New Zealand! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Still insanely sleepy as of lately, which wasn’t aided by the fact that I had basically not slept the previous night and only gotten scraps of naps inbetween making the situation worse and my body strangely sore, I blinked repeatedly to get my brain the information it needed. This wasn’t New Zealand but pretty close on looks.
Oh dear, how I missed that country. If I am honest, I prefer the green land of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth (Tolkien’s Middle Earth was based on Switzerland) to Australia. Don’t get me wrong. It is overwhelmingly grand here on the driest country of the world with its sometimes surreal and unearthly rock formations. In opposition, New Zealand is as Green as you can get (eve though in my mind England and Ireland were even more green, but let’s stay on track). Whatever your preference, Australia is great to explore and I am having a blast seeing all of it (as far as seeing ‘everything’ is even possible. Note: The more you travel the less you think you’ve seen).
So here I was on the bus with Jumptours on my two day east coast trip through Tasmania. I wish I could have stayed longer but alas, it was not to be. But it’s better than nothing and with that open mindset I ventured out to see Tasmania. The tour started out with a short stop in Launceston, where we started. The day before I failed to make it to the Macaques aka snow monkeys (which I will soon see in Japan in actual now) and now got my chance. They were gaily lounging about and we were wondering why there were apes displayed in a park on Tasmania.
Waving them farewell (see you in Japan!), we headed out for the nearby farmers market which had a lot of treats in store. Fresh farm produce, hand made sweets and all locally produced! I had a little chat to some of the store attendants, tried hazelnut oil for the first time and could no help myself but to splurge on a super delicious brownie with raspberries and white chocolate in it. I can’t believe it lasted me for half a day. It was that good that I had to savour it that much! Which I normally don’t do.
The beach was amazing and I couldn’t believe the colours and the fact that I can never believe them. I should be used to them by now. But the water was so crystal clear and nearly turquoise, it looked like Lake Tekapo in New Zealand. It was just as flawless a beach as those on Australia’s east coast and I was nearly tempted to jump into the waves and frolic. Alas, the weather was not on my side. It was freezing!
To keep warm and because I would do it anyway, I wandered up the beach and towards the natural round boulder arrangements covered in red lichen. Did you know that every continent has lichen? (Just a random fact on the side.) I was climbing up and down, clambering from rock to rock, getting higher and even better views of the beach and the landscape as a whole. Absolutely marvellous. Occasionally I would stop and think to just let it be seeing that it couldn’t get any better but each time it did so I continued to the edge.
Don’t worry I didn’t fall off. The toilet called me and I ran back to the beach as fast as I could. Still I did not fall down. (Don’t wait for it, I’ve got good balance.) After that highlight, we had a foodie highlight waiting for us. The tour did not include any meal but we stopped at the Pyengana Dairy Far and had a cheese tasting at the Holy Cow Cafe. And holy cow, was the cheese good. No wonder the cheddar was awarded the best cheese in Tasmania twice in row. A record! I bet it will gain a triple.
Before trying the cheese I weighed myself on the cow scale and wanted to check in afterwards but forgot. (Or did I just want to avoid it after eating so much cheese?!) Apart from me messing with the scale that changed the measured weight according to where I stood (at one point I weighed 80kg), we also watched the cows getting a special treatment. The farm has the whole milking process automated and the cows go to the machines themselves! Because they will get food as well as a massage. It was a funny thing to see the recently milked cows trying to get in even though they just had their share. Greedy!
At the end of our day, we made it to the Bicheno beach to watch the little penguins appear. Well, they didn’t. Just one or two made an appearance and were chased away by stupid tourists that blinded them with their torchlight. Here’s my plea: please don’t ever chase or get too close to wild animals and never use a torchlight on them unless it is red light. There is a lot of harm done if you do otherwise. After we were strangely unsuccessful in seeing the otherwise reliable penguins, we went back to our bungalows and had a good nights rest before our next adventure.
I would like to thank Jumptours again for bringing me to all these wonderful places. As always, my opinion stays my own.