John & Jody from Kentucky, USA, with Jim & Bev and Norm & Dawn, from Michigan, had a great few days touring some of Tasmania’s highlights and lesser known attractions.
The tour began on a Sunday with collection from Hobart airport, a luggage drop-off, and then straight to the summit of Mt Wellington. It was a little chilly but the visibility was fabulous with distant vistas available in all directions. We drove through Sandy Bay for a quick bite of lunch and returned through Battery Point. Our next stop was Richmond where we visited the historic bridge and old Richmond gaol. The group then joined an inhouse historic tour back at their accommodation at the Henry Jones Art Hotel.
Day two, and our first full day on tour, began with the journey north to the historic township of Ross. After a look through the Wool Centre, a look at the beautiful bridge, and some shopping, we headed for our next stop at 41 Degrees South Salmon Farm, for lunch. We then walked to the Alum Cliffs Lookout trying some bush food, in the form of the native cherries, along the way.
Our final attraction for the day was a tour of Marakoopa Cave with its starry display of glow-worms. We dined together at the Sheffield Hotel and all agreed it had been a great day!
Our third day saw us exploring the murals in the park at Sheffield prior to driving to the Cradle Mountain National Park. We took our time completing the Dove Lake circuit on what was a perfect day. We then drove back through Sheffield on our way to a cheese tasting at Ashgrove Cheese and ice-creams at the Van Diemen Creamery at Elizabeth Town. We then had a long drive back through Perth, Conara, Avoca, Fingal and St Marys, on our way to Bicheno. Following a rather rushed dinner the group joined a penguin tour with around 15 penguins sighted.
Day four began with a drive to the Gulch and Blowhole at Bicheno before attending the morning devil feeding at East Coast Natureworld. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the native animals with some partaking in feeding the Forester Kangaroos. We then drove south to Freycinet National Park to tackle the Wineglass Bay Lookout walk. It was a little overcast but this made the walking more comfortable and the view of the beach was still wonderful. A quick walk at Cape Tourville and it was off to Freycinet Marine Farm for a late lunch of fresh seafood. Our final stop before driving to Bothwell for the night was a wine tasting at Freycinet Vineyard. The group enjoyed a home cooked 3 course dinner at their accommodation for the night, Ratho Farm.
Our fifth and final day of touring began with a drive-by some places of significance to my family, as Bothwell is the town of my ancestry, dating back to the mid-1800s. We then drove through Hollow Tree, Hamilton, Lake Meadowbank and Westerway on our way to Mt Field National Park. There was light rain falling but this made the walk out to Russell Falls all the more atmospheric amongst the rainforest. The Falls were really impressive with a large amount of water due to the rain. We also took the shortest way possible to view the 80-metre swamp gum, the main attraction in the Tall Trees Walk.
We then set off for the Lake Pedder Lodge for lunch and did the short Creepy Crawly Walk along the way. Following a quick but impressive lunch we visited the Gordon Dam and, on our way back, did the Junee Cave Walk at Maydena.
The crew’s last night was back in Hobart with the drive straight to the airport the following morning to complete a whirlwind visit on what really was a taste of Tasmania.