Drury Family Tour of Australia Part 2
Sunday 21/07/2019 – Ghost Town
Went back for breakfast at Trunk Diner again before heading to the airport, its proper nice – good for my waist line that it’s not in Shanghai – pretty sure I would be in every day.
Taking these travel days to catch up with some work and write this blog. After a couple of hours flight we arrived in Hobart, Tasmania – a tiny airport with not many people around.
A 20 minute taxi to the CBD and our hotel – the Hadley’s Orient Hotel. We took a family room, it’s a grand old hotel that has been there for over 150 years – it certainly looks the part very posh Victorian etc. For the price the rooms are massive and spotless but they are very olde-worlde with dark wood and big brown sheets and so not to our taste. There were no ceiling lights or master switches so you had to make your way around 6 little lamps to get some light (I know that’s a first world problem but it is still a bit annoying) Also the room clearly sloped to the corner to the extent that often when we put things on the bed side tables they gradually made their way to the floor. I can best sum up this hotel by saying it is in a great location and good value and has “Character”
Went for a walk around in the evening to get our bearings, Sunday night = Ghost town in Hobart – it was deserted and closed – thought we might have landed into a zombie apocalypse movie but it turns out we have just spent so much time in shanghai (the most populated city in the world) we have forgotten what a quite normal town is like. The only place open was a Kebab place so supper was decided for us – let’s be honest having to resort to a donner Kebab isn’t really a problem is it!
Monday 22/07/2019 – Hands on!
Jumped in an Uber for the 30 minute trip to ZooDoo (a wildlife sanctuary) – we were pretty much the first people in and had the place to ourselves. This place was so good, the first path we went down and a load of grey kangaroos, we bought some food for them and fed them by hand.
This was a lovely experience. We then looked into an enclosure with a short fence, and a baby wombat came running over – like when you come home to a dog, he was jumping up and demanded a fuss. If you ask Matthew what his favourite part of the trip is up to now this is it by a mile, the wombat hugged our arms and didn’t want us to go, as we moved around the zoo we called back to the wombat enclosure a few times and each time he heard us he came running out of his house for more attention. Didn’t know much about Wombats before visiting Australia but they are now one of our favourite animals, we know loads about them including that they may not look like it but they are faster than Usain Bolt over 100M.
So we had hand fed Kangaroos and Wombats the next enclosure also had a short fence and a cute critter came running out to see us, just the same as the wombat a young tazzie devil at the side of the fence looking up for a fuss so I reached in and was taught that cute and cuddly doesn’t mean they don’t have a bloody painful bite. It turns out that even little ones can pack a punch as the devils jaw strength is the most powerful in all mammals pound for pound, later the keeper would tell me that getting bitten by a tiny devil is like getting bitten by a big 40kg dog. I was ok though, the worst was getting a telling off form my wife and the embarrassment of admitting to the keeper that I got bitten by one when I asked for a plaster:
Lee: Excuse me do you have a plaster I can have please.
Keeper: Sure what have you done (shows wound to keeper) did you do that here, where?
Lee: over by the Tassie devil enclosure
Keeper: what on a fence?
Lee: (very sheepishly) er . . . . no . . . . on. . . a . . . er . . . well a Tassie devil
Keeper: (Laughing) sure here is a plaster, you will be OK, bet that taught you a lesson!
You would think the lesson I learned was to not touch but the lesson I learned was to research new animals first to know what the score is, did it hurt = yes, was it embarrassing = yes, would I do it again = yes (but more carefully lol) The last text msg my dad sent to me before I came on this trip was something along the lines of ” don’t be poking animals out there, they are all Bad Ass” – Dad I challenge you to resist putting – “I told you so” in the comments of this post!
We visited the rest of the Zoo, feeding (and touching) Emus, Camels, Zebra etc. before having a spot of lunch and grabbing a taxi to Bonorong – another sanctuary 15 minutes away.
Bonorong was also an excellent place, the keepers take you around on a free tour let you know all about the animals and let you have a touch of Kangaroos, Wombats and Koalas (not Devils though for some reason) we had a lovely afternoon before returning back to Hobart, grabbed some goodies from the supermarket and had a chilled evening watching movies in the hotel.
Tuesday 23/07/2019 – Chilling Out
We were pretty tiered from our non-stop adventuring so decided to have a more chilled day today, Had a lovely breakfast in the hotel – highly recommended! Then spent the morning in the hotel catching up with admin, booking some trips, sorting photos etc. In the afternoon we went for a walk around the local area.
Hobart is pretty small and there isn’t much to look at, you don’t go to Hobart to spend time there it’s just a base. Having said that we did go for a walk through an area called Salamanca to Battery Point, here we found loads of craft and boutique type shops, bars and cafes – it was quite nice. There were some lovely properties overlooking the harbour – quite fancy one of them to retire into, Gill found Arthur Circle which has a bunch of quaint little cottages like little dolls houses.
Finished the evening with Fish and Chips on the seafront from Fish Frenzy – the fish was lovely but they were more like oven chips – I mean really who does fried fish and oven chips – bloody philistines!
Wednesday 24th July – Bruny Island
We booked an organised tour of Bruny Island with Bruny Island Safaris, It was excellent value, although not private it was a small group of 10 in a minibus, I would certainly recommend it. Pickup was at 7:00am from outside our hotel. We then had a 30 minutes ride through very British named places like “Dover” and “Margate” I couldn’t help thinking about Del Boys Jolly boys outing to Margate and hoping our bus didn’t blow up.
Grant (our guide) kept us entertained with an informative history lesson, which of course Matthew slept through (as usual). Matt must be the only person in the world to have visited 40 countries but never seen any countryside between cities, within seconds of getting in a vehicle he’s spark out. We arrived at the port and were drinking a delicious hot chocolate while waiting for the ferry.
The ferry crossing was 15 minutes, we were able to go up to the bridge for excellent views of the channel and the island. Once on the island Grant stopped at a couple of the local vendors to pick up fresh items for our breakfast, bread, cheese and oysters – simple ingredients for a lush breakfast.
We stopped at the narrow link between the 2 islands for a look around and walk on the beach, it is home to a huge colony of little penguins but unfortunately mid-morning is not the time to see them so we just enjoyed the amazing views.
We travelled inside the national park zone towards the lighthouse on the southern tip catching sight of local “Turbo” chucks (wild chickens that run like the wind) and wild wallabies on the way, we even saw a couple of rare white wallabies.
The views from the lighthouse were spectacular, well worth the trip! It was cool to think that there was absolutely nothing between this lighthouse and the Antarctic 4,000KM south. Australian history is weird, this lighthouse was built in Birmingham UK, dismantled, shipped to here and then re-built by 12 convicts to earn their freedom. Of course now it’s no longer used, having been replaced by technology.
We stopped at the Bruny Hotel for lunch. The food was really good and we were then treated to a spot of local cider tasting. The Cherry cider was fantastic so we had to purchase a couple of bottles to take with us as a little treat, we don’t have much room in our rucksacks but some things are just too good to pass up we can make it work – hey its ok, only a one off little treat!
Next we called at a Chocolate and Whisky shop – free samples of goodies all made on the premises and really tasty, got a bunch of fudge to take with us – hey its ok, only a one off little treat!
Our next stop was the Honey shop, again free tasting of 15 types of honey was yummy, we could see the bees in their hive doing their thing oh and we got some honey gingerbread – hey its ok, only a one off little treat! Back in in the bus and half a mile down the road I realised I had a hitchhiker bee, so we stopped and let him go, hope he found his way back to the hive.
Still not finished we called at the Cheese shop – you guessed it free tasting of loads of cheese, I love cheese I couldn’t leave without taking some with me, oh and this jar of sweet pickled onions to go with them – hey its ok, only a one off little treat!
Shit that’s a full bag of one off treats! – where to put them?, sensible people would have noted that we hadn’t had any supper yet and so we could solved our issue by eating some of what we had this evening, however you know that thing where you spend a small fortune at the supermarket on food then always get a takeaway on the way home well, yesterday when we walked through Salamanca we spotted a restaurant called Honey Badger that only served deserts and we really fancied trying it out, so we ignored the bag of Bruny goodies and filled our faces with all sorts of cakes and hot chocolate etc. and very nice it was too!
We had a fab day touring Bruny island, the scenery was amazing, there were wildlife to see and the many food samplings were delicious, I would certainly recommend it to anyone visiting Hobart.
We loved Tasmania, and realise that we only scratched the surface, there is so much more to see and do, the landscape and wildlife is fantastic, it’s an amazing place. I am pretty sure we will be back in the future to do it properly. My advice to anyone going to Tasmania is to hire a car, take your time, and explore the island . . . . . Oh and don’t pat a Tassie Devil!