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kiting, diving, trippin' I ain't never been lost, just confused for a few days - Daniel Boone

The Apple Isle visited, finally!

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 26 March 2013 | Views [495]

The narrow stretch of land between north and south Bruny Island

The narrow stretch of land between north and south Bruny Island

Brisbane has been described as a big country town. That makes Hobart a village! 

The first thing we noticed was how friendly the Tasmanians are, and that was before we even left Brisbane. The guy checking us in at Brisbane airport was a Tasmanian and insisted on making sure we had the names of a few places worthwhile visiting. He even wrote the place names down on the back of my boarding pass. 

Once we got to Hobart we got the airport shuttle across town to the empty garage next to The Dive Shop that doubles as the Wicked Camper depot since the other building was ruined thanks to a young local arson. Having been given all the necessary instructions and do's and don'ts, we set off with the map given to us and got lost! Well not quite lost, but totally disorientated when trying to follow the bloody terrible map. Eventually we fuelled up, bought some groceries and ice and headed south.

Night one was spent on the beach at Blackmans Beach with breakfast next door at Trial Bay. All afternoon at Blackmans Beach we had people smile, stay hello and comment on the really good smelling dinner I was preparing. Well, we were preparing. Nobody was put out with a campervan and a couple of northerners camping on their beachfront. Next morning we were heading to Trial Bay around the heads from where we had stayed overnight and kids on their way to school waved and said good morning. Where we come from the kids on the their way to school are more likely to lob rocks at you!

We drove on down to the town of Kettering and put the Wicked van on the barge across to Bruny Island to the south east of Hobart. This place is relaxed, friendly and warm. The local news showed the focasatrcastecast temperature for Wednesday was one degree higher than the Brisbane forecast - and no rain! The day was spent looking around a few sights, walking the beach and trying to plan tomorrow. There is a penguin rookery to the north of where area ere staying but apperntly there aren't many around now according to the locals I spoke to. An old whaling station is around the point and roughly a two hour hike. 

We drove down to the south of the island to Cape Bruny lighthouse and had a good look around there. After there it was over to a camp spot for took around. From there it was back to the Bruny Hotel for a beer and the best calamari I've had since eating seafood in Japan. The fish, crays and squid are literally caught out front of the hotel and dropped at the pub doors. The owners have only had the place for a little over a year but are doing a great job of building support a great business.

The next day we headed back in towards Hobart and out the other side to Port Arthur. The ferry going across to Bruny Isalnd was as full as it could get and the carpark was the same waiting for the next ferry to the island as well. Easter time!

Arriving later in the afternoon at the caravan park after a leasurely drive doing the tourist thing all the way. While we were getting flooded at home this area was alight and over 110 houses were burnt down in the bush fires. BlazeAid has been running since helping people and farmers get back on their feet.

Port Arthur caravan park has to be the best facilities of all the parks we stayed in. The whole show was clean, had a huge camp kitchen with big screen telly for the footy lovers and had really big, modern and clean toilets and showers. Next day was spent looking over the Port Arthur historical sight and learning a bit of history that was probably taught to us in school and forgotten not long after. The whole complex is impressive and well maintained but then tarnished because of one idiot with a rifle in 1996. 

Hobart got the once over again on the second last day's afternoonn when we walked around the wharf area looking at the sights. We walked the bacstreets in behind Salamanca Square and found Arthur Circus, a roundabout of houses/cottages all just shy of their 200th birthdays. After a good feed of seafood on the docks we eventually found our campsite for the night up the river. Now that we knew where the Salamanca Markets were held we got ourselves set to offload the campervan once we'd done a lap, or seven, of the markets. Rowie got startled by a street performer painted blue who moves nothing but his eyes and stares intently at people, following them with his stare as they walk by. Eventually she came out from hiding behind me and stood beside him in for a photo. After finally finding the scallop pie stall, I was ready to go but there was little chance of that happening. We wound up doing a full lap of the whole three city blocks of stalls and saw everything from more performers to woodworked kitchenware and high quality woollen clothing. 

On the way out to the airport we were part of the traffic jam that happens each time a ship goes under the Tasman Bridge since an oil tanker collided with it fifteen years ago, sinking the ship and tearing a big hole in the bridge which cars from the southern side couldn't see which saw some plunge in to the river. The bridge is now closed for river traffic over a set length or height.

Anyway, after a five day trip to Tassie that saw us no further than two hours away from Hobart we would definitely come back........


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