When Kevin and I decided we wanted to visit Australia, one of the first places we wanted to visit was Tasmania.
Maybe it was because it had been compared to New Zealand (which we loved) or maybe it was because it seemed less travelled than the East coast of Australia. Hell, it could have been because I remember growing up watching the Tasmanian Devil on Loony Toons and I just wanted to know what they were all about.
I mean, I once heard they are actually black and not brown. This bothered me. How could Warner Brothers get that wrong?
So, we managed to fit six days of Tasmania into our itinerary. Our plan was to fly into Launceston, hike through Cradle Mountain, enjoy the views of Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park and fly out of Hobart.
It would be busy but we were up for the challenge!
We arrived in Launceston in the afternoon, picked up our rental car and headed to our hotel just outside of the city to an amazing place Kevin found for us at Entally Estate. When we pulled into the driveway we were greeted with tall trees lining the driveway. I knew this would be a great place to relax for the next couple of days.
Not to mention the menu in the restaurant was amazing!
Great rooms and great food make Tori very happy! Kevin too!
For our first full day in Launceston, we decided to head into town and see what it had to offer. Staff at our hotel had recommended exploring the Cataract Gorge Reserve, so it was at the top of our list. Launceston is pretty small, so it was pretty much the main attraction.
As we walked through town, we spotted an Irish pub and immediately realized that it was St. Patrick’s Day! Well, you can’t walk past an Irish pub and not go in for a Guinness on St Patrick’s Day. Ever, really.
So in we went to order our celebratory beers! Good thing we did because we lucked out with free Guinness hats too. Well, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to us!
I loved Tasmania already.
After our drink, we headed to explore the gorge. I knew after a couple more pints of Guiness, the last thing I would feel like doing would be hiking. SO, we decided to take our new hats and move on.
Only five minutes into our walk, we were stopped abruptly in our tracks. I completely froze and my eyes widened as I stared directly in front of me. I couldn’t move from excitement.
Oh my god.
At first, I thought it was a baby Kangaroo. Afterwards, I learned it was a Wallaby which is a smaller version of a Kangaroo. Whatever it was, it was one of the cutest things I had ever seen!
And we kept seeing more.
I was dying with excitement.
We spent the rest of our afternoon exploring the park. It was gorgeous.
I kept thinking how awesome it would be to live around here and have this as your backyard for morning hikes and afternoon swims. Not to mention Wallabies all over the place!
We were in love with them.
The next day, it poured rain. I mean, really poured. We decided to ditch our plan of heading straight to Cradle Mountain as it was raining there too. Actually, it was raining EVERYWHERE on the island.
So we decided we may as well spend the day driving to Freycinet National Park where the weather looked most likely to improve the next day.
It was a quick two hour drive to Cole’s Bay, one of the towns near Freycinet National Park. On our way into town, we stopped for lunch at a roadside seafood place where we enjoyed delicious mussels and oysters!
Mmmm. So far, so good.
Have I mentioned we love seafood?
After we got checked into our AirBnB, the storm rolled in. The huge trees outside our place started swaying as the wind howled and rain splashed onto the house.
We definitely were not doing any hikes today.
Eventually, we decided to venture out and find somewhere for dinner. Driving in the storm turned out to be very entertaining and pretty crazy. We headed down to the shore, where waves crashed around and boats were being thrown side to side.
As Kevin and I are always looking to take some photos, we had to work as a team in this storm. In the passenger seat, I got the camera ready pointing out the window. Kevin, with the driver side controls, then rolled the window down as I snapped as quick as I could for the photo. Then, he rolled it back up as quick as he could before I got pelted with the rain.
Success. Teamwork really makes a relationship.
Driving around some more, we almost drove into an electrical wire that got ripped down in the storm and into trees that had been knocked down. Finally, we decided to get off the roads and stop at a pizza place for dinner. Then, we got the heck back to our place.
While the storm was huge that night, the next morning was clear. It was a perfect day for our first hike in Tasmania to view Wineglass Bay. It had only been a couple of weeks since we left New Zealand but I was really missing hiking and was ready to get back out into nature.
It was a great, short hike uphill with a beautiful view at the top!
I have to admit, however, our favourite photographic views were with these guys in the parking lot.
It never gets old or less exciting. Never.
The next day, we headed back across the island to Cradle Mountain. The weather had finally cleared up and we were ready to continue to do more hiking in one of Tasmania’s most beautiful National Parks.
We lucked out securing accommodation at the Cradle Mountain Hotel as it is near the entrance of the park. When we got there, we dropped off our bags, picked up a map, and got ready to hit the trails.
Here we go!
For our first hike, we chose the Dove Lake circuit which promised spectacular views of Cradle Mountain. We purchased our tickets at the hotel reception and headed to the Visitor Center where we were able to park our car and catch the shuttle to the trailhead.
The drive was beautiful and I was immediately excited for our afternoon.
The Dove Lake Circuit is 6.2km and takes between 2-3 hours to complete. It could not have been a more perfect day with clear blue skies reflecting off of the lake highlighting the views of Cradle Mountain at every turn. Not to mention, the trail was a beautifully maintained boarded trail.
It was a perfect start to our Cradle Mountain adventure!
The hike was awesome! Afterwards, we stopped into the Cradle Mountain Lodge, a neighbouring hotel, for dinner and drinks. We like to reward ourse for my fitness efforts.
After dinner, I was ready for bed! But let’s be honest, I am always ready for bed around 9 p.m….
On the drive home from dinner, a stubby animal I’ve never seen before, ran across the road. I grabbed my photo for a picture but my reflexes were too slow. Kevin stared at me almost laughing at my pathetic attempt to load the camera on my phone as I tried clumsily to get it working. By the time I got it loaded, the animal was gone… I missed a picture of my first wombat!
I was so disappointed. Oh well. Thank god for Google..
Our second day at Cradle Mountain we decided to enjoy the views along the Boardwalk which weaved throughout the park from the Interpretation Center to Waldheim. As our park passes were valid for 24 hours, we able to use our passes from the previous day.
The walk along the boardwalk was great!
The only issue was caused by my lack of preparation for the walk. See, in the morning it was cold. Like real cold. Put a fleece on kind of cold. So, I was not overly concerned with sunscreen when I headed out. Although, I did apply a thin layer of 30 SPF on my shoulders.
Needless to say, the Australian sun blew through the 30 SPF in no time. I was then faced with the challenge of either staying cool in my tank top while burning or suffering with heat exhaustion in my fleece.
What I finally decided was from now on I should stick with 50 SPF.
Pathetic. At least my burn would eventually turn into a tan….
The next morning we were up early for a beautiful drive to Hobart to catch our flight.
While it would have been great to have the opportunity to spend time in Hobart, we could not control the weather. We needed to sacrifice a day and it ended up being there. Luckily, we managed to grab some lunch and walk around a bit before catching our flight.
Overall, Tasmania was a wonderful experience. It’s small, easy to get around and has a feeling of “undiscoveredness.” Not to mention, the beauty of the mountains and the coastline make it a must visit location if travelling to Australia.
Although, I never saw a Tasmania Devil. From research, however, I can confirm they look nothing like Warner Brothers’ version.
Can you see the resemblance?
Shame on you Warner Brothers.
Shame on you.