Sunday, November 25, 2018

Around Australia Cruise - Sea Princess - Tasmania

Ever since we visited Hobart Tasmania (southeast) 14 years ago I've wanted to come back and see more of the countryside. This trip we had both Burnie (north) and Hobart as ports of call. For Burnie, I booked a private tour and it was great.

I contacted Robyn of Play A Round in Tassie. I believe I was the first one to contact Robyn with the date of our stop in Burnie but by the time the date arrived, there were a total of 9 of us off the ship. To handle this size group, Robyn and her husband rented a minivan, with Robyn sitting in the back to do the commentary while her husband drove. Worked out very well.

There was a shuttle running from the ship to the visitor's center. Robyn and her husband were waiting there with a sign. We were off early so had a few minutes to browse in the center. 

Very interesting, including demonstrations by craftspeople. Well worth a few minutes.

Our first stop was Fern Glade, advertised as one of Tasmania's 60 Great Short Walks, and known for its large ferns. If we were going to see a platypus in the wild, this was the place. While we were not successful in seeing a platypus, we did get to see a wild wallaby. 

 We drove through beautiful countryside.

And our next stop was Wings Wildlife Park. It had the expected collection of kangaroos, that we could pet and feed, emu, ostrich, koala, Tasmanian devil, etc
Tasmanian Devil
and loads of birds. What caught me most by surprise was that I had no idea there were so many beautiful birds in Australia.

Golden Pheasant

After our visit to the wildlife park, we took a break at the picnic tables there and Robyn brought out some snacks. She had made Anzac biscuits and gave us information on the history behind them. She had also made a delicious rolled pastry which, she told us afterward, had vegemite in it. Then we traveled along the coastline to a park with a beautiful trail and waterfalls.

When we got back on board ship, after sailaway, the Captain came on the public address system. Looks like we are finally going to pay for all that beautiful weather we have had. He told us that we would be running into some high seas due to a weather system in the south seas. It would alter our time in Hobart and perhaps also Adelaide.  The captain asked everyone to make sure anything fragile in the cabin was secured and to be careful when walking in the hallways and on deck once we hit these seas which will be later tonight.

Our originally scheduled time in Hobart was supposed to be noon to 8:30 pm. For anyone visiting Hobart for the first time, this is less than an ideal schedule. On our first visit, we had a full day of daylight hours and took an excursion to Mt. Fields. This time it would be hard to squeeze in anything outside of the city during the daylight hours (sunset around 6:15 pm) so we planned on just a visit into town. This worked for us with the new times in Hobart of 11 am to 6 pm, but I'm sure other passengers had to change their plans.

The ship docks very close to downtown in Hobart. We walked off the ship and strolled around the area with our goal being Mawson's Hut Replica Museum. We have cruised to Antarctica and visited two stations there so we were curious to see this one. We found it very interesting and highly recommend it to anyone interested in Antarctica history.

Our original itinerary from Hobart was to take us south around Tasmania and then north on the west side, to Adelaide. Because of the weather, we were retracing our path from Burnie, going north on the east side and then northwest, on to Adelaide. Most of the bad weather was during the night and it did not affect our stop in Adelaide. For us it didn't matter as we planned on staying on board. We had been to Adelaide in the past and the majority of shore excursions I found outside the city was to the wine region, something not tops on our list. We ended up having a very quiet day on board ship and resting up for our upcoming two days at sea.  :)

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