Launceston to Davenport Ferry Dock

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Packed and away by 9.00am, had breakfast on the road.  As we had time to kill before boarding The Spirit of Tasmania at 7.00pm, we decided to go to Launceston.  We hadn't even looked in the guide books so the city and it's charms came as a wonderful surprise.  Naturally, the first things to catch Tony's eye were the Marina and Yacht Club
Tamar Marina

Tamar Yacht Club

 Investigating what could be over the bridges brought us to to the Cataract Gorge formed where the South Esk River met a fault in a volcanic ridge

King's Bridge

From Kings Bridge it's a pleasant walk to the suspension bridge.  Once over, the climb out of the gorge became a steep zig zag bushwalk with flights of steps in some places.  The  path built by volunteers brought us back to where we started.   Nature all around and on the edge of the CBD
Looking Back

Looking Ahead - That's the pathway high up on the North side of the Gorge

 

Looking Across to First Basin

Over the elegant Edwardian Alexandra Bridge built in 1904

Edward had a whole era named for him, Alexandra got this bridge and a very fine fountain in Bendigo

 Along, across. up and around to the First Basin pool and the longest single span chairlift in the world

As of March 2019 there will be a new nature inspired play space with plants, boulders, logs, swings a tunnel slide, water play and giant mouse wheel
But I rather like the old backyard swing set

 

Looking down on Kings Bridge and the Tamar

Penny Royal

 

Corn Mill

The Penny Royal Story 

These pretty buildings were once a pile of reclaimed convict bricks in a field far away.  They were brought here with the intention of building a tourist attraction at the entrance to the gorge.  They named it Penny Royal for the creek in Van Diemans land where the bricks were used to build the original settlers farmhouse and corn mill.  For a couple of decades Penny Royal flourished but visitors got more sophisticated and these buildings were also abandoned.  They are now part of the Leisure Inn Penny Royal Hotel and Apartments  

The historic corn mill is sadly now a public loo, although a rather posh self cleaning  'EXELOO' 

Post Office and Clock Tower

Launceston has a remarkable number of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian buildings but we had spent all our time in their urban wilderness and had to be on our way
Spirit of Tasmania arrives right on time, sailing past her welcoming committee and berthed by 7.00pm

They offloaded a full compliment of cars and passengers and had us all stowed safely aboard and on our way at exactly 9.00pm.  Very slick and very impressive

 

Ten days and 2000 Km and we wouldn't have wanted to miss a single minute of it

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