I spent a few days at my aunt's property which is near Cygnet in south-east Tasmania. I flew four hours from Auckland in New Zealand to Melbourne, then had a one hour flight down to Hobart. My aunt had broken her ankle a couple of months ago so I was expecting to be given a list of chores to help her with!
My plane arrived about about 8pm and by the time we were on the road it was well after dark. Tasmania has plenty of wildlife due to its relatively cool climate compared to the rest of Australia. As we drove through the bush south of Hobart, a wallaby (a small kangaroo) suddenly appeared in front of the car. There was no time to swerve so we hit the wallaby. We stopped and quickly ran back to the animal to see if it was still alive. Unfortunately it had died so we pulled it off the road. It was a male so it wasn't carrying a joey (baby wallaby) in its pouch. So within a hour of landing in Tasmania I'd been involved with killing some local wildlife.
We went for a morning swim at Woodbridge Hill Hideway. This is a relatively new development on top of a hill overlooking Bruny Island and the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. We hired the pool to ourselves and it was a nice sunny day. Perfect!
We drove around the Huon River, through Geeveston into the Hartz Mountains National Park. This is a relatively quiet national park which offers views across Tasmania's wilderness, a World Heritage Area. The World Heritage Area is unique, relatively untouched wilderness which covers 20% of the state of Tasmania. I hiked up past Lake Esperance and Lady Tarn. It was a relatively easy hike until the steep climb and scramble up to Hartz Peak. It was a clear day so there as a terrific view south to the Southern Ocean and west to the South West National Park. The iconic Federation Peak was also clear in the distance.
A small Echidna appeared beside the road on the way back. We stopped for a while to watch it attempt to eat some ants. They are strange-looking creatures, very unique to Australia. Fortunately we didn't run it over!
Naturally there were a few chores on my aunt's property which included loading a trailer full of donkey poo and stacking two tonnes of firewood. The upside was well-earned dinner of organic vegetables freshly harvested from the property.
On the way back to the airport we stopped at Salamanca Markets in Hobart. These are famous markets next to Constitution Dock, the finishing line of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Wild Thing, a 100' super maxi, was still in the dock having completed the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race a few months ago. I enjoyed a plate of fresh Tasmanian oysters from the markets . As the ocean is so clean here the seafood is delicious!
I had spent plenty of time in the Tasmanian wilderness on previous holidays, including hiking the Overland Track, the South Coast Track and rafted the Franklin River. It was great to be back to have a short taste of Tasmania and catch up with my aunt. I'm sure I'll be back there soon.
I've uploaded some photos from Tasmania to my photo gallery.
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