Touring Tasmania

Trip Start Aug 16, 2004
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Trip End Aug 13, 2005


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Friday, March 4, 2005

So after a good night's sleep on Tuesday, we picked up our hire car and some food supplies for our road trip round Tasmania on Wednesday morning.

First stop was Queenstown. This has to be one of the ugliest towns we've ever seen. It was and maybe still is a mining town, and so the landscape is devoid of all plant life and as you will see from our photos, it's not very pretty.

After that it was onto Cradle Mountain National Park, or at least just outside it. As this was a whistle stop tour we didn't have time or money to actually go and climb the mountain but we did get some good views of it.

We finally rested for the night at a town called Devonport. This is where the ferries from Melbourne dock so it is quite busy. The YHA hostel here is very cheap and nice enough. There's nothing much to do in Devonport so we just had a quiet night.

Thursday started with an hour or so drive to Launceston. This is the 2nd biggest city in Tasmania, but it's still really small. The Cataract Gorge is a short walk from the city centre so we drove to one side of it, and caught a chair lift over Chair Basin, before doing a short walk along the gorge to the city centre. We then stopped for some lunch and a wander round the shops, before driving a couple of hours back to Hobart.

On Friday we went to the Tasmanian Devil Park near Port Arthur. This was very good, and we saw plenty of devils. They are normally released into the wild but there is a contagious disease killing the wild devils at the moment so the park is holding onto its devils. They look quite cute until they open their mouths and you see their teeth, and also hear the noises they make. Put it this way, the noises that the cartoon Taz makes are not far wrong.

After the park we headed down to Port Arthur for a quick look at the prison where they used to send the worst criminals. You can go in and have a look around but we decided not to.

After lunch we drove to a crazy golf site. It's one of the best courses I've seen. They have an indoor and outdoor course and we decided to play both. Well worth the money especially if you can find vouchers at hostels for free admission.

Whilst driving round Tasmania, you get a sense of how remote the island is. It's mainly covered by wilderness and even where there are towns, they are quite small and once you leave the towns there is nothing but countryside again. It is a very beautiful and peaceful place to visit. The air feels really clean, free from the pollution that the big cities get. It's well worth a visit, although it may get a bit boring after a week or so as there really isn't much to do apart from hiking and other such activities.
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