2006-10-18 Hobart


Flew down to Hobart, because I wanted to go to Tasmania. I just wanted to. It’s Tasmania…Van Diemens Landt, the bottom of Australia. Hobart is the second oldest city in Australia after Sydney (my layover point).  Hobart is also a windy and turbulent port. We only just took off from Sydney when the Captain warned us of a rough landing. He was right…it was the roughest descent of my life (it trumped a rainy Jetsgo landing that I might have mentioned in an earlier entry). The plane made a couple goes at the runway, pulling up and about facing the first time. The plane regularly dropped a metre like a shot. I was trying to sleep, so I was a bit dazed by it…and I am much less nervous flyer on a landing…land is in sight and going down is the intention.


I was trying to sleep on this late flight, because I wasn’t going to sleep anywhere in Hobart. I was going to tour the city from midnight on, since I was traversing the State (the only State that you can traverse in such a short time) to ferry back to the mainland. Hobart is a great place, but not so great in a windy middle of the night. I went to the casino (which closes at 2am) ever so briefly before heading out to discover what little is open at night, but otherwise quite happy to do my wandering in windy solitude. The sunrise brought a fresh face to the city and the most fabulous breakfast at this bakery/café in Battery Point. The Lonely Planet’s raving about the place was quite justified! Happily filled and exhausted I boarded the bus to Launceston, and unsurprisingly slept the whole way.


2006-10-19 Launceston


Passed through colonial Launceston on the way to the ferry. Had a lengthy layover that allowed me to wander the streets and go to a not so deep, but nonetheless dramatic gorge. At an inner opening was a less than secure chairlift (no restraining bar) from one side to another and some very Victorian pavilions.


2006-10-19 Devenport


The Spirit of Tasmania is an old Greek ferry (some of the signs were still hanging or partially covered up). The pool and hot tub were converted to a dance floor in the uppermost deck which was glassed in. The wind explained why the Greek experience would not be replicated. The boat had a fairly fancy interior, but I was consigned to the cruise seats (cheap traveller me), and one of the most uncomfortable nights of my life. Rarely do I relish getting up at 4:30am in the morning, but I did this time. Alas the shower heads in the deckboard (and not very private) showers had been removed. I did have a nice breakfast in the restaurant as the sun rose over the Bass Straight.