THE RaTTAToT TOUR
(Ramsay's Terrific Tag-a-long Adventure Tour of Tasmania)
For 15 November 2001
Report by Michael and Sylvia
Queenstown to Hobart
We were only leaving our first stop in Tassie and already
Geoff and June had given us several demonstrations of their
ability to get lost. Although Geoff insists they were never
'geographically misplaced' (Michaels excuse) but rather ensuring
they saw the most that Tasmania has to offer. However one
thing that was lost was the screw from their car's radio aerial.
Now who was last to be ready to leave Queenstown ? André
! Why ? Because he was photographing his very own railway,
that's right the ABT Railway. Three cars stayed behind to
take a ride on this railway, delaying them for 3 hours. Alan.C
and Marie used this delay as their excuse for being last throughout
the remainder of the holiday but we think it is more likely
to be to do with Marie's passion for antique shops !
Up out of Queenstown, through the 99 curves (86 according
to Diann) with 10 of us charging through the rain, with tops
up, but not André ("it doesn't rain in Tasmania").
Rachel wasn't so keen on all the twists and turns - it messes
up her nice writing considerably !
First stop was Nelson Falls and we took the 10 minute walk
in and out before we cruised off to Lake St Clair. Syd showed
Sylvia how to drive my car (003) and yours truly steered Syd's
'FUNCAR' with Alan.A as shotgun (foot buried in the floor).
A little 'car swapping' throughout the holiday added to the
At our Queenstown accommodation we met Mike the cyclist from
San José who has peddled 22,500 kms in 12 months and
used 8 tyres and 2 sets of brake blocks. We met him again
at Nelson Falls and a number of other places over the 2 weeks.
Lake St Clair showed Jim as a potential real estate agent.
His negotiating allowed us to exchange our passes that had
been acquired for the Cradle Mountain National Park, for a
$23 2-month pass to all Tasmanian parks. The size of our group
therefore ripped off the principal for many $'s.
A delightful walk to the ferry wharf where one could take
the highest boat ride in the deepest lake in Australia. Alan.A
here had another chance to drive FUNCAR with Sylvia as outrider
and Syd showing me the true potential of OO3. I can vouch
that most corners on Tasmania's best roads are actually straight
Jim's idea of having a sausage sizzle proved daunting regarding
purchasing the required amounts at very small 'towns' along
the way. The café lady in Tarraleah couldn't help and
suggested Ouse where we were successful - "that's right,
40 sausages, 5 loaves of bread, 1 tub of butter and 1 bottle
of sauce please".
The food was complemented by some soft drinks and Bev's home
baked cookies, all the way from Canberra. Chef Alan.A, when
asked how he was cooking the sausages, replied "the same
as I treat Syds car and Syd every night, gently and with respect".
The walk in Russell Falls was spectacular, through a beautiful
rain forest with moss, lichen, ferns, a creek and Mountain
Ash trees towering 330 feet above us - awesome. From here,
some cars went straight to Hobart and a few went via the Salmon
Actually the Salmon Farm is a Trout Farm since the Salmon
were released and never returned ! This was great fun with
albino and brown trout vying for the $1 food pellets
an awful lot of splashing and wet clothing ! Paul thought
the owners has it good since we had to pay them to feed their
fish !! In the evening, Sylvia set her mind on having trout
for dinner, saying it was now their turn !
Fun over, and a quick wave to Richard Wooley who was also
there (of 60 minutes fame) and we were Hobart bound. Julia
did a superb job of navigating us to our accommodation at
the Hobart Macquarie Inn. We had 13 of the 16 rooms on the
top floor, with magnificent views and good clothes washing
facilities. Nan and Haydn had the corner room with views in
2 directions, which they thought they deserved since having
been located away from the main group at previous venues.
Alan.A told his 'partner' (Syd) to see to the washing and
drying whilst he attended to 'men's business' -getting a 6-pack
from the Victoria Pub nearby. We commented to Syd regarding
a suitable sign for him of "Servicing Tasmania"
but André suggested that the best sign he has seen
to date on the roadside was "next golf course 26,000
The hotel bar proved popular with the guys due to the presence
of Naomi, the tiny but fulsome barmaid. Maybe it was Naomi
who inspired one of the fella's (no prizes for guessing which
one) to reinvent a second meaning for a 'map of Tasmania'.