Published: January 6th 2008December 30th 2007
Freycinet National Park
Merry Christmas from Sandy the slightly oriental looking snowman!
Having queued the length of Melbourne airport in the pre-Christmas rush we arrived in Hobart, picked up our luxurious non-van and headed to Mount Field National Park. During the day we walked to Russell Falls and at night ventured out with a torch to try and spot some of the 'abundant wildlife' the Lonely Planet had claimed was there. We weren't disappointed as we saw lots of pademelons, some with joeys, three possums, one of which was carrying a baby on her back, and two bandicoots (think kangaroo rats). We awoke the next morning to discover that as two engineers we had assessed our tent location very poorly and pitched it in a low spot. This combined with the constant rain through the night meant that we had a not very fun start to the morning trying to clean and dry the tent before packing it away for the next day's trip to Cradle Mountain National Park.
The campsite at Cradle Mountain was amazing as it had an enclosed camp kitchen with log fires, and boy did we need them as the day we arrived, it was that cold that they had actually predicted snow overnight! Yes, that's snow, and
yes we are in Australia in the height of summer! Hoping that the rain would stop we set off to try and find the wombats where the Ranger had said they usually hang out. Sure enough, despite the now horizontal rain, we saw two very cuddly, if slightly bedraggled, wombats quite happily bimbling through the soggy grass. Both us and the tent just about survived a horendous night, with us fully clad in thermals. Thankful that the pegs held out, and slightly disappointed that there was no snow in the morning, we packed up and started our drive to the east coast and the Freycinet National Park for Christmas.
Christmas morning we started the day in true Laura style by eating several chocolate biscuits whilst opening our Christmas cards in the tent. Andy cooked us up a great fry-up brekky which we thought we'd better walk off so headed to Wineglass Bay. The climb up to the lookout was a bit more than we'd bargained for and even the deceptively icey waters of the bay couldn't cool us down enough for the trek back up the hill, so we opted to walk back the flatter way. Ten kilometers later
and we were definitely ready for Christmas Dinner. Andy cooked up a Christmas feast on the bbq comprising everything apart from yorkshire puddings. After dinner we drove up to the stunning Friendly Beaches with their ultra soft white sand. There, compelled possibly by the Christmas tunes blaring out from our car, we created our own Taswegian snowman. On the way back we saw an Echidna (spiny anteater) who ran off and tried to hide in a tree stump but kept poking his head out to see if we were still there! Christmas Day was finished off as it started, in true Laura style, eating copious amounts of cake and speaking to our folks back home.
After a slightly earlier start than we had planned to boxing day (screaming children at 5 in the morning are not a good start to a day) we headed back down to Hobart. After checking in we headed straight up Mount Wellington which at 1270m (Snowdon is about 1000m) forms a pretty impressive backdrop to the little town. You can drive to the top, the road built during the depression to give the locals something to do! We dashed into the shelter from the
Cradle Mountain National Park
A Wombat munching some very tasty grass in the howling wind and rain.
viewpoint as the familiar clouds and rain arrived and were confronted by advice as to what to do if your car doesn't start. Evidently the electic field from the aerials and antennae can knock out central locking and trigger the immobiliser! Thankfully we didn't have to bump start the car down the hairpin filled hill and we headed back down into Hobart stopping in the harbour for fish and chips before retiring ready for our very very early start for Sydney.
There are more photos below