Day 11 & 12: The Final 2 days in Tasmania: Cataract Gorge, Guide Falls

IMG_0871.JPGThe Cataract Gorge is arguably Launceston’s most well-known tourist spot. Being only 1.5 km away from the city centre, it serves as a tranquil piece of wilderness for those living around the area.

Entry to the Gorge is free, though you have to pay for the extras (chairlift ride).

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There are plenty of trails to hike in this man-made site, so if you plan to do the entire thing you best cater for 3-4 hours minimum. We did the basic walks plus the chairlift as I didn’t think my parents had the legs to take on the longer hikes.

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Here’s my mum and dad in front of us…pardon the grainy pictures. Was half worried about my iPhone taking a plunge below.

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The chairlift was great to view the entire gorge from another perspective, and suitable even for those with vertigo.

Next stop was a 90 minutes drive to House of Anvers, known for its gourmet artisan chocolates.

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We left with a delectable Strawberry Chocolate cake, as well as some other chocolate as gifts back home.

About 40 kilometres away from the House of Anvers was the town of Penguin, where we found a nice bakery for a pit stop.IMG_0909.JPG

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The peppermint slice was an absolute winner. Don’t leave without it.

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There was literally a huge Penguin in the town, which made a great photo-op.

Our final stop of the day was Guide Falls, a lovely falls around 30 minutes drive away from Penguin.

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A short 30 minutes was enough to cover the waterfall circuit, from the top to the base of the falls.

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You could walk as far as you wanted to, just watch out for the slippery rocks!

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Spring is indeed a beautiful time for such walks, with the lush greenery and crisp, cool weather.

Our stay for the night was a stunning farmhouse, wonderfully clean and with amazing views of the farm, somewhere in Abbotsham. https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/3536872

The host Emma was kind and gracious, and she had two really friendly dogs (ok one wasn’t very friendly but he was just pretending to be fierce I think!)

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Truly a place to kick back and relax, and just enjoy the surroundings.

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Besides the townhouse in Hobart, this was one of the best that we stayed on our travels this time.

The next day was a grueling drive back to Hobart, largely due to my mistake of having booked return tickets from Hobart Airport when I should have done so from Launceston. So if you are planning a self-drive around Tasmania, Launceston airport would probably be more ideal to return from than having to drive all the way back south just to catch your flight! This depends on your itinerary, of course.

We decided to make the most of the drive by stopping at various points to buy some food back home, as souvenirs.

First stop was Turner’s Beach Berry Patch.

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Besides having a PYO, they had a cute little cafe serving desserts and a gift shop which I bought some Tasmanian whisky for my boss. The PYO wasn’t available when we arrived though, as the strawberries weren’t quite ready yet.

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There’s a nice area outside the cafe where you can play table tennis (with a tennis ball), if you are not into the PYO or gift shopping.

An hour’s drive from Turner’s Beach was Melita Honey Farm, which was really more like a shop than a farm. Nonetheless, this was one of our most fruitful stops as we managed to stock up on more honey and nougats.

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The most difficult thing you have to do here is to decide which type of honey you want – there’s just too many!

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Before we stopped for the night, we dropped by Ross Bakery, supposedly serving the best Vanilla Slice in the country. However, we didn’t think its claim was justified. The best we had so far was back in Perth, at Corica Pastries.

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After a long drive we finally reached our rest stop for the night, at Michelle’s home located in Bellerive, just outside of Hobart. One of the reasons we chose the place was its proximity to the airport. https://www.airbnb.com.sg/users/show/53753110

The reception we had was the warmest. Michelle was kind, friendly and warm and her fridge was stocked up with all kinds of goodies ensuring we weren’t going to go hungry.

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Apartment was spacious, and clean. My parents got the kids room though, complete with the plushies.

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Unfortunately we broke her wine glasses, but instead of making a fuss her first reaction was making sure no one got hurt. Unbelievable gesture! She’s the kind of host that makes Airbnb such a delightful experience.

2 more days in Australia-back to Melbourne for the last leg!

Next – ► Day 13 & 14: The Final Leg & Home

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