Our little cabin in Rocky Hills started getting steamy on the Thursday night … and not because of anything we were doing inside … well, not entirely …
The place wasn’t even equipped with a fan, let alone air-conditioning. It’s obviously not something that’s required too often in that remote neck of the Tasmanian woods.
There was a little “How can we improve things?” sheet of paper sitting on the hall stand … I suggested a portable fan mightn’t go astray as global warming marches relentlessly on.
By lunchtime on Friday, when we pulled into the carpark at a place called The Gardens, near the top of the Bay of Fires, it was a total scorcher – around 43C.
The average temperature in Tasmania during summer is 24C. I’d been thinking we were heading south for a nice, cool change from the Sydney heat.
The weather must have heard I was visiting and decided to give me something to blog about. On Friday, parts of Tasmania had their hottest day on record. I was in the state’s north, where a record of more than 100 years was broken.
Ironically, I was also exploring somewhere called The Bay of Fires. Too bloody right it was. The heat was blinding and not something the locals are in any way prepared for.
I’d initally packed a wetsuit for Tassie because I was expecting it to be pretty bracing in the water, but I ditched it at the last minute – 7kg carry-on luggage and all that – and forgot to replace it with a rashie. So DD had to loan the pale redhead his rashie for the adventure. Bless him.
Getting to the beach involved trekking along a sizzling concrete path and across various orange-lichen-covered boulders and wild blackberry bushes. We were pretty scratched and sweaty when we finally got there.
The water was brisk and pretty salty, but I LOVED IT. It was such a welcome respite from the white hot sand and sun. I had the most glorious dip, it was one of my mini-break highlights.
I was also blown away by how beautiful the beach was – so pristine and the water was the most gorgeous colour. I took heaps of happy snaps.
(Oh and, like Wineglass Bay, its not named the Bay of Fires for the reason you might think – when it was first discovered Aboriginals had lit lots of fires in the bay, it had nothing to do with the orange rocks on the coastline.)
When I’d finally finished photographing orange rocks, a relieved DD – who HATES the heat passionately – retreated to the nearby St Helen’s for oysters, fish tacos and Tassie cider at a place called Oyster Buoy. Perched over the river, Oyster Buoy is a little treasure that’s well worth visiting.
Unfortunately for us, since St Helen’s isn’t used to heatwaves, there wasn’t even a ceiling fan to stir the air as we parched our way through lunch. Wow, did that icy cider taste goooooooooood.
As punishment for loitering so long on the boulders (kidding), DD made me drive the scenic route to Launceston over the mountains. I think he regretted putting me behind the wheel – it was the most insanely twisty turny road and I’m a jerky breaking kinda driver. Not relaxing for a passenger with a $1500 excess on the rental car.
The mountains were very pretty, though the visit has totally blown my preconceptions about Tassie. I thought it would be all rolling green hills, but it was dry and beige in the baking January sun, aside from occasional patches of lush ferns.
The roads were also crammed with campervans, inching their way along and constantly reminding you it’s a VERY popular destination for part-time grey nomads.
I’ve decided I’m mad keen to have a campervan holiday at some point with DD, either in Tassie or New Zealand. It’s been added to the long bucket list.
We finally pulled into Launceston in the late afternoon and I quickly fell in love with the place … by the time we left I’d decided I could quite happily live there … but more about that tomorrow.
In the meantime, here are some of my favourite snaps from last Friday:
Song of the day: Bruce Springsteen “I’m on fire”