Okay. You know how Australia is known as “The Land Down Under”? Well Tasmania is the land under the land down under. For those of you who don't know what Tasmania is (hey! Some people don't), it is an island “belonging” to Australia. A lot of people think that Tasmania is a different country, and apparently it caused a big uproar when they were announcing the states of Australia in a cricket match or some kind of sport and excluded Tasmania. We also realized this when one of our waitresses' in Sydney didn't know if Tasmania used the AU dollar! Ah well. Let me tell you about Australia's green state.
Tasmania is not tiny. Compared to some other islands, it's big, but it hardly has any population. All the tourist sights are empty! There are towns in Tasmania, but usually very small, consisting of one main street. The other streets are just residential. That is because Tasmania is mostly made up of farm land and park land. There are lots of cows and sheep and you notice them a lot on the many miles you pass getting from one place to another. Since the towns, parks and attractions are all so far apart, it takes a very long time to get to your destination and back again. This makes it very hard to take day trips!
You know I was telling you about those one street towns? Well St. Helens (our home base) is like that. And since it's so tiny, it seems like everything is crammed in to one shop. Ex: There is a little shop that sells gourmet food, opens as a restaurant for breakfast and lunch, serves as an internet access point, a deli, etc. We actually went to that shop you know!! That's why the towns consist of one street, everything's crammed into one shop.
Tasmania is BEAUTIFUL! Not beautiful with high rise buildings and glitzy metropolitan subways. It's beautiful nature wise. That's why it's called the nature state. It's surrounded by mountains and has beautiful beaches. The towns are also cute and small. It makes you feel like you're out in the middle of nowhere.
Yesterday, we went up to Scottsdale and made a stop in Derby (two towns). It's a long road just to Derby! At the end of it they should give you a t-shirt that says, “The Road to Hana” or something like that for the twisty road that you just survived. We stopped in Derby to see the Tin Museum which is located where their old tin mine was. Derby is another one of those one street towns but unlike other small towns, this was devastated by a flood many years ago. The Tin Museum was interesting but small. It was a one room museum of what tin is, what it is used for, and stories about it. Then there was a small movie theatre about the tin mine that used to be here and how the flood swept through and destroyed it. After Derby, we drove up to Scottsdale to The Doll and Teddy Bear Cottage. Also a small museum, the DCB (abbreviation) is a three room exhibit. The first room has porcelain dolls that are life sized and very detailed. The second room is dedicated to teddy bears, and the third was porcelain dolls but they were dressed in only pink and white. It's like they were wearing lingerie!
Then we headed to the Bridestowe Lavender Farm. It was soooooooooooooooooooooooo pretty!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It seemed like endless fields of purple! We learned how Bridestowe made lavender oil and we walked through the fields. I also bought some lavender scented incense sticks. Our last place was the Forest Eco-Centre. The Forest Eco-Centre is mostly about the forests of Tasmania and other parts of Australia. Then we headed home.
So you see that we're getting very good sleep here as there's nothing to wake us up; and that it doesn't take long to circle around town; and that we're enjoying the island of nature!