Week 52 | Gawler to Swansea

Day 358: Gawler to Sheffield

It’s 18 degrees when we depart at 9.30am. This morning we had a knock on the door from Tyde and Brooklyn who greeted us with 2 boxes of chocolates and a bottle of wine. We said goodbye to the kids and Shevonne with big hugs. The kids were so excited about the rocks I painted that I hid another one each in their beds before we left. Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that bring so much joy.

I’m super excited to be heading for Sheffield today to see all the amazing artwork that I’ve heard so much about. Our journey today is only 42km and the smoke haze is really bad this morning. We’re staying at the low cost camp at the sporting fields which is $5 per vehicle per night. The only facilities available are potable water & rubbish bins (including recycling bins). It’s a small area so lucky we are early and can choose our spot.

Once we are set up we have a late morning tea and then walk into town. The murals are amazing, there is so many of them. Every year Sheffield holds an International Mural Fest attracting artists from all over the world. The artists have a week to complete their mural and then they are on display in Mural Park for 12 months. Whilst on display you can vote for your favourite mural and all funds raised go back to supporting the project and the township. The murals are then relocated onto buildings within the town.

I took so many photos today and each is worthy of representation, so here’s a video of them.  Grab yourself a cuppa, sit back and relax and enjoy the show!

Later in the afternoon I take a walk along the pathway around the park to photograph some of the amazing mosaics. I particularly love the mushrooms in the gardens, I’d love to have a go at making those when I get back home. I really love the idea of the pathway leading from the playground to the art gallery.  Unfortunately the gallery was closed by the time I got around to it… The seats with the semi circle mosaic artwork in front of them were really lovely too.  I’ve hidden a few rocks in the playground too, so I’m hoping some children will find them and and either re-hide them or take them home to keep.

Wildlife: goats, sheep, cattle, dead pademelons, dead possums, rabbits, crows.

Day 359:  Sheffield to Westbury

This morning we are travelling 55km to Westbury to a free camp. We don’t want to push ourselves too hard on the road!  The smoke haze is very heavy again. It’s 15 degrees at 9.50am when we leave. The free camp is a grassed paddock apparently owned by IGA. We manage to find a perfectly level spot right beside the fence line. This afternoon we’re having afternoon tea with our neighbours from across the road back home, Hugh & Sue. They built a shed on the block & have their boat in it. Hugh comes up a couple of times throughout the year to escape Tassie’s cold weather. We had a great afternoon catching up & getting to know them better.

Wildlife: rabbits, hares, ducks, geese, sheep, cattle, dead pademelons, crows.

Day 360: Westbury to Scottsdale

I’m ticking off a bucket list item today at the Bridestowe Lavender Estate. Last time we visited Tassie the flowers weren’t in bloom. I signed up Andrew & I as Friends of Bridestowe which meant we received complimentary entry (saving $20). In the flowering season the estate receives up to 2500 visitors every day. Cinta is fortunate to be able to join us while we wander through the fields.

The fragrance is amazing. I am in heaven taking many, many photos. The estate is packed with tourists and it soon becomes spot the Aussie! The Japanese, Chinese & Koreans are in selfie heaven. You can barely move in the gift shop and the cafe is full so luckily I find a table outside under an umbrella where we enjoy our lavender devonshire tea. Not to be missed is a lavender ice cream on our departure as it’s been very warm roaming around for 2 hours.  Here’s a short video of the lavender splendour…

Back on the road we take a very winding road to Scottsdale. We’re staying at another free camp which is run by Lions & Rotary Clubs. We make a donation. There are toilets and a shower on the grounds. There is not a lot of room and we are really lucky to find a spot. It’s a great spot by the creek. After setting up we wander around the creek and find ourselves chatting to other grey nomads who have been travelling Tassie for as long as we have. The parkland is lovely to wander around and there are plenty of ducks and platypus in the creek, although we didn’t actually see the platypus.

Later this afternoon we take a drive out to Ledgerwood to view the trees which are sculpted into World War One soldiers. The 25 statues depict the fallen men they were planted for in 1918. In 2004, chainsaw carver Eddie Freeman from Ross carved the masterpieces.

Wildlife: swans, alpaca, geese, ducks, cattle, sheep, dead pademelons, rabbits, crows.

Day 361: Scottsdale to St Helens

We’re packed up & leaving by 9am as we’re heading for the Bay of Fires to try & find another free camp. WikiCamp comments say they are all quite busy but we’ll see how we go. The drive today is 104km but takes us well over 2 hours as the road through the mountains is winding and tight.

Well, no luck in any of the camps so our next option is St Helens. Some of the parks have put their prices right up for school holidays so we choose a park a few kilometres out of town to get a reasonable price at $35 a night. The park is very old and the site is not level and signage is confusing. We end up in the wrong site but given there is only 5 sites in our area & there is no one else here we decide to stay put. The office hasn’t told us to move so we continue to set up. Even with our wheels chocked up we still can’t get the van level so it looks like I’ll be sleeping the opposite direction in our bed for the next two nights!

This afternoon we drive down to the beach and take Cinta for a walk. The wind is so strong and cold that the walk is much shorter than planned.

Wildlife: ducks, geese, dead porcupine, dead wombat, horses, cattle, sheep, crows, seagulls, pelicans.

Day 362: St. Helens

We have woken up to a thick smoke haze this morning. We’re taking a drive out to Binalong Bay which is situated at the southern end of the Bay of Fires. Its name refers to the Aboriginal fires seen along the coastline by Captain Tobias Furneaux when he sailed past in 1773. The orange lichen coloured boulders are a stark contrast to the aqua blue ocean and the white sand. The whole area is so picturesque. There are many places along the coastline here where you can view the amazing boulders. We stop in at several locations and end up having a coffee at one of the lookouts. Back into St Helens to find the library for some printing of my blog for Florrie, the chemist and BWS to stock up on some wine and bourbon for Andrew. Lunch is down at the wharf and still no decent fish to be found, it’s still all shark! No thanks! We stick with prawns, calamari and scallops.

Tonight’s smoke hazed sunset is quite spectacular! (pictures above)

Wildlife: pelicans, swans, seagulls.

Day 363: St Helens to Swansea

We’re packed up and leaving by 9am. It’s 18 degrees and the sun is shining and no evidence of a smoke haze today. We’ve decided to book into a park at Swansea as I have to catch up on some work. It’s another slow drive today and by morning tea time we arrive at Bicheno. We manage to find a park in a side street and grab a coffee at a community cafe. A short drive away is the blow hole. We visited on our last trip but it’s another must do this time round. There’s quite a few people doing the selfie thing in front of the blow hole so I’m patiently waiting for them to move on so I can get a good shot.

The blowhole is actually made of granite and the ocean has carved out a sea cave underneath. Over thousands of years the water battered the inside of the cave making a blow hole through the granite. The water rushes in and sprays out creating a geyser effect. It’s mesmerising watching, waiting for it to blow the hole. It’s quite exciting to see.

Wildlife: sheep, cattle, dead possums, dead pademelons, crows, geese, swans, seagulls

Day 364: Coles Bay

This morning is a beautiful smoke free day & I’ve set our alarm for 5.00am.  Yes that’s right! 5.00am… Oh my neither of us wanted to get out of bed.  Swansea beach is so picturesque that we both couldn’t resist the thought of a sunrise walk along the beach.  Andrew has made our cuppa and off we go.  Sunrise is at 5.45am but the best time to photograph sunrise is 30 minutes before the sun actually rises.  There’s a small amount of cloud cover which turns pink.  Andrew has spotted a track behind the rocks which takes you around the headland so we decide to continue on.  Thank heavens we did, it was so picturesque and the waves were crashing against the orange coloured lichen rocks.  I’ve taken many many photographs.

Back home and time to get ready for a drive out to Coles Bay.  It’s about 60km back, however, we didn’t go in with the caravan on the way as we thought we would do a day trip back.  The bay is really pretty and it’s a hive of activity with boats coming and going.  It’s here that you catch the boat trips to Wineglass Bay.  We didn’t do the trip as we have Cinta with us and there are a few other boat trips that we’d rather do.

After such an early morning start we’re both feeling a bit weary this afternoon.  I end up having a nanna nap while Andrew relaxes doing some reading.  Tomorrow is a milestone in our journey.  Monday 13th January 2020 will be Day 365.  One whole year being on the road.  It’s so very hard for us to believe as it really doesn’t feel like it at all.  So many kilometres, so many towns and cities, so many experiences and so many fond memories of a life long dream.  Join me next week to see some of the stats of the year long journey!

Week 52 total expenses: $559.25 A great result for our first week back on the road after a house sit.

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That’s a wrap for Week 52 of the Lap of the Map.

PS: Don’t forget to leave me a comment!

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