Launceston is Tasmania's second largest city, and also one of Australia's oldest cities. We didn't spend an immense amount of time here, but we did get a chance to walk around Cataract Gorge. It's home to a beautiful walk, the public swimming pool, and the world's longest single span chairlift.
Who wouldn't want to go swimming every day at the public pool with a view like this?
After leaving Launceston, we headed northeast, passing through the town of Legerwood. After WWI the town planted nine trees in remembrance of their fallen soldiers. Unfortunately, after some time, safety issues with the trees called for at least two of them to be cut down. Instead, the town hired a chainsaw artist to come and carve these wood sculptures. It's a creative way to keep the memories and not compromise the safety issues.
Further on was the town of St. Helens, here we stopped for lunch. Along the waterfront, there are a few fish shops. Paddle Wheeler Floating Seafood Eatery is a pretty popular place for lunch and early dinners. If you're not sure which fish of the day you want, you can get one piece of each.
After lunch, we headed to the Bay of Fires. The name came from Captain Tobias Furneaux's spotting of the coast in 1773 when he saw numerous fires burning all along the way. While it was simply Aboriginal people doing the traditional burning of the land before they moved on (burning helps regenerate the plants) he thought it meant the island was densely populated. Today bay is split into various beaches, included in a few national parks. Below is from the Cosy Corner North Beach.
The red color on these rocks is from an alga that only grows in areas with extremely clean air.
After our bits of rock hopping and beach walking, we made our way down to Bicheno for the night. Here you can take one of the Bicheno Penguin Tours. They're the same kind of penguins that visit Phillip Island. The tours in Bicheno are smaller groups, a bit cheaper, and you get up close to them (a baby walked on my shoe.) Like Phillip Island, you're not allowed to take pictures, but they do give you an email address to write in order to receive some pictures and video links so you can have a few things to remember them by. While we were there, the babies were just starting to learn to swim!
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