There are many tour groups in Tasmania and even more amazing tours to choose from, so finding one that you like may make your head spin. After asking the locals and friends that had been to Tassie, the one must-see trip that came up more than anything else was Freycinet Park and Wineglass bay. My hostel didn’t book tours directly but recommended underdownunde, but I found a tour through Tourstogo that was cheaper. Maybe that was my first mistake… The day started off pretty terribly. The tour was overbooked and a few people who were already in the car decided to leave, rather than squeeze and sit uncomfortably, for the entire trip. I guess you get what you pay for!
The first stop for the day was to a house with a huge yard. I wondered what we were doing there when I saw all these cute little creatures jumping towards the car. These little creatures are called Paddymelons. They are a kind of marsupial, similar to a wallaby. We were given food to feed them and pet them through the fence. The owner of the house saved these cuties when they were abandoned by their mothers, or injured, and she let’s the tour group feed them occasionally it seems.
The road to Freycinet Park is winding with curves and bumps. If you’re easily carsick I suggest preparing ahead of time! Had it not been for these “nausea bracelets” I probably would have barfed everywhere. The tour guide was nice enough to play a documentary about the Tasmanian Devil while we looped and circled around the terrain. You knew we were close to our destination when the documentary ended. Upon arrival we were told about the different routes and options throughout the park. All of these require hiking, oh, and you should probably bring water because the only place to get water is a small hose in the ground just before the entrance. That’s what I ended up having to do despite the warning on the sign. I’m not the only one that did, though, and it’s perfectly safe considering I’m still alive.
The hike to the viewpoint of Wineglass Bay took about an hour and wasn’t very steep so I’d say it is an easy hike. I say that, yet the 75-year-old Italian guy I had befriended had beat me to the top and hardly broke a sweat. Can blame my bad knee? No? Okay, maybe I need to lose a few more pounds and do more cardio haha.
Anyway! The view was absolutely spectacular! There was even a small wallaby hanging out in the cliff side surrounded by tourists, myself included.
I had made it! Covered in sweat and aching knee, but I’d made it! My Italian friend had done me a favor and taken several glamour shots of me and the view, however they did not do me or the view justice.
From here you had 2 choices: hike down another hour or so to the beach below, or go with the tour guide to see the rest of Freycinet Park.
I didn’t realise beforehand that I could get out and swim once in the park so I didn’t ring my swimsuit or towel. It’s quite a shame I didn’t because the water at our next stop was simply amazing. The water was so crystal clear that I imagine you can see all the fish swimming around. I can’t help but think that the water is probably freezing given the location of Tasmania and knowing how their weather fluctuates from refreshing breeze, to holy fuck it’s cold. Nevertheless I found a rock by the water and just watched the people jumping and having fun in the water. I also took several pictures of the water and of myself, as usual.
The last stop of the park tour was at a foggy cliff. The wind up there was cutting through my jacket so I just ran up, snapped a picture, and returned to the van.
When we arrived back into Hobart, the Italian guy Pino, invited me to have dinner with him by the docks before calling it a night. I’m about to go into a rant here, just as a warning. I’ve been with many Europeans while living in Korea, partially because my boyfriend is Italian, and when someone invites you to dinner it usually means they will pick up the check. This is not something I expect, but the guy is 75, never been married, has no kids, and lives in a mansion that he designed himself. AGAIN I’m not saying he should pay for my meal, because it’s his money and ultimately I’m just a stranger and he owes me nothing. But he KNEW that I was on a backpacker budget and still chose a pricey restaurant. He also pressured me into having an expensive glass of wine, cheese plate, and dessert.. When I go out to eat on my travels, I usually order the cheapest thing the menu and I don’t splurge unless it’s something I really want. That wasn’t the case here, yet here I was, paying 20$ for a “meal” that left me famished for the rest of the evening.
Pictured above^ salmon with some fancy cream sauce and a fried rice ball (arincini). At the end of the dinner the bill came and he split it in half. Meaning, I had to pay for his cheese plate and dessert and my wine… I won’t even tell you how much I spent because it’s disappointing. Because of this meal, I had to skip breakfast the next morning and go to the grocery store for lunch the next day.
Just a common courtesy guys, if you are going to invite a backpacker to dinner, and you are vacationing in nice hotels and have money to eat at fancy restaurants, please understand that we probably can’t afford it. We want to be friends with you, and go out to eat on occasion, but there’s always a line. That’s all! Peace and love ❤