On day 2 I gave myself a little more time to enjoy the morning before walking downtown to see about catching the public transit bus to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary to meet some Kangaroos, Koalas and the infamous Tasmanian Devils! Little did I know getting there was going to be SUCH an adventure… After spending about 1/2 an hour walking to and locating the Hobart Travel Centre I quickly realized the staff weren’t very helpful when it comes to providing information on how to visit the Sanctuary. The girl I spoke to didn’t give me the time of day and sent me walking back in the direction I came from to the bus depot to gather a bus schedule and figure out the routes I required. So, by the time I figured all that out I had 2 minutes to walk to the bus stop in order to catch the bus to Bonorong, which meant no time for lunch. 90 minutes into the bus ride, the driver gestured for me to get off – in the middle of nowhere! She pointed up another steep hill (are you noticing a theme here yet?) and told me to walk around the corner, across the railway tracks and up the hill to find the Sanctuary. She warned me that I had better be on time for the 3:50 bus back to the city, otherwise I’d be stuck there (or face a $60++ taxi ride back to the city in order to catch my flight home that evening). I started my trek uphill towards Bonorong and quickly regretted bringing along 2 jackets and wearing a long sleeved shirt (it was kinda chilly in the morning, but the combination of heat and exercise made for a ridiculously sweaty walk). After about 20 minutes I arrived at the park, and to avoid trying the local kangaroo meet (I was getting pretty hangry by this point) I immediately purchased a turkey wrap and chowed it down in the sunshine.
The park was pretty great and I really enjoyed it once I arrived. I had the opportunity to hand feed a number of kangaroos, including little joeys, which was really fun! The kangaroos know the drill and get pretty stoked to see tourists walking towards them with small sachets of food (provided to each guest by the staff at Bonorong Sanctuary). One little Roo actually got all up in my grill and ripped a hole in the bag of food I had trying to take it from my hands. I got a bunch of photos and had a laugh when I realized the kangaroo I had been admiring, who was posed sitting back on his tail and gazing off into the distance, farted (loudly) because he was actually having a dump right beside me.
The Sanctuary is also home to a baby Wombat named Ben. He is SUPER cute, but apparently Wombats don’t make very nice pets because they’re actually quite feral creatures and will attack their own mothers (or in the case of Bonorong, their wildlife keepers) one day around the age of two, when they decide they want independence. I also saw a tiny 5 month old Wombat named Lucy who was drinking from a baby bottle because her mother had been killed by a car. The animals are really lucky to have a place like Bonorong to take care of them, and its obvious the zoo keepers really love their jobs!
Tasmanian devils were pretty cool to see, given they’re an endangered species these days, but I don’t think I’d like to encounter one in the wild! They’re pretty nasty little creatures, and it was evident that even the wildlife keeper was keeping his distance with the feisty ones. They literally play tug of war to get their food, which is pretty funny to see! I laughed at the little growling noises they would make when they were trying to tug at the meat.
The final highlight for me at Bonorong was meeting Bruce the Koala. He was a pretty mellow dude and we were allowed to give him a little pet – he gave me a little stink eye when I was about to pet him, so I made it short and sweet so he didn’t decide to turn around and bite me.
Rather than spend another 2+ hours taking public transit back to Hobart, I decided to make friends with a couple elderly ladies I knew would have travelled via tour bus and was able to convince them to put in a good word with the bus driver to allow me to hop on the tour for the ride home instead! I gave the driver $10 under the table and it was the best ten bucks I’ve ever spent. We cruised in comfort towards Richmond, a historic area in Tasmania that is home to the oldest unrestored jailhouse (Richmond Gaol) in Australia. Many of the buildings in the area are made of sandstone and were originally built by convicts serving time. While in Richmond I took a tour of the jail, ate my first Aussie steak pie, and had an icecream cone for dessert! YUM… The bus driver nicely dropped me off only a couple blocks from Yvette’s house after he had dropped off the other passengers which made for a much more pleasant return trip than I would have had otherwise.
I had about 1/2 an hour once I got back to Yvette’s place to pack up my things and get down to the shuttle pickup place to return to the Airport. At this stage of the game, I was wishing I had booked a longer stay!! 2 days is definitely NOT enough time to see some of the amazing sights Tassie offers… I’ll definitely have to head back there at some stage of the game. I hear I missed out on some incredible parks and beaches that I’ll have to hit next time.
The moral of the story is: if you ever have the opportunity to check out Tasmania… DO IT! (And stay with my new bestie Yvette while you’re at it).
That’s all for now, folks! Keep it real…