I flew into Hobart, Tasmania early on Saturday morning and was picked up from the airport by some friends. They had arrived a day before me and already had a chance to check out the surrounding area with a rental car (which I would not be brave enough to drive because in Australia you drive on the left side)! From here, we began our journey to Bruny Island. This required taking a ferry across the bay on our car and it was truly a breathtaking view. To be honest, the entire weekend (at least on my Instagram story) circled around one main theme: bodies of water. There was not a single time that I can think of when we were not close enough to see, or at least hear, the waves crashing against the shore nearby.
Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve
The first thing we did upon arriving to the island was head to the campground to set up our tent. We were in the Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve and it was right along Adventure Bay. The set up process didn’t take too long, so we decided to walk along the beach and have a picnic while watching the waves roll in. It was such a peaceful way to start my weekend in Tasmania.
Cape Bruny Lighthouse
After lunch, we headed to the western tip of Bruny Island to see the Cape Bruny Lighthouse. This is actually the second oldest lighthouse in all of Australia, built in 1834-36. It’s crazy how much history a place [or person] can have. The best part about the lighthouse was that, due to it needing to be on high ground, the view was TREMENDOUS.
I think we were up there walking around for about an hour and I kept on taking picture after picture of the same scenery; I couldn’t help myself! On our way back down the hill, we noticed the hillsides were, due to lack of a better word infested with bunnies; the little fluff balls were everywhere.
Before getting back in the car, we decided to stop by the “museum”. It was basically the size of a decent dorm room, but my favorite part was the personal treasure pile. After all, every piece counts! We were joking about finally finding a place to put our empty coffee cups, but, don’t worry, we stayed strong.
While we were driving back, we noticed some surfers were walking down the road, coming from the ocean where we were hoping to get to but couldn’t find access. We whipped a U-ey and drove along the coast hoping to find a trail. Well, we found a trail.
It may have said private beach, but the upside of traveling with people from Germany, Egypt and Chile is that if we get in trouble, they can just start speaking another language. However, we didn’t need to pull this trick out, thankfully, and had a peaceful time exploring this little cove.
The Neck Lookout
By this time, it was getting a bit late, so we decided to drive over to the Neck Lookout. I bet you already know what I am about to say–the view! Tasmania was just one giant slab of art.
At the top of the stairs, we had a view of the water on both sides of us and were able to watch the sunset as the black swans enjoyed it with us. Once it was dark enough, we walked back down the stairs and to the beach lookout point, waiting for the penguins to return in the waves.
We ended up seeing four little guys waddle up the sand, as well as a pademelon (there must be some creative scientists on this island).
In the midst of all this, we tried to find a dinner spot near us that was open and only came across one on the entire island…do people just not eat here? Furthermore, we weren’t even sure this place was open because their hours just said ‘Til Late’. Classic. We arrived at about 9:00PM and they said the kitchen was closing, but they could squeeze us in as long as we ordered quickly. Given that four out of five of us were vegetarians (including me–more on that coming soon), we weren’t exactly the Lightning McQueens of deciding on dinner. This was actually quite a downer, as locally harvested wallabies were on the menu (BRB crying).
However, the vegetarian linguine was some of the best Italian food I have ever eaten. Maybe that’s why they only need one restaurant on the island…
Night One Under the Stars
On our way back to the campsite, we had to slam on the brakes for a wallaby to cross. However, this wasn’t just any wallaby…it was a white wallaby! This was such a strange sight to see; he looked unfinished. Even so, we made sure to let him know not to get too close to the restaurant back there (haha). We arrived back at our tent and fell asleep almost instantly in our cozy sleeping bags while listening to the waves crash against the shore.
The next morning, we woke up early to pack up the tent and continue down the road. We caught the end of the sunrise on the ferry, as well as a rainbow. I’m going to miss that little island.
Next stop: Coles Bay. We decided to make the most of our time on the island and leave setting up th campsite for later. Driving alongside the shore, we made a few stops along the way as they were all so tempting. My favorite stop was probably Devil’s Corner. Here, we climbed the view tower and then settled down on the deck overlooking the fields and sparkling bay with a glass of chardonnay. It ended up being so crisp that we bought a bottle to share later that night.
Once we reached the hiking trails at Wineglass Bay (fitting), we set off hiking a variety of locations. Our first stop along the trail took about 40 minutes to reach and was the Scenic Lookout. It was a good area to see the bay and mountains in their entirety.
After that, we walked about 40 more minutes down what seemed to be an endless staircase leading to the beach. What was more alarming, was seeing people walk back UP the stairs. A few words came to mind: Yikes. No thank you. No leg days. Why. I’d rather walk 10 kilos.
We stuck with the last part. After spending some time lounging in the bay, we took the long way back, an estimated 3 hour hike. However, since we started off in the wrong direction, I suspect it may have been even longer. Never trust a group of tourists with no service or sense of direction.
Even so, I’d prefer the slow and steady walk over those stairs any day. We also saw more sights on this trek, like privates coves, peaceful beaches and some wallabies hopping about. On one of the beaches we even came across a water taxi and though it was tempting, all of our bank accounts gave it a hard pass.
We arrived at the car park just before sunset and rushed down to Honeymoon Bay to catch the end of it. There, some birds watched with us as we ate our post-six–hour-hike dinner (popcorn and carrots–gotta love college).
Since we spotted a campground right on Honeymoon Bay, we left to check it out before it got too dark, but shortly realized it was closed. This ended up being a blessing in disguise, as we ended up at one of the most indescribable places of the entire weekend: Friendly Beach.
As we pulled into the campground, a Tasmanian Devil crossed the path in front of us. After doing a few laps, we finally found an open site and did our best to set up the tent in the dark, which ended up being the least difficult part of the fiasco. None of us could focus because the stars were INSANE- unlike anything I have ever experienced.
We rushed to finish putting up the tent and ran down to the beach with the bottle of wine. Drinking from the bottle and laying on our backs, the universe was literally wrapped around us from each end of the sky. We saw everything from the constellations to the Milky Way to shooting stars. After a while, we noticed an orange glow coming from the end of the ocean that seemed to be growing in size. “It’s a ship!” “It’s a planet!” It was the moon. We literally watched the full, orange, glowing moon rise in front of us as the sun would. This was such a euphoric moment and I will remember it forever.
That night, as we slept in the tent, a thunderstorm rolled in. The wind was shaking our tiny shelter and flashes across the sky were lighting up our site like a Christmas tree. Though it was a bit scary at the time, it’s funny to look back at as we asked each other questions at 3:00AM like, “What if our tent gets struck by lightning?”
In the morning, you best know we ran back along the beach to catch the sunrise, and then headed off onto the last stretch of our journey….well, almost. We left the trunk open as we drove away and were honked at a few times. Then, we were on our way.
Our plan was to catch the ferry from Triabunna to Maria Island, but once we arrived, they informed us that no cars were allowed on the island and the ferry tickets were very costly. So, we walked across the street to Gallery Artspaces for a nice brekky and to figure out a Plan B. The food was delicious and each coffee I had during my weekend in Tasmania was better than the next.
Halfway through our meal, we looked out the window and saw an incredible rainbow; you could honestly see the end of it. Of course, we all squealed and ran outside to get a better look as the locals inside laughed at us. They get rainbows all the time here, so it was nothing new for them. As for Plan B, we decided to head to Port Arthur to see the Remarkable Caves.
Upon arrival, we decided, like many others had, that the view from the trail wasn’t so good as it could be. One by one, we hopped over the fence and climbed down the rocks to get inside of the caves. And they were right……R-E-M-A-R-K-A-B-L-E.
We walked through the caves and out to the beach on the other side before going on one last hike to the Blow Hole. We had no clue what the Blowhole was supposed to be, but were guessing it might be a geyser. The walk was supposed to take an hour and a half roundtrip and was definitely a hike in its purest form.
From squeezing ourselves through the small walkway to climbing over steep hills and even running through a legit sandstorm, we finally arrived at the Blow Hole. Quite honestly, we were a bit disappointed. The Blow Hole was essentially an abyss near the edge of the water. I think that some days, when the sea is rough, water might spew out of the hole, hence where it gets its name.
However, it did no such feat for us. As we were circling it, we noticed rain clouds coming in from the ocean, so we began to run back down the trail to the car. Since we still had some time yet until the car needed to be returned, we took one last stop in a place that reminded me of my hometown.
This was an old-fashioned small town with not much there. It was somewhat historic and we dove into the history by stopping at the Sweets and Treats, a famous candy shop. I enjoyed a waffle on a stick while some others in our group dove into the lavender ice cream.
We walked down to the clock tower that doubled as a church with our sweet treats and said our last goodbyes to Tasmania. Though we made the most of our time and saw many beautiful places, we only had just begun to explore the island. Hopefully I can come back again soon and see the rest of what the Tassies have to offer.