APT Royal Tasman Tour
October, 2006

Launceston to Home

14th October, 2006

Saturday 14th October, 2006

Drop Cap fter a more leisurely start to the day, and breakfast, we finished packing and brought the bags down to the desk. We gave back the key and checked out, then left the suitcases with Reception, had a last farewell with some of the tour members awaiting their transfers, and joined our cab for the cruise terminal.

Tamar photograph

Windmill at the Pennyroyal Complex, Launceston

Drop Cap e picked up our tickets, (we got discounts for Seniors Card!) and waited until called for our 10:00 cruise on the "Tamar Odyssey". It holds 60, it says, and there were only 13 of us. So it was very comfortable, the skipper was garrulous and cheerful, full of anecdote and historical commentary. We headed up the river (one of the Esks) passing the windmill of the Pennyroyal complex, and into Cataract Gorge, which was quite spectacular, but we could not go past the first waterfall so came back under the cast iron King's Bridge to head down the Tamar towards the sea 70 kms away.

Cataract gorge photograph

Cataract Gorge, Launceston

Drop Cap aunceston sits on the Tamar's tidal estuary and has lots of trouble with silting and also with flooding. They have built massive "training walls" to persuade flood water to head downstream, and levees in case it has a mind of its own. The strange thing is that recently upmarket townhouses and an aparthotel with marinas and restaurants has been built on reclaimed land on the river side of the levee. Not my choice, picturesque though it may be.

Colonial house Tamar photograph

Colonial Homestead on the Tamar River

Drop Cap nyway, we headed downriver and it was very pleasant as we drifted past historic suburbs with lovely Federation houses, old pubs and churches. We saw several sea eagles, and a swamp hawk as well as the more usual swans (I won a glass of bubbly by correctly guessing the collective noun for a group of swans - a bevy) pelicans, gulls and cormorants.
We went as far as the cantilevered Batman Bridge, went through and then turned for home.
It was surprisingly rough, but no problems. The weather changed on the way back and got very windy with a little rain.

Batman Bridge photograph

Cantilevered Batman Bridge, Launceston

Tamar Wharf photograph

After the Cruise

Drop Cap e had morning tea, a wine tasting, lunch of wraps and filled baguettes etc and a lovely platter of Tasmanian cheeses and fruit. All included. It was a pleasant four hours, then we came back and waited for our shuttle in the hotel foyer.

Drop Cap he shuttle came in ten minutes early, the same driver as picked us up on day one, took us easily to the airport and carried one of the bags through to introduce us to the booking clerk, no lines, no crowds, easy.

The Jetstar flight was reasonably comfortable, although full and I would not want the seat in front reclined, there was not much pitch room. When we arrived in Sydney it was very hot, apparently there was a total fire ban and very high temperatures. Our Anchor minibus was not there but came ten minutes late, fuming at the lack of parking. He said he had driven round the airport three times and then had to park miles away (not literally). But still, he was there and we arrived home earlier than Geoff expected (he was eating dinner).

Home again.

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