(Written 1st March 2011, dodgy Telstra service in Western Tasmania has delayed upload!)
Far out, it is FREEZING at the moment, we’ve had a real cold snap with temperatures as low as 7° today and not much above 13°. There has been snow down to 900m on the hills around Hobart and we’ve encountered a few hail showers through the day. We are now all snuggled up in bed with our beanies on after having dinner on the picnic mat inside the tent trying to keep as warm as possible. What happened to summer this year?
The timing for this cold weather couldn’t have been much worse, during the last week we have visited some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The white sands and blue, blue water along the east coast of Tassie is just stunning. This week competition for the most beautiful scene started in the Bay of Fires and continued through to Coles Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula, Fortescue Bay near Port Arthur and now on Bruny Island. The blowholes and sheer drops coming into the Port Arthur area are spectacular.
The fishing bug took off while we were at Coles Bay, Ben caught the first fish of the trip, closely followed by Indianna’s BIGGER catch, she was certainly pleased with her efforts and told of how the fish nearly pulled her into the ocean – it wasn’t quite that big, but the two fish combined managed to feed us for breakfast! We saw the first stingrays at Coles Bay too, one fairly friendly guy who turned out to be a local named George with a wing span of a metre or more. The fishing continued at Fortescue Bay where Ben caught a shark (baby one) and the Cullen’s caught a couple of squid. Now that we’re on Bruny we’re hoping that the stories of more bounty from the seas are true and we’ll have oysters galore for dinner tomorrow night.
The walk over to Wineglass bay (on the Freycinet Peninsular) would have to rate with the highlights of the week, the kids did a magnificent job on this four hour walk UP and over the top of a fairly steep hill and down into wineglass bay itself. Poor old Tobey trudged along the whole way while recovering from a tummy bug that he’d had for the few days prior, I’m sure it will be one of those memories that will be enhanced with time and he’ll remember it as ten hour walk from hell where he had to stop to vomit and poo along the way!
The visit to the Cadbury factory just out of Hobart is right up there on the list of recommendations. For a $17 entry fee you come out of there feeling like you couldn’t eat much more chocolate… except for the two huge bags that we just had to buy in the heavily discounted shop! Oh, and we got to learn all about chocolate making.
The historical site at Port Arthur was fairly interesting, although it is very commercialised and the $75 entry fee did feel a little over the top. Included in the entry were a half hour cruise of the harbour and a guided walk, but there were no lesser expensive options to just look around yourself.
For all the wildlife that we have seen around we have not managed to see a Tasmanian Devil in the wild, so we relented and went to the Tasmanian Devil conservation centre today in Taranna (near Port Arthur). That was brilliant, managed to see some of their babies and a couple of teenage boys fighting for food (I guess that sight will be all too familiar to us in a few years!).