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Berri SA a town of contrasts

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Monday, 24 Mar 2014

Huge bed, plenty of storage Agnes and Nick find campervan travel really comfortable

Chairlift at Cataract Gorge.
Chairlift at Cataract Gorge.


Agnes says, the Tassie Motorshacks Campervan is really spacious. "The bed when made up is huge, and there is ample storage now Nick has things sorted out". "We are really comfortable, it is a great way to travel (except when nature calls at night in the rain)", she said.

"On Friday we visited Cataract Gorge". "What a beautiful place". "We met David Larter of the Basin Chairlift who is a GoSeeAustralia supporter". "There is Basin Café and a souvenir shop with views of the chairlift and the gorge with clean amenities", Agnes said.

The chairlift spans the surging waters of the South Esk River. The chairlift covers some 457 metres, with terminal buildings at the First Basin (West Launceston) end and idling station at the Cliff Grounds side (Trevallyn).

The central span of 308 metres is believed to be the longest single chairlift span in the world.

The earliest recorded visit to this area was made by settler William Collins in 1804 when exploring the Port in 'Lady Nelson'. The 60 ton brig Lady Nelson is one of Australia's most famous little ships. She was the vehicle for seaborne 'astronauts' around Australia's coast for a quarter of a century.

She led the way through Bass Strait from England to Sydney in 1800. Lady Nelson was the first decked vessel to enter Westernport and Port Phillip Bays.


Beauty Point cabin with million dollar view.
Beauty Point cabin with million dollar view.


Lady Nelson, assigned by the Admiralty  in 1799 for exploration and survey work was revolutionary. She was one of the first Royal Navy vessels to be fitted with sliding keels.

Collins first view of Cataract Gorge impressed him. 

"Upon approaching the entrance I observed a large fall of water over rocks, nearly a quarter of a mile up a straight gully between perpendicular rocks about 150 ft high. The beauty of the scene is probably not surpassed in the world".

Apart from the magnificent vistas along the cataract there are the enjoyable developed areas in the vicinity of the Cliff Grounds Restaurant and the First Basin swimming pool.

Nick was impressed too - "Nick went for a much longer hike than he expected, while I had a coffee", Agnes said.

The First Basin, on the southern side, features a swimming pool and an open area surrounded by bushland.

In contrast, the shady northern side, named the Cliff Grounds, is a Victorian garden where wilderness is created with ferns and exotic plants - nature is enhanced by art.

There's a Restaurant and kiosk, rolling lawns and a rotunda, a pub with a view, a footbridge and chairlift across the river, peacocks in the trees, wallabies at dusk. This may be the nation's most alluring urban reserve.

Further upstream is the historic Duck Reach Power Station, now an Interpretation Centre.

"On the way to Beauty Point Touist Park for the weekend we called at Launceston Holiday Park Legana on the way and called in and spoke with Brendan". "This is a truly lovely park right on the highway, but in the caravan park you feel like you are miles away in the country", Agnes said.

Launceston Holiday Park Legana is on eight acres, together with immaculate amenities with plenty of hot water, an excellent laundry and undercover gas barbecues. GoSeeAustralia made it one of our base camps on our Tow Around Tassie tour in 2010.

At the gateway of the Tamar Valley the accommodation offered is excellent. Cabins are built to a high standard and include kitchen, two bedrooms with all linen supplied. Some cabins include a spa bath.


GSA at Launceston Holiday Park in 2010
GSA at Launceston Holiday Park in 2010


Local attractions and things to see and do while staying with us include:

National Auto Museum

Mole Creek Caves

Tamar River Cruises

Tamar Island Wetlands

Devils Heaven Wildlife Park

Launceston Lakes and Wildlife Park

Chudleigh Honey Farm

Lavender House

Low Head Pilot Station

Low Head Penquins

John Temple Gallery (landscape photography)

Trout fishing tours

Winery tours

Launceston City Ghost Tours

Cataract Gorge

Boags Brewery Tours

Treetops Adventures

Seahorse World

Platypus House

Bass And Flinders Centre.


Campsite Beauty  Point Tourist Park
Campsite Beauty Point Tourist Park


"Tamar visitor Centre in Exeter, was so helpful with lots of maps and information". "On Saturday at Beauty Point Tourist Park we got a lovely site near the amenities and the camp kitchen with a glorious view of the Tamar River". "Beauty Point Tourist Park could not be more helpful, and our possie was great, right near the amenities and laundry. We did all our washing on Sunday".

"We visited Seahorse World, Platypus House and Beaconsfield Mine on Sunday". "We really enjoyed all three". Seahorse World at Beauty Point, Northern Tasmania, is a unique facility designed to help conserve this creature, through reduction in the pressure of the wild catch for the global aquarium industry and to provide an excellent tourism and educational experience.

Seahorse World grew out of research work initiated at the University of Tasmania in the 1990's which looked into the lifecycle of the Pot Bellied Seahorse that is native to Tasmania. Seahorse World is now a family owned aquaculture venture run by Craig and Rachelle Hawkins.

Seahorse World gives visitors a unique educational tour experience through this fascinating aquarium dedicated to the breeding, education and conservation of the seahorse.

Platypus House has been established to advance both the science and community awareness of the unique Tasmanian platypuses and echidnas. The tour starts with viewing platypuses in platypus ponds before walking through the echidna garden to see echidnas foraging in a bushland setting.

Visitors are guaranteed to see both these spectacular egg-laying mammals feeding and playing during the guided tour. The interpretation centre explains the biology of both mammals. As well as the 35-minute tour there is a platypus film in the theatrette. Ornithorhynchus anatinus, the platypus, is beautiful, mysterious and odd. It is on a level with reptiles and birds and also suggests a closer relationship to mammals.


Grubb Shaft Museum and Hart Shaft Winder House with headframe in background courtesy Beaconsfield Gold NL
Grubb Shaft Museum and Hart Shaft Winder House with headframe in background courtesy Beaconsfield Gold NL


The amazing Beaconsfield gold mine cave in survivors Brant Webb and Todd Russell walked out of their 1.2m by 1.2m hard rock prison just before 6am on Monday, May 8 after being trapped for 14 nights and underlined that the miners of North West Tasmania are made of the “right stuff”.

After the extraordinary events of April 2006 Beaconsfield the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre has undergone a transformation, including the Mine Rescue Display which tells the story of the rescue of Todd Russell and Brant Webb.

The Mine Rescue exhibition covers the story of the 2006 ANZAC day mine rock fall with particular focus on the remarkable and ingenious rescue effort.

In the new 3 Dimensional Holographic Mine Experience visitors can choose where they go and what they see.

The 3D Mine Experience will allows entry to a world 1200 metres below the ground. A 3D digitised model of the underground workings with interactive screens allow visitors to control where they explore without physically going underground.

Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre houses more than 10,000 objects in its heritage collection.

The collection includes archaeological artefacts from the historic Hart Shaft, documents and items relating to mining in Beaconsfield since the late 19th century, a vast collection of photographs specific to the diverse history of the West Tamar region, social history objects and ephemera.

In 1972 members of the local community formed the West Tamar Historical Committee, the aim of which was to preserve the rich history of Beaconsfield and the West Tamar region.

In 1982 the Grubb Shaft engine house ruins in Beaconsfield were donated the West Tamar Historical Committee by the neighbouring Beaconsfield Gold Mine. Subsequently, the Committee began the process of developing the ruins in to a tourist attraction to showcase and reflect the cultural and industrial heritage of the region.


High gold grade in Quartz reef
High gold grade in Quartz reef


By 1984 the Grubb Shaft Gold and Heritage Museum was officially open and in 1999 the West Tamar Historical Committee handed the management of the museum to the West Tamar Council.

In 2006, after a collapse in the adjoining Beaconsfield Gold Mine, the Museum was granted funds from the Federal Governments’ AusIndustry program. This funding facilitated major developments of the Museum resulting in increased floor space and the installation of new permanent exhibitions to enhance the visitor experience.

In 2008 the name of the Museum was changed from the Grubb Shaft Gold & Heritage Museum to the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre.

"This morning (Monday) we left for Devonport to visit Bass Strait Maritime Centre and Anvers Chocolate Factory, then Railton and Sheffield", Agnes said.

Editors Note: From the free GoSee library of more than 1000 Information Articles:

Beaconsfield gold breeds miners made of the right stuff

For more information
contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory
Email: garth@contact.com.au
Beauty Point waterfront cabin.
Beauty Point waterfront cabin.
Camp Kitchen at Launceston Holiday Park Legana
Camp Kitchen at Launceston Holiday Park Legana
Cataract Gorge Cruise
Cataract Gorge Cruise
Launceston Royal Oak Hotel Start of Ghost Tour
Launceston Royal Oak Hotel Start of Ghost Tour
Cataract Gorge View
Cataract Gorge View
Beauty Point barbecue  hut dinner
Beauty Point barbecue hut dinner


Tassie Motor Shacks Camper Rentals
Tassie Motor Shacks Camper Rentals

Tasmania's leading Campervan Rental Company.
Enquire, check availability or Book Now via our web site.
Proud sponsors of GoSeeAustralia's "Tasmania on Tour."

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Beauty Point Tourist Park
Beauty Point Tourist Park

Only one hour from the Ferry & Launceston Airport.  Our park is surrounded on both sides by the pristine waters of the beautiful Tamar River. Excellent facilities

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Launceston Holiday Park Legana
Launceston Holiday Park Legana

Centrally located on the highway, but could be miles away!
Lovely shady park with great facilities. Call us now on 03 6330 1714

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Launceston Basin Chairlift
Launceston Basin Chairlift

The Basin Chairlift at Cataract Gorge covers some 457 metres, with terminal buildings at the First Basin  end and idling station at the Cliff Grounds side
The central span of 308 metres is believed to be the longest single chairlift span in the world

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Our Website


Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre
Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre

Save money and buy a Triple Pass to
Seahorse World
Platypus House
Beaconsfield Mine Heitage Centre!

Available from all three attractions and the Visitor Centre

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