Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Tuesday 13th April 2004 to Thursday 15th April 2004

Tuesday 13th April 2004

Very little to report on today as it was just a move from Snug, in the south of Tasmania, to Devonport in the North.

We packed the last of the items up in the caravan at a leisurely pace and were on the move by 9:50am. The drive through Hobart was uneventful and we continued on to Brighton where we stopped at a BP station and filled the tanks up with fuel for the rest of the journey (97.9 cpl). We then traveled through Pontville, Bagdad, Melton Mowbray and Tunbridge before stopping in Campbell town for 'one of us' to visit the local bakery.

From Campbell town we continued northward through Cleveland, Epping Forrest, Perth, Elizabeth Town and Sassafras before arriving in Devonport at about 2:10pm. The Mersey Bluff Caravan Park we settled in is on the water not far from the entrance to the Mersey river. It runs through the centre of Devonport.and is the port for the city.

After setting up the caravan we took a drive into the city to visit the local Coles Store and purchase a few needed item to keep us fed over the next couple of days. We then filled the Patrol up with fuel again in preparation for the journey from Melbourne to Ballarat on Thursday morning.

Please Note: As we will be lining up to board the ferry by 7pm tomorrow evening, it is not likely that we will have any updates to the web site until Thursday evening, so stay tuned for the next episode in the life and times of 'one of us' written and produced by the 'other one'! The suspense rises and the plot thickens with the pending chapter: 'Return To The Mainland!'

Mersey Bluff Caravan Park - Devonport

Wednesday 14th April 2004

Woke up this morning to the realisation that we had just had our last sleep on Tasmanian soil and although really looking forward to moving on through Victoria and to Canberra, we are also a little sad to be leaving such a beautiful state that we have thoroughly enjoyed touring.

Although the day itself is what we once would have thought of as a a typical Tasmanian day, (overcast sky) it was very pleasant living conditions and the view over the ocean and entrance to the Devonport harbour is really quite picturesque, particularly when the Spirit of Tasmania III enters the port. It appears like the Ferry is just driving straight up onto the land and down a street into the centre of Devonport.

The highlight of the day (and one of the highlights of the whole trip) was meeting Sue Adams, along with her boys Todd and Luke. Sue is another descendent of Samuel Grundy and her Great Grandmother and Pam's Grandmother were sisters. Sue drove down from Penguin to visit us and share some of the information she has on the Grundy family tree. We had had a great two hours together chatting about it all and many other things as well. Thanks Sue and the boys. We will stay in touch.

Then as we still had a little time to spare before we had to prepare for our departure to the ferry, 'one of us' wanted another Chickenfeed fix, so off we went again on a treasure hunt to the Devonport store. By the time we left we had boosted the Tasmanian economy a further eighteen dollars. One of us also spied a hairdressing shop close by and managed to get a trim (no prizes to guess which one). Then came a visit to the chemist to purchase the right colour before returning to the caravan and becoming a 'blonde' again. The life of the 'other one' is now a little bit easier.

Well now it is time to start the preparations for an early dinner and get the van ready and hooked up for the trip down to the dock for boarding the ferry. Although I wasn't going to upload the website tonight, I guess males can change their mind on the odd occasion, so have decided to do it early (at great expense to the management).

Pam with Sue and Luke Adams


Thursday 15th April 2004

We made it safely back to the mainland after a great two months in Tasmania. Last night was quite a leisurely pack up and move to the dock at East Devonport to board the Spirit of Tasmania II. We made the line up by about 7:05pm and after being issued our boarding pass and cabin keys, we waited in line until about 8pm when vehicles started moving onto the ferry. We were held back due to the length of the caravan and didn't drive on until about 8:45pm, (we had to park with the trucks and buses) however it was an easy drive straight through the centre isle of the ferry to a point where we were able to be about the third or fourth vehicle off the ferry in Melbourne.

Once on board, 'one of us' was very keen to sample the white wine so the 'other one' had to breast the bar to satisfy that request (and to sample a Cascade Draft as well). With thirst being quenched, it was extremely interesting to watch the ship pull away from the dock and then do a 180 degree turn on the spot in the narrow channel before heading out to sea en route to Melbourne. The maneuverability of this large ship is quite amazing.

After getting out to sea, 'one of us' realised we hadn't had dinner, so we decided to try the Buffet restaurant and were very pleasantly surprised at the quality and quantity of food available at a cost of only fourteen dollars for a main course. By the time we had finished the meal, along with a couple of glasses of wine, the night was getting on and the cabin beds were calling very loudly. 'One of us' complained that the bed the 'other on' was in was calling loudly all night! However the trip across the Bass Strait was once again a very smooth crossing.

We arrived in Melbourne right on 7am and were off the ferry shortly after, but where we were was a bit of a different matter. We followed the West Gate Highway signs, only to discover before we got onto it that it was going to take us the wrong way, we should have been looking for the West Gate Bridge signs instead. After a 'U' turn with the caravan on behind and a bit of a deviation around the city streets, we made it onto the highway, traveled over the bridge and eventually onto the Western Freeway, heading in the direction of Ballarat.

The drive to Ballarat was a little strange after our time in Tasmania, the road was almost straight and although it does rise to 427 metres above sea level, there were no steep mountain climbs. We arrived at the Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park at about 8:50 am and booked in for the next three nights. Prior to boarding the ferry last night we rang Sovereign Hill and booked tickets for a day visit and then entry to the 'Blood on the Southern Cross' light show in the evening on Friday.

After settling in for a while we then drove into the centre of Ballarat looking for a Police Station and then a Post Office to have Pam's motor drivers licence photo verified and then post it to Western Australia. Then the hunt was on to find the Coles store that we knew was in there somewhere. After a lap or two or more we eventually found it hiding behind the Safeway store (Woolworths) so we did our weekly shopping and replenished our fruit and vegetables that we had given away before returning to Victoria. (We then found out on our arrival that it was only the lettuce that we could not bring back onto the mainland.)

Although we did get some sleep on the Spirit of Tasmania it really feels like it has been two days wrapped up into one, so it is now time to put the feet up and catch up on some of the lost sleep.

Move over trucks - I'm squeezing in!

Reception - Spirit of Tasmania

Arriving in Melbourne