I’ve procrastinated visiting Tasmania. While the isle to the south of Australia has been high on my ‘places to visit’ list for many years now, particularly now I’m living in Melbourne, it’s so close that part of me questions “why visit now when I can save it for when I don’t want to make the long-haul flights to Europe, the Americas or even Africa.
Last month I was, very kindly, invited to take part in a road trip around Tasmania’s north-east coast, famed as one of Australia’s best drives. I expected beauty, quirkiness, and a casual coolness but what I wasn’t prepared for was the people, dramatic landscapes and just how much fun could be had in three-days in Tasmania.
Here are just a few of the snapshots to my road trip to north-eastern Tasmania as seen through Instagram.
The interactive Queen Victoria Museum & Art Galley (QVMAG) in Launceston is a must stop on any trip, particularly a rainy day.
Outside, the abandoned train tracks have not been ripped up but are incorporated into the planning of the park and parking; a beautiful sight with the autumn leaves caught between the pylons.
I found a beautiful romantic enclave at the Red Feather Inn, just outside of Launceston. Enjoy the ambiance, take a cooking class or eat the the delicious restaurant. (Click to read my accommodation review!)
I love places that choose to focus on great food in a homely cosy environment focusing heavily on local produce, including sourced from the Inn and Chef’s gardens. This is exactly what I found at the Red Feather Inn restaurant and would highly recommend it to both people staying or wanting a quality dining experience.
Setting out the next morning the blue sky was trying to drive away the rain clouds of yesterday.
As you drive out of Launceston towards Perth, pass by the large round-about, you might notice big steel sunflowers rising from a paddock or letters spelling out motivational phrases. These aren’t there by mistake, they’ve been placed as life affirmation and for suicide awareness after the properties owner son died.
The words change every month or so but the message remains.
Sunset was quickly fading as I drove through Avoca, Tasmania, but $1 pies and a walk to this beautiful church atop the towns hill was worth arriving in my next destination past nightfall.
Buttery fields of golden plants, the blue lank in the distance and a single green tree adding colour to the otherwise duel coloured landscape. No filter necessary – Tasmania, why are you so beautiful?!
A local secret, Entally Estate gives visitors a glimpse of life in the 18th Century. My favourite stop? Not the gardens, house or even chapel; it was a stop in the garages where this gorgeous penny-farthing bicycle was stored.
I got off the path main road at Mt Pearson State Reserve, but it was worth it when I came across a private patch of water all to myself, until I stepped in it the water was a perfect mirror of the sky.
As the rainclouds threatened overhead I was thankful for a few minutes of tranquility along the white sanded beaches at the Bay of Fires – just me, the waves crashing and the smell of salt water.
Though named after the Aboriginal peoples fires on the beach, that Captain Tobias Furneaux saw in 1773, many people think it’s for the orange hues within the rocks, some boldly displayed like tiger stripes and others just subtle. This is in fact a trick from the orange-hued granite, a deep contrast against the white sands and blue waters featured all along the Bay of Fires.
Lining the sides of many of the inland roads in Tasmania were dairy cows. They seemed to be everywhere. Every time I pulled over to take a photo of them they seemed to huddle together and I worried that they were scared of me.
When I stopped to take photos of these cows their farmer approached me as I started to back away when they began mooing loudly. “They like having their photo taken,” he said. “What did you say, sorry,” I asked as I crossed the road to him. “Those there cows like having their photos taken. They’re talking and posing for you,” a smile crept across his face as he brushed his hand on his jeans.
Unsealed, unpaved sandy roads in the rain. Not exactly the thing I wanted to experience in the rain as the car fish-tailed a little as I round each bend. It was Saturday and no people could be found on the road.. Except this little guy telling us to slow down and be careful.
Small on price, big on value; if you want a burger in Launceston then Flip Burgers small diner/drive-thru is the place to go! (Thanks to Cyndal for this tip!)
I think I could do a post solely dedicated to cool country post boxes. This butterfly adds a touch of kitsch to welcome visitor to their homes.
A cute cow mailbox!
Another random Tasmanian road-side postbox sighting. This time of a rather creepy Humpty Dumpty… or perhaps his plastic brother, I’m not sure.
When driving around Tasmania you can’t help but stop by the side of the road to gawk at the beauty of the landscapes that surround you. So similar yet so different around every turn. A dramatic sunset always helps.
A must stop is at The Sideling Lookout on your drive back into Launceston from Scottsdale.
Another road side stop, I spotted this tiny ramshackle shed on the side of the road.
Planted in 1918, a memorial to the friends and family of local fallen WWI soldiers, an avenue of trees were planted – one for each man, one for Gallipoli and one for the ANZAC’s – a tribute to these men. In 1999, the trees were declared unsafe and the stumps turned into lasting pieces of art by a famed Tasmanian chainsaw carver. While this isn’t one of the Legerwood memorial trees, the area does show off an impressive number of wood carvings roadside. This one depicting a man, woman and his dog.
Though trains no longer run in this area, it’s nice to appreciate them and wonder where the tracks lead to.
Even after harvest, the rows of lavender at Bridestowe Estate are gorgeous; so enjoy the curving rows, rising along the estates hills to create natural water run-offs, preferably with a lavender ice cream in hand.
No number of photos could do justice to the beauty of Bridestowe Estate’s Lavender farm, even when the lavender is not in bloom.
So this happened. Lavender Ice Cream – creamy, slightly sweet and so perfect for this warm Autumn Tasmanian day. While the lavender flowers aren’t blooming – that’s December to early January – there’s still plenty to see, do and eat at Bridestowe Estate Lavender Farm. Be sure to check out how many different ways you can cook with lavender!
I missed my flight back to Melbourne – whoops! Thankfully Virgin Australia was offering an extra flight because of the V8 racing in Launceston that weekend so while I waited 3hrs I ate the leftover Lavender fudge from Bridestowe Estate Lavender Farm, yum!!
Now it’s over to you:
Which place in north-eastern Tasmania would you most like to visit?
My trip to Tasmania was arranged by Tourism Tasmania,
part of their Go Behind the Scenery campaign.
All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.