Tasmania week 2 : Tamar River.

After spending a day exploring the Cataract Gorge (see here), I had booked a 4 hour lunch cruise for the next day. A leisurely way to see the surrounding countryside. The Tamar River runs 70 kilometres from Launceston to the coast at Bass Strait. Called a river it is actually an estuary, salty water that rises and falls with the tides. This was only one of the many facts and stories that our extremely informative captain Dennis told us. So along with about 20 other people we settled in to enjoy the day.20211124_133904_3999x2767

Slowly we floated past the river front suburbs. What a mixture of styles. Old colonial homes interspersed with a few more modern designs. Very green with mature trees dotted between the houses and not a hi-rise in sight. I loved it.

Did I say no hi-rises!!! Well look at this we passed. But no it is not a modern building but an old grain silo that some enterprising person has recycled into an up market hotel

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Many different boats were moored along the banks, but this one was home to thousands of seagulls. Just look at them all.

I spotted this boat and wondered why it was all wrapped up. My initial thought was to protect it from bird poo… On our road trip tomorrow I am told a very different reason it is wrapped up. What do you think?tasmania 566_5184x3888

The captain had many stories of the convicts that had been transported here, often for what we would consider minor crimes. He told us so many, I listened with awe, trying to imagine what it would’ve been like back then. I should’ve taken notes because now I cannot remember details of his stories, only broad outlines. The captain told us the story of an enterprising young convict, who was only 15 when transported for stealing a loaf of bread. After he had worked off his 7 years sentence and was given his freedom he started with 60 acres of native bush and a few convicts to help him and developed it in to a thriving 6000 acre sheep property. For 45 minutes we slowly passed this area that once belonged to that former convict. tasmania 559_5184x3888  

Now it is split into many smaller properties and many of them are thriving vineyards. As we floated past the vineyards our young deck hand, Nathan, and the captains right hand man, gave us a wine tasting session to get us in the mood for lunch.

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Jack, as always, had his sketch book with him. When Nathan saw this he asked if he could keep it. Jack was quite chuffed that he liked it.

There was always something different to spot. Look at the difference between this ultra modern house and the old colonial church

We had now been cruising for 2 hours and the time had flown by. Filled with amazing stories of life from long ago and beautiful scenery, we had now reached the halfway point at Batmans Bridge, the only bridge that crosses the river. Time to turn round and head back tasmania 587_5184x3888

By now there was a very happy vibe. The boat was licenced and 2 of the parties were celebrating birthdays. The wine had been flowing freely. Now it was lunch time.tasmania 605_5184x3888

The journey is not over yet. As we approach Launceston we turn into the South Esk River and into the Cataract Gorge.tasmania 614_5184x3888

Looking at it from the river it is even more amazing to see how the track had been gouged out of the solid rock face to create the walkway that we had been walking along yesterday.  Can you make out where the fence clings to the edge of the escarpment?tasmania 623_3888x5184tasmania 629_5184x3888

This is the point we reached in our walk yesterday. But now the cruise is over and time to head back to our Airbnb home.

Tomorrow we are going to explore the Tamar river valley and with all the stories ringing in our ears that will be an interesting road trip.


  1. The boat seems to be wrapped in mosquito netting. Did you notice the home of Queenslander architecture to the left of the second picture? I can see fences in the last two pictures, but not the third picture up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You still love to see what’s around the next corner.
    You have not retired from gypsy life, you keep me going.
    I thought travel had become too difficult with all the red tape,
    The trip to Launceston has changed my mind and
    These posts will keep me inspired, to make the effort.😎

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the sketch Jack made! What a very nice way to spend the time. We have a rather ugly grain silo about that size in one of the villages we pass through, Pauline. It would benefit from being made into apartments! Or perhaps a museum or art gallery.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a lovely relaxing way to explore a new landscape and that lunch looked pretty good too! It must be wonderful to have a house with a riverside view. I can’t begin to imagine why that boat is wrapped up!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very interesting story but I must have missed something here? Why is the boat wrapped up? I’m sure there could be many reasons and like you, I would think the poop from thousands of seagulls. I am glad you are enjoying be out and about. Do take care.

    Liked by 1 person

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