happy australia day

/ tasmanian devil basking in the sun /
today is australia day, so no better day to update everyone with our recent australian travels! back in november, reuben and i met up with my parents and aunt cheryl in hobart for a 10 day australian vacation at the end of their cruise. 

/ feeding an emu at bonorong /
we arrived on wednesday (21st) in the evening, grabbed our rental car and proceeded to meet up with my family for dinner and a wander around the port area. my family stayed on their cruise boat that night, we stayed at the very conveniently located and reasonably priced quest waterfront. definitely stay near the port if you ever head to hobart, you get a great feeling for the city in that area.

/ galah at bonorong /
on thursday (22nd), we all headed out to bonorong wildlife sanctuary just outside of hobart so we could catch a glimpse of the wildlife. because the cruise boat was in town, the sanctuary had keepers at all of the enclosures with the animals and set free buckets of food out for visitors to feed the emus and kangaroos.

/ roo with joey at bonorong /
i was in love with this place - so many adorable tasmanian devils, wombats and koalas! the devils are part of the tasmanian devil breeding programme, which is responsible for creating a captive population that is free of the devil facial tumor disease. bonorong is unique as a sanctuary in that they also do a good deal of wildlife rehabilitation for sick and injured animals.

/ friendly young wombat /
after visiting bonorong, we decided to stop through richmond, a cute little historic town with several artsy shops. we also stopped for lunch, where i got one of the regional signature pies - cauliflower and cheese. yum! i had a side of cascade brewery ginger beer, too, of course.

/ feeding (and petting!) a kangaroo /
we dropped the fam off at the boat so they could sail out for sydney and then stopped by the pub around the corner from our hotel room for a drink of local beer, customs house hotel. because eating and drinking is what we do on holiday, our next stop was peppermint bay after a long, winding drive down the coast through battery point, sandy bay, taroona, margate and across from bruny island. at the fairly posh, waterside location, we grabbed a seat at the (empty) bar and ordered some warm olives and a glass of barossa valley shiraz. i had heard that australian shiraz was delish and boy was i right. in fact, it was this glass that started reuben's new obsession with shiraz that has been going strong for months.

/ short stop at oyster cove /
after our visit to peppermint bay, we made our way back to our place in sullivan's cove, where we booked ourselves a table at prossers on the beach in sandy bay, just a short drive away. let me summarise - amazing! we watched the sun set over the water with a bottle of reisling and bruny island oysters with apple cider vinegar dressing to share. i had sashimi tuna and soba noodles to start and reuben had scallops with mushrooms. for mains - more seafood! i had a bouillabaisse with fish, prawns and mussels, while reuben had capellini with softshell crabs and prawns. i had some food envy because i looooooooove pasta, but we both enjoyed our mains nevertheless. and for dessert, a cheese board with a port for me and - you guessed it - a shiraz for reuben. we went home fat and happy :)

/ at mt nelson /
the next morning we grabbed breakfast at a cafe around the corner from the hotel and proceeded to drive (rather accidentally) to mt. nelson, a very pretty lookout over the water and the city. there was a good looking cafe at the top, which we would have tried, but we were still full from breakfast. i know, that's not like us at all!

/ view from mt. wellington /
after mt nelson, i finally managed to navigate us to mt. wellington - an extremely high lookout over hobart, a good 5 degrees colder at the top i believe!

/ local wildlife /
the drive was so worth the amazing views, even if it was full of tourists. on our way back down, we stopped by a native nursery, but we figured the best place to go for native plants would be the royal tasmanian botanical gardens.

/ us posing at the top of mt. wellington /
luckily our flight back to sydney wasn't until 5pm so we had some time to wander around the gardens, including the small, but unusual subantarctic plant house.

/ reuben catching some rays in the gardens /
they even had an erica garden! before we flew out, we had a wander around the salamanca area and we grabbed another one of tasmania's signature pies - curried scallop. more yum! you may, at this point, be getting an indication of what inspired me to start running...

/ in my namesake garden /
check out all our tasmania photos here on my picasa album. next stop - sydney....


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