Our tour round Tasmania was in summary a ten day exploration of Tasmania's wet, wild and wonderful. Wet being various rivers, oceans and of course wine. Wild being the wildlife (look at the cute baby devil in the photo - just so adorable until he grows teeth and starts biting), and wonderful covers everything else!
Given it was such a long trip, I'll just provide highlights and snippets.
We met up with our travel companions in the evening. The tour company we travelled with, Inspiring Journeys, specialises in smaller tour groups with probably at most 16 people which is one of the reasons we chose to go with them. However a couple of days before departure I found out that there was going to be a maximum of 5 people including us! As it turned out, there was only one other couple! We met Toni and Peter who are from Christchurch, New Zealand. Toni is a retired nurse and Peter a former agriculture farmer. They were lots of fun and really put us to shame with their energy levels.
We also met our tour guide, Dan and driver Darren. Dan and Darren are great professionals. They have worked together lots mainly on Contiki tours (18 - 35 travel groups) so we will have been a boring crowd compared to the youthful antics of Contiki travellers! Then again after so many years of Contiki perhaps it was refreshing to not have to do tequila shots and drinking games every night or stop the bus so people can be sick on the roadside!
The bus had a little kitchen area with a fridge full of goodies and cupboards with snacks. There were television screens linked to the roadcam which gave us front row viewing of the road ahead. Darren kept the bus spick and span throughout our trip and gave it regular washes so it was always gleaming.
They look cute but are extremely vicious; 12 times more powerful than a pitbull apparently. We watched four of them fight over chunks of possum meat and certainly the squeals and screams and chomping of bones demonstrates the not so cuddly side.
Talking of cuddly though, we did get to have some fun with a wombat. What a cute and affectionate animal - one that thrives on hugs and love. He clambers and tries to scale the wall to get some human contact. Apparently wombats make great pets up until a certain age where they become so dependent on human contact they will burrow and make their way through walls, doors, any barriers to get to you! Also interesting fact about wombats; their poo is cube shaped. We haven't been able to figure out how they get it like that. There are different theories; mine being they must have square bum holes but probably more likely is that they roll it to that shape.
Back to devils, we also get to stroke the cutest baby devil ever. So small and cuddly but already nipping at fingers with soon to be sharp teeth.
Our time at Cradle Mountain was hindered by rain unfortunately. We managed a short walk to some waterfalls but decided to spend a rainy afternoon in the spa enjoying the outdoor but sheltered hot tub.
Corinna was inhabited by white settlers in 1881 and proclaimed a town in 1894, following a flood of people coming to the area in pursuit of gold. The township of Corinna (in the Pieman River State Reserve) is singularly placed in Tasmania's history as a unique example of a remote mining town that has survived.
Reminiscent of a wild west town or like something from Little House on the Prairie, we had our own little unit and were tasked with cooking our own breakfast the following morning. We managed to set off the smoke alarm several times though and took comfort in the fact that Dan did the same and he's stayed there before!
We took the kayaks as far as a point called Lovers Falls where we moored up and walked up to the falls to have a look.
Our return journey was hard work though going against the current and the wind but we worked through it. It was a 2hr trip but we were proud as the activities guide suggests it as a 3hr activity.
From Corinna we headed to Strahan and stopped off at Ocean Beach before going into the town.
The journey from Strahan back to Hobart took us over some winding roads and mountain ranges. I actually slept through most of this. The truck is just too comfortable and it's testament to Darren's driving that I happily snored through the hairpin bends and sheer cliff drops!
Tasmania was a fun trip for us and certainly we enjoyed having things planned for us. Dan and Darren added to our enjoyment as did Toni and Peter. It's a beautiful place and remains relatively untouched compared to lots of the other destinations we've been to.