (as a favourite spot with locals for a summer swim), I had no idea how spectacular it would be.

Corra Linn
Corra Linn © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The entry to Corra Linn is unobtrusive. Park in a gravel area to the side of the road. Climb over the roadside barrier. Find the part of the fence where the barbed wire is rolled over and climb over the fence. Mind the broken bottles and the cow pats. Now comes the best part: look up.

Rock Fall
Rock Fall © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Corra Linn is a gorge on the North Esk River. Towering cliffs guard a waterhole, patches of sand, rapids and rock falls. My friend tells me that one of the rock falls had occurred very recently due to ice expanding inside the rock. The area would certainly be a geologist’s paradise! I’m sure that rock climbers enjoy it too. The gorge is a magnificent contrast to the surrounding paddocks.

Water hole's edge
Water’s edge © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

In winter, Corra Linn is a beautiful spot to sit and contemplate. I’m told that it’s a great place for swimming in summer, however, take care as there are submerged and falling rocks. Ownership of Corra Linn has been unclear in the past and therefore the area is not well maintained. There are no safety barriers or signs and the gorge has not been developed. It is a wild place, worth the visit just for its natural beauty.

Getting There

Bridge
Bridge © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The gorge is about 15 minutes’ drive from Launceston or Evandale. Your navigation system may have alternate spelling (Corra Lynn). Note that Corra Linn Distillery is actually a good 15 minutes’ drive away so don’t use this as a reference point! Instead, search for 292 Blessington Road, St Leonards.

Cost

Corra Linn
Corra Linn © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Entry to Corra Linn is free but at your own risk. Enjoy the beauty of wild Tasmania!

Staying in the area for a while? Read more about my adventures in Tasmania’s north and midlands.

National Automobile Museum of Tasmania

National Automobile Museum of Tasmania
National Automobile Museum of Tasmania © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The National Automobile Museum of Tasmania is an unexpected gem. Filled with an ever-changing display of privately owned special interest vehicles, there is sure to be something to catch your eye. This weekend, entry is free and there is a display of vehicles outside. Yesterday, this included a vintage firetruck. Today, bike rides are on offer! Inside the museum, the delights continued.

1968 Aston Martin DBS Vantage
1968 Aston Martin DBS Vantage © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Have you ever seen a Bond car in person? I have! Although it may not have been the best Bond movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service did feature a stunning car. Until October 2017, you can see this car, complete with guns in the glove-box, at the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania. The display also features other “movie stars”, including Herbie, a yellow Superbug and a Sunbeam Alpine Drophead identical to the one driven by Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief.

Tasman Bridge Disaster
Tasman Bridge Disaster © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The museum’s penultimate exhibit is a rather humble 1974 Holden Monaro GTS. As you look into the car, imagine sitting there, the front dangling approximately 60 metres above the River Derwent. Why? Because that’s exactly what happened to the owner, Frank Manley, and his wife on the night of 5 January 1975. After the Lake Illawarra hit the Tasman Bridge, theirs was one of two cars left hanging over the edge of the broken bridge. Being able to see this car in person is a privilege.

British Bikes
British Bikes © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The mezzanine floor of the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania was a treat for me. On this floor, you’ll find vintage motorbikes. I grew up visiting my Pop’s garage, which contained a Norton, a Douglas, a Triumph and a Scott with a manually operated horn (my favourite!). There are plenty of other bikes on display, including a rather stunning Scout. Downstairs, there’s also a 1915 Douglas and a mini Honda.

1928 A Model Ford "Lizzie"
1928 A Model Ford “Lizzie” © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Other exhibits include a sky-blue Thunderbird, several Jaguars, a Locomobile and a 1928 A Model Ford “Lizzie”. The Ford belonged to Tasmanian pioneer Fred Smithies O. B. E. Famous for his adventuring and photography, this car has seen some of the best of Tasmania. It is fantastic to have Tasmanian treasures on display alongside other vintage vehicles.

Getting There

Fire Engine
Fire Engine © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The National Automobile Museum of Tasmania is a ten-minute walk from Launceston’s CBD, directly opposite Launceston’s City Park on Cimitiere Street. Parking is available on the street or in the adjacent car-park (fees apply). The museum is open from 9am – 5pm (10am – 4pm in winter) everyday except Christmas Day.

Cost

Herbie and Superbug
Herbie and Superbug © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Visit on the annual Community Awareness Weekend (the last weekend in August) for free entry and an additional display of special interest vehicles. Usually, prices are $14 per adult, $11 per senior and $7.50 per child (under 16). For $35, you can purchase an annual pass. This is a good deal for those who would like to return to see the new exhibits every three months. Although small, the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania is well-curated, showcasing important pieces of our motor-vehicle history.

Traverse Tasmania with me! Read about my adventures in Tasmania’s north, northwest and midlands.