Category Archives: Tasmania

Australia 2014 Part 4

Launceston was absolutely amazing! We had no idea what it would be like and it gets a bit of a kicking as it’s not Hobart, but it was just wonderful. There was so much to do and I’m super chuffed we got the chance to stay there. I would definitely go back again as there is still more I want to do!

On our last day, before we drove down to Hobart, we went to Tasmania Zoo. they have a massive collection of animals here including some you can only find in Tasmania. Such as, the Tasmanian Devil!

They are so cute! I didn’t get to see any the last time I was in Tassie and I was surprised by how small they are and the fact that they don’t spin around pulling raspberries. Thanks Warner Bros!

We also saw this fucker! I hate emus! They are so creepy and could very well be silent assassins! They sneak up on you lightning quick and out of nowhere. Terrifying!

Tasmanian Devils are currently in danger from the facial tumour disease that is spreading from a random genetic abnormality. The zoo is doing everything it can to try to breed isolated colonies without inbreeding.

I was also surprised by just how vicious they can be!

Food!

Better food! They grabbed this food and then had a massive battle between themselves running around the pen to see who would be the victor and get to actually eat it. Pretty scary actually and a useful reminder not to try and pet them!

Meerkat!

Here is the missus feeding a goat!

We had lunch at the cafĂ© and I had chips and gravy (very Northern!). Then we headed down to Hobart. It was about a 2 and a half hour drive of some of the most stunning landscape I’ve ever seen! We had so much fun!

We stayed in Lauderdale with the missus’ uncle which is a really great location for doing many of the things in and around Hobart. First up, we went to Richmond which is like a novelty/themed village. I’m just not sure what the theme is supposed to be.

Here is Richmond Gaol, originally a place to hold convict labourers while the town was developed:

A tree in the yard:

I went in a cell and shut the door. True solitary confinement. Really freaked me out!

Next up we went to the Old Hobart Model Village! I love model villages! This one had a unique spin in that it had characters you had to find. It took ages but we were adamant we would get them all. The funniest thing is that none of the kids who came through could care less, but the adults were the ones determined to find them all!

The village has been around for about 30 years and showcases what Hobart would’ve looked like when it was originally settled and used primarily for harvesting whale oil. It must’ve stunk!

Look, they’re doing it!

We went to a crazy maze that the missus did back in the 90s. They had modernised it and created an additional maze which was supposed to be much harder. We went through the first one and that was really easy so we decided to go into the second one. It was a ridiculously hot afternoon and we got really disorientated and ran out of water and tempers got out of hand and I almost jumped the fence but we persevered and made it out alive! That was a low point of the trip!

Brilliant little town, we called off at a winery place and tasted some more cheese!

The next day we went up Mount Wellington:

Last time, it wasn’t a very clear day so we knew the minute the sun came out we would have to go up there. Our tiny little Micra actually made it to the top!! Isn’t this just beautiful?!

Turn the other way though and you could be in the desert in some flatlands or something!

Here is the missus being buffeted by the wind:

Here I am being a knob in the wind:

After that, we descended back down the mountain and went for lunch in Hobart. We opted for the Salamanca area:

How cool would it be to live there?!

There was a cruise ship in for a few days. Absolutely massive!

The missus’ family used to live near Seven Mile Beach so we went there to take a look. It’s a gorgeously private beach!

Next up, we went to Opossum Bay which gives you the sense or being on an island in the middle of the sea with nothing else around you for miles and miles and miles and miles! Which is exactly what it is!

I could also live here:

I’m not much of a beer drinker but I was given some James Boag and that stuff is delicious! I’ve found somewhere I can buy it here in the UK and will definitely be getting a case in for the summer BBQ season!

Hobart, and indeed, Tasmania, is just an amazing place. I would love to live there one day. Mostly I’d like to pack everything up and dump it in a camper van and spend six months getting around the island doing everything! One for the lottery win bucket list I think!

Stay tuned for part 5 and Melbourne!

Australia 2014 Part 3

Next on our adventures we decided to go on a river cruise. Last time we were in Tasmania we were in Hobart only and we did the Peppermint Bay cruise and I got some great photos. We were going to do it again but we figured we’d use up some of the time we had in Launceston and do it there instead. We went out with Tamar River Cruises.

Not as big a boat but definitely as bitching!

While we were waiting to board I got some photos of the wildlife and the surrounds:

Then I saw this little fella. I tried to get as close as I could without disturbing him but this was about the limit:

Then we boarded and headed up the Tamar River. We got our safety instructions and then we could go up top on the outer deck to have a gander. We got super lucky in that it wasn’t raining! The captain reeled off all the history of the valley and the boats that have come through over the years. Fascinating stuff!

There is some incredible wildlife you can only see if you’re on the river, like this nesting pair of sea eagles!!

Black swans!

Here is a really neat bridge:

I want to live here!

The Cataract Gorge:

The King’s Bridge:

It was a fantastic day out and they gave us a beer and wine tasting, all local produce and a fantastic lunch of cheeses and sarnies. Everyone was incredibly friendly. Perfection!

Australia 2014 Part 2

Following on from part 1, we left Sydney with very heavy hearts and boarded our plane to Tasmania. Which, by the way, was fucking awful! I am never flying Virgin again. Terrible organisation at the airport, no food on board, tiny, tiny, tiny seats and useless ground staff throwing the bags around as they loaded them on board. Thankfully it was only about a 10 minute flight to Launceston.

The missus has family in Hobart but they were away while her other cousin was having another baby in Melbourne. On a whim and at a loose end, we decided to stay in Launceston for 5 days. Completely at random I picked a resort that looked completely in the middle of nowhere to counter the city stay in Sydney. We ended up staying at the Country Club Tasmania. By sheer luck, this was one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed. It had a pool, golf course, private restaurant, laundry, everything you need. It was a bit like a British caravan resort but with villas. Oh and a massive casino! We played the pokies and I ordered a $10 chicken sandwich and chips. In the UK the chicken sandwich would be tiny for this price. Here it was bigger than my head! Nom!

We had hit and miss weather so on the off days we just relaxed and watched some terrible Aussie TV. Although they did have Midsomer Murders one night and a lot of Worlds Greatest Ninja Challenge something or other. Which reminds me, in Sydney we watched this Norwegian mockumentary called Troll Hunter. That was some weird shit! Also, what is up with TV ads in Australia? We watched Mary Poppins on a spectacularly shit rainy day and it ended up taking 3 and a half hours to get through as there were so many ad breaks!!

On the good days, we did stuff. We went to Launceston which is really old fashioned and still very colonial. Here is a postbox:

Here is a street (I love how low down everything is!):

Launceston does parks really well. In the middle of one they have (for historical reasons) a monkey park! Actual live monkeys in the middle of a public park!!!

And amongst that, a mini hot green house thing, with cool plants:

We went for lunch at the Levee Food Company as (ironically) I’d seen an ad for it on the TV. Absolutely amazing food! Could’ve done without the boring ra-ra alcoholic housewives lunching there though!

On another good day we decided to combine three trips into one using the Tamar Valley Triple Pass! Just in case the weather turned crap again and we mightn’t have had time to fit them all in. Also, this part of the island is tiny and close together so it wasn’t a stretch.

The night before we ordered a picnic basket which was delivered the following morning. This was supposed to be a picnic basket for two but it fed us for about three days and the road trip down to Hobart! All for about $40! Outstanding value.

First up we went to Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre. If you’re not familiar, this was the mine where three miners got trapped and one died. While stuck they managed to get a hole drilled through for air and food and requested to listen to the Foo Fighters. When Dave heard about this he offered them tickets to his next Aussie gig and a beer. He also wrote the Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners on the ESP&G album. Which is kinda why we went!

DIGGER!

Visting Foo related sites is turning to be a bit of a thing!

Inside they have a cool exhibition about the town and how it has evolved over the years. A big trade for them used to be apples so you get to see the process behind that too.

Here I am mining gold:

And here is the missus Blacksmithering:

This is the infamous mine lift where the two trapped miners emerged when rescued. There’s a viewing platform where I took this and it’s very sobering:

Next up the road we went to Platypus House! The Platypus is only native to Australia. You will not find these anywhere else in the world. It was a fascinating exhibition but photography proved somewhat trying and none of the photos I took were any good. It was really dark and I refused to use flash!

They also had echidnas which you will only find in Australia and Papa New Guinea although they are different breeds. Lots of research is being done to find out more about these fascinating creatures:

On the way back I even saw an echidna in the wild crossing the highway!! Platypus House was up at Beauty Point which is just gorgeous and then right next door was Seahorse World!

Again, some amazing research taking place here and they have a big breeding centre and we got to see all the tanks as the seahorses go through the reproduction stages. We got some neat souvenirs and then headed back to our villa. Check out part 3 for more Tasmanian tales!