My final morning in Tasmania started with a world of hurt and a trip to the toilet to spew up last night’s menu of German beer and pizza. Alright, mainly it was German beer. And then, after a quick goodbye to Mick and Katri, I was in a taxi and on my way home.
Okay, so the driver had to stop twice so I could make a sick by the side of the road, but that’s fine.
I barely made it onto the plane, and was relieved to find I had a window seat up the back, and that no-one was sat next to me. With a bit of space and a smooth trip, I might be able to make it back to Sydney without spewing all over the place like some sort of oversized baby.
Everyone was seated and I was just starting to stretch out and relax, my eyes closed and the world spinning slower, when I heard a commotion up the front.
“He ate my bloody Mars bar!” screamed one bloke.
“I hungry, I hungry!” came another voice. An Eastern European voice. It couldn’t be…
“If I have to sit next to this Mars bar-stealing prick, I’ll smash him!” came the first voice.
“You give me pillow, I tired,” came the other voice. Bloody hell, it was…
There was a bit of a scuffle, then one of the men stood up… and fuck me dead if it wasn’t Stavros! STAVROS!
One of the flight chicks started leading him towards the back of the plane while the other fella carried on like a pork chop, and I picked up my backpack and put it on the seats next to me, hoping the hostie wouldn’t sit Stav the Slav there. You can see where this is going, right?
“Sir, can you please move your bag?” asked the hostie, her massive tits almost falling out of her top. “This gentleman needs to sit here.”
“Hi, friend!” chirped Stavros, sitting down. Then he reached over, grabbed my bag of Twisties and started chomping into them. “I hungry, I hungry! You give me computer, I watch Simpsons show.”
The world started spinning and my head started pounding and my stomach started churning. I leant over, opened my gob and showered Stavros with what was left of the beer and pizza, till he was sitting there looking like a pile of vomit with eyes.
“If you’re so hungry, mate, chew on that!” I said, and the whole plane broke out in applause as we climbed into the skies and away from Tasmania.
And, just because it’s my story, I’m gunna say the hostie took me out the back and rooted me. Don’t believe me? Go fuck yaself!
After a restless night’s sleep due to the nocturnal actions of a hairy stranger (a possum that wouldn’t stop messing around outside my tent, that is – get your mind out of the gutter, you bloody sicko!) I woke up to the morning I wanted yesterday. The sun was out, birds were singing, potoroos were dancing, echidnas were wearing tophats and twirling canes around. It was my last day in Mount Field National Park (and my last in Tassie), so I had to get out into nature again.
The Lady Barron Falls are about half an hour’s walk from the main campsite, and the walk is really cool. Dense rainforest, sparkling creeks, massive trees, it had it all. There was no-one out there, but I managed to keep my shorts on the whole time (sorry ladies).
This is just such a bloody good park, with something for everyone. If you just want to have a leisurely stroll around, see some animals and heaps of trees, you can do that. If you’re an idiot like me, and enjoy going on monstrous hikes, you can do that. There are even ski runs at the top, so if you’re the sort of dude who likes strapping bits of wood to your food and sliding down a hill like dome sort of demented octopus, that’s also on offer. My advice is to bring a tent, though. There’s no point coming to a place like Mount Field, which is so full of nature, and sleeping in a camper van. It would be like having sex with a hot woman while wearing a hand puppet on your cock.
Yeah, that makes no sense, but I’m drunk.
The falls themselves are definitely worth checking out. With the water running down and the sun painting the world gold, I just sat there, taking it in and feeling grateful that I’m allowed to experience places like this. Just don’t tell anyone I told you that, I’m supposed to be cool.
When Mick picked me up after lunch, he was kind enough to drive me to the top of Mount Field (alright, not right to the top, but to as far as cars can go). It’s another world up there; barren and rocky, speckled with azure lakes and ringed with snow. There are still so many tracks up there, so I’ll definitely be back to explore them.
Since getting back to Hobart, the night has gone how you’d expect – with lots of alcohol, some dancing, and the occasional funny hat. I’ve got an early flight in the morning, and a lot of cider to drink before I go to bed, so I’ll have to love you and leave you. Another quince cider? Don’t mind if I do!
I couldn’t wait to get out and explore the unspoiled wilderness of Tasmania’s Mount Field National Park, so I was shocked and appalled to wake up this morning to find it was wet and miserable outside. I could’ve spent the day curled up in my tent, feeling sorry for myself, but that’s not how I roll, so I started making the long, 30km round trip to the top of Mount Field East, 1270m above me.
Most people drive to the top of Mount Dobson Road and then start their trek from there, but that’s kind of cheating, so I walked from the bottom instead. I’m glad I did, because the slower pace meant that I could truly appreciate the scenery, as the bush slowly transformed from lush rainforest to sparse alpine vegetation. I saw wombats, echidnas and the odd Tassie devil, as I slowly made my ascent.
I also drank cold baked beans from a can.
At about 500m the weather turned bad and it started to rain, but I pushed on, telling myself that it would clear up and I’d have a decent run to the top. I couldn’t have been further from the truth, as more clouds came rolling in and the rain got heavier and the wind started slinging through the trees. But I kept going, determined to make it to the summit.
At 900m I left the safety of the road and started walking into dense forest, heading straight for Mount Field East. The track – or what’s left of it – took me through swamps and moors, as the wind smashed into me, strong enough at times to knock me backwards. Rocky cliffs reached for the skies, their grey sides topped by snow. Out there, surrounded by nothing but nature, with no one to help me, with nothing man-made to get in the way, it felt as if I was exploring a new land for the first time. It was tough, and frightening, but it was also utterly brilliant.
Alright, maybe I would’ve liked a bit more signage. At an intersection of tracks, I headed straight forward, which seemed sensible, and a few minutes later (after scrambling up a steep cliff), I came out at what I believed to be Lake Nicholls, which sits just beneath the final ascent. Despite the lousy weather, it was peaceful and pretty, but I was surprised to discover that the track just sort of disappeared when it reached the shore. There was something that could’ve been a track heading east, so I followed it, but soon found myself lost in the middle of the scrub, freezing cold, scratched up, and without a clue where I was going.
Luckily, I knew that if I could find the lake again, I’d be find, but it was at that point I realised how vicious nature can be. In the mountains of Tasmania, the weather can turn in an instant and, if unprepared, you can die. The rain was lashing in and my hands were numb, so I finally crashed back to the lake and retraced my steps, taking a different track at the intersection. Turns out, I wasn’t at Lake Nicholls at all. Nice signage, dickheads.
It took me through glorious green forest, but the weather kept getting worse. When the forest opened up as I headed along a ridgeline, it started to snow – the first time I’ve ever been snowed on. The trees became sparser and as I turned a corner, the wind spun me around, and I was barely able to keep my footing. I pressed on, finding the real Lake Nicholls, which was being hit by the full force of the storm. Huge waves whipped across the surface and trees threatened to be pulled from the ground, and I looked up to the peak of Mount Field East with grave reservations. It was bad down here, but it looked worse up there.
I scurried towards an emergency hut, fell inside and slammed the door, happy to be out of the wind, if not the cold. A man was already inside, freezing cold and unhappy, and he told me there was no way to the top. He’d tried, but not long after starting the final ascent, he’d hit an ice shelf that blocked further travel. Also, the wind up higher was so extreme that his life was in danger, and he strongly advised that I turn back. So, sadly, I was forced to abandon my climb. If there’s one thing I’ve learned recently, it’s that some things just aren’t worth risking your life for. So I ate my lunch, then trudged back through the ice and the snow.
I climbed further up the road as the light faded, finding myself at Lake Fenton, which was angry and dark, with massive waves crashing over me. This is a beautiful part of the world, but today the mountain decided to show me her angry side. And you know what? I wouldn’t change it. Sure, I missed out on the pretty views, and my journey was uncomfortable and dangerous because of the weather, but there’s something special about being out in conditions like that. Something raw, something real, a true game of survival, as opposed to a day of sightseeing.
I was lucky enough to scab a lift back to the base camp from a lovely middle-aged couple who have been travelling Australia for the last three or four years, and who have no plans to settle down any time soon. They’re an inspiration, and I get the feeling I’m going to be living a life like them pretty bloody soon.
I love camping more than Tom Hardy loves pretending to be an actor, so one of the reasons I came down to Tasmania was to spend time surrounded by nature. With half the state a National Park, massive mountains everywhere and enough trees to please even the fussiest greenie scumbag.
After much research, I decided to spend three days out at Mount Field National Park, about an hour’s drive north-west of Hobart. With two incredible peaks to climb, heaps of animals, plenty of types of flora and beautiful camping ground at the bottom, it seemed like the right place to be. So in love am I with all things planty, that before heading out there I stopped off at Hobart’s Botanical Garden.
I had a delightful swagger through the garden, smelling the flowers and marvelling at the botanical wonders from around the globe. It’s a great place to spend an hour or so (or longer, if you’ve got a cask of wine and a good book), and I would’ve stayed longer if I wasn’t thrown out for impersonating the ponce from Gardening Australia. You know the one.
Yeah, him. Which was a shame, because I was really quite enjoying my stroll through the gardens. Ah well, I was to get more than enough wood (I mean trees, not penises) at my next stop.
Mick and Katri were kind enough to drive me out to my camp ground, and when I got there I was surprised by how nice it is. There’s a cafe, warm showers, and a sweet little creek that I pitched my tent next to. I bid farewell to my drivers, and headed out into the bush to see what was going on.
It’s only a short walk from the camp to the splendid Russel Falls, named after popular comedian Russel Gilbert. Dunno why, guess he likes waterfalls, or got caught jacking off there or something. Anyway, they’re awesome, and I enjoyed simply relaxing and watching them as the sky got darker and the day came to an end.
Next were the Horseshoe Falls, named after popular comedian Vince ‘Horseshoe’ Sorenti. Dunno how he got that nickname and, to be honest, I’d be scared to find out. They’re tops, too, and definitely worth a look.
From there, my journey took me along the Tall Trees walk, underneath some of the tallest trees on the planet. At nearly 100 metres from top to bottom, they’re taller than a 20-storey building (probably). At one point I simply sat and stared way, way up into the sky, watching birds fight and squawk in the treetops, a whole world happening above me.
Right now I’m lying in my one-man tent, eating my Bhuja, listening to Dirty Heads and ready to sleep. Life is good. Life is very good.
With Ben flying back to Gosford (and a new life of Dagwood Dog dependency), I was left to explore Tasmania by myself. Luckily, I didn’t have to walk it or risk getting arse raped while hitchhiking, because my uncle Mick lent me his car for the day. And what a day it was! Blue skies, bright sun… nah, more like rain, rain and more bloody rain. Seriously, it was wetter than Penny Wong at a lesbian fiesta.
But it doesn’t matter what the weather’s like, the Huon Valley is still magnificent. Starting out just south of Huonville – a delightful town slung between rolling green hills, and just a few clicks from my uncle’s cider shop – I zipped along the Huon River, which is wide and wonderful. Tiny villages dot it, and there’s very little traffic to distract from the joy of driving through this awesome place.
I rolled through the majestic village of Cygnet, through Deep Bay (which, as far as I can tell, was indeed quite deep), and visited not one but two cemeteries. I didn’t get the chance to dance with a zombie, but you can’t win ’em all.
One thing to note about Tassie is that the drivers are shithouse. Whenever I’d get to a 90 zone, I’d get stuck behind some clown driving 45, and as soon as I’d get past him, I’d get stuck behind some other idiot. It’s just how things work around here, although I guess it’s hard to drive with two heads.
I stopped off at Eggs and Bacon Bay, which is delicious – although the toast got a little soggy today! If you don’t like that joke, you can go kiss a kookaburra.
The trip took me through Flowerpot – where there were actually a lot of flower pots – and then along the Channel Area, with top views out over the water. I ended up zooming north to the village of Snug, before heading out on a short bushwalk to see the Snug Falls. Even though it was pouring, the journey was worth it, because the falls are absolutely incredible. They’re 25 or 30 metres high and absolutely gush down the cliff.
All up, it was a great day. I got to see some more of the state, I didn’t get chased by any Slavic knob jockeys or have to break up any fights, and I didn’t even run into any sheep. Get out to the Huon Valley, I highly recommend it. Now someone hand me a bloody towel!
Waking up with an immense hangover after another night of drinking meant there was only one option for the day – a tour of the Cascade Brewery, in South Hobart, for some hair of the dog. After stopping off in the centre of town so Ben could grab himself another Dagwood Dog, we wandered through the cold and the wet towards our destination.
Despite the miserable weather, the walk wasn’t miserable at all. Hobart retains much of its beauty in even the poorest of conditions, and the stroll to the brewery is truly lovely. The Hobart Rivulet Track meanders along a creek for around 3km, passing historic buildings and delightful parks. It was very pleasant, even if I did feel a bit like passing out in a bin.
The walk took me past something called the Female Factory, so I strolled in and asked them to make me a blonde one with big tits. The old lady behind the desk didn’t think it was funny at all.
The Cascade Brewery is a grand old building that rises from the surrounding greenery like a giant tombstone. We were looking forward to taking a tour, but when we got inside we found out it was booked out for the day. The receptionist said she’d see if the tour leader could fit two more in his group, but he seemed appalled by the idea.
“That simply won’t do,” he sniffed. “I pride myself on delivering a more intimate, personalised experienced, and greater numbers simply won’t allow that to happen.”
What a knob. Instead of touring the brewery, we took a walk around the grounds (really pretty) and drank some beer (really good, but after last night, it was like drinking petrol). After a while the tour group returned, and they didn’t look nearly as happy as I thought they would. No jumping high-fives or anything. As one bloke passed me, he whispered, “The tour guide is the BIGGEST IDIOT I’ve ever met, he knows nothing about beer and he’s told the same joke THREE times.”
“Okay, team,” the guide said, and his ‘teammates’ groaned. It’s time for you to taste some of the scrumptious beverages produced by Cascade. I have this first one when I’m feeling a bit cheeky on a Friday afternoon. It’s 6.3 per cent alcohol, so you know why we leave the tastings until after the tour!” Crickets.
“Kill me,” said the loudmouth I’d talked to earlier.
“And these beers aren’t available on the mainland,” smirked the guide, “but don’t worry, you won’t be arrested if you take them back with you!”
“Mate, you need to spend less time making stupid jokes and more time shutting the fuck up,” snarled the loudmouth. After a short scuffle that me and Ben were forced to break up, the loudmouth was thrown into the street, and as a thank you I was allowed to drink the three tasting beers he was given as part of his tour.
From there we headed back to Hobart, where we checked out the Hobart Cenotaph, which was pretty sweet, and an abandoned zoo, which was just kinda there. We then headed to the Botanical Gardens, which were closed. We just weren’t having any luck at all.
Ben headed straight back to the house, while I decided to quickly explore a cricket ground at the top of town. It was really pretty and I really enjoyed the view it gave, but when I went to leave I realised that someone had locked the gate. I was locked in and, to make it worse, a psychotic plover started divebombing me! With no other option, I climbed up the three-metre fence, somehow cleared the barbed wire on the top, and managed to land on the other side without breaking my leg. As I walked off, I realised there was an unlocked door about 10 metres away.
For dinner, we went to Mexican, but it was closed. It really, really, really really hasn’t been my day.
I’m well known to be a lover of culture, so today I hung around inside MONA. No, I don’t mean the chick from last night, I’m talking about Hobart’s Museum of Old and Modern Art. Yeah, I know, there’s a few extra letters in there, but who gives a shit? Let’s get into it.
The ferry up to the museum is wonderful, and provides a great view over the city. It’s a $20 return trip and worth every cent, as the boast trundles through the outskirts of the city, past mountains and factories, under bridges and along beautiful waterways. I thought I was on the drugs when I discovered that there aren’t any seats on the boat, and we had to sit on sheep. Our New Zealand friends would have a field day.
Once inside, I was treated to a range of exhibits stranger than a drug addict’s daydream. Forget boring paintings and crap sculptures, MONA has some truly wacky stuff on display. A television woman did a lot of screaming:
Another woman had an amount of fun with a sex toy:
There was a wall of Asians:
There was a car that needs to lay off the fucking pies:
Some chick conversed with a donkey (but didn’t bang it, sadly):
I had mouth sex with a giant head:
And a strange range machine mentioned my high school maths teacher:
I’m not a huge fan of museums. I’ve walked past some of the best ones in the world, but MONA is a lot of fun and definitely worth checking out. The boat ride there is breathtaking, the exhibits are weird and wonderful, and it makes for a really good and different day out.
From there we me up with Mick and Katri, who took us on a walking tour of historic Battery Point… with a few stops at the local watering holes. After a few drinks at Hobart’s world famous casino, it was off to the New Sydney Hotel for dinner. The food there is delicious, but it’s also pretty wanky. There’s a lot of pulled pork and quince past and stuff like that on the menu, but Ben was happy because he got to have another couple of Dagwood Dogs. He loves the bloody things. I reckon he would live on them if he got the chance.
The beers were going down so well (alright, the chorizo and plum beer tasted like shit, but the rest were beaut), se we ended up heading back home and drinking until 3:30am. Which is why this blog post is a day late, and I still feel like a pile of warmed-up dog turds. At this rate, I’ll have to carry my liver back to the mainland in a bloody shopping trolley.
After another wild night on the booze, I woke up feeling rubbish and confused, with people rushing around me carrying boxes of cider. There was a big microbrewery festival in Hobart, my uncle and auntie were showing off their cider, and I was invited!
Or, at least, they didn’t tell me I couldn’t come.
Before heading off to the piss-up, me and my brother headed along to the Salamanca Markets. Ben wanted only two things; a Dagwood Dog, and some quince paste. By the end of the day, he would have both, as well as some new friends I’m sure he will keep for the rest of his days. I had a dagwood, too, and it made me feel like vomiting into a bin.
The markets are fantastic, frantic, crowded, touristic and a must-see for any visitors to Hobart. They’re a bit wanky, with heaps of stalls selling mango fudge and tomato chutney, but there are enough interesting stalls and attractive women to make it worth a visit.
When we were done there, we moved on to the beer festival, and it was great! The weather was brilliant, the beer was cold, and we managed to wrangle a few free glasses of delicious Pagan Cider. It’s a wonderful drop that I am in no way promoting because I’m related to the people who make it… But, seriously, it is a great drink, so give it a crack if you get the chance. Better yet, buy one for me. I’m a good bloke and I’ll pay you back, swear it.
Not surprisingly, I got drunk as shit at the beer festival, and so did my brother. The sun was shining and the music was good and the beer was delicious, and it was just a wonderful day. I fell into a bin, knocked over a child, mistook a gentleman for Alf Stewart from Home & Away, and danced to a cover of Eiffel 65’s seminal hit, Blue.
I also saw Stavros, the idiot I helped to climb Mount Wellington, dancing to a reggae rendition of Shania Twain’s Man! I Feel Like A Woman, but when he noticed me he strutted out of there, with no sign of his damaged ankle. Happily, a seagul shat on is stupid head as he walked out of there, and the last time I saw him, he was crying on a bench and asking anyone who came near if they could buy him a pot of tumeric-infused mustard.
Me and Ben headed out to explore Hobart’s wonderful drinking district, and stopped off at a place called Jack Green’s for a refreshing ale. The drinks were expensive and the place was packed, but it had a great atmosphere. Hobart is a truly wonderful place to explore, be it the bars, the wilderness, or the women. I ended up picking up a girl, but 15 minutes after rolling back to her house, I was on my way home. I might not be on the mainland, but some things never change.
Tasmania is a wild land, so today me and my brother hired a wild car to take us around the island – an automatic Nissan Micra that is as powerful as Josh Thomas with a turnip up his blurter. Ben was particularly proud of his snazzy new dream mobile.
We headed out to Port Arthur, a penal (hehe) colony that was also the scene of the worst mass shooting in Australian history. But enough about the negativity, it was actually really interesting and very pretty. We started our tour of the place with a boat trip. It was like going back in time, without stepping into a time machine… or going to Adelaide.
We checked out the old gaol and the gardens, which are truly beautiful. It’s a lovely part of the world, and it’s wonderful to simply walk through the ruins, which have been poorly maintained but show the brutality of convict society. They had all sorts of weird and wonderful ways of controlling the prisoners, including mental society. Sounds like marriage to me.
The first I ever heard about Port Arthur was during the tragic mass shooting in 1996. It was a fucked up situation, and one that has troubled me for many years, so it was good to visit the site of the tragedy. The memorial was understated and bare, which in some way is appropriate for such an awful thing. I took some time to sit and think about what had happened, and then we moved on.
From there, we headed to the Devil’s Kitchen, which sounds like the sort of place where someone who can’t cook makes bad food, but is actually a massive ocean trench. We also went to a blowhole, which reminded me of a woman or two I’ve known.
Ben wanted to head to Tiny Town, a miniature version of Hobart, but we didn’t make it. Instead we headed to a hobby store that had a giant Terminator in it. He was shooting at that stupid bug thing from Star Wars, which was amusing.
When we got back my uncle and auntie were thirsty, so we headed out for a drink. Which means I’m drunk and sitting at their house, drinking wine and being rude by tapping away at my computer so you lovable cunts can have something to read. So, ah, I’d better go. I’m heading to a beer festival tomorrow, so if I make a post I’ll probably be making as much sense as a chicken with a keyboard.
Last night, me and my brother and my aunty and uncle drank and danced until the sun came up. I woke up on the floor, feeling as if an Asian karate man had been kicking my head in, and then decided to do what no hungover man should – climb up a massive mountain.
I’m a fuckwit.
Mount Wellington looms large over Hobart, a 1,269m slab of rock coated in snow. If you ever come to Hobart, you simply have to climb it, just don’t do it with a massive hangover.
After scoffing down a greasy chicken burger, me and Ben hopped onto a bus and rolled out to the village of Fern Tree, which sits behind only Flowerpot and Penguin as Tasmania’s best-named place. Unfortunately, the winding ride up the mountain left me feeling as crook as a dog, and as soon as we hopped off, I made a sick in a bush.
With Tasmania’s pristine wilderness decorated with my breakfast, we started making our way up the mountain, and shit it was steep! I was huffing and puffing like a fat girl on a treadmill, and a few hours later I was higher than Grant Denyer and the view was amazing. While the weather wasn’t amazing, I could see forever out over Hobart.
The mountain took longer to get up than a pensioner in a Thai brothel, and as I neared the summit, I came across a large, bald gentleman sitting in the middle of the track. “You help, you help,” the dude said, in a thick Eastern European accent. I’m a good bloke and a bit of a hero of the common wan, so I trotted over and helped the fella up. He pointed to his ankle and waved his hands around like Al Jolson, so I sort of let him lean on me as we slowly continued up the mountain.
“Hungry, hungry,” said Stavros, and I took out a packet of Bujha crackers I’d been looking forward to eating. I offered some to old mate, and 30 seconds later the cheeky cunt handed back the bag – empty!
“Thirsty, thirsty,” said Stavros, and against my better judgement I handed him my bottle of water. Yep, you guessed it, he emptied it, then tossed the bottle under a tree. After retrieving it, I continued to help the big fella towards the summit. We made it into the clouds, and the temperature dropped, as the whole world got wet.
“Is cold, you give jumper,” said Stavros, and I pretended to not hear him. “Is cold! You give jumper!” snapped Stavros, and when I told him I wasn’t going to give him my jumper, he spat on the ground.
The mountain truly is magical. As we went higher, the thick bush gave way to a barren, rocky landscape full of colour and beauty. Snow started to line the path, which was wonderful, because I haven’t seen the white stuff for half a lifetime. Below us, the whole world opened up, blue and green and pretty. I took a moment just to enjoy the serenity, but it was shattered when Stavros poked me in the ribs and said, “Move, move. Is hungry, you have food?”
Against my better judgement, I told him that my brother had some pizza in his bag at the top, and Stavros started licking his lips and moving a bit faster. Finally we made it close to the peak, and bloody Stavros sat down on a rock to have a breather. “I rest,” he said. I promised Stavros that I would continue to the peak and return with his pizza… and then got the fuck outta there as quickly as possible.
The top of the mountain was freezing cold and absolutely amazing. The view extended in every direction, and it felt like I could see every part of Tasmania. My fingers felt like they were going to drop off, by I loved exploring the top. My uncle was kind enough to drive up to get us, and Ben and I climbed into the back of his car, happy to make it to a warm place before we died of hypothermia. I grabbed my pizza and took a big bite, then looked out the window to see a very angry Stavros staring at me.
“You abandon me on mountain!” he snarled, and I gave him a thumbs up and took another bite of pizza. He went nuts and started charging at the car, his leg magically healed, and we burned out of there just before he could slam into the car.
So, yeah, walking up Mount Wellington is highly recommended, but if you see an injured foreigner sitting in the middle of the track, leave the prick.