Jo was in fact a born and bred Taswegian as they are referred to in Australia or Tasmanian to the rest of the world. I had visited every mainland state in Australia by the time I was 19 years old but had never made the leap across Bass Strait to the Apple Isle.
These days rather than apples it is tourism and unspoilt natural beauty that is bringing more and more people to "Tassie". We had cause to travel to Tasmania as part of out Remote Nursing accreditation and had a 3 day course to attend just adjacent to the central highlands area in Campelltown.
Apart from the course Jo had family she had not seen in a while so we took the opportunity to knock of one of our necessary requirements for work, catch up with some people and for me to have my first exposure to the delights of the Tasmanian countryside.
We flew into the state capitol of Hobart and I was immediately taken with the cleanliness and walkability of the city. With a population of only just over the 200,000 mark it is by no means a large bustling metropolis but has a quiet, sedate air to it. The waterfront is particularly pleasant for a stroll around with some lovely old restored buildings being turned into quite chic accomodation/ bars/ restaurants.
The drive up the Central Highway was very reminiscent of some of the rolling hill countryside of Victoria. We were staying in a small Airbnb in Ross which is a lovely historic village just off the highway and has the second oldest still in use stone bridge in Australia that was constructed by convict labour back in the 1830's. The whole village was just out of a postcard with a number of similar aged churches and buildings to be visited and the surrounding hills in hues of brown and yellows particularly at sunset.
After fulfilling our obligations and passing our course we headed further North and slightly West to the town of Ulverstone for family catch-ups and to use as a base for day trips around the area. Our most enjoyable day trip was to Stanley, almost the furtherest North-West point on Tasmania and the site of what is called "The Nut". This is an old volcanic plug of hard rock that stands 143 metres above the surrounding land and is the most visible landmark for some distance.
The town of Stanley is very quaint with a lot of old weatherboard houses looking very well maintained and manicured. To access the top of The Nut there is a well marked walking trail or a open chairlift, we chose the chairlift. Once on the top there is again a well marked trail that runs around the perimeter affording some fantastic views to sea and along the coast. It is around a 2 kilometre walk around the top and be warned even on a sunny warm day the wind coming straight off the Southern Ocean can be freezing. While in the area keep a look out for signs advertising the local delicacy of "scallop pies". Australian’s claim the Lamington and jostle with New Zealand over the Pavlova, the Taswegians have been modestly concocting the scallop pie. I had never heard of, let alone tried these sumptuous seafood selections but was very taken with the one I did summon up the courage to sample and would recommend trying at least one while you have the opportunity.
See our day trip to "The Nut" -HERE
Our stay in Ross- HERE