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Ferry to Tasmania and a New Home



blog-0855525001395142537.jpgOur wake-up call on Monday, March 3 was set for 6:00 a.m. so we could get a cab to the Spirit of Tasmania terminal by 6:30 a.m. Boarding would start shortly thereafter. Everything went on schedule and we were the first to board. The ride to Tasmania is scheduled for 9 hours and we arrived at 5:00 p.m. Avis Rental Cars has a facility in the terminal in Tasmania and we were second in line to get our car. The process went much faster than at an airport in the US. We were on our way by 5:30 p.m.

The car was a Mitsubishi and had wipers on the left side of the steering wheel and turn signals on the right. Louise began counting how many times I turned on the windshield wipers when I wanted to turn. She thought it was hilarious, I had a different opinion. Roads in Tasmania are similar to the roads in New Zealand. We had been advised not to travel at night in Tasmania because of the wildlife; wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, echidnas, bandicoots and of course the Tasmanian devil. On our drive to our hotel we saw the evidence lying dead along the roadside. This made us extra cautious as we drove on.

We arrived at our hotel, the Tamar Valley Hotel near Grindelwald. We checked in and asked about the restaurant which was about to close as we arrived. They called over to the restaurant and directed us how to get to the restaurant. We had a good meal and went to our room. We had reserved a cottage which had a kitchenette. The room was quite nice, actually a suite with two rooms plus a bath. On the back side is a deck the full width of the cottage. It was an ideal place to call home for our stay in Tasmania.

There was abundant wildlife on the grounds of the resort. The night we pulled up to our cottage there was a wallaby female and a juvenile grazing on the grass. We could see several rabbits and some spur winged plovers which we had seen on the Coromandel Peninsula of the North Island on New Zealand. A chicken-like bird that we later identified as a Tasman hen was pecking at the ground. The next morning I got out the Birds of Australia book to identify several ducks. There were both Pacific black ducks and Australian wood ducks constantly roaming the grounds of the resort. Also in the morning I saw a number of black rabbits.

Grindelwald is located along an ocean inlet which brings tides up the Tamar River all the way to Launceston, the second largest city on Tasmania. We were about 20 km north of Launceston which was a gateway to the east and west as well as roads to the south. The resort has a golf course and our first day we decided to play a round of golf. The course was interesting and playing with rented clubs made it especially challenging. Also challenging was the presence of the above mentioned wildlife and their accompanying droppings. On the course we saw most of the above mentioned wildlife including the wallaby which was in the woods adjacent to one tee box.


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