Monday, August 2, 2010

Tasmania, Day Three

Sorry for the delay in the rest of this trip. Without further delay...

Tasmania really is the closest thing to NZ that I've seen anywhere.

These are some of the scenes that we saw on our rainy drive to the Cradle Mountain World Heritage Site. Going on a hike at Cradle Mountain was more or less the only firm thing that we had on our list while in Tasmania, so we were pretty unhappy with the weather for the day. After much discussion while driving, we decided to make a loop out of the northwest part of the state, and only go to the Tasmanian devil center at Cradle on Saturday, and loop back around on Sunday and take our chances on the weather (spoiler alert: good decision).

On the way in, we saw a spotted tail quoll. We had never heard of them before, but it turns out that they are another carnivorous marsupial.

It turns out, Tasmanian devils are pretty cute little guys, despite their reputation. What we gathered from our guide was that it was largely a problem of ignorance and religion from the 1800s. No way. Anyway, here are some photos. Obviously, they are a little tame, being in captivity and all.

They'll still eat your braided beard.

In all seriousness though, the mission of the center is education, and they do a great job of it. I'd recommend a stop if you ever find yourself in the neighborhood.

Onward we go, cruising through the hills to Devonport for lunch. This is the town where the ferry to Melbourne leaves from, but other than that, pretty quiet, so we motored down the way to Burnie, where we went to the Hellyer Road Distillery. Reasonably good whiskey. Not really my brand, it turns out, but a solid product. Sort of an uppity place, but in the sunshine, they would have a great view out the back.

At this point, it's pouring, so we hang out a while and sample the product a bit before moving on. The weather started to break a bit, so we opted to skip the cheese factory right next door and head out to Rocky Cape National Park.

Good call. We got some very interesting evening skies between the sun going down and the clouds. You can see all the way to Stanley, and a geographic feature called The Nut.

There was a cool lighthouse, but we didn't stick around to see it come on.

We went on to Wynyard for the evening, where we had a very decent hotel, extremely mediocre Chinese food, and a fairly terrible bottle of wine. In short, skip Wynyard.

Where do we go from here? There's Nowhere Else.

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