Published: March 8th 2007March 8th 2007
Top of Cradle Mountain
Once at the top I enjoyed a Wonderbar that Mom had sent me. Best Wonderbar ever!
What fun Tasmania was; it is so beautiful there. Loved having the mountains around me and having the ocean so close. And yes The Red Ass is around, my constant travel companion.
Where to start??? Nadine and I hiked to the top of Cradle Mountain. We were so lucky to have a clear day as well. Apparently only about 60 days a year are actually clear at the top. The mountain is 1545 metres high and was really difficult climb but we did it. About the last ¼ of the climb were huge boulders that you had to climb up and over and make sure you didn't fall between the cracks! The views at the top were amazing, I am sure my pictures won't do it justice. The 7 hours (return) it took us was well worth it.
We went to the Forest Festival for a weekend after leaving Kristina and Laurie's. It was a festival to save Tassie Forests. Heaps of logging going on in Tasmania and they are bringing down these huge trees that don't grow anywhere else in the world and replacing them with non-native trees. Tasmania is definitely full of Hippies. The festival was full
of workshops and entertainment. The best workshop we did was the caving one, super cool. It wasn't like we were in a "show" cave, we were in a cave with no rails, steps or lights or anything. We had to wear hardhats with lights, squeeze through tiny cracks, and walk through underground streams, saw some glow worms and some huge spiders. A true cave experience.
Our next place to Wwoof was in a little town called Derby in the North East of Tasmania. The description in the Wwoof booked sounded unique. It stated that he lived with no electricity and how he believed that there was no cheaper alternative to fossil fuel. I thought ok this sounds interesting, I wouldn’t mind checking this place out to see what it is all about. We were only planning on staying there for a couple of nights anyway on our way to the East Coast. I figure having no power for a few days wouldn't be so hard. When we arrived there were 7 other Wwoofers already there. I was actually surprised to find a fairly large home, didn't so much look like a "shack" as I thought it would, however there
Watch out for penguins crossing!
was no toilet inside. The toilet was outside up through the garden in an outhouse, which was not a "drop" outhouse, but a composting toilet. Whenever you did your business you had to put a scoop of dirt in the bucket. When the bucket was full; someone had to take it out to some other barrel in the garden. Ok, no biggy, but I hope to god I don't have to go in the middle of the night. The light was had was from kerosene lanterns and everything was cooked on a wood stove, which heated the water for the washroom as well. The host has a rule that he basically only eats what he can grow on the land. He drank water out of the river which you had to haul up from the river and the water looked like something from the farm that all the cows had gone in, he joked and said “I'm still around so it must be ok” … mmmmm no thanks! The dinner was not so flavourful, potatoes with some homemade noodles (they weren't too bad) and what was supposed to be a salad, but I honestly think it was just some leaves
This crab was so cute, he was purple.
pulled off various trees. I then made the mistake of asking him his views about the fossil fuel business, which turned into an hour and a half ramble about basically how the world is coming to an end. Sometimes you just have to listen or at least pretend you are listening and knod every once in a while. After that it was bedtime and I was ready after listening to all this rambling, it was pretty full on. Nadine and I shared a room with 4 other girls and we had to sleep on the top bunks. All I’m going to say is it sure is a good thing that he didn't have power because I didn't want to see what sort of spiders or other creatures were living up in the corners. It was an early morning rise, time to get to work after a bowl of what I think was suppose to be porridge. The jobs were all very labour intensive. And after 2 hours of back breaking work (literally), Nadine and I decided to get the heck out of there. I am not a lazy person but the work was ridiculous. So we spent the day at
Fish and Chips in Hobart
This is actually the first Fish and Chips I have had and they were so good! I love how it comes in a paper cone.
Binalong Bay swimming and went early to our next Wwoofing place.
The next couple (Don and Trish) were located along the East Coast near a town called St. Marys. It was an older couple with a beautiful huge modern home. They only had a few chooks (chickens), Billy the goat and a dog, Mishka. Our accommodation was in a flat away from the home. We had our own kitchen, bathroom, TV, it was great! Trish supplied us with groceries and we made our own meals. We worked from 9 in the morning till 2 in the afternoon. Don tried to vary the jobs; gardening, weeding, chopping firewood. One night Trish invited us up for tea (Australian for lunch or dinner). She kept stuffing us full of so much food; I don’t think I have been that full since I left home. We only stayed there for a few days before heading on to Maria Island.
Maria Island is a National Park and you have to take a ferry over to it. Europeans had sent convicts to the island and in later years it was a farming community as well as a mining community. Eventually the mining company went
belly-up so most people left the island. There are no shops, food vendors or anything on the island. No vehicles are allowed on it either (except the ranger vehicle). We decided to just spend the day there instead of packing all our stuff over for one night. It has some wonderful views and great hiking. We saw heaps of critters too, crabs, wallabies, pademelons, kangaroos, Cape Barren geese, an echidna, and a penguin.
The last family was a young couple (Andrew and Jenn) with two little kids (Sebastian, and Annabelle) who lived near a town southwest of Hobart called Margate. The wife, Jenn was from Toronto so she was happy to have a fellow Canadian. We stayed there for a week and had our own flat that we shared with two other Wwoofers. We ate breakfast in the flat but lunch and dinner were with the family. They had chooks, a jersey cow, horse, and about 5 sheep, Ned the dog, oh and they had a resident snake living near the house (which I only saw once). Our work there mainly consisted of house cleaning, cooking, and feeding the animals. I finished knitting my first scarf while I was
there and I decided to give it to Annabelle, she was very happy.
On our days off we did some exploring of southern Tasmania. We saw some beautiful water falls, visited the Cadbury Chocolate Factory (YUM!), which we got loads of free chocolate and in Hobart we went to the Salamanca Market. It was one of the best markets I have been too. There was everything there you could imagine. Homemade goodies, touristy knick-knacks, art, crafts, food, and buskers. After the market we drove up to Mt. Wellington (1271 metres). Mt. Wellington towers over Hobart protecting it from the winds easterly winds and rain. You get to the top and you have a 360 view; you can see as far as the eye can see.
The last night in Tasmania we stayed with the first family that I worked with in Preston (North Tassie). We had such a good night and I am glad I was able to see them again before leaving. The day we left we went swimming in a river and spent the rest of the afternoon in Devonport watching some speed boat races before catching the Ferry back to the mainland.
Feeding the animals.
One of our daily jobs in Margate.
now in Melbourne, re-entering the hostel life. The first few days have been a bit trying. I sure wasn't keen on going back to hostel life after having my own space for over a month, however I am adjusting. I will stay here until the 13th, and then start my journey down the Great Ocean Road. Nadine has gone back to Sydney, so once again I am a lone traveller (except Red Ass of course). It has been great having a travel buddy for a little while but I am looking forward to doing the next leg of my journey on my own. I can't wait to kick my gears into high and giver. Melbourne is a nice city, not so fast paced as Sydney and definitely more "artsy". Melbourne always has something going on, whether it is fashion, theatre, or sports. I don’t think you can ever be bored here!
There are more photos below