The second half of this 11 – month long adventure is disappearing as snow for the sun*. It seems that the days and months are going a lot quicker now compared to the first six months of our gap-year. We are not stressed out, but we do feel a pressure to go out and discover Tasmania today instead of tomorrow. And thus, our Tassie-bucketlist was born. First on the agenda; go to Maria Island! An Island across the Mercury Passage at the East Coast of Tasmania that was once a penal settlement, an industrial site and a farming community.
Today, The Lonely Planet guide says that Maria Island is a carefree, car-free haven. A top spot for walking, wildlife-watching, cycling, camping and reading a book on the beach. If this doesn’t convince you, then knowing that you can only get there by boat must do the trick. What can be more fun than arriving at the pier of Maria Island chilling on the upper-deck of a yacht, that’s sailing through clear blue water? Correct, nothing.
Upon arrival we made our way to the Darlington campsite, a Unesco World Heritage site. From the start it was clear that this was going to be a weekend amongst the wildlife. We saw wombats, forest kangaroos, wallabies, possums and Cape Barren Geese. We desperately wanted to see a Tasmanian Devil but we’re still waiting for one to pass by our tent and presenting itself. Besides the animals, Maria Island has lots for you to learn about Tasmanian history and beautiful natural vistas with the painted cliffs as a highlight for me. We spent two days just walking around and discovering the island. Going for morning runs to Bishop & Clerk mountain and swimming in the sea afterwards. The motto; ah, this is what life should be, couldn’t be more fitting.
On the practical side of things. The boat towards Maria Island leaves from the town of Triabunna. (And since you’re there, make sure to visit the Gallery Artspaces Café and the nearby second-hand store). Tickets for the ferry can be booked through the Maria Island Ferry website. As the island is a haven for wildlife you must make sure that your food is in a secure and a “possums-can-not-open-this” container. We brought our own, but you can find containers at the ranger station in Darlington. There are no shops on this Island so bring everything you might need. Just keep in mind that you must carry it yourself. At the campsite in Darlington you have a very nice camp kitchen, toilets and warm-water showers. Seriously, long weekend were made for you to go to Maria Island!
When we are not going on trips, we’re hanging around Hobart city. We went to the Hobart Brewing Company to watch Paris-Roubaix together with other cycling-loving Hobartians. Learned about AFL and watched the AFL match between North Melbourne & Carlton with my Uncle Rodger. One of my favourite events that we attended was the Bream Creek Farming show. A Sunday filled with lawn mower races, who grew the biggest pumpkin competition, woodchopping and music. The event took place near the town of Bream Creek (duh) under a beautiful Autumn Sun. We felt very Aussie.
Last but not least we’re also discovering the walking tracks around Mt Wellington. Although, it seems like a lot, there’s still plenty to do and we’re suffering a bit from the disease called, aaah, that’s close by, we will do it next weekend! Just a quick reminder for ourselves that our time here is disappearing as snow for the sun*
*literal translation of the flemish: “als sneeuw voor de zon verdwijnen”
- English equivalents:
- Disappear like a puff of smoke
- Disappear like a shadow in the sunshine