Working Remotely From Tasmania

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

tasmania07

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)

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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.

brown butterfly Tasmania

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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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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Witnessing Australian Bushfires

bushfires in kakadu, australia

Bushfires in Kakadu NP as seen from the plane towards Cairns

Remember when I explained why Australian bushfires can be good — not talking about wild fires of course? I witnessed burning bush and grass in the Darwin region (Northern Territory) on 5 out of 6 days last July (cool season).

Even though prescribed burnings are considered “low intensity” it felt odd to drive through forest areas burning till the border of the street. The following photos are taken out of the car while passing fires in Kakadu National Park.

1. Approaching a managed fire area by car. Park Rangers scout the park for high growing plants, then throw in a few matches to avoid that too much fuel is building up. This shall prevent the region from struggling with high intensity fires, which would be much harder to control.

bushfire australia northern territory

2. Most of the bushfires I have seen around Darwin were smouldering, producing lots of smoke only. However, I did come across fires with high flames as well, and despite of my distance I clearly heard it crackling and sizzling. Controlled fires usually extinguish on their own during the colder morning hours.

bushfire australia northern territory

3. The sun through a thick smoke cloud. Since Park Rangers only burn small patches here and there, animals like birds and kangaroos can easily change location. For mice, lizards and other small ground animals however, fires are a real threat. They have to leave their ground holes and escape the heat while hawks are circling above them, watching out for food (yes, the black dots on the photo below are hawks — click on the image to see it in big). They learned fast that fires mean feast time for them.

northern territory bushfire

Bushfire between Kakadu NP and Litchfield NP

4. Passing a part of the forest which had been recently burned and now starts to recover. The ashes act like fertilizer for fireproof seedlings.

bushfire australia northern territory

A few months after, nature recovered, new plants grow wildly and the whole cylce restarts.

What do you think of fire management?

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Red

Red

People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.
~ Carl R. Rogers

Photo details (please click on the image for best quality):
Canon EOS 60D, 70mm, ISO 100, F32, 30 sec., no filter, no flash.
Location: Darwin, Australia.

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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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