Almost two years to the day, we returned to Tasmania for a second visit. Having toured Hobart and Wine Glass Bay in 2011 with Tom's parents, this time we headed to the north of the state for a weekend on Cradle Mountain. The trip was built around a wedding gift from Tom's work colleagues for a night in a Pepper's resort, and this seemed like a perfect excuse to escape to the middle of nowhere for two nights. Unfortunately it coincided with possibly the only two nights of the past 12 months when having mobile phone reception was rather important to me, but never mind, we managed!
We flew the short distance from Melbourne to Launceston on a plane with propellors (my first time), and as a result of this what would be have been a lightening quick journey on jet, actually took the best part of an hour. After this we collected a hire car and started the two hour drive to Cradle Mountain. Whilst we weren't planning on making the arduous hike to the tip of the mountain (I was using early pregnancy as an excuse, but in reality we would never have done this anyway!), we were hoping to take in some of the more forgiving walks, and also enjoy good food and relaxation. My second big goal for the trip was to avoid spiders. This usually features highly on my list of requests for trips to rural areas, and to save you worrying about what is to follow in this blog, I'll put your mind at rest now and confirm that the weekend was SPIDER FREE!
We were however lucky enough to have very close encounters (but not too close!) with wombats, patty melons (think mini kangaroo) and tasmanian devils. Cradle Mountain is rich in wildlife as well as in views, and whilst in the grounds of the hotel we were inundated with patty melons and one particularly bold wombat. We also did a late night wildlife drive which involved crawilng up and down the main road in a noisy tourist bus shining bright lights into the bushes to spot wildlife. It's a wonder the noise and light didn't scare them off, and we saw plenty!
The highlight was without doubt the dove lake walk, which offered spectacular views of the tip of Cradle Mountain, and a beautiful lake setting for the 2 hour trip. The low-light was my fish and chip dinner in the hotel bar on the first night, which was so disappointing that it seems to have stuck in my mind somewhat... sorry Peppers!