Contrary to popular Australian opinion, I loved Tasmania. Tell any Sydneysider you’re spending the weekend in Tassie and they’ll respond with things like ‘Everything’s backwards down there!’ ‘Why?! It’s cold!’ ‘It’s full of bogans!’ etc., etc. No one ever even recommends it. Prior to arriving in Oz, I’d received at least four different lists of things to do and places to see and not one of them included Tasmania. I’m here to say that if you’re ever in the land down under go, go go!!
Originally, I had booked a flight on my own and for a while, thought I was going by myself. I’m not quite sure why I wanted to go so badly but I always had this picture of Tasmania as true wilderness, plus the pictures I looked up were stunning. The flights were cheap and a hostel wouldn’t cost much, so I figured why not? Bennett, Pete, Tom and Maddie all ended up joining me and a party of 1 turned into this awesome little group full of great vibes. In order to keep things on the cheaper side, we rented a car tent…
…literally a SUV with a tent on top of it, and we road tripped the whole way. It was the best decision we could have made. We got to stop wherever we wanted to get out, take pictures and explore, we got to make our own schedules, pick the music and we got to drive! I can’t even begin to describe how much I missed driving. FYI, driving on the other side of the road is for sure scary but not really all that hard once you get started. Then again, the roads in Tasmania are prettttyyy deserted and I can’t imagine driving all backwards in the heart of Sydney.
After landing in Hobart and picking up the car, we explored a local market and picked up food and supplies for our adventure. From there, we drove up to Binalong Bay and the Bay of Fires, our northernmost point. It was absolutely stunning. The water so clear and blue, the sand white and extraordinarily fine and the rocks were bright red – something I’ve never seen before.
We frolicked around there for a while before heading off to our first campsite in Freycinet National Park about an hour and a half away. Camping night 1 was a success. We made dinner and squeezed into the tent early after such a long but awesome day.
An early start led us to explore Friendly Bay which was a two minute walk from our campsite. The sun shone through the clouds like it was Heaven, the waves were big but the sea was calm and the rocks were even redder.
We explored Friendly Bay for a while and contemplated never leaving but eventually made our way to the iconic Wineglass Bay. We quickly hiked to the overview and then found and explored Sleepy Bay which was also absolutely unreal. We just kept finding these little coves and bays that were so breathtaking and the red rocks made you feel like you were on Mars, it was so cool. I felt like a little kid, desperate to explore every little hiding spot and climb every awesome boulder, so eager to experience these magical places. From there, we drove to Lake St. Clair in Cradle Mountain to camp out for the night. The drive itself was breathtaking, with rolling fields of grass and hay, sheep and cows everywhere you turn, and absolutely no one around. With the crisp fall weather and the countryside I almost felt like I could be in upstate NY or NC, driving up to an orchard to go apple picking. It was blissful. The second camp night was a bit more eventful. We made some dinner and a new friend, Nigel the Australian possum who decided to become the 6th member of our group for the night. We almost set a bush fire in the morning after trying to boil some water… but I mean we took care of it so now it’s kind of funny…right?
Lake St. Clair was probably the most peaceful and serene place I’ve ever been to. The early morning mist and the absolute stillness of everything created this haven – the kind of place where you want to go to sit on a rock and think, away from everyone and everything in the world. That was a great way to start the morning because we followed all that peace and serenity with a casual 9 mile hike up Mt. Rufus which was fun and getting to the summit definitely gave us all a sense of accomplishment. The hike itself was gorgeous – the scenery in the mountain constantly morphed. For ten minutes it was forresty, for another ten minutes it was bush with these eerie white, claw like trees, and then for the next ten minutes you’d be walking through a moss covered area with gentle, wistful trees that seemed to be out of a fairy tale.
The trip was amazing – we got in a little bit of everything, from the beach to road tripping to hiking. I’m so glad I decided to go and I’m so glad the group that came along did because they were so much fun. Tasmania was so good to us and I really hope I can go back and explore it again one day!