Hello, Tasmania!…Little did we know…

The fine white sand of the beaches of Tasmania invites leisurely walks and endless observation

Why did we choose to come to Tasmania? I suppose looking back 16 months ago when we booked this location we had visions of wildlife, clear blue waters, unspoiled terrain and a slow and easy pace. We aren’t disappointed.

This morning’s view from the living room. It’s a cool, sunny day.

In order to illustrate the fulfillment, we’re deriving and will continue to derive from this unusual island, its imperative we share a few facts we gleaned from this site.

Tasmania is also known as Tas.This Island state is situated 240 km towards the south of the Australian mainland. It is the 26th largest island in the planet and about 334 more islands. Tasmania had a population of about 507,626 in the year 2010 and around half of the population lives in Greater Hobart, which makes the metropolitan area of the state capital and the city of Hobart. It is known as a natural state and around 45% lives in national parks and reserves. 

The population of the state is more homogeneous as compared to other states of Australia, the maximum of the people residing here is of British descent. The state has this tendency to receive less immigration compared to all the other states of the country. It is being recorded that around 65% of the inhabitants out here are descendants of a projected 10,000 founding families from the time of the 19th century. Around the year 1996, 80% or more of Tasmanians were born in the state and around 90% born in Australia, Great Britain, Ireland and also New Zealand. The homogeneity of the state makes it an appealing as well as attractive, place to find out about population genetics.
The population density of Tasmania is 7.5 people per square kilometer.  Tasmania lacks a good growth and has been clearly the reason for its lack of any significant demand drivers for civil infrastructure and also a reason for poor economic performance of the state. The national population grew by 1.6 percent in the year 2013-14, Tasmania on the other hand recorded a low of 0.3 percent. As compared to other states in the country, the growth out here is very low and that is hampering the economy of Tasmania a lot.
  1. The first novel of Australia was published out here in Hobart.
  2. The very first legal Casino to have opened was the Wrest Point Casino.
  3. The first city to introduce parking meters was Hobart.
  4. The very first Australian city to have an electric tramway was Hobart. The tramway started operating by the year 1893.
  5. Around 42% of Tasmania is a World Heritage area, marine, national park and forest reserves.
  6. The state of Tasmania is almost the size of Sri Lanka as well as Ireland.
  7. The state was the first Australian colony that made a compulsory education system in the year 1868.”
View from other living room window.

When we arrived in Hobart a few days ago after picking up the rental car, our intention was to take the shortest route to Penguin in order to get situated as quickly as possible. Once we began on the road, in awe of the scenery, we asked ourselves, “What’s the hurry?” We had all the time in the world. 

Ocean views along the highway.

And, after 33-nights at sea, to now be traveling on land through some of the most exquisite scenery in the world, it wasn’t a difficult decision. We approached the coastal highway signs and were on our way, looking at each other smiling from ear to ear, knowing we’d made the most sense and worthwhile choice.

White sand beaches with rarely a human in sight.

If we took the time to see the east coast of the on our way to Penguin, we’d avoid backtracking later on when we’d want to see more. Plus, when we leave in six weeks to head to the Huon Valley for another six weeks, we’ll have the opportunity to take yet another route along the western coast as the roads allow.  

Traveling through Tasmania we discovered endless bodies of water, including while driving on inland roads.

We’ve discovered its not a simple drive around the perimeter to travel the coasts of this Australian state. Adequate roads are sparse in many areas of this low population state. As a result, the route didn’t allow us to see every part of the eastern coast due to inaccessibility but we managed to see as much as we could. 

We drove through many mountain ranges we spotted on the horizon.

It wasn’t many kilometers/miles from Hobart to Penguin via this route, but it was slow going through many winding mountainous roads, oftentimes reminding us of the roads we traveled in the mountains of Tuscany, Italy, many moons ago.

Forests, fast moving rivers, streams and ocean inlets enhanced the views.

Also, from time to time, we became reminiscent about New Zealand and its lush rolling green hills, panoramic ocean views and picture-book farm after farm of sheep, cattle and horses. 

We hardly encountered any other vehicles on the road over the weekend drive.

On a few occasions, we even spotted the unusual Belted Galloway cattle (see our post here) that we’d seen nearby the alpaca farm where we languished in pure pleasure for three months beginning this past January.

From one area to the next the scenery changed.  With almost half of Tasmania’s entire population living in Hobart, most terrain consisted of the untouched areas of pure beauty.

Over these next few months in this special land, we’ll make every effort to ensure a good experience to share with all of you both in story and photos. Each day, we’ll be on the watch for the unique, the outside-the-box adventure and those special occasions when the simplicity of life in itself provides an inside peek to a new and exciting morsel that warms us to the core.

Winding river.

We only ask ourselves to achieve a modicum of understanding, a depth of emotion and the gift of the essence of life in Tasmania we’ll always carry with us in our hearts and minds forever. For now, once again, we are home.

The ocean surrounding Tasmania is bright blue as compared to sandy brown waters we’d seen when we lived at Trinity Beach, Australia beginning mid June in 2015. Was that really a year and a half ago?

More photos of our vacation home will follow in future posts after we’ve had a chance to put all of our stuff in order.  Soon..

Photo from one year ago today, December 5, 2015:

On our three years of travel anniversary in Fiji, we posted this photo when we’d visited the Namale Resort for a tour and luncheon celebration. For more photos, please click here.

Family beginning to arrive today…Red Road Scenic Route photos…

A breathtaking scene on the Red Road route.

Today, son TJ, girlfriend Sarah and two grandsons, Nik and Jayden, will be arriving from Minneapolis. In a few hours, Tom will leave for the two hour drive to Kona to pick them up at the airport. After checking online this morning, it appears their flight has been delayed by less than an hour in LA, not unusual.

We didn’t realize until we were in the islands how much we’d appreciate the lava rock which offers its own type of beauty. Although sandy beaches are preferred and required for swimming, the lava rock along the shore bespeaks the creation of the islands.

I’ll stay behind to make room for the five of them and their luggage although the minivan has six seats.  Hopefully, they’ll arrive back here in Pahoa by 4:30 this afternoon.

The sparkling water is entrancing during the short periods the sun peeked out during our long drive.
Lava rock and crystal-like water.

We’re so excited about their arrival and will surely enjoy the two weeks the six of us will have together before our other two little families arrive on the 21st. Tom and I will move next door on the 20th to make room for the others arriving on the 21st.

The clouds rapidly wafting across the sky along with the vegetation creates a pretty scene.

While I stay behind today, I’ll clean the house and prepare tonight’s meal by chopping, dicing, and cooking meat for tacos and taco salads, surely kid-friendly food.

Wooly sheep reaching for a morsel.

Yesterday, we took off on yet another scenic drive along the coast taking more lovely photos to share. In every direction, we find ourselves in awe of the beauty surrounding us on this lush island. 

Ah, seeing animals in our travels always makes us smile inspiring us to stop for a photo.

Less inhibited than Oahu which has almost one million people, the Big Island of Hawai’i, the largest of the islands has a population of over 185,000 based on a 2010 census. This link illustrates the difference in sizes and populations.

Dad and baby goat resting under the shade of a tree as we drove by.

Maui, the island we left Monday has a population of around 145,000 although Hawai’i is almost five times larger in area than Maui. As a result, there are many unpopulated areas, some of which we’ve already had the opportunity to visit on our road trips on both the eastern and southern sides of the island.

It appears these are papayas, often seeing growing in Hawaii.

Without a doubt, we’ll be venturing out with family over the next few weeks further exploring the island discovering new exquisite terrain and vegetation.

Our attraction to chickens continues wherever we may be, especially when we see them wandering about in a “free-range” manner. At the grocery store, we purchased free-range and organic eggs and chickens when possible. Such a dozen here in the islands in $8 a dozen. Add 12 oz. of bacon for another $8.  That’s one pricey homemade breakfast. Many food prices in Hawaii are reasonable but a few imported and organic items are outrageous.

As Tom and I explored these past days, we realized this is the Hawaii that we love, not the high rise hotels and busy tourist areas. Instead, we are in awe of the quiet remote, almost hidden, forested, and ocean areas that have existed for millions of years created by volcanic activity at varying periods of time. This reader friendly article further explains the formation of the islands.

Why does our rental car have an exterior antenna as shown in the photo as I stepped out of the car? I thought these were obsolete. None of our rental cars in foreign countries had them.

As promised for today, we’ve included some of the photos we took on our drive through the Red Road on Highway 137 witnessing the pristine beauty of what appears relatively untouched other than a smattering of hidden homes and farms along the way.

Occasionally, we’d spot an entrance to a house with yet more plants living their properties.

We’ll be back tomorrow with new photos and stories of the joy of being together with family after so long a period of time apart.

Have a fabulous weekend.

                                            Photo from one year ago today, December 6, 2013:

Leon, the owner of Jabula Lodge, became a fast friend with whom we spent many enjoyable hours in Marloth Park, took us on our first game drive in the park. For multiple sightings on this game drive, please click here.