Since moving to Australia, I finally went on my first holiday to Tasmania. My solo road trip was full of taking lots of pictures, stunning views, and miles driven so these are all my Tasmania snapshots from my time spent in Launceston and Evandale.
The main reason why I booked this trip to Tasmania is because of Jetstar’s infamous flight sales. When you see those subject lines from Jetstar, it can be quite dangerous to even peek through all the deals, especially since Afterpay is available. Although, I purchased the ticket on a whim, I’m so glad I did because Tasmania is such a beautiful state that I’m very glad I got the chance to experience!
Originally the trip was set for 7 days but I made the last minute decision to extend the trip to 9 days, because I didn’t want to feel rushed and actually get to enjoy my time in each place I wanted to see. Looking back now those two extra days really made a difference in my overall experience and would definitely recommend 9 days over 7 because there’s just so much to see.
My holiday started with an early morning Monday flight into Launceston on an insanely rainy and gloomy day. It was only a 45 minute flight and to add to the story it was a public holiday so pretty much everything was closed such as museums and quite a few of the popular recommended restaurants. Even though the weather was terrible, I landed at 7:30 a.m and figured I shouldn’t waste the day regardless.
First thing I had to do before I could start exploring was pick up my rental car which was a compact 4 door Hyandai. Once the keys were handed to me, I tossed my luggage into the trunk and I was on my way into the city centre. Luckily Launceston is a pretty laid back town, because this was my first time driving in 9 months and on the other side of the road so it took a bit of getting used to for the first day. The main difference that took a day or two to get used to was the turn signal and windshield wipers being on the opposite side of the steering wheel. I wonder if anyone noticed me accidentally turning on the wipers instead of putting on my turn signal?
Upon driving into the city, I instantly gazed up at all the houses nestled in the hills. They were all different colors with their character shining through giving the city a quaint and happy vibe. After appreciating the architecture and getting some photos, I went to the Cataract Gorge which is a popular thing to check out when visiting Launceston. Overall the city isn’t spread out so the location was not where I expected it to be so I drove up to it not expecting it to be so easily accessible.
Since it was a public holiday, I assumed it was free parking and parked my car in a lot across from the Cataract Gorge and Penny Royal. The Tamar River in the center of the city was docked with a bunch of boats adding the seaside ambiance of the town. The Cataract Gorge was bigger than I expected and looks like it could go on forever. The little house is not hard to miss either and really adds something special to the site.
The rain was drizzling on and off, so I didn’t make it too far down and went to check out Penny Royal since it was right next door. Penny Royal doubles as a hotel and apartment with an on site adventure park where you can do a ghost tour, rock climb, zip line and more. Since it was a public holiday the gates were open but everything was closed so I got to explore an empty Penny Royal which I’m sure is usually not the case.
Once I made it back to my car it was probably around noon and started raining really hard and it wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t check into my AirBnb until 3 p.m. so I drove to a random spot in the hills, pulled over on the side and took a nap to pass the time since pretty much nothing was open. I’m sure everyone knows about AirBnb by now but it’s like a hotel except you’re booking a room in the house of a local or their entire home. It’s such a great way to truly submerge yourself in the city you are visiting and makes you feel more at home. Click this link for $40 off your first booking and $15 off your first experience.
Once I rose from my power nap, it was a bit after 3 p.m. but I wasn’t ready to call it a night just yet. The rain stopped and the sun peeked out for bit making me excited for my first sunset in Tasmania. I aimlessly drove trying to get as high up the hill than I can and ended up stumbling upon an actual lookout point. I swerved right just as the sun started the go down and although the sunset wasn’t the prettiest I’ve ever seen but it was still nice because the views of the city below is a beautiful in itself.
Not wanting to drive too much in the dark since I wasn’t familiar with the area, I opted for good old trusty McDonald’s for dinner and checked into my AirBnb for the night. I arrived after the sun had set so there was no more natural light coming through the big double glass door, but I wanted to take pictures of the space before everything got messed up.
The next day I made sure to get up early because I wanted to do as much as I could before sunset at around 4:30 p.m. I started my day by enjoying the beautiful garden right outside the double doors of my private room. The sky was blue and the sun was shining so I knew it was going to be a good day. After getting ready for the day, I packed my camera gear and headed off to satisfy my smoothie craving. Thanks to Google I found The Juice Bar at Morty’s and got a non dairy smoothie with a mix of pineapple, mango, and passion fruit. It was probably called Caribbean Breeze or something like that but the damn thing was like $7 but it was good regardless and happily satisfied my craving.
Smoothie in the cup holder, I made my way to Evandale which is a small historic town south of Launceston. It was only a short drive but made me feel like I was back in another time zone. The buildings had a great nostalgic feel with a old buildings lining the streets and the highly recommended Ingleside Bakery Cafe right as you drive in. A few of the local small business shops included a leather goods, antique shops, and home ware shop that has everything for the rustic and farm house lovers heart with cooking appliances, cookbooks, woven clothing, jams, ice cream, trinkets and little gifts.
It was a quiet morning so there weren’t that many people around so I just parked the car on the side of the road and went on foot with my camera in hand. As you can see in the photos, the town looks like it’s still shining in it’s original state even the post office still has that old school feel.
After walking around for a bit, I went into Ingleside Bakery Cafe to get some breakfast. Inside there was a welcoming vibe and a ton of different food and gift options. The food menu offers classic breakfast options and a bakery full of the best sweet treats. I ended up purchasing a jar of their red capsicum relish and one of their rose petal jams, but haven’t tried either yet although I’m sure are both amazing. I ordered the bacon and egg sandwich and enjoyed it outside in their adorable courtyard patio area.
Once I was done getting my carbs in, I headed off to check out the Clarendon House which is a 3 story Georgian house built in 1838 and lived in by James Cox and his family. The drive there was so serene with lots of open lush green grass, blue cloudy sky, mountains in the backdrop, and farm animals roaming freely. The Clarendon House was one of those places that you have to drive down a dirt road to get to so you already know it’s going to be grand. When I arrived and parked there was no one else there, which you’ll see is a reoccurring event on this trip. Upon arrival I was marveled at how grand the home looks on the outside with the large double staircase, sky high pillars, and symmetrical architecture.
The grounds were absolutely gorgeous with the large trees, a garden, lake, and lots of space. I started off by exploring the outside and seeing the old stables, where the convicts lived, and the gardeners house. It turns out a TV news station crew was there to film the property that day so the host working that day suggest I go check out the fly fishing museum while waiting to see the interior of the house.
I spent a while talking with the lady that was working the museum and we chatted about traveling, history, life and fly-fishing. One of the best parts about traveling is getting to have insightful conversations with people and getting a new perspective for a bit then ultimately realizing that at the end of the day we’re not as different from each other than we think.
The interior of the home was really pretty, the lady working inside told me that there were only some elements that are still from the original home such as the papier-mâché molding in the dining room. There were a bunch of old paintings of the family members that lived in the house at one point in time, but I refrained from taking pictures of those since I find them kind of creepy. Inside the rooms was kind of eerie too especially the kids room with old raggedy dolls and a vintage tots bike that I chose not to take pictures of either. Besides that, history in general is so interesting to me so it was fascinating to go into all the bedrooms and physically see how people used to live.
Overall, I spent way more time exploring the Clarendon House than I expected so I’d definitely recommend it if you enjoy old homes and history. With only a bit of day light left, I made my way back to the city of Launceston to get a look at the free monkey enclosure in City Park. It’s a weird idea to think of a city have Japanese macaques in their park but there’s an information plaque that says they are monkey’s that were a gift from Japan when Ikeda City and Launceston became sister cities in 1965.
The macaques were so hilarious to watch and the little babies are too cute the way they wrap their whole bodies around their mother’s stomach and just hang on for the ride and protection. After a few good laughs, I enjoyed the sunset in the park, got a pizza from Pizza Caper and went back to my AirBnb for the night.
I didn’t want to make these Tasmania Snapshot posts too long so I’ve separated them by days. The next day I headed off to St. Helens passing through Derby and Pyengana.
But before my final day in Launceston came to a close I went to the highest point I could to see the sunset one last time. I’m such a sucker for a city with mountains and great views from above so Launceston definitely didn’t disappoint.
Have you ever been to Launceston? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading and stay hungry to learn, create and grow!