Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tasmania, the hidden jewel of Australia 2010/08/01-15 Day1

The name of Tasmania somehow is not very popular among Asians i think, more people would think of New Zealand, or most people would know Sydney, melbourne, perth rather than Tasmania. However, Tasmania is a well known destination for those who knows how to find it, love relaxing, love adventure,  basically the hidden jewel of Australia.

This state have the biggest coverage in terms of designated national parks, almost half of the island is protected now. What’s more impressive is that one of

Tasmania's World Heritage sites cover an area of 1.38 million hectares - about 20% of the Island.
It includes the Southwest National Park, the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park,  the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, the Hartz Mountain National Park, Mole Creek Karst National Park, the eastern end of Macquarie Harbour on the west coast and the Central Plateau Conservation Area.

That 20% of island, its many beaches, unique landscapes and a few more world heritage sites is what makes Tasmania a must visit to Australia and the hidden jewel of Australia.

In early Aug i have a chance to step foot on Tasmania, which kinda turned out to be one of my best and memorable trip in Australia. The chance came when Alex will be in Tassie for 1 month to play bridge for SA. The best thing was he’s gonna bring his car over and that means extra flexibility in turn of plans. Jono and I seize the chance to go over and meet Alex and do some serious hiking.

Some people would say: if you can’t get to New Zealand, go Tasmania. Some people would argue NZ is better while some reckon Tassie is better, lol.

It’s a trip that require some planning in advance. Shit things happened before the trip, like Tiger airline cancelled off all the flight between Hobart and Adelaide, so my return flight was cancel but luckily we managed to sus thing out which turn out to be a unique one too in the end.

This trip was the week right after my departmental seminar, and kinda work out as a 2 week escaping trip for me.

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Met Alex in Hobart, capital of Tassie and he brought me around Hobart town for a bit. Hobart experiences a mild temperate oceanic climate and is one of the driest town in Tassie due to the surrounding mountain ranges that suck off most the rain before reaching Hobart. It was August so it’s basically winter, nonetheless, the weather in Hobart is just nice.

Hobart is located on the estuary of the Derwent River, sitting under the 1,271 metres Mt.Wellington, surrounded by rolling hills on one side, and water on the other side. Like many, i fall in love with Hobart, haha. It’s such a peaceful town, serene, and pretty.

The piers in town centre in pics below.
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It was a Sunday when i arrived, so i missed the well known Salamanca market on Salamanca st which is of the main tourist attraction because the market stretch all the way along Salamanca st and full of things to see and buy.

Hobart is not very big and doesn’t have any high rise buildings which really give it more like a seaside or countryside town feel away from the hurtle bustle of major cities. A great location for relaxing holiday!!!

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This is battery point, a suburb of Hobart city. Battery Point is named after the battery of guns which were established on the point in 1818 as part of the Hobart coastal defences. The battery no longer exists. This place is now famous for its many large and extravagant houses, and buildings since the first European settlement here.
It’s really nice to walk around the streets of this suburb looking at the different house design and colours. I really like some of their design and colour combination.

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We stopped by this famous hotel+pub+bakery. I was really amazed by the wide selection of pastries and bakeries!!! Best of all, they taste good!!!

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To kill our time a bit, we hanged around this knopwood bar which is one of Alex’s favourite hobart hang out place. Here, i tasted my 1st pine of Wizard smith ale!!! And i love it!!! I’m not a big beer fan, but i must admit i can drink Wizard smith easily. Somehow one can only get Wizard smith in Tassie :(. The wine and beer have a name because they claim they make them using Tassie’s clean spring water.

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I didn’t really get to explore Hobart as much as i like because of time limit and plans, but it’s definitely enough to make me wana go back again if i have a chance!!!

Driving in Hobart centre is a bit confusing if not use to because many streets are one way street.

Next, Alex brought me up to Mt.Wellington, though the weather was getting cloudy, that didn’t stop us and especially me, haha. As expected, the view on top was great and no disappointment at all despite the heavy clouds that came after the horse tails. One can see the greater hobart areas and the landscapes surrounding Hobart. It’s really breathtaking!!!


Alex suggested we hike down to junction cabin which is on the way down Mt.Wellington, and it turned up to be a nice hike though not easy. It’s kinda like warming up before the serious one!!! Alex said it’s a good warm up for him since he have lost his fitness for not hiking for a while. Even that i find it hard to keep up to his speed, lol.

The hut is nicely located among tall trees that works as shelter with a big flat clearing. From there one can continue walking, or do mountain biking. To sleep in the hut would be a bit pain in the ass, as it’s not flat, lol.

Since coming over to OZ, i fall in love with huts, lol. The huts are all pretty and somehow attracted me a lot. How i wish Malaysia jungle tracks have huts like this along the trails!!!

Our 1st night we drove out of Hobart all the way out to somewhere near Mt.Field national park which is the plan for the next day. With Alex, i knew that we were going to crash anywhere suitable for camping or zzz in the car, which is now the way i adopted too, lol. We camp somewhere far from the main road and among the trees which we found a nice spot with flowing creek!!! A good pizza dinner which we bought along the way and off to zzz for the 1st night. Reading and dreaming of the next few day’s hike we are going to do!!! Exciting!!!! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…….
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