Tassie Adventure Day Five

Monday, 3 August 2009

Leaving Hobart - Tasman Bridge

On Day Five of our fabulous Tasmanian adventure, we left Hobart early, heading south down the Western peninsula to the Huon Valley - a site world-renowned for its magnificent apples and other fruits. The area is pristine and stunningly beautiful, with its meandering Huon River and masses of wooded hills either side.

Entering the magnificent Huon Valley

We stopped in Huonville briefly before continuing south to Hastings Caves, situated in the stunning Southern Tasmanian forests, about 90 minutes drive from Hobart. The caves, featuring Newdegate Cave, the largest tourism cave in Australia, were only discovered in 1917 and is one of the few caves in Australia to have formed in dolomite, which is harder and heavier than limestone.

On the trail to the caves - doing some platypus spotting

The caves themselves stay at 9 degrees Celsius year round - in our case, it was warmer inside the caves than out! We had a party of 10 and a very informative guide, who even showed us 'wildlife' inside the caves.

Titania's Palace (above right)

After the caves, we headed north to experience the Tahune Airwalk, right off the Huon River.

Now, I am not particularly afraid of heights but this was still an unnerving experience.

Running to a length of 597 metres and 58 metres off the ground, you quite literally walk amongst the tree tops.

The metal walkway itself, although perfectly safe, gives a little underfoot as you walk, and the suspension bridge is only something for the very brave.

I tiptoed to the end, heart-thumpingly, for these very brave shots...

And finally, jumping off at the other end, and capturing a shot of the magnificent Huon Pine, for which the area is completely and utterly famous (below right).

On the way back to the café, we saw this bright and peculiar pink Aussie bird (below). And it quickly joined its family flock for a cuddle.

On the way back through Huonville, we stopped at the Huon Valley Apple Heritage Museum, where we had our apples slinkied.

Then it was back into beautiful Hobart where we spent an hour frollicking around the superb Salamanca Place, right in the city, the site of the famous weekend markets.

We even glimpsed the bright orange Aurora Australis, which embarks on intrepid adventures in icy Antarctica. We love Salamanca Place, with the imposing Mt Wellington as its stunning backdrop.

Salamanca Place. I love you.

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