A couple of months after we left Tasmania (and Australia), here’s a short overview of how it was down there.
But before going there, we had to make some money! After baking pizzas and catching goats in Western Australia, it was time for the following stage of our “careers”. We drove 4,500km from where we lived, through the Nullarbor desert (just a hint: Nullarbor = “zero trees” in Latin!), and then stopped to work near Adelaide, in the Riverlands region. That’s very close to the famous Barossa wine growing region.
Nullarbor: there is literally nothing to prevent the road from going straight
It took us almost two days of non-stop driving just to get through this crazy emptiness. Not a very exciting drive!
But no time to be asleep, all these guys are just waiting to jump under your wheels.
And then – welcome to South Australia!.. also known as the driest state in the driest country in the world!
Thankfully there’s the big river Murray, with many dams that allow irrigation and growing of grapes and many fruits in the Riverlands region
We worked in an orchard, picking figs and other fruits. We ate soooo many figs, not missing them yet hehe
The kangaroos also like to nibble on figs
After picking, we had to prepare the figs for drying
Cesar was cleaning and fixing the irrigation system of the orchard…
…while ieva was discovering a new career of painter
Our helpx hosts on their cattle station
Ieva s 2nd job – at the winery again
Yep, this is the protective hazmat suit, including a breathing mask, that I had to wear to pour all sorts of substances into your wine. Do you think cloudy grape juice just transforms itself into the clear golden goodness by itself?? Cheers!
After all this hard work in infernal heat, finally – holiday time! we started driving down the South coast from Adelaide all the way to Melbourne, to catch our ferry to Tasmania – affectionately called Tassie here.
Beautiful and rough south coast
The famous 12 Apostles rocks
Our first encounter with the echidna, we were so excited! Turned out they are all over the place in Tasmania
The koalas live in the wild, wherever there is a large eucalyptus forest
Melbourne – colonial architecture side by side with stunning modern buildings
Getting lost in the 19th century laneways and arcades, lots of cute shops and cafes
Not quite East London street art, but some “cool” areas as well!
Time to board the ferry – 10h to reach Tasmania
We had two weeks to drive all around Tasmania, which is very small compared to Australian distances. Finally, no crazy driving across thousands of kilometers, but just a normal road trip!
The nature here is very different from the mainland – the climate is much wetter and cooler, the terrain mountainous. But one thing remains the same – the wilderness and emptiness of the place. In the agricultural areas, the rolling hills look like somewhere in England. But there are huge empty zones with mountains (3 days before we arrived it was snowing there, in the middle of the summer!), impenetrable forests, wild beaches facing the South pole and many, many wild animals. And of course, absolutely no phone or 3G connection 😀
Cradle Mountain national park – the first real mountains we saw in Australia
Hard hike to the top of this craggy mountain
The lake is called Wombat poo, because it’s round like a wombat poo hehe
The wombat, round maker of round poo 🙂
Amazing plateaux with green, luscious nature. Quite different from the dry continent!
Beautiful highland forests
A nice place to spend the night. But too cold to swim!!
And another nice place to spend the night. Just need to drive 4km via the beach
Pristine, empty, gorgeous beaches, all over the place. If only it was warmer, we would jump in!
Freycinet National park
Amazing beaches, wherever you go around the island. This is Bay of Fires on the east coast
Delicious oysters: fresh, fried, and Asian-style. Then we went to the beach and collected many more, for free 😛
In the lowlands, temperate jungle where all sorts of weird animals live – like the platypus! We got very lucky to see one hunting around the river
Luscious, because often rainy…
Look who came to help herself to our cabbage salad leftovers 🙂
Wild, like… sometimes the road just finishes with a washed-away bridge
A nocturnal visitor to our camp – a possum!
Port Arthur – the famous penal colony where the English first sent their convicts
In Hobart, we went to the crazy MONA museum, where everything tries to play with your mind. This is a pool of engine oil that reflects the walls around it
An artsy chapel from iron…
…where the tainted glass is made of xray pictures
Our home is for sale!
After this last road trip, it was time to say goodbye to our Disco, the car which was our home for the last 6 months. We were a bit stressed to not find a buyer in time, but ended up selling on the day before going back to Melbourne. Lucky people 🙂
And then, we boarded our flight to Cambodia, already looking at the red parched land below us with nostalgia.
Bye bye Australia! What a crazy, rough place, but so many memories we will keep!