Jump In Tours round Tasmania
Queenstown Travel Blog› entry 123 of 206 › view all entries
Today we started our 5 day bus tour round Tassie. We'd spent hours researching methods of travel and had been endlessly thwarted by our inability to drive, and the inaccessability of many of the places, especially on the west coast. But as I had hoped, on arrival at Tasmania we'd had better access to available tours, including this one which offered amazing value compared to others, at $400 for 5 days inclusive of hostels (amazing when each 1 day tour probably costs on average $130).
I didn't know what to expect, after my experiences with Stray in New Zealand, so was only half surprised to be greeted by a small 8 seater bus with Greg (driver), Tanya (his girlfriend) and one other tour guest, a dutch girl named Rose. It is obviously a small operation, new by one year, and runs every Monday to Friday.
We started by heading north-west, through beautiful hills and fields of golden-corn colour and happy red and green out-buildings nestled at the hill bases. We stopped first at Russell Falls; a beautiful two-tiered sheet waterfall about 15 minutes walk into bush. The fresh smell of the forest was delicious and we happily stalked the only-slightly-jumpy Pademelons; little hopping marsupial-like creatures, like papparazzi, usually only managing to get another 'bum shot' as it bounced away.
Back on the bus and a quick stop at Tarraleah, one of 8 hydro-electric power stations on the River Derwent.
After about an hour we started our descent towards the copper, silver and gold mining town of Queenstown, following windy roads down the rocky hillsides. These peaks and troughs reminded me somewhat of my favourite scenery in New Zealand at the Lindis Pass, except coloured differently with streaks of mineral oranges, browns and whites. Down at the town, the mining still continues, but the mining successes of past ages are evident in the buildings which are predominantly 1890s style and one expects cowboys to topple out of saloon doors for a shoot-out any minute. We had a drink in the old bar before heading to the hostel, enjoyed a delicious, if basic, pasta meal, watched some telly and turned in early ready for tomorrow.