Monday, 11 January 2010

Tassie Day 9 – East Coast to Tamar Valley

Another early start, up at the crack of dawn to get packed up, breakfasted and on our way out of the festival, hoping to beat the traffic. We'd been warned that it could take a LONG time, particularly as the Australian police have a policy of random breath testing cars leaving festivals the morning after, and this had caused massive delays last year. But we were on our way fairly quickly, K passing the breath test with flying colours, and we took advantage of the unexpected time in our hands to meander up the East Coast a wee bit. Stopped off in Swansea (pronounced Swan Sea here!) for a big brunch and then took in the sights of the Freycinet National Park, including Wineglass Bay, one of the most photographed beaches in Australia apparently. Tasmania's beaches are heralded as some of the best in Australia, but to be honest, the beaches everywhere in Australia are pretty spectacular, and we've seen a lot of beaches in the past 18 we left the East Coast glad we'd spent most of our time in the more unusual scenery of the mountains and national parks.

Then it was on to the Tamar Valley, a wine-making region famous for its pinot noirs and chardonnays. After a fairly long drive up the spine of Tasmania to get there, it was bliss to arrive in the gorgeous hideyhole of Marion's Vineyard, where we were staying in a self-contained chalet with a tree-top balcony and four poster bed! We had a lovely meal at a nearby motel – much better than you'd think to look at the place – and then enjoyed a bottle of Marion's pinot noir on our return to the chalet, before crashing out after our early start this morning.

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