I’m finally doing Tasmania! At least, that’s what I thought when I woke up this morning in the hotel. That was before I got in the lovingly prepped 4×4 ute and realised it wouldn’t start. Looks like this trip is off to a slow start.

The ute is all packed with a complex array of tarps, swags, cooking gear and the like. The one thing it’s not equipped with, it turns out, is a battery that works – or so it appears. How this got overlooked is anyone’s guess, but the fact remains that we need a mechanic. Hobart locals – got any tips on great service centres in the area?

As much as I’m keen to get out into the forest, I’m actually not overly opposed to hanging out in this neck of the woods for a couple more days. As far as cities go, it’s quite cute – more like a large town. I’m not in any rush, so I can justify shelling out for a general car service. Hobart seems like a fine place to be having that done, and after this incident, it seems best to get the whole rig comprehensively looked at before taking it on a trip into the wilderness.

As someone who’s done their share of off-road driving, trust me: the little things can make a massive difference. Everything from correct wheel alignment to working air con can affect the quality of a trip, especially when conditions are on the rougher side for an extended period. Why, then, didn’t I get all this done back home in Melbourne? Well, nobody’s perfect, alright. I just didn’t have time.

Right now, though, I’ve got all the time in the world, up to a point. I’ve heard that Hobart is great for local wine and seafood… and hopefully automotive stuff. Fingers crossed that the mechanics are just good enough to get the job done to perfection without getting it all done in too much of a hurry – I have a date with a craft beer tour.