So first of all, no way you can get the whole Tasmania (a.k.a. Tassy ) under your wings in 5 days, but if you want to know how to cover most of the nature in Tasmania then read on. Lets keep aside the incestual or bogan jokes. Also, should not laugh but see with sympathy that it was dropped from the Australian map from the most patriotic ‘Australia Day’ ad. Apart from that, you would be surprised how amazing this tiny state is. The most underrated beauty, at least nature wise, down under. I would be covering how to enjoy most of Tasmania. Now, there are many well-known markets and museums but I ain’t interested in that. I wanna see nature. Tasmania is super cheap btw, budget wise (~$100/day food, accomodations and transport covered). It is said that Tasmania is three times cheaper then New Zealand (probably three times less beautiful too but you get what you pay for, I guess).
#1, iPhoto overview showing what got covered in 5 days (photos wise)
So, #1 is showing an overview of what I was able to cover in 5 days. Most of the region on the left, west side, is uninhabited forest so for casual hikers avoid that!
When to go?
I went in November which is a bit bad to be there coz it may rain or still be cold. Going in December or Jan is best as you get the amazing summer breeze and clear sky (Reminder: We have summer during Christmas and NY here in Oz). Having said that, there are some places where the weather would drastically change and your luck will decided what you experience.
I was in a group of three and an unlimited kms Toyota Corolla served us pretty good. However, there are other options, there were plenty of cars on the roads with a small camping gear mounted on the top. They are best for two. Its a must that you hire a car as nothing beats the freedom of own vehicle and driving those sweet country villages, changing landscapes, old rails, wildlife, etc.
If a group of 2 or even 3 then the best would be to make your transport as accomodation because then you will save time in commute to and from your accomodations. We didn’t do that and spent our nights at 3 different places throughout Tassy. I would point out the suburbs we stayed later in the blog.
If you are planning on hiking then hiking clothes, duh! It was cold in some places, stormy, rainy and skin cancer inducing sunny at others. So yeah, just pack all kind of things and good shoes. Those twisted ankles are not worth it.
Initiate the conquest!
Arrived in the lovely sunny morning at Hobart, Tassy’s capital. We picked the car and checked in at AirBnB in Lewisham. Lovely place to stay and cheaper. The best part was the view from our backyard (mostly from everyone’s backyard in Lewisham) which directly looks at Mt. Wellington (more on this later). You can totally predict the weather.
#2 Mt. Wellington from the backyard…no no not the small mountain at front but look behind that….did you notice now? the monstrosity lining up with clouds? It snowed there so that explains the whitish tinge on it apart from clouds.
When I saw the #2, I had to conquer it. But not so fast, there is a conservational zoo which we went to first. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is different than others. All the wildlife there are been rescued or sheltered. You can get really close to kangaroos, I mean really close, and can feed them. The best part is when the herd of 10-15 kangaroos hopping in synchronisation from one side of the zoo to the other. How should I describe it….you know the scene where velociraptors running together in Jurassic world. Well that kind of feeling. No pics will do it justice you need to experience that. Then there’s a parrot that is 110 years old. I had no idea some of the bird species survive that long!
Also, you can pat a wombat, Koala and come pretty close to the devils (#3)
#3 Tasmanian Devil
After spending a good amount of time socialising with Australian Fauna, we decided to hit the peak. Mt. Wellington is seen as a protector of Hobart from torturous winds and storms. It sits at 1,271 metres above sea level Read more on it on Wiki. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Wellington_(Tasmania)>
I rocked up there and the winds are always at crazy speed, like ~100 km/hr. All of the exposed skin like face and hands were red due to cold and mostly the speed of wind. Within 2 min, my face was numb with mucous flowing out of nose. I would still not miss it. You can drive to the peak so there’s always shelter of your car. Careful though as there are massive dish and towers so the electromagnetic rays would interfere with car’s locking mechanisms so don’t have anything too expensive in the car.
The weather there could be unpredictable but you can see it from the city so at least you would a bit prepared. I got hit by slit (in-between snow+hail) under a glaring sun!
#4 Getting hit by tiny white particles called slit, its painful! like someone thru needles on your face. Don’t get out of your car if there’s too much of slit fall. One side of my face is cold and the other one is burning due to sun.
#5 On the way to the peak
#6 From the peak you see the whole capital of Tasmania, Hobart
#7 Just to give an idea of how crazy the wind is….So hard to maintain a stance, you almost feel like getting blown away!
We stopped on the drive down from there. The mountain does its job well protecting from the crazy wind. There are some amazing small trails and walks you can do along the way. Park the car in designated car park and go on a 20-30 min walk on the trails. You will feel like you are in some dense forest and the may come across some empty cabins.
#8 Cabin in the woods?
The other great part of this peak is thats its ~ 20 km from the main city. So you are close to amazing food (Oysters were really fresh and a must if you are into it, should give it a try even if you are not into it 🙂
#9 Served on the rock salt, as you do 🙂
At this point you should buy the required snacks and other staples as the other part of Tassy is quite remote and hard to find food and usually everything closes at 3-4 pm. You wouldn’t be back from the hikes to make it to the shops before they close.
We hit the bed early as the Day 2 is gonna be a big drive and lots of things to see.
-To be Continued