QVMAG at Royal Park

History and Heritage in Northern Tasmania – Part One!

Tasmania has a rich history, a wealth of stories to tell, from the native Australian Aboriginals to the colonial settlers, mariners, convicts and bush rangers. We would like to highlight several significant places that may be of interest, located close to Beauty Point Tourist Park during your stay in Northern Tasmania, Australia.

“Perhaps the virtue of coming from a place like Tasmania is that you had the great gift of knowing that you were not the centre of things, yet life was no less where you were” – Richard Flanagan

Low Head Pilot Station

Low Head Pilot Station

Low Head Pilot Station
Credit: Tourism Tasmania and Peter Cox

399 Low Head Road, Low Head, Tasmania.

Who cannot resist a grand old light house? Standing majestically tall in her mysterious way with stories and sights locked away.

Dating back to 1805, the Low Head Conservation Area makes it the oldest Signal and Pilot Station in Australia!

Enjoy the fresh ocean air as you walk around the renovated cottages, lighthouse and surrounding area over looking the Bass Strait before you have a bite to eat and drink in the Coxwain’s Cottage Cafe. On site is also a Maritime Museum (entry fees apply, click on the link below to find out more), a worthy visit for all ages. The restored fog horn is also very popular with visitors and is only one of two operating left in Australia. It is sounded at 12 noon every Sunday.

Situated on the East Tamar Highway, on the Eastern Side of the Tamar River, adjacent to pilot Bay. Approximately 45 minutes drive from Beauty Point Tourist Park and approximately 40 minutes drive from Launceston.

For more information: http://lowheadpilotstation.com

 

Mt Direction Historical Site

Semaphore Station

From Beauty Point, 28 min (31.4 km) via W Tamar Hwy/A7 and Batman Hwy/B73
25km North of Launceston.
Free entry and easy access.

The Mt Direction Semaphore Station was one of several stations set up in the mid 19th Century in the Tamar Valley. One of the earliest in Australia; an example of the British military communication systems of that time, used for maritime and Government purposes. This particular one was central for communication between the stations situated between Launceston to Low Head.

Mt Direction is the only one in the area that was not demolished or built over, leaving several parts in place, such as the old residence.

A touch of history: “By the time the technology entered colonial Australia, the average speed of transmission was about 2 words per minute. Of course the system was limited by bad weather and could not be used at night, despite attempts to do so by putting lamps on the arms.” – Parks and Wildlife Services Tasmania website (link below).

For more information: http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=19158

 

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (Royal Park location).

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery

Credit: Tourism Tasmania and Sean Fennessy

2 Wellington Street, Launceston.
The closest public parking is at Paterson Street West car park.

The first thing worth mentioning to any unfamiliar visitors to the area is that the Queen Victoria  Museum and Art Gallery has two sites, this one at ‘Royal Park’ and another not too far away in Invermay, Launceston. Both are quite unique, so worth visiting both if you have time!

QVMAG holds a wealth of information, sharing the Tasmanian natural and cultural history currently recorded. We would like to highlight  the permanent exhibition on the local Australian Aboriginal History – ‘The First Tasmanian’s: Our Story’. This new addition is very much welcomed as many visitors (and locals) have highlighted over the years the lack of recognition and information regarding the indigenous custodians of the land in such a format that is easily accessed and made publicly available. ‘The First Tasmanian’s: Our Story’ exhibition is a continuing narrative addressing the 40,000 history like never before, including the rich ecological history as well.

For more information: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/qvmag/index.php?c=400 or Phone: 03 6323 3777. Opening hours and special events can also be accessed on the link above.

 

 

 

 

 

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Caravanning Safety Tips for travelling in Tasmania

Tasmania’s beauty is unsurpassed, and one of the best ways to enjoy all of Tasmania is with a road trip. For many tourists, towing a caravan from destination to destination is the ultimate way to enjoy their long holiday. To keep you safe when caravanning across Tasmania, we have compiled this list of suggestions and safety tips.

Not all popular destinations are caravan friendly

There’s plenty to see in Tasmania, and some of Tasmania’s wonderful tourist destinations are situated well away from the major highways. For some destinations you will be required to drive along very narrow unsealed bendy roads that may only be suitable for a 4WD. These roads also tend to be one car width wide.

When planning your caravanning road trip, a wise suggestion would be to stop at a Service Tasmania shop to get advice for caravanning in the region. Service Tasmania also provide excellent maps and resources for sale at their shops as well as tourism information that will ensure you are safe and satisfied when touring.

Liffey Falls, Tasmania

Liffey Falls – Not a caravan friendly destination


An example of a destination not suitable for caravans is Liffey Falls in the north of Tasmania. The main access road to this popular tourist destination is only suitable for smaller vehicles, and an alternate route has been made accessible for larger vehicles such as RV’s and buses. If ever in doubt if the road is suitable, simply do not take the risk. Seek advice, and stay safe.

Tasmanian roads bend a lot

Windy roads in Tasmania

Windy roads in Tasmania

Tasmania doesn’t have a lot of straight roads. There are times you will drive around Tasmania and ask yourself why there is even a bend in the road at all! Roads that meander around small hills and mountains are common in Tasmania. When driving along our roads with a caravan, be sure to understand that a bend in the road will come sooner rather than later and drive accordingly. Use a GPS when driving to check for any upcoming bends in the roads.

Safety Check List

Before embarking on your caravanning holiday perform the following checks to ensure you’re safely prepared for your journey:

Vehicle Basics

  • Your Vehicle
    Check oil, water, brake fluid, the battery, and all other vehicle safety checks. Refer to your Vehicle’s User Manual for a full description of what particular safety checks you need to undertake.
  • Tyres
    Also inspect all tyres carefully and remember, when towing heavily loaded trailers your vehicle’s tyre pressures should be increased to the level recommended in the owners handbook or on the tyre placard. If in doubt, contact your local tyre dealer.
  • Wheel Nuts
    Check that your vehicle and trailer wheel nuts have been tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Hitching your Caravan

  • Couplings
    Ensure the coupling socket and ball match in size. Ensure that the coupling is correctly and securely fastened.
  • Safety Chains
    Check that the safety chains are correctly connected.
  • Lights & Indicators
    Check to ensure that the trailer brake and light connections are secure and that all lights work.
  • Plates & Registration
    Check that the towing lights, number plates and registration labels of your caravan are clearly visible.
  • Reversing Catch
    Disengage any reversing catch fitted to the trailer coupling (as used with over-run brakes).

Testing your Caravan

  • Test the brakes
    Make one or two test stops to check that the brakes are working properly.
  • Secure and balance your load
    Ensure your load is properly secured. Also, limit the amount of load in the boot of the tow vehicle. Check that the refrigerator door is closed securely.
  • Mirror Check
    Make sure the rear vision mirrors on the tow vehicle are properly adjusted.
  • Gas Cylinders
    Ensure the gas cylinders on your caravan are properly secured, and are turned off fully.
  • Awning
    Check that the roll out awning is stored away and locked in the travel position
  • Jockey Wheel
    Remove the jockey wheel from it’s clamp and store it in the boot of the car or RV, or if it is of the swivel mount variety, lock it in the travelling position.
  • Stabilisers
    Check that the front and rear corner stabilisers are in the up position.
  • Trailer Handbrake
    Ensure that the handbrake of the trailer has been correctly released.
  • Windows and roof hatches
    Check the roof hatches, windows and stone shields are secure.
  • Water & Electrical Cords
    Check that water, sullage and electrical cords have been disconnected and stored away.
  • TV Antenna
    Check that the TV antenna is in the travel position
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Why camping in Tasmania should be high on your TO DO list this summer

Summer is a sensational time to be out and about. This year hundreds and thousands of people will travel across Australia, leaving behind the stresses of work. They will escape to a new destination, carving out life long memories they will treasure. So, out of all the places in Australia that can be visited, why should Tasmania be high on your list? Here are 5 reasons we think you will love Tasmania!

1. Where else in Australia can you cruise the seas?

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Tasmania Cruises.
Credit: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman

And by cruise, we literally mean getting on a cruise ship!  That’s right.  The Spirit of Tasmania I and II sail from Devonport, Tasmania and Melbourne Victoria daily with an enjoyable 9 hour cruise the entire family can enjoy. And, you can even bring your car with you!  Enjoy the stunning views from Port Phillip Bay looking back at the city of Melbourne, and enjoy the summer breeze of the sea air as you sail across Bass Strait!

2. Why suffer in blistering heat?

No where else in Australia are summers more pleasant than in Tasmania.  With Tasmania being that little bit closer to Antarctica, it does not suffer the sweltering heatwaves that every other state in Australia struggles with.  In fact, Tasmania’s summers tend to be so pleasant that hiking though it’s world class National Parks, and camping throughout Tasmania is more enjoyable and very much more comfortable.

3. The best hiking and camping experiences in Australia!

World class camping experiences

The Best camping experiences.
Credit: Tourism Tasmania & James Bowden

We always secretly knew that Tasmania’s world famous Overland Track was Australia’s best hike.  But in recent times National Geographic have declared Tasmania’s Overland Track one of the World’s Best 20 ‘Dream Trails’, and it is the only Australian featured hiking trail featured in their list. So why is the Overland Track so special? Quite simply, it’s a 6 day journey that commences at the magnificent Cradle Mountain, forcing you to walk up to the highlands of the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park. You will see stunning mountainous views on an open plateau filled with alpine lakes and tarns, grasslands and wildlife.  You will then pass through exceptional rain forest, regions with magnificent waterfalls, as well as pass numerous peaks that you can climb!  Climb to the top of Mt Ossa, Tasmania’s highest mountain, and continue your journey until you reach Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest lake.But if the Overland Track isn’t enough to entice you, the 3 Capes Track situated on the gorgeous Tasman Peninsula in the south should be on every hiker’s list. This 4 days / 3 nights hike commences at the historic Port Arthur on a boat that sails around the coastline surrounding, before disembarking on Tasman Peninsula, from where you hike around the coastline of some of Tasmania’s most breathtaking scenery. So whether it’s the mountain experience, or the rugged coastline experience you are after, Tasmania has your covered.

4. The best is all within driving distance.

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Touring Coles Bay
Credit: Pete Harmsen

Tasmania isn’t a small place, but it isn’t huge either, and you can reach any town well within a day. Why is this significant?  Because you can enjoy every town in every part of Tasmania with a car and caravan, or campervan, and enjoy a road holiday that does not limit you on choices to visit if you wish to change direction part way through your holiday! Tasmania caters for the motoring tourist brilliantly. if you prefer to enjoy your holidays travelling by vehicle, Tasmania is Australia’s best choice.

5. The Natural Beauty

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Tasmanian Devils, uniquely Tasmanian!
Credit: Kathryn Leahy

Tasmania is uniquely different from every other region in Australia for a number of reasons. Over 50% of Tasmania is protected, much of which is World Heritage, and is regarded as a living ecological laboratory. Boasting unique wildlife such as the Tasmanian Devil, and showcasing alpine vegetation that has survived for thousands of years, Tasmania is one of the last places on earth you can experience earth’s natural and untouched beauty as it could have been seen thousands of years ago.

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Campervanning in North East Tasmania

Northern Tasmania is a fabulous destination for campervanners exploring our gorgeous island. Now, every campervanner knows the challenges of driving in rural regions, and not all roads or places are accessible with a campervan. We’re here to help! We have compiled this guide of great places to see in North East Tasmania, easily accessible from the comforts of Beauty Point Tourist Park.


Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre

Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage CentreLocated in the heart of Beaconsfield, and a short 10 minute drive from Beauty Point Tourist Park, the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre showcases the Gold Mining history of the Tamar region. Learn the history of the region with interactive displays. Crawl through tunnels, and experience the essence of gold mining in Northern Tasmania.


Narawntapu National Park

Narawntapu National ParkFor lovers of the great Australian outdoors, Narawntapu National Park is the perfect destination to get up close to Tasmanian wildlife, dunes, wetlands, lagoons, and of course the sandy beaches nestled between Bass Strait and the small mountains of Asbestos Range. With the fabulous Bakers Beach within the National Park, Narawntapu National Park is fabulous place to experience when staying at Beauty Point Tourist Park.


Tamar Valley Wine Routes

Tamar Valley Wine RoutesThe Tamar Valley is world reknown for its quality wines, and there is no shortage of vineyards to visit on both sides of the Tamar River. Enjoy Tasmania’s produce in an easy drive from vineyard to vineyard where you can enjoy gourmet lunches, wine tasting, and that fabulous cellar door experience! With the region boasting breathtaking views, you truly can enjoy the finer things in life in a naturally beautiful part of the world, all from the comfort of your campervan.


Seahorse World and Platypus House

Seahorse WorldIn the heart of Beauty Point is Seahorse World and Platypus House. Both these world class venues get you up and close to these unique and gorgeous animals as well as showcasing other exotic animals for you to see. Great for the entire family, and with frequent tours each day, Seahorse World and Platypus House is a ‘Must Do’ when staying at Beauty Point Tourist Park.


Low Head

Low Head LighthouseOn the other side of the Tamar River is Low Head. Rich with historical significance for Tasmania and with lots to do and see, Low Head is a short 35 minute drive from Beauty Point in a campervan. Join a Penguin Tour at dusk, and see the magnificent Low Head Lighthouse at the same time. Visit the Low Head Historic Precinct and discover Australia’s oldest Pilot and Signal Station in Australia.