From Hobart we had to drive to Launceston to catch our flight to Sydney. We decided to make a road trip out of it, taking advantage of what they call the Great Eastern Drive, a scenic drive through the east coast regions of the island. There are dozens of wineries, restaurants, cafes, bed and breakfasts and little towns to visit along the way. We decided to break up our trip with an overnight stay about half way. Here are our favorite Great Eastern Drive moments.
PSA: make sure you’re paying attention to the fuel gauge on your rental car while doing this drive. Petrol stations are few and far between. We learned this the hard way, but are grateful that it was only a 25-minute detour to fuel up.
We Saw the Devil at Bonorong Wildlife Refuge
Our goal in Tasmania was to get up close and personal with a Tasmanian Devil, of course. Our first stop outside Hobart was at Bonorong Wildlife Refuge, where we did just that. We also got to chat with some kangaroos, check in with our koala friends again, and meet Randall, a short-beaked echidna, which John is now obsessed with.
We Accidentally Slept with Spiders
We decided to spend the night at a cute little Air BnB on the beach, but after meeting its not-very-cute spider inhabitants in the middle of the night, we found ourselves at the insect-free Freycinet Waters Bed & Breakfast. It was an adorable accommodation right on the main street of Swansea, overlooking the water and including a delicious breakfast that we enjoyed before hitting the road again.
Don’t worry – we won’t post the spider pics!
We Ate More Fresh Oysters
Everyone doing this drive *must* stop at Freycinet Marine Farm to get fresh seafood sourced from local fishermen. These had to have been the best oysters we’ve eaten, and we’ve had our fair share of our favorite mollusks. We had one variation of raw oysters with salmon, brie and green onions on top – delicious!
We Found the Most Beautiful Vineyard on Earth
Josef Chromy Wines is the most beautiful vineyard on the planet. Or at least that we’ve visited. We were captivated by both the scenery and the story Josef Chromy himself, who immigrated to Australia from Czechoslovakia in 1950 at the age of 19. He went from being penniless to creating one of the most highly recommended winery experiences in Tasmania.
We explored Cataract Gorge
Our first stop once we got to Launceston was at Cataract Gorge, a piece of stunning wilderness in the middle of the city, complete with a swimming pool and chair lift. We learned that a “gorge” is a type of canyon. We crossed the suspension bridge over the basin, which was “formed by erosion at the intersection of two faults,” according to our wiki research. We’ll let the photos do the talking for this awesome view.
We ended our time in Tasmania with a double rainbow over Launceston. We hope to return to this beautiful island-state one day! In the meantime, on to Sydney…