I could summarise my five-day tour of Tasmania in five words: rainforest, mountains, lakes, beaches, wombat. But what’s the point in having a blog if I’m only going to use five words?
I could, alternatively, give you a 2,000-word chronological narrative of the cool things we did. But the thing is, when you tell other people about your fun experience you can get so absorbed in reliving how fun it was that you forget your audience wasn’t there. You think your story is automatically, inherently, fun – but it isn’t.
And anyway, this is not a travel blog.
So here’s what we’ll do instead: I’m going to share just five moments with you. Five special moments.
And then you can head on over to Tassie and see it all for yourself.
The sea and the sky, and the sky in the sea
I know that oceans, rivers and lakes get their colour from the sky – science and stuff.
But there’s something about actually being able to see the sky on the water that gives all that physics a transcendental power. It’s a spiritual experience.
Also, seeing the mountain we’d hiked just before, across the water.
Also, there were dolphins.
Cradle in the wind
The problem with holidays is you can’t predict or control the weather. So if you go to an awesome place at the wrong time and get unawesome weather, well that’s just too bad.
The morning we rose early to get to Cradle Mountain, the sky couldn’t seem to make up its mind. And when I stepped off the bus I realised that I had, yet again, come underdressed for a hike. Just like the time I thought I was going to the jungle but climbed a glacier instead.
As we wandered round Dove Lake and began the steep ascent to Marion’s Lookout, sun gave way to snow. The wind turned the snowflakes into needles against our faces.
But at the summit, the thick mass of clouds parted like a curtain. It was like someone had waved their magic wand and conjured up the view, just for us.
Anyone will tell you I’m not really an animal person. Apart from our Year 4 class axolotl, who stayed for two weeks over the holidays, I’ve never had a pet and am fairly indifferent to puppies. Sacrilege, I know.
Wombats must be an exception. I have always loved slow and chubby animals that don’t slobber. If I had a bucket list (I don’t), a wombat selfie would definitely be on it.
This picture still makes me inordinately happy.
So nerdy right now
There was a Japanese guy on the tour who looked and sounded like he’d walked straight out of an anime.
“This is the most BEW-ti-ful place in the world!” he declared – and proceeded, awestruck, to repeat as we stood on Donaghy’s Lookout.
Yes, despite the overcast day, the mountains and the greenery were beautiful. But all I could think of was the law.
So this is the Franklin River, I thought to myself. The one they fought so hard not to dam. The one that made Bob Brown. The one that set that precedent. Something to do with environmental or international or constitutional law. Or all three.
Law school never leaves you. Even when you can’t quite remember exactly what that precedent was.*
Be still … and fill up on Nature
Gorgeous autumn day, famously clear water and perfect sand. Swimming seemed like the right idea but all I wanted to do was sit on a rock and gaze out over the sparkling sea, listening to “Woodland” by The Paper Kites.
I could’ve stayed there the whole day, letting the sun toast my face and soak my soul.
Nature does that to you – makes you stop and breathe and admire. Forget yourself for a while; reflect on your Maker.
Note: That header image – the view over Wineglass Bay from the top of Mount Amos – was shot on my iPhone 6s (as are all images in this post, except for the Franklin River one). No filters or additional editing on any of them. Image credit goes to tour guide extraordinaire, Chris Ridge.
*The Tasmanian Dams Case is significant in constitutional law because the High Court’s decision confirmed that the Commonwealth has power under the Constitution (s 51(xxix) external affairs) to enact legislation that is reasonably capable of being considered appropriate and adapted to fulfil Australia’s international legal obligations. This allowed the Hawke Labor Government to pass a law to protect the World Heritage listed area by prohibiting activities including damming the Franklin River. In case you were wondering.