Low cost camping at Westbury

Westbury itself is a pretty little village with a historic part just off the highway and some lovely old buildings such as the church and a Village Green.

Holy Trinity Church
As you probably have realized that we are fans of free camping. However there is not always a convenient free camp near some areas and then one is forced to consider other alternatives such as a regular caravan park or occasionally, a low cost camping option if that is available. 

The Village Green -  a beautiful parkland
There was a low cost campground in Westbury and it was a convenient stopping place without actually going into Launceston, where I needed to be for a day surgery proceedure. We had only intended to stay one night here. So we figured the $6 per person per night wouldn't be too bad for just the one night before we moved on. Sadly I had a major bladder infection and was not released for 4 days.
The view from my hospital bed wasn't much better!

There is not a lot I can recommend about this campground which is tucked behind Andy's Cafe. I generally don't like to criticize a place too openly on this blog. Personally I don't like the campground. It is just a paddock or large backyard which sadly the owner has let the area go to seed.

The toilet block is closed, but you can go into the shop during shop hours. The shower is a converted port a loo with the roof removed entirely, nor is there any changing area etc so all your clothes, towels and toiletries are bound to get wet too. At $6 per shower, this would have to be the most expensive shower in Tasmania!

POST SCRIPT: This campground will be closed down soon as it has been bought out and  a new IGA is going to be built on this location. Sadly we lose another low cost campground, but I am not sorry to see the end of this one!

Historical Vintage Machinery Rally

The first time we stayed at Westbury was that it was convenient to Carrick and the Vintage Rally that Rob was keen to go to there.
8 horse power tractor

tracks instead of wheels
one of first wide wheels tractors ever made

Rob was invited to attend the Historical Vintage Machinery Annual Rally to be held at Carrick. Rob took off for a day 'with the boys'.

steam type shovel

old style concrete mixer
A "Beverly Hillbilly" type truck

Of course woman are welcomed but I am one of those women that just do not understand one end of a engine from another. What we saw at the 'back' of the Penny Farthing Festival was lovely and as much of the vintage engine display as I could possibly be interested in. So I had a day to pamper myself and Rob took himself off to enjoy himself with like minded guys.

6 ton tractor ?
steam powered boat

steam powered merry go round

There's not much information I can give you since I didn't go (nor would I understand if I did, but hopefully you will enjoy the photos.

portable shearing machine
old bulldozer

unique steam tractor

Rob saw the first design of  and hammer drill. Ha ha ha

A bit of comedy: a hammer drill

They even made sure to consider the ladies with this cute pink machine.

It is very similar to the Steam Fest that was going to be held a week later.

I fell in love in Chudleigh

Chudleigh is a gem of a place. It is a cute little village and as is quite common is Tasmania, they have some great gardens, in this cases roses, lining the main street as a feature.
Whilst you are in Chudleigh you have a wonderful opportunity to discover the tastes, flavours and textures of fudge, honey, smoked salmon and more.

Silk & Roses Shop


Oh my gosh. I am not so sure that I had ever tasted fudge before, but now that I have, I can never forget my first taste. I think I like it better than chocolate and now I would love to learn how to make it. Does anyone have a really decent fudge recipe using full cream and butter? I know I can google it but would like to start with one that is known and true rather than muck around with inferior recipes. I would love to give it a go!

Other Fudge choices

There is this place called Silk Roses in Chudleigh, Tasmania, that has the most scrumptious silky smooth fudges. They give taste tests. There's an amazing range of flavours to satisfy the taste buds. I bought raspberry chocolate. It is to die for! Try some of these eg What about Rocky Road Fudge or Chai Spice? They also have a wonderful selection of quality silk items and quality vintage looking crafts. My friend bought a never-ending shawl that looks absolutely beautiful on her.

Scrumptious Raspberry Chocolate Fundge
Part of the interior of the Silk & Roses Shop


Along with our friends, Irene and Rob, we also called into the Honey Pot in Chudleigh for some honey tasting. Who knew that there could be some much variety to the flavours and that's just the natural flavours, let alone when they've added this and that to the honey such as red chilli or berries.

Melita Honey Farm Store

And if honey is not for you, there are dozens of by products and cute stuff in the store all relating to honey. What grand kid wouldn't love the bee mittens?

Cute Bee Mittens


41 Degrees South for some smoked salmon tasting. There is so much more to this place, but together with our friends, we were getting mighty tired, trying to fit so much in on one day and our friends still wanted to go to the east coast before heading back to Hobart, their base whilst in Tasmania for a week. We'll have to come back another trip and try out the cafe or take a walk around the farm.

Smoking the salmon


On our second day staying a Cheudleigh we went to the Trowunna Wildlife Park and Tasmanian Devil Research Centre. The guide introduced all of our small group to the local animals (wombat, devils, wallabies, kangaroos) and encouraged us to interact with them.

A sleepy wombat

A Spotted Quoll about to leap

We got to stroke a young devil, then he showed us feeding time for these little carnivores as 5 males split a dead possum between themselves. I loved the Devils and the work they are doing here in breading, helping rehabilitate injured animals and such but I was rather disappointed in the area over all.

A Tasmanian Devil up close and personal
It is rather small and the area is pretty rough going with very little decent pathways, so I wouldn't want to be there in wet weather. It appears to be rather run down. Many of the cages appeared to be empty. Still I was glad we went there as even though I have seen Devils in other zoo type places, never had I been about to pat one or watch them feed!

Feeding time - a whole dead possum

Chudleigh, honey, fudge, salmon and tassie devils: it is such an almost unbeatable combination.

When I got home, I experimented to find the perfect chocolate fudge recipe. You can find it here on my Inkspirational Design blog

Wilmott and the trail of letterboxes

Wilmot has a rather unusual attraction that is in its early stages and that is a trail of letterboxes (or mailboxes for my international friends). There are still some 20 or so unique letterboxes to see and hopefully many more to come.

A Dalek letterbox for Dr Who fans

These letterboxes are mostly created from recycled materials. I hope the citizens continue to get behind this novel attraction and create a sense of community as well as possibly generate income from the increased traffic through their town as people get word of this attraction.

Anyone want some milk from this cow letterbox?

As we said in the previous post on our walk around Cradle Mountain, we returned to Sheffield from Cradle Mountain this way but you can also access the road from Forth to Wilmot and drive on to Moina, where you'll see another attraction which we will leave to another day as we had run out of steam and needed to get home before we fall asleep behind the wheel. (Just a slight exaggeration!)

Ned Kelly letterbox

So make sure you slow down and notice the letterboxes.  Along side the road, you wont even have to hop out of your car! You will see all sorts of representation from Dr Who, The Beatles, various animals including a Tasmanian Tiger, metal flowers, and much more. I reckon they should have competitions every year or two!

A replica motorbike letterbox

Happy travels until the next time

Michelle & Rob

Cradle Mountain

We had a few days to choose from to attend Cradle Mountain. We had been advised to choose a warm sunny day for our walk and so when the day dawned bright and sunny, we were off to see one of the best features of Tasmania's Wilderness.
The trees frame the view of Cradle Mountian

It was just a 70km pleasant drive from Sheffield where we were camped. The drive up to Cradle Mountain National Park was worth noting. It is forested most of the way, with landscape that changed quite markedly. Thickly naturally forested trees sit side by side with plantation forests in various stages of growth. Some areas were harvested and bare of trees. I was quite surprised to see that after the ;harvesting' that the stumps and such just appear to be left or at best bulldozed and then the stumps just piled up and left sometimes it appears to have been left in that way for years. Further along you'll see moorlands and 'paddocks' of yellow green grass tussocks of button grass with large dead trees scattered over open spaces.

Part of the foliage seen on the way to the Cradle Mountain National Park

We parked at the Information Centre and shortly hopped on a free shuttle bus (The fee is covered automatically with the National Parks Pass which you have to pay for). There were many mini buses running and the queue was quickly dispensed with. We elected to go straight to the top which is to Dove Lake.

Rob on the gravel track with Cradle Mountain behind him

The Dove Lake walk is designated an easy 2 to 3 hour walk. We decided to go clockwise around the lake. This walk is designated an easy walk even though it is expected to take the average walker 2-3 hours. We knew we'd be taking our time. Rob is doing really well walking so much after the blood on the lungs he suffered with mid way through last year and the subsequent reduced lung capacity he has to live with now. He just needs to take it careful when going up slopes and stairs.

You can see Cradle Mountain from just about everywhere on the lake's circuit

With lots of warnings posted about how quickly the weather can change, we made sure we had our warm clothing, who knew how long the sun was going to last. We grabbed our camera and backpack and started walking. The walk started out easily enough on a lovely gravel tracks and later there were sections of mostly flat board walk and the climbs there were mostly wooden stairs. Although it was cool, it didn't take long to warm up in the sun and take off the coat which we wore.

Rob taking a breather, Cradle Mountain is behind him

We had a picnic lunch with us which we enjoyed part way along on this big rock over looking the lake and underneath Cradle Mountain itself.

Our lunch spot with a view of Cradle Mountain

This walk was rather harder than we thought. If this is the easy walk, then I don't think we can handle a moderate let alone the "experienced walkers” tracks.

The boat shed for across the lake

We had a longer break at the boat shed sitting on the wooden walking track which starts to go around the back of the shed though most people hop off here to take photos and/or have a breather too!

Michelle on a board walk

All in all it took us 3 and a half hours to do the Dove Lake Circuit including our lunch break and the many short stops along the way.

One of the flowering plants

We were lucky enough to see a spotted quoll though it was much too fast for us to get a photo. We dodged quite a bit of wombat poo or wallaby poo but we didn't see any of them. We considered very briefly about going to Marions Lookout but to be honest, I was totally pooped and Rob told me that the feeling was mutual. So we gave it a miss, which was just as well as it took me a day and a half to recuperate from all the energy expended. Still it was well worth it and we rewarded ourselves with a cuppa back at the cafe.

Aahh ... A good cappuccino at the end
We decided to drive home via Wilmott, where we were told there is series of unique letterboxes made from recycled materials. I will post photos of this part of the day next time.

Happy travels until the next time

Michelle & Rob

Sheffield - a town of Murals

Sheffield just 30km south from Devonport is our first stop after staying with friends near Devonport. This delightful town is known as the Town of Murals. Sheffield was inspired by Chemainus, a small Canadian town who had a success story with murals amid hopes of reviving their town in a similar manner.

The success of the Outdoor Art Gallery has been truly inspirational. There are more than 50 murals painted around town, with murals displaying various aspects including local history including one of a long serving doctor, local aboriginal and colonial history. Others depict the Tasmanian devils, turtles and other creatures. There's scenic ones including Cradle Mountains.

You'll see huge murals almost everywhere you drive in town especially on various buildings within the main street.

The first mural went on a building in 1986. Now there is an International Mural Fest competition held annually at Easter. The artists depict their interpretation of some aspect of Tasmanian life, culture and people as their inspiration point. The 9 finalist murals remain on display at a dedicated location called Mural Park, next to the Information Centre for approximately 12 months until the next competition. I am not sure what happens to the murals or exactly who the owners are. I also noted there is some sort of fundraising but I neglected to find out more about these two points. If you know, I'd love to know so please let me know via the comments at the end of this post.

The quality are nothing short of brilliant. One good thing about it being an annual mural competition is that you won't end up with a town full of fading murals, and each time you visit, you are likely to see murals you didn't see before.

Rob & I enjoyed the leisurely stroll through the town as we took many photos of the murals. We also popped into a few of the other stores too and the motel where there were even more murals. I was particularly taken with the marble store and the marvelous mosaic marbles out the front and playing with marbles inside the shop.

As with Doo Town and other such towns, there is also not just a monetary benefit from being a tourist attraction, but there is a noticeable civic pride in the town the locals band together to create something unique.

 These last two are for our grandchildren.
Opa is trying to catch the goose and then shook hands with Old MacDonald!

Well done citizens of Sheffield.
You've shown that art does pay in more ways than one!

Happy travels until the next time

Michelle & Rob