Tag Archives: Tasmania

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

 


Hanging out at the Farm Gate Market

Copyright: Louise Creely 2016

Criterion Street art

There’s nothing better than a lazy Sunday morning in Tasmania. And stumbling across a vibrant farmer’s market in the heart of Hobart city is, quite simply, a treat for the senses.

While I was checking out some street art, EB wandered off (as he does) and discovered the Farm Gate Market in Bathurst Street. What a find!

The markets opened five years ago with just 12 stallholders – and the simple philosophy  that ‘if you can’t eat it, drink it, grow it or meet the producer, then you wouldn’t find it at the market‘.

IMG_1524Now it’s one of the top ten Farmer’s Markets in Australia and it’s easy to see why. If you love fresh produce and delicious treats plus a little local flavour, this is the place to be.

We’ll be living in Hobart next year (if all goes to plan), so there’s no prizes for guessing where you’ll find us on a Sunday morning.

Here’s just some of the deliciousness…

Copyright: Louise Creely 2016

Magic mushrooms…

Copyright: Louise Creely 2016

Lovin’ the horse float!

 

 

Copyright: Louise Creely 2016

Bury me standing? Yes please

Copyright: Louise Creely 2016

Who knew all that about garlic?

Copyright: Louise Creely 2016

All this fabulous freshness feels like France

Copyright: Louise Creely 2016

And down the road, you’ve gotta love the winter streets of Hobart


Port Arthur then and now…

Copyright: Louise Creely

It’s been two decades since that gut-wrenching day in April 1996 when a single gunman opened fire in a small, relaxed cafe at the Port Arthur historic site in Tasmania. In those moments, he stole lives – physically and emotionally – and forever changed a nation.

Copyright: Louise Creely

The cafe site has become a peaceful place to remember the 35 souls lost and 23 injured in the massacre…

His heinous act kicked off a push for gun laws in Australia, cementing the resolve of the then-Prime Minister Mr John Howard and his government to make the change happen.

Many Australians have never lived in a time when pump action and automatic rifles were on the streets – and could be bought in a corner store with your milk and bread.

While those terrible moments will never be forgotten here, today the focus has shifted back to the convict era and the former penal colony of Port Arthur remains a fascinating tourist destination.

Copyright: Louise RalphEstablished in 1833 as a timber-getting camp, Port Arthur played a significant role in the story of European settlement in Australia.

But long before Europeans arrived, the Pydairrerme people were the traditional custodians of the land, finding food for the body and the spirit in these wild places.

Over time, their pathways became roads and endless bushland was replaced by sandstone buildings created with convict labour.

The Isles of the Dead where over 1000 military, free settlers and convicts were buried between 1833 and 1877.

The Isles of the Dead where over 1000 military people, free settlers and convicts were buried between 1833 and 1877.

While Port Arthur is renowned for breaking many men, some gained useful skills they would take beyond this place into their life as free settlers.

The penal settlement finally closed in 1877 and, while it became the township of Carnarvon for a while, by the 1920s stories of convict days were bringing in the tourists.

Eventually,  the site was renamed Port Arthur and, over the years, the once crumbling buildings have been beautifully preserved, and the stories artfully captured.

On entry to the site, you’re given a playing card and invited to find your character, then follow ‘your convict’ through the twists and turns of their story.

This cleverly designed interpretation brings their world to life…

Copyright: Louise Creely

art of stone…

It’s a fabulous trip into the past, but don’t pass by the natural wonders of this magnificent coastline. Here’s just a taste… and if you’d like to go, it’s a short road trip north-east from Hobart or jump on a Tasman Island Cruise for the perfect day trip. Bon voyage!

Copyright: Louise Creely 2016

A stunning example of tessellated pavement at Eaglehawk Neck where the rock has fractured to create a mosaic tile look

Tasmans Arch is all that's left of the roof of a large sea cave, carved out by the waves over thousands of years

Tasmans Arch is all that’s left of the roof of a large sea cave, carved out by the waves over thousands of years

 


To be or not to be…

Copyright: Louise Ralph This morning, I read a blog about how to make money out of blogging.

It all sounds fabulous. Just think… you can travel the world and make a killing along the way.

But wait. Is that all there is to this conversation?

I don’t know about you, but I like to read people’s stories and their perspective on life.

And I like to blogger on about stuff you might find interesting.

And yes, it would be nice to make a few $$ along the way. But seriously? I quite like not having to put a dollar value on my words (for once!).

Maybe because I write for a living – but this whole blog thing is about writing from the heart. And maybe inspiring someone else to get out there and do the thing it is that they love. Just because.

So no, I don’t have any tips on making a living out of this… creating the perfect headline or the biggest email list. It is what it is. And it will be throughout 2015 as it has been in  years gone by.

Because I’ve realised lately that there are a lot of things I’ve always loved to do – like drawing and writing and mountain biking and trekking and – um – people watching.

And they might never make me a single buckaroo. But I’m gonna keep on doing them.

So there.

Here’s to making this new year something really fabulous. Because you can.

xLou & EB (still working on that ‘golden gap year’)

Hanging out at the Taste of Tasmania. Perfect.

Hanging out at the Taste of Tasmania. Perfect.

 

 

 


Christmas in Ho Ho Hobart

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Ho ho ho on his Harley

The silly season caught us on the hop this year, with so much to organise and work to wrap up before we took off to Hobart, to ‘squat’ in our house in Sandy Bay and fix some pesky maintenance issues.

Who knew those seconds shops had enough stuff to get you through three weeks without a stick of furniture in the house, and without breaking the budget?

Christmas morning wanderings, discovering the hidden beauty in the valley behind our Tassie house.

Christmas morning wanderings, discovering a hidden valley behind our house.

But all work and no play has never been our strong point so, between the weeding and fixing, we’re indulging in all the things Hobart has to offer. And there are many…

At this time of year, on those perfect summer days, the Taste of Tasmania is on the menu, as well as the always-fabulous Salamanca Markets, endless bush walks, the wrap of the 70th Sydney to Hobart yacht race, and more…

On Sunday, we joined the crowds lining the Derwent River in Hobart to watch Wild Oats XI take line honours.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Wild Oats XI – a spectacular site!

Even the two-hour wait for the yacht to arrive didn’t dull the excitement as it tacked across the harbour to finally cross the line, a finish hailed with a giant boom of the old canon.

A cheer went up and most of us took off towards Constitution Dock where the boats will moor as a week long celebration kicks off.

The Taste of Tasmania is in full swing, with fabulous wine, food, entertainment. And more wine. And food. And way too many people.

I’ve never been one for crowds, but somehow we’re caught up in the joy of life here. The friendly jostling and people spread out on lawns or squashing up at tables is all part of the fun.

What’s not to like?


Along the Huon Trail…

On Sunday morning, we jump in the dodgy ute EB has hired for work and head south from Hobart along the Huon Trail, which winds along the spectacular coastline, through quaint townships and past rural homes to drool over with their 180-degree views of Storm Bay.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

From a distance, they all look the same, but one local tells us there are hundreds of varieties of daffodils.

Everywhere you look, daffodils illuminate the cloudy day. Their sunny faces defy the brisk temperature and feisty breeze to pop up in paddocks, old rainwater tanks and gardens, along the roadside, and even around a retro Hills Hoist.

Moving on from daffodils to aromas of citrus and blossom, we pause to try luscious award winning wines at Home Hill Winery + Restaurant.

Try the award winning 2010 Kelly's Reserve Pinot Noir. Yum.

Try the award winning 2010 Kelly’s Reserve Pinot Noir. Yum.

Home Hill feels très français. With its two varieties of wines – chardonnay and pinot noir – we could be in Burgundy again.

Of course, our pause extends to lunch. The wines are exceptional, the service is relaxed and friendly, and the food is delicious. What more could you ask for on a lazy Sunday?

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Along the Huon Trail you’ll find fabulous regional specialty produce, so you can do your own version of ‘hunting and gathering’ – from local wine, salmon, oysters and handmade cheeses to fresh-as fruit and vegetables. Apparently, the cherries here are spectacular if a little confused. We’re told they tend to burst into fruity brilliance only to be hit by frosts – but that makes them a must-do indulgence.

There’s more here than food though – from jetboat rides along the Huon River, the Tahune Airwalk above the forest, an Art trail, Bruny Island spectacular cheeses and cruises, and more… Did I mention we love Tasmania? 

More Tassie posts:


Hobart – the end of the rainbow

It’s officially the last week of winter in Australia and while Brisbane has been feeling more like summer, Hobart is delightfully crisp and the peak of Mount Wellington is lightly sprinkled with snow.

We’re back in Tasmania this week for work and play – and to take in more of this endlessly photogenic city. The pictures tell the story…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

We’re staying in Wrest Point Casino. I remember coming here – well, trying to get through the front door – while I was prac-teaching in Hobart in the 1980s. It was Australia’s first legal casino, so there was a super strict dress code for this posh, state-of-the-art venue.

But the guys I was with didn’t cut it in the best-dressed department and we didn’t quite make it beyond the bouncers in the foyer. C’est la vie.

It’s looking a little tired now and the gamblers aren’t exactly the who’s who of Australia (oh, that’s why they let us in), but just nearby on a grassy stretch of land at the edge of the bay there’s plenty of action.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Ducks, pied oystercatchers, seagulls and other water birds mingle on the lawn outside the casino under a waning moon. It’s a festival of birds.

Meanwhile in Berridale, a short boat ride from Hobart, the Museum of Old + New Art (MONA) nestles in the landscape waiting to impress. Like a fortress, it holds a whole other world within.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

And when you’ve immersed yourself in incredible, often confronting works of art in this underground space, you can come up for air and indulge in delicious food and bevs…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Moo Brew beer tasting at MONA

Back in Hobart, Saturday morning meanderings through Salamanca markets must be followed by some R&R in Jack Greene’s, one of our favourite bars.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Upstairs at Jack Greene’s is the perfect place to hang out…

Of course, there’s world-renowned whisky to be tasted at Nantes, galleries bursting with the exceptional creations of local artists, and a whole waterfront to wander along.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

With the wilderness not too far away and those endless water views, Hobart – well, all of Tasmania – really is pure gold at the end of the rainbow…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Past posts about Tasmania:

Bruny Island Cruising


Bruny Island cruising

With EB stuck in Hobart dealing with investment property issues, I had a choice – stay in water-logged Brisbane or head to Tasmania for the weekend to hang out with the crazy boy. Tough choice…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

…can’t resist those water views.

Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart is an absolutely delightful place steeped in history, but not stuck in it.

There is so much to love about this city, from its sandstone buildings, wharves and iconic Salamanca markets, to its proximity to some of Australia’s most pristine wilderness and waterways, and an abundance of delicious food and wines.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

The Monuments. Just one of the spectacular rock formations on Bruny Island.

But wait, there’s more…and more… and more.

A short drive or boat ride away is the the always fascinating Museum of Old + New Art (MONA).

With its surreal other-worldly feel, MONA’s architecture is the perfect backdrop for the artwork and a fantastic event calendar.

There is a winery, brewery, café, cemetery and stunning accommodation onsite – notorious gambler David Walsh‘s gift to Tasmania that has helped put Hobart on the world map.

So much to explore, so little time. The plan was to go back to MONA, but cruising Bruny Island won out in the perfect boating weather.

The multi-award winning Bruny Island Cruise has just taken out Australia’s No.1 Tourist Attraction, and as soon as you meet Robert Pennicott, who founded and operates the tours with wife Michaye, you can see why…

He is absolutely nuts about this part of Tassie, a passion that’s rubbed off on his staff and affects everyone who takes the tour.

From breathing rocks, towering cliffs and sea-carved monuments, to show-offy dolphins, sleek fur seals and migratory seabird encounters, this is exhilarating in every sense – including becoming instantly windswept and interesting as you zip along on super-sized zodiac-style boats.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Surfing the wake…

March and April are great times to do this tour, but I’m coming back in October when the whales are migrating…

Meanwhile, here’s more of our Bruny Island cruisin’ encounters. I rest my case.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Shearwaters take flight…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

A fur-seal bloke’s life is fraught with danger. Apparently.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Black-faced cormorants…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

And the last word goes to…dolphins in formation. Magic.

This is the next stop on our different journey list. Just as soon as I’m brave enough to implement my FIFO granny status. That’s fly-in fly-out (FIFO) as opposed to drive-in drive-out (DIDO).

Sometimes you’ve got to take a dolphin-style leap of faith…