To The Edge of the World (and Back)

20th June, Stanley, Marrawah, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia

Manda writes:

'Edge of the World' is the name the locals have given Gardiner Point at Arthur River. The reason being that from here, the ocean extends all the way to Argentina. As we drove into this sleepy town, the wind picked up and we could hear Ethel whistling (the old dear has a tendency to whistle in the wind - maybe we should apply some new sealant around the windows soon).

As we left Ethel to walk along the sand track to the Edge of the World, the wind picked up even more and gave us a helping push down to the lookout. The ocean looked like a blanket of melted ice cream - all frothy. Every now and then bits of this froth broke free from the mass and blew inland like clusters of bubble bath. We thought that a spillage of some sort might have taken place as it didn't look natural. We were told later on by a local that, despite appearances, all of this is natural during this time of year.

Frothy water - the foamy surface was a few feet deep in places.

Re-assured that the frothing was a natural phenomenon, we headed towards a small place called Wynyard. We took Ethel up to Table Cape. As we drove up, we could see a patchwork of farmlands to either side of us. Cattle were grazing and occasionally looked up at us in an indifferent way as we passed. The lookout was nice and we could see all the way across to Burnie. We were surprised when we looked down to see just how high up the lookout is. The journey to this point didn't seem too steep (in Ethel, you normally notice steep hills) - we must have climbed the hill gradually. We stopped off briefly at the lighthouse before heading off again.

Table Cape Lighthouse (and Ethel).

Burnie was our next destination - a brief stop for some lunch. It may be the fourth largest town in Tasmania but like most other Tassie towns, Burnie is a sleepy town on a Sunday with few shops open.

We headed to Penguin, a small pretty seaside town where local businesses have embraced its name in some shape or form. We spotted a Penguin Newsagents, Penguin Hardware Shop, Penguin Corner Shop, Penguin Mini-mart etc. By the seafront, there is a large penguin statue, accompanied by penguin-adorned litter bins along the main street. Everything screams 'penguin'. We get the point!

Giant penguin, in Penguin!

Apparently, you can spot real penguins here too but it was raining and so we decided not to stop. Instead, we continued to Ulverstone for the night. It's been a long day and we have worked our way from the North-west to the North, closer to Devonport where our journey in Tasmania will shortly end as we make the trip across the Bass Strait to Melbourne. But we're not quite done with Tassie yet ...