Well I decided that seeing as my days are getting shorter here, I better head out and see more of Tasmania. I had seen the NE, the N, the W and figured I better go see the NW. So I rented a car, this time from Budget which I must say was a better experience then Hertz, and spent the day, well, driving. I put close to 600km's on the car and was gone for nearly 12 hours, and would have to say I thoroughly enjoyed my time!
I decided to drive the furthest in the morning, then make stops along the way home. I left at about 9:45 and arrived at my first destination at 1300, the Allendale Gardens and Rainforest. The gardens were on 6 acres and the rainforest on a vast 65 acres. The couple that owned the property have had it for years and they have done an amazing job with the gardens. Now I don't have a green-thumb, but I do have a 'shutter finger', so I was in my glory snapping photos!! The rainforest walk was a relaxing 30 minute walk through, well, the rainforest!! It was a nice calm day, and it was eerliy quite walking through the forest, you could hear the trees creaking and the leaves rumbling in the light breeze. I didn't see much wildlife, apart from a few birds and a couple fairies, but I did walk through my fair share of spider webs, ugh! And yes, I did say fairies, there was one section that had fairies hanging from the trees. It was in memory of a little girl at the age of 5 who said she saw a fairy on one of the trees! It was kinda cute.
After spending an hour walking through the gardens and rainforest, I headed north to Stanley. Now instead of taking the highway that I arrived on, I took a side road to Stanley, where I got to see more of the countryside, which I love!! Lots of rolling hills, green grass, windy roads, and the ocean not too far away! Stanley, the 'tidiest town of tasmania' - and also home of the 'Nut' - which is a large 152m high volcanic formation approximately 13 million years old. The town of Stanely was very picturesque with some of the town at the base of the Nut (no worries, no allergic reaction for me!) For ten dollars I took a 5-minute chairlift to the top of the Nut. It was cloudy and windy, and I of course was wearing a skirt, but I still went for the 35 minute walk on the top of the Nut. Well I did it in 20 minutes as I was freakin' cold!! I took the lift back down - which was strange as I normally ski down a hill once I take a chairlift up!! At this point it was close to 4pm, and I knew I was going to be losing the sun soon. I headed out of Stanley and made my way to Boat Harbour Beach - a small isolated beach, white sand and crystal clear water. The water was calm and the sun was close to be setting, very romantic, however I was by myself, so I just snapped some photos and was off to the next beach, sister's beach. Sister's beach is a bit bigger, but very similar. Soft white sand, calm clear waters, but this beach was miles longer, and no one in sight! It was starting to cool off even more and the sun was getting closer to setting, so I canceled a hike to some caves that I was going to do and decided to head home. I stopped in Wynyrd for some petrol, and some McDonalds :), and proceeded to the town of Penguin. And guess what? The town was named after the 'little penguins' (can no longer be called fairy penguins as it was an insult to the homosexuals.....whatever) that arrive every summer to mate, wouldn't ya know?!! They even have a 'large penguin' on main street to commemorate the discover and naming of the town. The garbage cans on main street are also covered with penguins...whatelse would you expect going to a town called Penguin? After Penguin, there was not much else to see and do, plus it was after 1900, so I headed on home, along the main highway - no side road at this time of night. Now I was a little nervous driving on the highway at night for a few reasons. This is when the wallaby's and other wildlife come out and are most likely to be hit by on-coming traffic, as well as a majority of the highway is only two lanes, and I am nervous enough driving on it in the daylight, let alone at night. To my surprise, I didn't hit any wildlife, well nothing that wasn't already dead, and there was very little traffic at this time of day that it wasn't really that bad!!
I strolled on home just after 2100 with 570km's on the little Nissan! Now let's hope I didn't unknowingly speed through any speed traps....Keri - I don't SPEED!!! Haha
Now I have 5 more days/shifts left here in Launceston, and next Sunday I return to Budget to rent a car again for a few days as I am driving down the East coast and to Hobart before I fly out May 8th. I can't believe how quickly time has gone by!