Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2011


The Tasman Peninsula - Day 2

Fortescue Bay to Cape Huay* * Pronounced Cape Hoy, in case you were wondering. Hold on! But First a Word about Wild Walking So far the walks I have done in this area have been fairly tame. True the Blowhole had a sign warning about freak waves, but on the whole the tracks have been good and the cliffs have been fenced off, making them fairly safe for families. This is not the case on this walk and it’s much longer, so a few safety notes are in order. We do lose the odd visitor this way, so you there up the back, please pay attention. We don't want to lose you too. First up you do need a National Parks Pass to do most of the walks in this area. Visitors can get these fairly cheaply on a day or eight week basis either for one person or up to 8 per vehicle from any Service Tasmania outlet, on the Ferry, at Information Centres in National Parks, on -line or even from the Ranger at the Campground. Camping fees are extra, but modest in comparison with other forms of accommodation.

The Tasman Peninsula - Day 1

Near Dunally. Not a castle on the Rhine, but built by a German of course, at a cost of $ 11 million. I know I’ve been home too long when playing house gets tedious and I no longer appreciate the comforts of home. Having days and days of dreary grey or rainy weather doesn’t help either.  As soon as the weather report promised two consecutive days of sunshine, I was out the door. This time I headed for that other protuberance on the East Coast – the Tasman Peninsula. There are two Peninsulas here really -the Forestier and the Tasman, but I spent most of my time on the one further south. It’s most famous for its stunning convict relics but also has spectacular geological features, many of which would qualify as Wonders of the World. Though only about 100Km from Hobart the hilliness and winding roads can make it a bit of a slog. Much better to have someone drive you, so that you can appreciate the pleasant seascapes and rustic scenery or at least take your time so you can cal

Gone Wild

Apologies for not answering my email for the last few days. I have been indulging in that fine Aboriginal tradition called Walkabout where you drop everything and just take off into the bush. Forgive me. We did just have three consecutive days of good weather! Just to prove that I have not been entirely slack, I'll post some of my adventures forthwith. However, it is not without some trepidation and ambivalence. Does it spoil it for you if I show and tell you what you are likely to see on walks? Or does it whet your appetite? Will it make you want to come and do it yourself? This would be good as thanks to the high Aussie dollar and general economic uncertainty, tourism here is having a bit of a hard time, so come on down. This is absolutely the perfect time. Everything is green, but not yet as busy as it gets in summer and when school holidays are on. The parking lots and campgrounds are empty and there's lots of accommodation. I can't guarantee that it will be so p

Joy indeed

Creative Tasmania I am always delighted when I find art in unexpected places. A couple of weeks ago a rash of small white crosses appeared around the city emblazoned with the words “ So it goes” as immortalised in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel “Slaughterhouse Five,” though nothing  was offered by way of explanation. They were embedded in little piles of dirt at strategic locations such as the Bus Mall and bedecked with dried flowers. See the pictures and read about it here: Curious Crosses Mystery This follows on from a series of knitted mice embellished with the word “Joy” which were also sprinkled about the CBD recently. While a mysterious Miss Marple has owned up to these and it is rumoured an art student is responsible for the crosses, their authorship remains a mystery to date. Anything which awakens us out of our everyday somnambulism getS my vote and brings Joy indeed.

The Quick and the Fined

Lucky I didn't get booked taking this photo There’s a new sport in Hobart. It’s called Can You Make it Before the Lights Change? I thought it was just me and that I was slowing down because I couldn’t make it across  the traffic lights before  they turned red, but it wasn’t my imagination. Yesterday’s paper confirms that the interval for crossing the street has been shortened to about six seconds and Police have so far booked 24 people for failing  to obey the signals.  The report included a cartoon showing the little green man running instead of walking and a picture of a lady on crutches looking distressed because she hadn’t managed to get more than halfway across before being charged by stampeding cars.That kind of thing makes the front pages of the newspapers here. See the full report and pictures Race Against Little Green Men and many other exciting stories in the online version of our daily paper. Now this could be the attempt of a paternalistic/ nanny state to incre

Once upon a fence


"Just looking, Thanks!"

Thought for the day. Behind it are more of those bizarre band names  Urban bush walking yesterday. I went to that slightly seedy end of town where there are very expensive outdoor shops, bicycle shops and an eclectic mix of retro clothing, antiques and specialty shops that pop up like mushrooms after rain, only to disappear as suddenly as they came. But, like spring flowers, they do provide a dazzling, if brief,  and ever -changing display that keeps the place interesting. In between are venerable establishments such as the No appointment needed dental prothesetist, the Christian Science Reading  Room and the Map Shop. The Map Shop smells like old parchment and feels as if it's been around since Abel Tasman was a boy. The leatherwear shop is another olfactory delight. Outdoor shops, Cafes and Antique establishments dominate the lower end of Elizabeth St New Cafe. Looks like we are getting a bit of courtyard culture too Don't know about the food, but the tab

Mystery Object

I know this looks like a perfectly normal bagel, but it isn't. And no, it is not a fossilised dinosaur dropping. It is a vulcanised bagel which no knife can penetrate. A bad case of user error in that I put it on defrost and forgot about it. Now the mystery is not so much what it was, but what it should become. We were never allowed to throw away food as children and it still looks so good, it must have a purpose, if only I can discover it. I have started making a list of possibilities to which you are welcome to add your suggestions. Do you know I once wrote a long article about 101 uses for twitch which was extremely well received? My mother always said there was a reason why some things grew in abundance, though she never had much to say about the raison d'etre for mosquitoes. Anyway twitch turned out to be surprisingly useful with lots of medicinal applications, apart from giving me much needed physical and mental exercise and I came to the conclusion that it was a valua

And speaking of quiet places.....

One quiet night in Deloraine. Back in the days when I was still safely married and living in the country (OMG, I am beginning to feel like Duckie in NCIS, always recollecting the past! I promise I will try to get a life really soon) my husband brought home a Swedish hitchhiker and apologised that the place was rather quiet. We did hear that there was going to be music down at the pub, so we thought we might take him there. Just when things were rocking along quite nicely, the police arrived and said that they had had a report  that there was a bomb on the premises and we all had to wait outside on the street while they did a search. The band played on valiantly out on the nature strip and every now and then some brave soul would risk life and limb to go back into the pub for another jug of beer. Not long after we were allowed back into the pub, there was a new drama. An irate husband with a shotgun was engaged in a standoff with the police  on the bridge. Not sure how that one t

Other Road Trips from Hell - A bad day in Gungahlin

The story of our adventures on the West Coast brought forth a wave of nostalgia. A friend in the US told me about a similarly ill –starred journey to San Francisco during the Summer of Love, driving back in in a ’55 Chevy that had to have its gears changed manually by having someone climb underneath it, and my son in Canberra sent some pictures about a camping trip they were about to take last Easter in their new old car. It was to be its maiden voyage, its first off the bitumen, out of city excursion, but when they stopped at the service station to fill up, the LPG just kept leaking out.  “I’ve never seen that happen before,” said the service station attendant. The NRMA were called and the Fire Brigade arrived as well. NRMA and the Firemen inspect the gas leak They take a closer look while firemen stand by with hoses They decide it looks a bit dangerous.   The next photo shows my son and his girlfriend running away. The fire and emergency services personnel take over. This s

Disasters small and large

I just impulse -bought a new blender. Having finally saved enough money to buy a banana (they’ve also gone down to $ 9.99 per kilo), I was going to make myself a smoothie, but alas, my beautiful reproduction 50’s blender wouldn’t go any more. A friend was about to explore a new shopping complex so I tagged along hoping to find a pair of shoes, when I noticed that blenders were on special at an electrical shop. Not as swish -looking as my old one, but probably quite OK for the amount of blending I actually do. Perhaps I should keep the old one for show and the new one for using. Too bad I have now eaten the banana. Next up I was congratulating myself on having found and bought an Australian -made outdoor chair which cost about three times as much as a Chinese one, when it suddenly dumped me on the ground. The seat section had neatly ripped right across. I have just replaced this with a complete outdoor setting Made in China, of course –for about the same price. It can hardly do a w

Short Walks 3 - The Pipeline Track

The Pipeline Track starts again just behind this cute Bus shelter Fern Tree The Silver Falls are the top end of the Pipeline track which continues across the road behind the Bus shelter and descends for about 50 minutes to the reservoirs at Waterworks Road. The Pipeline was  built in 1861 to carry water from the slopes of Mt. Wellington to the burgeoning City of Hobart. Until then, Hobart had made use of the Rivulet which still flows beneath the city, but which had become little more than a moving cesspool due to its use by industry and this had resulted in outbreaks of typhoid.   It was an enormous challenge to the engineers of the day and several changes in technology can be seen along the way. Initially water races, aqueducts and sluices were carved from the local sandstone, but gradually these were replaced with ceramic pipes, then steel and finally concrete and continue to supply water to the city today. Bet you have never seen a Bus shelter like this! Bus goes from Frank