Feb 24, 2014

5 day self-drive in Tasmania - Day 1

In September last year, we (4 adults, 2 kids and a baby) visited Tasmania. It has long been on my bucket list of places to go. I knew a top unit trust agent who once said it was his favourite place ever, and since top unit trust agents go on sponsored tours to fancy places every year, he had been to almost every corner of the globe!

It fell on me to plan the trip. My parameters were :
1) We knew we wanted a self-drive. Tours are not for me.
2) We were on a budget, but wanted basic comforts. Clean, preferably some cooking facilities available since we had a bub, and good location. Dorms and shared baths are not for me.
3) We planned to pick up the car, leave from Launceston and end up in Hobart in 5 days.

I researched places like crazy, also because I wanted my family in one or two rooms and the other two adults in another, and preferably all the rooms to be in the same unit! (Hotels here have strict rules about room occupancies). Once I found something that fit and one we could afford, I double-checked its reviews on TripAdvisor (love this site!) and it had to be least 3 (preferably 4) out of 5 stars. With all this, I'm happy to say, we stayed for about $60 a night per person on twin sharing, enjoyed a mix of city hotels with convenient access and beach bungalows with great views.

Now on to day one! We arrived in Launceston in the morning, and since it was too early to check in, we wandered around. Visited a nearby honey farm, but didn't find anything too interesting. There was a big farm in a brochure but it was about 2 hours drive in the wrong direction so we abandoned the idea. We did like the Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce company and after eating almost half a lunch in sampled crackers and dips, launched the start to our shopping!

Time to check in, so we headed to the Village Family motor inn. This was the cheapest of our accommodation (best price through wotif), and the most basic, but it sufficed. There was free wifi, a heated indoor pool, which the kids loved, and small kitchenette. The suite we booked had narrow stairs though, so I would not recommend for the mobility impaired. However, it was in a great location and just 5 minutes drive to town.

Around 4pm (don't go too late, as the chair lift closes) we visited the Cataract Gorge. I recommend taking the chair lift into the gorge, then walking out through the bridge.

It is a beautiful, leisurely stroll, and you can feast your eyes on the flora and fauna, and animals that roam free.

I stalked this stunning peacock. I have thing for blue and it had this beautiful iridescent feathers!


So please excuse the gazillion photos.

I was thrilled it let me get so close up.

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