On the water then on the wine

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,001
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
Local tourist entrepreneur Rob Pennicott has built a small and successful empire running 'wilderness' tours via fast boats around southern Tasmanian waters:


A couple of good friends gave me a voucher for 3 for one of their tours, and of course I chose them as my guests :) and the Tasman island cruise as the destination. This cruise is centered on the Tasman Peninsula, the bit on the bottom right of this map:

1613886290923.png

The 3 hour cruise was scheduled to run from Stewart's Bay, near Port Arthur to Pirate's Bay at Eaglehawk Neck, but because of strong northerly winds and high seas, we only went along the sheltered south-west coast to just past Tasman Island (to taste the high seas) and back. A bit disappointing in theory, but no-one was disappointed in the end. Then we moved onto the Southern Tasmania Open Vineyards Weekend

Red: approx scheduled
Blue: actual

1613886584048.png

The boats have a capacity of 45 pax. but covid limited to about 30 and we had 22 on board, so it was quite comfy. Everyone is issued with a long red spray jacket with hood; you have to be seated with seat belt on when going at speed; I don't know what they get up to but there were 3 x 300HP engines on the back :cool:. Ginger tablets for motion sickness offered.

Boarding at Stewart's Bay - a lovely fine and sunny day.

1613887792894.png

View of another boat the same as ours:

1613887911932.png

We puttered past Port Arthur historic site

1613887994505.png

And the Isle of the Dead, where about 1,000 are buried, many vertically, to save space ...

1613888055495.png

The first of many sea caves, this one in sedimentary rock

1613888127511.png

And the first wildlife, long-necked penguins gannets.

1613888195313.png

And looking the other way, our destination:

1613888243392.png
 
Last edited:

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,001
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
Sand dunes on the southern coast of the Port Arthur area (Crescent Bay)

1613888635213.png


We poked our nose out past the point at Mount Brown to see our first dolerite columns to the south, which will dominate the scenes on the cruise:

DSC06286.JPG

And then the inevitable dolphins appeared, the first of several encounters on the cruise. A happy pod, feeding at first and then surfing the boat waves and playing. Of course you can never get a good pic of the damn things, so best just to put the camera down and enjoy.

DSC06292.JPG

IMG_6140.JPG

IMG_6145.JPG
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,001
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
We then fanged it across the entrance to the bay to the 'Black cliffs', the start of our traverse of the SW coast towards Tasman Island. The black is dolerite rock, which was a thick molten intrusive horizontal sill (2-400m thick here) hundreds of millions of years ago. 🎓 :) As it cooled and solidified, it shrank volumetrically, and so to 'give', internal cracks formed. Physically, cracks at 120 degrees is some optimum, so classically hexagonal columns form, but you can also get 3, 4 or 5 sided ones. Once exposed at the surface, erosion accentuates individual columns. The Giant's Causeway in Ireland is an example of the phenomenon (in basalt), as are the Organ Pipes on Mt Wellington in Hobart.

DSC06305.JPG

A sea cave in dolerite

DSC06312.JPG

Dolerite columns hanging like stalactites, or teeth!

DSC06316.JPG

We kept going, back into sediments, and round the corner ... has Victoria lost an Apostle? (No wisecracks about adequacy, please ...)


DSC06322.JPG

DSC06325.JPG

The weather, now just over the other side of the peninsula, making its presence felt with low clouds blowing over the ridge

DSC06326.JPG


The boat in front of us has spotted more critters:

DSC06327.JPG
 
Last edited:

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,001
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
More dolphins

IMG_6183.JPG

DSC06334.JPG

DSC06341.JPG

Onwards ...

DSC06345.JPG


These used to be known as New Zealand fur seals, but on closer examination, they have formed a separate species since making their way to Tasmania

DSC06347.JPG


A deep cleft in the cliffs, with a blowhole at the end

IMG_6200.JPG

Approaching the channel between Cape Pillar on the left and Tasman Island on the right. Note the sea state.

IMG_6202.JPG

Cape Pillar, topped by The Blade

IMG_6208.JPG
 
Last edited:

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,001
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
As soon as we rounded the point, the seas got very lumpy! From almost calm to 2-3m crest to trough in a matter of minutes. At this stage, everyone on board decided that NOT carrying on to Eaglehawk Neck was a very good idea! 🤣

IMG_6213.JPG


Just beyond that, we pulled into a little crevice, which was relatively calm, and admired these +300m vertical sea cliffs (columnar dolerite), the highest in the southern hemisphere

IMG_6219.JPG

IMG_6223.JPG

IMG_6222.JPG

Expert skipper went back out into the seas and expertly turned the boat through 180 degrees on the top of a swell without getting us swamped :). Then we headed back to the island, with the seas following us. Down there somewhere is Antarctica

 
Last edited:
Easy to install and operate, this 10 in 1 lens kit can be used on your Smartphone.

The kit includes a 198 degree fisheye lens, 0.63x wide angle lens, 15x Macro lens, a super wide angle lens, 0.36X , 2x telephoto lens , Kaleidoscope Lens plus a circular polariser lens, star filter lens, flow filter lens.

AFF Supporters can remove this and all advertisements

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,001
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
We then re-approached Tasman Island, well known as being the rounding point for the Sydney-Hobart yachts before they enter Storm Bay and the Derwent.

DSC06361.JPG

On this side is the somewhat amusingly named 'landing point' for the Island, and for many years, the occupied Tasman Island Lighthouse.

DSC06370.JPG

DSC06371.JPG

Have a look at the pics, then do yourself a favour and watch this archival video of how you actually got from a boat to the island, then, much more hair-raisingly, up the slope to the top :eek: No, not this little black duck!!

Look at the state of the cable-way ... and a cable broke some years before this!!

 
Last edited:

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,001
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
Around the corner, a stationary boat indicated there were more beasties.

IMG_6241.JPG

More seals - and very smelly ones.

DSC06379.JPG

IMG_6247.JPG

DSC06378.JPG

DSC06380.JPG

Looking back the way we had come, and are returning to

1613948861507.png

Finishing back at Stewart's Bay, a gorgeous sheltered beach (with temps in the high 20s) where we disembarked and a bit later cracked a nice crisp Tassie riesling to start the next phase of the weekend - the wine.

DSC06392.JPG
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,001
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
Forgot ... before we clinked the glasses, we drove down to see Remarkable Cave, south of the Port Arthur site. I'd never been there and it had just reopened after extensive maintenance.

Gorgeous looking water

IMG_6269.JPG

There were two sea caves here; one collapsed eons ago and is now a very secluded beach:

IMG_6270.JPG

The other is intact - the 'Remarkable Cave' - but just watch out for those falling rocks ..

IMG_6275.JPG

Then back to Stewarts Bay, a lovely little beach and even warm enough for me to go swimming ...

IMG_6293.JPG

IMG_6295.JPG

Stewarts Bay Lodge overlooks it - about 20-25 2 bedroom cabins are located in the trees in this pic. We stayed there last time, but it was too expensive given the cabins were getting pretty tired. But we booked the restaurant for dinner.

IMG_6296.JPG
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,001
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
We stayed at the Port Arthur Motor Inn. $150/night for a small, basic room, probably built in the '70s. The local up-market hotel group, Federal Hotels (Saffire operators) bought the site about 15 years ago and planned a new complex, sympathetic to its location (it directly overlooks the Port Arthur Historic Site), but a myriad of planning issues, the GFC etc etc has delayed it, but I'm told its about to re-start. You wouldn't consider eating at the present place.

IMG_6263.JPG

We had pre-dinner drinks on the deck outside our rooms, which faced the back of the historic site - the better rooms and the dining room faced over it.

IMG_6262.JPG

Rockford Alicante hit the spot

IMG_6301.JPG

Then a walk to SBL and its restaurant, which is pretty good.

IMG_6305.JPG

IMG_6307.JPG

Some more pre dinner drinks on the terrace, overlooking the water:

IMG_6308.JPG

IMG_6309.JPG
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,001
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
I had local octopus for entrée, we all had local salmon, which was fantastic and I sinned (having been on a diet for 6 weeks!) and had an apple and berry crumble for desert - $65 the lot.

IMG_6317.JPG

IMG_6318.JPG

IMG_6319.JPG

Now, all we had to do was get back to the motel. None of us could face the uphill walk through the lodge and the long way round via the road, so we opted to take the foreshore path to the Historic Site and then an illicit cut through it and hoped that the locked gate at the motel could be scaled or something.

We started in twilight:

IMG_6322.JPG

When we got to the convict site, we had our own ghost tour (the penitentiary)

IMG_6335.JPG

IMG_6337.JPG

IMG_6352.JPG

Fortunately we could squeeze around the final gate and we made it back to our rooms in the pitch black.

Next morning, one of my friends wanted to go to the Tessellated pavement again, but I couldn't be bothered, so took in the views:

IMG_6358.JPG

Pirate's Bay, where our cruise yesterday was due to finish.

IMG_6359.JPG
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,001
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
Righto; having dispensed with the sights on the Tasman Peninsula, we headed back towards Hobart and the Coal River Valley for some tasting in the Southern Open Vineyards weekend. A number of small vineyards that don't normally open a cellar door are doing so this weekend, sometimes with some good discounts. You can break it into 2 or 3 regions. The Coal River Valley & surrounds, and the upper Derwent River Valley:

1614072266656.png

and south of Hobart - the Huon and 'Channel' areas:

1614072331147.png

My friends guided me - they had done the Weekend a number of times and had found a number of good 'uns. But I wish I had done some research of my own; some great little places included.

First stop was Pressing Matters in the upper Coal River Valley, about at #20 on the first map.

IMG_6360.JPG

IMG_6361.JPG

They don't normally have a cellar door, and you can tell ;) . They do a range of rieslings R0, R9, R69 and R167 (sticky)... R being grams residual sugar. I loved their R9 but bought some of each.

IMG_6367.JPG

IMG_6364.JPG

Views out over the valley.

IMG_6365.JPG

IMG_6366.JPG
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,001
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
Next stop, Wobbly Boot vineyard. This place was up a dirt road and I'd probably never go up there even if I knew there was a winery at the end!

IMG_6369.JPG

IMG_6370.JPG

The cellar door is in a hose converted to business:

IMG_6372.JPG

Some nice views from the tasting spot

IMG_6373.JPG

IMG_6379.JPG

I bought some of their Late Autumn Riesling but wasn't that keen on the rest.
 

bpeteb

Established Member
Joined
May 24, 2011
Messages
1,863
Points
855
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
Thanks Roo. Loving this. Three weeks now we'll be down there on our camper van adventure. No Port Arthur this trip but picking up some wine on our way north to St Helen's is definitely in the plan. Riesling and sparkle top of our list.

Great videos. Excellent stabilisation. What camera did you use? Or 'just' a phone. We're coming equipped with at least one camera but have a feeling our iPhone 12 Pro Max and Samsung S21 Ultra will end up being our cameras of choice.
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,001
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
Close to Wobbly Boot we dropped into Roslyn 1823, mainly to have a look at the buildings. An estate with buildings from 1823 the tasting room is in a former coach house, next to servant's quarters.

1615182386826.png

1615182812633.png

On closer inspection, the tower between those buildings and the home on the right is modern :) Nice English Bond in the inside wall.

1615182451756.png

The tasting room was pretty packed, and only a single person - the lady of the house - to attend :) . We had a Riesling, then a light lunch in the adjacent room.

Final stop of the day was Clemens Hill, in the heart of the Coal River Valley. You can't miss it, on the hill:

1615182883085.png

A view towards the estuary from the winery, the Radio telescope in the distance; Frogmore Creek winery just to the right of that and Hobart Airport in the distance behind that.

1615182960421.png

this place used to have a cellar door and was built as a bit of a showpiece, but it no longer operates, which is a shame. Special opening today, and it was really packed. Live music, a gourmet food van (with crayfish etc served). This is only a small portion of the people; parking was chaotic, in the narrow lanes on the hillside.

1615183085743.png

Wasn't really our scene, although one of the winemakers himself attended to us and gave us a very personal tasting. :)

So that was our half-day. We intended to do the next day as well, but the weather was poor and, well, we couldn't be bothered. :eek::oops: There is always next year!

Hope you liked this quick tour - the Coal River Valley is a great, compact wine area, but many of the tiny wineries don't do cellar doors - although some of those will open with appointment.

 

Enhance your AFF viewing experience!

From just $6 we'll remove all advertisements so that you can enjoy a cleaner and uninterupted viewing experience.

And you'll be supporting us so that we can continue to provide this valuable resource :)


Sample AFF with no advertisements? More..

Staff online

Top