Around Tassie in 8 Days

Bailey Gilmore
April 22, 2013
Leaving the airport, this sign is the first ting you see. It is a road safety warning, but we took it as an indication of a great adventure to come. Our first night we stayed at a hostel with a lively bunch of people where we sorted out the details of our trip, such as buying food and cooking supplies. I hadn't expected it to be clean, let alone decorated and comfortable! Salamanca Market is famous for its assortment of arts, crafts, food, flowers, and all manner of local goods. Plus, it's viking friendly. The Museum of Old and New Art is a 'must-see' tourist attraction in Hobart. I don't claim to be an art critic, or even a sophisticated appreciator, but I found the museum quite depressing! Many of the tourist attractions in Tasmania are reminders of the state's history as a penal colony once Europeans arrived. This gaol door once led convicts to a fairly horrific life. Old-fashioned candy isn't the only relic from the past in Richmond, a highly preserved 19th century town. Candy is known as lollies to Australians. White sand beaches abound in Tasmania, and while the weather isn't tropical, the water is clear and blue and closer to refreshing than icy. Penguin, Tasmania, home of The Big Penguin, is so small I bet all of the residents could touch this landmark at once. Yet the town boasts the cutest cafe I have ever been to—Shady Grove. Sunrise at Policeman's Point on the east coast. Camping here we had to sleep through strong winds and cackling possums, but the views were spectacular. Wallabies are all about in Tasmania—unfortunately, many as roadkill. On the trip I finally felt I had seen enough to believe that such funny creatures are indeed real. Along the north coast we came upon a cave that was significant to aboriginal life before the invasion of Europeans. Signs nearby tell the legend of the origin of the surrounding landscapes. Our stop at Montezuma Falls, in western Tasmania, represented a change in landscape from scrub brush across rocky outcroppings to a fern and gum forest—still rugged, but greener. Winding roads led us throughout our trip, but especially as we climbed from the northwest coast to the central highlands. I had to wedge myself between the cooler and the door to keep from shifting dramatically along the esses. We reached Lake St. Clair during a controlled burn in a forest not far away that filled the air with smoke. The beauty and strength of the fire set against the calm of the lake was striking.

Over Easter break I travelled to Tasmania for eight days with one friend from the university and a fellow traveller from Germany. We decided to camp in order to save money and get the full natural experience, which is what Tasmania is know for. And the trip was such a success! We were able to see a large portion of the island state and were entirely independent of a strict schedule. Wildlife sightings were the highlights of our trip—we saw a wombat, a spotted quoll, and too many wallabies and birds to possibly count. Further, we got to experience the joys of self-guided travel, made possible by the small size of Tasmania and its abundant resources for tourists.

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Bailey Gilmore

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Bailey is a comparative politics major at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Her academic interests stretch across the social sciences, from history to geography to criminology, and, of course, to politics. Originally from Eugene, Oregon, Bailey is an devoted ultimate frisbee player and can&#39;t wait for Australian Rules Ultimate. When she&#39;s not on the field or nerding out about population growth in various countries, you can find her singing along to the best of the &#39;60s and &#39;70s and/or working to capture life, place, and person on camera. She is ready and eager to dive into life at a big university in a big city, all in the wonder Down Under.</span></p>

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