We were told by a Tasmanian dwelling family member that the East Coast of Tassie was best viewed driving from the North. He wasn't wrong. It reminded me a little of the Great Ocean Road but more compact.
The Tesselated Pavement at Eaglehawk Neck was a geological wonder. I loved that we could walk right down onto it and explore up close. We also explored the Devil's Kitchen, Tasman Arch and the Blow Hole.
We drove through Doo Town which is a town full of shacks with names such as 'that'll doo', 'rum doo', 'doctor doo-little' and so on. I didn't go much on Doo Town so my advice is 'don't doo it' (ha ha).
We enjoyed Eaglehawk Neck more than DH who discovered that his iPad had gotten a little too close to the children's water bottles. iPads and water do not go well together and 2 weeks of rice did not fix this problem for him even if Google seemed to tout this as the miracle cure for wet electronics.
Port Arthur was such a haunting place. The convict history was amazing and the architecture was beautiful. We wandered about here for the day through the gardens and ruins. The more recent history of this place made it even more solemn. The events of 1996 are not mentioned anywhere on site. The tour guides don't talk of it and there is no written mention of it either. In spite of this I was very aware of it the whole time I was there.
It was beautiful and the day we visited was perfect but it was not a happy place. I still list it as a 'must see' for Tasmania and I would go back. We did not see everything on my list that I would have liked to and the beauty of the surroundings is a strange juxtaposition to the savagery that took place there.
On a lighter note, Hobart was wonderful. I don't normally like large towns but Hobart was easy to navigate and not big by capital city standards. We had brunch in Salamanca Place and went back on another day so we could go to the markets. I enjoyed the atmosphere, the food and the shopping of Hobart.
We drove up to Mount Wellington and it was so WINDY and cold. We nearly blew off the trig point and it was a big effort to stand there being buffeted by the wind long enough to try to get a photo. Blue said this was his favourite part of the trip for a long while after.
It snowed on Mt Wellington a few days after we were up there. This was typical of our experience with the weather while we were in Tasmania; somehow we managed to stay a step ahead of the rain or snow and it worked out well for us.
We ventured South down the Huon Valley. We ate apples from roadside stalls and looked at the boats on the Huon River. We went to the Tahune Airwalk and enjoyed being up above the trees. We got a rare family photo here which is lucky because after looking at nearly 1000 photos in which I appear about twice I was starting to doubt I was actually there at all!
We also enjoyed some of the other walks and swing bridges across the rivers too. We saw a Huon Pine but given all the great timber had been extensively logged in this area it was a small sapling so not as majestic as I had pictured in my mind.
It was about the time we made it to Southern Tasmania that I became aware of the fact that I had yet another uni deadline looming for an assignment. Yes, I sure know how to keep holidays fun! I did a pretty good job of ignoring this during the day and pretending to work on it of an evening until that point in time when I had no choice but to knuckle down and do it.
I wish I had been better organised and done the assignments before we left but it was hard enough just organising everything else such as the horses, stock water, mail, bills and the dog.
The apples were wonderful here. I bought a bag of 'Geeveston Fannys' and then had to put up with raised eyebrows and barely concealed mirth when I got back to the car. I loved the farm gate stalls and the fact that I knew the produce was grown right here. The Huon Valley did this well as I did not notice farm gate sales as much throughout the rest of Tasmania. They did not do as well on the coffee. After 4pm it was impossible to find a good coffee shop still open for a good coffee but we had the butane burner with us so this was easily forgiven.
One post to go to finish my summary of our Tasmanian Holiday :)