In the middle of June I flew to Hobart with two awesome photographer friends Amanda & Tess to attend The Event. It was run by the AIPP and Nikon and was such an amazing four days jam packed with inspirational speakers from all over the world. I learned so so much at The Event and met so many great photographers! I definitely want to go again next year too!
I was really lucky because after The Event when most people were flying back home, I stayed on and waited for my hubby Dan to arrive in Hobart too. We have always wanted to see Tasmania properly so decided to take advantage of the fact that I would already be there. When Dan arrived we spent a couple more days in Hobart in a stately National Trust mansion that was built in 1874 that has since been converted into an amazing boutique hotel called Lenna of Hobart. It's located in Battery point, right at the start of Salamanca Place and looks out over the city and Mount Wellington.
Our time in Hobart also coincided with Dark Mofo which is the Museum of Old and New Art's winter festival, celebrating the dark through large-scale public art, food, music, light and noise. It was crazy awesome! Just down the road from our hotel they had the massive winter feast which featured eateries from Salamanca and local produce from the Hobart area. And the light and sound displays were out of this world!
Night two in Hobart found us heading out to find the the Spectra. The Spectra is a massive scale light and sound installation consisting of 49 custom-made xenon searchlights arranged in a seven-by-seven metre grid pointing skyward. It forms a monumental column of light that points endlessly into the night sky. Standing within it was eerie. The beaming sounds made us feel like we were in the middle of an X-files style alien abduction. lol! It was very cool. I really found it interesting how fascinated people were within it. No one wanted to leave. It was always full of people waiting and watching as if something unforeseen was about to happen.
Hobart has so much to offer during the day too. We couldn't come to Tasmania without taking the gorgeous ferry ride out to the world famous MONA! So we stopped into Daci & Daci Bakery to pick up a coffee and something extremely naughty and waited for the ferry to take us out to MONA. The ferry ride alone was worth the trip to see just how stunning Hobart really is.
On our last morning in Hobart we rented a car so that we could begin our driving tour of the Tasmania. We had to say goodbye to Hobart properly and we couldn't think of any better way than to check out the Salamanca Markets and then take a drive up to the top of Mount Wellington. The drive up there was so scary. Thin roads covered with ice that could barely fit one car either side, with massive cliff faces and no barriers. But we made it to the top just in time to see the tail end of a snow storm dithering off into the distance.
Our first stop on our trip up the coast was a beautiful little beach that we spotted from the "highway". I use the word highway very reluctantly, as the road wasn't much different to the road going up Mount Wellington. I just love the little hidden patches of complete beauty in Tasmania. We found this beach on our way up the Freycinet coast. The only thing that stopped me from thinking I was in some Tropical paradise was the -3 degree temperature!
One afternoon went for a little mini hike up to see Wine Glass Bay. It was definitely beautiful, but i think Coles bay was better. Actually I think I liked the little friends we made along the way the most! :)
While on the Freycinet coast we found the cutest little B&B to stay at in Swansea. Wagners Cottage Estate features original, restored 1850's cottages made using local stone and Oyster Bay pine. The entire estate is surrounded by the original 4-hectare dry stone wall constructed by the Wagner family during the 1860s. We stayed in the old stable which was converted into a studio cottage which had it's own private garden and vegetable patch. You would have never known it was an old stable. Especially as it had heated bathroom floor tiles! Something I think I have to invest in for Canberra winters! I think I like staying in these quirky places far more than 5 star hotels. We felt so welcome as soon as we arrived. We were greeted by the lovely owner who ran down the drive way to say hello and show us around. She had even baked us fresh bread and muffins, and had hidden little goodies all over the studio for us to find.
After our time in Swansea & Freycinet we packed the car again and headed north west (via a few vineyards) to make our way to Launceston. Launceston was completely different to what I expected. At the time I don't think I really appreciated just how raw and beautiful it was. I look back over my pictures from here and feel like they were taken in a coastal American fishing town. I loved the 1970's style coloured houses that dotted the hill overlooking the Tamar river.
Driving through the midland small towns in Tasmania was also so much fun! After we left Launceston we were heading towards Cradle Mountain, when all of a sudden we found ourselves in the very English feeling town of Westbury. And in Westbury, we found a real life MAZE!!!!
So to finish off our trip we decided to relax in style at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge. Well, I say "relax" when really I mean "recover" from our massive all-day hiking adventure through Cradle Mountain National Park and it's ice, snow, wind, rain, frozen lakes and well well well below 0 temps. It was all completely worth it though as the whole Cradle Mountain area has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. It was also really great to spend some time alone with Dan, with no distractions or interruptions from the outside world. Just us and the mountains! ( No 3G at Cradle Mountain apart from strangely at the very top of summit lol ) I always knew Dan wasn't great with heights, but it wasn't until we were half way up the steep and rocky chain climb to Marion's Lookout that I fully understood just how not great! He'll probably kill me for saying so, but hey we can all laugh about it now! :P
If you are thinking about going to Tasmania I would definitely say YES! You need to go there right now! It's such an amazing place, with so many climates and cultures and unique wildlife all on one tiny island. We didn't have time to see the west coast, but we are pretty certain we will be going back! Even if it is only for the cute little Paddymelons, Tazzy Devils and Quolls!!