Arthur river to Stanley & around
From Arthur River we drove northward Stanley. There were two possible routes to Stanley, one was an hour drive passing through the town of Marrawah and the other was a route that required two hours to reach Stanley. We took the longer route so that we could make a detour to Trowutta Arch which turned out better than our expectation. From the arch it was a 45 min drive to Stanley.
We had two nights staying in the town of Parkland/Burnie located along the northcoast which gave us two days to explore some interesting attractions such as Stanley Nut, Table Cape, Little Penguin Conservation Center, Fern Glade Platypus Reserve and Penguin town.
Trowutta Arch was about an hour drive from Arthur River. It was quite easy to locate. We parked our car and walked in the direction indicated by a white sign board onto a well maintained path. The path brought us into a green forest and after 400 to 500 metres we reached the “arch”.
The path lead us to a stairs going down to the Arch. After the steps ended we had to navigate slowly and carefully over big and small rocks down a slope into a “green” abyss.
From the top the “green cave” looked rather normal, it was only when we reached the base that we were “wowed” by the beauty of the place. The “green floor” was actually water filled with a layer of “green moss”. We had no idea how deep is there water.
The arch was a cave with a collapsed top. The hole in the sky allowed sunlight to penetrate which in turn gave lifes to a varieties of plants, trees and ferns at the base of the cave.
This arch was not a “famous” Tasmanian attraction and most tourists did not bother to visit. We were glad to have made the effort to visit this beautiful arch!
Stanley Nut or “The Nut” was one of the famous attractions of Stanley, a town on the northern coast of Tasmania. From far it look like a “crop-off” mountain with steep sides. It definitely did not look like any “nut” that we ate! Apparently “The Nut” was a shortened form of its original aborigine name Moo-Nut-Re-Ker
“The Nut” was the remains of a volcano stump. Its height was 143 metres and to get up to the top visitors could either hike up or take the chairlift. We chose the “chair lift way” and the cost of a return ticket per person was AUD$19. The ride up was pretty normal but the ride down was fabulous. Coming down we faced the bay and the view was lovely.
At the top of “The Nut” was a “loop” walking track starting and ending at the chairlift station. We took about 2 hours to complete the walk. It was a 4.6 km circuit with many ;lovely viewpoints.
The circuit was pretty easy to wall, not many stairs or slope. The track was well maintained and nicely paved and there were many reststops along the way.
The sun was out and the sky was a lovely blue. The views at various viewing decks were breathtaking.
Driving along the north coast for about 45 minutes from Stanley we reached Table Cape. We came to Table Cape to visit a Tulip Farm that grew thousands and thousands of tulips. Unfortunately we were miserably one day late! The farm had closed for the Spring season. Each Spring the farm was opened for about a month to visitors. We stood sadly outside the shut gate of the farm. There was no glimpse of a single tulip as the tulips were grown further inward out of sight from the road. Since it was already the end of the season maybe all the bulbs had already withered so the view might not be worth the visit (self consolation).
On Table Cape sat a white lighthouse. It was 25 metres tall and built in 1888. It stood out prominently “white” at the edge of a steep cliff with green farmlands all around it.
On the way to the town of Parkland where our accommodation for the night was located we came upon Goldie Street. There was a huge “welcome” banner hung over the start of the street which attracted us, so we parked our car and came out to explore.
We thought there might be some street events but found none. There were cafes, shops, supermarkets along Goldie Street but nothing was “happening” just a quiet street that lead right to a playground by the sea. We went into a cafe called “Vault” housed at the bottom level of a two storey red brick building for a coffee break.
Coffee and cheesecake at Vault cafe were very nice. Our last good coffee break was in Hobart some seven days ago!!
Little Penguin Observatory Center
The observatory center was just 1.4 km from our stay in Parkland. Once the night fell we drove to the center. We saw some people crowding near a fence on a boardwalk so we too went that way. Wow! We did not expect to see little penguins so close up. The penguin nests were just by the side of the boardwalk!
The penguin volunteers told us that these fluffy penguins were babies, they stayed in their nests waiting for their parents to come back with food. They were “cooing” to hurry their parents.
From the boardwalk we could also see the sea glittering in a distance. Once we got use to the darkness we were able to spot returning penguins, coming out of the water, hopping on the rocky beach to return to their babies!! These penguin were indeed tiny!
Fern Glade Platypus Reserve
We had yet to see a live platypus so far in our trip and was eagering hoping to see one at Fern Glade Platypus Reserve. The reserve was just 6 km from our stay in Parkland.
We drove into the reserve and at the end of the carpark we saw a walking trail. Unfortunately it had a barricade just over the start of the trail and sign that said the trail was closed. We saw a couple walked though the barricade definitely ignoring the sign. Unfortunately a female ranger came along and stopped us from walking in! So no platypus sighting again!!
Penguin Town seemed like an interesting town along the coast. It was a more touristy town as we saw more people exploring the place.
Penguin Town certainly living up to its name. There were penguins statues everywhere. The trash bins were painted with penguins and even the road side barrier poles were painted and shaped like a penguins!
This touristy town had many cafes so it was time for a coffee break! We were glad that the cake looked normal and so some penguin shaped cake.
Our stay at Parkland
The rented an airbnb apartment at Parkland. The listing boasted much about its sea view. The apartment was above the owner house which was on the ground floor. To get to our apartment involved some maneuvering around the back of the house, up a “U” shape green ramp which brought us to the upper level where our apartment was located.
Yes, there was a sea view. The sea view would have been better if we did not have to look at it over a huge expense of green roof top of the owner house.
The apartment had a kitchen a living room, bedroom, toilet with showers. What we like most was the washing and and dryer! It was time to do laundry.
The kitchen was quite complete. The stove and the oven allowed us to cook some decent meals.