One of the highlights of our trip to Australia was Tasmania. Tassie is quite different from mainland Australia; it's very fertile lush, mountainous, and cool. It's also wild and largely unsettled. The whole west half of the island is covered in rugged mountains rainforests, reminded me of the Olympic Peninsula.

Hobart is the main town in Tasmania, but honestly it doesn't offer much to the tourist. But the nearby Port Arthur is fascinating; its the ruins of the last and most notorious prison of the Victorian era.

We also took the five hour drive across the island to Strahan, a small tourist town (and former prison) on the west coast. The drive across was amazing, wild and empty roads with enormous forests. Absolutely beautiful. Strahan is the terminus of the West Coast Wilderness Railway to Queenstown, a mining town fascinating for its hideousness. The destination's not the point though; the trip itself is on a fantastically restored rack steam railway with beautiful engines that puffs up the rugged mountains through beautiful rainforests. Strahan is definitely worth a special trip, for either the first class package on the train or a boat trip up the rivers into the rainforests. You're at the end of nowhere and it's beautiful.

  2006-08-20 00:24 Z