Hobart - Melbourne
Crossing the Bass strait
Hobart - Melbourne
Wed. 19 - 08 - '20
Wed. 26 - 08 - '20
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EUROPA has sailed many miles and after a short stop in Tasmania she will set sail again to cross the Bass strait to Melbourne. Set sail to the mainland with us! We will depart from the nature state of Tasmania and across the infamous Bass Strait to the buzzing city of Melbourne. Embark on this adventure, set sail, steer a steady course stand look out and navigate into Port Phillip Bay. But before you will stretch your newfound sea legs to explore Melbourne you will first cross the Bass Strait.
Sailing the Bass Strait
This strait separates Tasmania from the Australian mainland and is well known for its fierce weather conditions. Strong currents between the Antarctic-driven southeast portions of the Indian Ocean and the Tasman Sea’s Pacific Ocean waters provide a strait of powerful water. Combined with the winds that drive through this strait the history of this water mass is well known from history books. With the modern technology the strait is now more predictable, and you will find many ships around you in this busy strait connecting the big cities and states of Australia. Our voyage will start full of excitement, the strait is interesting to sail and offers a spectacular sailing experience. Stand by your lines and be ready to climb the tall masts of Bark EUROPA because many hands will be needed to sail her across these temperamental waters. During your crossing you might spot some special animals, there are twelve small uninhabited islands in the straight where many birds and seals come to breed. Three of these islands are the only places in Australia where the Pelican breeds, five of these islands are favorite spots for Australian fur seals, other islands are used by the Southern Gannet to find their partners, make their nests and raise their young. And if we are very lucky, we might spot a shy albatross, these incredible birds nest on albatross island in the Bass Strait. On this crossing you also have a chance of seeing seals, fairy penguins, killer wales, humpbacks and dolphins. After this adventurous crossing we will sail to Port Phillip Bay and into the busy city port of Melbourne.
More than 70 percent of this land is covered in forest, more than half of it is protected by the government and more than 1/5 of the land is listed as Wilderness World heritage area. Tasmania is well known to be Australia’s natural state. The vast wilderness of this state will impress and amaze you. Her wildlife can be observed everywhere, and the state has the cleanest air observed in the world. This unpolluted air allows the most wonderful species of flora and fauna to thrive. The rainforest trees are ancient and incredibly tall, usually covered in many different forms of moss. The forest floor is soft to the touch where mosses and leaves make way for mushrooms and flowering shrubs. The massive ferns are everywhere, here the animals live undisturbed and you find yourself in wonder of just how beautiful nature is when left untouched by humans.
Tasmania has countless rivers that, together with the regular rain fall, supply the necessary water to this green lush state. The land is mountainous, and the windy roads take you past countless waterfalls, only short hikes away from the main roads. When walking along the riverbeds, make sure to look out for the mysterious platypus. You can spot them playing in the water, rolling around doing little underwater somersaults or just floating along baking in the sunlight. For us boat-enthusiasts, Tasmania offers many spectacular views of the water. Many bays, beaches and rivers are easily accessible and breathtakingly beautiful. Wooden sailing boats and traditional fishing vessels are dotted across the bays, whatever the weather, there will always be someone out on the water. Once you are out of Hobart, there are no high buildings in sight, no big cities and natural sounds takeover. The birds are everywhere, and their songs can be enjoyed throughout the day: small wrens in bright blue chipper away, the kookaburra laughs, the green-red -and-yellow painted parrots are in loud debate among themselves. When the sun gives way to the moonlight you can see animals everywhere. Hear the soft thump of a jumping wallaby, watch a stubborn possum climb a tree, hear the scary sounds of the innocent Tasmanian devil, see the wobbling wombats on the glowing hills and if you hear the leaves softly crisper, have a look if you are maybe close to the spiky echidna with its long nose. Communities are small and townships intimate. One local grocer, a baker, a newsagent and a local pub if you are in luck, many places offer the best local products and produce arts and crafts but also a wide range of fruit and vegetables. Don’t forget to taste the local beers, wines and ciders. Embrace the quiet and enjoy this untamed, pristine island immersed by nature’s wonders.
Hobart is Tasmania’s capital city, more than 40 percent of the Tasmanian population lives in this city and it has lots to offer. When arriving in Hobart you can see the promise of this nature state as the impressive peak of Mount Wellington is ever present on the horizon. Bark EUROPA will be berthed at the city’s large waterfront. This city is shaped around the water and the city marina is home to some beautiful wooden boats. Salamanca’s place is at the waterfront and is remarkable for it’s old architecture, built using convict labour in the Georgian and Victorian ara, the buildings are an impressive sight. The city has many bars, cafés and restaurants. All the shops with necessities and many arts, crafts and bookstores can be found in Hobart’s city center. There are a few museums well worth a visit, first of all ‘MONA’; Tasmania’s museum of old and new art. A Mona ferry can take you from the city to the museum and the ride itself is already a spectacle. The museums in the city center usually have interesting exhibitions about native flora and fauna, aboriginal art and history and Tasmania’s maritime history. When in Hobart, make sure to visit the Royal Tasmanian Botanical gardens just a few minutes’ walk from the center. They are wonderful and many special plant species can be found. There are some tours you can book leaving from the city, you can go to Bruny Island or climb Mount Wellington. The city and especially the land beyond are worth exploring so make sure to pack your hiking boots for this adventure.
Melbourne’s harbour area is called ‘Dockland’ and was once known as the West Melbourne Swamp. After the development of this grand harbour and the surrounding suburb it is a place not to be missed. Dockland is like a free, open air gallery of urban art. Contemporary art sculptures are practically everywhere around Docklands, waiting to be discovered. These sculptures have become a strong identifier of the area. Read a book and have a coffee at the dockside library or just sit down and enjoy the busy harbour in one of the lush parks. Watch the sun go down while you listen to the typical sounds of the harbour and have a bite at one of the many restaurants in town.
Behind docklands you will find the city of Melbourne waiting to be explored. Change into your walking shoes and give those, now very experienced, sea-legs a good warming up because there is just so much to see and do. Museums, galleries, lush green gardens, laid-back laneways, theaters and libraries. Melbourne is an international cultural center. Visit the East End Theatre District and watch ballet in the heritage-listed theaters dating from the Victorian era. Or go to the Southbank area and admire Australian and indigenous art in one of the many galleries. Visit the city center in the modern Federation Square development, with plazas, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River and let the busy city atmosphere wash over you. Or maybe you just want to sit down at one of the many sailors’ pubs and share your new salty stories from your latest adventure on board Bark EUROPA.