Better late than never, I’m going to update you all on the road trip to remember in our very own, Executive Beast Ron.
Back in January, when I was chilling atop a hill in sunny Tasmania a friend and I decided it was high time we explored this wilderness. Tassie is off the regular backpacker trail – some go for their regional work; others for a week. Many ask me whereabouts it is, and look shocked when I tell them it’s the island at the bottom. I went to visit my family, have a real Tassie Christmas and attempt to finish my regional work. (5 days on a blueberry packing line with an 18km round walk and that was that.)
First step: buy a car.
I can’t drive remember so this was a feat. But after scouring gumtree we called a woman and arranged to meet her at 4 that afternoon. The taxi dropped us off in Ravenswood at a decrepit house with bars across the windows, litter scattered EVERYWHERE and two screaming children. In we went. Within minutes the 4-year-old boy had snuck his hand into Toms pocket, tried to snatch his phone and the $600 cash we had to purchase said car. Little brat. His parents just sat on the sofa laughed, and vaguely told him, give it back.
The woman who was selling us the car had the face of a 70 year old, but we think she was more likely 40 from the way she moved. Cigarette hanging between the gaps in her teeth, she showed us our new best friend: A burgundy, Holden Executive Wagon. In decent condition for the price we took him. Named him Ron (because of Anchorman of course), and off we drove having had our first contact with real Tasmanian Bogans.
Next stop was K-mart, to deck ourselves out with the required blow up mattress, eski and cooking gear.
Off we sailed into the sunset as 40 degree heat started lifting the tarmac on the roads. Luckily, where we were headed was more dirt track than anything else. Nothing to lift there except dust.
Our first night started at Great Mussleroe Bay – we didn’t arrive till five but the sunset was beautiful. Idiots that we are, we forgot cutlery, so our sausages were barbequed on sticks we found on the ground – tasty, but longwinded.
All evening wallabies and kangaroos hopped around the car, through the bushes and across the beach. This was the morning when I woke up, looked out of the window and found a Roo watching me sleep. We watched each other for a few minutes and then he hopped away, off to find more breakfast.
From there we headed to Ansel point which was breathtaking. Seriously, never before have I seen such pristine white sands against a turquoise sea and a stormy cloud. Plus, the puppy that decided it would join us made me smile the whole time.
Making our way further south we found the Bay of Fires, a stretch of beaches that are more touristy than our earlier stops, but equally as beautiful. And helpful, as we were hungry and needed fuel. Camping under a tree with possums running around, watching the sun set – it doesn’t get better than that.
|Bay of Fires|
One of the places that you absolutely “must see” in Tasmania is Freycinet National Park, and Wineglass Bay. It’s a national park, so you have to pay to get in but you can actually camp nearby (as we did) or inside the park for an extra fee. There are a few different activities such as a walk around the lighthouse, or a climb (and I mean climb) to the top of one of the hills to look over picturesque wineglass bay. That’s what we chose. Of course, I was not prepared in converse and denim shorts. But that’s a given really – have you met me? I stumbled, climbed, sweated and fell (a few times), but damn was it worth that view.
Often people say Tasmania isn’t worth the visit. It’s “off the beaten track” and not built for travellers. But anyone who truly wants to see another side of Australia (because Tasmania is a STATE in Australia, not a whole other country on its own as so many people have asked me), GO. Spend a week, spend a month, but make sure you explore this wonderfully exotic and diverse world. You will never see anything like it.
The places we stayed and the sights we saw were perfect – how could they not be in a place like this? But one single moment made it for me: when you’re driving in a car, and all of a sudden, as if a knife had cut through the mountain and changed the terrain completely, it is different. From coniferous, burnt bark and flowers to a rainforest. Clouds claim you. Look in your back window, and it’s a completely different life to what you see in front.