17 June 2012

Tasmania Holiday

Hi all

Not feeling the best today and am still wearing my pjs lol But I did have a chance to have a quick look through our Tassie photos. It is fairly overcast and rainy this time of year but not as cold as I expected with our average temperature around 15 degrees during the day. The sun doesn't really rise til around 8am though and dark kicks in soon after 5pm so short days but very European winter feel to the place.

Hobart was by far our favourite location, with the city on the waters edge, surrounded by mountains and greenery of trees etc. Very different to the flat and not so green urban jungle that is the centre of Brisbane. It's actually a really pretty place and if I didn't hate cold, I reckon I could live in Hobart.

Right near the city centre is the mammoth Mt Wellington. We went up there not long before dark so the views were not as good as they would be earlier on a clear day but still pretty impressive and on top of the mountain was freaking cold. It is above the clouds though, so no surprise there.

 Up in the clouds, it looked like a whole other planet.
The next day we went to Bonorong Wildlife Reserve, which are a research facility and reserve for animals who are unable to live in the wild. Their big focus though is on the hope of breeding Tassie devils and educating the community about the disease that is killing these cute little animals off. It was a great place to visit, with the most informative and friendly staff.
 Amazing how popular you can be with a bag of food...
 Tassie devils... we could not believe how friendly these two below were with the keeper. One kept licking his leg haha
Then to the Cascade Brewery for lunch... a delicious stout pie. One of the stand out meals of the holiday. We didn't do a tour or anything. I hate beer but the lunch was great lol
The next day we did the standout experience of the trip. A Tasman Island Wilderness Cruise which was simply amazing. If anyone is heading to Tassie, this is a must. They also do one on Bruny Island which I expect is just as good, if not better as it has won a lot more awards, but this trip was amazing. 3 hours out at sea, and we were lucky enough to have the best weather they'd had in a week so we had smooth conditions and even got to travel right around Tasman Island, which is rarely possible as it gets pretty bumpy. A little bit of white water rafting style fun haha But we got to see the most amazing cliffs, the highest sea cliffs in the world. The boat manovered right into caves and up close to animals. We saw seals, sea birds and had a massive pod of dolphins swimming along side us. Lots with babies. And the crew were so knowledgeable. We had 2 young men take our group and their enthusiasm is somewhat contageous. Truely love their jobs! And they give you a ginger tablet if you want it at the start and snacks along the way so my stomach was perfectly settled... which is a relief as I'm prone to sea sickness lol Oh and you get to wear these totally stylish water/wind proof suits.
 We totally felt like Slipknot! (For those of you that have no idea what I'm talking about, its a metal band that we love lol)

Into caves we go...
Water fall down the sea cliff
The candle stick... or the totem pole...not sure which but people like to climb it.
Mini waterfalls as waves crash over the rocks
Dolphins
Australian fur seals...largest in the world apparently.
Lighthouse on top of Tasman Island
Then we spent the afternoon at Port Arthur, which is an early convict prison settlement. Convicts were mostly sent from England but also from other parts of Europe and of course from other parts of Australia. What was most fascinating is that for me, working in the prison system, I was suprised how progressive this system was. They were focused on rehabilitation, so they had daily classes to educate convicts, as well as teaching them trades. They had an early system that very much resembled our current parole system and work release, and a seperate confinement that is not too much unlike our current maximum security system. Interesting... lol Only these days, prisons are much more humane in terms of space and providing healthcare, and some would say, luxuries.

After our 3 nights in Hobart, we travelled up through the west of Tasmania through the mountain and rainforrest areas. I spent the trip to Strahan and the next day, to Cradle Mountain, severely ill with motion sickness among other things. Not pleasant and it left me pretty exhausted and feeling a bit rough during our time in each of these places. Strahan was pretty but a lot of businesses were closed for Winter. We didn't have enough time for the must do Gordon River cruise either. Cradle Mountain was beautiful and isolated. We stayed in Lemonthyme Lodge which was right in the middle of the rainforrest and about 40 minutes from anything. Our room was a treetop wooden cabin with a gas fireplace and a veranda that looked out to a stunning view of rainforrest. The restaurant was great too.
In Launceston we stayed at Tamar Valley Resort and Swiss Village. It is actually styled on a real village in Switzerland which was pretty cute. We loved Switzerland so it was nice to feel like we were almost there again. The resort has everything you could want and so much for the kids to do. Water activities, play grounds, a giant bouncing bubble, putt putt etc.

While in Lauceston we went to Beaconsfield Mine which is apparently shutting down for good in 2 weeks. Many of you may remember the story of 3 minors trapped during a mine explosion many years ago. 2 of them survived after 14 days or so trapped in a tiny space underground. The museum tells a lot of this story and the history of the mine and the area. The picture below is the same mine shaft the men emerged from after their ordeal.. and still operating today... for a short time. It is a gold mine.

We also went to a platypus/echidna house that day as it was rainy and we couldn't do the Cataract Gorge as we'd hoped. Who knew platypus and echidna are directly related. I know I didn't.

So there is a snapshot of our Tasmania trip. Definitely worth a visit, even if you hate the cold like I do as it is truely beautiful and there is so much scenary to explore and sights to see. Now I just have to finish my smash book pages from the trip and I'll be able to post those up sometime in the coming days. I'm still on holidays for most of this week so hope to get some scrapping done over the next few days.

Hope you're all having a great Sunday.

Holly x

1 comment:

Alanna said...

Sounds like an awesome trip! I can't wait to get to Tassie one day... so gorgeous!

Just letting you know, I've been sharing the blogging love and have chosen you as a winner of the sunshine blogger award. Check it out at my blog: http://scrapping-and-life.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/sunshine-blogger-award.html

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