In love with Australia. Roadtripping Tasmania with Dad.

I’m in Melbourne and I can’t quite cope with the excitement and feeling of wellbeing I’m going through. It’s almost painful! I feel like an over ripe peach about to explode. I’m very happy. I’m staying with my seriously wonderful, inspirational friend La-ra and my dad is staying with our super kind relation Tim. This confirmed bachelor of my father’s generation reminded me that the first time I travelled (a 14 month post-uni trip) I stayed at his house a total of 5 weeks. Five weeks this kind man put up with a crazy travelling 22 year old! Ha.

So between New Zealand and Melbourne, Dad and I flew to Tasmania for 5 nights. Another whizzing road trip around an island, another success story. Even though I think (know) my dad thinks I’m a little crazy, we’re getting used to each other and enjoying our experiences more and more. So here they are:

From the capital of this Aussie state, Hobart, we drove straight up to Launceston and found our way to the funny old vineyard apartments of Glenayr. Basically, this amazing guy called Gordon has a 1,000 acre farm with 280 beef cows, a vineyard and five apartments all as a hobby which he loves, as well as a full time job in payroll. I could go on and on about Gordon. How he had one brief experience with the local vet and then from that point on looked after the cows learning all the vetting from a book he shipped from America. How he rounded up his cows and spoke to them in order to stop them getting diseased. About the magical pear tree. But I’m going to write about him on a new blog I’m starting so I’ll stop there. But imagine waking up in the morning to these views.

I'm standing inside the apartment, at sliding door and seeing this. It's warm. I'm thinking chill out with wine on the pagoda.

In the apartment there were two bottles of Pinot Noir and two of white. Dad nearly polished off one white, I the red. Such good chats about everything from Vietnamese history to mum.

Ok, so from the outside our apartment looked like a glorified cow shed, but the interiors were top notch with a beautiful bedroom and sitting room upstairs, a kitchen and a sitting room with dining table downstairs. All for $150 a night. And look at that hill. My dream hill.

And my dream hill was even dreamier from the top looking down on Launceston.

On my dream hill, about 7am.

Oh, and did I mention that Gordon gave me, then my dad a ride around the fields on his enormous quadbike called Grizzly? And that he then came back in the evening and showed us all around his farm by jeep regaling us with quirky, cute, funny stories? And then his partner Anna gave us a packed lunch free and unannounced when we dropped off the keys the next morning?! Wow.

Want to see a picture of Gordon? Here’s a photo of him in his older jeep that he built himself based on a picture he saw in a magazine. Wa? How? Dunno.

Even cut out those perfect circles for the head lamps. He was very proud of that. Holden engine, Toyota tires.

In Launceston we went to the annual Food and Wine Festivale where we watched Irish River dancing and ate Angus beef wraps. Then took a chair lift over Cataract Gorge and did the ZigZag Walk. Beautiful day.

After two nights at Glenayr, we drove to Freycinet National Park. One of the most beautiful places complete with the famous Wineglass Bay. This journey is supposed to take 3 hours. It took us 6 and a half. I don’t know how we do it. Anyway, this area is stunningly beautiful with pink granite rock and a huge variety of bays, coves and beaches from white sand to enormous boulders.

This is the gorgeous Honeymoon Bay.

I love this bay, it was my favourite reminding me of good times at Wilsons Prom.

We saw kayakers slicing past and I LOVE sea kayaking. So the next day, I shoved Dad in the back, popped into the front and explored the coves with a lovely group including our guide Jarrad and a journalist from The New York Times. As you do. A wallaby came and hung out with us when we breaked on a beach, just 3 metres away the whole time. After our cookies. And a huge white-crested sea eagle swooped and whirled over our party.

Us 24 hours later on a twilight trip. But we got a much better sunset.

Hobart was only an afternoon, but deserves a whole nother post, because we visited mystery MONA and it was breathtaking, crazy, confronting, weird and wonderful.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of Freycinet, a pretty special place.

An incredibly wiggly 5.5km drive takes you to a little walk and a vast view topped with a cute lighthouse. Cape Tourville.

From Wineglass Bay Lookout. 40 mins walk from the main car park.

Honeymoon Bay again…

Click on the photo to get a bigger one on your screen.

If you visit, get a car park pass ($24 I think) from the Visitors’ Centre. It’s an honesty policy with a fine if you get caught. If I did it again, I would camp in the park. Magical to wake up to that.

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