So much to see... so little time!
December 14, 2020
Our next weekend in Tasmania, we made a point to see as much as we could… especially Tasmania’s National parks!
We started with a drive out to Mount Field National Park. This national park has the tallest eucalypt forest in the world, which has an easily accessible trail that we took. The park also has trails through some amazing temperate forest filled with ferns, waterfalls, etc., and all the way up to alpine moorland, which was covered in absolutely freezing grassland and small lakes. We didn’t get to see very many animals on this hike, but it was absolutely gorgeous, and I wish we had gotten to spend more time exploring the area
After a long day at Mt. Field, we had an even longer day exploring Tasman National Park! This National Park was incredibly different and went through a coastal environment. Our very first stop was at a natural feature called the “tessellated pavement,” which was basically a giant flat rock with a criss-cross pattern—pretty neat! It also made for some great tide-pooling, and I played with incredibly tough seaweed.
We continued driving and hiking around the park and hitting all of the major sites until we came to Cape Hauy, a 4ish-hour hike through woodlands and sea cliffs that we were not prepared to take, but we took anyway. It was 100% worth doing! The views were breathtaking.
We were hiking along absolutely massive sea cliffs lined by that inky blue water I was talking about. We finished that hike and had one more thing left on Alan’s bucket list to see, “Remarkable cave.” I don’t think we were actually supposed to go in that cave from that hiking trail (oops), but we made it there anyway, and it was a SUPER cool sea cave (see pics)!
The following day was the last day of our mini Thanksgiving vacay. We decided to go to a spot called “Browns Caves” at the Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a small cave system and hiking trail on someone’s private property. The caves were nothing like the dolomite caves we’d already visited at Newdgate, but it was fun to poke around the area!
I wish we could have stayed longer, but we ended up getting rained out and heading back into the town where we decided to visit the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. That museum was a treat! It was small but had some great exhibits. My favorite was the thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) exhibit, where they had a full taxidermied specimen (I think one of 5 that exist) that they kept in a very dark room to help preserve it.
Alan’s favorite exhibit was their Antarctica display! Tasmania is very far south and one of the few spots in the world used as a launching point for Antarctic exploration, so it has a lot of Antarctic/subantarctic stuff! Which we’d never seen before!
At Hobart’s Queen’s Botanic Garden, there was a small subantarctic plant section in a giant refrigerated room. The plants were tiny, but that was so cool! I’ve just never seen anything like it.
The following weekend we visited Freycinet National Park, which we thought was a little overrated, but it did have some lovely hiking trails and its main sight, Wineglass Bay, was incredible. I honestly didn’t know water could be that clear outside of the tropics. Unfortunately, I only have a few photos from this side trip. My computer decided to wipe these files. I was able to restore some, but they’re largely gone.
We’ve been LOVING Tasmania so far! We have another full weekend ahead still. Stay tuned to see what we have planned next! 🙂