Tasmania: the Little Apple
Tasmania is fairytale green, manageably tiny, and full of intriguing critters and ancient forests. It's got mini-break written all over it. Venessa Paech, just came back all apple-cheeked from the Apple Isle and takes some time out to tell us all about it.
What were the 3 best things you did in Tassie?
In no particular order, traipsing to the summit of Mount Wellington on a sunny day, only to have it turn into a blizzard (complete with horizontal snow) once we'd reached the top. Supping local beers (only available on the island!) in the Gothic shadow of Australia's oldest brewery, Cascade. And soaring aloft on an glider in the Tahune Forest; the closest sensation to flying I've ever had.
What surprised you the most?
How much I was able to pack into a few days!
What was the best thing you ate?
A very tough call. There was much tasty delight on offer. Battered mushrooms at Salamanca Market? Vegetarian Laksa at the Vietnamese Kitchen? Local honeycomb-and-wattle seed ice-cream? The prize goes to Bombay Fried Prawns, at Annapurna in North Hobart - paradise on a plate.
Describe a Tasmanian Devil in three words. Sub-question: Do they deserve the name 'devil'?
Irresistible, cheeky, vulnerable. In so far as devils are bewitching, fascinating and irresistible…yes. If it makes people leave them alone out of superstition, probably. Trouble is, it can conjure a cruel demonisation of a rather playful little marsupial (and can become an excuse to care less about their welfare).
What do you think is the best way to get to and around the island?
Flying is the simplest way to get to Tasmania from the Australian mainland. And with cheap airfares abounding, it's often cheaper than taking the ferry. To get around, you absolutely need a car. Public transport is very limited and to make the most of your time you'll want to be as mobile and flexible as possible. Be the passenger if you can - it’s like riding through a storybook.
What was the funniest thing that happened?
Certainly bemusing… Watching an eclectic Salamanca Market artist turn on a dime from five-star customer service to existential pondering to conspiratorial rant. 'Would you like that gift wrapped?' 'What compels altruism?' 'Shh… they’re listening'. An awesome dude.
Now you want to go, right? Start your planning!