Working Remotely From Tasmania

Can you imagine an even more remote place to work from than Tasmania? I can’t — for now.

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Me and Tasmania — Tasmania and me

Last February, I was lucky enough to spend 4 weeks on that “small” island South of Australia’s main land. Yes, I wrote Australia. Tanzania is a very different story. Please stop asking me about life in Africa. 😃

During my time in Tasmania, I worked 4 days a week and had 3 days a week to explore Tassie with my little family — my favorite travel companions.

We changed apartments once to explore as much as possible and therefore stayed 2 weeks in the North of the island, then 2 weeks in the South. Tassie is an island on which you can easily end up in very remote spots, like we did in the North. We stayed in a small cottage in Riana. Our next (human) neighbors were 500 meters away. To get to our house by car, we had to open and close 3 fences to prevent the cows from changing the fields that surrounded our cottage. It’s been a remote dream!

Our cottage in Riana, Tasmania

Moving down to Hobart after 2 weeks almost felt like a shock. People. Cars. Buildings. A city center! Though admittedly, our cottage in Hobart with a view towards Mount Wellington was in a calm neighborhood. Only a few wallabies visited our garden each evening.

That clocks are ticking differently in Tasmania can be seen on dialogues like this one (with Gerke, the landlord of the Riana property):

I: “So how come the street you live in has actually your family name? Is it pure coincidence?
Gerke: “Nah. At one point, Tasmania decided that all roads got to have a name. So someone suggested to give it my family’s name as our house is the oldest in the street.”
I: “And when did that happen?”
Gerke: “A few years ago.”

Makes me wonder if they actually had internet access before they had a road with a name… but I forgot to ask!

Please click through the 2 albums below and read the captions to learn more about our fabulous four weeks in Tassie.

North (Riana and around)

South (Hobart and around)

What other remote work places would you recommend?

My standards would be:

  • a reasonable internet speed
  • the modem nearby, to be able to turn it off and on again if needed
  • an affordable place to rent for work and living (I’m working from home, not at the beach like people tend to think)

If you like this post, you might also like Dancing Butterflies In Tasmania… (also not in Africa!)

Dancing Butterflies In Tasmania

Sometimes, the simplest things are the most beautiful, like thousands of butterflies fluttering across the meadows of Riana, Tasmania in a unique choreography as soon as the morning sun had warmed up their tiny wings.

They might be mating…

mating butterflies Tasmania

…or wandering.

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I’m not entirely sure why these butterflies did what they did, but the owner of this Tassie farm told me that the phenomenon of the dancing butterflies only happens for 1 to 2 weeks each year and he has rarely seen as many as in February this year. 🦋🦋🦋

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Backyard Kiwi Release In Parua Bay

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Meeting a kiwi up close is a wonderful moment for kids

If I was to recommend one New Zealand location for kiwi watching it would be the region around Whangarei in Northland. Already a few years ago, I was lucky enough to meet Sparky here. In March 2018, I made acquaintance with Ross and 3 of his friends. The 4 kiwi birds have been released into the wild at Parua Bay (Whangarei Heads), after settling over from the stoat free Limestone Island.

Since more than 15 years, Backyard Kiwi (WHLF) is monitoring wild kiwi in the area and capturing chicks shortly after they have been hatching. The birds then get transported to the predator free Limestone Island off the Whangarei Heads coast where they can grow and get strong enough to stand a chance of survival against all kinds of mammals populating New Zealand’s mainland.

Once strong enough (after 6 months or more), the kiwi are recaptured and brought back to Whangarei Heads to introduce wider genetic variety into the area. This might sound like a lenghty procedure, which still does not guarantee the kiwi’s survival once it’s back on the mainland. Still, the success rate speaks for itself: from previously 80 kiwi birds in the region (2001), the number went up to 800+ kiwi (2018). Their movements are tracked and regularly updated in this map, proving that the Whangarei Heads community can truly claim to have kiwi in their backyard.

Backyard Kiwi is organizing regular kiwi releases. If you would like to use the occasion to meet these nocturnal birds up close, keep an eye on their website or Facebook page, where they announce their release dates ahead of time.

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Lots of audience for 4 little kiwi birds

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Backyard Kiwi staff has been sharing valuable information, like the fact that uncontrolled dogs are a major threat to kiwi

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Before releasing the kiwi birds into the wild again, locals and all other visitors had a great chance to see the kiwi live and ask questions

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What a star. Photo. Click. Photo. Click.

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This one got a bit upset by all the people and the lack of sleep

kiwi release nothland

Whereas this one didn’t mind and fell asleep again

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Ross was the one who got released first

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On the way to Ross’ new home in Parua Bay

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Home sweet home! This is where the kiwi got released. After catching up some sleep it probably went out to search for food. The kiwi birds can move around freely and aren’t forced to stay at their release place. Some of them have been tracked over a distance of 10 kilometres.

Here is a short bonus video from the moment when the kiwi got placed into his new home in Parua Bay. Good luck little fellow!

If you like this post you might also like That Time I Touched a Kiwi, Played with a Pukeko and Talked to a Tui

What’s New?

You might have noticed that I am blogging less often as I used to. It’s not that I have nothing to say or write about. And it’s definitely not that I don’t want to keep blogging. I do. Life is simply keeping me very busy these days.

But here are the good news: I keep on photographing. That’s why I recently updated most of my photo galleries on this site and you are welcome to have a look at what I’ve been up to in 2016 and at the beginning of this year.

I updated Landscapes, Weather, Nature, Animals, People and Urban to include photos from France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Here are a few of my personal favorites:

We are planning to travel quite a bit in 2017. New and old destinations are on our list and I promise that you will be able to read about our adventures over here 🌋🏕️🏖️🏜️🏙️

Photo Essay: Queensland, Australia

As we travelled from Cairns to Brisbane (North to South) we discovered that Queensland is much more than sunny beaches, surfers and adventure parks. There are also endless stretches of straight boring roads, millions of acres of sugar cane and in between — these treasures…

If you like this post you might also like Photo Essay: Northern Territory, Australia

Exploring A Tiny Part Of The Great Barrier Reef With The GoPro

Snorkeling the Outer Reef of Cairns gave us a tiny glimpse into an uncomparable underwater universe. Our goal that day was to see a sea turtle; we were lucky enough to swim with one. We hope to be back one day!

Please excuse the camera shake. We actually went out several kilometres to get to the Outer Reef. Big waves were rolling in right behind the corals, making quiet snorkeling almost impossible ;)

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Photo Essay: Northern Territory, Australia

How could I ever squeeze the words “freezing”, “dry”, “red”, “traditional”, “heat”, “crocodile”, “billabong”, “blue” and “bushfire” into one photo essay description without writing a novel? You’re right, I can’t. So let me just briefly discuss some weather phenomenons of the Northern Territory, which create a huge natural variety and diversity on the 1,800 kilometres between Australia’s tropical North and the continent’s arid centre.

During our first week in the Red Centre — around Alice Springs — we didn’t see a single cloud. Unfortunately, that clear blue sky over the desert didn’t offer much protection when temperatures dropped from comfortable 20°C over the day to uncomfortable 0°C at night. Camping fun!

That said, taking the plane to Darwin to spend our second week in the Northern Territory’s tropical North sounded like the greatest thing since sliced bread. Due to the wet season, when tropical cyclones and monsoons reign the northern top end, the Darwin region gets 9 times more rain each year than the central desert. While it didn’t rain during our stay (July = dry season), we got to see some clouds up north; and we were finally back to comfortable camping temperatures at night.

Let’s have a look at how these weather differences influence(d) the land, nature and animals of the Northern Territory.

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