Thursday 26 February
A day travelling from Uluru and after allowing for the 90 minutes time difference between Ayres Rock and Sydney, the Flight time is scheduled at 3 hours 5 minutes. Out of the heat and back to the relative cool of Sydney but first a long flight with no lunch type food other than something that has nuts in.
Check in again at Rydges hotel at the airport and opt for a McDonalds in Sydney International Terminal for an evening meal which is a first on this holiday – John’s favourite though!
Friday 27 February
John & Deirdre were going into Sydney in the morning as our flight was at 2pm but in the end we all had a lazy morning before a Virgin flight to Hobart, pick up a car and find our way to an apartment with a fantastic view of the harbour – the 5th floor of IXL Sullivan’s Cove.
Much better than last year’s offering from Audley travel.
Dinner in (well actually outside) Mures – fish and chips is of course their speciality – and the servings, service and atmosphere don’t disappoint.
It is so much colder here compared with Ayres Rock and even Sydney but there are no flies.
Saturday 28 February
Breakfast in Mures and off to Salamanca market for a couple of hours.
Our 2nd visit in two years and it was just as good as last year.
Off then to Port Arthur and the historic site that was the original penal colony of the island which we were not able to get to last year.
Rain for most of the way there, ponchos bought and we were off on the boat trip around the bay and back for the guided walk by a very impressive guide who gave some interesting accounts of life back in the late 1800s.
So much to see here and we barely give it justice in the 4 hours we are there.
On way back, visit the blow holes and the devil’s kitchen, driving through the village of DOO again with it’s quirky house names.
Dinner in tonight in the very modern apartment.
Sunday 1 March
Drive to Freycinet and to the beach apartment booked last August. Wasn’t sure about this one as we hadn’t seen it last year but it turns out to be a wonderful location overlooking the beach and the Bay towards Swansea.
A walk on the deserted beach is wonderful going but very hard work returning as the wind is quite ferocious.
An evening in watching a documentary on Australia narrated by Richard Roxborough – of Rake fame from last year’s visit.
A good night without much noise from the sea but not sure about this modern living with there being no door between bedroom and en-suite.
Monday 2 March
Get park pass for car and drop John & Deirdre off for the wineglass bay walk whilst we get very slow updates on the Internet at the local cafe. Question about feather pillows for Clearwell from both Mel and Sarah.
Food for BBQ bought although not much choice. An afternoon spent on the nearby but very windy “friendly beaches”, pure white sand, blue sea and some unnatural looking rocks with stones embedded in them.
Tuesday 3 March
Sadly have to leave Freycinet, the apartment is for sale and if we lived nearer we would be banging on the door of the estate agent although it is surprising how many are up for sale in the area.
The development we are on is nowhere near complete.
Drive inland to Campbell Town to meet up with Dave Green, a former Coutts colleague from my Jersey days. Dave slightly delayed which gives us time to look at some of the bricks laid to represent some of the first settlers and discover a possible relative.
Dave lives in Guernsey but was on a Princess Cruise around Australia which happened to be calling in at Hobart that morning; he had hired a car and driven up to Campbell Town for lunch with us, how wonderfully civil of him.
Hadn’t seen Dave for over 10 years so an hour was not long enough – perhaps one time we are in Jersey, he will come and visit or we could stop off in Guernsey on the way home from / way to Jersey.
Lunch over and we part our ways, Dave returning to Hobart and us north firstly on main roads, then twisty roads until we reached Cradle Mountain Lodge.
Soon checked in with lady on desk giving a fabulous introduction. No animals to see yet as it may be too hot. However, she advises us there is a possibility of snow on Thursday!!
Dinner in the expensive restaurant followed by a walk around the wilderness track where we saw Wallabies, Wombats, Possums and an Enchida and back for a talk on the area.
Sadly, talk not as good as last year’s when we were told about the wildlife.
A 10pm visit out on the jeep for animal spotting and lots seen, especially baby Paddy Melon Wombats which look like overgrown mice, especially the babies. Much better than last year as coach not steamed up.
Wednesday 4 March
Oh no! A wet and windy day and we are near the highest point of Tasmania with temperatures just getting into double figures Centigrade!
After a full breakfast we head for the visitor centre, upgrade Park Pass from Freycinet and off on Shuttle Bus to Dove Lake. John & Deirdre off on a round the lake walk for about 3 hours but they had bought wet weather gear with them, and we go in the opposite direction to the Boat House. Not a long walk for us and no wildlife seen.
Back at the lodge, and we all four have lunch followed by us going on the picnic walk and John & Deirdre going on a longer 5.5k walk.
A P & O cruise excursion coach has just turned up – surely it can’t be from the Aurora, the ship we join in a few days time in Sydney, can it?
Fortunate on the walk to see an Enchida, a green Rosella and two black currawongs.
By now the rain has intensified but we still go out for a last walk, this time guided by Park guide, John.
Only a couple of Wallabies seen tonight but some interesting facts learnt about the Pencil Pine and the Myrtle Beach, the Temperate Rain Forest and the coral lychen.
Dinner in the bar area tonight.
John has caught up on the spending, now it’s my turn!
Thursday 5 March
An absolutely wild night with wind and rain lashing our cabin and we wake to SNOW! Yes, this is by all accounts unseasonably cold, although not unheard of. And to think that about 6 days ago we were at Ayres Rock in 40 degree (C) temperatures.
Not a great deal of snow at our level and it won’t settle, which is just as well as we have a long journey to get out of the park and back to Hobart for our final internal flight. It has settled on the hills above us though.
After another lovely breakfast, check out and we are on our way.
Within a few kilometres, the clouds disappear and it warms up so that by the time we reach Hobart, after a stop at Campbell Town for coffee and fuel, it is decidedly warm.
Check in and discussion on how we arrived. Sally and Deirdre on different wavelengths as Deirdre said we arrived by car whereas Sally talking about how we arrived in Tasmania!
Buy a book on the history of Tasmania which (when I read it later) makes fascinating reading – so much went on that has not really been told in the schools of Australia and is also unknown in the outside world.
Goodbye Tasmania, loved you as much as last year – now back to Sydney.