Time for my first post, yayy! I should probably write an elaborate and motivating post about my plans and resolutions for the New Year, however our 11-day trip to Tassie in December was so awesome that I’d rather reminisce about it a bit more before I take on 2017 🙂
We picked up the hire care at Launceston airport and, after exploring Launceston for a few hours, we headed straight to the Tamar Valley. The views along the road were amazing:
Now, a trip to the Tamar isn’t complete without trying some wine, so we headed to Stoney Rise Wines to try some of their whites as well as their Pinot Noir which we heard about in an episode of Gourmet Farmer (If you are interested in the paddock-to-plate philosophy I highly recommend watching this show). The Stoney Rise cellar door did not disappoint, their wines are fabulous and I loved the fact that this is a smaller cellar door, which makes for a more personalised experience.
We then followed the river all the way up to Greens Beach where we took a little break before heading to Deloraine to spend the night. We obviously had to have breakfast at the famous Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe; I had the chocolate-raspberry french toast and it was absolutely delicious:
The next morning, we drove to Cradle Mountain National Park. We spent the afternoon doing some of the shorter walks (Enchanted Walk & Dove Canyon Circuit). I also spotted my first Wombat in the wild, it was crossing the road! How cute is it?
After an early rise (5:45am!) the next morning, it was time to tackle the mighty Cradle Mountain. We were sooo lucky with the weather and the early start paid off as we were pretty much the only tourists down there.
We walked to Marion’s Lookout and from there decided to take on the summit as the weather was still clear (the summit should not be attempted in wet conditions!). I have to admit that I was a little bit scared when we started climbing the boulder field on the way to the top as it is very steep. I was really proud when we finally made it up to the top and, by that stage, we had definitely earned our dinner! We went to Altitude at Cradle Mountain Hotel, their Tasmanian Meat Tasting Plate is amazing!
We headed back to Launceston the next day to stock up on some supplies. After lunch, we drove up to Bridport and spent the late afternoon and night there. We stayed at Platypus Park Country Retreat, which – you guessed it – is home to a resident platypus. My BF saw it for a split second while I was still fighting my way through the bush on the way down to the river. I can’t believe I missed it 🙁
Our next stop was the Bay of Fires (St Helens/Binalong Bay). The sun was shining and I was absolutely amazed by the beautiful contrast of colours:
We also had an amazing lunch at Mohr & Smith in St Helens. Their menu is really creative and the food is very reasonably priced.
We spent the night a bit further down the coast in Bicheno. Bicheno is famous for its colony of Blue Penguins. You can book a tour to see the penguins, however we decided to venture out on our own. We stayed at Wintersun Gardens Motel which is very close to the Bicheno foreshore path. We simply walked down the path for 10 minutes and then found a good spot on the rocks to wait for the penguins. They came up through the rocks shortly after sunset and started making their way up to their homes in the bushes along the path. We saw at least 10 of them and one penguin family even had a small domestic argument right next to me (they can get really loud!). If you decide to go looking for penguins on your own in Bicheno, please make sure to only use a red light (or even better, no light at all) rather than a flashlight or your phone as the bright light can really confuse the penguins.
From Bicheno, it was only a short drive to Coles Bay/Freycinet National Park. Wineglass Bay was one of the main things I wanted to see in Tasmania. When we arrived, the car park and path to the main lookout were really busy! We therefore decided to go the extra mile and hike up to the top of Mt. Amos (one of the Hazards) to see Wineglass Bay from up there. It’s a very steep and slippery 3 hour hike, but taking in the views from the top was well worth the effort.
Unfortunately, it was raining the next day but we still decided to walk to the main lookout in the early morning and we also stopped by a few other beaches (Sleepy Bay was my favourite), as it was our last day in the area. We spent the rest of the day tasting wines at both Freycinet Vineyard (the Louis Pinot Noir was amazing!) as well as Devil’s Corner.
The next day, we drove to Hobart and straight up to the top of Mount Wellington. Mount Wellington is one of the reasons you need to bring a proper jacket to Tassie, there was ice up there in December!
The next morning, it was time to visit the famous Salamanca Markets! We spent several hours strolling through the market, having coffee and trying some of the food. We had lunch at the nearby Pollen Tea Room, their raw Pad Thai is delicious! We also tried the cheese at Bruny Island Cheese Co (located in the Salamanca Arts Centre) and it was hands down some of the best cheese I have ever tried.
We spent the rest of the day exploring Hobart on foot in order to work up an appetite in time for dinner at Peacock and Jones. I highly recommend this restaurant, the staff was great and the food was unbelievable. After dinner, we headed to Lark Distillery for some drinks. They’re famous for their Whisky but I opted to try some of their Gin as Whisky isn’t really my thing. The G&Ts were great and it was the perfect way to celebrate the end of our trip.
There is still so much more I want to see in Tasmania (Mona, Bruny Island and Strahan to name a few), I will definitely be back!
What are your favourite places in Tassie?