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45
 
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

24 April 2011

Unlucky Hobart

22nd April 2011

You’ll recall our first day in Hobart was spent largely in a crummy backpacker room listening to the rain nailing down the roof above us? Well, it was mostly dry on our return but it was also Good Friday. It seems that in Australia that’s akin to Christmas Day and so absolutely everything was closed except for a little enclave of restaurants in the touristy harbour area. So in hindsight giving ourselves a final day in Hobart was a poor idea. Eventually we drove up to Mt Wellington. This was actually very cool, in both senses. Just twenty minutes drive from the city and the temperature had dropped to freezing with a biting wind and flurries of snow spraying in our face. And the sweeping views of tiny Hobart and the bay areas below were absolutely stunning.


Looking back over our Tasmania blogs, I haven’t really laid out properly where we’ve been. So for posterity, our route north rambled through the little Georgian town of Richmond and several wine tastings, then out west to Mt Field NP, where we stayed at the Giant’s Table in Maydena in a cosy cabin. Next day was an epic drive around the western wilderness (via bleak Queenstown) to Mountain Valley Wilderness for three nights of devil watching – this is somewhere in the north-west, south of Devonport. It doesn’t look like one of the wildest part of Tasmania on the map, but it truly is.

After this we headed north-east to visit Narawntapu NP and then stopped in a drab motel in Beauty Point on the Tamar estuary. Fairly horrid fish-and-chips in a crummy motel room, yay. Next day we rambled around the Tamar Valley and found it very average (and yes, it was sunny), there are far more picturesque landscapes in England or Tasmania for that matter. Launceston was lunch. We ended up out at Scotsdale in the north-east, not really a tourist town but the mammal-watching is meant to be good. On balance, probably not worth the long detour.

Having hardly planned our tour, we then decided to drive back into the north-west to visit Cradle Mountain. We picked Mole Creek to stay in, so we could visit Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary there. I like Mole Creek, and particularly the lovely Old Wesleydale (which was by no means the only lovely Georgian property we saw, and Tasmania certainly makes the best impersonation of the English countryside I’ve seen anywhere). After two nights around there, we drove south across the majestically scenic Central Highlands and ended up back at Giant’s Table where our cabin was sadly less cosy and lacked a wood-burning stove.

That was our last night, today we returned to Hobart and now await a 22:20 flight to Melbourne. I’m sure it’s a very lovely city but between the weather and the public holiday we’ve really seen absolutely nothing of it. Unlucky Hobart.


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