Today’s post features a tiny, tiny glimpse at the central highlands of Tasmania. As always we took the quiet back roads as much as possible and it paid off. It’s a beautiful region, and as is so often the case in Tasmania, you almost have the roads and the views all to yourself…
As well as the sweeping vistas of highland farms, the high voltage pylons serve as a frequent reminder that the central highlands are hydro country. And I’m happy to admit that I’m often as enthralled by telegraph poles, pylons and wires as I am by trees.
As well as meandering through the countryside we made a brief stop in the town of Bothwell. It’s a town we’ve visited quite a few times before, but on this visit we made time to wander around the Bothwell Cemetery. I’ve always been fascinated by the sense of time and history I get from reading the epitaphs and the dates on the headstones. The cemetery has been in use since the 1830’s, and parts of it have certainly seen better days, but it’s still an intriguing place to visit.
Recently we made a brief foray to the mainland for the weekend. Each year we try to travel to Sydney see the Archibald Prize exhibition, and this year was no exception. As well as seeing some amazing art, we got the chance to play in a big city again for a few days. If (or more likely, when…) the desire to move interstate grabs me again, I’d be very, very tempted to give life in Sydney a try.
This is our first “proper” winter in a long time. It’s tempting to hide out inside, huddled beside the heater, but we’ve been brave and dragged ourselves out to explore. Recently we ventured to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, one of my favourite places in Hobart, even during the chill of winter.
What better way to spend a wet and gloomy Saturday than on a road trip? Especially one that takes our little Fiat500C to places I’m pretty sure Fiat never intended it to go. This trip took us back into Tasmania’s Far South, through the Southern Forests to the D’Entrecasteaux River and Recherche Bay.
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.
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.
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.
This weekend was a lovely long weekend with perfect weather, just what you want as a visitor to the Australian Wooden Boat Festival. The festival is held every two years, and wandering around it suggests that there are an awful lot of people who agree with the Water Rat…
“Nice? It’s the only thing,” said the Water Rat solemnly as he leant forward for his stroke. “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolute nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,” he went on dreamily: “messing—about—in—boats; messing… about in boats—or with boats,” the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. “In or out of ’em, it doesn’t matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not.”