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On our way to the Spirit of Tasmania

Posted on 15 Jan 2024 | 6 comments

After spending a month at home in Esk, we found ourselves on the road again, this time with Lara. On the 13th of January we were due at the ferry terminal of the Spirit of Tasmania in Geelong (near Melbourne) for our crossing to Tasmania. Once on the road we tried to visit some of our friends on the way down, but missed quite a few as they were on holidays themselves. In Sydney we caught up with Tony and Colleen, a couple of adventurous hiking souls we met in Japan. We then spent the night in the Blue Mountains with Annemiek and Tjarco. We had heard their names many times from mutual friends, but we only met them for the first time at the Woodford Festival a few days earlier. They recommended a lovely walk in Glenbrook Gorge, rock-hopping along a creek where we had our first skinny-dip in the new year.

Colleen and Tony in Sydney

we enjoyed a refreshing swim in Glenbrook Gorge

In Canberra we had a delicious dinner and played Dominion and Wingspan with Mark and Ella, but unfortunately they won all the games so we won’t play with them again. We also managed to visit Burger and Sally in Sale, Jo in Warragul, Ken in the Dandenongs and Tubby in Clifton Springs. From Jo’s place we drove to the bottom of Mt Erica and had a lovely day hike to the top, but unfortunately there were no views at the top. And we even managed to squeeze in a day of mountainbiking in the You Yangs. It’s a stunning area, great for riding half a day and we loved having the shower in Lara for rinsing off afterwards.

Jon getting his nails painted green by Lily

so good to finally meet Sally and the kids Lily and Sam

Jo cooking up a storm, with Jon assisting

Jude on top of Mt Erica

Jude, Ken and Jon in the Dandenongs

Tubby and Jude on the beach near Clifton Springs

another handy feature from Lara – the built-in air compressor

Jude riding in the You Yangs

Lara’s shower setup has been great

The upside of people not being at home was that we could join them on their holiday. Simon was on a trip to Hobart Beach and Mallacoota with the Sydney River Canoe Club. We decided it would be great to catch up for a few days (instead of the usual dinner in the evening) and we drove down to Hobart Beach. Jacqui and Lizzy had unfortunately already gone back to Sydney, but we met fellow paddlers Celeste, Natalie and Muz instead.

group shot – Jon, Muz, Natalie, Celeste, Jude and Simon

Simon and Jon at the Green Cape Lighthouse

our first paddle in the double on the Pambula River, Celeste and Natalie are in the other boats

our camp setup in Mallacoota

enjoying a lunch break with Simon on the beach on the Top Lake in the Mallacoota area

In the four days we spent together we went on several paddles in the double kayak Simon had brought down. It was great to be on the water and explore a new area for us. On our last day Muz and Natalie wanted to use the double, so we used their single kayaks instead. This last paddle was a longer, interstate trip starting at Gypsy Point (near Mallacoota) and turning around at the Victoria – NSW border, about 25km return.

start of the paddle from Gypsy Point to the border of Vic – NSW

Jude in the single kayak

Jude, Jon and Simon on the way to the border

For a minute it looked like we weren’t going to make it into NSW as there were rapids right on the border, but we parked the kayaks on a teeny, tiny beach next to the rapids and walked up. Simon was the only one who really paddled into NSW as he was in a plastic sea kayak and could travel upstream over the rocks. With wind and current now no longer against us we made it back in record time.

Mallacoota is a lovely little town. Jude was happy as a lyrebird had taken up residence in the open area behind Lara so she was able to have a good look and take some pictures. Mallacoota also had a great little pop-up beer garden with a few food trucks. We hoped the weather would hold as we sat down on Celeste’s picnic rug on our last night. She had even brought a little table. We tried the craft beers on tap and had our last dinner together right there. It was a perfect little holiday on our way to Tasmania, and apart from some rain on the last morning whilst packing up, we were very lucky with the paddling conditions and the weather. It was great to make some new friends as well as catch up for several days with an old one (thanks Simon for having us and for the use of the double!).

superb lyrebird hanging out behind the Mallacoota campground

Celeste and Jude enjoying a beer in the popup beer garden in Mallacoota

all admiring the cute Mini Moke parked in front of the popup beer garden

We made it on time to the ferry and spent 11 horrible hours on a calm Bass Straight. It seemed the Spirit of Tasmania’s idea of entertaining people is to have all TVs in the lounge set to different channels with sound on and keeping the temperature at a frigid 12 degrees inside. We were super happy when we arrived in Devonport, keen to start our Tasmanian adventure.

Lara waiting to drive onto the Spirit of Tasmania

en route, can’t wait to get to Tasmania


  1. You found my lyrebird! No fair, Jude!!!!!!!!!

    • sorry you weren’t there Robyn! I can tell you where he was, he seemed to be a resident!

  2. Sounds like you were on the road for a full year! 😉

    • hahahahaha, it was only 2 weeks! but yeah, we managed to do a lot!

  3. Leuke en sfeervolle beelden! Een goede en zorgeloze reis toegewenst!

    • dank jullie wel! veel plezier in BoZ morgen!

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