A Peninsula Experience

Tasmania has no shortage of amazing places to stay. However, there are are a handful that are truly spectacular. The Peninsula Experience in Dover is one of those. To start with you get a beautiful house, complete with wood fire, and outdoor spa. But on top of that you get an entire peninsula to yourself, complete with 4km of walking tracks, and an army of birds and wildlife.

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Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
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Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

Of bicycles and things

Last weekend I took my new toy out for it’s first spin. It’s been far too long since I’ve been on a bike, but living in Tasmania is the perfect time to get back in the saddle. Life looks different from on a bike – it’s one of a handful of ways that I can really live in the moment without a care for my day to day life, and I love it. I’m expecting lots of our future adventures to involve these little beauties, especially with all the effort that’s going into developing places to ride in Tassie.

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Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

Bream Creek Adventures

Last weekend found us at the Bream Creek Show, an iconic event in the Tasmanian calendar.

Attendance averages about 7000 people, which is about 16 times the usual population of the surrounding Kellevie district. Highlights include the giant pumpkin competition, the Blunnie (or Blundstone boot for those of you from outside Tasmania) toss, local musicians, and wood chopping competitions.

While I’d say the Show is an event more suited to families with young children than grown-up explorers like us, it was still a fun day out.

The landscapes of Bream Creek provide a stunning backdrop to the show.
The landscapes of Bream Creek provide a stunning backdrop to the show.

The giant pumpkin competition
The giant pumpkin competition.

Deacon Jones and the Revelators in full swing.
Deacon Jones and the Revelators in full swing.

It wouldn't be a country show without some steam driven farm machinery.
It wouldn’t be a country show without some steam driven farm machinery.

The Wheelie Bin Orchestra entertaining a couple of young locals.
The Wheelie Bin Orchestra entertaining a couple of young locals.

The Blunnie toss competition - it's not often you see boots flying through the air.
The Blunnie toss competition – it’s not often you see boots flying through the air.

Woodchopping - The cross cut double handed saw.
Woodchopping – The cross cut double handed saw.

Woodchopping - The standing block.
Woodchopping – The standing block.

Woodchopping - The standing block.
Woodchopping – The standing block.

Woodchopping - The underhand.
Woodchopping – The underhand.

Exploring Mount Wellington

This weekend’s adventure took us up on to my favourite feature of the Hobart skyline, Mount Wellington. The mountain is covered in hiking trails, and we did a loop which included three trails and covered about 8km.

We started at the Chalet (a very grandiosely named lovely, but simple mountain hut), headed along the Organ Pipes Track in front of what has to be one of the most recognisable features of the mountain, up the Zig Zag Track to the Pinnacle, down part of Pinnacle Road, on to the Panorama track, and then back down some more of Pinnacle Road to find our car at the Chalet.

It was a glorious Tasmanian autumn day with temperatures on the mountain ranging between 0 and 3 degrees Celsius, but feeling much colder whenever the wind gusted past. The start of our walk even featured light snow. Like I said, autumn in Tasmania.

As always, the hike was spectacular – ranging through bushland, over rocky terrain and rewarding us with stunning views throughout. I love that this amazing place is right on our doorstep.

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The Chalet, Mount Wellington, Tasmania
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View from the Organ Pipes Track, Mount Wellington
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The Organ Pipes, Mount Wellington
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Climbers’ access route onto the Organ Pipes, Mount Wellington
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The Organ Pipes, Mount Wellington
SFP-Blog-20150315-06
Trail signs and a poor lost sock on Mount Wellington
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View from the Zig Zag Track, Mount Wellington
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View from the Zig Zag Track, Mount Wellington
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View from the Zig Zag Track, Mount Wellington
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The Zig Zag Track, Mount Wellington
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View from the Zig Zag Track, Mount Wellington
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The Zig Zag Track to the Pinnacle, Mount Wellington
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The final stretch of the Zig Zag Track to the Pinnacle, Mount Wellington
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The Panorama Track, Mount Wellington
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View from the Panorama Track, Mount Wellington

Foodie adventures at the Taste of the Huon

This weekend’s adventure took us to the Taste of the Huon festival. The festival is focused on food, wine, entertainment, arts and crafts from the Huon Valley, D’entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island regions of Tasmania (which all lie just south of Hobart). We lived in the D’entrecasteaux Channel region during our last stint in Tassie and it’s still where my heart is, even though this time around the place we call home is much closer to town.

Obviously there was no shortage of lovely food to try, but our highlights were:

  • Manuka and Blackberry/Clover Mead from the Mountain View Meadery.
  • Kentish Cherry Jam from Sleeping Beauty’s Pantry (the reference is to the mountain known locally as Sleeping Beauty rather than the fairytale character).
  • Fish sausage hotdogs from Silver Hill Fisch
  • And all the tarts from Bakery on Huntingfield (who sadly don’t appear to have a website).

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Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

A weekend at Woolmers

Recently we spent a weekend at the historic Woolmers Estate in Longford, staying in one of the converted workers’ cottages.

Woolmers was a large pastoral property which was occupied by the Archer family from the early 1800s to the mid-1990s, a long stretch by Australian standards. In its early days it and neighbouring estate, Brickendon (owned by another branch of the Archer family), were staffed by the second largest number of assigned convicts in the Colony, peaking at 107 convicts between the two estates in 1833.

The property was opened as a museum in 1995, following the death of Thomas William Archer VI the previous year, and in 2010 it and Brickendon were jointly listed as  one of the eleven sites that make up the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property.

Having been reduced in size significantly over it’s lifetime, the current estate is spread out over 13 hectares which houses the main homestead, a kitchen and servant’s quarters, a provisions store, bakers cottages, various farm buildings, and a number of former workers’ cottages which have been converted into accomodation. It’s also home to an extensive rose garden which contains examples of all of the recognised rose families, ranging from the earliest European and China roses through to the roses of the twenty first century.

It’s funny to think that at in its heyday, the property would have been a village in itself, housing up to 100 people at any one time.

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Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
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Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
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Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
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Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

Adventures with Penny Farthings

This weekend’s adventures found us in the beautiful village of Evandale at the National Penny Farthing Championships.

The Championships are an annual event, attracting riders from all the east coast Australian states and New Zealand. Somehow when we were last here we managed to miss them every year, so we made sure that wouldn’t be the case in 2015.

The event was fabulous, with costumed riders, fast-moving impractical looking bikes, street performers, and a village fair. The weather was much warmer than the typical Tasmanian summer day so we spent a lot of time sheltered in the shade of a lovely old oak tree, enjoying the spectacle of riders flying past on the final corners before the straight.

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Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
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Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

Oatlands adventures

Last weekend started with a lovely, rainy, Tasmanian summer’s day – perfect weather for exploring. So we pulled out our map, picked a destination, worked out our route, and set off off adventuring.

In the spirit of stopping in rather than passing by, our first stop was based on a sign we spotted for a museum at the Mount Pleasant Observatory, near Cambridge. Sadly the museum is only open by appointment, which we didn’t have, but we were able to peer at the two huge telescopes on site.

After a quick stop at the Wicked Cheese company, where we opted for chocolate over cheese (it was Valentines Day after all…), we headed through the hills and fog-filled valleys of the Southern Midlands, before arriving at our destination for the day, Oatlands.

We started our visit with a very damp exploration of the Callington Mill. Last time we were here this Lancashire tower mill was a beautiful, but inactive relic of Oatlands past. Happily it was restored to working order in 2010, and it’s now the only mill of this type operating in the Southern Hemisphere. It produces artisan flours from locally grown wheat, spelt and rye, which you can buy from the mill, online, or at several fabulous grocers around Tasmania. We then dodged the showers to peer at a wonderful rooftop sculpture of nesting storks, peek through gates at fabulous front doors, and over fences at lovely gardens before heading home.

It was a fun day, and I’m sure we’ll be tempted to return on a day when we can slowly wander the streets with cameras in hand, rather than dashing around in between downpours.

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Another Tasmanian weekend adventure. Map? Check. Boutique chocolate? Check. Rain? Check
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Mount Pleasant Radio Observatory, Tasmania.
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Foggy fields of the Southern Midlands, Tasmania.
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Callington Mill, Oatlands, Tasmania
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Callington Mill, Oatlands, Tasmania
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Callington Mill, Oatlands, Tasmania
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Callington Mill, Oatlands, Tasmania
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Streets, signs, a peek inside the Callington Mill, and a rooftop stork in Oatlands, Tasmania.
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Peering through gates in Oatlands, Tasmania
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Peering over fences in Oatlands, Tasmania