Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Tasmanian Devils (2010)

Return to Sydney

For the third and last time, we packed our things into the car in preparation for taking our leave of our latest cottage accommodation. Breakfast was again fairly basic but, following Bruce's lead from the previous day, we popped over to the supermarket to buy coffees for the road. It wasn't a case of some boring drive to the airport, however - far from it, literally! We had quite a distance to cover and it promised to be one of the most scenic drives so far. Rather than back-track the somewhat tedious road to Queenstown, I decided to begin by driving down to the bay-front area and continuing on the minor road to Zeehan. Despite being designated a 'B' road, it was a fast and easy drive - so far, so good. We then picked up the main A10 for a relatively short stretch through Rosebery, before successfully finding the crucial right turn onto the Cradle Mountain Road.

We made a short stop at a windswept viewpoint near the summit before continuing on a series of scenic 'C' roads. It was a most unlikely route to an airport and at times it was tempting to believe that we must have gone horribly wrong, but the map gave us confidence and, in due course, we emerged onto the main A1 Bass Highway from Devonport to Launceston. We had, in fact, taken the most direct route available and in so doing, enjoyed the bonus of seeing some spectacular countryside. Encouraged by a timely arrival in Launceston, we drove down once more to the Cataract Gorge district to find a suitable restaurant for our last Tasmanian lunch. 

Although the restaurant proved to be remarkably quiet, especially in comparison to the Stillwater Cafe diagonally across the street, the food was very good and just right for the time of day. Once lunch was over, there was nothing else for it but to fill up the car and head back to Launceston's little airport. The official paperwork showed that we travelled 1,403km in the car over the six-day rental period, which seemed quite respectable. We checked in for our flight to Sydney, again using machines initially to keep control of the seating arrangements, and then depositing our bags at the appropriate desk. There being no question of any lounge access, we just sat in the concourse area until time for boarding - oh, the indignity!

(Link to flight log in side panel)

Once back in Sydney, we took a cab to the familiar territory of the Westin. The weather was poor, as forecast, and we resolved not to go out again - there was no need to, after all. After a chance to freshen up, we had cocktails and canapés in the Executive Lounge. Our first choice of the hotel's steakhouse restaurant was closed (it was Sunday!), but the main hotel restaurant proved to be a more than adequate substitute and we had a very nice dinner for our last night in Australia. As well as reflecting on the high points of our Tasmanian adventure, we also spent some time talking about the year ahead and what it might bring by way of travels!