I “hired a car” and took a fantastic six day road trip through and around Tasmania. “Tassie” is known as a natural state of Australia, with varying geography covered in reserves, national parks and World Heritage Sites. The organic food and drink is beautiful. But, I will most remember the festivals and random people that speak like educated pirates – that was a compliment.
The tour started out in Hobart and it happened to be during the 2015 Australian Wooden Boat Festival. It was great, I love happening upon random events and apparently Australians love their festivals. “Held across Hobart’s vibrant and bustling waterfront, the four-day festival brings together the largest and most beautiful collection of wooden boats in the southern hemisphere…Along with the exhibition of these beautiful boats, the festival delivers a lively combination of incredible local food, live entertainment, music, demonstrations and displays…” source: http://www.australianwoodenboatfestival.com.au/about-us
I explored Hobart for a couple of days. I drove up and hiked around Mount Wellington, hung out at Salamanca Place and listened to drunk sailor-ish people speak about politics. Two girls in the hostel I stayed in immediately asked me if I was American and explained to me that Americans are the only people who introduce themselves without starting a conversation – not a compliment?
Next, I drove about 300 km northwest through a beautiful forest to Strahan, on the west coast of Tasmania. Strahan was a quiet little fishing port but I had a fun walk along part of Ocean Beach, Tasmania’s longest beach at over 30 km. After a nice sleep over with my new Japanese fisherman friend, I then headed to Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. I didn’t do a six-day bushwalk, just a few mini hikes to take some pictures:
Later, I arrived in Devonport for the night, it was forgettable until I ate breakfast at Laneway Cafe:
Finally I drove over to the Launceston area for a couple of days. Launceston is Tasmania’s second largest city. Hobart is definitely more attractive but I ended up really enjoying the Launceston area. I hiked the Cataract Gorge Reserve and traveled around the Tamar Valley Wine route. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to see the east coast of Tasmania but luckily I got a taste of it because I was in Launceston to catch the beginning of Festivale! This is what happened: I was staying above a pub and two self labeled “biker blokes” were happily proving to me that Australians are hospitable. (They bought me a few beers). They asked if I was going to Festivale and I just said “no.” For some reason I didn’t ask what that was, I just kept drinking my free beer. Yes, I bought them a beer too, don’t worry. Anyway, the next day I went walking around Launceston and exploring the local music/guitar shops. This is one of my favorite things to do! I wandered into a store that looked like it only sold new stereo equipment but I noticed a slightly hidden sign in the window that said “Vintage Guitars Upstairs”. I asked and the store owner took me upstairs and revealed his recording studio lined with vintage instruments! It was awesome:
He had some cool old recording equipment and really rare guitars, some worth more than $30,000! He was really nice, let me play some of the guitars and was happy to educate me about them. Then he asked, “so, are you in town for Festivale?” I said, “No, I’m just finishing my tour of Tasmania and I’m off to Sydney tomorrow.” He gave me such a hard time and told me that if I am into local food, drink and music then I should go. Duh. It was a five minute walk to the park and it started in 30 minutes. Double duh. So much fun:
“Festivale, one of Tasmania’s premier summer events, is a three day celebration, designed to showcase the very best of Tasmanian food, wine, beer, arts and entertainment. Staged in Launceston’s historic and picturesque City Park the ambiance of the outdoor event is unique. …Originally established in 1988 as a multi-cultural street party, it has transformed itself into an iconic Tasmanian event, drawing people together to celebrate what Tasmania has to offer the world. Festivale’s ability to present the best Tasmanian produce, cool climate wines, beers and entertainment in a historically and culturally significant outdoor location on the fringe of the city rates it as one of the best and food wine festivals in Australia. Under historic elm trees, family and friends can relax in the wide open space of Launceston’s City Park. Tasmania is renowned for its world-class cool climate wines, beers and produce. Festivale provides an opportunity to ‘taste’ and experience the best of what Tasmania has to offer.” source: http://www.festivale.com.au/about-festivale
Yes, that was an organic chocolate filled doughnut filled with chocolate. Can anything be organic? I don’t care. You should sell your TV and visit Tasmania.
To see all of my pictures visit the Snaps page.