Thursday, February 17, 2011

Five days in Tasmania

Leni and I have returned to Sydney today, after spending five days in Tasmania. I really had no idea what to expect, except maybe for some cold weather as that is what anyone told us when we mentioned we were heading there. The weather is definitely colder than here in Sydney as you can see that I am wearing a sweater in many of the photos. But we had no rain worth mentioning and lots of blue skies.
We landed in Launceston and spent two nights there in the cutest little hotel. It is a waterfront town that sits on an inlet and we had a view of the water and the boats right out our hotel window.

Our first day we were told by all the locals that the place to be was the Festivale (pronounced Festivalee) so that is where we spent the afternoon. It was a big food and wine festival held in the city park with live music on a few stages. I won't go into much detail about this, as Leni and I think you may have had to have been there to have seen the charm, but this day provided many laughs for us that day and for the days to come as we remembered our first day in Tasmania.
The highlight of Launceston though, was definitely a place called the Cataract Gorge. A hidden gem in the town that we stumbled onto totally by accident. After the Festivale was over we decided to go for a walk before finding some dinner. We found the most beautiful pathway that led you along the edge of a gorge with the Tamar River running below. After about 25 minutes we came to the end to find a spot where the river widened and created a sort of swimming hole. The had developed it into a park, complete with grassy areas, two little cafes, and an outdoor swimming pool. We loved this spot so much that we decided to go back there the next day to spend even more time exploring.

After our two nights in Launceston we headed to the northern coastal town of Devonport. The town itself was not too exciting but we explored the areas surrounding in our little rental car which we endearingly named Kermit. We drove through a tiny little beach town named Penguin where we beachcombed for a while. I thought this beach was pretty lovely but Leni didn't seem too impressed. I think living in Auusie for so long has spoiled her.

We then kept driving up to a place called Wynyard, where we were told there was a beautiful lookout. the view from the top was amazing. The town's little slogan is "Where green meets blue" and from up there you could see why. The water though is a blue that doesn't compare to the blue here. It is really more of a teal blue and I coulnd't really get enough of it. The little lookout point was extremeily windy and we felt like we were going to blow right off.

Next morning we were on the road again - this time heading to Cradle Mountain. This is part of a huge natinal park that takes up almost half of Tasmania. We had booked a room in a place called the Cradle Mountain Chateau. It was quite a windy road to get up there but Kermit (and Leni) did a great job getting us there.

The place was lovely, set right in the middle of the forest. The view from our room was what looked like pristine, untouched nature. And to prove that point, we saw a number of wallabies and one shy little echidna right from our room. The echidna was very, very shy and getting a good photo was difficult, but he was oh-so cute.

That first afternoon we did about a two hour walk all the way around Dove Lake. Most of the walk was boardwalk and a really great way to see the landscape. The foliage is so different from home, so there seemed to be something new to see around every bend.

The next day we did another walk - this time along another boardwalk that took us through the forest and along fields of button grasses and tall gum trees.
I especially loved the contrast between the lush green bottom and tall grey sticks that seemed to be dead but had green at the very top.

We were also treated to a sighting of a wombat along that trail. We were both so happy to see him but he was not so happy to see us. I was able to capture this photo before he scurried out of sight.

After our walk it was time to get back into Kermit for the drive back to Launceston as our flight left from there the next morning back to Sydney.
These five days were full of seeing some lovely sights, and experiencing new things, but mostly it was some precious quality time with my sister that I won't soon forget.


Anonymous said...

Oh my look like you are having the most amazing time. Enjoy yourself...soak up the time with you sister...embrace all the beautiful sights! I can't wait for all the photos and stories once you come back to beautiful BC (we have sun here too you know...well, sometimes (smile). Julie

Sonya said...

I don't think I could ever get tired of all the beautiful scenery in Australia. Thanks for sharing it!