Adventures of Tasmania (and of the red luggage)

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December 27th 2018
Published: December 28th 2018
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As the saying goes, things never go according to plan. Our trip to Tassie started off that way, as our transit flight to Melbourne got delayed, resulting in a later flight to Hobart, and a 4 hrs layover at the Airport. First of many such to come? You bet!

After finally reaching Hobart Airport, we made our way to collect our 6-berth caravan, a pretty fuss-free experience with Maui. After which we went to Hobart CBD for some light sightseeing and supermarket-ing, before the weather turned for the worst. Downpours and lightning fills the sky. We ended up having dinner by the wharf, at Fish Frenzy, while awaiting for the rain to stop. We made our way to Hobart Discovery Park for the night thereafter. 2nd incident: our powered site socket didn’t work! We ended up having to relocate to another site at the top of the hill! Saying our trip didn’t start quite well is an understatement!

2nd morning we made our own breakfast and headed off, first to MONA museum. We decided against entering the museum as we weren't artsy folks, settling on taking some scenic shots outside the building. As the sky was clearing up, we decided to head up to Mt Wellington next for a good view of the capital. The road up was pretty winding but the views on the way up were gorgeous. The city was in full view and it felt like the top of the world! Alas, our excitement and eager anticipation went bust as we continued to the top, driving into thick cloud covers when we eventually reached the car park. It was so windy and misty, we couldn’t see beyond 50 metres ahead of us! Talking about extreme weather conditions, the past 10 mins definitely epitomized that. We ended up snapping we-fies of ourselves with a white background (Haha!) before heading down to Cascade Brewery for lunch and some good beer. The last bit of this first full day in Hobart was spent in Salamanca Place where the quaint little streets and shop-houses excited the tourist instincts in us. Dinner was seafood at Phat Fish before heading to our Farm-stay in Richmond. The best thing about visiting in Summer? The sun only sets at 9pm!

The next morning was definitely more eventful as we went on our rounds feeding the farm animals, starting with the chickens then the alpacas and horse named Poco. It’s interesting as there is a certain “hierarchy” between these beautiful creatures as well. Poco is the big boss amongst them, followed by the white alpaca, Mika. Well, the animal kingdom certainly mirrors that in the human world. After farm feeding we went for some human feeding with fruits! Sorell Fruit Farm provided us with some light exercise of picking all sorts of berries, ranging from strawberries to cherries and different genres of raspberries. We ended up with 6 boxes of fruits enough to last us the entire trip! Lunch affair was at beautiful vineyard, Bangor Vineyard Shed, with pristine views of the grapes and the lake behind. Subsequently it was mostly sightseeing of the rugged coastline of Tasman Peninsular, with the Devil’s Kitchen standing out, as the cliffs hang almost 100metres vertically down into the ocean.

History lesson awaits on Day 4, as we took the extremely informative and descriptive Port Arthur Historical Site tour, talking about the history of inmates and life in this previous prison. If we thought we have it tough in our daily busy lives in the corporate world, it probably pales in comparison to those days where an offence of stealing bread could sentence you to 7 years of hardship and suffering, not to mention total lost of freedom and most likely never a chance to return back home (since the Prison is situated in an island isolated from the rest of the world). We had lunch at Port Arthur Lavender fields, before driving our way up to Freycinet National Park for the night.

The famed wineglass Bay awaits us next as we woke up early to start our walk up to the lookup point. The walk itself wasn’t too varied, past bushes and huge boulders, amid some pretty steep paths. The reward at the end was still sweet nonetheless. Perhaps the weather (grey skies) were not cooperating hence there was a slight tinge of underwhelming-ness as we reached the top. Spotted a wallaby at our caravan when we came back down to our delight! The beauty of being in nature, where wildlife and humans can coexist in the same space. After which it was a 2 hours straight drive to Launceston where we finally had some comfort Chinese food and binge shopping in Kmart. Checked in to our pretty AirBnB for the night, but not before some hoo ha, as I accidentally knocked the side of our caravan onto the rear lights of a car. There goes my clean sheet! Ended up paying 100 bucks for damage control. It was all dominos pizza and Netflix & chill to end off the night.

Day 6 was a purple day as we spent a good half day at Bridestowe Lavender fields, a real gem full of endless rows of lavender, spanning acres! 1 thing I remembered from the introductory tour was that if all the lavenders were to line up in a straight row they could stretch from Launceston all the way to Hobart! We managed to take our pre-wed shoots there (Hooray!) before settling for lunch and heading back to the city for the gorge sight seeing and back to Kmart (again) and Coles for groceries! It was cook night tonight with a mix of Asian dishes like stir fried veg and steamed eggs, soup and rice with roasted chicken n pork ribs.

Check out of our AirBnB and continued west towards cradle mountain. Today was an edu-tainment day, as we feast our eyes on the dazzling King Solomon’s Cave in Mole creek. A small and compact cave created from hundred of thousand years of geological formation. Nature’s work at its best. The most amazing feature about these stalactites and stalagmite structures is that they sparkles with crystals on their faces. If you are heading there, do check out their website as they have fixed tour timings. Next, we we headed off to Trowunna wildlife sanctuary, but again not before another mini adventure, the adventure of the red luggage! We forgot the lock the boot and the luggage at the back ended up flying onto the side road! How did we realise? Nope we did not at all. It was all thanks to the car following on our back, whose drive saw the entire incident. He managed to overtake us, hailed us to stop and told us the entire episode. We immediately retracted our path for a good 10 minutes before finding an unusual truck stopping in the middle of the road. As we draw closer, WR saw the driver fumbling with something red... yes it was THE LUGGAGE! Braked the vehicle, down we went and straight to the bewilderment of the guy. “May I have the luggage back?” “Sure! I was wondering what suspicious item this was on the side of the road!” With a puzzled look on his face. Phew! Red luggage tried to escape but to no avail. Sounds like the prisoners from Port Arthur! After getting over this funny incident, we continued our journey to the wildlife sanctuary and got some good lessons on Tasmanian Devils and wombats, not mentioning of course the mandatory feeding of kangaroos while we are here in the land down under! Fun fact: the Tasmanian devils got their name because of the vampire sounds they make, but in fact they are social creatures and are highly cooperative with each other. Their devilish calls are just ways of saying “let’s do it together, mate!” After which we had a late lunch by the roadside as Mole Creek had no restaurants at all at this time, before heading up to Cradle mountain, driving through winding but beautiful elevated mountain roads. The night ended nicely at the Caravan park with hot noodles and by-the-fireplace chats with fellow travellers from Netherlands.

The next day capped off the highlight of the trip. As the saying goes, save the best for the last! We woke up early, made breakfast and headed off to the visitor centre to prepare for trekking today. Cradle mountain area is very well maintained and even tracks are well structured with proper signs and infrastructure in place. After preparing our day bags, we took the shuttle bus to the last shuttle stop, Dove lake, and were greeted with the pristine lake and majestic cradle mountain peaks ahead of us. Lovely scenery with kind weather! We went clockwise around the lake on the Dove lake trail, snapping pictures, singing songs and having light snacks and sweets along the way. My favourite part of the trip definitely 😊 If I were to return back here in the future, I'd hope to attempt the summit trek for sure. The entire 3hrs walk was generally pleasant, mostly flat with slight ascend towards the end. The trek took out most of the energy of the folks though, as we ended up having quick lunch at the visitor centre before heading back to the caravan park. Some of us continue on shorter treks and managed to catch wild wombats and echidna along the way! We ended the last night in the wild with a BBQ dinner and drinks😊

All good things come to an end, as we took the remaining 2 days returning to Hobart and adjusting back to city life. Even the weather (it turned super sunny) was giving us the opportunity to adapt back to the weather at home! It was a good 1+ week of travels in Tasmania, mostly spent in the outdoors and in the caravan. Time went past so quickly but the memories are there to stay 😊

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