Monday, February 2, 2009

DOING WHAT TASMANIA DOES BEST

I'm thinking back and trying to recall if I have been anywhere as remote feeling as Tasmania. When you are in a town, it doesn't feel remote, but you need only drive ½ km outside of the town to feel like you are in the middle of no where. Often we are the only car on the road, the only people in a shop, on a hiking trail, or on the beach, the only tourists at an attraction. There's not a whole lot to do out here with your time; you can relax, visit one of the the many tourist attractions, or experience nature.

The tourist offices are filled with tons of beautiful glossy brochures for “tourist attractions.” We all went through them and picked what interested us the most. After going to about 4-5 of these “attractions,” we came to realize that everything in Tasmania has a beautiful glossy brochure – whether or not you would really consider it an attraction or not. The fish store has a brochure but it is just a fish store. The candy store has a brochure but it is just a candy store. Anyone with a hobby, a collection, or a farm prints up a brochure and voila you have a museum or an attraction. It leads to a lot of over selling and a lot of underwhelming. After many disappointments, we gave up on the tourist attractions.

Where Tasmania doesn't disappoint is in it's nature. After all, it is the Nature State. We went to the Bay of Fires, recently rated the world's second most beautiful beach. Regardless of the rating, it is gorgeous. No fine dining restaurants, no boardwalk selling fudge, fresh roasted peanuts or salt water taffy, no hotels. No anything – just pure, pristine, unadulterated beach. There are hugh orange boulders jutting out which you can climb on and in between, kilometers of white sandy beach.




Another day we went “chasing waterfalls.” We hiked three separate trails to Halls Falls, St. Columbo Falls and Ralph Falls. If the falls itself wasn't spectacular, the trail offered something else. Incredible rain forest flora, spectacular views of the valley down below or sometimes, even wildlife - on our last trail we found an echnida and then saw a wallaby on the drive back.










On the way to Hobart, we detoured and visited Freycinet National Park. Like any national park, you could spend days on the hiking trails. We opted for a 1 ½ hour hike to the Wineglass Bay Lookout. A pretty trail lined by huge boulders led us to the top of a mountain over looking yet another gorgeous beach. Another hour would have taken us to the beach itself, but we opted to head back to the car to continue the long drive ahead of us. Near the park entrance we were treated once again to an echnida sighting.




At this point we have trashed most of those glossy brochures knowing that many fine trees died in vain – we've decided that we're going to stick to the trees that are living.

1 comment:

sophia said...

Tasmania looks like a hikers paradise! After nearly killing myself running in the ice-rutted sidewalks of cincy I am once again with you in spirit!!!
Sophia and her class loved to Koala park pictures- thank you for sharing!!!