Illywhacker - Tasmania by Road


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Tasmania and Phillip Island
Author Peter Aston
Date February-2004
Map Ref Tasmania

- Illywhacker is cyclone-proofed in Townsville and we head south to escape the humid tropics for the hottest 3 months of December, January and February.

- Cruising friends on Phillip Island in Victoria and in Tasmania kindly invite us to visit their corner of the world.


A little corner of England? No, this is Newhaven marina on Phillip Island. We gave a talk on our travels to an enthusiastic audience here.

A Holiday Away from illywhacker?

Living aboard is surely the way to go and 12 months a year would suit us fine but families and friends need close-up and personal attention so compromises have to be made and the boat tucked away for a short while as we visit more southern climes. Townsville does get hot in Summer and therefore the best time to leave is December to March. Cyclones are a possibility at this time so preparations for possible wild weather must be made. Read how we do this here .

A Latitude Change - Townsville at 10S to Phillip Island at 39S

Arriving from Townsville we experienced a warm welcome and cool temperatures. Phillip Island does have its hot days but the predominant view looking south across a wild and windy Bass Strait to Tasmania from the village of Newhaven gives an ever present feeling that the Antarctic is not much further south. The landscape of Phillip Island is windswept and grassy with low rolling hills while the rugged coastline is dotted with the famous fairy penguin rookeries and seal colonies to reinforce this feeling. It has a wonderful raw and empty aspect to it that sailors love.

Our cruising buddies we met in Townsville, Tim Patkin and the late Sandy Shively on "Freebooter" kindly put us up in their home overlooking the coast and drove us around to the many vantage sites of their much-loved island.

Seal Rocks boardwalk at Phillip Island Coastline at Nobbies Point, Phillip Isalnd

Tasmania - 43S

As the Australian east coast becomes more crowded with cruising yachts, a cruise to Tasmania looks increasingly attractive. A few of our yachtie frends have sailed south to Tasmania and loved it so much they stayed. Some have tied up at the incredibly cheap Constitution Dock in the center of Hobart while others have found the peaceful anchorage of Kettering to their liking - so much so that several have bought a house!

We stayed with our long term friends from Pittwater, Carol and Jim Tayton who moved down there with their 40' Jeanneau and also caught up with John and De Degan, owners of the beautiful and well-travelled timber yacht "Sotalia". A few days in a cliffside house at Falmouth on the NE coast was one of the highlights of 2 relaxing and entertaining weeks thanks to many kind people.

Tasmania is indeed a beautiful and spectacular place - rugged coastlines, a mountainous and heavily wooded interior and home to many native animals rarely seen on the mainland. Our reduced web photos show little of the true grandeur of Tassie, but perhaps they will whet your appetite to visit some day.
For some fantastic examples of Tasmanian wilderness photography try this site by Australian Nature photographer, Geoff Murray.

Protected harbour at Kettering, SW Tasmania If living ashore is necessary then John and Victoria Bishop's house on the Huon River is the next best option to a good cruising yacht

View from our house at Falmouth NE Tasmania - endless beach walks from here to clear the soul

Idyllic countryside in inland Tasmania
Old country pub at Branxholme reflects early history Waterfall at St Columba Falls

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email: peter
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