Secret Splendour

Of all the places I have traveled in the last five months, Tasmania was easily my favourite. This was the first place Ben Feeney (my travel buddy) and I stopped on our journey back home. I hate to brag to my lovely friends who had to stay back at campus and finish their finals, but you sure missed out! Not only did we have a kickass bus driver, Cyclone Kate, but 40% of the state consists of National Parks. I saw more waterfalls in the first day than I have seen in my entire life. It only took us five days to circle the entire state, so it’s well worth your time and money to travel south to this great beauty!

waterfallMount Field National Park

On the first day, Kate picked everyone up in Hobart (see featured image) and brought us to our first of many hikes at Mt. Field. We walked through a short loop called “Tall Trees”, and then finished the longer path that crossed two incredibly beautiful waterfalls. Next, we drove to Lake St. Claire, the deepest lake in Australia at 160 m (525 ft). We stayed in Strahan for the night and ate pizza while we watched the sun set over the ocean.

tree.jpegTall Trees hike with Ben

The following day we travelled to Montezuma Falls for a 3 hour hike to see another gorgeous waterfall. They have a swing bridge strung across the river that can only hold two people at a time. I’m personally not afraid of heights, but that bridge could make anyone’s knees tremble. We made our way back to Strahan and went to a play put on by the locals called “The Ship That Never Was”. The play tells the dramatic and hilarious true story of the Great Escape from Sarah Island! They had the entire crowd interacting with the play, and Ben even got to join them on stage as a pirate!

pirate“The Ship That Never Was” ft. Benjamin Feeney

Day 3 we really had to bundle up to tackle the Cradle Mountain hike. We successfully climbed the peak of Mt. Wellington at 4,170 ft. I can’t even describe this pristine world heritage site, so I’ll let UNESCO give it a shot, “In a region that has been subjected to severe glaciation, these parks and reserves, with their steep gorges, covering an area of over 1 million ha, constitute one of the last expanses of temperate rainforest in the world. Remains found in limestone caves attest to the human occupation of the area for more than 20,000 years.”

cradle6Cradle Mountain National Park

After we finished the hike, we still had to make our way to Launceston. To break up the drive, we stopped in Sheffield. They host mural contests every year, and WOW were they incredible. We also stopped for a quick snack just outside of Launceston for fresh berries and ice cream. Once we arrived in town, we ate supper at a Fish and Chips restaurant right along the riverfront. This was the last night for about half the group that chose the 3-day tour. For the rest of us, we stopped by the Bottle-O and sat out on the balcony of our hostel for the rest of the night getting to know each other.

muralSheffield mural: Old vs New

Day 4 we travelled down the east coast of Tasmania. We made a few stops along the way including wine tasting where Ben and I bought a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to share, the Bicheno Blowhole where you can find blue penguins coming in from a day of hunting at sunset, a quick hike through Wineglass Bay and finally a ghost tour at Port Arthur National Park. Ben swears he heard and smelled odd things, but I’m not a huge believer in ghosts.

landscapePoint Puer Crescent Bay Conservation Reserve

Unfortunately, our last day was filled with rain and cold. Cyclone Kate had plenty of stops planned for our trip back to Hobart, but we made them quick because we were so cold and exhausted from the week. We stopped at the “Incredible Cave” right away in the morning before heading to Port Arthur National Park for the day tour. Next, we stopped to watch a feeding at the Tasmanian Devil unzoo (an Unzoo creates an environment where animals have more dignity, freedom and self-determination, and where human visitors can experience personal, memorable encounters with wildlife and nature.) And finally, we checked out “Devils Kitchen” before getting dropped off at Wrest Point in Hobart. We immediately jumped in the hot tub and relaxed the next day before heading to New Zealand to meet up with our Down Under crew.

wrestpoint.jpgWrest Point in Hobart

 

 

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