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Tasmania. It’s a destination many of us are guilty of overlooking. The lure of long-haul destinations & deals to tropical islands has distracted us & prevent us from enjoying a little slice of home.

It was the same for me too, as over the years I kept putting it off for another time or waiting for a suitable reason to visit.

I ended up finding ‘that reason’ when I stumbled across the Great Walks of Australia website. Like a mini-Tinder for Australia’s best hikes, I swiped right when I landed on the Freycinet Experience Walk.

 

SWIPE RIGHT

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When the picture & reality match.

When you know, you know. A lustful gaze at Tasmania’s pure, white sandy beaches, azure water, and dramatic scenery is all it took. Unchartered territory to explore, guided by experienced hands.

Much like online dating, the curiosity and allure were accompanied with suspicion: could it really be as good as the pictures? After some online chatting to check initial compatibility, I took a leap of faith and was soon on a minibus heading to the island’s east coast. I was about pop that Tasmania cherry.

 

THE FIRST ENCOUNTER

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Friendly Beach.

As we reached the wild bush, sandy beaches, and pink-hued Hazard ranges, it didn’t look like the pictures. Typical! Thankfully the grey skies were only working like that filter you never use.

As we arrived at the secluded Friendly Beach – often cited as one of the world’s best – the sun broke through. In one of those rare online dating moments, the profile picture and reality was a match.

 

THE SMALL TALK

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At the start of the Aboriginal Oyster Bay People Walk.

The Freycinet Experience Walk allows you to go deeper with hikes through the bush, across beaches, and up mountains. It’s time well spent to connect with Tasmania and yourself.

A hike along the route of the Aboriginal Oyster Bay people amplified this connection to the land. Coupled with the Freycinet Experience team demonstrating their reverence and genuine bond with this corner of the state too. A soul connection naturally forms from this kind of passion.

 

THE FIRST FLUSH OF LOVE

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The meals are nourishing & made with East Coast Tasmania ingredients – even on the hikes.

Meals are an important time where romance unfolds (and unravels). On this walk, each feast is enhanced with a slice of East Coast Tasmania produce and wine, including lamb, jams, oysters, and salmon.

For a small off-the-grid kitchen, hearty and (mostly) healthy food and baked goods were made and served with love. Zoe’s sticky date pudding would rival dessert from any Three Hat restaurant.

 

GETTING INTIMATE

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High Vibes as the love for Tasmania Blossoms.

As romance blossoms, the desire for intimacy does too. It’s delivered through the intimacy of space and silence here (there’s no connectivity).

Along with the affection that blossoms from watching wildlife frolic in their natural surroundings. Everything is better when you’re falling in love. The flowers are brighter, sunshine more enriching, and sleep deeper. The Friendly Beaches Lodge enhanced this intimacy through the building’s ingrained design with the elements, and its protection from them.

 

SEEING STARS

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Seeing Stars at Friendly Beaches Lodge.

True love. It can creep up on you, or it can arrive like an explosion. In Tasmania, both were true with the night sky providing the final bam.

From a blanket on the deck, I felt a distance from my problems. The calm that waved over me was accompanied by my first shooting star. Forty-five years old and another cherry was popped in Tasmania.

 

FACEBOOK OFFICIAL

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Spectacular sunrises to steal your heart.

There’s only one thing to do when you’re all-in on a romance: make it Facebook official. The lack of connectivity made it easy to keep the relationship on the down low in Freycinet.

But back in Hobart, that rush of love felt too important to keep a secret. A barrage of photos – of smiles and sunsets and intimate moments – revealed that unfolding love.

Only one thing left: the all-important status update. Consider me ‘in a relationship’ with Tasmania. This is just the start of this romance.

 

Tell us about the first time you travelled to Tasmania.