Tuesday, 6 March 2012


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.
Wineglass Bay

Maria Island


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:
By-the-wind sailor
Photo: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org
We arrived in Stanley that same day where Tassie's infamous "Nut" lies. The Nut is an ancient volcanic formation which tourists can climb --- and guess who wanted to climb it?! I changed my mind as we got half way up it -- it was the steepest path I have ever climbed and let me tell you, my legs were burning. Thankfully we had a lovely pub next to our caravan park which was well recommended. We had our Valentines day dinner at the Stanley Pub where they served fresh seafood, caught in the harbour down the road and local Tassie brews. I had THE best seafood chowder EVER, just thinking about it again makes me hungry! It's so nice to eat fresh, locally caught seafood -- if we ate what was locally caught back home in Lake Ontario, we would be growing a third eye!

The "Nut"
The next day we had planned to travel down to Cradle Mountain, yet as we were driving through some very windy roads through a pine plantation we broke down. Yup, we blew a head gasket in the middle of nowhere on Valentines Day, our first as a married couple. Thankfully we were able to coast into a rest stop where there were a few caravans parked. I began praying for someone who had mechanic skills to help us out, because as well as us breaking down, both of our phones had died and we had no power in sight. We started asking people to borrow their cell phones, and no one had service...by this point I was beginning to panic, but we serve a good God who hears our prayers, and within minutes he led us to a beautiful couple, Warren and Barbara, who not only had power in their self-contained Winebago, but also came equipped with tools, coveralls and 20 plus years of diesel mechanic experience! Talk about Providence! Damien had to hitch hike to the nearest town to grab a pay phone to call his uncle in Launceston, who thankfully was home and left to buy the part we needed and meet us as soon as he hung up. When Damien was looking for a ride home he found a couple of Belgian tourists who were looking to stop where we were broken down! While Damien was away, Barbara who just so happened to be a pub cook, cooked me the best fish I have ever eaten in my life. They took good care of me while he was gone, and I will never forget their generosity and kindness. When Damien returned, they served him lunch and then Warren and him took apart the engine so it would be ready when his uncle came. Thankfully his uncle made it before dusk and they put the van together just before nightfall. By that point I realized we would have to stay the night, and start cooking a proper camp meal. So, feeling like a warrior woman, I gathered firewood and started cooking what I thought would turn out disasterous, but ended up being an incredible meal! We fed Damien's uncle before he left for Launceston and had a great meal together. Later that night at the bonfire we were joined by our neighbors as well as Barbara and Warren, and ended up having one of the best days on our trip. It just proves that we can make all the plans we want, but God makes the best ones!

Yup, broken down...
Historic Hobart
Oldest bridge in Oz

THE Tassie Devil!
From there we ventured to Hobart and enjoyed the beautiful historic city it was. We stayed for two nights and then headed home. Our trip was filled with so much and we were so grateful to see this beautiful part of the world. We hope to go back and see more, because although it's a tiny island there is so much to see and do. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as we enjoyed taking them. For the full lot, check out the Photobucket link below. Happy browsing!



  1. I had to show my son! He is in love with your camper and thought all the wildlife was so cool! Plus, a year ago, his best friend moved to Australia, so he liked seeing what it might be like.

    Hope you are able to get to Bremfield's when you come home to visit. What a small world.

    The Grower's Daughter

  2. I had to show my son! He is in love with your camper and thought all the wildlife was so cool! Plus, a year ago, his best friend moved to Australia, so he liked seeing what it might be like.

    Hope you are able to get to Bremfield's when you come home to visit. What a small world.

    The Grower's Daughter