Craig Parry is a Bryon Bay based videographer and photographer. He was recently a guest of Flight Centre and Tourism Tasmania on a whirlwind trip around the Tasmanian countryside, taking in the rugged and diverse landscapes and impeccable food, whilst getting a glimpse of good ol’ fashioned Tassie hospitality.
“When the great John Muir wrote ‘in every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks’ – this quote best describes my time in Cradle Mountain. The diverse landscape and wildlife this area has to offer will amaze you,” says Craig.
For Craig, Cradle Mountain was a definite highlight.
“I didn’t realise Australia had that kind of landscape, I mean I’d been to the Snowy Mountains before, but Cradle Mountain is something else. Such a beautiful location, I loved it,” he said.
Did you do a bit of hiking around the mountain?
Yes, I hiked around Dove Lake. Although, I didn’t get to spend a lot of time in the area; I only had about a day (actually about six hours) to explore as much as I could. The abundance of wildlife was incredible, you can only drive 20km/ph or less along the roads there because of all the wildlife you need to stop for. I saw quite a few wombats.
Any Tasmanian Devils?
No, not this time, but I’m determined to go back and spot one in the wild. [The other guys from the trip went on a twilight tour and saw some]. I was on the hunt for a Tasmania Tiger though; I don’t believe they’re extinct!
Was this your first time to Tasmania?
Yes, it was. It’s always been a trip that I’ve wanted to do, and it was great that I had the opportunity to go with Flight Centre and have the experience under the guidance of Tasmania Tourism – they took us to all the highlights of Tassie, it was awesome. I think it was the first time for everyone who went on the trip which was great.
How is it different to other parts of Australia? Does it feel quite remote and unique?
It does. It’s like you step back in time a little bit. It’s nice to see so much farmland, and there’s still so much heritage – the land is well protected which is great. I heard a lot about the south of the island too, how much is uninhabited there – it looks like an exciting part of Tassie to visit. Tassie is really different in terms of the landscape; it’s almost like the South Island of New Zealand, really rugged – minus the big mountains.
What was the highlight of the trip?
Cradle Mountain definitely (as mentioned earlier). But also up north, I visited Tarkine National Park and we went on 4WD tour and that was excellent. We went along the beach and we also drove inland then trekked through the rainforest. We saw freshwater lobsters [crayfish] walking around in the creek.
Yum! That could have been your dinner!
[Laughs] If you take them you get fined, unfortunately.
Maria Island was also amazing. It would have been on par with Cradle Mountain. It was incredible to see this island which is also a national park, with an abundance of wildlife and water that is so, so clear, and warm too. I went for a swim. There’s also a little bit of convict heritage on the island, so you can get a bit of a history lesson while you’re there.
Another highlight was sunrise at Mount Wellington overlooking Hobart. That’s a must do!
How did you get around?
Mostly driving. One thing I noticed was the open roads there – they also drive quiet fast! Back home you might do 80km/ph, but there they’re doing 100km/ph. I didn’t feel safe doing the speed limit [laughs]! The open roads are really nice to drive though. Freycinet over to the north-east coast is a really pleasurable drive; lots to see and cute little towns along the way.
So driving holidays in Tassie are nice and easy?
Yes, it’s easy to drive and well signed. It also takes you back to basics a little too. You don’t have a lot of mobile coverage, so it’s nice to switch off and get out on the open road. For a driving holiday, you can find some really nice places and there are a lot of facilities to accommodate people doing that style of trip.
Best meal you had?
I’ve been down in Melbourne for the last six months for work, and I thought it was the foodie capital [laughs], but Tassie’s culture for food and wine is just huge! I had so many good meals, but if I had to choose one, there was a little shack [Freycinet Marine Farm] we pulled over at on the side of the road near Freycinet that served fresh seafood – namely, fresh shucked oysters. The oysters came straight from the farm which was about 100 metres away. Can’t get fresher! They were the best oysters I’ve ever had!
Did you come across any unique characters?
Well, everyone in Tassie is really proud of their state. The best character was the lady that was looking after us on behalf on Tourism Tasmania. But everyone I came across was extremely hospitable. There’s a great ‘country’ vibe.