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Showing posts from 2017


Merry Christmas Everyone!

Have a good one! This lovely picture is by Alice T. whose Mum has kindly allowed me to use it

Ben Lomond – Another peak unbagged

Ben Lomond in our sights It’s a pity that Ben Lomond National Park is a bit off the beaten track, especially coming from Hobart – about 224.2 Km. Couldn't help thinking while wending my way over backroads from Evandale  that, given the traditional rivalry between Launceston and Hobart,   this was some kind of Launcestonian plot to keep those pesky southerners out.     Even after you manage to find your way to Upper Blessington, there are still 12 kilometres of unmade road to negotiate before you reach the park entrance. That done, you will find yourself in one of the most stunning and geologically fascinating landscapes in Tasmania, with its escarpments rising abruptly from the surrounding farmlands like the ramparts of  a vast mediaeval castle. Colonel Legge , who surveyed it in 1906 -09  regarded "(The)  Ben Lomond Plateau as the most remarkable physiographical feature in the State..." Small Waratahs line the lower reaches of the track  At the time,

Two Native Gardens – 2 The Tasmanian Bushland Garden, Buckland

A disused quarry provides a home for the Tasmanian Bushland Garden near Buckland Getting to the Tasmanian Bushland Gardens takes longer – around 55 minutes from Hobart via the A3 according to my GPS - and much longer if you stop to pick your own strawberries as I did, but entry is free and it’s a lovely rest stop if you happen to be heading up or down the East Coast. Officially opened in 2010 and set in a former quarry this 20 hectare garden was established by volunteers aided by donations from various organisations, to preserve typical East Coast species. Much of the original vegetation has already been lost due to clearing, grazing, forestry activity and other forms of  "progress." I especially liked that plants were not shown in isolation but together with other species with which they commonly occur Although I had probably missed the peak flowering season, this garden was nicely laid out according to different kinds of plant communities – e.g. th

Two Native Gardens – 1 Inverawe Gardens, Margate

Callistemons add a splash of Christmas colour at Inverawe Gardens - the birds love them too The Callistemons were in bloom when I visited this 9.5 ha private garden a couple of weeks ago, feeling rather remiss for having mentioned it in connection with alpine plants when I hadn’t actually seen it. It does not specialise in Alpine or Subalpine species – i.e. you won’t see any cushion plants, because the region is simply too dry (you need a minimum of 1200 mls. of rainfall for this type of vegetation to flourish and even more for rainforest plants) and it is also too close to the sea. One of the few representative rainforest plants is the Athrotaxis Laxifolia, the one that is a cross between The King Billy Pine and the Pencil Pine. Alas, it sits forlornly in a pot near the entrance, presumably so that it can get the abundant water it needs. Athrotaxis Laxifolia - the rare cross between King Billy Pine and Pencil Pine The good thing about this garden is that fo

The Sloth Bagger’s Guide to Tasmania

Trip planning is a very important part of your adventure and can take up a lot of your time. Sometimes it can take up all of your time For the actual Rules for Peak Bagging in Tasmania, check out Wildtiger  It has great photos too, to spare you the effort of actually having to climb mountains. For those like myself, who are less fit or less energetically inclined, I can thoroughly recommend Peter Zund and Heather Ashton’s definitive Slothbagger’s Guide to   Tasmania which they   have kindly allowed me to   share with you here. As Peter and Heather write, “This guide has been developed to encourage members to enjoy some of the less active destinations in the state. Points can be claimed for the same destinations as many times as you wish. Destinations have been awarded points according to the following principles: A: level of inactivity B: ease of access C: level of enjoyment Get to it and have fun!?” Federation Peak as seen from