Oceania

enjoy the view

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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.

The Nut
The Nut

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.

Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain

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.

Bay of Fire
Bay of Fire

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!!

Wineglass Bay
Wineglass Bay

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!

 

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aussie animals in the wild

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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.

Why did the echidna cross the road?
Why did the echidna cross the road?

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.

Wallaby right outside our window
Wallaby right outside our window

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.

Baby penguin waiting for mum and dad
Baby penguin waiting for mum and dad

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

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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.

Pink Lake
Pink Lake

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! ┬áBut 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.

first family holiday

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Somehow a trip that started off with us going to Japan turned into a family holiday to Western Australia. Perth is a very flat and quiet city and has no traffic. We LOVE this city!

Rottnest Island is just off the coast near Fremantle, about a 25 minute ferry ride away. This is where we went for Day 1. On the way over, we were fortunate enough to see a humpback whale. swimming alongside the ferry. The ferry captain was wonderful enough to stop and let us spend a few minutes watching it. To get around Rottnes, there were a few options:  buses that drive around the island in one direction, bicycles for hire or walking. The weather was perfect and the sun was out. Some of us went for a 3.3 km walk while the others pedalled. We all met up for lunch at Porpoise Bay on a secluded beaach. The water was crystal clear and the view was spectacular.

Our secluded beach at Rottnest Island
Our secluded beach at Rottnest Island

On Day 2, it was a long day on the road to Geraldton as we went via the Pinnacles. The roads although coastal are long, straight and narrow…. Even though a little bit out of the way, the Pinnacles were worthwhile to see. Its quite phenomenal seeing the big rocks (that almost look like termite mounds) sticking out of the desert sands!

Pinnacles
Pinnacles