Had a good night’s sleep for the first night. The van bed was nice and cosy and not cold at all.  I woke up at some stage through the night because the wind was very strong and was rocking the van. Mick slept soundly so I figured we must have been more stable than I thought.  Got up and had breakfast about 6:00am. Had a lovely hot shower in the ensuite, complete with heat lamps in the ceiling. Very luxurious!! Watched the sun come up at about 7:30am.  We headed out of the chalets right on 9:00 and headed west.

The first town after the chalets was Gretna. This is a tiny little town. There was a nice little camp/picnic area with BBQ’s and toilets. It would make a lovely overnight stop.

A little further on we came to the town of Hamilton. This is a historic town with a heritage walking trail around the town. (We did not do this as we wanted to finish in Strahan tonight.) Just out of Hamilton was another good spot to camp with toilets and BBQ’s and a large area to park.  Onward to Ouse which was a dot of a town!!

Further west and the next stop was Tarraleah. This is the Hydro-Electric power station. The water comes from all over the western highlands and is funnelled through lots of pipes and generates power for Tasmania and also sends power into the mainland grid via “Basslink”, a cable under Bass Strait to the mainland.  According to the info boards, every cup of water has run through 8 power stations generating power before it is drinking water. A busy cuppa!!!  We stopped at the Tarraleah lookout and then headed down the hill to the power station. There was a really nice picnic/camp area. It had a large BBQ shed with an open fireplace and toilets, overlooking the river. We saw a 4WD and Caravan with Qld plates so, of course, we had to talk to them. They we a nice couple from Durack. We caught up with them a couple of times throughout the day. 

The next stop was the town of Derwent Bridge and the Lake St Clair Forestry Centre. Here we were able to buy our holiday park pass. ($50 for 2 months) The forestry centre was quite interesting with a lot of information on the work Tasparks does and information on the Lake itself.  Lake St Clair is the deepest lake in Australia with a max depth of 167m.  We stopped for lunch and a cuppa in the van, complete with a VERY friendly crow, who was not at all shy, coming into the van to ask for food, before heading further west towards Queenstown.

This stretch was the first of our “wilderness” drives. Quite windy and hilly but nothing too drastic until about 10 before Queenstown. Oh boy!! What a road!!!  VERY steep and windy. (We could do no more than 20kph most of the way) Queenstown is a mining town, the main street had monuments to various mining pursuits. We filled the van with fuel and kept on to Strahan. The road from Queenstown to Strahan was a good road and we made the 41km journey in about 45 minutes.

We arrived in Strahan at about 4:30pm and headed to the Esplanade to book our Gordon River cruise for the next day before heading to the Strahan Caravan and Tourist Park and booking a powered site for $20.  Today was our one “big” driving day, we now have much less driving each day, but much more to see and do.

PS: Worked out on day 3 that you should NOT travel clockwise around Tasmania…If you travel counter-clockwise, you would only go UP the horrible Queenstown road, not DOWN it.

Temps Lake St Clair 1:30pm 9ºc

            Strahan 5:40pm  11ºc

Weather: Overcast with a few drizzles. Light rain through the rainforest section on the drive. Rain as we approached Queenstown. No much wind today.

Travel  Heimat to Derwent Bridge 87km

            Derwent Bridge to Queenstown 114km

            Queenstown to Strahan  41km