Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Taking It Slowly in Tassie; Ann Rickard Whizzes around Island State but Leaves Wanting to See More

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Taking It Slowly in Tassie; Ann Rickard Whizzes around Island State but Leaves Wanting to See More

Article excerpt

THE mountain is normally crowded with tourists, but we wanted it to ourselves. If that meant getting up before dawn and rugging up against the bone-numbing cold, then so be it.

Mount Wellington is only a 20-minute drive from the centre of Hobart so it wasn't exactly a grand mission, but we felt pleased with ourselves as we made the quiet drive up the mountain. We met no other car, although a few brave joggers were out on this early Sunday morning slogging their tough way uphill.

At its peak Mount Wellington stands 1271 metres overlooking the city. We arrived at the summit to an empty car park and with the sun rising pinkly. With no other person around, the majesty of the mountain belonged just to us. Zipping up jackets and snuggling into scarves, we stood on the lookout taking in the span of Hobart unfurling silently to the far horizon and it was all we (me actually) could do to stop shouting: C[pounds sterling]I'm king of the worldC[yen].

Our time in Tasmania was limited, but we were determined to pack in as much in as possible. It was the beginning of December and the weather, which could go any way at that time of year, was behaving. It might have been just one degree up on top of Mount Wellington, but the day was shaping up to a warm one as we descended the mountain and drove towards the Huon Valley.

One of the many agreeable things about Tasmania (and the list is endless) is the almost-always empty roads. You could drive for hours in the countryside without seeing another car. We liked that very much, and appreciated it on that beautiful Sunday morning as we drove through serene countryside surrounded by rolling paddocks, pretty farm houses and satisfied cows. Each tiny town we passed through was a picture of flowered prettiness.

Through Margate, Kettering, Woodbridge to Peppermint Bay we drove in a circuit that would take us back to Hobart in an hour. But we'd discovered driving anywhere in Tasmania takes a lot longer than anticipated Co the compulsion to constantly stop, you see. There is just so much beauty in this small state that demands your time. A thundering blow hole, a sparkling sweep of clean ocean, a tiny bay filled with bobbing yachts Co who could not pull over, get out of the car and snap off a dozen photos? …

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