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Van Journal Week 2: Waterfalls & The Bay of Fires

Van Journal Week 2: Waterfalls & The Bay of Fires

Things in motion stay in motion…

This was the first week where we truly felt like adventure was back in full swing. After spending several months converting our van during Covid lockdowns, we were hungrier than ever to get out there and explore.

Admittedly, this was the first week where we were also able to settle into van living. After the trial-run up to Queensland and then a rushed dash down to Tazzy, it felt great to focus more on the destination, rather than on just getting there.

It’s clear now that we were quite caught up with getting things right with the van and organising all things nitty-gritty for so long. In fact, so much so that we had made very little time for actually planning our route or adventures in Tasmania— if any time at all really.

Van Journal Week 1: The Road to Tasmania

Olly gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler & adventure photographer for 6 years with 700+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.

Reflection on the Spirit of Tasmania

The Spirit of Tasmania for us felt like a paradigm shift. It was like we were truly seeing the beginnings of travel post-Covid-19. Finally, that familiar feeling of freedom that a nomadic life offers was beginning to return.

We chose to take a day-sail, mainly due to the fact that it was the only spot left on the ship. However, we were glad we did. We appreciated spending a day on the Spirit with nothing much more to do than reflect and begin planning our trip.

Taking our van on the spirit of tasmania
Front-row seats on the spirit of tasmania

Surprisingly, we had good 4G mobile reception for pretty much the entirety of the trip across the Bass Strait. Calm seas also meant that I was able to nurture this blog a little. Looking back, it’s been on the receiving end of neglect over the past three months while we were building Clifden. It’s true that while we weren’t travelling, I still find myself with a backlog of content to post from previous trips.

So, looking to the future, I’m going to learn from my failures neglecting We Seek Travel during this time and make an announced effort to never let it sit again.

Things in motion stay in motion. Taking Newton’s advice, I’m going to make sure this blog continues moving onwards and upwards.

The first step was finally publishing my lengthy, 13 000-word van-build article. Hopefully, this is useful for those planning on converting their own van in Australia.

Waiting out the Wet in Devonport

Luckily for us, disembarkation from the Spirit in Devonport went unexpectedly fast and smoothly. This is because we got a spot right up at the front of the boat, which also meant that we were first to exit. I’ve heard that if you are somewhere in the middle, it can take hours.

Strict Tasmanian quarantine laws dictate that no fresh fruit, vegetables or plant matter can enter the island state. So, the first port of call for us was the closest Woolies in Devonport to stock up on food the week.

It seemed that fragments of the torrential flooding rainfall that we’d narrowly missed on the mainland had followed us south. But we weren’t complaining. Instead, we spent a couple of wet nights freedom camping at Forth Recreation Ground where we did a little bit of work and finished planning a rough route and pinning all of the destinations to visit and cover on this blog.

Little blue lake tasmania
Quick stop at “Little Blue Pools”
Tasmanian roads van life
Back on the road to the east coast

Waterfall Hikes and Appreciating the Moment

Our plan is to spend several months, as long as it takes really, to experience and cover as many of the best hikes, waterfalls and attractions that Tasmania has to offer. The combination of our flexible timeline and the close proximity of each place in Tasmania meant that a perfect route wasn’t really necessary for us. Instead, we took advantage of the heavy rainfall and headed out to see some of the north-east waterfalls in full force.

Taking this approach means that we would undoubtedly be doing a bit of back-and-forth but we really don’t mind.

Waterfall highlights for the week included stops at Lilydale Falls, St Columba Falls and Halls Falls. We also experienced our first sight of the world-renowned Tasmanian temperate rainforests on the Myrtle Rainforest Walk.

Spending a fair bit of time hiking allowed us to reflect on the fact that the lifestyle we gave everything up for was returning. We were finally free to roam and live life on the move. Days of self-isolation and physical lockdowns, debilitating terms that go against our very being, were behind us. While perhaps not over for good yet, we certainly felt like that world was in the history books when on the trails in Tasmania.

The Bay of Fires

To wrap up the week, we spent a couple of days at the Bay of Fires, a place that truly lives up to its name.

Sunset camping at the bay of fires, swimcart beach

Huge, dark-orange lichen-covered rocks line the coast, resting on beds of chalk-white sand and kissed by turquoise waters. It’s truly an incredible pallet of colours. But, perhaps more fittingly to the name, it’s as if the sun would paint the sky and sea with a flamethrower at every rise and set in the waters of the bay.

We were lucky enough to find a killer of a spot right on the water’s edge at Cozy Corner, another fitting name for a great spot near Swimcart Beach.

Swimcart beach camp ground cozy corner

I honestly couldn’t believe my ears when I was told that all of the campsites in the area were free. We made the most of this and spent the last three nights of our first week in Tasmania enjoying the natural beauty of this incredible place.

Bay of fires sunrise waves
Sunrise at the bay of fires
Van journal week 2 0989
Sunset on the bay of fires coast tasmania
Swimcart beach camp ground cozy corner
Bay of fires tasmania
The gardens and big lagoon bay of fires tasmania
Bay of fires tasmania
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure travel journalist & photographer. Traveling non-stop since 2018, I've published over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. These draw on my personal experience to share unique itineraries, accommodation tips, & fun adventure guides covering hikes, viewpoints, beaches, waterfalls, & tours. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.

Your feedback & updates are crucial to keep my guides factual & current. Got new info or updates? Drop a comment below or contact me directly.

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I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you.


Wednesday 21st of April 2021

Hi, I'm new to your van build and blog, and loving it. It's fueling my obsession for future vanlife [along way off yet unfortunately]. Having travelled around Australia many moons ago, I'm reliving through some off your stunning photographs. Thankyou, Fern.

Olly Gaspar

Thursday 22nd of April 2021

Hi Fern,

I'm so glad that you enjoy reading about our adventures, that's what inspires me to continue posting. Hope you get out there for Aussie vanlife when it's time!



Sunday 28th of March 2021

Fabulous pics oli. Im loving reading about your adventures. Stay safe you 2.