Where have you been?

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I haven’t been everywhere.
But it’s on my list.

Unknown

Lisbon station - travelling light


On the streets of our town

© Louise Creely

Love it or hate it, street art is hard to ignore. For some, it brings colour and movement to the city. For others it’s just one more anti-vandal job for local councils.

For me, it is a vibrant reimagining of urban spaces that pulls us out of the every day. Walk with me through the streets of Hobart, Tasmania.

© Louise Creely

@stormiemills

This is definitely my art gallery of choice…

© Louise Creely

#luffyrae

Street artists work with an imperfect canvas, often in the dark and the avoided corners of our cities. What they create is a different perspective, a fresh take on an old story.

© Louise Creely

Moon tag…

IMG_7669

@ghostpatrol

Still not convinced? Banksy has the last word: “People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish… but that’s only if it’s done properly.” Amen to that.

© Louise Creely

Fierce! Artist Unknown

© Louise Creely

#phibs


Don’t give up…

When life closes a door, open it again.
It’s a door, that’s how they work.

Anonymous

Near door - lou


Magic and mystery at Mount Field

Mt Field © Louise Creely

Just an hour’s drive from Hobart, following the beautiful Derwent River, is one of my favourite places in Australia. Mount Field National Park. It’s the perfect place for a walk – from a leisurely stroll to stunning Russell Falls, to an epic trek around the Tarn Shelf.

© Louise Creely

Russell Falls

On this icy day, we take the middle ground – a short, but fascinating walk on the Lady Barron Falls circuit, past Russell Falls and through the tall trees walk. It takes about 2.5 hours and there’s a few stairs in there to get your heart rate up – and it’s worth every step.

Fungi fairyland

Fungi © Louise Creely

… a fungi fairyland

It’s amazing what you notice when you really look. All that’s missing here is a couple of fairies flitting around. Wait, what was that?

Oh. It’s EB. He’s found a set of stairs to drag me up, so he’s a bit excited. Only 248 of them (yes, I counted). So much for strolls through fungi fairyland.

IMG_8842

Land of the giants

Prepare to be incredulated (is that a word?). The Tasmanian swamp gum is the tallest flowering plant in the world. The tallest recorded in Tassie was 98 metres, so the Mount Field ones are shorties really. 70+ metres short…

Tasmanian swamp gum

Tasmanian swamp gum (Eucalyptus regnans).

As they grow, the lower branches break off, leaving a sleek trunk reaching ever-skyward.  They’re so fascinating I got a sore neck just staring up at them.

© Louise Creely

Did someone say short?

Forest of the fallen

There’s a strange beauty even in the fallen giants. From the earth they rise, and to the earth they return…

There’s nothing quite like nature to lift you up and bring you down to earth.

roots of a fallen tree © Louise Creely

Nature’s artwork…

After all that walking, slipping into the Derwent Estate and Stefano Lubiana wineries on the way home is the end to a perfect day. Cheers.

 


Weekly Wisdom: Embrace the new

After an epic move from the sunny north coast of NSW to chilly but fabulous Hobart, we’ve emerged from behind the packing boxes to embrace this new land.

More on Tasmania’s wonders later, but here’s a quote to kick off this next adventure — and maybe to encourage you in taking that leap, whatever it may be.

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”  

Alan Cohen

Kayaking on the Derwent, Tasmania

Kayaking on the Derwent


Weekly wisdom: take the step

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Sometimes the smallest step
in the right direction
ends up being the
biggest step of your life…

tiptoe if you must,
but take the step

Toby Mac

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Cascais © Louise Creely

EB on the streets of Cascais, Portugal


Weekly wisdom – discover the world, discover yourself

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“What draws me in is that a trip
is a leap in the dark.
It’s like a metaphor for life.
You set off from home,
and in the classic travel book,
you go to an unknown place.
You discover a different world,
and you discover yourself.”

Paul Theroux

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Hobart docks Tasmania © Louise Creely

EB in Hobart, Tasmania

 


Weekly wisdom: fresh eyes

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“Why do you go away? So that you can come back.
So that you can see the place you came from
with new eyes and extra colors.
And the people there see you differently, too.
Coming back to where you started
is not the same as never leaving.”

Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

© Louise Creely 2017

A different perspective… city view from the Caixa Forum on the Paseo del Prado in Madrid, Spain

 

 


Surprise platypus encounter

© Louise Creely. All rights reserved.There are times when you really need to knuckle down and get all those urgent things done. But hey, it’s perfect early-Spring weather and a road trip just feels… well, urgent. 

After exploring Toowoomba’s street art (more on that later) and free-camping at Gil Weir near Miles, we’ve arrived at Carnarvon Gorge in outback Queensland.

And if we ever needed convincing we have to explore more of our beautiful country, today was it.

After setting up camp at Takarakka Bush Resort, we went for a wander along the creek that wraps around the camping area.

Darter © Louise Creely

© Louise Creely

The Takarakka logo is a platypus, so I’m pretty excited. I’ve never seen a platypus in the wild.

Whiptail wallaby © Louise Creely

Whiptail wallaby © Louise Creely

We soon come across the ‘platypus conservation area’ signs with viewing benches set up so you can watch for platypus without disturbing them.

But let’s be honest, EB would never make a wildlife photographer. It would require being still for more than two minutes.

So after a brief scan of the water for ripples, I catch up to him striding up the creek!

Further along, we meet a lady who clearly has the gift of stillness (and a comfortable camping chair).

She breathlessly tells us a platypus has just swum right past her, so we wait and watch… and wait.

Finally, undeterred by EB hopping from one foot to the other (doing his best impression of a predator), the platypus surfaces … but promptly disappears again.

Platypus at Carnarvon Gorge © Louise Creely

A brief glimpse… © Louise Creely

We’ve almost given up hope of another glimpse, when there is a rustling in the reeds on the opposite bank. The platypus is actually leaping up the bank to pull down reeds and twigs.

Platypus gathering reeds © Louise Creely

Platypus gathering bedding material for her burrow © Louise Creely

When she’s collected some bedding material for her nest, she tucks it under her paddle-like tail and drags it back to her camouflaged burrow in the creek bank. What an amazing way to start our stay at Carnarvon Gorge. And tomorrow we walk.

Platypus gathering nesting material © Louise Creely

Platypus taking dry reeds and twigs back to her nest © Louise Creely


Fast platypus facts

The duck-billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is an egg laying mammal called a monotreme.

Found only in freshwater streams in eastern Australia and all of Tasmania, the platypus has sleek fur like an otter, a bill and webbed feet like a duck, and a tail like a beaver.

But while they look cute and cuddly, the male platypus has a secret weapon – a venomous spur on each of his back feet. The venom won’t kill you but the pain is (apparently) excruciating. A good enough reason to keep your distance!

Meanwhile, soon after mating, the female platypus begins to gather dried reeds and sticks for her burrow in the creek bank…

Platypus nesting © Louise Creely

© Louise Creely


Weekly wisdom – don’t look back

Some wisdom from the Vikings this week – and it’s great advice. Because what’s gone before is a lesson, and what’s here and ahead is potential. Yours.

“Don’t waste your time looking back,
you’re not going that way.”

Ragnar Lothbrok

en route