So today is our last day in Tasmania, and I sit here on the back verandah of the unit we have been staying in at Seven Mile Beach reflecting on our time here. Tomorrow we head home back to Sydney. I was asked last night by a friend what was the highlight of my trip. I had to think hard, we have seen so much and walked more than I thought I was capable of doing. We have driven over 2000 kilometres through the hills and valleys of Tasmania. So to choose a highlight would be almost impossible. Would it be the amazing Bruny Island and the tour with Bruny Island Safaris, where we got to taste locally made cider from locally grown apples and I tried fresh oysters for the first time, and of course not to mention my love of Lighthouses. Or would it be the fantastic Gordon River cruise, on the ‘ Harbour Master’, with World Heritage Cruises, where we visited, Hell gates, Salmon farms in Macquarie Harbour, Sarah Island and saw the horrific prison conditions, that convicts had to endure, where we walked the rainforest, and on our return saw the Huon sawmill demonstration.
The unique Queenstown and the jurassic rock formations that make Queenstown what it is, and the heritage listed Penghana B&B we stayed at for two nights our hosts were Karen & Steve who were always ready for a chat and to fill us in on the History of Penghana and to help us with anything we needed. I cannot recommend this place highly enough for history. Karen has collected many old and antique bits and pieces and period furniture to add to the experience of ones stay at Penghana. From there we went to Cradle Mountain, where it snowed heavily, another highlight for me as I had never in my life seen snow falling like this before. On leaving Cradle Mountain we travelled to Launceston stopping at Tasmazia and the town of Lower Crackpot, this is so much fun not only for children but adults also. We stopped at the Sheffield Bakery for lunch before continuing on to Launceston where we visited the Tamar Island Wetlands, and had the pleasure of seeing mum and dad black swans with their babies (signets). We spent the night at the Commodore Regent Motel. Not a flash place as it is quite old, but not old enough to be heritage listed, but it was clean, warm and pleasant.
The next day we Travelled to Freycinet, and had brunch at Campbell town with the most amazing chocolate desert, which we shared. Along the pavement in Campbell Town we saw The Convict Brick Trail which commemorates some of the nearly 200,000 convicts who were transported to Australia between 1788 and 1868. The first brick was laid by Mayor Kim Polley on the 28 August 2003. Each brick details a convict’s name, their crimes and subsequent punishment. It was sad to see the age of some of the convicts as young as 11 and 12. We saw the beautiful mountains and beaches at Freycinet.
We visited Port Arthur and stopped at Eagle Hawk Neck for breakfast, we saw The Tasman Arch, The Blow Hole and Devils Kitchen. We also met some students from WA who were part of the Science and Engineering contest, representing their state. We did the intro tour and cruise, then travelled back to eagle hawk neck and saw dog line guards accommodation and dog line.
Of course there was also the Huon Valley air walk, there was Franks Cafe, as well as the Huon River. Then there was this rather odd power pole deliberately erected to reflect nature as it was on a lean at the same degree as the tree next to it. The unique Heritage listed buildings. Not to forget of course the numerous boutique coffee shops, cheese tastings and ice creameries we have visited.
One of the things that I loved most about Tasmania, is that it was hard to find anything ‘made in China’, nearly all, if not all of the food and drinks we have tasted here in Tasmania are locally made and grown. The little cafe at Hamilton that we stopped at for morning tea on our way to Queenstown had no ‘commercial products’ at all, everything in the shop was made locally. It was so lovely to see, of course with our coffee we had to have some of the lovely fresh moist carrot cake.
So here it is our last day, we attempted for the second time to go to Mount Wellington, the first time it was so windy it took your breath away literally. Today the road was closed 7k’s from the top, due to snow and ice. There is so much more to see and do here, it cannot all be done and seen even in ten days.
We have met some lovely people from all parts of Australia and the world.
The resort where we have been staying for the majority of our holiday is Wyndham Seven Mile Beach, the accommodation here is second to none, nice spacious units, almost as big as my home. The staff here are very friendly and helpful if you need anything at all. Nothing is to much trouble.
I think if I had to choose one thing that was a major Highlight for me it would be ‘The Wall in the Wilderness’ at Derwent Bridge, the story was told in Huon Pine carvings by artist Greg Duncan, of the struggle for survival of an early Australian farming family. If this doesn’t cause your eyes to well up then nothing will.
So Tassie, I farewell you with much sadness. When will I be back? Who knows, but there is still so much I want to do and see here. Love you heaps.