29th and 30th October
Our next adventure would see us venture down South again, this time to Tasmania. We knew little about the area, except a brief idea that it was populated by convicts from England and prisoners from mainland Australia and that these were partially to blame for the wipe out of the Aboriginals on the island.
We were picked up from Mona Vale and transported hassle free to the airport. Thank you North Shore Shuttle! Only two hours later we were in Hobart, the Tasmanian capital.
First thing we noticed was the stark difference in temperature. I mean it was cold. Very cold. New Zealand cold. Really good job we had sent home all the warm clothes then…
Much to our delight, the car, another Nissan, had an aux cable meaning our journey would be made a whole lot better with some karaoke. Off we went with a good old fashioned map to show us the way. After all, the three of us had done D of E, so map reading would be a breeze. And yes in true Girl Guide style we reached our first destination, the supermarket and purchase 7 meals with healthy portions for £6 pounds each! We have this budgeting down to a T.
On to Bicheno. The sky had turned a murky grey but even that didn’t dampen our spirits as we were on the road and singing loudly to a mixture of One Direction and Simon and Garfunkel.
We drove the Great Eastern Drive, a beautiful drive passing small bays and surprisingly blue waters. The dwindling light, however, meant that we couldn’t fully appreciate this.
We approached Bicheno in the dark. But even still we could tell it was small. Our hostel was deserted, something we weren’t used to, even in the dead of winter New Zealand hostels were brimming with characters. Even more ‘Hot Fuzz/apocalypse’ like the reception was closed and the codes to the doors hidden in a small box on the wall.
Dinner and bed was called for. Maybe in the light we can understand things better. Suddenly voices. In bound three drunk girls clutching Tasmania’s finest wines. A Canadian, a Northern lass and a Southern girl who had developed the Australian upward inflection at the end of every sentence. They had been to see the penguins (apparently what Bicheno is famous for) except that they hadn’t seen the penguins and had instead sat on a rock and drunk wine. Anna and Sandra, two German girls, also joined the merry gathering and we organised to visit another landmark- Wineglass Bay- together tomorrow. Bed.
Up early to coordinate leaving together. So off we set following Anna and Sandra. And thank god we did as without a sat-nav I’m not sure we would have found the bay.
Wineglass Bay not only offers stunning views but also a challenging walk down to the beach.
We ascended to the lookout overtaking many tourists and chatting about our various adventures. The views were very rewarding. Blue sea stretching out with white sands. None of that coral in sight!
Because we pretend to be adventurous and spritely we decided to take the slightly rocky and slippy path down to the bay for lunch. And at times we really did question our decision as great big rocks formed the steps and gravel gave way under our feet. But on the white sands and looking at the idyllic beach it was worth it. Some lovely Australian couple gifted us their soda drinks to lighten their load and we sipped them looking out onto the gorgeous view and amusingly gaze at the tourist cruise that had pulled into the bay.
Then it was back up to the ‘mountain’. To pass the time we played a game, the same one that had taken our minds off the grueling Tongariro Crossing. Name a song/film with such and such in it. We marched up that hill – skipping over rocks and really working those glutes.
In no time we were back looking over the bay and it was time for some well deserved, pre cooked, soggy cous cous.
It was decided that the next destination would Honeymoon Bay, another beauty on the Tasmanian East Coast.
Then on to the lighthouse where, in vain, we search the waters for Whales but, again, no sightings. Those pesky animals will never show themselves to us.
We had a lovely day with Anna and Sandra and thanks for letting us follow you in the car!!
Our final aim of the day was to see some penguins, where the others had failed the night before. We had heard all the tips. Go after 8 30. Go to the blow hole. So we hopped in the car and descended to the coast.
Immediately we spotted them on the road by the harbour. Little waddlers carelessly crossing the road without a care in the world. We has been told to dim lights but in the unfamiliar car turning off the lights meant switching on the windscreen wipers or opening the boot. Oops. We followed them around the coast, at one point I nearly opened my door on one. They were so funny and cute! And I can’t see how they could have been missed… Must have been the wine.
The cold brought the tiredness back and it was time for a cup of tea and bed.