The plan was to get a group of girls together for a hike, but in the end only Jo and Jude managed to grab some days off and fly to Tassie, and the group of ladies will get together for a hike later in the year.
Jude arrived first at the Hobart airport, but she was still waiting for her bag to turn up when Jo appeared. After a quick lunch they picked up the rental car and headed straight to the supermarket. We also picked up a nice bottle of wine for Erika, Jo’s friend, who was cooking up a storm for us. She lives in Triabunna, the small town from where the ferry to Maria Island leaves, our destination, and we were staying at her gorgeous place on the outskirts of town even though she had to leave very early the next day for work.
We enjoyed an amazing dinner and tried to pack our bags for the next morning. We all went to bed early. Erika disappeared to work early and Jo and Jude had a leisurely breakfast before driving to the ferry. It was fresh, but the sun was still out and it was an easy crossing. Arriving on Maria Island we paid for our campsite and were given some tips on the best spots to camp. After pitching our tent we quickly grabbed a few things, dumped our bags in the cooking area and walked out to Bishop and Clerk peak.
We took our time, checking out birds and trees, and of course the mammals along the way –many wombats, some eastern greys and plenty of pademelons. Most people were already on their way down as we were heading up, and we nearly had the peak to ourselves. The views were spectacular and without wind up the top it was very nice to hang out there for a little while.
Upon return to our tent we found somebody had pitched their tent about 5m from ours (in the middle of a ginormous paddock). But we were taking ours down anyway as we had decided after our chat with the head ranger that we were going to sleep inside one of the historical buildings because of the impending storm.
We cooked dinner and decided to walk over to the campground kitchen area to look for devils, the Tasmanian variety. As it was starting to rain a bit we headed back, giving the area one last look, Jude spotted one! Walking around, minding his own business. Somebody running for shelter from the rain unfortunately spooked it, but we were both very excited, our very first Tassie devil.
We snuck into ‘our’ room and made ourselves comfortable on the floor. It proved a good choice, horizontal rain and a driving wind meant it was quite miserable out there. In the morning, with the rain still coming down in buckets and Jude being quite sick, we decided to have a relaxing day, exploring the historical buildings and occasionally venturing outside. That night we again camped in ‘our’ room and were promptly locked in the next morning when they came to open up the rooms for visitors. It was a good thing there was a back door!
The weather forecast was better that day and we hiked to the south for an overnight camp. It was a stunning hike down, past the painted cliffs and through some beautiful forests. We were the only ones camping there that night. We did have some overnight rain, but were lucky enough to be able to cook and eat outside (without getting wet), both for dinner and breakfast.
We took a different route back, past the prisoner cells and along the beach for the first section, then later rejoining the main route back up. We arrived back at the main area with some time to spare before heading to the ferry that would take us back to the main (is)land.
Erika had left us the key so we could stay at her place again, and Jude tried to make contact with Kim and Gary for our last day in Tasmania.
The ferry back was a bit colder and rougher, but still a pleasant boat ride. We hopped in the car and went on a search for a nice restaurant and found one not far away. We had an amazing dinner, sipping our Tassie Pinot Noir whilst enjoying the heat from the fireplace.
After dinner we had one final mission before heading to Erika’s place for a lovely shower. Jo had discovered Willie Smith apple cider and we wanted to buy some for Erika as a thank you. We ended up going to 4 different pubs and bottleshops before finally finding them.
A sleep-in before a leisurely breakfast in the sunshine, followed by some wine tasting at a winery en route to Hobart. Gary and Kim, with Sean of course, were with his parents at the nearby ‘Taste of the Huon’ festival and we decided to meet up there. It was really lovely to catch up after all those years. They hadn’t changed a bit, only Sean had grown up a lot.
Later that day we joined them for a cuppa at their home and dinner at one of their favourite restaurants nearby. They had a fantastic menu also for vegetarians which was great. From there we drove straight to the airport where Jo was boarding first, followed by Jude not long after. In Brisbane she was met at the gate by Jon who had just flown back from Melbourne, where he had spent the weekend with the usual suspects at Philip Island.
It was time to unpack, tell each other our stories and start planning more adventures…