As I write this post, rain is pouring down upon the roof of the caravan stay in, banging off of the tin roof in rapid fire. A mere half hour ago the sun was shining and it was the warmest I had ever felt it in my short stay so far in Tassie, I had even changed into shorts.
Welcome to Tasmania!
Although only a short 2 hour flight from Sydney, Tasmania seems to be overlooked by the many people who visit Australia. Backpackers nearly always make their way north to Cairns up the east coast track or west to Melbourne and Alice Springs. Although tourism is slowly increasing on this sleepy island, it still has the true Australian-never-been-touched feel to it, even in the city ofHobart.
And this is probably why, after a good three months in Sydney, Tasmania had appealed to me so much, and also why I have completely fallen in love here.
Hobart – A Large Town
In my opinion, especially after Sydney, Hobart doesn’t seem like a city. With no skyscrapers in sight, few tourists, and a slow, almost relaxed feel to it, it’s the perfect destination after the hustle and bustle of city life.
While there aren’t as many touristy things to do as the larger cities, with the exception of the MoNA, Tasmanian Museum and a couple ferry cruises, there are some gorgeous sights to see both inside and outside the city limits. Salamanca has some of the original buildings from the early settlers, with a strong Dutch European feel and architecture. There were moments while wandering down the streets that I had to remind myself that I wasn’t in Belgium, but instead in Australia! Also, the beautiful Mount Nelson had breathtaking sights of the entire city, a mere 30 minute bus ride up the mountain with a quaint coffee shop to enjoy the view.
Nothing Here Can Kill Me!
Well, with the exception of the three different snakes residing on the island; the Copperhead, Tasmanian Tiger, and the White Lipped Snake. Though among the deadliest in the world, luckily all three snakes have the same anti-venum, so you won’t need to remember which one it was that had bitten you. And as long as you rush to the hospital within the 2 hour “safe period,” all should be well… You just have to remember to make a lot of noise while walking through the bush to chase them off if they’re there hiding.
Oh… And the jack jumper ants. These are apparently the most dangerous of all of the ants in the world, with allegedly more deaths a year than spiders, snakes, wasps, and sharks combined here in Oz, although only due to anafilactic shock – in other words an allergy. These little buggers are everywhere, so basically if you think you may be allergic, carry an epipen with you!
Don’t Like the Weather?
Just wait 10 minutes. Literally.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, Tasmania has a tendency to express all four seasons on the same day. One moment it will be sunny and beautiful, and then the next it’s rainy and miserable. I tend to change my clothes twice a day from the weather changes.
I’ve been told before, and now I highly agree, that Tasmania is a lot like Vancouver Island when it comes to temperature and weather. I’ve even been told that it sometimes snows in the winter (July and August), with the wind coming up from Antarctica giving a bit of a chill, although I should be out of here by then!
A Great Place to WWOOF
Wwoofing – Willing Workers On Organic Farms
I’ll be writing a little bit more about my wwoofing experiences later, but as far as I can tell Tasmania is a beautiful place to wwoof, and an even better place to get your 3 months of farm work done for your second year visa as all of Tasmania is eligible.
Most of Tasmania is either farmland or bush, with many many farming opportunities in the wwoofing book! The farmers here are relaxed, and many of them happy to sign for the second year visa if you ask.
Into the Wild
Tasmania is an amazing place for the infamous Australian bush walks or bush rides! There are forests everywhere, lots of hills and mountains, rivers and streams… A lot of area that has been safeguarded against human beings’ destructive ways.
From standing in the information centre in Hobart for twenty minutes, I quickly gathered that there are dozens upon dozens of hiking opportunities, from one day trips up to five day trips up mountains and valleys, as well as fishing excursions, day ride trips on horse back… An endless amount of outdoorsman fun to be had that’s for sure! Just remember to bring your thermals, it gets quite cold down south!
I’m incredibly happy, delighted actually, that I took the chance to travel even farther Down Under to the infamous Tassie, and I urge more people to do the same. You get a different sense of Australia, a wilder sense of Australia.
But the sun is now shining after the brief downpour of rain, the winds are moving so quickly that there’s now with not a cloud in the sky, so I’m going to take hold of this quick change of weather while I can and enjoy the last couple days of summer!
But before I go, have you ever been to Tasmania? What were your first impressions? Would you want to go if you ever got to Australia? Let me know in the comments below!