Part 1 ~ South-based adventures (Hobart)!
Light, luminance, clarity – this is what comes to mind when I remember Tasmania. The light, the air, everything seemed so clean and clear and vibrant. I suppose many of us are so used to living in cities and countries where we’re used to a certain amount of smog and dirt in the air, and we just don’t notice it. Until we come to a place like Tasmania, where to look at landscapes and coastlines and oceans is like looking through a crystal. It is a hugely noticeable thing 🙂
For a small island state, there really is an enormous amount of stunning scenery, and I know despite our month’s stay there, we didn’t get to see everything! But we did see and enjoy a great deal. Here’s some of the highlights for us. I’ve split this into two posts, South-based (Hobart) and North-based (Launceston), because there is JUST SO MUCH!
Just south of Hobart is a tower, and as we were about to drive past, Chris remarked “oh it’s a shot tower”. So we went to investigate. I didn’t know about shot towers before this! Built in 1870, a shot tower is a tower, designed and built to certain specifications, that when molten lead is poured over a grid and dropped down the middle, it will solidify into perfect spheres, or shot, used for firearms, before falling into a large tank of water at the bottom of the tower. I didn’t know this, and it was fascinating to visit and read about the process. For a time, this was the ONLY shot tower in the Southern hemisphere, making the owners very wealthy. That of course came to an abrupt halt when cartridges were invented, and the tower was no longer used. The views from the top, accessible by climbing the original, creaking, hard wood stairs, were marvelous!
More wonderful views from the top of Mount Wellington. It was mesmerising to watch the changes as the mist and fog drifted in and out 🙂
The Saturday Salamanca Market in Hobart is always fun. Get your fresh fruit and veggies, enjoy some live music and buy lunch from a food truck, just like the locals do.
Make the drive to Eaglehawk Neck and enjoy the incredible scenery at the Tessellated Pavement, the Blowhole, and walk on the squeaky sands at Primrose Sands, squidging around to see who can make the loudest squeaks!
A must-see! Unlikely to be seen in the wild, the Unzoo is a good place to enjoy these terrifyingly sweet creatures! Nicely designed with the animals in mind, many of the enclosures are very natural looking, with plenty of rocks and plants and hiding places. The ones that aren’t are due to be redesigned soon. Many of the birds and animals here have been injured and can’t be released into the wild. Or like the Tassie Devils, are kept in captivity to avoid the fatal Devil Facial Tumour Disease, that is decimating Devils in the wild, and so far has no cure.
We enjoyed seeing a range of incredible Australian and Tasmanian creatures: Eastern Quolls, various parrots, the lovely Tawny Frogmouth, possums, kangaroos, including one with a joey, and of course the iconic Tasmanian Devils. These look cute till feeding time, when the screams, growls and gnashing of large, sharp teeth, reveal their true nature. An animal not to be clasped to your breast to cuddle.
Visit Port Arthur
A penal colony, built by convicts for convicts. You can’t ignore the European history in Australia, and Port Arthur is a significant part of it. It’s sobering to read some of the stories of why people were sentenced to deportation, and how they lived in this new life. And while the officers tried to make it as much like their image of England as they could, the rank and file soldiers guarding the prisoners also had a hard time, in many instances treated not much different from the prisoners. And because of the clean air, it all looks almost brand new, though over 200 years old.
Dive for Dragons
There is a scuba-diving site called Seahorse Alley, where apparently you can often find the extraordinary Weedy Sea Dragons. Sadly they didn’t come out to play when we dived there, but we enjoyed the cold water and the beautiful sponges and encrustations in the kelp forest anyway.
Tasmania has so much beauty and natural scenery to offer, and I know there’s much more that we didn’t see! I do encourage you to visit. The people are very friendly, and the animals and scenery simply outstanding 🙂 Click here to check out the wonderful things we saw when we were based in the North of Tassie!
Don’t miss out – subscribe now to get updates on where our travels take us! Click below. Our promise to you: we will NEVER spam you, and NEVER sell your email!