I hadn’t been to Tasmania for years and a couple of Kiwi friends keep telling me how much they loved it so I decided it was time to venture down. I organised a camper van to pick up from Hobart and drop it off in Launceston. Tasmanian is probably one of the best places to do a raid trip as the distances a very short and camping options are everywhere. I head south out of Hobart to pick up my supplies of the week at the closest supermarket then continue my way down to Eagle Hawks Neck. You instantly realise just how beautiful Tassie is with lush green rolling hills and ocean views from every angle. Its also pretty cold down here, just what I love. Only going to be 4c tonight. Its getting pretty late so I find a recommended small parking area with a view of the beach and set up camp of the night. Waking up too million dollar views from the back of a camper van is absolutely priceless. It doesn’t get any better. I head further south the following day to Port Arthur then down to the beaches around Verona Beach. I hadn’t bent Port Arthur since I was at school for a camp. What a beautiful peaceful place with amazing history. Its hard to believe it once housed convicts. I arrive before the first tour starts and virtually have the whole place to myself. Driving further south has me pulling over every 15 minutes to just watch the new born lambs playing in the paddocks. You realise just how innocent they are as mum looks up occasionally to check on them then quickly puts here head back down to continue feeding. Its well worth the effort to just take your time and pull over whenever you see something interesting and just sit and watch.
Spending time on your own in the middle of beautiful farms just watching animals is so peaceful. Without sounding to philosophical, its nearly mediative. I read a lot blogs and listen to a lot of podcasts from a fairly diverse group of people and I heard a great interview the other day by Tim Ferriss with Naval Ravikant. When asked who he admires the most his answer was surprising. “Anyone that can sit on their own for extended periods of time’. It resonated a lot with me.
I wind my way back up to Hobart to visit the Mona gallery and a few more local sites. I must admit I wasn’t that keen originally to visit Mona as I wanted to avoid the major cities and art is not really my thing. But I had been advised that the building and the surrounding grounds were well worth a visit. Well, that proved to be spot. The gallery was interesting but the design and structure of the actual facility are amazing. Well worth a look.
The afternoon takes me to a little whiskey distillery to do a tasting. Whiskey is not really my thing but I was interested for a few reasons. 1. I own a few barrels as an investment at the distillery and 2, I was keen to taste different whiskeys side by side. Nant is located about 50km north of Hobart and well worth the trip. The setting is amazing. I have visited plenty of wineries over the years and I was becoming a bit blasé with them. However, I have to say the whiskey tasting was amazing. Unfortunately I was greeted by a new young guy at the cellar door who was still learning about the whiskeys and had to read from his notes. I was lucky enough to meet another staff member who gave me a private tour and an overview of the whole process. I can’t remember her name but she was just fantastic. Her knowledge and passion were infectious.
The remainder of my trip takes me along the coastal road north to wine glass bay and the national park then onto the bay of fires. My favourite of these two was the Bay of Fires area and surrounding local beaches. Great camp spots on the beach front with amazing views and crashing waves to fall to sleep to. Most of my nights were spent sitting by a small fire with a glass of wine just admiring the silence. On a couple of occasions the local wallabies and possums become curios and came up to me to feed. They were lucky enough on one night that I had a few raw carrots to spare. It created a bit of an issue between the wallabies with the bigger of the group swearing and growling at the others.
My last night is spent 50km out side of Launceston were I am greeted by an amazing thunderstorm. The sound of rain on top of my camper van bought back my childhood memories of growing up in a house with tin roof. I couldn’t wait to get in bed. What a great way to spend my last night after an amazing week driving the east coast of Tasmania.
I spent my last day in Tassie visiting local wineries around the Tamar Valley area. Tasmania is know for its Pinot Noir’s and its sparkling wines. And they won’t let you down. I think they produce about 75% of all the top ranked sparkling wines in Australia. I am not a much of a white wine person so I go straight to the reds. I have never been a huge fan of Australian Pinots but I may have just found my favourite Pinot of all time. Delamere wines is a small boutique husband and wife team with the best Pinot I may have ever had. Before leaving and heading to my next vineyard I ask for a recommendation of what other places I should call into in the local area. The sommerlier recommends one that I already have on my list.
Holm Oak is similar to Delamere, they grow all their own grape and is owned and run by a husband and wife. They also have a great Pinot Noir. A big congrats to the sommelier as her knowledge and passion of the industry and the wines from this vineyard were amazing. I could’ve of stayed all day chatting and listening to her tell people about the wines. With the big wine companies and supermarkets chains buying up all the vineyards and just churning stuff out it was so nice to visit and see small family run operations doing so well. Although they may be a little more expensive the quality of their wines and knowing they are a small local business is well worth the extra $$ to me.
Its time to head back to the airport and catch my flight. Thanks Tassie for a great week I’ll be back. 😉