Looking for something a little quirky to do in Australia? Here are five things that will add a touch of eccentricity to a visit to the most southern state, Tasmania.
1-Visit the Gumboot Tree
Cruise down the Pieman River from Corinna, in south-west of Tasmania, and you may well see the Gumboot Tree.
Decorated in once-loved rubber boots, the tree is situated amongst a small huddle of privately owned fishing shacks.
One of the best ways to view the tree is by taking a boat cruise, which stops to let out passengers near the mouth of the river.
The walk to the sea goes right past the shacks and this rare species of ‘gum tree’.
2-Search for the perfect scallop pie
You’ve heard of Aussie meat pies, vegemite and lamingtons. But if you haven’t been to Tasmania you’ve probably never heard of the scallop pie.
Perfected by generations of Tasmanians, the scallop pie traditionally includes moist fresh scallops wrapped in a delicate filo pastry.
Many local bakeries stock this seafood-cum-pastry delicacy but they are difficult to find. A hunt for this secretly guarded gastronomical delight is well worth the effort.
For one of the best pies visit Exeter Bakery in the small town of Exeter, 25kms north of Launceston.
Exeter is centre of the Tamar Valley Wine Route and a region renowned for its orchards, fruit, dairy and beef cattle.
This intriguing little town, off the main tourist map, is also home to the oldest Methodist Church in Tasmania built in 1861.
The scallop pies here are delicious. The recipe has been perfected for over 100 years. Do you have any suggestions to finding the perfect scallop pie?
Top tip: when visiting Exeter go to Brady’s lookout. The view is superb on a good day. Take one of the many wine tours and visit the Notley Fern Gorge State Reserve, which has a 1.5 km walking track through the ancient rainforest.
3-Spot a penguin or three at Penguin
Travel a short distance from Launceston in Tasmania’s north to the seaside town of Penguin.
Aptly named, the town sits on the edge of the Bass Strait and is named after the nearby permanent penguin rookeries.
Don’t miss a quirky photo opportunity with the giant penguin. Real penguins can be seen each night at Penguin Point. The penguins waddle up the beach to nest from September to March.
Every Sunday, the town of Penguin is the venue for Tasmania’s largest undercover market.
The market has over 200 stalls selling local food and wine, crafts and other intriguing Tasmanian-made wares.
Top tip: The coastal drive between Ulverstone and Wynyard has fantastic ocean views and lovely spots to have a picnic.
4-Take a photo of a devil crossing
Tasmanian devils, once almost hunted to extinction, are now a protected native animal and a sighting in the wild is a visitor’s dream.
Tassie devils are predominantly nocturnal so if you’re out driving at night, you might even spot Tassie devils feasting on road kill.
Best of luck spotting the devils – it’s incredibly thrilling when you do see one. Or you can get up-close and personal with these Aussie icons during the day at one of the many wildlife parks around Tasmania.
In the town of Latrobe in northern Tasmania, Reliquaire has a treasure trove of quirky toys and collectables. Visiting Reliquaire will transport you back in time as the displays in this wonderland include more than toys.
The 26 rooms are packed with dolls, teddy bears, jewellery, soaps and candles, handbags and clothing.
There are beautiful items like Venetian masks and puppets, cookbooks and games. It’s an intriguing attraction that has a little something to suit all ages.
Reliquaire is rebuilding after a tragic fire. For more see https://www.facebook.com/reliquaire.latrobe/
Danielle Lancaster was a guest of Tourism Tasmania