Continuing to the last stop on our Australian adventure, my friend and I departed Melbourne for Tasmania – which involved taking a Jetstar flight from the airport and blissfully dropping off our rental car, after many miles driven both us and the car were unscathed. Whoop whoop! We arrived very late into Hobart, Tasmania to pick up our new rental car and fell into bed at the hotel – a quaint ancient house which, while cute, was a little bit cobwebby, creaky, and drafty. I guess as any ancient house should be. The room rate included breakfast which had a great selection of local honeys and homemade jams – redemption for the spiderwebs. The morning was already smoking hot as we wandered down to the harbour – chock full of street cafes and beautiful small shops carrying local goods. Our first stop was Daci & Daci, a recommendation from my friend’s guidebook. Daci & Daci is a quaint French-style café serving delectable pastries, cookies, cakes, sandwiches, and proper coffee. We tested out the coffee and croissants and both were wildly good. Continuing down to the harbour we perused some of the souvenir shops with beautiful wood products from the island, local soaps, honey, and gorgeous wool blankets (I’m still kicking myself for not buying one!).
Continuing out of the city, we hopped in the car and drove along one of the “Local Products” route- Tasmania really emphasizes the growth and consumption of local food, local wine, local everything. . . and many hotels provide brochures outlining car trips you can take, winding you past cheese shops, vineyards, fruit farms, and cafes. Our route took us first to a cheese shop, where we bought wedges for later, and proceeded to a “You-pick” strawberry farm – set against one of the most beautiful backdrops you can imagine. Fields of lush green plants, brightly coloured wild flowers, and shrubs give way to rolling hills and finally the most vivid blue sky you can imagine. We picked ourselves a small bucket of strawberries, and at the next stop – a winery naturally – we proceeded to feast on our beautiful picnic of wine, cheese, and fruit.
For the rest of our short stay in Tasmania, we made our way to Bicheno, a small town from which to visit Wineglass Bay. Pictures from Wineglass Bay are completely out-of-this-world beautiful, and I knew I had to see it long before we left for Australia. It’s a short but steep hike up from Coles Bay to a lookout point, and then down VERY steep terrain to Wineglass Bay. Of course, the day we went the weather was a little turbulent and cloudy, but the hike was gorgeous anyway (plus, I met a Wallabee!).
Just to give you an idea, below is a professional photo (innkeeper.com.au) – what it might look like when it’s sunny 🙂
After getting thoroughly hot and sweaty we relaxed back at the hotel in Bicheno, followed by a great seafood supper in the Bicheno Sea Life Center. It might sound like an odd place to have dinner, but Bicheno has exactly three dinner options and this one was recommended by our hotel. And aside from the VERY slow service, we had some fabulous food – Fish n Chips for my friend and the Seafood Platter for me – including shrimp, mussels, oysters, fried fish, and fries. It was all local and delicious.
Our final day involved more roadtripping – Tasmania is probably one of the most scenic places to take a drive. Lush green farmlands, wild looking plains with scraggly spindly trees, jagged hills in the distance. Sometimes the road winds past the crystal blue sea and sometimes it winds inland, all the while interspersed with adorable towns, wineries, and farms. A strange juxtaposition of “quaint” and “remote”.
I left early in the morning the following day to fly to Melbourne, followed by a long haul to Beijing and finally Frankfurt. We parted with tearful goodbyes and fond memories of this amazing country.