You might have noticed I haven’t posted anything for a few weeks, and that’s because I’ve been away on a much needed break with my gorgeous husband in celebration of our first wedding anniversary.
Instead of giving each other gifts for our anniversary we’ve decided to go away together each year. Whether it’s overseas, interstate or just down south for a mini-break, we decided that being able to do two of the things we love most, travelling and spending time together, is the best anniversary present. (I think my husband is relieved he won’t have to be making trips to Tiffany & Co every year!) We had a very special little celebration on our anniversary itself, but there will be another post about that coming soon!
For our first anniversary trip we decided to go somewhere we’ve both wanted to visit for a long time – Tasmania. It’s funny the reaction you get when you tell people you are going to, or have been to, Tasmania. Anyone who has been there quickly professes their love for the state and tells you they would love to live there. Anyone who hasn’t been there asks why on earth you are going there (subtext, “when you could be going to Sydney or Melbourne”). Well, now that I have been there I will be the first to jump to Tasmania’s defence!
In order to explain how great Tasmania is, I should tell you that my husband and I have quite different styles when it comes to travel. The things that excite me most when I travel are things like finding cute little cafes where I can sit and have a (good quality) coffee and imagine I’m a local, eating at the region’s best restaurants (cue Gourmet Traveller’s Top 10 restaurants by region list) and buying locally made wares from little boutique shops. The things that excite my husband are what I (lovingly) call “nerd activities” such as exploring areas of historical significance, visiting museums and galleries, and taking photos of beautiful scenery on his retro film camera. So the fact that Tasmania catered to the both of us definitely says something about the variety of activities on offer!
I could go on forever, but in the interests of keeping it short and sweet the highlights for me were:
- Visiting the amazing MONA (Musuem of Old and New Art) – a truly world class museum with an incredible and diverse range of art, great food options and a winery/brewery
- Hitting up as many of Gourmet Traveller’s Top 10 Tasmanian restaurants as possible (Stillwater, Black Cow Bistro, Me Wah and Smolt were all amazing and although we didn’t make it to Garagistes we did visit Sidecar, the bar by the same owners around the corner, which was awesome) and also finding some great casual cafes (Daci & Daci in Hobart was my fave – it was like being in France!)
- Spending a few days in Coles Bay, right next door to the beautiful Freycinet National Park, and doing the 45 minute each way walk (more walking than I normally care for and all up hill!) to the Wineglass Bay Lookout (where we got stuck in a freak storm!)
- Visiting Port Arthur, a former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula which is one of Australia’s most significant heritage areas, and exploring the incredible buildings and ruins
- Randomly bumping into Prince Charles and Camilla in historic Richmond – who would have thought we would have seen royals in Tassie of all places!
We (meaning ourselves, Charles and Camilla) aren’t the only ones who think Tasmania is a great place to visit – Lonely Planet recently named Hobart one of the best cities to visit in 2013, together with the likes of San Francisco and Amsterdam! You can read about it and see the full list here.
I love going overseas and experiencing different cultures, new places and cities larger than Perth. But there is so much to explore right here in Australia and I think sometimes people dismiss domestic travel too readily. I would definitely encourage you to visit Tasmania and, for that matter, any state you haven’t visited before – let’s support local tourism and local businesses!
Here are just a few snaps of our trip, including a couple to prove we were indeed in the presence of members of the royal family!
All images by my husband, except for the one of him which was my handiwork!