Blogs from Tasmania, Australia, Oceania

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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


After the splendours of the Himalayas, I decided to go to what is considered by many to be another one of the Worlds Best Treks, the Overland Track in Tasmania. I again booked through World Expeditions, (Tasmanian Expedition) and set off for Launceston in October 2018. The first thing to strike me was the cold when I arrived in Launceston having come down from Far North Queensland. The next morning, I was picked up from my hotel and taken to the Tasmanian Expeditions headquarters at Quamby Estate, to meet my group, guides and get our kit sorted. This was so well organised and I was happy to have booked through them. So onto the coach and off we set for the drive to the start of our trek at Waldheim. The trek overall is not long, ... read more
Barn Bluff
Tasmanian Expeditions Private Huts
Barn Bluff

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania March 9th 2020

It was sad to leave Helen behind in Sydney but we had had a lovely holiday with her and a lovely last night in Sydney with her and Wildy in Mr Wong's. It was also a relief to be able to board the ship, the Silver Muse, but it took a long time as everyone had to fill in long questionnaire and be temperature checked. As we had been through Singapore we had to have ours checked every day for 14 days after leaving Singapore. We have got through that and passed the test- we are normal! The first stop was 2 days in Melbourne. On the first we met two friends who were on our Trivia team on the last cruise. They took us to the Stokehouse in St.Kilda's and we had a lovely afternoon ... read more
On the Boardwalk in Burnie
In Mr.Wongs with Helen & Wildy
With Jim & Barb in Melbourne

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania March 1st 2020

Decided to take a different route back which took us through more mountainous and forested areas but the road was very tortuous. Stopped at viewing points and did a short hike to a Gorge and stopped at Entally Lodge in Hadspen for a superb lunch of salmon starter and prawn fettucine- one of the best lunches so far. In Launceston we stayed at the Pepper's Seaport Hotel next to the River Tamar. In the evening had dinner at the Youjing Chinese. The Indian restaurant next door was heaving but the Chinese was practically empty. We wondered if people were worried about the Coronavirus even though there have been no cases in Australia. The clams in chilli sauce were divine and the roast duck excellent so another great meal today. We had arrived in Launceston in beautiful ... read more
Ginormous eucalypt on walk
Helen at Alum Cliffs Gorge
Hotel on River Tamar

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania February 29th 2020

Cradle Mountain is situated in a National Park and is a very popular area for hikers and campers. We stayed in the Lemon-thyme Wilderness Resort which is reached by a long winding narrow road and is about a 40 minute drive from Cradle Mountain. All the cabins are surrounded by trees and beautiful large tree ferns and feels sometimes quite primitive, but the cabins are cosy and the staff in the bar/restaurant are very helpful. You have to drive to the Cradle Mountain Carpark from where you take a shuttle bus to whichever walk you decide to do. It was so cold we had to buy hats and gloves before we set off! The most popular walk is around Dove Lake, but for some reason we decided to do the more arduous Crater Lake walk. The ... read more
Start of walk across marsh land
Stefan by waterfall
Up through the trees

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania February 28th 2020

Coles Bay is situated on the Fraycinet Peninsula which is a National Park We had nice cabins at Edge of the Bay Resort, which had a lovely view from the restaurant. Later in the evening the stars were out and it was wonderful to see Orion and the Milky Way. Helen actually went in the sea here but soon came out again ! The following day we went into the National Park and hiked up lots of granite steps and track to a lookout point over Wineglass Bay. No wine here though! We also stopped at Honeymoon Bay. There are lots of little bays here which all look out onto Great Oyster Bay- very pretty area. Later we had a pit stop at a winery to buy wine and have a glass of course. Helen has ... read more
Helen in the sea
rocks on Honeymoon Beach
Wineglass Bay Lookout

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Hobart February 25th 2020

It is only 1and half hour flight from Sydney to Hobart via JetStar an economy airline therefore restrictions on baggage etc. We left unwanted stuff in Helen's car at a secure car park. We stayed in a two bedroomed apartment in The Old Woolstore Hotel, which is close to the centre and harbour and is well appointed. It is a short stroll down to the Harbour, where we had a pleasant light lunch at Pearl & Co. A special Mona Rova ferry takes you on a short ride to MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art. The ferry ride includes tickets for the Gallery, which is very new and very weird. We were given devices which you point at the art work when you are close and it says what it is. There were one ... read more
Helen feeling sheepish!
A cow on the ferry!
Stefan relaxes in the Grotto exhibit

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Freycinet February 4th 2020

Although Melbourne is a wonderful city, and more European than most places in Australia, we did not actually spend much time there. Following our visit to Healesville, the next day we went to the Mornington Peninsula (more on that later) and the the following day visited the Museum and then flew to Hobart, Tasmania. For some reason, even more than the rest of Australia, Tasmania has always seemed a particularly exotic destination to me. Not sure if it is the prison background, or the sordid aboriginal history, or the Tasmanian devils of cartoons, or perhaps the far southernly location, but Tasmania has always seemed the stuff of dreams. As it turns out, it is indeed that in some ways. With only two days to spend in Tassie, we elected to focus on two things: the beauty ... read more
Freycinet Marine Farm
Honeymoon Bay, Freycinet National Park
Beach, Freycinet Peninsula

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Narawntapu National Park December 4th 2019

'So where are you off to?' Asks George, or is it Dave From George and Dave's cafe in Shearwater? We had just driven straight from Devonport after our overnight crossing from Melbourne. I had been in fear and trepidation of sea sickness but slept like a baby lightly rocked in the cabin. Or of course it could have been the sea sickness pill I took which just knocked me out! So, where were we going? I couldn't blame jetlag but I was stumbling on the pronunciation of Narawntapu. 'I don't know how to pronounce it...the one that used to be called Asbestos Ranges.' 'Ah, Narawntapu,' he grins. I try again. 'It's easy,' says Dave or George,'you just say Now-I-want-a-poo and sort of run it all together.' We both try with limited success but enough to make ... read more
copper cove 2
from archer's knob
tired feet

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania May 21st 2019

The last half of 2017 and early 2018 were difficult with health problems causing a variety of issues. Eventually, enough things got sorted for us to leave Tasmania. Without my wife, Georgi, beside me I may have got lost. My sounding board, my organiser and second opinion Medico patiently (most of the time) guided me through the fog and haze that had descended. It was a good time to leave, with winter approaching. Thanks to Doctor Michael and Louise for their support. Thanks also to my work colleagues who gave me a great send off! A big thank you to Mark who had been a huge help in reshaping the trailer and with other things. Mark helped again and we were off to Devonport to catch the “Spirit”. Of course, we had lunch in Launceston with ... read more
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