Hi everyone, I know it's been a long, long time since I last updated you all, so I will attempt to do so now....
I've back-dated this blog to the date I was in Tasmania. Now Tasmania is very different from the rest of Oz, it's like a seperate country...a bit like Stewart Island in New Zealand...going there is like travelling back in time to the 1970's, the local's seem blissfully unaware that the rest of the world has moved on from Mullets, village people moustaches and Denim jackets. I even saw a few ladies sporting the great female mullet!!!
Hobart is the capital and the largest city in Tasmania, and even there has a small town feel, with just a small selection of shops and bars, and it is anything but cosmopolitan! Luckily though, nobody travels to Tassie for shopping or the night-life, they go in search of Wilderness and nature, and it definitely does deliver on that front.
I did a small tour of Tassie to try and see as much of it a I could in the week I was there, and I think I managed to fit in all the highlights. The first day I went to Mount Field National Park, which was a great park with a large waterfall, streams, and lots of Tree Ferns which gave it a 'Jurassic Park' feel. It was also a great place to spot wildlife, and i saw some Pademelons, which are a small marsupial, so like a minature wallaby, an Echidna and some Wallaby's...but no sign of the elusive Platypus which is sometimes seen there! (but later that day....) After Mount Field we went onto a Wildlife Sanctuary and saw the cute but endangered Tassie Devil and learnt about their sad fight against Facial Tumour disease, which is the first known contagious cancer. There were also all the usual Aussie animals, and a really cute baby wombat which we were allowed to handle (i wanted to take it home!). Also, running alongside the land of the Sanctuary is a river where we managed to spot wild Platypus!!! Wahoo! I was so pleased...I have always wanted to see a platypus in the wild, and my mission for Tassie had been completed. The platypus looked so cute swimming and playing about in the water...
The next day we visited Port Arthur which used to be a big prison...lots of history etc, quite interesting, but won't go into details...google it if you are interested!! Suzy, Louise and I (girls I met on the tour) tried to go our for a drink in Hobart that night, but we found out that Tassie is not big on nights out...just after 9pm the music was turned off, then all the lights other than the ones above our table...and on approaching the bar for another round at 9.15pm I was told that they were closing!, the barmaid did try calling 'John' for us as he may still be open, but even he was closed!!!
We went onto Wineglass bay the next day, which is often voted in the top 10 beaches in the world. It is a bit of a trek to get there, as you have to walk about 45 mins down steep rocky and gravel steps, but it is definitely worth it. Also, the walk keeps the crowds away, so you have plenty of space to yourself when you get there!! Before you get down to the bay you get brilliant views from the look out, where you see how the bay got it's name. The beach itself has gorgeous soft white sand and sapphire blue clear water, it was too cold for me to venture in for a swim though!!! While on the beach, there was a little wallabies who had come down in the hope of sharing a families picnic, and it was so tame, it didn't mind being patted or photographed at all. Then while we were just relaxing looking out to see, we spotted a small pod of dolphins playing about...they came in quite close, but as usual were a nightmare to try and photograph!! That night we walked down to a small beach to watch the fairy penguins come onland to sleep for the night, but unfortunately only saw a couple, not the big parade I had hoped for...still very cute though!!)
We went to the Bay of Fires (nice beach with history...google it!) and Launceston the next day, and the next was onto Cradle Mountain. Cradle Mountain is in another great National Park, and we did a really good walk up to one of the lookouts with views of dove lake (didn't have time to climb Cradle mountain unfortunately).
The next day Suzy and I went to Launceston gorge, had the best lamb shank, mash and gravy i've tasted in a long, long time, and attempted again for the last time to have a drink in the evening, but were chucked out for closing at 9.30pm!!
Then on Thursday it was back to blazing melbourne!!!