When I have mentioned travelling to Tasmania to any Australian the reaction has always been excitement! Because Australia is so large travellers often don’t leave enough time to check out Tasmania. Which is totally too bad because it is so much different than the mainland. The climate here is way different, winds often blow from the south making it quite a few degrees chillier than the mainland. This relieves a lot of the humidity. I have experienced all 4 seasons in one day! Chilly wind to warm sun and back within a few hours. Landscapes are more similar to New Zealand with rolling hills and mountainous areas – I loved this, it was an incredible change from the city centre of Melbourne = tall buildings and flat ground.
I spent 5 days in the capital city, Hobart Tasmania. From Melbourne the flight was less than an hour. Basically by the time you finished ascending you started descending! My hostel, The Pickled Frog was phenomenal. It was in no way fancy but the staff were awesome, the people were great and there was a huge amount of communal room for socializing – pool tables, a movie collection, a reading nook, and even a collection of comfy couches. The best part may have been the two fluffy hostel dogs!!! I actually met a girl who chose to stay here only for the dogs. I was here near Christmas time so a group of us actually went into the outback to cut down a tree for the hostel. That was a highlight for sure.
When I first arrived I was feeling a fair bit homesick. I had moved around quite a bit and was ready to see a familiar face. Instead I got to see my very first wallaby. I was sitting in a park, crying, and talking to my family on the phone when this furry face popped out to say hello! *a wallaby is a tiny kangaroo* He was gone just about as fast as he had arrived. I soon realized that wallabies are quite a common site, almost like rabbits in Canada. His cute face was comforting when I was feeling a bit blue.
Okay back to the highlights! The best sights being…
Mount Wellington which overlooks the city. A free bus to the top is offered from the hostel. You can walk up and down which takes about 6 hours or just down which takes about 2 and a half hours. I chose the down! Because the hostel drives a group up, you have the chance to make quick friends for the hike. I went with about 6 people and it was great, it was a a nice way to get to know each other quickly. A Finnish girl, 2 girls from the US, a guy from England, and one from Canada as well – it was quite the mix! Half way down there was a cafe set up in a very cute trailer with tasty tasty coffee. This was a well welcomed break on the way down. Throughout the walk the landscape changed totally, from land with short and stubby growth to a tropical oasis full of Palm, ferns and even a waterfall. I even had the chance to drink directly from a fresh spring, it was the coolest and clearest water I have ever had.
MONA an art muesum – This is absolutely the weirdest museum I have ever been too. Full of contemporary and modern art collected and curated by a man who made millions gambling in Tasmania. It is one of the largest private collections in the world and the most prestigiest. People come from around the world to check it out. The art that has been curated is really sexual, the point of the muesum is mostly to make it’s visitors uncomfortable. To be honest I found it overstimulating, there was so much to take in visually and audibly. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience mind you.
I also had the chance to check out Wineglass Bay. This is a beach about 2 hours away from the city. It can only be reached by walking and has been described as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I took an organized tour here because it was the simplest way to reach the beach. I had the chance to walk up and look out over the beach and then made my way down to the actual beach. I could have spent forever here but sadly I had to be back at the bus in what felt like the blink of an eye. Let me tell you the walk back up to the car park was something else! Good but sweaty!
The next stop was Battery Point, which is the oldest part of Hobart, with the most expensive houses, built all by convicts of course. It’s quaint and sweet, when I was feeling homesick I headed to a cafe here to journal. The atmosphere was just what I needed pretty, quiet and calm. Kind of like home actually. Nothing like how I spent the next day at Salamanca Market.
Each Saturday down by the waterfront there is a 300 vendor market. It has basically everything you could imagine -fresh fruit & veg, flowers, meat, clothing, jewellery, treats, pottery, tiny flutes, tourist crap, and sooo much more. If you aren’t in a rush it takes a couple of hours to navigate the entire thing. It’s very cool to see all of the local products and produce. In this area it’s also very artsy. There are little crafty shops all around in historical buildings. A wool shop in particular stood out. Meandering around was a great way to spend an afternoon.
Here is where I met the first flower farmer I am staying with, Lisa Kingston. I was welcomed with open arms, and told to go and explore. At the end of the day I met up with Juliah, a girl who is doing a trip very similar to mine, almost identical actually. We went and had tea, which we share a love for and have been friends ever since. I am hanging at the farm now and have been for close to three weeks. There will be more to come on that soon!