Mt Wellington Downhill Mountain Bike

Mountain Bike TasmaniaMt Wellington has variety in the difficulty of Mountain Bike rides it has on offer. But riding the more difficult Radford’s Track was all my fair dinkum, no bull-dust, Aussie guest wanted to do. Being a good rider with notable experience, I assessed him as having attained a high level of skill and was capable of flying down this track with enough speed to be declared an aircraft pilot.

The track started easy but quickly got steeper and steeper and hence faster and faster within a few hundred meters of being on the trail. We were soon flying and both had to brake to avoid absolute annihilation on the heavily scattered small dolerite boulders appearing in front of us like suicidal possums. Continuing like this for the next 10-20 minutes we were both shaken to bits by the time we reached the bottom. Our muscles ached and we had to recouperate before moving onto the next downhill trail.

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Soaking Up History

With fresh snow on Mt Wellington and rain squalls bombing the surrounds of Hobart, the tailored tour to Port Arthur was looking to be a testing one. Grandfather Keith prepared by rugging up with a beanie and scarf, Kara wore a coat that looked like my sleeping bag while Travis thought he would tough it out in a simple hoodie.

As soon as we departed Wrest Point Casino, Keith warmed us up with his fantastic tales of the past and life growing up at Nubeena as a boy. He blew us all away with his stories, and then almost himself as he stepped inside the cafeteria within the Port Arthur historic site and remembered he used to dance there as a boy. As his grandson, it was a sincere pleasure to imagine him with his shirt tucked into his slacks, hair slicked back, highly polished shoes and him pulling moves on the dance floor. Maybe that’s why there’s no carpet.

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Double or Nothing Golf Tour

The Tasman Golf Club on the Tasman Peninsula, near Port Arthur, boasts a scenically impressive country course with plenty of bird-life, coastal views, friendly locals and one of the best golfing holes i’ve ever laid eyes upon.

A tailored tour was created for two gentlemen, Stephen S and Colin P, who simply enjoy having a walk in the great outdoors, a good laugh, a game of golf and a challenge.

During discussions of the golf tour, the more competitive of the two men, Colin, agreed to the following challenge:  To win a carton of James Boag’s premium lager, he must drive his ball over the notorious chasm (8th Hole) and it must lay to rest on the green.

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Rainbow at Port Arthur

Grey Skies, Skin Dive, Abalone and PIES!

Rainbow at Port ArthurToday was dark, wet and gloomy. Deep grey clouds drooled drenching rain over the southern half of Tasmania and some clinged to the tops of the surrounding hills like vanilla frosting on a banana cake. On such days it’s essential to be flexible with your tour because some attractions/activities are just plain horrible – while others are in prime form.

Adventurous Emma C was up for anything and informed me she would not be disturbed by rain. After a quick discussion we soon headed off on our tour to the picturesque Tasman Peninsula for some unique activities that complemented the day and Emma’s needs (Gourmet food, impressive scenery and historical sights).

Emma’s first request was to taste Tasmania’s fine quality pies (a perfect request for a wintery day). Great Expeditions recommend the pies from the Dunnalley Bakery with their delicious flakey pastry and exciting range of fillings that fullfil the fussiest pie eater. Today we opted for a curried scallop pie and as soon as Emma took her first bite she started groaning! Emma said this pie landed in her ‘All time top 5’ (And let me tell you – she knows her pies!)

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Dawn Bushwalk & Surfing – SW National Park

Luckily the Great Expedition Toyota Tarago has the best heater of any vehicle I’ve ever driven. Hobart at 4am in April is quite chilly, especially with a 960hPa low pressure system passing to the South of the island with South-Westerly winds pulling cold air from what feels like the Antartic nether regions.

Traveller James D was not impressed by the cold snap but kept himself warm with the thoughts of his exploration to the bottom of Australia and what interesting things might be found in the ocean down there – His mission was to surf some particularly rogue waves in this remote part of Tasmania.

We passed two cars in the two hours drive to the very quiet, damp and loneliest of car parking spots in Australia. Exiting the vehicle to only hear the tall gum trees shivvering makes it hard to comprehend the area was buzzing with people only a hundred years ago. Our raucous, bellowing laughter, however, would have rekindled memories for the native wallabies still living in the area.

The gentle 45min walk to our destination was a nice warm up for our 7am dip in the big blue bath. Hardly a bath I know, but for these waters and these conditions, it’s definately better to be in than out…