Who wants to see a map of Tasmania?

Whelp! I finally did it. I got around to traveling across Bass Strait on board The Spirit Of Tasmania.

Flying terrifies me, what with the very real possibilty of my particular metal tube catching fire and plummeting into the ocean. Yes, this oversized dingy thingy with lounges has always sounded very attractive.

Spirit of Tasmania I and II were constructed in Finland by Kvaerner Masa-Yards. We actually received them second hand as they were in service in the northern hemisphere for a while before making their way down under.

They’re looking rather swish now with their complete refurbishment.

The twin ships weigh in at 28,000 tonnes each and, at the risk of sounding all Shaun Micallef on you, are nearly as long as four olympic swimming pools, or 20 metres longer than the inside of the Melbourne Cricket ground.

Dipping a toe in the sharing economy

There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle of late over the misuse of Airbnb in inner city areas, where unscrupulous “hosts” are buying up, or even renting multiple properties then promoting them as Airbnb accommodation which takes housing away from those who should have access to it. There’s a plethora of horror stories from both guests and hosts that would make your hair stand on end. Not to mention the discrimination issues within the network.

That said, as a boring white woman, I can report from the handful of stays that I’ve experienced, it’s all been rather pleasant and uneventful – just what you might need for a relaxing weekend (or as in my case usually, a mad scramble to tag along on a working trip with my special bloke).

First we headed out Sunbury way for a wedding so we booked nearby at Margot’s Gisborne Cottage Accommodation. It was a rushed trip out there but the roomy cottage was the perfect space to get dolled-up and organised in time.

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Emu Bottom.

Side note: The wedding was held at Emu Bottom. It’s the oldest existing farmhouse in Victoria. It was “low lying ground and the haunt of numerous emus” – so no, sorry, nothing to do with cloacas. The woolshed on the right was built in 1854 by a team of Chinese fellas on their way to finding their fortunes on the goldfields and was a gorgeous rustic setting for the nuptial feast.

Tucked away behind a quaint coffee shop Tracey and Karen’s modern Airbnb in Horsham was the second listing we experienced in another fleeting visit.

The third was a no frills, economical and humourous getaway run by Melanie in Bonnie Doon and what else could it be named but “The Poolroom”?

Fourth on the list was Julie’s “Tiyatani Retreat” in Merrijig, near the base of Mt Buller. Her online pictures of the rooms were pretty woeful so I thought I’d improve on them just a little bit.

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Julie told us about a dicey time she was surrounded by bushfires and the Elvis firefighting helicopters were filling their tanks with water from a dam on her property.

Jules is very personable and I’m sorry I didn’t get to chat to her more.

The most recent and fifth stay brings us up to date. It was at Ross and Janice’s pukka beach shack at Heybridge in Tasmania. Below are snaps of some holiday projects – plus a bumblebee.

Literally on the beach, everything about our stay here was dreamy, from the rockpools that revealed themselves when the tide went out, to what I can only describe as nordic nautical d├ęcor. My partner was working while I spent my time drawing, painting and beachcombing. Pure heaven.

After the event, we review the hosts and the property and they review us as guests. My report usually goes along the lines of “hardly knew she was there” which I presume is a good thing!

So that’s been my brief foray into the world of Airbnb so far.

We were booked to travel over with my stepson so he could enjoy some Disney parenting with his family in Tassie, but they changed his stay to the second half of the school holidays – so he was going over as we were coming back and we passed eachother in the middle of the deep blue sea. This teenager loves his memes so I set out to make him one ASAP.

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He appreciated the funny side, thank goodness and said he could see us waving to him through his poppy’s binoculars.

I’ll see thee next time me mateys.

R.