Tasmania is a place I knew so little about. I knew I wanted to visit the island and I knew my parents agreed. (James Boag’s beer advertisements could only do so much to paint a picture of Tasmania.) So off we went to learn more and explore the unexpected.
Tassie (Tasmania) is wild.
It’s a big place and travel times were more than I anticipated. However, the drives couldn’t be more scenic.
We saw Tasmanian Devils at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Since a facial cancer has wiped out almost 90% of the wild population of devils (the cancer is highly contagious since the devils’ DNA is so similar), visiting a wildlife sanctuary may be your only chance to spot one. The current 30 year environmental plan is to breed the animals in captivity, allowing the cancer to wipe out the wild population entirely and then re-release the animals. Interesting? I thought so. Find out more here.
We explored Freycinet National Park and traversed rocky cliffs during an unexpectedly tough hike (especially with a 2 year old strapped to my back) to beautiful Wineglass Bay. Wallabies and bush-tailed possums abound.
We consumed our fair share of local oysters, scallops and seafood. (And just missed a pair of orcas in Bicheno.)
We visited Port Arthur, a historical site with a spooky prison past.
Tassie is woolly.
Around every turn and over every hill we saw sheep. White sheep, black sheep, merino sheep, big sheep, small sheep, baby sheep, sleeping sheep, running sheep. Thousands of grass munching sheep.
So many sheep lead to so many questions. How much wool does one sheep produce? How long do they allow the sheep to graze in one field before herding them to another? How dirty do they allow a sheep’s wool to become? Does shearing the sheep harm it in any way? Can my mom, a knitter, get a sheep and cut her wool expenses?
Australia produces about 30% of the world’s wool. Interesting? Again, I thought so. We learned more by visiting the Tasmanian Wool Centre in Ross, a quaint, historic town in the middle of Tasmania.
Wild and woolly Tassie was unexpected but became oddly familiar with recognizable small towns, gorgeous Aussie coastlines, kookaburras perched on wires and friendly neighbors willing to share an anecdote of their familiar home, Tasmania.
We stayed: Freycinet Lodge, Freycinet National Park
We ate: Sea Life Centre, Bicheno
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