Day 88 – Sunday, 30 May 2021

Today is Alyshia’s birthday. Many happy returns. 

It was again very nippy this morning when we woke up, with the sun shining brightly. 

Last night I washed the towels and clothes, and this morning I stripped the sheets, doona and pillowcases from the bed. When the doona was washed, I took all the wash load (Russ carried it up the hill to the clothesline) and pegged them out. 

We then loaded our lunches and cameras and headed up the C843 road to Anson’s Bay, which is the top end of the Bay of Fires (so called because the rocks are coloured red/yellow). Much of this road was gravel but in reasonable condition with only a few sections of corrugations.  

The scenery was beautiful, and especially worth a mention was Bottleneck Ford. It was so serene today and that description really doesn’t do it justice. 

We arrived at Anson’s Bay and had a bit of a drive around. If you think of an obtuse triangle you will begin to understand the shape of the bay area, which only has one break in the coastline to provide access to the sea. The rips outside the bay appear to be ferocious. 

Time has stood still at Anson’s Bay, which is a small fishing village that hasn’t changed much since the 1940s. Temporary fibro houses are still standing with tinnies waiting to be pushed off in search of fish, and the quiet and sleepy holiday ambience makes it one of the wonderful secrets known only to locals and a select group of anglers. Having said all of that I wouldn’t like to live there. It is isolated and the stacks of wood beside the houses are huge! 

On 5 March 1788 Lt Henry Lidgbird Ball, whilst exploring the east coast of Tasmania, named the bay after George Anson, a British admiral fondly remembered as a great explorer, and who had been the first Lord of the Admiralty from1751 until his death in 1761. 

The first European to sight the area, however, was Captain Tobias Furneaux who, in 1772 when he was captain of the HMS Adventure and whilst accompanying Captain James Cook on his second voyage to the South Seas, was separated from the rest of the fleet and explored much of the eastern coast of Van Diemen’s Land. 

European settlers moved into the area in the 1830s and the dominant industry was logging. You can see the results of this as you travel along the road to Anson’s Bay, as the trees are more like open heathland than heavily forested areas. The stumps are also visible through the trees. 

As recently as 1913 the first motor car arrived in the district, driven by Dr Anderson, and in the same year a simple type of post office was opened. 

We then travelled to Policeman’s Point where we had lunch. This place is just to the southeast of Anson’s Bay and a popular camping area from the look of things. Very scenic. We took a stroll along the beach area and tried to take some shots that would indicate the beauty and wildness of the area where Anson Bay meets the ocean. 

After lunch we headed back along the road we had already travelled until we came to Kennel Hill Road (C850). This gravel track (it doesn’t deserve to be called a road) was narrow, winding and corrugated with big potholes and on par with most Victorian gravel 4WD roads. 

It brought us out at The Gardens, a seaside township halfway along the actual bay of the Bay of Fires. Apparently, it has some of the best vistas of the Bay of Fires but there are many houses built along the top of the dunes that restrict access to the views. 

It was named by Lady Jane Franklin, wife of the governor of Tasmania in the early 1800s, due to the abundance of wildflowers in the area. If you are very lucky when you are there you may spot a pod of dolphins or a humpback whale. It was not our lucky day, but the view with the wave action was terrific. 

We also called in and had a look at both north and south Cozy Corner camping areas, where we earlier contemplated staying for two days, and we both agree we are better off at St Helen’s. 

When we got back to the van the washing was dry, has now been folded and put away. The last load has been washed and is now in the dryer – $4 for 30 minutes, seems a bit expensive to me but beggars can’t be choosers. 

I forget to mention this little story yesterday. When we began our journey along the A3, I took my phone and brought up the mapping app on Google Maps and placed it on the magnetic holder (remember this bit) for Russ to be able to see where any possible roadworks would occur.  

We had been travelling for quite some time and taking a lot of interest in the Derby and Weldborough townships, and also Moorina where the Tin Dragon Discovery Trail starts. Also there was a congregation of mountain bike riders who had invaded Weldborough. Mountain bike riding in this area is BIG. Even St Helen’s has an internationally rated mountain bike trail and gets lots of visitors for this reason.  

The mountain bike trail from Weldborough takes all the C roads through the mountains and makes a loop around Moorina, Derby and Branxholm back to Weldborough. Or for the more adventurous they can bike on the C roads all the way to the Bay of Fires. There were heaps of them getting ready as we went through.  

While we were navigating our way along the twisty mountain highway, we talked about the possibility of taking an alternate route with the caravan. I said I would look it up and couldn’t find my phone anywhere. I knew I had carried it from the caravan to the car and checked under my seat and down the sides as it usually sits beside my right leg. Russ said to ring myself from his phone which I proceeded to do. We heard the chime while it was ringing but couldn’t find a direction to look. 

I said it is definitely in the car so I will look for it when we stop. It was another fifteen minutes or so when I looked to see what the road ahead looked like and then dug Russ in the ribs and pointed – yes, to my phone doing its job of navigating us.