Tasmania...Breathtaking beauty...We're still on the road...Most perfect travel day yet!

View from the veranda at the Pelican Point Sanctuary in St. Helens, Tasmania.
It was a perfect travel day.  We disembarked the ship with ease, found a porter to assist with our awaiting luggage, breezed through immigration, picked up our confiscated power strips and were on our way to the airport, all within 30 minutes.

As we'd expected, we arrived a little too early at the domestic airport, even having to wait for 30 minutes to check our bags. Jetstar has a requirement that bags can't be checked any sooner than two hours before departure. 

The bed and duvet in the suite were comfortable and warm.  The room had a kitchen, spacious bath and large entry room.
The 30 minutes breezed by as well as the waiting period for boarding.  In row 4 on the plane, we were comfortably situated in our seats in no time at all. The 90 minute flight was routine and seamless.

Seated area near the large flat screen TV.  Free Wi-Fi was included.
The small domestic airport in Hobart appeared to have only one baggage conveyer.  Within 15 minutes we were on our way down the road with the bags on a trolley and anxious to get on the road.
The exterior of the highly rated Mohr and Smith restaurant in St. Helens.
The goal was to make it to our new vacation home in Penguin, Tasmania by yesterday afternoon.  Once we began the four hour drive in the new well equipped rental car from the Hobart Airport which was the fastest rental car process we'd ever experienced, our plan changed.

The atmosphere was trendy and inviting.
With a full sized map book in hand, given to us by the friendly rep at the counter, we made the decision to forgo the shortest route across the island and take the scenic route along the ocean.  Doing so, doubled the time required to get to Penguin.

By 5 pm, stopping many time for exquisite photos, we decided to spend the night in St. Helens, an ocean/lake town.  We were hungry and tired from the long travel day, having disembarked the ship by 7:15 am, flown from Sydney to Hobart, hauled our bags to the rental car facility, and drove for four hours, we were ready to pack it in for the night.

After 33 nights of complimentary cocktails and wine in the Diamond Club on the ship, neither of us had any interest in drinking alcohol,  Most likely, we won't drink again until the next cruise in three months.
With another four hours of driving ahead of us, we used our Australian hotspot, got online in the car and booked one of three hotels available in the area.  We choose the Pelican Point Sanctuary, the highest rated (four stars) in the area at US $156, AU $209, a night (with tax) and couldn't have been more pleased.

Locally caught thick white fish atop a bed of asparagus and a sautéed zucchini patty.  It was delicious and worthy of a five star review in TripAdvisor. 
The quaint resort was surrounded by lake, mountain and ocean views with cattle in the backyard, ducks and geese on various ponds and frogs chirping through the night.  We couldn't have been more at home for the night.

Tom's meal consisted on Chicken Kiev atop a bed of garlic mashed potatoes, pea puree and roasted carrots.
The manager arranged a dinner reservation for us at 6:15 at the popular restaurant, Mohr and Smith, a short drive from the resort, where we had a perfectly prepared gourmet meal for US $53, AU $72.  We were so thrilled with the meal, we wrote a review on TripAdvisor as soon as we returned to the resort.  By 9:30, I was asleep, Tom shortly thereafter.

Tom ordered fries as a side while I had a crunchy salad of mixed greens and sprouts.
Its 6:45 am now as I prepare today's quick post. We're anxious to get back on the road to take more photos during one of the most beautiful drives we've ever taken in our four years of world travel.  Tasmania doesn't disappoint.

Cattle in the back yard of the resort.
By 8 am, we plan to be on the road to head to Binalong Bay and then, back on the scenic route along the coast to Penguin.  Once we're unpacked and situated in the house, we'll grocery shop with a plan to make our first meal in over three months. 

Last night's waning sun from the resort.
For the first time in months, we slept without air con, bundled under a fluffy duvet.  Although its almost summer in Tasmania (starts on December 21st) we have no doubt it will be cool over our three months on the island.

There was a pond outside our room with three ducks.
We'll be back tomorrow with many fabulous scenic photos and the ongoing story of our getting settled into yet another home in our world travels.  Stay tuned, dear readers, it will quite a show at this special location!

Photo from one year ago today, December 4, 2015:
Savusavu Bay and Nawi Island, in Fiji, a site from atop a hill in the village.  For more photos, please click here.



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