Tag Archives: water

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…


Water of life

Copyright: Louise RalphIn Roman times, water was wealth. Running water in the city was one thing, but having it in your house instantly put you a cut above the rest.

Enter Pont du Gard. At an impressive 48.77 metres, it was the highest aqueduct bridge in the Roman world.

This is the best-preserved section of an incredible aqueduct system that carried about 20,000 cubic metres of fresh spring water a day, over and around hills and across gullies and rivers, from an aquifer near Uzès to the then-Roman city of Nîmes. Did someone say ‘water restrictions’?

The aqueduct itself is a real feat of engineering, with a fall of only 17 metres across its entire 50-kilometre length.

And looking up at those arches, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the huge stones cut and placed with such precision that they could outlast civilisations. Even ours…

Going through the museum at the Pont du Gard site and seeing how it was done ‘back in the day’ is a head-spin (not to mention the museum itself).

Today, Pont du Gard stands as a testament to the legendary Roman determination and ingenuity. It also shows the value they put on having access to fresh water. And a lot of it.

While the average Roman living in the city relied on the many fountains spilling out fresh water, the wealthy had fresh water ‘on tap’ at home – water for drinking, cooking, bathing, flushing, washing, and even for fountains.

Clearly, they were big on wellbeing and a bit partial to the tinkle of water…

And I can’t argue with that.