(A quick one week break between jobs)
Sat 11-Nov Auckland - Melbourne - Launceston Flew from Auckland to Melbourne, and then to Launceston (Tasmania). Sightseeing around Launceston City, and the Cataract Gorge. Lovely B&B - Ashton Gate Guest House.
Launceston and the Tamar River
Cataract Gorge, Launceston
Sun 12-Nov Launceston - Port Arthur Travelled up Tamar Valley, viewed 'Batman' bridge, Brady's Point lookout, and spent up large at Vineyards! Back to Launceston, and then through to Evandale, Avoca, Fingal, St Mary, Bicheno (on the east coast), Coles Bay and 'The Hazards', 'Spiky Bridge', Swansea, Sorell, and finally to Port Arthur in the evening. A long but very scenic drive. Port Arthur was smaller than imagined - as a rough estimate I'd say the population is about 2 1/2! After a quick dinner, did a Ghost Tour of the Convict ruins by kerosene lantern and candle-light. Very interesting and novel - even visited the morgue!
Brady's Point Lookout over the Tamar Valley
View from Swansea
Port Arthur Convict Ruins
Mon 13-Nov Port Arthur - Hobart Left Port Arthur, travelling towards Hobart City (pop. 170,000). Visited Remarkable Cave, Tasman's Blowhole, Tasman's Arch, Devil's Kitchen, and the Tessilated Pavement. Travelled through Huonville, Cygnet, and then to 'Talune Wildlife Park'. Amazing place - practically only ones there, went into enclosures with Koalas, baby Wombat, Kangaroos and Wallabies. Went to Hartzview Estate and bought lots of fruit ports/liquers! Drove on to Hobart, took photo of old Cascade Brewery, and then all 1270m up Mt. Wellington - 95% of the drive in the cloud, which was different!!
Jason, Baby Wombat and Koala, Talune
Tues 14-Nov Hobart - Strahan Cadbury Chocolate Factory Tour! at Claremont just outside of Hobart. Yum Yum. Saw no Oompa Loompa's or the chocolate waterfall :-( Bought over 10kg of chocolate though! Back to Hobart to see Salamanca Place (old stone dock buildings refurbished as shops), including 'Socrates' puzzles shop. Tasmania Distillery Tour and Whiskey tasting - VERY good! Then left Hobart and started drive towards Strahan on the West Coast. Late lunch at Ouse (interesting name!), saw Tarraleah Penstocks & Power-station, Derwent Bridge, Lake St Clair & Nelson Falls. Went up Chairlift at Queenstown, an old mining town - picture below, not much compared to NZ's Queenstown!! Drove on to Strahan.
(don't have any pictures of chocolate!)
Lake St. Clair
Scenery between Lake St. Clair and
Queenstown, Tasmania! Lovely aye!
Wed 15-Nov Strahan - Burnie Gordon River Cruise - Well recommended; as good as Milford Sound New Zealand. Drove from Strahan to Zeehan, Burnie, Wynyard, and Stanley with 'The Nut' (see below). Back to Burnie to stay (nothing open in Stanley).
MacQuarie Harbour, Strahan (on
Gordon River Cruise)
Convict Ruins, Sarah Island,
Hell's Gate Lighthouse - Entrance to MacQuarie Harbour
'The Nut', Stanley
View from 'The Nut'
Thu 16-Nov Burnie - Devonport - Spirit of Tasmania Went to 'Tasmazia' near Mt. Roland - set of about 7 or so Mazes, mostly made with Hedging. Also made awesome Pancakes! Next on to Sheffield - a town of Murals. Drove to Devonport to catch the 'Spirit of Tasmania' overnight cruise to Melbourne.
Mural in Sheffield
Leaving Devonport of the 'Spirit of Tasmania'
Fri 17-Nov Spirit of Tasmania - Melbourne Arrived about 8am - took about 1 1/2 to get a Taxi! (Great first impression of Melbourne!). Booked in to accommodation, then took Tram to Victoria Markets and then then Old Melbourne Gaol (where Ned Kelly's Armour is kept). Visited Rialto Observatory Tower, looked around the inner City, and finally went to 'Draculas' cabaret show and restaurant - very tongue-in-cheek and well recommended for anyone with an open mind and a sense of humour!
Melbourne (and smog) from Rialto Tower
Sat 18-Nov Melbourne - Auckland Started in a terrible mood - No sleep because the local council in their infinite wisdom had decided to start digging up the tram tracks outside our Motel at midnight! Went on a Melbourne River Cruise down and then up the Yarra river for several hours, and then did some last minute shopping in Victoria Markets before flying back to Auckland (boo!) for new job on Monday :-(
Cruising the Yarra River, Melbourne