When we purchased our tickets for Tasmania they were one-way with our dream to live and work there, however it didn't turn out that way. We did stay for five months though and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I have broken our time in Tasmania into three parts so as not to be too overwhelming.
Penguin to Tazmazia
It was so exciting to be back in Tasmania as it had been a long time since Andrew and I had visited last. Interestingly though our joy was short lived as we relaxed on our first night at a camp just out of Penguin to be met with an odd fellow that felt it only just to place his vehicle in front of our beach view and then promptly hang his underwear up for us all to enjoy!!! We called him 'Undies Man' because sadly this was not the last time we came across him.
Burnie had a lovely free camp just out of town at Cooee Point and with a full moon on our first night there and a crystal clear day the next, we were feeling very happy. The information center in Burnie is a must with its historical information and general facts of the area providing a full fledged learning zone.
Before we even left home in Cairns, we were all so excited about visiting Tazmazia and the Village of Lower Crackpot in Promise Land ... and we were not disappointed. We arrived at Tazmazia when they opened their doors and we didn't leave until closing time. If you have kids then you must visit and enjoy the funny jokes and one-liners around the paths and hidden in the bushes, explore the numerous mazes to see how easy it is to get lost and become confused and interact with the general activities within the mazes to experience how AMAZING the whole place is!
First up I need to inform you that we were in Tasmania for 5 months, so there was a lot of back tracking and revisiting of our favourite places. We traveled all over the place and in no particular pattern, but for my posts I'll follow a path that takes you on our journey as though we started in the north, traveled down the middle, visited the south, south east and Hobart surrounds on day trips, up the east coast, across to Stanley and down the west before catching the Spirit of Tasmania back to Melbourne.
Campbell Town, Ross and Oatlands
All of our visits to Campbell Town were enjoyed by the Red Bridge, feeding the ducks and watching the eels.
The town of Ross brought with it an adventure into the past, with the beautiful Ross Bridge, gorgeous old church and the history behind the Ross Female Factory.
Oatlands was one of our favourite destinations and one that we visited regularly. We enjoyed our camp at Lake Dulverton and the locals enjoyed visits for a chat. We were also lucky enough to be in the town when they held their Christmas celebrations - WHAT AN FANTASTIC EVENT!!!!
We did and saw so much while in Hobart that I'm not sure we left a stone unturned. I won't cover everything, just the main places of interest.
1. The Penitentiary Chapel - the male convict's prisoner barracks for Hobart Town (as Hobart was originally named) - with the most wonderful gentleman tour guide. He was kind, knowledgeable and great with the boys and their multitude of questions.
2. The Shot Tower, built in 1870 to produce lead shot pellets, was a fun experience. The tower is 48m tall and was used to make the pellets by dropping molten lead from the top of tower to land in water at the base, but with the rapid descent would cool and shape the pellets before they hit the water.
3. Mount Field National Park to enjoy Russell Falls.
4. Cockle Creek - right down the bottom of Tasmania! Now I'm not sure if the boys were trying to show us how brave they were, but they went for a swim while we had a coffee to warm up.
5. Opossum Bay was beautiful and seemed to be one of the few places that the locals swam...that we could find anyway. It was like a step back in time.
6. Strathgordon was an interesting day. The wall of the dam was huge and terrifying for those of us that are petrified of heights. On the way back, though, we came across an environmental group that had set up camp to try to put an end to the forests being cut down. Yet no one was there to talk to!
7. Salamanca Markets always has lots of people and so much to see. Have to admit though that it seemed quite commercial since our previous visit, which is a bit sad, but we still enjoyed ourselves.
8. Christmas was lovely at the Hobart showgrounds, where all the travelers got together to share food and celebrate.
9. Taste of Tasmania was an interesting experience, especially for the boys to hold the winning trophy of Wild Oats on their arrival into Hobart and that we got to meet Ian Parmenter.
10. New Years Eve 2012 Fireworks.
11. We were also present when the fire took hold of Dunalley.