Updated: Nov 8, 2018
We've recently returned form our amazing holiday in Tasmania. Here are some highlights from our explorations, hopefully enough to inspire you to seek your own healthy dose of nature and adventure!
We travelled to Tasmania in the middle of spring. Tasmania is picturesque as it is, so when you add wild flowers and spring blossoms to the picture, it’s an absolute delight. And because it was off-peak season, we often felt like we had the whole island to ourselves!
We took our car on the Spirit of Tasmania. That gave us freedom to drive around the Island without worry, including on the many unsealed roads that lead to some of Tasmania’s hidden gems. We covered close to 2,000 kms on the road.
Table Cape Tulip Farm
Luckily, we managed to time our trip with the tulip season. So our first stop was the Table Cape Tulip Farm. This is a must-see attraction if you're in Tasmania in early to mid October.
We stayed on Cradle Mountain for 2 days. On our first morning, we woke up really early so that we could see the peaks of Cradle Mountain from Dove Lake at first light. It was a cloudy morning, but the scene was still mesmerising. The iconic boat shed made of King Billy wood only added to the charm.
There are lots of beautiful walking tracks on Cradle Mountain. They're of various lengths, ranging from 20 minutes to 6 days in duration. We did several of the short forest walks, and each one gave us the feeling of being one with nature.
The shortest and aptly named Enchanted Walk was my favourite - It may have something to do with us spotting a platypus in the Pencil Pine Creek!
Mount Field National Park
As we headed south on a rainy day, we drove through the West Coast to Lake St Claire and then to Mount Field National Park.
At Mount Field, we walked to the grand Russell Falls and Horseshoe Falls. For such impressive waterfalls, these walks were quite easy. Out of all the waterfalls we saw, I found Russell Falls to be the most breathtaking.
We spent 2 nights in Hobart, which is no doubt a charming little city (and cold!). The harbour view was certainly a pleasure to wake up to each morning.
We did attempt to drive up to Mount Wellington one evening to check out the views of Hobart. But unfortunately, the roads were closed because of the weather conditions (Tasmanian weather teaches you to drop your expectations and to be flexible!).
Although we stayed in Hobart, we spent a greater amount of time outside of the city. We drove through the picturesque Huon Valley, and travelled as far south as we could drive in all of Australia. Standing by the Whale Head sculpture at Cockle Creek, we were closer to Antartica than we were to Cairns.
We also visited the Newdegate Cave in Hastings. Its was yet another reminder of how intricately mother nature designs our world.
Freycinet National Park
We then made our way towards the East Coast of Tasmania, where we saw some really spectacular beaches. The colours of the water were just so attractive, though it was a bit too cold for a swim.
We stayed within the Freycinet National Park for 2 nights, and again there were heaps of walks to entice us. We did the Wineglass Bay Lookout track, which took us a couple of hours. It's a bit of a tougher walk, but even kids were happily doing it. And the views at the top are well worth the effort. Every other walk in Freycinet also had something unique to offer.
We decided to change our routine a bit at this point. We decided to make the most of early morning and late afternoon/evening views, while we chilled during the day. We watched the sun rise from the Cape Tourville Lighthouse and Sleepy Bay one morning, and explored Honeymoon Bay and Coles Bay as the sun was setting.
St Helens and The Bay of Fires
Our next destination was Binalong Bay, although we stopped at St Helens on our way. We also checked out the St Columba Falls, which is supposed to be highest waterfall in Tasmania, and the nearby Halls Falls. More walking, more fun.
The Bay of Fires, with the iconic lichen covered rocks, is an interesting sight. The Gardens was fun to explore - we could picture a bollywood song being choreographed there.
The remote Eddystone Point was a highlight on this leg of our trip, although the drive there through a long stretch of unsealed roads was a bit bumpy. The colour of the water was a very pretty turquoise blue, even on a partly overcast day. We could only wonder what the beaches would look like on a fine day.
Our final stop was Launceston. On the way we made a detour to check out Liffey Falls (in hindsight, it's much easier to get to Liffey Falls when travelling from Launceston).
We were staying only meters away from the Zig-Zag track in Launceston, so of course this was going to be on the agenda. This was another one of the tougher short walks, but equally as rewarding!
Again, our walk was timed beautifully. Watching the sun set over the Cataract Gorge was simply beautiful.
We also did a scenic cruise on the Tamar River. The cruise was relaxing and a lovely way to end our self-drive tour of the little paradise that is Tasmania.
Wildlife (including the unexpected)
With so much wilderness, its not difficult to spot wildlife in Tasmania. We saw heaps of wombats and wallabies throughout. Spotting the elusive platypus and spotted quoll were probably highlights for us. A curious possum and kookaburra also paid us a visit where we stayed in Freycinet.
Probably the strangest "wildlife" we saw were the peacocks in Launceston. We were told they were introduced around a hundred years ago to add some colour to the gardens surrounding the Cataract Gorge, and they aren't looked after by anyone (although they may try to impress you for some hot chips). The males were starting to dance and show off their beautiful feathers to woo the female birds, and they didn't care that we were right next to them. I have to say, this was the last place we expected to learn about peacocks!
We didn't get to see any Devils in the wild but we did see many, including some gorgeous pups, at the very informative Devils@Cradle Wildlife Park. After hearing their growls, we could see why they're called Devils.
At the end, 10 days was not enough to do justice to Tasmania. I guess we have to leave some things as an excuse for our next trip. Overall, it was a really satisfying trip.
If you love nature then you are bound to fall in love with Tasmania. It promises to leave a lasting impression if you're not scared of losing yourself in some undisturbed wilderness!
Check out age-photography.com to view my photos from Tasmania. And feel free to share this post with anyone who might be contemplating on visiting Tasmania.