Mahalo! Or should I say g’day mate? (I am clearly confused)
It’s been a while! And to avoid saying things that are repetitive I intend to just start and go with the flow (in terms of posting in this blog).
I know I still owe y’all some travel posts.. I have been to quite some places after my last [TRAVEL] updates but hopefully I’ll get around to it.
Now! *claps hands together* Shall we start? Our latest destination was in Australia, where we covered Tasmania and Melbourne. But I will break the itinerary into two separate posts for convenience.
So, Tasmania! When was the last time you heard of someone going there? Almost 0%, I can bet. It’s not a very touristy spot compared to other states/territories in Australia like Sydney or Perth or Gold Coast.
Actually it was a pretty “disappointing” story that lead up to our trip to Australia…
(Please skip to Day 1 for the start of the itinerary)
Initially we had booked a ticket to New Zealand with AirAsia (a year prior to departure date because it was RM1000 per head so it was super cheap and had to be grabbed and so we did excitedly because that is our ultimate bucket list place to travel) (try reading this is one breath). A YEAR prior guys, please understand how excited we were.
Alas, Allah had different plans for us. We received an email from AirAsia saying that they no longer fly to New Zealand and gave us two options: 1) Full Refund 2) Reroute to Melbourne or Sydney.
I would want to rant my disappointment and anger but that’s not the point of this post so I’ll skip.
We decided to choose Melbourne because we had gone to Sydney the year before (yes, will do another blog post as well). SOOOOO we had to make do with what we have, suck it up and just deal with it.
Nazeef and I decided we would go to another possible travel spot other than Melbourne because frankly, to spend nine days in Melbourne is a little too long. We really wanted to maximize our time there. Initially we wanted to go to Gold Coast because of the theme parks but the price of the domestic flight tickets was quite expensive. So we checked the map and looked for alternatives. We then came across Tasmania – which was only an hour away by air from Melbourne and also inexpensive.
Tasmania is known as the “love child” of New Zealand and Australia, due to its location. Because it is often unheard of for people to visit Tasmania for holidays (for Malaysians), I see it as a “different country”. It is a small island just south of the main island of Australia – which means most of the terrains are still preserved and offer such beautiful landscapes and natural wonders.
So we curated an itinerary to Tasmania – and safe to say it was the best decision!
We arrived in Avalon airport at 9:25 AM. We had already bought flight tickets to Launcheston, Tasmania prior, to avoid wasting time. The only problem was, there weren’t any available domestic flights to Tasmania from Avalon.
So we arranged for a van to pick us up at Avalon airport to send us straight to Tullamarine airport.
Taxi company: Taxi Hire Melbourne
Fits: 9 people, 4 big luggage and 3 hand carry
Duration: 45 minutes
Price: 140 AUD
We arrived at Tullamarine airport around 11:30 AM and stowed 2 big pieces of luggage at the storage locker. Details for the storage locker can be found here.
After a one hour flight, we finally arrived in TASMANIA!
We took our rental cars from AVIS and drove straight to our Airbnb because gurrrrrl it was one helluva tiring trip all the way from Malaysia!
We loved our Airbnb because it was so modern and the space was comfortable enough to fit 9 people. There were quite a few Airbnbs to choose from but this one fits our price range, location, and space. Sorry we didn’t take a lot of photos but if you’re interested to know where, please drop me a comment!
Everyone chilled for about an hour before heading out to our very first adventure in Tassie!
This reserve is known as a rare natural formation within a city. It is ultimately breathtaking, and it felt as though I gave birth to a new pair of lungs just by being here. Lush greeneries with picturesque scenery AND! super cute wildlife just chilling. I can just gomol (not sure what’s the English-equivalent term for this word) them, if only it was allowed to (also if I would be fast enough to catch them!)
I would really suggest taking the chairlift up the cliff. Please don’t skip this, even if you are afraid of heights! I promise you, it will make you forget that you’re Acrophobic haha. We didn’t take the roundtrip up the cliff on the chairlift because we decided to take a walk and stop by the Alexandria Suspension Bridge.
It was only a 15 minutes walk from the cliff to the starting point and there were many stopping points along the way. We were there near dusk so it was the perfect time to encounter wildlife animals! We came across wallabies and peacocks who were randomly roaming around the reserve.
Entrance fee: FREE
Opening hours: Open 9AM – Close 5:00PM
Price for chairlift : Adult = $16 (RM46) ; Children = $10 (RM29)
And that concludes our first day! Of course not without a trip into the city to find Halal kebab joint.
It was an hour journey from our Airbnb to Bridestowe. It didn’t feel like it was a long drive because it was absolutely scenic – you could see sheeps, cows, horses scattered everywhere because of the landscape. It was also quite gloomy, and it reminded me of a scene from Wuthering Heights.
To be honest, the perfect time to come here is during Summer, when they are in full bloom. Check out how it should look like in Summer:
- photo from Google
But!!! As we mentioned, we had to make do with what we have due to the last minute change in our destination. Obviously I would have wanted to come when the flowers are fully bloomed.
Anyhow. We went anyway (bear in mind we were there during Autumn) but it was still a beautiful sight even without the flowers. You can just see neat rows of lavender trees that seem to wander off into nothingness – which became the perfect spot for #OOTD.
The other attraction here is the Lavender Ice Cream. I personally am not a fan of lavender’s smell so I shivered at the thought of tasting it. It turned out tasting exquisitely yummy! Totally recommended! Thy also have other lavender delectable such as lavender scones, cupcakes, tea and etc. Of course it would not be complete without a gift shop and thought it was quite cute that almost everything was made out of lavender – lavender soap, lavender potpourri, lavender scent sticks, purple lavender sweatshirt and the list goes on!
Entrance fee: FREE
Parking: Accessible and free
Little Blue Lake
Our next destination was this.. remote lake that’s almost off the earth grid. Nazeef and I discovered it by accident while browsing through some people’s trip to Tasmania.
Just a note though, it was quite impossible to get reception outside of cities in Tasmania. We brought two pocket wifi (one for emergency) and yet there were still moments when we lost connectivity. In the middle of the way, there was no connection and our Waze stopped functioning *cries in panic*.
We also made random pit stops by the side of the road to check out cows. And sheeps. Y’know, just for fun ‘cuz we don’t have them in Malaysia.
It was a funny story leading up to our arrival. 1) Waze wasn’t working so we resorted to Google Maps instead. 2) Google Maps brought us to a road (not even a proper road) that was BUMPY, ROUGH and UNSUITABLE for our cars. We braved through it although slowly.. and reached to an empty spot. We went out of the car, fuming but then realized that the lake was on the other side. I mean we could see it but there wasn’t any route to access it.
So we decided to turn around and followed our gut feeling HOPING that we would eventually come across the right entrance.
Lo and behold, we did find the right entrance! Funnily enough, it was just a small clearing overlooking the lake. And it was a smaller lake than the one we saw earlier.
But the lake was gorgeous nevertheless. The water is strikingly turquoise and crystal clear – like you can literally see the bottom of the lake. The colour is as such resulted from alluvial tin mining. But don’t go swimming in it tho because the water is highly contaminated with toxic heavy metals. There were several warning signs around the area so please pay heed to it.
Entrance fee: FREE
Parking: Available and free but not ample
Address: (Including this because apparently there are several other lakes with the same name) 1753 Gladstone Rd, South Mount Cameron TAS 7264, Australia.
And off we go to Hobart next! The northern to southern drive took us almost four hours because internet wasn’t available and we had to use the longer route. Mind you, the highway isn’t as straightforward as our own Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan okay, one wrong turn and you’d prolly end up on some heinous-looking route in the middle of the jungle (which was what happened to us).
And! I forgot to mention that the rate roadkill in Tassie is off the charts – like literally you can see dead bodies by the side of the road 😦
One of the country roads we passed by had no street lights, so both Nazeef and I were perked up sitting on the edge of our seats just to make sure we don’t hit any animals. There was one time Nazeef said he saw a big “bear” scurrying through, but it was probably a Tasmanian Devil 🙂
We arrived Hobart at around 9PM and headed straight to our Airbnb to rest after a long day.
Early day for all of us! Left the house at 7:45AM towards Kettering Ferry Terminal to catch the ferry into Bruny Island.
Bruny Island is a small island located off the southern-eastern coast of Tasmania. It actually looks like two islands with North and South Bruny separated by a narrow strip called “The Neck”. One of the many delicious local produce includes oysters (which was crazy huge and juicy ya ampun).
You have the option to drive into Bruny Island yourself but you would need to pay for the ferry ride (probably costs around 30AUD per car). We took the package with Bruny Island Cruise which included the ferry ride fee.
After parking at Oyster Cove Marina, we embarked on the tour bus provided and got on the ferry.
We had a quick pitstop at The Neck Lookout. You need to climb on several flights of stairs to the lookout but phew! It was absolutely stunning! You could almost see the whole of Bruny Island from the top. I will let pictures do the blogging.
Bruny Island Cruise
So we got on the ferry (boat?), wore our lifejackets and sat anxiously for our adventure. We had never gone on any tours like this (except for the Dolphin watching in Sydney but it was different because the boat we got on then was bigger and even an indoor seating area) so we were really excited!
Well, that was before the boat started to move.
I have always known that I get sick easily on the airplane, but I didn’t expect it to be the same on a boat. So as extra precaution I took two anti-nauseous pills that the tour guide provided (it was a Blackmores ginger pill) and I thought it was all set.
The boat moved quite fast, wading through the vast blue ocean. Weather was on our side that day as it was sunny, and the ocean was calm. The tour guides brought us to a few natural wonders. So the first few stops I was still okay. Still all smiles and still able to take selfies and pictures. And then I made the mistake of standing up while the boat was immobile. The strong ocean waves made the boat sway rhythmically – not rocking, just gentle sways – but that was what triggered my seasick.
I felt nauseous and immediately slugged to my seat. That was the start of my nightmare.
It was such a strong feeling, like I could feel a balloon expanding behind my throat. I tried to fight the motion by resting my head and closing my eyes, but every time the boat stops and starts swaying again, it became worse. One of the tour guides asked me if I was okay but I shook my head and said I was fine.
This is a little bit gross but there were several times where I had actually puked in my mouth AND SWALLOWED IT BACK. YES. I’M SORRY. IT’S DISGUSTING. But y’all have to know. So you can imagine the pain I was in.
I suppose I turned a little bit green which made the tour guide pull me out and asked me to stand at the back of the boat (where supposedly is the best place to avoid feeling nauseous). There were already a few people who shared the same fate as I did haha. So I stood at the back of the boat and was given a small plastic tube to puke my misery into.
Needless to say, the excitement lasted only an hour for me. The remaining two hours was just me puking all the way (even changed plastic tubes) and wishing that the tour would stop AT EVERY MINUTE. I couldn’t even appreciate whatever nature has to present for me anymore. I was so tired, so weak and… felt so pathetic haha.
So that was the sad story of mine. But don’t let it deter you from going for this cruise because it really does give you such a unique experience. It’s like watching National Geography, only it’s real. You get close up shots of seals just chilling by the rocks, cliff faces, deep sea caves, albatross etc and they are stunning (I know because I watched videos and photos from Nazeef’s phone and camera after).
Give it a try (if you don’t have mal de mar), I mean where else can you enjoy the wilderness of the rugged coast?
Tour company: Bruny Island Cruise
Price: 1090 AUD for 9 people including 1 infant
I recovered as soon as I hit shore, don’t worry guys. Even had an oyster before leaving Bruny Island.
The tour ended at 4:30PM so we arrived on the main island by 5:00PM. We got on the car and headed straight to Mount Wellington. The weather changed drastically by afternoon and it was already cloudy by the time we reached our car. Dark, heavy clouds hang low and looked like it was going to rain.
Please do check road closures and weather conditions before driving to the summit. It is a 20 minutes’ drive from Hobart CBD and the road is winding so drive carefully. Mount Wellington isn’t located in a National Park but you will go through cool (although eerie) forests on the way up.
This is going to be another funny story though. We reached the pinnacle at about 6PM so it was already dark and there weren’t many cars. From the car, everything looked still but once we stepped out, I swear to God, I was nearly blown away by the wind!
The wind was harsh and strong and FREEZING. We trudged against the wind and made our way into the observatory to enjoy the view of Hobart from 4,170 ft above sea level. We even ran outside for a bit to take closer and clearer photos of the view.
It only took us 15 minutes to wander around the peak because we didn’t want to be blown away like kites.
Entrance fee: FREE
Opening hours: None
Fun fact: There’s free WiFi at the peak!
We checked out of our Airbnb and took a walk at Hobart’s CBD to look for souvenirs. Hobart somehow felt livelier than Launcheston in my opinion. It felt more like a city here. They had many cute shops – we even went to Salamanca market but it was closed on week days. But there were other shops so we scoured to buy a few memorabilia before we leave for the airport.
We drove back to Launcheston to catch our flight back to Melbourne. And then we bid farewell to Tasmania!
I honestly loved Tasmania. There are a few other places to visit here that we couldn’t go to, and they are more suited for solo travellers (or without children). There are a few hikes that could lead you to unscathed beauty such as waterfalls, sparkling blue bays.. we’d love to go but have to forgo because it wouldn’t have suited our family-friendly travel guidelines.
So I’d totally recommend giving Tassie a visit. Also, it’s not crowded with tourists at all, which is a plus point. Hopefully this itinerary could be beneficial to y’all in any way!