Matt: “How about we go to Tasmania for your birthday?”
Me (checking a map and google image): “ok let’s go”
And off we were to Tasmania just a couple of weeks after I arrived down under. I could hardly explain how excited I was to leave for my first trip outside of Sydney (though it’s a lovely city), to a place where I read all snakes are venomous, leeches greedy, and four seasons could happen in one day. Amazing!
Tasmania is a relatively small island (300km north-south-east-west roughly) and half of the territory is protected areas. It’s also the southernmost place you can go to in Australia (yes, it is an Australian state). Once upon a time, it was attached to the mainland, and even before that, Antarctica. The island is named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman decided to give it his name. Before Europeans moved in, it was inhabited by Tasmanian aborigines. I recommend you read the story of Truganini to be reminded of what human nature is about. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truganini
We hadn’t planned much, but a bit more than usual as we only had ten days on the island. We had three goals: Spend a few days hiking around the Cradle Mountain national park, eat cheese and drink wine on Bruny Island, and check out the Wineglass bay at Freycinet national park.
We flew in to Launceston and as we love adventure
and the public transportation is bad and expensive and there was no point to rent a car we wouldn’t use in days, we decided to hitch hike to Cradle Mountain.
I don’t think we were done lifting our thumbs when our first ride stopped, right outside of the airport. It was a lovely old lady who had just dropped off her friend on her way back to Melbourne. She was going to do the occasional shopping in town and left us where it would be convenient to be picked up for our destination.
First impressions: It’s all very dry and in the first 5 minutes we spotted 2 dead wallabies and a dead possum on the side of the road. It’s quite heart-breaking at first (yes, even for me) but you get pretty used to it as it’s all around the island. It’s sad but as locals say, at least it shows that there is wildlife around.
Our next ride, after about 2 minutes standing by the road, was with a nice old couple driving around probably just for the sake of it. After telling us all about their son in Japan and making me repeat 3 times everything I said, they dropped us in the tiny town of Deloraine. It was time for coffee and breakfast before carrying on. Our next ride would be in an empty bus (with air con which was welcome that day it was close to 30°C) going back to the depot at Mole Creek, aka creepy puppets village. From there, a French girl (yes I know they’re
fucking everywhere) took us close to the park where our final ride was waiting for us, a young couple from Queensland who happened to have been sitting next to us back in the café in Deloraine (yes, tiny island).
It was around 4.30pm when we got to the entrance of Cradle Mountain National park. we bought our passes and started hiking to the Scott Kilvert memorial hut where we arrived 3 hours later. Matt made dinner while I pitched the tent and off to bed we went as the day had been quite long and the next one promised to be full of adventures…