Hobart is a beautiful city, much larger than I pictured it and in the most perfect harbor setting. We didn’t plan to spend much time here, though, because there’s a lot of territory to cover in Tasmania and we’ve only budgeted a week to do it. Naturally I wasn’t going to miss the weekly Salamanca market. It’s huge and varied, with the usual fresh produce and specialty food vendors, along with very high quality arts and crafts.
There were also at least a dozen buskers, ranging in age from polished elder statesmen to tiny tots. They were all terrific. I don’t know who books the musical talent but kudos for the depth of talent and variety of styles Hobart offers up.
Jack is perpetually on the lookout for additions to his t-shirt and cap collection. I usually refrain from buying myself anything but I did succumb to the charm of this gentleman and bought a blackwood rolling pin to replace the plain pine dowel Jack made for me that I’ve been using since we moved aboard.
Honey bees and bee product vendors are ubiquitous in Australia; our friends Alex and Diana even have a hive in their pocket city garden, not so much for the honey but to pollinate their fruits and vegetables. But who knew Tasmania has truffles? There was quite the crowd around that booth.
As always, I could have stayed at the market all day, but we tore ourselves away and drove north out of the city toward one of Tasmania’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Tasmanian Wilderness area. It’s a network of national parks covering almost a quarter of Tasmania’s land area and preserves a glacial landscape and one of the last remaining temperate rain forests. You could spend a lifetime exploring the remote areas of cliffs and gorges and forests, but we only had time to nip at the edges and hiked to Russell Falls. We didn’t realize at the time that our warm, clear weather was a gift.
The roads through the Wilderness are the kind of twisty mountain passes that Jack loves to drive and that reveal breathtaking vistas with every turn, but they also mean you can’t cover much territory in a day. We reluctantly left the mountains and turned our sights toward the east coast and headed to Launceston as a staging area for the coming days. On the way we saw a couple of echidnas shuffling across the road, and finally got to photograph one who wasn’t as fast as the others in disappearing into the roadside bush.