It’s an hour flight from Melbourne to Launceston (2nd largest city in Tasmania). At the airport we hired a car for next four days. We had booked ourselves a beautiful home stay in Evandale, a well preserved historic town 18km from Launceston. Once settled we headed for the city center, grabbed one of the best sandwiches ever and onto the wilderness of Cataract Gorge. Here a dip in the pristine public swimming pool, ice-cream and a walk across a short trail.
Next day we were back on road, cutting across the pre-historic mountain range, fauna and flora unique to Tasmania, we headed for Cradle Mountain and beyond. Overseeing the cradle mountain is the picturesque Dove Lake, the area is full of trails and hikes to choose from. After enjoying the Tasmanian Salmon at Cradle Mountain lodge we headed for the mining town of Queenstown (a scene out of Wild West). Next day we were off to Hobart, and with only a day to spare, Salamanca palace next to the harbor and full of cafes, restaurants, art galleries and boutique shops was place to be. Climbed few steps and we were at the Battery Point, with pouch houses, open art gallery along with few pubs and eateries it definitely deserves a visit. Leaving behind the manicured Hobart we left for Freycinet National Park, host to wineglass bay and Friendly Beach. With the smallest of the car carrying kayaks and cycles, beaches round the corner, more trails than roads, being outdoor is part of Aussie life.
We wanted to stop our car at every curve of the Great Ocean Road, to capture the postcard moments – cliff or beach on one side of the winding road and hill, forest, hamlets or meadows on the other. Finally we reached the 12 apostles. Magnificent, crowed yet satisfying.
We started our Melbourne exploration from just outside the Flinders Street Station. We were headed for a picnic on the banks of Yarra river, post which we went for a strolled across the promenade, full of chic restaurants and bars, street performing artist, hotels & casino. Then hopped onto a tram for St. Kilda beach.
While traveling from Sydney to Melbourne, we chose train over flight, a 12 hours journey cutting across the vast emptiness, bushes, rolling hills, hamlets and kangaroo sightings.
Apart from walk across the Sydney Harbour bridge, shopping on George street, pubbing at Darling Harbour, wine tasting at Hunter valley, strolling at The Rock and drive to Blue Mountain, our favorite remains the coogee to bondi walk, the path mostly boardwalk raise and fell along the coastline, sometime going over the edge. Next 2 hours were spent letting joggers pass by, relaxing on the bench over-seeing the sea crashing onto the rocks, envying people with sea view apartments & swimming pools and stopping at one of the many beaches for a dip. Also, an afternoon spend at Manly beach, a 30 min. ride from Sydney harbor. Not to miss, legendary New Year fireworks.