Georgina in Taz We flew into Hobart, where we stayed overnight in the Wrest Point Hotel Casino on the harbor. We played some "pokies" (poker slot machines) but didn't fare very well. The next day we had lunch in the rotating resturant at the top of the casino, enjoying a panoramic view of the town before driving up to Freycinet.

View from lodge

Freycinet Lodge

The Freycinet Lodge is situated in a park, and the wildlife was plentiful. We checked into our cabins (no air conditioning, TV or telephones... but they have big hydrospa tubs). The main lodge building has 2 excellent resturants, a bar, a TV lounge, office facilities (including computer telephone lines) and a pinball machine (a Twilight Zone, in fair shape).

While we were having dinner the first night, I wandered out onto the dark deck and met a big brushtail possum. He was sniffing around under the picnic tables for scraps and as I started to walk away, he started following me. He had a funny sort of drunken swagger and whenever I stopped, he stopped and looked up at me. When I got to the door I explained that he couldn't come in and after a minute he crawled snuffling back under the tables. Wallaby's Lunch

We had a restful few days of late breakfasts and strolls through the park and along the beach. During one of these walks along the beach, Georgie shrieked "Kangaroo!" and ran into the shrubs. When we checked it out, we found a wallaby munching on some grass. We approached cautiously, afraid that he might bolt, but nothing put him off his lunch. He watched us walk right up to him and just kept chomping. When Georgina and I got back to our cabin, we saw another wallaby nosing around in the woods just outside our porch.

Aussie Wildlife

Penguin in a box For our last night in Tazmania, we went to a penguin roost to watch them return. During the day, they swim out in the ocean (as far as the edge of the continental shelf!) then come back in at night. Many of their roosts have been destroyed by construction or threatened by pets, but the town we visited adopted a strict "control your pets" policy and the penguins are flourishing. When they pick mates, the males bring their wives back to the area they were born in. If there aren't enough burrows, they'll sometimes evict rabbits and live in their burrows temporarily. We saw several adults wandering along the trails and a few baby penguins waiting for their parents to return.

On the way back from the penguins, we saw (and almost hit) many varieties of native Australian wildlife. In just half an hour, we saw brushtail possums (including a mother with a baby), a ringtail possum (that hung around long enough for us to drag out the video and tape him), a tasmanian devil and several wallabies. One wallaby ran alongside our car for a minute, then suddenly ran ahead and cut in front of us. Miraculously, we managed to avoid striking any of them despite their best efforts to end it all.

The next morning, we flew back to Sydney.