630am and I woke up and prepared. Wore a heat tec, a shirt, a fleece jacket and a down jacket to defend against the cold. Drove out to the parking lot and started walking on the same track. A few minutes and I saw two pademelon grazing. They really were active at dawn. As I fast march towards my objective, I heard footsteps behind me and saw one of the hotel staff jogged past.
As I went along, I started stripping and soon was left only with my tee and my heat tec as it was getting hot. Not long, I arrived at the bridge where two streams of water meet – Watersmeet. On the bridge, met the staff again who was on his return journey, and he was also down to his tee only. He recommended completing the circuit for the different vegetation but I was more interested in finding the platypus.
Another 15mins and I arrived at the bay, after passing some signs with info on platypus. The little beach didn’t indicate that it was platypus bay and I continued to climb until I reached a junction and the signboard pointing the reverse direction. Went back to that beach front and sat there and wait. Wait. Wait. Ate Tim Tam. Wait. Went back. I tried taking the lakeshore route back from the Fregy’s paddock but saw nothing.
Went back to the cabin and slept in for a bit before showering and checking out. Took our breakfast at the lodge restaurant. Regarding the cruise, we found that the entire trip could take more than 3hrs and we didn’t have enough time since it was a long way back north to Launceston.
Since there was some time to spare, we decided to go to a town called Penguin, as my wife really loved penguins. It was about an hour away from Launceston. Drove on the highway and passed through the town of Deloraine and bypassed huge Devonport before arriving at the seaside little town of Penguin. There was a tall statue of a penguin in the park which we took a photo of and then we had lunch before leaving.
Before going to our accommodation, we drove to Cataract Gorge nature reserve to visit the park. Paid for an hour and a half parking (1aud) and bought return tickets for 15aud per person for the chairlift. We were informed that the operation of the chairlift would end at 430pm and that in order not to missed it, 415pm would be the last time for embarkation. If we missed it, it was also a simple 15mins walk back to the carpark.
Taking the chairlift was a scary experience, pretty different from the cable cars that we were used to as there weren’t any enclosures. Even the drop bar that was placed over our laps weren’t secured. But it wasn’t particularly windy and therefore was ok.
Short while later, we were at the other end, having seen the overall park and the bridge across the gorge from a birds eye view. There were many peacocks hanging around the park which was easy walking and a few other longer walks to other place like a museum 20mins away but we didn’t want to do that. There was a few lookout points that were easy to do but weren’t particularly spectacular. Going around took some time and we did missed the return trip back on the chairlift. We took the bridge back to the carpark.
Drove 5mins to Fiona’s B&B and as usual, picked up our keys left on the outside of reception. Ours was a loft that was above the reception and the breakfast area. There was a flight of steps that I had struggled to bring up the luggage. The interesting thing about the room was that there was the window on the ceiling for stargazing (but the cloudy skies) and the nice view of the city from this height. There was free wifi too.
Lazed in the room and connected to the internet world for a while before going for dinner. Chose Indian cuisine for dinner as it was close to the accommodation and also recommended in Tripadvisor.
Turning out onto the main George Street, we entered the Pickled Evenings and was given a seat at a sewing machine table. Ordered mixed vegetables and lamb curry. The portion was quite a bit, we had ordered two bowls of rice when one bowl was more than enough for both of us. The meal did come with a cost though, 75aud in all.
As we walked back, a small drizzle was coming on and luckily, it wasn’t far for us. Arrived in the room a little damp but the room cold insulation made it comfy. It was the usual packing and showering and lazing before we all fell asleep.