Blogs from Tasmania, Australia, Oceania

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Oceania » Australia » Tasmania March 15th 2021

We are all visitors to this time, this place ~ Aboriginal Australian Proverb This is a very different type of blog for us. Firstly, we won’t be writing it in a HE SAID... / SHE SAID... style. I (Ren) will be doing most of the writing with input from Andrew. Secondly, this Tasmanian trip will span the whole year, with day trips, long weekends and possibly week-long excursions being undertaken whenever we have the time. As is our usual routine before we travel, we’ve started immersing ourselves in books, films and TV shows about/set in Tasmania. Tasmania has many faces and moods, but it seems that many writers and directors have chosen to focus on stories about the bleak and austere aspects of island life. It’s even been given a title – Tassie Noir – a ... read more
maps and brochures at the ready
unimpressed mia :)
worried jasper

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania March 8th 2021

May as well be here we are as where we are ~ Aboriginal Australian Proverb Hello people! Between COVID issues sidelining most of the world last year and us being unpredictably crazy busy for 12 straight months, we’ve only just started thinking about travel again. When we returned from our overseas trip at the end of January 2020 (at the start of the coronavirus pandemic), we decided pretty much straight away that 2021 would be the year we focus on travelling locally in Tasmania – the little heart shaped island State at the bottom of Australia. Obviously no one could have possibly foreseen the chaos that has been unleashed on the planet over the last 15 or so months. However, we generally tend to err on the side caution when making travel plans, because careful scheduling ... read more
map of tassie :)
travel viewing
travel reading

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Swansea February 26th 2021

On Wednesday we left Launceston about 9 am and headed to Swansea. I had checked on Google Maps and directed Fletcher to drive south as that was what I was shown was the quickest way. However, we had our first and last "disagreement" when he saw we were on an expressway heading south when we should have been on a scenic route going east. Much silence and grumpiness on both sides ensued until we reached St Mary's where we stopped for a coffee and "breakfäst". This consisted of sharing a quiche which must have been left over from yesterday! From here we headed east and after a quick stop at Fingal for fuel we reached the coast after a very windy road. Here we headed north to St Helen's which had been our original destination. The ... read more
foreshore at St Helen's
Marina at St helen's
The Lobster Shack at Bicheno

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Launceston February 23rd 2021

From Cradle Mountain we set out about 9am and headed north.We were ultimately heading for Launceston, but decided to check out the north coast on the way. Our first destination was Burnie which only took us about an hour or so to get there. We drove into the city and headed towards the Harbour, however, nothing extraordinary struck us so we drove past the port and headed east. Fletcher had a great desire to visit Penguin, one, because he was intrigued by the name, but two, because there was an athletics track there. We drove along the coast road which was very scenic. Penguin was a great little town. We parked on the foreshore opposite a very attractive old wooden church. As we walked along the edge of a grassed area we soon saw how the ... read more
The Tardis
Library inside the police box
Giant Penguin

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Launceston February 22nd 2021

We woke in Cradle Mountain to another glorious day. We have had beautiful weather during our trip and today was no exception. At about 9am we drove to the Visitor Centre at the entrance to the National Park, parked and walked to the bus stop. Here we boarded the bus which takes visitors to the various locations around the park. We decided to go first to the furthest destination which was Dove Lake. We alighted, signed in and then walked along the boardwalk to the shores of the lake. The scenery was breathtaking having the actual Cradle Mountain as the backdrop and we enjoyed sitting at the edge and taking in the view. We then walked towards Lake Lilla and were able to see the vista of that lake nestled in the mountainside.. But we are ... read more
Cradle Mountaiin Visitor Centre
Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain
Views of Dove Lake

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Cradle Mountain February 21st 2021

Another early morning, as we had to drive into Queenstown to board the West Coast Wilderness Railway, which was scheduled to leave at 9am. We headed out on the road at 7-15am. The sun was just coming up and we had to drive straight into it, but the trip was uneventful and took about 40 minutes. We found a park and walked across to the station where we quickly were given our tickets and then made our way to Tracks Café for a coffee. We were told we were in the Heritage carriage, which was the premium one, so we looked forward to a great trip. We boarded at 8-45am and were greeted with a glass of bubbly from our hostess, Brooke. The carriage soon filled up with 16 of us altogether. There was also several ... read more
Enjoying our complimentary bubbly
Good Bubbly
Inside our carriage

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Strahan February 18th 2021

Yesterday we left Hobart about 9-15 and set out on the Brooker Highway. We first travelled north but soon turned onto the Lyell Highway for our journey to the West Coast. The scenery along the way was ever changing. Along the Derwent river were beautiful spots, dotted with houses along the edge of the water. Then the outlook became rolling hills, some with vegetation but others glowing yellow in the morning sun. It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies and a mild temperature. Further along we entered dense woodland, with tall trees closely knitted together. We planned to stop at Derwent Bridge where Lake St Clair offers spectacular walks and interesting scenery/ We turned off the main road and after 5 Kms we came to the entrance to the National Park. We only planned ... read more
Mt Lyell at Queenstown
Ocean Beach
On board the Spirit of the Wild

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania February 16th 2021

After our trip to Darwin last year, we have been confined to Adelaide and with no good news on the horizon about overseas trips we decided to go "overseas" in Australia. Thus a holiday in Tasmania seemed attractive. I had driven around the island in 1965 during May school holidays with my parents and had only been back to Hobart for a weekend since. Fletcher has visited many times but mainly for Athletics meets in Hobart and Launceston, so a thorough exploration seemed necessary. We have planned two weeks, hiring a car but booking ahead for accommodation and some special sightseeing trips. Thanks to Claire at Top Deck Travel, this was organised superbly. Fortunately, Jetstar has a direct Adelaide-Hobart flight so no transitioning through Tullamarine. We left Adelaide airport at 5-30pm on the 15th. The only ... read more
Plaque acknowledging the history of the building
Long Beach
Sculpture at Long Beach

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Cradle Mountain January 1st 2021

img=https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/hqSCs7SlwV5P7ui2G1Yg0kuzBK-QcaFmm7OZKAWvbEmb5h9T4TkAt3CifITfcquREN-PPwKcd4inOYV1djl493SJqxfHwN22QcvYQc8HGOmVSv_bvf4oBLLs0kIPucjmdMm34-3k Tasmania has so much to offer. There is plenty of places to explore along its eastern coastline and plenty of things to do around Cradle Mountain and Lake St. Claire. For those who choose to camp their way around (instead of taking in any of the states beautiful Bed and Breakfast, cabin or hotel accommodation), you will need to be prepared. Every camping or hiking trip will have its own list of essentials. While the size, style, and condition of those essentials will vary, the list itself is non-negotiable. If you are new to hiking and looking for a simple and straightforward guide on essentials for typical weather conditions in Tas... read more

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Hobart » Rosny May 9th 2020

So, during this "shelter in place" or quarantine period, many friends have asked me this question. My short answer is: I would go anywhere it is safe, and happy. Narrowing it down, I would say New Zealand, Thailand, and Cape Town. Why? If things were safe everywhere, where would I go? How about the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia, Tasmania, and Yerevan, Armenia. But reality speaks loud and clear! New Zealand is clean, not heavily populated, and loves the outdoors. It feels safe there, yet far enough off the beaten path to avoid pandemic issues. Thailand, simply has the number one rated hospital in the world. Add to that, great food, nice people, world class shopping, and a very interesting cultural explosion. Cape Town, home to Barry the V, means I would be treated like a ... read more
Armenia
Yerevan, the capital city




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