February 19 - 26, 1999

Our Travel Experience - Photo Album - Ratings - Tourist Info

Our Travel Experience
We went to Tasmania because Tasmania is just such a kool name. Also, it was nice and close to Melbourne, where Seth had to work.

Our big event in Tasmania was to go on a 5-day river rafting trip down the Franklin River. The high point of this was the fact that we were river rafting in complete wilderness. The low point of this was the actual rafting through complete wilderness. Possibly, it was when Tara felt that she was going to fall to her death clambering over big, sharp rocks alongside rapids that were too big to raft over. Or maybe the low point was when Tara was sitting in a shallow pool of water, crying and refusing to risk her life again to see a very beautiful waterfall. Or, maybe it was when Seth couldn't walk, sit or stand without some muscle hurting. Or, maybe it was when we drove for 6 hours in a 4-wheel drive vehicle over an unpaved road -bump, bump, bump. Or, maybe it was on the day when we were paddled straight for 6 hours?

Overall, we are glad we did it. We don't necessarily know that we'd sign up again unless we become much more physically fit or less mentally fit!

Photo Album
To recover from our rafting muscle soreness, we spend a very relaxing day in Hobart reading alongside this harbor. The camera is standing on the bench where we had been sitting.
After one day of rest, Tara insisted that we drive up the coast to Bicheno. She had seen a "Penguin Tour" advertised in the tourist information, so we rented a car and drove for 3 hours. As you can imagine, Seth was not very happy to be drug away from the relaxing town of Hobart. 

At least there were many beaches to stop at along the route. The road bordered the coast for a while and was very interesting at other places. Whenever Tara drives a left-hand drive vehicle, Seth, in the passenger's seat, has to remind her to not side-swipe the parked vehicles as it's hard to judge your distance from the curve. Well imagine his fear as Tara drove along a *very* narrow road here one side was a rock wall and the other was the banks of a river. Soon afterwards, Seth asked to drive!

After arriving in Bicheno, we had some time before going to see the penguins coming into shore after dark, so we took our books and went to sit and read out on the rocks. 

The power of the waves crashing into the shore was enormous. We took turns watching the waves & reading our books. At one point, we were glad that Tara was watching the waves & not reading. We had to run further up-shore since a huge wave splashed water up to where we were sitting. Finally, as the sun started to set, we could no longer read. So we watched the sunset, ate dinner and headed to the penguin tour. 

The penguins were very little and cute. The babies had been home all day & made cute little noises when the parents came back home.

The next day, we had to drive back to Hobart, but not before we went to the Bird Life and Animal Park for injured animals who could not survive in the wild. Here you can see that Tara is surrounded by a sheet, a kangaroo, some chickens, a peacock and a mule. All looking for food! The Mule kept trying to get her attention by nibbling on her back. 

Tara was totally excited just after feeding these guys. We had to keep buying more & more bags of food. She especially liked the mother, father and baby kangaroo. Little did she know that more kangaroos were coming later.

Very hungry and friendly kangaroos were more than happy to "attack" Tara for her food. They had very delicate hands with fingers and black claws, but very forceful back legs and hard tails made of 100% muscle. Even though the biggest kangaroo was bigger than Tara, she loved it. This is where we ran out of digital photos! 

Away from the main group of kangaroos, Tara found her favorite elderly kangaroo who didn't even need to stand up to be fed. We were getting close to when we had to leave for the airport, so she left an extra bag for her friend to finish as his leisure.

Just as we were about to leave, Seth mentioned that he wished he's seen a wombat. So, after we said good-bye to the pelican with the kool beak, we walked over to the wombat & we so happy that he was out!! A nice end to a great visit.
We still need to scan in the photo of the wombat.
Category Rating Comments
Overall Experience 4 or 9 We will either come to remember the river rafting as horrible or great. The day in Hobart & the Bird Life Park was definitely a 9 though.
Ease of Journey 2 Getting into & out of Tasmania itself was fine. But, getting to the Franklin River was HARD and getting from Hobart to Bicheno involved a 2-3 hour car ride.
Accommodation 7 No complaints at all - either under the stars or under a roof
Activities ? River Rafting = -10 when faced with too many perceived near-death experiences 
River Rafting = 2 while in pain whenever we walked 
River Rafting = ? after the fact 
Penguins = 8 
Bird Life Park = 10
Coolness 9 No matter what, this was a kool trip. Rafting down a river whose water you can drink, being mauled by kangaroos for food and seeing baby penguins plus a wombat all in one week!! Tasmania has lived up to it's kool name.
Tourist Info
East Coast Bird Life & Animal Park, Tasman Highway, Bicheno, Telephone = 61+3 6375 1311