Let’s get this out of the way to start with. A wombat decided to chew on Ashley’s shoelace. Here is a picture. If that’s all you need, then there’s no need to keep reading.
We’ve skipped a few days, first because it was rainy in Launceston and we had a low-key day, then because we didn’t get the internet up and running our first night at Cradle Mountain.
In Launceston, we visited the local history museum and the James Boag brewery. Both were nice rainy day activities, and while we found an excellent new beer (get the Wizard Smith beer if you’re in Tassie!), nothing too exciting happened.
We departed from Port Arthur early in the morning. Our next destination was several hours away and we wanted plenty of time to hike there. We were headed for the Freycinet National Park and the beautiful beach at Wineglass Bay.
The drive continued along windy, narrow roads. Ashley described the land as looking a bit like Cornwall (the fact that we’re listening to an audiobook set in 1920s England may have helped inspire that comparison). It is a mixture of pastures, old trees, and lots of sheep. This morning, a beautiful fog hung over the farmlands. We stopped to get a few pictures of the fog and the dew covered spiderwebs on a fence. From there it was off to the park.
We (sadly) left Hobart bright and early and drove down to the Tasman Peninsula. The drive to the peninsula is fairly unremarkable, so much so that we thought it felt like Pennsylvania or Virginia rather than an exotic foreign country. However, the peninsula itself is surprisingly packed with things to do.
Day two in Tassie dawned crisp with the prospect of colder weather ahead. We decided to spend the day hiking around in Mt. Field National Park. The park is about an hour north of Hobart and the drive took us by some beautiful rivers, sheep pastures, and through the largest hops producing town in the Southern Hemisphere. Unfortunately all the hops were down for the season but we’re hoping to get a chance to come back and see/smell them at full bloom in the future. The roads were much narrower than Drew expected, but we made it safe and sound.
After a day of travel, we made it to Hobart – our gateway to Tasmania. Although it was dark, cold, and rainy when we arrived, our first full day was lovely. We booked accommodations via AirBnB and are really happy with them. Our host is incredibly friendly and has supplied us with a bunch of tasty baked goods.
We started off our morning with a trip to the Salamanca Markets. The market is in an open stretch near the water and has over 300 stalls. The market has a lot of variety, and we enjoyed browsing the wares. The food all looked and smelled delicious, but we limited ourselves to some tasty breakfast sandwiches, coffee, and fruit. Tasmania grows a lot of the apples we eat here in Australia. What’s awesome is that they grow lots of what would be called “heirloom” apples stateside and sell them at the markets and grocers. We picked up several varieties and will be trying them over the course of the trip. For dinner we sliced a Geeveston Fanny and had it with some cheese and olives. The apple was decidedly meaty but very neutral in flavor – it wasn’t tart or sweet. It’s a nice apple, but after eating a steady diet of Sundowners and Galas in Alice, the neutral taste was striking.
The buskers were all pretty good, especially the bagpipers, which were a nice surprise. The market definitely had more variety than Alice, and we would definitely recommend it to anyone coming to Tassie.