A Travellerspoint blog

April 2014

National Parks of Tasmania (3)

Part 3 of 3

I really was going to try to combine Tasmania into one or maybe even two posts, but here I am on the third post! And the third national park, Mount Fields National Park. A commonly missed national park, it's right outside Hobart and relatively easy to get to. It features waterfalls, giant ancient trees, wildlife, and much more!

Standing inside trees...
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We stopped at several different waterfalls, and stayed at one for lunch.
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Gourmet lucnh...P2232455.jpg

These trees were so massive!
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I found one that had been hollowed out by a fire, and, after calling out to all the poisonous things not to kill me, promptly climbed inside!
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We walked around the lake.
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And even made friends with an echidna!
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And of course, it being Australia...there was an awesome warning sign!
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Posted by smr1188 18:34 Archived in Australia Tagged waterfalls trees wildlife walking hiking australia tasmania national_parks Comments (1)

National Parks of Tasmania (2)

Part 2 of 3

The rest of our time in Tasmania was spend on the East Coast exploring Wineglass Bay and then we headed inland to Mount Fields National Park on our last day. I was going to try to cram two national parks in this entry, but decided to make a third instead...

Wineglass Bay offered the opportunity to hike up to a viewpoint and gaze out at the bay, and then, if you were feeling ambitious (of course we were), to hike down to the bay and relax by the waters.

First we encountered some wildlife in the carpark though!
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Then we headed up the trail, and by trail, of course I mean stairs.

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Finally we reached Wineglass Bay...
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Then we headed down to the water's edge. P2212341.jpg
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While laying on the beach, I kept my eyes on the water and was rewarded in seeing some dolphins swim by!
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Wineglass Bay is very popular with tourists, especially the lookout point, but not many venture down to the sands so that was a good escape!

Posted by smr1188 14:59 Archived in Australia Tagged beaches wildlife walking hiking australia tasmania national_parks roadtrip Comments (2)

National Parks of Tasmania

Part 1 of 3

If you're ever planning a trip over to Tasmania and are a fan of national parks and the outdoors, be prepared to spend lots of time here! Over 45% of the island of Tasmania is covered in national parks and reserves. There are 19 (!) national parks here, on an island roughly the size of Scotland, or of West Virginia. The best way to get around is certainly to rent a car, and unless you own one in Australia, it's cheaper to fly (in and out of Launceston) and rent a car within Tasmania instead of taking the ferry.

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With only a week in Tasmania, we planned our roadtrip carefully and managed to get to 3 national parks and see a lot. The owner of our hostel the first night helped us plan it and he said 'it's not so much what you can see in Tasmania, it's what you miss out on seeing.' There's so many awesome things to see and explore!

I first explored the town of Launceston and though I wasn't impressed overall, Cataract Gorge Reserve is a gorgeous walk.
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I even found Narnia...P2181847.jpg

We did a (very full) day trip from Launceston over to Cradle Mountain National Park, which was spectacular. The landscape wasn't as green as it normally would be as we'd just arrived at the end of almost 2 months with no rain. It was an overcast and rainy day but the mist made it that much more exciting and it lifted briefly for us to see Cradle Mountain, though it's hidden in the clouds for most of my pictures.

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The next day we headed to the east coast of Tasmania for some coastal beaches and views.
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Posted by smr1188 13:30 Archived in Australia Tagged mountains beaches walking hiking australia tasmania national_parks roadtrip Comments (1)

Melbourne

'The Worlds Most Livable City'

Whew, back in Australia!

First of all, a story on our accommodation in Melbourne....

Picture this: We're sitting in our 12 bed dorm room in our hostel in Auckland and realizing we don't have accommodation in Melbourne. We had looked up some airbnb places but by the time we got around to booking them, they were unavailable. It's 2 days before we fly to Melbourne, so we don't have a lot of times to arrange something. Hostels are really expensive...around $40/night for a dorm room! Unbelievable.
Anyway, we're talking about how we don't have a place to stay and exclaiming 'where are we going to stay in Melbourne?!'
A guy's voice from the other side of the room says "You can sleep in my bed."
We both roll our eyes, 'yeah, right, ok.'
He continues, "no seriously, I'm travelling through New Zealand for the next month, you can stay in my room. I was going to rent it out, but haven't found anyone yet. Just looking for someone to cover my portion of the rent while I'm gone."
We haven't even met this guy and he's offering us his place. Well that's interesting. We're intrigued. We ask some more questions and find out where his place is located, and what his roommates are like. We're assured that they won't mind 2 random girls showing up and staying there for a month. Half an hour later we agree and he tosses us his house key. We had an address and a house key when we arrived in Melbourne. Unbelievable.

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We spent almost a month in Melbourne, mostly looking for work and trying to survive the heat. Aside from 1 days work, a trial day, for me, neither of us were successful at finding a job.

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The trees were yarn-bombed the first week we were there, which was awesome to be a place that had that happen!

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We were in Melbourne for Australia Day, and certainly enjoyed the fireworks.

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There was a free concert in Federation Square by the Cat Empire, which was amazing. They're a popular Australian band and they were celebrating there 1,000 show! The crowd all knew the songs, so we felt a little out of place not being able to sing along, but certainly enjoyed the music.

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Always on the lookout for books and book exchanges, we were in luck in Melbourne!

This first one is located at Melbourne Central, a central hub of public transportation. There's also lots of stores and coffee shops. And this. A free book exchange, based on the honor system.

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Another time, we were carrying around a ton of books that we were done reading, hoping to sell them back to a used bookstore. We were turned down though, they already had too may books at the moment and it would be another month before they would accept any new books. Walking along, backs sore from the amount of books we were carrying, we stumbled upon this place. A cafe with a bookshelf. We gladly donated our books and got free cappuccinos out of it!

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Pictures of the city...
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Melbourne is known for its street art, and no pictures can really portray it. Though I certainly tried with these below. You never know when you turn a corner whether you might find something cool.

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Posted by smr1188 16:11 Archived in Australia Tagged art melbourne australia city books music street_art Comments (5)

New Zealand Wrap-up

That's right, last post of NZ! (Unless I think of something else...)

This is a miscellaneous collection of pictures and maybe brief stories from the North Island that didn't fit anywhere else.

While in Hawke's Bay we drove up to the lookout and there were some gorgeous views!
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While in Hawke's Bay, you have to go to at least a couple winerys and do some wine tasting. We went to a couple places, and one gave us a tour which was interesting to learn about some of the wine making process.
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In Gisborne we dragged ourselves out of bed quite early in the morning to see the sunrise. Sunrises are cool but the special point of this one was that Gisborne is the first town in the world to see the sunrise!
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Our hostel was right across the street from the water, so we had gorgeous views from our bedroom window...
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Just outside of Gisborne there's the longest pier in the southern hemisphere. Well cool. We had to go check it out! At 660m (almost a quarter mile!) in length, it offers a nice walk out over the water and several fishing and jumping activities, if you're into that sort of thing.
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We drove up to the northern tip of the north island and did a tour to Cape Reinga. Our bus driver was crazy, but it was cheap for New Zealand and we got to see a lot.

This involved everything from hiking to a lighthouse which is the official northern most point.
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To seeing the Tasman Sea meet the Pacific Ocean
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There were neat views and beaches below...
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We stopped by some huge sand dunes, for those that wanted to climb up and sand board down.
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And our bus went off roading and drove down 90 Mile Beach (though it's really only 55 miles or so)
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Our last stop before Auckland was the Kauri forest. These Kauri trees are the largest in New Zealand and roughly 2,000 years old!!
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This concludes the New Zealand adventure, now it's back to Australia and on to new places and adventures. (Unless of course I realize I've forgotten something important about New Zealand, then I'll be sure to add it). We covered a lot of ground in New Zealand with 3 different vehicles and over 8,000km driven, and we slept in 32 different beds in 55 days.

Relocation Roadtrip

Relocation Roadtrip

South Island Roadtrip

South Island Roadtrip

North Island Roadtrip

North Island Roadtrip

We'll certainly miss New Zealand!!!

Posted by smr1188 15:49 Archived in New Zealand Tagged trees tours sunrise new_zealand lighthouse winery roadtrip north_island summary Comments (2)

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