Linda & Ned, from Florida, USA, spent a week travelling Tasmania with Tasmania i-Drive. The focus of the tour was our unique wildlife and the couple did not leave our shores disappointed!
Following an early morning pick-up from Hobart airport we dropped off luggage at the hotel and headed straight to the summit of Mt Wellington. It was very cold and windy but the views were worth the discomfort. Next stop was a drive through to Sandy Bay with a light lunch by the water. We passed through Battery Point and Salamanca on our return to the hotel for the afternoon at their leisure.
We began day two with a leisurely drive to Mt Field National Park. We stopped at Westerway and were lucky enough to see a platypus in the Tyenna River. A light drizzle was falling as we made our way to Russell Falls. The waterfall was very impressive, as were the giant swamp gums on the Tall Trees Circuit walk. A lone pademelon, trying to stay dry, was our only other wildlife viewing for the day. We left Mt Field and drove across Lake Meadowbank on our way to Hamilton and, following a late lunch, returned to Hobart.
Saturday saw us looking for a car park near the Salamanca Market. Linda & Ned enjoyed a couple of hours wandering around the stalls. Our next attraction was the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum. A visit here brought back memories of an earlier visit to Antarctica for the couple. Our next stop was Richmond and a stop at the old bridge. After a look around some shops we set off for MONA driving back though Risdon and across the Bowen Bridge. The couple spent the remainder of the afternoon enjoying the many exhibits.
Our fourth day began with the drive south to the Tasman Peninsula. We stopped at the Pirates Bay Lookout, Tessellated Pavement, Devil’s Kitchen and Tasman Arch geological features on our way through to the Port Arthur Historic Site. While at one of the coastal lookouts we spotted the White Bellied Sea Eagle. Following a quick bite we joined the 12.30 Introductory Tour. We had a quick look through the Separate Prison and main Penitentiary buildings on our way to the boat cruise to the Isle of the Dead. We had time to explore the gardens and church remains before leaving on the long journey to Bicheno. On arrival at Bicheno we visited the Blowhole and had a crayfish dinner at The Lobster Shack, located at The Gulch. The day ended with a fabulous Little Penguin Tour where we got quite close to penguin chicks and saw them feeding.
Monday began with the drive to Coles Bay to board the Schouten Passage II for the return trip to Wineglass Bay including lunch. What a great day for the boat trip! Relatively calm with lovely blue skies and a few dolphins on our return made for a memorable voyage. We then headed for The Gardens, near Binalong Bay, for a look at the southern end of The Bay of Fires. The red lichen and turquoise waters made for some good photo opportunities. We then drove on to Scottsdale and our hotel for the night. Along the way we were lucky enough to see a white goshawk feeding on roadkill. It was a clear night and Ned was able to enjoy his hobby of stargazing including a good look at the Southern Cross.
Day six began with a scenic drive to Mole Creek with a stop at Bridestowe Lavender Farm on the way. A wedge-tailed eagle being hassled by a few crows made an appearance just west of Deloraine. We spent around two and a half hours at Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary. The Tasmanian Devils were a highlight, as was hand feeding the Forester Kangaroos and seeing the many other native animals. In short, the whole Trowunna experience, was a tour highlight! We finished the day at Sheffield and a short walk through the murals in the town park.
Our seventh day started out with the possibility of having to shorten the trip due to flight changes. This had been brought about following increased measures being introduced to combat the coronavirus outbreak. We decided to forego a visit to Cradle Mountain as the weather looked a little inclement and to concentrate on bringing forward other visits in case they had to leave prematurely.
We stopped at Ashgrove Cheese, Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, Van Diemen’s Land Creamery and drove through Deloraine, Perth and Evandale on our way to Launceston. We then continued to Beauty Point and an afternoon tour of the Platypus House. Here Linda & Ned got up close with our two monotremes, the platypus and the short-beaked echidna. We stopped at the Honey Tasmania shop at Exeter called The Beehive on our return. Following a purchase of our prized Leatherwood Honey we arrived back at Launceston a little early. This allowed for some future travel alterations to be confirmed.
Day eight, our final day together, and we were sticking with the original mid-afternoon flight from Launceston to Melbourne. Linda & Ned had decided to cancel the remainder of their overseas holiday in favour of returning to the USA. We began the day with a trip to Cataract Gorge. As it was mid-morning on an overcast day the Bennett’s Wallabies and Pademelons were abundant and made a great start to our last day together! They enjoyed the chairlift ride and stroll around the park grounds. We completed the morning with a walk around City Park and a viewing of the Macaque Monkeys. Following a light lunch at a nearby café it was off to the airport for the first leg of a long trip back to Florida!