Day 44 – Swansea To Port Arthur (156 km)

Today was a great day. Lovely scenery, interesting history, great roads, and great weather.

Diesel had suggested I pay a visit to Ross – it’s about 75 km to the west of Swansea, but out of the way. I’d wanted to run down the coast for the scenery. I spoke to a couple in the camp kitchen who said do Ross and don’t bother with the coastline (cos it’s the same as I’ve already seen). Then my tent neighbor said do the coastline – “you shouldn’t miss it”. So, I did both which meant a backtrack on the same road but it’ll be a long time before I’m back.

Traffic was heavy – the north of Tassie had a long weekend… I’m not sure where the border is so I’m still a little confused. This w/e meant that there were lots of northerners in the south – today they were driving back. It was manageable though.

I’m glad I followed Diesel’s advice – Ross is a gem. My stomach took charge (as it usually does) had headed to the bakery for brunch… coffee and a scallop pie. Yes – it’s lightly curried and quite yummy. Try one if you’re in the area.

Ross isn’t very big at all, but almost all buildings are heritage.

They also have a “Female Factory”, which is a former workhouse for convicts in the mid-1800s. Along with this was, as usual, good info to provide the background.

OK, a quick run back to Swansea… I thought I’d detour to Lake Leake, but as soon as I saw gravel I thought “nuh” and kept going.

The cruise down the coast to Orford wasn’t a great distance (only about 60 km) but could have taken 5 hours – if I’d stopped for every possible photo op. Just a magic coastline.

Every now and again you encounter another town/community.

I mistakenly went a bit inland before I took the road to Port Arthur, but it did give me another view. I have noticed that the southern part of Tassie seems to have been suffering from a lack of rain – the landscape certainly has that “dry brown” tinge.

In Boomer Bay I spotted this building:

Google doesn’t name anything in particular here, so I can only assume it’s a house!

The road then goes through a small town called “Eaglehawk Neck” which is essentially the gateway to the Tasman Peninsula. It also has its own amazing coastline.

Tomorrow I head to the Port Arthur historical site for a tour, then on to Hobart for a few days.