Down Under Down UnderA WANDER DOWN UNDER, CHAPTER 7: IN WHICH WE LEAVE THE MAINLAND
Day 8: Canberra to Hobart. Our primary objective for today was getting to Tasmania, an island state south of mainland Australia. We were also determined to build a little down time into our itinerary. With an 8:35 a.m. flight from Canberra, we had no opportunity to sleep in, but driving to the Canberra airport was quick and easy, as was our rental car drop-off. Though it bears the name Canberra International, the airport serves only domestic passengers, perhaps explaining why security procedures were relatively lax. We were never asked to show our boarding pass until we boarded the plane, nor did any agent ever examine our identification. Apparently, anyone who passes through security screening can enter the gate area, including non-passengers. Though this was at one time routine, it's been about 13 years since we've seen that permitted.
In another example of what we have come to call the "No worries, Mate" attitude, boarding the flight at Canberra was markedly different from the typical U.S. and European loading experience. When preboarding was announced for anyone needing assistance, no one stepped forward, even though there were several passengers with infants and young children. (In contrast, more than 25% of the passengers on our flights to and from Honolulu last week contrived some excuse to preboard.) When boarding announcements began, there was no swarm of passengers toward the gate as happens in the U.S. and European airports where we've traveled. Everyone remained in their seats until the announcement was made for their turn to board. It was quite nice.
|Be careful what you carry on|
|No jetway but two sets of airstairs at Hobart|
Finding hotels with suite style rooms, called apartments here, has been much, much easier than in the U.S., where this type of lodging makes up a very small segment of the market. In each of the properties we booked, we've had a separate bedroom and a kitchen with full-size fridge, a stovetop and microwave, and sometimes an oven and dishwasher and even a washer and dryer. So grocery shopping is a first stop for us because we like the time-saving flexibility of having some meals in or preparing meals to carry with us on the go. Once that chore was done, we fulfilled our plans to relax for the remainder of the day.
Tomorrow we'll drive south to visit Port Arthur Historic Site, a well-preserved example of the convict system that was part of the forced migration that introduced European settlement to Australia in the 19th century.
- Started in Canberra, ended in Hobart
- Mileage - 692 (Trip total: 10,671)
- Weather - 46° to 64°; Sunny and windy
- Passengers preboarding - 0
More Photos from Today
|Almost empty baggage claim area at Canberra airport|
|Changeable speed limit signs in Tasmania (that's km, not mph)|
|Freeway leading from Hobart airport to the city|