Okay, you have landed in either Melbourne or Sydney (see Melbourne vs Sydney for my first preference), you are done with jet lag and are exploring urban life in Oz. Now it is time to see the rest of the country! But wait, it is a really big country and there is no way you can see it all. We couldn’t, even in the five months we lived there. In my Best of Australia Series I am writing about some of the places that we went to and loved in Australia (in no particular order).
Tasmania is worth going to! Australia has six states and several territories, the island of Tasmania is the sixth state. There is a ton to do on the island and we only did some of it. We flew into the capital city of Hobart and stayed in a funky older hotel, the Astor Private Hotel. We had a nice enough room, but the real unique part of the hotel was the manager, Tildy. What a trip! And she knows everything about anything in Hobart and is not afraid to share it. She was a one woman entertainment show. The name of the hotel was the Astor Private Hotel.
While we were in Hobart we went to the Saturday Salamanca Market. It is a fun, open air market selling everything from food, to clothes, to toys, to souvenirs, to everything. There are also musicians playing every sort of music you can imagine. I recommend that you arrange to be in Hobart on a Saturday so you can attend too. I got this great dress there for only $40!
The other big attraction in Hobart is the famed MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art. It was unlike any museum that we had ever been to, and while we like contemporary art (it is the private collection of David Walsh, the mathematician known for making a fortune beating online gambling sites) I can’t say that we thought it was worth going to.
No trip to Hobart would be complete without a trip to Port Arthur, the former convict settlement, now an open air museum. It is a terrific way to get a glimpse into Australia’s past as a penal colony. I highly recommend you take the time to explore here. The drive from Hobart has interesting places to stop at and see. We didn’t see all of it, but Eaglehawk Neck the Tessellated Pavement and the Tasmin Arch were some of the highlights. On the way back we stopped at The Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park and saw kangaroos, wallabies and Tasmanian Devils.
Next we drove off to Freycinet National Park and went on one of THE most beautiful hikes we have ever been on in Wineglass Bay. It is not to be missed! We hiked up to the top for the view over the bay then down to the sand (soft like baby powder) and had a picnic lunch with a wild wallaby who liked us
Rather than hike back up the very steep trail, we went the long way around and felt like we were discovering new part of the park. It was almost deserted and beyond gorgeous!
We ended our time on Tasmania in Launceston, another historic city in Australia, from which the founders of Melbourne came.
Bottom line: Tasmania is well worth going to. The people are friendly, the cities interesting and the scenery – gorgeous. I would go back in a heartbeat, but only in their summer time!
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