Sunday, January 8, 2017

Time Flies When You're Having Fun With Friends Far From Home

A lot can happen in 6 days when you’re on the road. Since the last post, we’ve left Sydney and traveled onward to the island of Tasmania!

So Long Sydney 

Our last couple of days in Sydney were great! The 4 nights we spent with our friend Dominic at his apartment were a great relief from the constant travels we have between hostels, hotels, AirBnBs, etc. His knowledge and insight to the culture, the culinary world, and the sites of Sydney came in so helpful. A personalized tour that Dom provided was key to getting us acquainted with the city and navigating our way. We really appreciated his hospitality and company.

We also had the benefit our friend Cate and her boyfriend Goran take us around for a day. From Manly Beach to Kirribilli, they also provided commentary and insight / perspective of Sydney. Our conversations shed light on things from education to living arrangements and work / life balance.

It was really comforting to have friends living locally. Having someone to turn to when you’re so far away from home is a relief and welcomed. These people encompass the true nature of Australians and represent their country / continent so well. They embody the happiness, helpfulness, and goodness we have always heard about Aussies. It was a joy to have spent time with them. And if we can repay the debt, we certainly will. Come visit us!

Sydney was special because we were also able to spend time with friends from NY who joined us for the New Year’s celebrations. We had a great few days roaming around Sydney with you guys. Have a safe journey around New Zealand and eventually back home!

I continue to stand by my love for the city of Sydney. I haven’t visited a city similar to this in my life. The combination of people, cityscape, energy, proximity to Asian food, and diversity of culture all make for a memorable experience.

Hobart / Freycinet National Park / Launceston, Tasmania – we’re pretty far south

An island colony that was historically where prisoners were sent to be far away from civilization / Australia has since become an up and coming culinary adventure island, as well as a sanctuary for various animal life. It’s somewhat amusing, since Australia started out as a penal colony as well, and is now a culinary capital in its own right.

The island has some quirky things to note.

  • It seems that after 6PM, everyone disappears from the streets and heads home or indoors. 
  • Everything closes early, aside from various restaurants in particular neighborhoods. 
  • The towns are not very large and you can drive right through the center of town on a major highway. Literally, the speed limit just changes (reduces briefly) and you pass through the town, eventually speeding up again to continue on your way down the highway. 
  • Cities are like most others we’ve visited. There is a CBD / downtown area and then the outskirts are very basic / casual. And once you exit the city limits, you’re out in the country.
  • The water seems to taste a little different here, so we’ve been using bottled water for the most part. 
  • The beauty of Tasmania is not inland. It is mostly on the coastline. The landlocked areas have what seems to be dry vegetation and little farm life. It’s not as beautiful as the landscapes of New Zealand. 
  • Weather is a bit temperamental. One day it could be very warm and the next windy and cool. The evenings experience a good drop in the mercury but are typically calm and clear (at least in the summer). 
  • Driving around the island we’ve noticed there is less cautionary signage in comparison to New Zealand. The roads are decent and just as curvy. The speed limits here are slightly higher (100kmph). 
  • The MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) is AWESOME! Quirky, crazy, evokes emotion, thought-provoking, and fun. 
  • Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is an excellent visit to see some of the wildest creatures I never thought I’d see in real life. (ie. Tasmanian Devil, Wombat, Koala, Kangaroo)
  • Wineglass Bay Beach is secluded, which adds to its beauty and keeps it pristine. 
  • Bridestowe Lavender Estate is remarkable. The fragrance of the area intensifies the experience and enhances the beauty of the location. 

We have yet to see Cradle Mountain, a popular site on the island. It’s something we are looking forward to. We’ll spend 2 nights there and possibly do a couple of hikes. And after that, we’re off to Brisbane.

In the meantime, here are some photos of the past few days. Enjoy!

We lived on a sailboat for a night in Lavender Bay Harbor.

Wineglass Bay lookout point is a 30-40 minute hike in Freycinet National Park.

Wineglass Bay Beach is an additional 40 minute hike down. It is one of the world's most beautiful beaches.

A view of Coles Bay

Tasmanian Devil


Bridestowe Lavender Estate

Have you see our eating adventures? If not, check them out here.

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