Tasmania Day 10: Hastings Caves

Waking up on a very comfy sofa for the third morning, I was definitely starting to feel as though we should be moving on and seeing the rest of Tasmania before it was time to get back on the ferry, but it wasn’t even half-way through the trip and Roy and Liz really were very nice people to be staying with so we headed off on our second day-trip down south, this time heading to Hastings. Just as I don’t tend to watch films more than once – unless they’re really good – I don’t tend to do something again unless it’s amazing, so I wasn’t overly fussed to be heading to see something I’d already ticked off my list a month earlier – caves – but, the Jenolan Caves had been quite spectacular, so maybe Hastings Caves would be similarly awe-inspiring.

Hastings Caves were certainly impressive, both in scale and beauty, but the tour didn’t stand up against that of the Jenolan Caves, where well-considered music and lighting sequences had taken the show to another level. The thermal springs were a bit dissapointing too, as the water had been channelled into a swimming pool, which was packed with people and noisy kids, so wouldn’t have been very relaxing even if it was warm enough to tempt me to jump in.

Back in Huonville, we’d decided we were definitely going to head off soon, but it was a bit late in the day for making a break so we settled for an evening of gluttonous amounts of fish and chips followed by Watchmen on Blu-Ray: a decent film well worth seeing in Blu-Ray and hearing through Roy’s very capable speakers, that left me missing my sound system back home.

Tasmania Day 9: Tahune Airwalk & Hartz N.P.

After 2 nights sleeping in a proper house we were probably getting a little bit too comfortable with our new-found high-quality living, and it was already getting harder to wake up at a decent time to do anything with our day. Liz worked remotely for her employer in Perth so even she could enjoy a long lie every day before the west-coast working hours caught up with her. Today, she was having some problems connecting to the company through her VPN, so giving me a chance to get some much-needed practice at my profession. Luckily, as I don’t know a huge amount about VPNs, the problem was fairly trivial for me to fix and soon I had another happy customer.

Deciding we should explore some of the coast to the south, Roy drove us down through Geevestown, where we stopped off at the information centre to find out about the Tahune Forest Air-walk, and got lured into a really tasty pie-shop, that I can’t remember the name of, but it’s on the same side of the street as, and very close to, the information centre. I’d already been to the tree-top walk at Walpole, which is basically an aerial walkway through some dense and ancient forest, which gives a great view of the trees, but isn’t something that I’d really bother to do again, so I wasn’t overly excited by the prospect of another walk. Anyway, it turned out to be better than the one at Walpole, partly as it was a much nicer day but also there were more views out of the forest over the Huon River, and there was a really fun part of the walk where the walkway was suspended out towards the river in a dead-end bridge-construction-in-progress fashion, giving a great view and endless possibilities for scaring people with a lot more sense than myself but recruiting people with about as little sense as myself to jump up and down on the edge of the swing-bridge in time and watch fear creep over the faces of the other people as the whole contraption – suspended 20m above the forest floor – bounced and rippled wildly with various creaks and groans to finish off the horror-ride experience.

I think Kevin and Roy were feeling more energetic than me so I tagged along as we did one of the ground-level forest walks, which had a scattering of shaking-bridges that we naturally put as much energy into shaking till we were almost thrown off them. The bridges were so well made that once given a good shaking, it was quite hard to not get to get hit in the face by the all the ripples running along the bridge when you stood still and waited for it to subside.

On the way back out of the park we checked in by a few of the lookouts, including the Big Tree, a name which pretty well sums up the site, save for a few ‘very’s before the name. Hartz Mountains National Park is also accessed from the Tahune Road and I was keen to get a landscape vista fix so we did the fairly winding drive up to Waratah Lookout and did a walk to some quite scenic falls a little further along the road.

Back in Huonville, we gladly accepted yet another night’s board, set going with yet more Baileys and card-games.

Tasmania Day 8: Dossing About Round Huonville

I was a bit surprised to wake up slightly hungover from the meal and pints from last night, so it was yet another slow start to a day for me. My GPS logger had been playing up ever since we got to Tassie and had got to the point where it just wouldn’t stay on unless it was on charge – I’d been relying on it for the past 5 months to help me figure out where all those random out-the-window shots and the likes had been taken when I look back on them later so it was quite annoying to be faced with having to try to make some conscious effort to remember where I take all my photos.

It was a bit of a short visit to Huonville for David, our Israeli cycling friend, as he had to resume his cycle tour today, so we drove back to Hobart with him then took a more scenic drive back down the coast courtesy of Roy. Roy and Liz had been looking for somewhere to build their own home near Huonville so we took a detour up a farm track into a small and secluded valley to check out a site that Roy was keen on getting. Without my GPS working I can even remember exactly where it was..

That was about all we did in what turned into a very cruise-y day, finished up with Kevin and I cooking our hosts a curry for tea, as way of thanks for having us staying with them. Seeing as we hadn’t done much, and there was still plenty to explore south of Huonville, we gladly accepted their offer to stay another night and continue our streak of hot-morning-showers, and settled into a night filled with Baileys, whiskey and yet more shit-head.