you can farm anything
Tasmania seemed to have a farm for everything: there are potato farms, lettuce farms, poppy farms, honey farms, cheese farms, lavender farms. Let’s talk about some of the farms we visited.
We certainly did not go hungry in Tassie. There was delicious and fresh food everywhere. Driving around the state, there are numerous fruit farms you can visit. We visited three: Hillwood Strawberry Farm, Kate’s Berry Farm and Sorrell Fruit Farm. We had NO idea that there were so many types of berries. So for 10 days we indulged on cherries, strawberries, waffles and sundaes! The great thing about these farms is that you can pick your own fruit if you are that way inclined.
Fresh seafood is also not lacking here. There are salmon farms to visit where you can feed the fish and then there are places where you can eat fish (not necessarily the same fish you saw at the farms). While we were down on the east coast, we ate at an amazing Japanese place, Kabuki in Swansea. Lovers of seafood will NOT be disappointed in Tasmania.
But let’s not forget the final stop for us… the chocolate farm – well, its registered name would probably be the Cadbury Factory! That was quite an experience. We saw them making, wrapping, packing, stacking the chocolate. We got to eat lots of chocolate on the tour too. We walked through the the factory with our hair nets, white lab coats and shoe protectors… Willy Wonka eat your heart out! The one place we did not get to see was the FORBIDDEN FACTORY – actually, it wasn’t really called that. It’s the part of the factory where Flake and Twirl are made. The recipe and process is so top secret, Cadbury could not risk the secret getting out!
enjoy the view
Tasmania really has it all. There is something for everyone here. History buffs would enjoy Port Arthur or Richmond where the first bridge in Australia can be found!
And for anyone who enjoys scenic holidays – Tassie will not disappoint. There are waterfalls, monoliths, mountains, bays, beaches.
On the northwest coast, in beautiful Stanley sits a volcanic monolith, the Nut. You can walk to the top or you could use the chairlift to get a view of the town. The day we were there was too windy that the chairlifts were closed – and we opted not to climb to the top so can’t really comment on the view.
Also in the northwest coast is Dismal Swamp. Yes, the name doesn’t sound overly cheerful but it is a very pleasant blackwood forest to visit. It is a sinkhole of blackwood trees and believed to be the only one in the world. There are two ways to get around, one is the walkway and the other is to jump down the big slippery slide that will take you to the bottom.
Towards the centre of Tasmania, there is Cradle Mountain. The area is serene and the Dove Lake perimeter walk is easy with a magnificent backdrop. Definitely NOT to be missed whilst in Tasmania.
Then on the northeast coast, the Bay of Fires – the coastal views are really incredible. Seeing the contrast in the boulders splashed with red, the white sand and the wild waves crashing ashore…. one could just spend hours walking along the coastline.
Moving south, no one should miss Wineglass Bay. The walk to the top for the view down has about 600 steps to climb, just short of 1.5 km. But that view is divine! The day we were there, we had perfect weather and our advice to all who wishes to attempt it: Start early and bring water! It was incredible how many people we saw heading up with no water and starting out at lunchtime when the sun is obviously at its peak!!
And finally in the southeast, around Eaglehawk Nest: there is the Tasman Arch, the Devil’s Kitchen and the Tessellated Pavement.
And to be fair, the list can go on and on. This list is by no means exhaustive. This is just a snippet. And as you can see, we haven’t even touched much of the west at all!
aussie animals in the wild
Living in Sydney, it is not often (if ever) that you get to spot native Aussie animals in their habitats.
From Stanley, we booked a twilight tour to view platypus in the wild. And that we saw! We spotted two of them swimming in the wild, playful, coming up for air and then diving down again. They are nocturnal and apparently very shy so it is after the sun sets, they come out to play.
On the drive to Dismal Swamp, we did sadly see lots of animals that had been hit by cars including a Tasmania Devil. But the cutest thing we have seen was an echidna crossing the road. With his little legs, he was bumbling across the two lanes of traffic and crossed right in front of our car.
But it was in Cradle Mountain, on the night spotlight tour, that we saw much more. We saw wombats (14 to be exact) and can those wombats move. We saw brushtail possums, Bennet and Rufus wallabies. We saw baby possums and a baby wallaby bouncing into his mother’s pouch. It almost felt like what we were seeing was a performance. Right outside our room at Cradle Mountain Lodge, the wildlife can be seen. In the evenings, we saw wallabies bouncing through. This was nothing like we expected.
Walking with fairy penguins was also another treat. In Bicheno, we did the night tour to view the fairy penguins… And it is incredible to watch these flightless birds swim to shore after a long day at sea and waddle their way back to their homes, usually to their waiting babies. What blew us away was how close we could get. The penguins literally walk around us to get around. Awesome experience.
Never had we imagined that we would be able to witness these animals in the wild. People from overseas always tell us they would love to come to Australia and see our animals in the wild. And this is obviously the place to go – Tasmania is a wildlife wonderland!
rowing up a storm
The drive to Kalbarri was only going to be short compared to the Perth to Geraldton leg. On the way, we detoured to Herrocks where we stopped at 3 Mile beach. We enjoyed the jetty walk and was lucky enough to see some people fishing for puffer blowfish.
On the way to Kalbarri, we also drove past the Pink Lake. It’s actually pink due to a species of algae that is of that colour that produces beta-carotene (Vitamin A). The Lake is privately owned and Vitamin A is “harvested” here.
Kalbarri is a seaside town and is practically picture perfect. We went canoeing in the Murchison River and soaked up the sun. Until the sky turned grey and the winds picked up. There was no doubt a storm was coming and here we were rowing against the current. From where we sat in the 3-man canoe, we could see the mouth of the river which pours out to the Indian Ocean. This could get catastrophic if we didn’t get to shore fast! So all three of us rowed and rowed and rowed! But we did not feel like we were gaining any ground… in fact at times, spun in circles!! What felt like hours of rowing, and with the lactic acid building in our arms, we made it to shore to find that we had only been out for half an hour.
The storm did hit and we just hope tomorrow brings better weather.
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