Tasmania

29 04 2011

I have heard from many people describing the beauty of Tasmania, that its beauty is akin to that of New Zealand. While studying in Australia, I have initially planned a trip to New Zealand. But due to the earthquake at Christchurch, I decided to cancel that and go to Tasmania instead.

If I am asked to describe Tasmania in 1 word, that word will be WILDERNESS. Yes, wilderness. Forest, bushes, the beach and the sea (along the coastal eastside). The super quiet Hobart (which apparently is the biggest city in the whole of Tasmania). After seeing Hobart, I sort of appreciate how “city” is Melboure 🙂

In Hobart, I met up with a friend who kindly introduced to me nice seafood dinning place at the waterfront (called Mures). They served nice food and ice-cream. Must try is the Tasmanian Salmon and the Oysters (I love the Cleopatra).

Hobart city is pretty small and you will be able to see all its sights within half a day – the Constitution Dock, the Sullivan’s Cove, Parliament House , Princes Park, Battery Point (and its charming houses), Cascade Brewery and gardens, townhall, etc.

I made a day trip to Port Arthur. Formerly a convict site, the ruins of Port Arthur is beautiful and I particularly enjoyed the cruise to the Isle of the Dead, where the dead (convicts and the soldiers) are buried. Enroute to Port Arthur, I stopped at Richmond (a nice little town that oversees Hobart city), visted Eaglehawk Neck, saw the spectacle of the Tasman Arch and the rugged coastline, and of course viewed the Devils Kitchen and the remarkable cave (the ocean cave).

Apart from Port Arthur, Mt Wellington which is closer to Hobart is worth a visit.
If you can bike, you can join the mountain bike decent tour to decent down Mount Wellington (quite exciting so not for the weak hearted or lousy bikers like me). Another nice place to visit is the Bruny Island which is around 1 hour drive away (followed by around 1 hour ferry). I took the Bruny Island cruise which brought me out along the Tasmania Peninsula coastline on Tasman sea and saw seals, dolphins and many other wild life (sadly didn’t get to see whales as it is not the migration season). But behalf as the ride is pretty choppy so for those who get seasick, take some medication before hand and sit at the back of the boat.

Another “wow wow” attraction that people keep on recommending is the wine glass bay on the east coast of Tasmania. As it is so highly recommended, I made a trip there. Gosh, it was a painful drive (took me around 4 hours to reach with short stops once I hit the 1st beach on the Eastcoast where I can see Maria Island). After reaching Wine Glass Bay, it is another 45 minutes hike up (yes it is a HIKE not a walk). When I see the bay, I was quite disappointed. Not sure if it is because my expectation is too high or what but I don’t think it is really pretty (seriously there are prettier places on earth). So I didn’t make my way right down to the bay as I reckon that it will not be worth it (at least to me).

Tips:
– Hobart’s Salamanca Place is super famous. It has Georgian style warehouses now restored as restaurants, galleries and pubs. Do plan a visit on Saturday whereby this place will be transformed into a lively marketplace.

– Stop at Rosny Hill Lookout for stunning views of Hobart, Sandy Bay, Mt Wellington, The Tasman Bridge and Glenorchy.

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