TranzAlpine Railway New Zealand

In 2010, I ventured across the Tasman Sea to the south island of New Zealand. I had wanted, for a long time, to see what is described as one of the most beautiful places in the world.

It was also a good spot for a practice run at lone overseas travel. They speak English, of a sort, their money is similar and they drive on the right side of the road which, in Australia and New Zealand, is the left. I was planning to drive through the Southern Alps, which extend down the western side of the island but to get there, I had to catch a train across from the east.

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The Freycinet Peninsula and St. Helens

I left Hobart and headed up the east coast to Swansea and the Freycinet Peninsula. I was sick of just looking at photos of Wineglass Bay; I wanted see it for myself.

Wineglass Bay Photo by Bjorn Christian Torrissen
Wineglass Bay
Photo by Bjorn Christian Torrissen

‘The lookout for Wineglass Bay,’ I said to the girl behind the counter at the Visitor Centre, ‘is it a hard walk?’ She shook her head. ‘So it’s not difficult, then?’

‘No, it’s okay.’

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Curing My Fear of Heights – Queenstown

I’d been told I had to see the dead hills on the way out of Tasmania’s old mining town of Queenstown. All vegetation had been killed off years before by the felling of the trees to burn in the mine smelters and the sulfur fumes from the smelters themselves.

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Gordon River Tasmania

White Australia began as a penal settlement, a way for the English to clear out their overloaded gaols and to rid themselves of what they called the “criminal classes”. Many of the convicts were sent to Tasmania, around 76,000 between 1804 and 1853. We were taught at school about the colourful and fascinating history surrounding this time but I wanted to learn more. Continue reading “Gordon River Tasmania”

Tasmania The Beginning

I came to travelling alone, late in life. I’d always wanted to explore Tasmania, the island south of where I live in Melbourne, Australia. ‘Tassie’ is often ignored by Melburnians; something about it being so close, so easy to get to, takes it off the radar. And then it doesn’t offer palm trees and tropical islands, scuba diving among corals in warm, pristine waters. No camel rides in red deserts or coat-hanger bridges and shell-like opera houses. But something had always drawn me to the place, though apart from a quick drive from Hobart to Burnie years before, in true Melburnian fashion I’d kept putting it off.

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