How A Study Abroad Vacation Made Olivia Relocate to Australia
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14th Jun | 7 min read

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    Olivia is originally from Vermont, USA, and moved outside of Sydney in 2017. She has been living in Melbourne since January 2021. Olivia works remotely in email marketing and she is also the creator of Our Wandering Mind, a travel and lifestyle blog. You can connect with Olivia through her Instagram @oliviathibault.

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    What Inspired Me to Take This Trip to Tasmania

    I initially visited Tasmania with my parents while I was studying abroad in Australia in 2016. We took a Carnival cruise from Sydney, which had a couple of stops in Tasmania. After the short trip to Tasmania, I knew that I wanted to go back and explore it some more. There were pretty great deals on flights, so I knew it was a great time to book and finally explore the state some more! 

    How I Managed My Bookings and Costs 

    So with my blog, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredible companies, which made the booking a little bit easier and less expensive. Since we went in September, it wasn't a hectic season. We were able to start booking accommodations about a month in advance. 

    When searching for accommodations, we found some remote areas to be a little tricky because of the lack of accommodations. Since we made a 4-day road trip around the northeastern coast of Tasmania, a couple of places were more remote than others. Those are the type of accommodations you definitely want to plan and book first before they all get booked. Overall though, I found that the accommodation prices were really reasonable for where we stayed. 

    One of our favorite places we booked was actually just a last-minute decision, and it was at Belmont Homestead in Swansea. We tried to find accommodations inside Freycinet National Park, where we had a boat cruise with Wineglass Bay Cruises, who I was working with for my blog. All accommodations in Freycinet were either booked up or really pricey, so we decided to stay at the Belmont Homestead, and it was terrific. This cute little cottage studio was incredibly homey and was situated on a farm with goats, chickens, and stunning gardens.  

    Read more: This Construction Professional Tries To Take A Trip Every Month In Her Quest To Explore The World

    My Transport and Packing Essentials for This Trip

    We hired a car straight from the Launceston airport, which was definitely a good move. Hiring a campervan would also be great, especially if you're traveling to more remote locations. 

    For this trip specifically, we made sure to pack a lot of warm clothes, which was great—also, things like rain jackets, hats and gloves, and multiple layers. Especially for activities like our cruise through Freycinet National Park and exploring Wineglass Bay, I had on my hat, gloves, scarf, and multiple layers of pants and sweaters and was still cold. 

    Even though it was cold during the cruise, when we hiked Freycinet National Park, I was sweating in a short-sleeve top, so layers are definitely a must because you never know what the weather will be like! 

    Read more: This Couple Has Been Road Tripping Australia For The Last 6 Months With Plans To Lap The Whole Country

    My Day by Day Itinerary 

    I wrote a detailed 4-day road trip guide over on Our Wandering Mind of what we did each day, but I'll summarize below. 

    Day 1: Explore Launceston 

    • Cataract Gorge Reserve

    • Explore Restaurants

    • Shopping 

    Day 2: Launceston to Coles Bay 

    • Launceston Harvest Market

    • Nine Mile Beach

    • Swansea

    • Devil's Corner Lookout

    • Freycinet National Park 

    Day 3: Wineglass Bay to St. Helens 

    • Wineglass Bay Cruise 

    • Freycinet Marine Farm 

    • St. Helens - we stayed at NRMA St. Helens Holiday Park, which was incredible and was a partnership with Our Wandering Mind. 

    Day 4: Bay Of Fires to Launceston 

    • Bay of Fires

    • Little Blue Lake 

    • Grindelwald

    • Launceston 

    The Incredible People in Tasmania

    People were so incredibly lovely in Tasmania. That's one thing that I took away from this trip. Everyone was super friendly and really welcoming. 

    I was actually really sick during our Launceston trip and essentially didn't have a voice (this was pre-COVID times). After we finished our breakfast at Samuel Pepys Cafe, the first cafe we ate after getting off the plane, I asked the barista for some hot water for my Lemsip to take with me. Instead of just getting me hot water, he offered to make my Lemsip for me. He also added some honey to help coat my throat and gave me this natural shot to take to help me feel better, and it immediately did. It was just above and beyond and so thoughtful. Regardless of if you're sick or not, the staff at Samuel Pepys clearly just goes above and beyond with their hospitality and service, so I definitely recommend stopping by there in Launceston.

    Read more: She Got Stuck In Australia And Turned It Into An Epic Trip: Here’s How Moira’s Been Spending Her Working Holiday in Australia!

    Must-Try Food in Tasmania

    The Prickly Cactus in Launceston has $20 happy hour fishbowl margaritas which was definitely an experience. Still, since we were in most remote locations, we had to cook a lot of our meals. 

    My Favorite Memory from This Trip

    I think just the road trip aspect is one of my favorite parts of the trip. With driving, you can explore and see so much more. We found although there wasn't too much in terms of things to do' in the small towns, outside of the major cities like Launceston and Hobart, the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. You could pull over anywhere on the side of the road, and you would have a picture-perfect backdrop of the coast or the mountains. 

    Read more: How Haritz Traveled the Australian West Coast in Just 15 Days!

    How I Made the Trip Budget-Friendly

    I think that our trip to Launceston was pretty budget-friendly. Obviously, I saved money with the partnerships that I had when it came to the Wineglass Bay Cruise and our accommodations at St. Helens. Still, when it came to spending, we didn't need to spend all that much, especially cooking our own meals for the most part - that saved us quite a bit of money. I also always make sure to find accommodations that include free parking as well. Otherwise, that could definitely add up quickly. 

    Read more: @75vibes_ Breakdown What It's Like To Road Trip & Van Life Around Australia In Their Kombi, Stella

    My Recommendations on Hikes and Sights Not to Be Missed in Tasmania

    Freycinet National Park was incredible. We only spent a day there, and I wish we spent several days exploring the area. There's a lot of amazing hikes there. Wineglass Bay Cruises was an incredible experience as well, but if you get seasick, I definitely recommend taking motion sickness medicine before the trip. 

    Read more: 2 Days In Fraser Island - Full Trip Breakdown By @TwoLuggageTrip

    My Suggestions for People Doing This Trip for the First Time

    With most of my trips, similar to how I organize them on my blog, I create an itinerary beforehand. I find that the most memorable experiences can come from being spontaneous and puling over on the side of the road at a local cafe or checking out a famous landmark that you've never heard of before. It's essential to have a plan but to be flexible as well. 

    If you don't do any research before your trip, you could really miss out on some of the area's most incredible aspects. I definitely recommend checking out blogs and websites and jotting down different things that you'd be interested in doing while you were there. Create a basic itinerary and then start exploring from there!

    Other cool travel stories you might enjoy! 

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