To continue our flying tour of Tasmania we left the city of Launceston and headed further north to explore another corner of the state.
On our way up to our stop for the night we found another opportunity to walk up a mountain and decided to take it.
Upon reaching the top, we could see that there was a certain amount of cloud and rain threatening to draw in before we could reach the safety of the car.
We also found a different surprise at the top! Geocaching is something we’ve heard of but have never really come across. But at Kimberley’s Lookout, under a rock, James spotted a small plastic box and upon closer inspection we realised it was a “cache” waiting patiently to be discovered.
After putting in our own entry into the notebook we headed back down the mountain following signs for the “short-cut”.
Except it wasn’t a shortcut at all, it was a dead-end, but it did offer more lovely views!
We did, eventually, make it back to the car! And to make things even better, the rain decided to head off in a different direction! Win win!
Our stop for the evening was just outside of the town of Penguin. We checked in and headed straight into the centre to explore and find some dinner.
They went heavy on the penguin branding, which was great fun (although we saw no real life penguins unfortunately.) However, it being the small Tasmanian town it was, it did not go heavy on the options for places to find dinner and so we settled for the only place that was open on a Monday.
Having travelled across the world we have never had too much of a problem finding veggie options when eating out. Tasmania has been the first place we have found ourselves limited in what and where we can eat. This has just meant we would have to be a little more creative.
Our base for the night was a lovely slice of Tasmanian countryside.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Penguin and would recommend this little place to anyone going, the owners are lovely too and the area is just so beautiful!
The next morning we were heading on to our next stop and had no real plan for the day (as per) other than where we were going to end up. That’s when we noticed a leaflet for a local cave system that was on the way and offered tours (and no bat poo) so we hopped in the car and headed off.
We were not disappointed.
The tour guide was incredibly informative and had an excellent sense of humour as we were shown around the caves. Our chuckles and giggles must have echoed throughout.
We also enjoyed the incredible lighting chosen for the caves, instead of blinding us with floodlights, it was sensitively lit with bike lights and fairy lights! We also were lucky enough to see glow worms which looked like a starry night sky!
After enjoying our trip through the cave we resurfaced, blinking in the sunlight and warming ourselves after the consistent 11 degrees of the caves (much warmer than Scotland right now we know!) we headed on further when we started to notice signs for another walk opportunity.
Leven Canyon was certainly what it said on the tin, an incredible and lush gorge through the mountains.
The 45min-1hr walk also offered the opportunity to view the canyon from the top, with only 700 steps between us and the lookout point we thought it’d be a comfortable jaunt after our Wine Glass Bay expedition.
The view was breathtaking (and so were the stairs) so we stayed awhile and took in the fruits of our labours, and some oxygen, before heading back to the car.
Having the flexibility to stop and explore places we may not have planned on really is such a blessing for our journeys.
We had initially thought of stopping at the famous Cradle Mountain National Park and embarking on a walk around there. However, when we arrived we found the place so busy that even the overflow car park was full! I know National Parks tend to be quite large but we didn’t like the idea of feeling crowded when so out in nature. So we decided to head on further and try a slightly longer, and a lot quieter walk!
Montezuma falls are some of the tallest in Tasmania but tucked away so as to be much less frequently visited. The walk itself is along an abandoned tramline which would have taken workers and goods to and from the mine in the area, it makes for a relatively flat walk along to the falls.
At 106m tall the final reveal was immense!
There was also a suspension bridge from which you could view the falls, it was a rather wobbly bridge so I mostly saw 3ft in front of me as I hurried across the bridge, but James managed to enjoy the experience!
2-3hours later we made it back to the car and headed on our way to out next stop for the night.
Unfortunately the weather had caught up with us and as we set off the next day with high hopes of further walks, Mother Nature had ideas of her own.
We were heading further south and through the mountains of the west coast and were treated to a very atmospheric (and wet) journey! And it certainly reminded us of home.
We stopped at a National Park hoping we had beaten the weather and had enough time for a walk but alas, as soon as we stepped out of the car it caught up with us!
We decided to just head straight onto our B&B for the night which was closer to Hobart and relax for the rest of the day.
Our hosts were wonderful and even cooked us a delicious spinach pie for dinner (and banana split dessert yum!) we had finished eating and were getting to know the 4 other guests when the owner cleared our table and asked if we would like to help them feed the animals.
Yes we would love to feed the animals! We had already had the joy of being introduced to their cats and dogs and so it was a real treat to meet their goats and miniature cows!
It was such a joy to see so many happy animals and are one of my highlights of Tasmania.
The next day was our last day in Tasmania before we had to catch the flight back to the mainland. We really wanted to make the most of our time and so set off early with a few things in mind.
Through some research, a place which seemed worth a visit and with strong ethics was the Tasmanian Unzoo. More of a wildlife sanctuary than zoo we decided to go and have a look.
The idea behind the sanctuary was that instead of keeping animals in small cages, the people would be enclosed instead, entering the natural habitat in the least disruptive way possible.
While some enclosures did had to be used, for the animals safety as well as visitors, it was clear to see that their aim would be to lose cages altogether.
The Tasmanian Devils we saw were actually a small percentage of the Devils they have, or encourage and help the survival of, on the property. The ones we saw were in fact in their latter years and seemed quite happy to live out their twilight years in peace.
We were lucky enough to watch a feeding of some of the Devils and were able to chat with one of the rangers about them and find out an awful lot more. Unfortunately Tasmania has lost approximately 90% of their population due to the awful Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease (TDFTD) and so facilities such as this which encourage breeding and Devil population are so important!
Our final (impromptu) stop on the way back to the airport was the Tessellated Pavement, which is actually far more interesting than it sounds. It’s a rock formation on the coast of Eaglehawk Neck with the rock tessellated (funny that) like I’ve never seen it before.
And with a short detour out of the way we were off and back to the mainland of Australia!
We have so thoroughly enjoyed our time in Tasmania, we would love to come back at some point in the future and explore more as the island really does have so much to offer.
Thank you Tassie, you’ve been brill!