Finally, time to showcase where I lived and worked for 3 months in Tasmania! I found myself at Parson’s Bay Retreat and Tasman Ecovillage, in the tiny town of Nubeena. We were about 100km/1.5 hours out of Hobart and near the historic site of Port Arthur. But being fall/winter, it was a very quiet place to be. The Retreat consisted of a motel, cafe and Ecovillage. I spent a lot of my downtime here, in reception and the Cafe:
With 3 months in a remote location, I made the most of my free time by going on some hikes. Thankfully, the Tasman Peninsula boasts some great hiking tracks, many of which were easily accessible. I’ll showcase two, the Shipsterns Bluff hike and Cape Hauy.
The first hike I did with the group of friends I worked with at Parson’s Bay Retreat was to Shipsterns Bluff, overlooking some great sea cliffs in the area. The hike was relatively short, mostly in the forest, but did end up at some stunning cliffs. Far down below was Cape Raoul on one side.
I had packed up my things, returned to Hobart, and just one day later found myself on the Tasman Peninsula, South-West of Hobart (instead of South-East, where I was previously). I had found my new home for the next 3 months, working for an Eco-Village and motel. I’d do 6 hours of work a day, for 6 days a week, giving me one free day a week to explore the peninsula. And exploring I’d do!
The Tasman Peninsula has some great coastal scenery. One day a few helpers and I borrowed a car and took a drive around to some of the highlights. Starting with the coast and some sea cliffs.
Tasmania really does feel like a forgotten corner of Australia. It isn’t part of the mainland and the climate, people and feel in general is completely different. It was here that I’d be spending the next 3 months working to get a 2nd year Visa.
Our final hike in the Blue Mountains took Tam and I along what is known as the National Pass track, one filled with spectacular scenery, waterfalls and cliffs.
The morning hike started with clearing skies and a lovely lookout.
The most famous spot in the Blue Mountains sits at the cliffs of the town of Katoomba, the hub of activity and tourism for the National Park. Tam and I stayed in one of the quieter towns nearby, but ate a tasty Crocodile pizza dinner in Katoomba one night. But while in Katoomba we also did make sure to take in the sights. Most of that was done by car, taking the scenic Cliff Drive.
While Sydney itself has quite a few great hikes available, it doesn’t have any real mountains to explore. But just 90 minutes west the landscape changes from coastline and rolling hills to slightly higher hills in the form of the Blue Mountains.
The Chinese Year Year celebrations in Sydney are said to be the largest in the world outside of China itself. Naturally I wanted to get in on the action a little bit!
It all started off the night before at the Star Casino, which featured a lion dance and traditional ceremony. I just happened to be there for that one, so I didn’t have my camera at the read. The next day was a planned activity: take in the parade!
It was a night time parade so Tam, myself and a few friends made our way to the end area of the parade in hopes of things being a bit quieter there. Not so much, but we managed to luck into a pretty nice and high vantage point in a bar.
While we waited for the parade to start we got to enjoy a cold beverage and avoid the crowds. After several delays, the Lions started to show up, heralding the start of the parade!