|Photos: Life in Oz|
I feel like it's been ages since I've sat down to blog, and it feels nice to finally do so. Like January, February has been one busy month! We left for Tassie the first week of Feb until the 17th. Originally we were supposed to come back on the 19th, but much to my surprise during our vacation I found out I got a new job which started on the 20th! So lot's of excitement has been going on here.
Tasmania was breathtaking - it is such a beautiful, diverse and natural part of the world with so much of it being untouched and undiscovered. We had an amazing time, with plenty of adventure stories as souvenirs! We flew into Launceston and stayed with cousins of Damiens, who generously lent us their 1976 Datsun E20 campervan. We had a rocky start with it, but thankfully I had a confident and competent driver next to me who handled the tricky stick shift like a pro (with the help of a few 'Hail Mary's'!). We journeyed from Launceston to the northeast and up the coast to the the Bay of Fires which were stunning. I have never seen a more beautiful beach with its orange-dusted rocks and crystal blue waters. The contrast was amazing.
From there we travelled down to Wine Glass Bay in Freycinet NP. We hiked all the way up the mountain, and down, back up and down again to catch a view of this beautiful bay. We ventured down to Maria Island the next day which became my favourite spot in Tassie. Now a National Park, it once was a convict island (like so many others in Tassie). There are no residents living on the island except for the wildlife, which was rich in abundance. To get to it we took the ferry from the mainland, rented some bikes and toured around the island for the day. Thankfully we were prepared for any weather, as we got down pours, heat, wind, and humidity throughout the day. Within the first 5 minutes of our ride our path was blocked by half a dozen wallaby who were not shy at all! The island is also full of old ruins from convict buildings, homes, and even an old hotel. Besides that there were also stunning cliff and rock faces. This island was so diverse and stunning in so many ways, and although there were others touring the island, you felt like the only ones there.
After Maria Island we headed down to the infamous Port Arthur, one of Australias most significant convict settlements. Repeat offenders were sent to Port Arthur from England, Ireland and the East Indies. It is a natural prison, being surrounded by dense bush, shark-infested waters, with only a tiny neck of land joining it to the mainland which was guarded by a chain of vicious guard dogs. We spent a day touring around the old buildings and ruins of this place, and truth be told there were times I felt ill at ease going through some of them. To top it off we did a ghost tour that night, just to help my nerves even more. We ended up having one of the best tour guides we've ever had on a ghost tour, who made us laugh and gave us a good old fashioned scare. Now, I'm not sure what I saw that night, but I did catch a glimpse of something eerie - as we were passing one of the most haunted homes in Australia I saw a tall, greyish figure running into the backyard........... Needless to say, it took me quite a while to fall asleep that night.
|Port Arthur ruins|
|The guard dog line|
After Port Arthur we spent some quality time in Launceston with the family relaxing and catching up on rest. From there we headed north west along the coast to Stanley. We dropped into some quaint little seaside towns and stopped into a beautiful beach to take a swim - we finally had some warm sunny weather! While we were at the beach we found these little blue creatures floating in the water which we steered clear of. We asked a local what they were and they said they had never seen them in their 40 years of going there! I did some research and they happened to be a "by-the-wind-sailor"(Velella) which is a relative of the jellyfish but harmless to humans. Check them out:
|Yup, broken down...|
|Oldest bridge in Oz|
|THE Tassie Devil!|