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2009/01/18 Visiting Tasmania, Australia
π 2009-01-18 01:01 in Australia, Trips
Like every year, I went to linux.conf.au for the yearly conference where I was invited to talk, and Jennifer came along to molest some native animals :)

As soon as we got off the airport, I had a rental car lined up, and drove to St Helens/Bay of Fires to get there before sunset. This was the time when I drove the most on the left side of the road for a total of 600km or so. I actually got reasonably used to it, except for the part with the turn signal is on the wrong side of the car, where I would use the windshield wipers on the other side instead of the turn signal (to the point that it took me a while to readjust when I got home). The only part that was a bit tough was knowing exactly how far the right and left sides of the car were on a narrow road.


Anyway, here are the picts:

Our drive up from the airport to St Helens
Our drive up from the airport to St Helens


The next morning, we had a very busy day from an early hike around the Bay of Fires, a visit of the area, a hike to the top of the highest local peak (after a drive up a dicey road for a wimpy 2WD), a visit to Natureworld, a 2H visit/hike of Douglas Apsley national park, and then getting to see baby penguins by the beach.

started the day with a quick hike around the bay of fires
started the day with a quick hike around the bay of fires


Bay of Fires
Bay of Fires

ok, it was a nice beach, sure. Notice no one in the water in full summer
ok, it was a nice beach, sure. Notice no one in the water in full summer


oysters everywhere, we just weren't sure if they were fresh
oysters everywhere, we just weren't sure if they were fresh

the trail up to south sister was definitely 4wd
the trail up to south sister was definitely 4wd

I got all the way up in our 2WD beater except on the little piece above :)
I got all the way up in our 2WD beater except on the little piece above :)




those were local geese
those were local geese



tasmanian devil
tasmanian devil


most those snakes were venomous and deadly
most those snakes were venomous and deadly

baby wombats were very cute and cuddly, albeit a bit porky :)
baby wombats were very cute and cuddly, albeit a bit porky :)





we went hiking to a gorge in Douglas Apsley
we went hiking to a gorge in Douglas Apsley

in Bicheno, we were able to see penguins at night
in Bicheno, we were able to see penguins at night

the parents come from the sea with fish to feed the young
the parents come from the sea with fish to feed the young

On the second day, we first went diving in Bicheno where we had spent the night, visited a couple of wineries on the way back, and stopped by a fruit picking place where we just had to stop :)

Jennifer was delighted with picking fruit :)
Jennifer was delighted with picking fruit :)

The next 3 days, I went to the conference while Jennifer went to visit a few local attractions around Hobart, although in all honesty, there wasn't a whole to do there, and Jennifer hated the field trips with the slow people and screaming kids :-
Came saturday, the conference was over, so we went to Eaglehawk Neck for a couple more dives (boat dives this time), and after that went south to Port Arthur (you basically get to see the ruins of the convict port), we continued to the south most portion of the Island to see the remarkable cave, which wasn't all that remarkable but had nice coastline, and I then tried to get back in time for a sunset from Mt Wellington (almost made it, it was dusk).


Port Arthur
Port Arthur


I love this sign, the bridge is only wide enough for one car, you can't pass anyway
I love this sign, the bridge is only wide enough for one car, you can't pass anyway




View of Hobart from the top of Mt Wellington (4100ft)
View of Hobart from the top of Mt Wellington (4100ft)

Sunday, Jennifer was kind of suffering from a cold, so I went to Bonorong Park where she had been a couple of days earlier.


little wombat is so cute :)
little wombat is so cute :)




the small joeys that can't quite fit in the pocket are funny :)
the small joeys that can't quite fit in the pocket are funny :)

this bird does look like a log, amazing
this bird does look like a log, amazing


that evening we had our last dinner on the rotating restaurant at the top of our hotel
that evening we had our last dinner on the rotating restaurant at the top of our hotel

All in all Tasmania was interesting to drive around, the roads were nothing but straight (although it's usually more fun for me in a real car :) ), and the 100kph speed limit was actually fairly warranted for the nothing but straight roads we went through. We saw a lot of coastline and nature, although neither, quite frankly had anything on what we have on california, but they were nice nonetheless. The highlight for us was definitely the nature parks with local animals, which were quite good in the home of the Tasmanian Devil :)

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