After a hot day at the hockey turf on Sunday, I grabbed a 6 am flight the next day and was off to Tasmania! Mornings flights aren’t really my thing so I was nervous about arriving and feeling lazy and resorting to spending the day doing something chill when I could have been exploring.
By coincidence, on the bus from the airport I met two English girls staying at the same hostel as me. Lucky for me they didn’t mind me tagging along on their afternoon of exploring the city and it was so much fun! They have been backpacking all around Australia and actually keeping a travel blog, which you can check out here. It has lots of great stuff to read if you’re looking to backpack in Australia.
So for a few hours we walked around the city of Hobart which is so beautiful. That evening we all chilled at the hostel, which was relaxing but exciting getting to know some new people.
To anyone planning to come to Australia I would highly recommend the hostel I stayed at, linked here. It has a great location and super friendly staff. I was also very impressed by how clean the rooms and the bathrooms were. I was staying in a room with 4 people and for me, it was a great size and it really wasn’t too expensive, the bigger rooms are cheaper but I find the two or three extra dollars worth it to stay in a smaller one.
I was just talking about how great the hostel I stayed in was right? Well, it gets better! On Tuesdays, they offer free tours. So I got the chance to go to Bruny Island( an island quite close to Hobart) for free. An organized tour to this area could cost around $100 and we did all the things the tours do. This included getting oysters from a drive-thru window, sampling some cheese and sampling some wine. As well we went to a beautiful lighthouse and saw some beautiful views. Didn’t see any wildlife but oh well!
For dinner I again ate in the hostel with some new friends. Besides the cheap prices this is one of the best parts of hostels, the fun social environment they can provide.
This was probably my favourite day of my trip. I went on a guided tour to Freycinet national park and wine glass bay. This tour was worth the money, the guide was super passionate and friendly, answering any questions anyone had about Tasmania. It was really interesting to learn more about the way people live in an incredibly rural state. Even though it was a long drive in the car, the whole drive is gorgeous and the final destination of wine glass bay was worth it.
At wineglass bay it is about a 30-minute hike up to the lookout and then a 45- minute hike down to the beach. The walk back up is quite steep, but this is really the only downside to the hike. Being a bit of a harder hike fewer people do it, so the beach was almost empty, and it felt almost surreal to have so much beauty almost to myself.
On my fourth day in Tasmania I met up with my friends who had rented a camper van. We spent the day hiking up mount wellington, for context most people drive up to the top of mount Wellington. The whole climb was uphill and it was exhausting, so we ended up hitchhiking down. I was really nervous but it was completely fine and we had a nice conversation with an older Australian couple.
If you are in Tasmania the hike up Mount Wellington does feel rewarding, but if you are less into hiking, and don’t have a car, you can take the bus up and take in the cool views.
After the long hike that night was very relaxed. We stayed at a campground that had a fire and a nice area inside to sit and warm up. Sleeping in the camper van was not my favourite thing but it was a cool experience. I’m happy we were in a van and not in a tent as the night did get quite cold.
We started the day nice and early, with a drive out to the Tasman Peninsula. Along the coast in this are there is a lot of places to stop for short walks, which allow you to take in natural wonders such as the Tasman Arch and the Devils Kitchen.
As it is a Peninsula with just an Isthmus connecting it to the rest of Tasmania, the Tasman Peninsula is an area where Tasmanian devils are doing better than in the rest of Tasmania. The species is currently fighting a highly contagious mouth tumor which has wiped out a lot of the population. As Tasmania is the only place where devils live this threat to the population is a threat to the species.
Because of this I decided to take the opportunty to learn more about the Tasmanian Devil at a conservation park. My friends went for a hike but my legs were not really up to it.
Learning more about these animals was one of the highlights of my trip. They are kind of gross looking at first, as they look like giant rats. But once you get past that they are quite interesting to observe. What I found most interesting is they have the most powerful bite relative to their size, but they do not hunt at all. They only scavenge for food. They will also spend the majority of their lives alone.
It was upliftng to hear that the efforts to isolate healthy populations have been successful and researchers are becoming confident the animals will not likely go extinct soon. Someone working with the devils made the observation that this species will ultimately survive extinction because of our help, and I think it is so important we continue to give it. We can all help even in small, like by supporting organizations working to protect these animals.
At this point I was feeling the effects of not sleeping well for a few nights, but on this kind of trip, that’s part of the adventure. It did though lead me to have a really relaxing final day in Hobart. The city itself is not massive so there is not that much to do downtown. I would not suggest planning to spend more than half a day or a day in the city itself, as there is so much to see in the surroundings. A lot of people visit the nearby art musuem and it gets great reviews. I was not really in the mood for art so I went to the market in the morning and then sat and wrote by the water in the afternoon.
I think it’s important when you go awake to mix your days with high energy activities and more relaxed ones. For me, that’s why this trip was perfect. Tasmania is a unique area even compared to the rest of Australia and I consider myself so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to explore it.