Devils and Delights: A Tasmanian Adventure
After a stopover in Melbourne for one night we headed for the Southern most state of Australia, Tasmania, flying into the capital Hobart. We were here for six days to explore a little of what Tasmania has to offer. The accommodation we decided to use was mostly AirBnb and boy was that a great decision. The first two nights we spent at Paul’s in Hobart, his place is literally a few minutes walk from Elizabeth Street and its many restaurants. A bit of a theme was that we seemed stay at people’s places who had dogs which was fun. Hobart was a great city and we mostly just walked around and visited the two highest points to enjoy the views. Luckily, the days we were there the weather was kind. I also visited the Cascade brewery the oldest one in Australia and did a tasting.
The next day we visited the Tahune Air walk. We did the walk and enjoyed the views from the air walk. The loop track over the swing bridges was also fun. The times given to walk the tracks are generous. It cost A$54 entry for the two of us. The cafe was excellent and not to expensive. There is a film about the history of logging Huon Pine and why it is one of the most valuable and desirable woods in the world. It would have been nice to see a film on the reason, making and future of the air walk. Perhaps in the future this will be developed. The road to the air walk is 26 km from Geeveston and at the beginning there were a few potholes. However, 6km in it is a lot better and sealed all the way.
We also visited Bruny Island. The return ferry was A$35. We visited Adventure Bay where Tasman and Cook both visited. There is a lovely two-hour walk we did that took us out to the point and up to the top of the Cape with great views. On the way back we visited a whisky tasting place near the ferry and also tasted half a dozen Bruny oysters.
A visit to the Tasman Peninsula
We drove down to visit Port Arthur, the Unzoo and explore the area. One of our stops was the Unzoo which was previously called the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park. The Unzoo is one of the few places where you can see Tasmanian Devils feeding. Situated on the Port Arthur highway and not far from Port Arthur is the Unzoo. We visited Unzoo for three hours in the morning and really enjoyed it. Sarah the guide was excellent, bubbly, articulate and knowledgeable about the Tasmanian devils. We saw two feedings and if was great to see. The Unzoo is also educational in that I never knew the devils live only six years and the Tasman peninsula is only one of two places in Tasmanian the face cancer which decimated the wild population killing up to 90% has not reached. It was also fun to feed the forest kangaroo and wallabies. Bird show was entertaining. Not to crowded. On cost we used a 25% discount voucher for second adult and it cost us A$58, money well spent as some goes back to the conservation of the Tasmanian Devils. Ticket also valid for two days.
Our visit to Port Arthur was relatively short as we had limited time and arrived around 4pm. We were able to buy half price tickets which allows access till 7.30pm. Instead of paying A$36 our tickets were half price. You do not get the cruise with this ticket and unlike the full price ticket is not valid for two days. We were lucky to catch one of the last guiding tours where the guide was excellent giving the history of the site and people who were sentenced to the prison. Afterwards we explored the buildings and exhibition to find out about the convicts and their life in this remote part of the world. You can do the main site in 3 hours but will need longer for the cruise and if you want a visit to the Isle of the Dead where the dead convicts are buried. The memorial to the 35 people slaughtered by a madman in 1996 was also tastefully done.
What it cost?
Tasmania is not cheap but for our five nights we paid A$500. Rental car with petrol for 900 kms was for five days A$240. Food, drinks and visiting attractions was A$1100. In total A$1840. I am sure the trip could have been cheaper but we decided to splurge and had some lovely meals.