I made a decision a short while ago to just make the most of being in Oz and make sure I visited all the places I had ever wanted to, rather than just wasting away the months working in a restaurant somewhere.Tasmania had always been on the drawing board, and originally my bro and I were considering taking the car over on the ferry to explore the island that way, but in the end it just turned out to be prohibitively expensive and the plan was shelved.Instead I managed to find some ridiculously cheap return flights to Hobart and just headed over there for a few days.
Of course, like New Zealand, to which Tasmania is often compared, three days is just not enough time to do the place any justice, so I just had to choose two things to do within driving distance of Hobart.In the morning I went forth and rented a Subaru Impreza - which I considered to be the most appropriate vehicle for this trip - and drove it, at times recklessly of course, up to Port Arthur, the location of the eponymous penitentiary that operated there from 1833-1877.I expected to be a bit spooked by the place, not just for its abominable colonial-time history, but because of the mass-murder that took place there in 1996 - Australia's deadliest killing spree.But, to be honest, the place was sparsely interesting, plus I think that I was the only person there between the age of about 6 and 60.
The next day I drove to Bruni Island with a strange girl from the hostel I was staying in.The island was stunning, totally; but, there was essentially nothing there, except beaches, forests and off-road tracks that I was not insured to drive on.We had hoped to take a walk, but the wind was just too fierce.A Tassie guy mentioned to me that the weather was particularly bad for those two days I was there, and that normally it's quite balmy this time of year.Typical.Many people had warned me though that Tassie sometimes endures four seasons in one day; I discovered it to be more like four seasons simultaneously.There were times when it was sunny and hot but with a big black cloud above dropping hailstones, which got whipped up into your face by the 40 knot gale.Totally unique.The bad weather didn't, however, interrupt my quest to find the perfect oyster.After a few mediocre ones in Hobart, I finally found a guy on Bruny Island at a little kiosk by the side of the road called 'Get Shucked!' selling the most succulent, fresh, creamy and delicious Pacific oysters that I've ever tasted.I am seriously hooked, if you'll excuse the nonsensical fish pun.
When I landed at Melbourne I was still wearing the four layers of clothing I had had on in Hobart, plus my alpaca hat, glove and sock combo, but I stepped outside to find it was 30 degrees.I was about to get on a plane to Alice Springs too… how hot was it going to be there?!