Saturday 8 February 2014

Tasmania Trip - Day 15

Day 15 - 8/2/2014 - Cradle Mountain to Stanley

We checked out right on 10am.  The first stop of the day was at Bernie for a quick shop for everything that we couldn’t restock on at the Sheffield IGA.  It is amazing how few and far between the Coles and Woolies stores are.

Bernie also reminded us of bit of Bargara, with the rocks at the beach.  
The Bernie foreshore
In front of the Bernie Surf Club
After the shop, it was on the road to Stanley.

Approaching Stanley and "The Nut"
After setting up camp at Stanley and having lunch, we did a bit of a drive around town to have a look at all of the old buildings.  
The Stanley van park with the "The Nut" chairlift in the distance

The Stanley main street

We were also on the way to the chair lift station to take us to the top of “The Nut”  “The Nut” is Stanleys prominent landmark.  It does have a walk to the top but it was pretty steep so we decided to take the lazy way.

"The Nut" chairlift
Going up - Beats walking!
Because our legs just weren’t quite sore enough from the walk to Marions Lookout the day before, we decided to do the 2km circuit around the top of “The Nut”.

Panoramic view from the first lookout - click the image for a larger view
The van park from "The Nut" - We are just beside the patrol with the roof top tent
A really big bee!
Sea mist coming off the ocean.
Walking track on top
Going down
After the walk we did the short tourist drive around the outer limits of the town.

Highfield house

Due to it being such a short driving day and finishing all of the touristy things relatively early, we decided to cook up a roast chicken in the Weber.  It was lucky that we started cooking fairly early as it took a bit longer than normal to cook because the wind started to blow up.  It looked like we were going to be in for a windy night.

After dinner and cleaning up, we headed off to see if we could find any penguins.  The info center told us there are generally two good areas, one at the far end of the surf beach or beside the cemetery.  We thought we would try the one at the end of the beach first!  After waiting until about 10:30pm we went for a walk along the beach spotlighting the dune area.  We managed to find our first couple of penguins!  They were very shy and I only managed to get this photo before they disappeared into the vegetation.

After another 15 minutes or so we couldn’t find any more penguins on the beach so we decided to head to the cemetery to see if there were any more there.  While on the beach we had noticed a couple of other torches moving about in that general direction.

When we arrived and followed the path past the cemetery, we found a heap more penguins scrambling up the side of the embankment.  On the way in I shone the torch on the little one below and just at moment it must have startled him because his little flippers started flapping maddly just as he tumbled backwards over the bank that he had just scrambled up!!  Luckily it was a grassy bank so he had a soft landing.  Poor little thing.  As we were leaving we saw that he had made it back up the bank and he was a bit more stable on his feet, so I was able to get a photo of him this time.

It was so good to see the penguins without crowds of people and having to join a tour.  It was just us and the penguins, the best way to see nature!

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