Monday, May 9, 2016

Tasmania Trip Summary

This will be a rather long post, I think. There's a lot to say about the activities we did, but I'll try to keep things short and sweet. So without any dilly dally, let's get to it.

How was the trip?

It was good. I always tell people it was OK, but honestly, it was better than OK. What holiday wouldn't be better than OK? Still, I say it anyway. It's just me being lazy to talk about it. It's a good thing I have this blog. So read on for all the nitty gritty.

Day 1: We arrived in Melbourne around 9am, before taking the connecting flight at around 3pm. We touched down in Hobart 4-ish, picked up the rental car, and ended the day with sandwiches for dinner.

What the Tasman Peninsula has to offer.
Day 2: Tasman National Park was on the day's itinerary - we visited the famous 'must-see' spots and did one of the 60 Great Short Walks to Waterfall Bay (lookout?). We then had lunch near the Tessellated Pavement before heading back to Hobart. Since we were short on time, we dropped by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery for a while. We arrived 30 minutes before closing time, so we didn't see much - it didn't seem like there was much to see anyway. Then we walked across the street to the Maritime Museum, only to walk back out as they now charge an entry fee (a rather pricey one too).

Day 3: Dedicated to Port Arthur. Upon our arrival at the estate full of autumn foliage, we joined the free walking tour. We quickly got bored of the tour and decided to look-see on our own. It was drizzling on-and-off that day, making it much colder than usual. Still, the rain didn't stop us from going to the upper deck of the boat cruise - where no one went because of the rain. If you love history and nature, and by nature I mean trees, you should make this a day trip. I'm not being sarcastic. You should.

The chilly Mt. Wellington.
Day 4: Booked way in advance was the Mt.Wellington Descent Bike Ride. And honestly, it was both an awesome and torturing experience. We spent the first half of the day descending the mount on a bike. I had numb lips and fingers for the most part of it, but I did enjoy the off-road sections. The tour ended around lunch time, after which we did a short hike in the lower part of the mount, before driving up to the the peak again. This time, to take proper pictures. But because it was so freaking cold up there, we didn't stay for long. Even the memory of how cold it was gives me the shivers. Pun intended.

Day 5: Saturday means Salamanca day. We headed to Salamanca Market in the morning, where we bought nougats, licorice, and tasted some street food. Our next stop after the market was supposedly Battery Point, but we decided to skip it and beeline to the Royal Botanical Garden instead. Little did we expect, we were done with the market and the garden before lunch. So, we spent the remaining half of the day by the docks, taking pictures, and harassing parrots while they pecked at their earthy meal.

Pretty sights of the day.
Day 6: It was travel come sight-seeing day. We checked out from our cosy Airbnb home before time and drove to Freycinet National Park. Apparently, this place is super popular - when we arrived, there wasn't much parking left. We did the hike to Wineglass Bay Lookout, which was great to burn off all the fish & chips in my belly (mostly chips). Then after the hike, we continued on our journey to our layover in Scamander. Along the way, we stopped at Eureka Farm, which was a very small and uneventful place. And with the extra time, we drove out to Binalong Bay (Bay of Fires) and lingered by the beach till the sun was about to set.

Day 7: Having visited Binalong Bay the evening before, we headed straight for Pyengana Dairy Company after breakfast. We did a short cheddar cheese tasting session, before stopping in Launceston for lunch (at Hogs Breath) and for some grocery shopping. We were heading for Cradle Mountain that day, and were told in advance to stock up on supplies. So we did just that. After which, we headed to Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm for tea. You must... give this place a visit.

Day 8: Cradle Moutain is a great escape from the fantasy we'd escape to from reality. Get it? Nevermind. Our itinerary for the day was going for the famous trails: first one being the Dove Lake Circuit. This circuit is pretty easy, with a couple of uphill sections. But, it takes a while - Dove Lake is larger than it seems. After we completed the circuit, we had lunch by the crystal clear waters, before walking some more. Ironically, we were too lazy to wait for the shuttle bus, so we walked to Ronny Creek for the Waldheim and Weindorfers Forest Walk. But then... my mum thought the overland track was too boring so we skipped the walk altogether. We ended up doing two other shorter walks: the Enchanted Walk (which wasn't very enchanting) and the King Billy Walk (which was more enchanting than the former).

The iconic boat shed.

Day 9: This was another travel come sight-seeing day. From Cradle Mountain, we descended to Burnie where we made a stop at the Maker's Workshop. This building is much smaller than I'd expected, with very little to see. They had a paper making workshop, but the fee wasn't part of our budget. So, we chatted with the lady at the information counter for a bit before heading for Hellyers Road Distillery and the Fern Glade Reserve - unless you're packed for a picnic or on a mission to find platypuses, the Fern Glad Reserve is a pretty boring walk. After that, we continued on to Launceston. We stumbled upon the House of Anvers sign along the way and decided to swing by. I had the Anvers chocolate ice-cream, which was awesome, and we bought a few chocolate bars too. Since it was also along the way to Launceston, we made a stop at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm... again. Did I say you must give this place a visit? Well, you must. I don't want to overhype it, but you know, just go check it out.

Mr Peacock saw us coming and showed off.
Day 10: Launceston is a much less crowded city than Hobart, so for this day and the following day, we went around by foot. In the morning, we visited the Cataract Gorge. We started with the Cataract Walk, took some pictures at the first basin, hiked to Sentinel Lookout, before returning to King's Bridge via the Zig Zag Walk (fun fact: I did all the hikes in a skirt. Oh how inappropriately dressed I was). After all the hiking, we walked some more to the Queen Victoria Art Gallery then to the Queen Victoria Museum. Both of these places were awesome. The art gallery was great and the museum had dinosaur skeletons! On the way home after a day of exploring Launceston (which is full of old architecture), we dropped by Cataract on Paterson for dinner - fancy pancy dinner.

Day 11: It was going home day, but going home started at 3pm. So for the first half of the day, we headed to City Park to watch the monkeys for a good 5 minutes, and play some chess. We checked out a few minutes before 3pm where the arduous traveling hours began. 

Wow... so you've read this far! Told you it'll be a long post. Moving on...

Did the budget work?

Yes, it did. In fact, we had so much excess that we didn't care about budgeting our meals in Launceston. We ate like money wasn't an issue. We even brought back around AUD120, which we used for a Mother's Day meal at Morganfield's. If we actually continued to budget our meals, we'd have way more.

Do note that we only ate out for lunch on most days of the trip. We mostly had dinner at home with all the food our Airbnb hosts (especially the one in Hobart) had in the cabinets. Breakfast was also provided for in Hobart and Launceston. 

How was the lodging?

Hobart: This house had a lot of food. There were loafs of bread, croissants, apples, bananas, tomatoes, ham, bacon, trilogy cheese, chocolate treats, wine, and even rice. The space itself wasn't huge, having the hall converted into another bedroom (since there were four of us), but the view was awesome. Highly recommended. 

Scamander: The worst night of my trip was in Scamander. The heater wasn't emitting enough heat, one of the windows only had mosquito netting and nothing else to shut the cold air out, and the walls weren't thick enough to retain any heat. Scamander isn't even as cold as Hobart and I was chattering under the blanket. No food was provided either. This is the perfect example of 'you get what you pay'. Thank God it was only for one night.

Our cosy cabin in the woods.
Cradle Mountain: A lovely cabin in the woods. Honestly, I underestimated this place. Despite the fact that it was just one big room, it was a cosy little home in the heart of nature. The toilet was huge too! And there was a small fire place for when it got too chilly. 

Launceston: I thought it was going to be dodgy. After seeing the pictures and the cost of this hosting, I thought it would be the worst stay. Oh how I was terribly wrong. Those pictures don't do this place justice. And for the price we paid, it was a great find. The home was spacious and comfy. It was also a short walk to King's Bridge, so we didn't have to drive anywhere. On top of that, the host was super friendly and she even helped make a reservation for us at Cataract on Paterson. Highly, highly recommended.

Did I do any shopping?

If you consider grocery shopping as shopping, then plenty. But if we're talking about stuff I brought home, I did do some. We bought a couple of treats at Salamanca Market, bought chocolate at House of Anvers, Tim Tams from Woolworths, Lindt from Coles, jam from Eureka Farm, and whiskey and vodka from Hellyers Road Distillery. Yea, shopping was alright.

One of the many family pictures of the trip. This was taken at Salamanca Market.

To sum it up...

It was a good trip in the land of friendly people and great customer service. And aside from the pricey cost of food, the cold weather was a perfect escape for when Malaysia was scorching hot. Oddly enough, I don't miss Tasmania as much as I did Japan. Perhaps it had something to do with the tedious customs. But will I go back? Maybe. If my mum ever retires there (which she dreams to), I'll go back for sure.

Next stop, Taiwan!

Check out my other posts on Tasmania:


  1. Thanks for sharing, can you send me your link for the travel itinerary plan. Thanks

    1. My pleasure :) At the end of this post, you'll find all the links related to my Tasmania trip. The first link itself is the itinerary.