Winter Tour of Tasmania
I arrived at the start of winter. It was colder than I thought I could handle. Hobart was deserted because of a long weekend (Queen's birthday) and city was getting ready for the Dark Mofo festival starting up.
People in Hobart and especially the Salamanca area have done lots of work to preserve the gorgeous historic architecture.
Being far to the south, Hobart is one of the main cities that service Australian Antarctic expeditions.
Day one of my tour of Tasmania was spent travelling out of Hobard on the Jump tours bus. We went to the Mount Field national park for a short hike in the freezing cold.
Following which we went to Lake St. Claire which was pretty overcast but still fun.
Tasmania is pretty small - you can drive across it, literally, in a day. Most houses have wood fired fireplaces, which is very charming.
We wrappped up the day travelling through the mined out and barren slopes around the mining town of Queenstown, Tasmania.
We began day two with a short hike to the very scenic Montezuma falls.
Crossing this suspension bridge was scary but rewarding. But because we weren't going the full distance we had to turn back and cross the bridge back right as soon as we got to the other side.
We then travelled to the inland sand dunes near Strahan - built from sand blown inland by heavy winds. They were fun to jump/slide down.
We saw many rainbows nearly everyday on the trip. The ones we saw by the dunes were especially pretty.
Staying at the remote town of Tullah with no cell phone coverage and a pub and coffee shop really added to the atmosphere of the trip. Being used to city living, I counted that as one of the high points of the trip.
We started day 3 with a hike in the cradle mountain area. Woke up early to start the hike but it was pouring down. Was worried during the drive there because the rain didn't let up, luckily it started winding down when we got there. I hadn't brought over my rain gear so I had to make the best of it. It was a good time experience overall.
Then on to Cataract gorge and Launceston. Launceston is the second biggest town in Tasmania, and is full of craft beer shops. Charming and cute little town to spend a couple of days in. We had burgers and craft beer for dinner.
On day 4 we went to the bay of fires which has a gorgeous and completely desrted beach. Was freezing but I did manage a quick swim.
We then went to Nature world - which was very good, with lots of Tasmania and Australian birds and animals. I especially liked the walk-in aviary, with colourful birds flying all around you. Almost felt like I was in a Disney movie.
On day 5, we drove to wineglass Bay where we went up on a hard ascent to the beach. The views were very good and the trek down to the beach quite demanding. Always good to have a challenge or two.
We wrapped up the tour with some wine tasting on our way back to Hobart. The Devil's Corner winery (named for a treacherous bend in the nearby river, and not for the Tasmanian Devil) had some good views and even better wine.
Dark MOFO was in full swing as we drove back into Hobart. The aesthetics of the festival are incredible - I've never seen such a gorgeous interplay of light, sound, and general atmosphere. Beats the pants off of Sydney's Vivid show.
The final part of my trip was a visit to the MONA gallery. I would count this as perhaps the best contemporary art installation I've ever been to. Just the cohesivness of the exhebits and the scale of the gallery was incredible. The pictures below do not come close to doing the museum justice.
Of all the places I've travelled to, Tasmania and Hobart are the ones I'm most keen to revisit.