The Destination With The Best Enchantment is the lovely island of Tasmania in Australia. Vistas of stunning beauty are everywhere, though it is the leisurely traveller who will discover them. Places like Freycinet and Cradle Mountain are just some spots where the patient traveller will have moments of heart-stopping serendipity – so graceful and idyllic are the surroundings. The changing light at dusk or in the fall can create truly magical scenes, but budding photographers will find picture-perfect scenes all over the island. Beaches or buildings , farmlands or forests, mountains or marinas – everything seems ideally picturesque in Tasmania.
Even the animals seem especially enchanting. We had wonderful views of eagles swirling in aerial courtship, and wallabies in abounding conference. Warblers waited to be photographed and normally-elusive beetongs scurried away into the bush only after we saw them clearly. A deceptively innocent-looking possum politely stood on my porch trying to get invited inside my chalet, and an exceptionally enormous wild wombat placidly munched grass at my feet like a tame sheep in the gathering dusk.
People are friendly, too, and genuinely pleased to meet you. They take time to chat, and to share local lore on the bakery with tastiest meat-pies or the best vantage point for a photograph. In 2005 Tassie seemed to be what New Zealand was like twenty years earlier – rustic, scenic, unhurried and uncrowded. Places like Launceston have immaculately preserved their old buildings, and the fact that our visit to Tasmania coincided with a vintage-car rally simply evoked a bygone era with exquisite vibrancy.
The fresh flavour of the seafood in Tasmania ranks among the best in Australia, and the haunting loveliness of Cary Lewincamp’s guitar music among the finest of its kind in the world. Like a rare wine or a precious work of art, the true beauty of this southerly hideaway can only be experienced languidly and thoughtfully.
For those who will vacation quietly, carefully and expectantly, there is an awaiting blessing called Tasmania.
(Images by Buzzfeed.com and other sources)