5 Reasons Why Travelling through Tasmania felt like being in Asia
Tasmania reportedly has the cleanest air in the world and although I didn’t really notice that, there a were a few differences between mainland Australia and Tasmania that made it feel like we were sometimes travelling in a remote Asian country rather than just a short 1.5 hour interstate flight from home.
1) Where are the McDonalds and other fast food giants?
Sometimes all you need is the comfort of some familiar nuggets and a cheeseburger and when travelling through countries such as Laos this need often goes uncomforted. And this might be sad to admit, but it didn’t even take us 24 hours to notice the missing familiarity of the Golden Arches and other recognisable fast food chains that are so frequent in Sydney. Our Tassie raised friend assured as that Tasmania wasn’t that far behind and they did have these chains, they just weren’t as many. A quick Google search tells me there are only 13 McDonald branches in the state, that’s less than what some Asian countries have!
2) A 20 minute drive from the CBD and you are in a totally different landscape
A 20 minute drive from Sydney’s CBD and you are likely to be either still in the city or a traffic ridden motorway. In certain Asian cities, a 20 minute drive from the city and you could find yourself on a beautiful pristine beach or even jungle. 20 minutes out of one side of Hobart and we found ourselves in rural farmland, lined with wineries and cheese factory and go 20 minutes another way and you can find some great bush walking tracks in Mt Wellington.
3) Begging mothers with their babies
Sadly mothers living on the streets, clutching their babies and asking for handouts are not an unfamiliar sight in a lot of Asian countries. In Tasmania, you will find a similar thing except the begging mothers here are wallabies with cute joeys hanging out their pouches. They hang out in car parks of popular tourist attractions and endure selfies for the hopes of some snacks and don’t even rustle any packaging because they will come running. As cute and hungry as they seem resist feeding them because our processed human snacks can give them a disease called lumpy jaw which can lead to death.
4) Cheap seafood
It’s still Australia so in general things aren’t overly cheap in Tasmania but you can get seafood to rival prices you would find in Asia. We went to Barilla Bay Restaurant which was quiet a nice fancy restaurant a got a hot and cold platter of 36 oysters for $79, go straight to the farms across Tassie and I’ve heard they get even cheaper (at the takeaway part of Barilla you can get them for a dollar each).
5) Looks deceptively small
Countries like Sri Lanka look so small on a map that you think the drive between different destinations would take more than two hours. Wrong. I naively thought the same thing about Tasmania, it looks so tiny surely it only takes a few hours to get from one side of Tassie to the other but we were often on the road for over 5 hours in one day and we only stuck to the east coast. But luckily, like in remote Asia, the views from the car window so serene and beautiful.