Cataract Gorge and Tamar Island

A black snake on Tamar Island

A black snake on Tamar Island

I got to Launceston in time for Festivale, where I got to sample local wines and watch some great street performers and musical acts. I hadn’t heard of the event in advance, so it was a nice surprise and a welcome break from the hiking and sightseeing I’d been doing.

Upon leaving Tasmania’s second largest city I stopped by two local natural wonders – the Cataract Gorge and Tamar Island. Like everywhere else in Tasmania, the sights are well set up for visitors with clear and safe walking tracks loaded with wildlife. There is also a lot of historical elements to these sights and you can learn about the lives of early Tasmanian settlers.

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Sightseeing in Cairns

Gigantic estuarine crocodiles at Cairns Tropical Zoo

Gigantic estuarine crocodiles at Cairns Tropical Zoo

I spent about six weeks total in Cairns, mostly working with teens at language schools but also doing a fair amount of hiking and other activities with a Meetup group, which as usual was filled with lovely, happy people. I was also fortunate because the school programs I was teaching for combined classroom hours with excursions, so I got to go on trips like taking the famous Kuranda Scenic Railway and visiting the Cairns Tropical Zoo – and get paid for the pleasure! It was certainly a departure from my typical budget-minded sightseeing style, and I was glad to be able to see so much.

It’s hard to believe my time there is over. Six weeks is the longest I’ve spent in one place in a long time, and it actually started to feel a bit like home.¬†Of course it’s the nature of the traveler to move on, and my next Australian adventure lies in the Northern Territory!

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