Trip Start Jun 15, 2011
84Trip End Jun 01, 2012
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Tasmania is somewhere that has always felt quite mysterious to me being an island on the other side of the world, where the only thing I've ever heard about is the Tasmanian Devil. And I'm embarrassed to admit that it was only a few years ago that I even realised that Tasmania was part of Australia, previously I had just thought it was some foreign tiny Country in it's own right.
Since being in Australia we have obviously heard more about it, seen some of the beautiful places on TV, and come across some of it's produce such as Salmon, fresh veg, wine and Beer. More interestingly though we have learned a bit more about it's history, and Tasmania played a huge role in the settling of Europeans in Australia, which came alongside a horrendous genocide of Tasmanian aboriginals as the white settlers took more and more of their land for farming
It started with the white settlers taking pieces of land here and there but as more people were sent there and the colony grew, more land was taken from the aboriginals. Eventually they started to fight for their land which resulted in the Governor declaring martial law in Tasmania. In the end pretty much the entire Aboriginal population was wiped out through diseases and murder and it's a really sad history which has been a huge embarrassment to Australia and British colonialism, from what I've read and heard the wounds haven't really been healed to this day.
Anyway.... first stop is Hobart, a City which is so much smaller than either of us had expected. When we looked into places to stay and how to get into the city it looked like a big city but it feels much more like a big town. We explored a fair amount of the city on foot exploring the harbour, Salamanca and the city centre. Hobart has some beautiful old Victorian buildings dotted around the city centre and Salamanca has a great vibe, full of interesting art galleries, trendy restaurants and cafes.
Salamanca is a historic area as it's right by the sea (Tasmania's past is all centered around sailing and the sea) and there is a walking tour you can take which explains a bit more of the history and takes you to some of the significant places of Hobart including the finishing line for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race
We were fortunate enough to meet up with a friend of ours and her family who live in Hobart and they very kindly drove us around, put us up in their house and showed us around their City. We went up to the top of Mount Wellington where there are amazing views over the City and the River Derwent and we got there just in time as the cloud was getting heavier and heavier so we managed to get our photos before the whole view was swamped by cloud .
Mount Wellington has beautiful views but it is also beautiful itself with steep cliff faces and Pinnacles jutting out from the summit. Up at the summit the temperature drops a good 10C so it was pretty freezing up there so once we had our photos and a quick explore we drove back down. We drove around the city and past the cascade brewery which is Australia's oldest brewery and is a beautiful Gothic building dating back to 1832 before we had fish and chips for lunch at Mures which overlooks the water. Hobart is a beautiful City on the whole and a good starting point for our time in Tasmania.
The next day we collected our Campervan from the depot which was a bit disappointing in all honesty
To start with:
- its a lot older and a manual so I keep forgetting to use the gears... yes, that's the van's fault and not mine
- The kitchen is about as basic as it gets and we haven't got half the utensils we had before.
- The bed is about as thick as a matchbox and so is hard as nails.
- The bedding looks and smells like it's from a Dementia ward and doesn't fit the bed
- There is mould on the inside of the roof as well as offensive graffiti
- There isn't big enough storage for our bags
- And worst of all is the painting on the van. The back has a quote stating "If you're not wasted all week, you've wasted a week!" Then on one side is a girl screaming and the other side has a massive clenched fist and a guy throwing up in a bin. We keep seeing people looking closely at the writing, tutting, shaking their head and then walking away
"Attention Asshole, Remember the eighth commandment 'thou shalt not steal.' God is watching, you thieving bastard!"
So... yeah... what can you say! Not loving the van but I'm sure we'll get used to it.
I guess you get what you pay for, but to be honest the fact that we're paying for it is what annoys me most!
Tasmania I'm sure will make the van issues pale into insignificance but we're definitely looking forward to the better quality vans we have booked in Victoria and South Australia.