Weekend Tasmania Adventure Part 1: Hobart Heat Wave
One of the things I really wanted to do while living in Australia was to take more time to actually document experiences and adventures while living in here for the next year. While I’m probably behind on that, here is my first little post dedicated to my weekend in Tasmania.
My trip to Tasmania actually began about 2 months ago. New to the city I hopped on reddit to make new friends which is how I met my travel partner, Shandee. She came across a stellar deal on flights and since she gets a discount at the hotel chain she works for, we could do the whole trip at a great price. The downside to the crazy cheap flights? Having to be at the airport by 4:30 AM on a Saturday.
We arrived at the airport dark and early and ready for adventure. Strangely, they never asked to see ID at airport security (or on the way home) which was a first for me. After a lengthy wait, we boarded our flight and were on our way. Another perk of Shandee’s hotel connection was free breakfast (which they were nice enough to let us enjoy when we arrived that day). It was one of the fanciest hotel buffets I’ve seen with fresh honey comb and fresh bread. Once we’d stuffed ourselves, we walked into the city to see the famous Salamanca Market before embarking on an overly ambitious adventure.
One thing about Tasmania, is that public transit is limited so pretty much everyone rents a car or uses a tour company. Since neither of us were going to drive (I don’t like to and she can’t) and we were on a limited budget, we decided to be the crazy people who use public transit. After being told that the bus didn’t exist and that it would be dangerous, we hopped on a bus and made our way out of the city to the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.
The trip to Bonorong involved 2 busses and a 30 minute walk. Contrary to what we were told, the busses did exist and the route was perfectly safe. The only problem was that we were doing this on a day with record breaking heat. It was over 100 degrees while we walked from the bus stop to the sanctuary. While it was a lengthy (and hot) trip, the alternative was to take a $40 (per person!) shuttle. Instead we spent a $8 per person for the one way bus trip (we managed to catch a ride back to town with someone else at the sanctuary).
The trek to the sanctuary was totally worth it! It was such an amazing place and we loved every minute. The sanctuary cares for and rehabilitates Tasmanian devils, wombats, echidnas, tawny frogmouths, koalas, kangaroos, and a wide variety of birds. We were able to pet a wombat and koala and they provided food for us to feed the kangaroos. Due to the heat, the animals weren’t very perky but it was so incredible to get up close and personal with them and even see 2 joeys in their moms’ pouches. We also got to learn a lot about the animals and how they ended up at the sanctuary. Australian wildlife is pretty unique. Tasmanian devils, fore example, can have up to 40 babies at a time. They have a 21 day gestation period so their babies are as small as grains of rice and because they have reverse pouches (they are marsupials) they aren’t able to help their babies and can only nurse up to 4 at a time meaning that the majority die. Wombats are extremely solitary and have square poop to mark their territory and ensure they don’t come across each other in the wild. How crazy is that?
After our visit to the sanctuary, we headed back to our hotel to finally check into our room and cool down for a bit before we walked into town to grab dinner and some Cold Rock icecream (Australia’s appropriately named version of Cold Stone) and watch the sunset. We spent the rest of the evening pouring over adorable animal pictures on our cameras and headed to bed early so we could be up in time for our next adventure.