In my quest to get up quietly and not wake my roommates I hauled my bag and belongings into the hall to pack in the light. In my usual pack and move routine, which I have now got down to a speedy art, in 'pack' mode rather than 'planning for day' mode, not thinking, my hoody, newly acquired $3 fleece, body warmer AND waterproof jacket ended up in my big backpack… Picked up first for my 6 day tour, there was no way I was finding them after everybody got in. It a beautiful morning, I hoped that the 4 layers I had on would be ok…
The sun rising as we left Hobart it being Anzac Day our guide informed us of its significance. For those that don't know the 25th April is a day of remembrance for Australian and New Zealand troops who have served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. Driving west through Tasmania we passed many a mountain and small glass like lakes. Having just posted about contrast, the island is a perfect example. Past Badger Creek in Healesville, it marks the site of the release of the first salmon and trout eggs into the Southern Hemisphere. A beautiful landscape, spying stringy bark, radiata pine trees and popla trees I was reminded of my volunteering weeks. Taken to the tall trees walk in Mt Field, slowly meandering around with a German boy called Markus, I encountered my first pademelon. Getting wet near Horseshoe and Russell falls, they have impressively carved the landscape. Stopping at Tarraleah lookout it was hard not to miss the huge concrete pipes that supply the hydro electric power to the island. After lunch at Sinclair Lake with pictures taken off 'diving board lookout', we headed to Queenstown.
Mulling things over, having booked the same hostel on return to Hobart on Wednesday counting the days up on my fingers I realised the tour actually finishes on Tuesday…! With an extra day to play with (to perhaps find some penguins) with the heavens opening and depositing the most impressive rain I have seen in Australia yet (though Scotland could give it a good run for its money), taking my computer out to blog (my new rules don't apply if I can't actually see anything out the window!) rereading what I had written yesterday – I certainly do remember why I wanted to head north! Whilst I'm sure Tasmania is amazing to wwoof in, especially on a beautiful sunny crisp day, at this juncture, after all that indecision, I am going to follow my original plan. Informed by my host in northern territory that it is cooling down to 32 degrees, another change of latitude is definitely imminent.
Arriving into Queenstown, with the mountainous background it was hard not to compare it to the New Zealand one of the same name. The street art reminding me I am still in Australia, I found some interesting benches. The sun setting, it was dark by the time we reached Strahan. An inside bbq for dinner, our first evening was spent with cultural exchanges. With a compliment of Japanese, Swiss, Finnish, Polish, German, American, Australian, Taiwanese within the 16 person group, I learnt about Aaas and Ohhhhs for Japan, some Worldwide variations of bull shit and shared information on Scotland's geographic location, the difference between GB and UK and of Scottish independence. Once again learning of UK news by nations other than my own, I hear we are sending Bonnie Tyler to Eurovision…?! Engelbert last year and Bonnie this year? What on earth is going on? With a lovely evening laughing my socks off, I am looking forward to the next couple of days. Now just to learn everybody's name…!