During the Australia Day long weekend, I visited Stanley and Corinna, small towns on the northwest coast of Tasmania. We saw amazing things on our road trip, but all the sights seen were in the realm of what you would expect to see: animals, birds, spectacular scenery and the like.
But things got a little different on the leg from Stanley to Corinna.
To get to Corinna from the Smithton direction, you drive on a 70 km stretch of unsealed road, full of potholes. The road is quite narrow and when a white ute was approaching, we pulled off to the side and stopped to let it pass. We were somewhat affronted that the driver didn’t make a thank you hand gesture and quickly made the judgment that they must not be local as this is Tasmanian behaviour and considered good manners. Sure enough, it was confirmed when we saw that the ute had a Queensland number plate.
We continued our slow drive, manoeuvring around potholes, avoiding one other car that passed us. About 10 km later, a dark ute passed us, flashed its lights and reversed. A policeman jumped out of his ute with his mobile phone showing us a photo and asking if we had seen this white ute with Queensland number plates? The officer asked us about three times if we were definitely certain we had seen the ute and we recounted him our encounter with this ill-mannered Queenslander. (It turned out he wasn’t from Queensland). Then the policeman started asking us tricky questions about where on the road this encounter took place and so on, but we told him we were too unfamiliar with the road to give him that kind of information. He took my name, address, registration and so on and then we parted ways.
We eventually arrived in beautiful Corinna, which has no internet, wifi, TV and so on. On my previous visit to Corinna, I did quite a bit of urban sketching, which you can see my drawings by clicking on this link https://wordpress.com/post/theunfurlingartist.wordpress.com/5532 This time, I spent more time enjoying the natural surroundings of the Pieman River and went kayaking for the first time in my life.
Upon returning to civilization, we learned that the white ute with Queensland number plate, was actually a kidnapper! Apparently, he attempted to kidnap two children, but one escaped. It was reported that he had the kidnapped girl in the ute. Thankfully, the police did successfully capture him. Here are links to the incident. https://www.tasmaniatalks.com.au/newsroom/tasmanian-news/54934-attempted-child-abduction-sparks-hunt
We couldn’t believe it that we saw, and drove by, a kidnapper!
Safe driving everybody and beware of ill-mannered drivers with foreign number plates.