Tasmania

From the 4th to the 9th of January we had nothing planned and one of the other wedding guests was planning to spend some time in Tasmania and convinced us to join her. So we booked ourselves a flight in a tiny plane and flew there on the 5th. None of us had realiaed how big Tasmania is, though! Jamie managed to book us a car from Devonport airport (about 45mins from where we landed) since no car was available in Burnie Wynyard. Unfortunately, the sandwich Oscar and I shared at Melbourne airport before leaving didn’t agree with me and I started throwing up the moment we landed. So while we tried to make our way to Devonport via public buses (with help from friendly bus drivers), I was holding on to a plastic bag…
Once we got the car, we picked up some groceries and asked the Google Oracle for the best way to Corinna Wilderness Experience – the place Jamie had booked. It looked beautiful. They were expecting us that evening, there was an extra set of bedding in the room and we couldn’t wait.
So we set out on our 4 hour drive (told you Tasmania is big), me in the backseat still with a plastic bag. It was starting to get dark as we drove and since our road went mainly through forest, Oscar had some fun doing the wallaby/ possum/ Tasmanian devil slalom to try to avoid all the animals who leisurely strolled into the road.
Now here’s where we should have checked the route before setting off. Because when, after hours of driving though nothing but forest, we finally saw the lights of the place – we were on the other side of the river. There was a barge to take you over… But it had stopped operating at 7pm and it was now 11pm. Faced with a 5 hour drive to go back on ourselves and down the road that didn’t involve having to cross a river, we did the sensible thing and slept in our tiny hire car. Oscar wasn’t very convinced (according to him, we would definitely be attacked by snakes crawling into the engine and then coming into the cabin when we started the car the next morning) but he also managed. And then at 9am the next morning we could finally set over and go into our cabin and sleep some more :).


There was no TV, no internet, no mobile phone network and a whole lot of forest. I LOVED it. We did a bit of hiking the first day, rented canoes the second day, hiked some more the day after, cooked and played cards in the evenings (Oscar won overall, but Jamie did well). We were seriously lucky with the weather (warm and sunny every day – apparently that doesn’t usually happen) and if you’re interested in a lot of pictures of trees, this is for you: https://goo.gl/photos/EL8JU3qjAzws82Wi8.

Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island

​Well. It’s been a while and I still haven’t managed to write any more… This travelling life is tough ;). There are very few days where you just do nothing (we’ve done one so far, about a week ago. It was definitely needed!). So I’ve decided to be more efficient and start writing up stuff when we’re on the bus – we’ve been on a few 14 to 16 hour bus journeys already, but since we go overnight I usually sleep… No more! 🙂
So I’ll start where I left off.

 

Lots of people (and the interwebs) recommended that we do a Great Ocean Road tour while we’re in Melbourne, so we signed up for a day trip on New Year’s Eve. We went all the way to the Twelve Apostles (rock formations in the sea) and then made our way back. The landscape was stunning – very glad we went when we had the chance! Picture upload is really slow but here’s a link to Google Photos if anyone wants to see more!

https://goo.gl/photos/LhuVLoxRMq3ZeCpG6

 


Two days later we went on another tour to Phillip Island to watch the penguin parade – around 9pm each night, groups of little penguins make their way across the beach to their sleeping places in the dunes. Loads of people watch it every night (they’ve built two ranks of seats and you can even get VIP tickets for those with the best view!).

On the way to the penguins we stopped at a sanctuary to see koalas, kanguroos, wallabies, wombats, Tasmanian devils… Again, loads of pictures but slow to upload. See photo dump here 🙂

https://goo.gl/photos/2yeKRtyb1waryPiLA
We also saw another amazing migration of animals a few days later, from the roof terrace of one of Oscar’s friends: thousands of big bats flying from their sleeping park to the Botanical  Garden for dinner.
And in case you haven’t fallen asleep yet (looking at other people’s holiday snaps does that to me sometimes), here are the Melbourne photos: https://goo.gl/photos/qiNcr3F9Qw2ChjWD7

Melbourne

First of all, Happy New Year everyone!

We’re having a bit of a lazy day today, first one since we got here, so I thought I’ll make a start on this…

Melbourne has been really good fun so far. We arrived in the evening of Christmas Day and it was really warm – 36 degrees or so. We met some of the guys for a beer and then just headed to bed – jet lag wasn’t too bad at all after that.

Since we had a few days before the wedding, we spent some time discovering Melbourne – we went to the beach at St Kilda…

…walked through the Botanical Garden…

watched a football match (Melbourne Victory vs Perth Glory)….

…and generally wandered around.

Then of course, there was the wedding – in a beautiful Botanic Park. It was absolutely pouring it down early on, but cleared up in the afternoon. And anyway, who cares about rain? It was great fun.

On the day after the wedding, we all moved into a big villa by the beach booked by the bride and groom – it’s huge, can’t believe people actually live in something like this!

So this is where we saw in 2017. Before that, we went on a tour on the Great Ocean Road, which was amazing – pictures will follow. And tomorrow we’re going to see penguins on Philip Island. And then we still have a few days before heading off to Doha for a day… We’re still deciding what to do!