On Saturday 30th December I got the 11am bus with Derrick to Hobart. It was one of the shorter bus journeys that I've had in Australia! It only took around 2 and a half hours. We walked to the Volunteer house, which was only about 20 minutes away but felt like so much further with a huge rucksack on my back. At the house I met the other volunteers, Emma and Frank, also English. The house is in a pretty amazing position, overlooking the river, with Tasman Bridge on the left and Sullivan's cove to the right. We don't really have any neighbours and are only a short walk from the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.
I spent the next few days exploring Hobart, going on an Historic walk around the city, seeing Kelly's steps and Arthur's circus. And seeing the remnants of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. On the way tto the Botanical Gardens you pass the site of Beaumaris Zoo, which was open from about 1923 to 1936 and is the place where the last Tasmania Tiger (or Thylacine) died in captivity, the Tassie tiger was hunted to extinction, although there are occasionally some sightings of it, but there's no proof that they still exist.
As it was New Year's, we didn't have any work to do until Wednesday. On New Year's eve itself we were pretty lazy, staying in and watching films until the fireworks started, which we watched from the house. On Tuesday our team leader, John took us up to the top of Mount Wellington, the views were awesome, you could see the whole of the harbour and Bruny Island in the distance, it was excellent.
Then on Wednesday morning, I got up at 6.30am as the bus was picking us up at 8am. We drove to the office to pick up some other volunteers then we were on our way to our site at Trammere. We were doing weeding, which involved getting rid of several types of plants that are from Europe and are a threat to the native flora of Australia. After chopping them as close to the ground as possible we put poison on the stems so they wouldn't grow back. It was extremely hot and tiring, but good fun. Also there was a Malay guy who joined us, so I got to practice some of my Malay, which was exciting!
Thursday and Friday we were doing trackwork along the footpath as there have been reports of snakes in the area so we were making a clear path along the coast of the Derwent River. A small group of us got to lift some rocks and make a path done to the riverside out of pebbles and rocks, which took us about 2 hours, but it looked really good and provided a safe path down. Then we spent the afternoon shovelling gravel for the main path. Friday consisted of putting the wooden boards along the side of the path so the gravel we shovelled would be kept in place!
John took us out on Thursday night to see some Aboriginal middens (where they used to eat), there are no Aborginies left in Tasmania, as these, like the Tassie tiger had a bounty on their heads. We also saw some Aborginal caves, which were right by the Derwent. It was very interesting to be told some of the background of Tasmania.
On Sunday 7th I make my way back to Launceston for the last week of CVA.