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Roadtrip Australia: Van-Tastic Tasmania - Dara & Catherine Americans Dara and Catherine embark on the ultimate Aussie roadtrip as they motor around Tasmania with Van-Tastic Adventures for six action-packed, free-wheeling weeks of adventure.


AUSTRALIA | Monday, 18 January 2010 | Views [1876]

Dara and I were becoming a bit exhausted running all over Tasmania trying to do it all so we purposely scheduled some time to relax with our friend Emily and enjoy the East Coast the way Tasmania is supposed to be done, at a slower pace.

We started in Binalong Bay and made it just in time for dinner at Angasi at sunset. This was one of the first things we were told we had to do in Tasmania so we stretched our backpackers budget to include this one nice meal. It is the perfect place to watch the sunset, perked over the trees and ocean you have a a view of the Bay of Fires beaches and a few dozen sailboats. The food is caught fresh everyday and the most popular dish is the chef's special that changes daily depending on what is the most fresh and delicious. Do not forget to try the oysters for an appetizer, best I've ever had.

Binalong was so beautiful we were fully entertained just laying around the different beaches an rocks and having a little photo shoot.

It was a short drive to Bicheno so we took our time, stopping for photo-ops. We were told to go to Diamond Island for penguin spotting at night but when we arrived in Bicheno a local gave us the heads up that we would see even more with no other tourists around at the Blowhole. We went early and had some fun playing with starfish and watching the sunset. Unfortunately, the swell was low so the blowhole was not much to see. We talked to a local fisherman who sat us on a big rock swearing we'd have front row seats to the penguin viewing if we stayed there still. So we did and we waited. And waited. And waited.

And finally one little penguin jumped out of the water and waddled straight over to us and hid right under the rock we were sitting on. The fisherman was right, front row seats! So we waited anxiously for more. And waited. And waited. We started to joke that maybe the fisherman was drunk whenever he watched the penguins and the one little guy looked like 30 to him. We were freezing and couldn't wait any longer so we threw in the towel and started walking back to Geoff. On our way we saw five more penguins standing together. We weren't expecting to see anymore so we were talking louder than we should have been and when they saw us they froze in fear. We didn't want to disturb them so we walked softer to the car. Then, we saw dozens, squealing away at each other and pooping all over the place. They were so cute. We watched in awe as they waddled around us. I drove away as slow as the car would let me and the penguins were literally crossing the street.

The next day we went to The East Coast Nature World and Andrew showed us around to all of his favorite friends. East Coast Nature World allows the animals to roam relatively free and always releases any animals that are ready back in to the wild, it is not and doesn't feel at all like a zoo. Andrew has a great relationship with the animals. The animals that are domesticated and there to stay he has become very close to, they run to him for hugs when he is around. He also respects the distance he needs to keep with the animals that have a chance at being released back in to the wild. We were able to pet Tassie Devils, Wombats, Koalas and many other animals. The highlight for me would have to be getting up close and personal with the kangaroos. We fed them and gave them big pets and cuddles and a mom even let us pet her with a joey in her pouch.

We had one last stop along the East Coast road before making it to our destination. There are two roads between Bicheno and Freycinet, one is a coast road but the other is called Elephant's Pass and it is well worth passing up the coast for a small stretch to taste the delectable famous pancakes at Mount Elephant Pancake Barn. They have both savory and sweet and I'm pretty sure you can't try one without temptation getting the best of you to try the other.

Tags: australia, beaches, elephants, nature, penguins, road trip, tasmania, travel, van-tastic adventures, wildlife

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