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185
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45
 
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

24 April 2011

www.Tasmania

21st April 2011

Tonight we’re back where we started, at the Giant’s Table near Mount Field NP; the place where we had a cosy plank-floored cabin with a wood-burning stove and no platypus in the garden. At dusk this time we did see a platypus, but our cabin was less cosy, with carpets and no stove. We also booked a two-course meal here, served in our cabin. It was tasty enough but endearingly retro and so huge that half of it went in the bin (except for the sausages, which will be breakfast tomorrow).

So at the end of our wandering around Tasmania I’m finding three ‘W’ words will probably carry my enduring memories of this island…

W for Wildlife. We’ve seen a dozen different mammals here, as well as lots of other interesting flora and fauna. Watching Tasmanian Devils on our veranda will be one of the wildlife highlights of our entire year. And yet we’re also left with the unresolved question of whether driving around night after night hoping for something new to pop up in the torch beam is rewarding enough.

W is also for Wilderness. There’s something about Tasmania’s wilderness that makes it seem particularly huge and wild, even if geographically it is small compared to – let’s say – Western Australia. I think it’s the mountains and the trees. Anyway, it is beautiful to drive across and rugged, charged with its own atmosphere even if not as epic as New Zealand’s vistas.

W is for Wine. We got through five bottles in all, and all good because we bought them from different cellar doors where we could try ‘em first. In particular the bottle of bubbly from Puddleduck (on the road to Richmond) was superb and the Chardonnay from Goatyhill (west Tamar Valley) positively sublime. And on average the wines here were every bit as good as NZ’s Marlborough country, so it’s a shame the wineries remain resolutely boutique.

W is also for Weather of course, which made New Zealand’s seem positively predictable. Lovely autumnal days, but also several days made filthy and less than they could have been through rain. Which makes four W’s in all, but never mind.


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