DIARY/PHOTO JOURNAL - Page 21
Week 26 - September 09, 2018 - September 19, 2018 (a long, wonderful 'week')
TASMANIA! TASSIE! TAS! Do I need to say more? Well, I will as this island-state has so much going for it and thousands of words are expressed in hundreds of pictures.
We flew from Sydney, across the Bass Strait, and landed in the Capital city of the 26th largest island in the world, Hobart, Tasmania. We decided to leave Cinderoo in Sydney as we agreed that with what was purported to be some narrow roads, lots of hills, inclement weather and a substantial number of inexpensive B and B's, we were a tad better off flying to Tassie and driving around the island in a small car.
Coastline views of Sydney and along the southern coast Our baggage helpers upon arrival in Hobart
Upon arrival, we had plenty of time to
see a bit of Hobart and its surrounds and started off our self-guided tour with
a drive up to the top of Mt. Wellington. Mt. Wellington watches over
Hobart and a drive to the top passes through what feels to be a few
meteorological zones as evidenced by the significant drop in temperature and the
presence of snow at the summit. We held onto our hats and roamed around
the lookout area while taking in the sights the stunning Hobart landscape.
Views to Hobart area below
Just a tad cold and had fun seeing snow
Then, it was back down to sea level
with a walking tour of Hobart and to find a spot to just sit and breathe in the
beauty of the harbour. It did not take long walking amongst the older
buildings and along the waterfront to find a nice little restaurant.
Just a few of the buildings with character Hobart harbour area Our lunch view
The famous Salmanca Market is held here and passageway to the upper neighborhoods Typical houses and street
Just a nice church
St. David's Park and cemetery - original cemetery for Hobart, memorial walls
We enjoyed our first night in Hobart in
an older home B&B and were off early the next day for a drive to Tassie's
southeastern peninsula towns around Port Arthur. A few stops along the way
included the Richmond Bridge (a Heritage listed arch bridge built in 1825), the
Tessellated Pavement (cool geomorphic rock formation) and Tasman National Park (Eaglehawk
Neck, Blowhole, Tasman Arch, Waterfall Bay).
Miller's Cottage at the Richmond Bridge Pretty duck keeping a little eye on me
Just a typical beautiful Tassie cottage Tessellated Pavement - Mother Nature's tile floor
Eaglehawk Neck (connects Forestier Peninsula to the Tasman Penisula)
Along the Tasman Peninsula coast
(Interesting note: the 100m wide isthmus would have a row of ornery
dogs chained across it to 'discourage' the convicts from escaping the
Port Arthur prison - referred to as the "Dogline".)
Blowhole - ocean enters through the rock Walking along the Tasman Peninsula coast at low tide
Tasman Arch - natural bridge Waterfall Bay and its namesake
Color is everywhere
You would think that all of this was
enough for one day, but wait... there is more sunshine to be enjoyed and a
self-guided tour around Port Arthur was squeezed in the afternoon. Between
1830 and 1877, Port Arthur housed approximately 12,500 convicts who had
committed crimes in the colony. The 'fort' was built on a peninsula and
was considered a 'natural penitentiary' due to being surrounded by ocean and its
only connection to Tasmania was through the Eaglehawk Neck isthmus, a mere 100m
(300ft.) wide. Between the 'Dogline' and the rumours of shark-infested
waters, escape was not often attempted.
A quick boat trip around Port Arthur Isle of the Dead and Port Arthur
Port Arthur's main prison and a fearsome convict Very small cells
Interesting story of one convict
Guard's Tower and Hospital/Infirmary
Officer's building and Prison Cathedral Green Rosella or Tasmanian Rosella - present guards at Port Arthur
And, as the sun was still in our favour,
we took advantage of the last hour of the day and visited the Remarkable Cave, a
cave where the ocean has pounded its way through the rock and created an inner
Walk to the Remarkable Cave
Views along Maingon Bay and to Raoul Bay Lookout
After our dawn to dusk first day and a very good night's sleep, we were off to drive northward, along the east coast of Tassie. Numerous beaches were on our list and as the weather was cooperating, we took the time to veer off to visit Freycinet National Park and the iconic Wineglass Bay.
Prosser Bay Little Swanport Tasmanian Devil (with a few embellishments)
Views of the countryside along the coast - stunning Spiky Bridge is aptly named - 1840's
Kelvedon Beach Enjoying local fare - Freycinet Marine Farm
Hike to Wineglass Bay overlook Iconic Wineglass Bay
Some friendly locals waiting for us in the parking lot
Cape Tourville Surfer at sunset - Bicheno
Easing further up the coast, we were still enjoying the benefits of lovely weather and gorgeous landscapes. Tasmania, like most of Australia, is sparsely populated and you go long stretches between towns and coastal construction, and it's wonderful. We made our way from Bicheno to the Bay of Fires and finally landed for the night in Launceston, Tassie's second largest city.
A local looking for lunch - Flame Robin Never get tired of these views
Bay of Fires - the 'fire' is an orange lichen (algae and fungus)
Plant competing with the Bay of Fires colors Beaches and view from The Gardens
Black Swans and a Pied Oystercatcher Landscapes coming into the hamlet of Derby
Legerwood and its famous tree-stump carvings On the way to Launceston
Our B&B - Hillview House, Launceston - built in the 1840's - room and views were
The infamous Tasmanian climate was
beginning to creep up on us so we took advantage of a window of dry time to walk
along the Cataract Gorge, just outside of Launceston. No sooner than we
returned to our car, was the rain upon us and our tour around Launceston was
made from the confines of our warm vehicle. Many historical buildings
enhance the charm of the city and we enjoyed our bitumen wandering through the
Cataract Gorge and walking across the suspension bridge The daffodils are in bloom - it's spring
Just a sample of the historic buildings in Launceston
We really liked this representation of sails
We were fortunate to leave Launceston
and drive out of the rain and into sunshine once again. We visited the Low
Head lighthouse, where the Tamar River meets the Bass Strait and soaked in the
warmth before we turned back into the chill of the rain.
Along the Tamar River
Low Head lighthouse and its surrounding countryside
An exciting find was the Devils Gullet.
While on our way from Launceston to the Cradle Mountain National Park, we
stopped off to see this incredible chasm. We walked through the tundra
landscape and an eerie fog was rolling in. The trail ended at the Devil's
Gullet and we were looking straight down hundreds of feet at otherworldly
rock formations and valleys. Within minutes of our arrival, we were
swallowed up by the fog. As Gerson quipped "Winter is coming!"
Devil's Gullet and the engulfing fog
Cradle Mountain National Park was our next stopover and we crossed our fingers for a good-weather day with which to explore the park. The weather gods listened to our pleas and we had a glorious day exploring the park and hiking up to Marion's Lookout. The day started with my opening the drapes of our hotel room to be greeted by several local Pademelons enjoying their breakfast and ended with us exhausted with, a camera full of photos and with a mind full of memories.
Having breakfast with the local Pademelons (like Wallabies) Morning views of the national park
Hiking along the Overland Track - beautiful Crater Lake
Up we go Views to Crater Lake
View to Lake Lilla and Dove Lake Marion's Lookout and spectacular view to Cradle Mountain
Views from Marion's Lookout Our lunch view Down we go
Cradle Mountain in all its glory A local visitor trying to mooch food
Gorgeous landscape throughout the park Dinner - stone cooked meats which included Wallaby (no, not our morning visitors)
Tasmanian Tiger - extinct in 1936. A thylacine - nocturnal, dog-like,
carnivorous marsupial, also known as the Tasmanian Wolf,
became extinct through hunting and with the significant reduction of the animals, the in-breeding sealed their fate.
Although we loved Cradle National Park,
the weather had other plans for us so we drove onward and hoped to be able to
view a bit of the southern side (and lower elevation) of the park. We
wandered westward and arrived at Strahan for lunch and a bit of a respite before
heading back east and having a lovely stay in Queenstown. Queenstown, not
a town that one might consider as beautiful, at least not by Tassie standards,
but even its denuded hillsides (acres of forest were removed for building and
mining) have a certain attraction in their brightly hued rocks left bare.
And, as we found a gem in the Empire Hotel and its fantastic Tasmanian Blackwood
National Trust staircase, we quite liked Queenstown.
Driving west under the fog A bit of sunshine along the Southern Ocean coast
Strahan was a bit stormy Queenstown, its mountain train and some colorful waterfalls
The Empire Hotel circa 1901 and its magnificent National Trust Staircase Gerson enjoying the Empire lounge
Heading southeast from Queenstown to
Maydena, there were numerous places to stop off and lookout over the landscape,
walk along rivers and up to waterfalls and just take in all that Tasmania has to
View back to Queenstown and large waterfall Lookout over the quarry and Emerald Lake
Snowy walk to Nelson Falls A bit of fun with the snow View from Donaghys Hill
View to the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park - area known for the
Franklin River Blockade, a movement that blocked the Hydro
Electric Commission from building a dam that would have destroyed much of the (then nominated) World Heritage park.
Just a little snowstorm to make the drive interesting Stop for lunch at Lake St. Clair
Brady's Lake and just a beautiful rainbow
We overnighted in Maydena and set our
sights on reaching Hobart with some time to enjoy a bit more of what the city
has to offer. One of those things was MONA (Museum of Old & New Art) as it
had come recommended by multiple sources.
Walk to Junee Cave
Junee Cave and its under-mountain waterfall
Maydena area landscape
We made it to MONA and I could spend a
lot of time discussing this 'museum' and I would rather not. Simply
stated, it was terrible. We agreed that of all the museums we have ambled
through and of all the 'art' galleries we have pondered, this was by far the
worst and a waste of our money. It was pretentious, absurd (in a sad way), sophmoric and although there were a few pieces that had some interest, they
could not lift the rest of the displays out of their horrible holes.
Water display - Julius Popp Bit.fall - water droplets reflect trending internet
Basement carved out of the banks of the River Derwent
Gregory Barsamian - a comment on our slow cognitive process and that we only realize 'bits' of all the data processed in our brains
Erwin Wurm - fat car - example of gluttony and wanting more Mummified cat and Central American artifact
Best part of MONA - the view from the property
We opted to stay at the wonderful
Lowena Accommodation and Cafe that we stayed at for our first night in Hobart.
The owner, a cheery Chinese man named Kevin, upgraded our room to a two-room
suite and we were happy campers.
Lowena Accommodation - lovely place
Our last day in Tassie was spent
driving (and eating) around Bruny Island and just soaking up our last hours of this paradise
state. We toured the 50k long island from top to bottom, and only the
encroachment of night made us leave and go back to Hobart.
On our way to Bruny Island Crossing the D'Entrecasteaux Channel
Barnes Bay Dennes Point and northern end views
Gerson loved the drive-thru oyster place Eaglehawk Neck - Isthmus Bay and Adventure Bay
Simpson's Bay Lunch in Alonnah was superb
Touching the southern end - Bruny Island Lighthouse Waves battering the rocks
Quiet Bay and Court Island
Lighthouse Bay and Quiet Bay
Our time in Tasmania was, much like the beloved Tasmanian Devil cartoon character, a whirlwind and our flight back to Sydney gave us some time to reflect on all the wondrous places we saw and the beautiful landscapes we enjoyed. Although we did not see any living Devils (a few road kills unfortunately), we have no regrets as to anything missed. What a fantastic place!
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