Back To Australia, This Time In Tasmania - Part I

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April 26th 2017
Published: April 26th 2017
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I have always found crossing the equator to the southern hemisphere quite fascinating. So far, I have been to Kenya, Peru and Australia. Kenya is pretty much on the equator and does not really have the kind of seasonal differences that make life in southern hemisphere different. My previous trip to Australia primarily centered around Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.

In the middle of 2016, I made a trip with my family to Tasmania which is by far, the southernmost part of earth I have been in all my life. Our initial itinerary included two weeks in New Zealand as well. That would have meant going further down south. But that was not to be. Perhaps some other time.

Part of the reason I wanted to make this trip to Tasmania were because of some amazing pictures captured by my dear friend Luke on his trip here. Luke is a full-time traveler these days and makes his living selling the pics he captures to publishing companies. If you are traveling to Tasmania after being enamored by the beautiful photos on Traveler or LonelyPlanet, you have Luke to thank for.

In my earlier trip to mainland Australia, I mostly made use of cabs to take me around. This time, I was pretty sure I wanted to drive around the island myself. So as soon as we landed at Launceston from Melbourne, we headed to the Avis counter inside the airport to get the keys to the car we had pre-booked for.

If you are used to driving on the city roads in Sydney or Melbourne, you should know that the roads in Tasmania are not as well banked as they are in the mainland. So, take care while driving along the curves because you may easily skid off at high speeds. From Launceston, we first made our way to Cradle Mountain. This is a two hour journey that goes through some nice little towns but is otherwise quite deserted.

Cradle Mountain itself is quite fragile and the authorities there restrict the number of cars that can drive to places like Dove lake that is quite beautiful for an early morning walk. If you are visiting the place during holiday season, you may be asked to commute from your hotel using one of the few shuttles. We were lucky to get through on our car though.

From Cradle Mountain, we made our way back to Launceston where we had a good time at places like Cataract Gorge. This is a nice day trip for locals too and you may either explore the place on a chairlift or walk around the place. This is also the place that was recently ravaged by the November 2016 floods . Check with your agency to know if the place is back in action.

From Launceston, we drove eastwards to the Bay of Fires. This is a lengthy stretch of rocks along the coast near Binalong Bay that gets its name from the fiery red color given by native lichens that grow on these rocks here. The stretch has wonderful beaches too and tourists here can enjoy the long walks here. After spending an evening here, we drove to our hotel in Bicheno which is around an hour’s drive from here.

Our pit-stop was at Bicheno to make it easy for our trip next day which was to the beautiful Wineglass bay. I will continue this blog and discuss our travel to Wineglass bay, Hobart and Port Arthur in a subsequent post.

Additional photos below
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