Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Thursday 25th March 2004 to Saturday 27th March 2004

Thursday 25th March 2004

Today was a much shorter sight seeing journey and a good part of the time (over two hours) was spent indoors at Platypus House in Beauty Point.

We started out the day driving north along the West Tamar Highway until turning east just before Exeter and making our way through Gravelly Beach up to Robigana where we called in at Lynton Vegie Farm to meet Lyn and say 'Hi from Maureen, who is a close friend of Judy. (sounds complicated but I know what I'm trying to say..)

After a short chat, we kept moving north through a town called 'Deviot' and along a short dirt road that took us under the Bateman Bridge, then back on the sealed road again and out via Sidmouith to the West Tamar Highway again. On we went through Beaconsfield before stopping in Beauty Point at 'Platypus House'.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.... Yes we decided to have a look through Platypus House and Judy kindly raced us to the counter to pay the $15 entry fee. Once inside, we made it just in time to join other patrons viewing a very informative video on platypus and their life in the rivers. This video would have lasted at least thirty minutes or more and then we moved to the next room which was designed to give the visitor underwater views of the two platypus on display in the centre. One of the owners of the display then gave a very lengthy and detailed talk on Platypus and in particular the two they have in captivity. It was easy to see he had a love of these creatures, particularly Porky who, although born in the wild, loved a good scratch and rub every morning when he woke up. As the group he was addressing was reasonably small, we were also shown behind the scenes and the next stages of the development were outlined. We were also able to observe the Platypus being feed and devouring a Yabbie or two.

From this room we entered another that housed a large number of butterflies and the tour was continued by the second owner of the display, who just happened to be a Professor in Biology. The butterflies that were present were explained and the life cycle of the butterfly was detailed before we moved on to the 'Creepy Crawly' room that housed a number of spiders and other such insects. All were shown off proudly and their habits detailed before we left that room. When we left the building we discovered we had been entertained for over two hours and enjoyed every minute of it.

From Beauty Point we continued north through York Town before turning off into Clarence Point which stands guard over Port Dalrymple and the entry to the Tamar River. By this time we were getting rather hungry as we hadn't managed to stop for lunch, however the wind had blown up fairly strongly and there was dust everywhere, so the decision was made to return to the caravan to have a late lunch. We returned via the West Tamar Highway, through Beaconsfield and Exeter, arriving back in the caravan park at about 3:30pm to a welcome cup of tea and sandwiches.

Porky Platypus at Platypus House

Butterfly in Butterfly House
Recognise the hand???

Friday 26th March 2004

Judy's last full day in Tasmania today and we still have to visit her Daughter-in-Law's 'Auntie' (Not quite sure what the real relationship is but as we understand they call her Auntie Myrtle and as her name isn't Myrtle and she is not really their Auntie, I guess it doesn't matter too much.)

We started out at about 9:30am, as we had arranged to visit her at home in Norwood at 10am, plenty of time we said... Well after taking a wrong turn then looking for a street name that didn't exist, we eventually arrived to a very warm welcome at about 10:10am. There was a great spread laid out on the table and more cups of tea than we could all drink, along with a long chat about Lisa, Jason, caravanning, holidays and so much more. After a very warm and pleasant time with an extremely interesting lady, we finally left at about 12:30pm.

From Norwood we headed south a few more kilometres and arrived in Perth, a medium sized town that we had to visit just because of it's name.

Next we had to give Judy another shopping fix so we drove into Launceston and parked in one of the car parks right in the centre of the city. We then 'shopped' through the Target Store and we couldn't keep Judy out of the Chickenfeed store, however we had to constantly remind her that her luggage was already over the limit for taking on the plane flight back to Perth in the morning. In the end we managed to drag her out of the shop and back into the Patrol.

Our last bit of sight seeing with Judy in Tasmania was to Cataract Gorge, which is only about a kilometre or two from the centre of the city. This is a rather picturesque little basin in the river, between steep slopes. While there we took the Launceston Basin Chair lift ($8.50 for a twenty minute return ride) which carried us across the basin and provided good views of the river gorge on either side. It was then time to return to the caravan park as Judy was going to need a wool press to get her case closed and we had some final night preparations to make, such as cooking a lamb roast with all the trimmings.

On arrival back at the Caravan, Judy presented us with a Luxurious lambs wool under blanket for our bed in the caravan - It was not expected but certainly appreciated.

'Auntie Myrtle' with Judy and Pam

Cataract Gorge and The Basin

Saturday 27th March 2004

We had an early start to the day for us today as sadly it was time for Judy to leave us and fly back home to Western Australia.

We were up with the sun (yes - it was a bright sunny day) and the last minute preparations were made for Judy's departure, including handing over the last two CD's containing the one thousand one hundred and eight (1108) digital photographs that we have taken since her arrival four weeks ago.

It was off to the Launceston Airport at 8:30am, arriving at about 8:50am. The Luggage Book In Counter was next and the case was dually wrestled onto the weigh in scales - Hey Jude! You have been buying too many goodies and the you are three kilograms overweight (the case that is). So after being informed that the baggage handlers wouldn't load it, it was back to the drawing board (or Terminal floor) where the weight was distributed between two bags. This met with the approval of the check in staff and all went smoothly after that. It was then time to visit the cafe and sit with a cup of tea and say our good byes. Then the boarding call went out and Judy was on her way, with the girls shedding a tear or two between them.

Thank You Judy, it was great having you with us and we already miss your company.

From the airport we made our way back into Launceston where a visit to the local Bunnings Warehouse was made and a consoling feed of KFC chicken was consumed by 'one of us'. Then we returned to Lagana and the local Woolworths store to top up our non essential supplies (food) before settling in at the caravan park again for the afternoon. It seems so quiet now.

Tomorrow is the end of Daylight Saving in Tasmania so we get to sleep in for an hour extra and the web site uploads will be between 5pm and 6pm WST from now on. Arrangement have now been made to move down to Ross on Monday. Tomorrow is intended to be a quiet day with a bit of housekeeping and a few improvements to our computer storage arrangements.

All Aboard!

After enjoying Judy's company for the last four weeks - it was time to say "Good Bye" for now.