There are few places in the world which are as wild, distant and beautiful yet so accessible as the Australian island of Tasmania. Just 240 Kms off the south coast of mainland Australia and a short plane ride away from Melbourne, lies the Land of Van Diemen later renamed after its Dutch explorer Abel Tasman. Last year, on a short trip with a friend to this magnificent island, I found two of my most scenic views in all of my travel escapades so far. There are numerous breathtaking places strewn all over the island, probably all of which deserve to be featured on a ‘must-visit’ list. Here, I am going to write specifically about two places which were the most extraordinary and memorable experiences for me in the faraway land of Tasmania.
Driving To A Remote Hidden Gem: The Little blue Lake
A place which doesn’t usually feature on Tasmania’s typical tourist circuit happened to be our first stop. Little Blue lake is somewhat of a hidden gem tucked away in North Eastern Tasmania little less than 2 hours from Launceston. Even a lot of Tasmanian residents don’t know about it and it is mostly a detour for travellers more interested in the popular places of the east coast. My friend and I, on the other hand, had read up about it and planned for this.
Our drive starting from Launceston passed along the Tamar river and in a matter of minutes took us to the Tasmanian countryside. We drove on the beautiful roads, passing through the idyllic settings of the Tasmanian villages with lush green pastures and rolling hills. The quaint villages with cute little houses and picturesque meadows with grazing animals looked like a scene where city people often dream of retiring to. On the way we took a quick detour to a Lavender farm with the hopes of catching some purple landscape views. Unfortunately, it was not the right season to catch a glimpse of the exquisite flowers. So without wasting any time, we continued to our main destination for the day.
We reached the lake in the next half an hour driving the last section on an unsealed road. As soon as I laid my eyes on the lake, the colour of the water caught my attention. It was somewhat of a mix between aqua and milky blue. It was different from what a lake usually reflects. The ochered cliffs bordering the waters offered an amazing contrast to the lake. The setting sun covered in clouds also played around with its orange hues. It was a perfect setting for photography enthusiasts.
We spent about an hour hiking around the lake area. There were no official walking tracks but unmarked rough trails took us into the forest and around on the other side. Exploring the area and the lake’s different vantage points, we came across a few undulating and unique land formations probably created as a result of the mining activities. Overall, it was a beautiful experience visiting a stunning natural wonder unintentionally created because of a human activity. Any photos of this must-visit place do not do justice to its beauty. It must be felt and experienced.
Witnessing The Nature’s ‘Wineglass’: Mount Amos Hike
On the east coast of the island in Freycinet National Park and Peninsula, lies the spectacularly beautiful WIneglass Bay. Any photo of this place on a bright sunny day can easily replace your current wallpaper on the phone. The bay owes its name to the whaling history of the region. When whaling and sealing stations operated here in the 1800s, the waters used to turn red with the blood of the slaughtered creatures making the bay look like a wineglass from the top.
The best view of the place comes after a strenuous and challenging 3 hour hike to the top of Mount Amos, one of the three towering granite mountains collectively called Hazards. It is positioned between the Wineglass Bay on the east and Coles Bay on the west. We had already planned to get enthralled at the Mount Amos lookout. When we reached the car park there, we decided to go for a quick brunch and then soon after, we started the short trek all the way to the top.
A sandy trail through the trees in the beginning soon turned into a completely exposed walk on rocks and boulders. The orange markings on the rocks helped us in locating the correct directions. As we climbed higher, the view of the Coles bay and surrounding areas gradually opened up. Few sections of the hike required great caution. We were scrambling on all our fours navigating the rocky surface and there were a few risky and slippery patches. As both of us had proper trek boots on, the grip helped us tremendously. After climbing for a while and taking strategic photo breaks on the way, we reached the top. The hike to the top, albeit a short one, culminated into 360 panoramic views. As I can recollect, the lookout and especially the sight of Wineglass bay from the summit was probably the most scenic and extraordinary moment of my entire Tasmania trip. The dazzling bluish-aquamarine waters of the bay, the perfectly curved white sandy beach, the green mountains of Graham and Freycinet that dominate the background and Tasman Sea’s blue horizon, all offered a breathtaking vista from the top. Naturally, we captured and clicked lots of memories.
We explored the summit area for a bit, hopped around from place to place and jumped from boulder to boulder to find awesome viewpoints. After a while, it was now time to go back. The descent from the mountain was another challenge and in fact a more difficult one. The steep sections were quite precarious at times and after carefully walking down for a while we had to sit and move down. We slowly bottom-shuffled our way to reach the flatter points. The descent was actually more exhausting for a while as it required more focus and concentration. We started walking swiftly when we reached the relatively flatter sandy trail and soon after, we had reached the start point.
At the end, we were quite satisfied with our active and thrilling trip for the day. Apart from an amazing sense of achievement that we got from this quick microadventure, we both were extremely happy with what we witnessed. The tons of photographs I had clicked on the way and at the summit help me cherish all the memories of that fine adventurous afternoon. As I sometimes sit back and look at them now, all I wonder is if it’s time to go back.