A Travellerspoint blog

December 2014

Mount Wellington - Hobart

all seasons in one day

Mount Wellington
It rises to 1,271 metres (4,170 ft) over the city.
It is frequently snow-covered, sometimes even in summer, and the lower slopes are thickly forested, but criss-crossed by many walking tracks and a few fire trails. There is also a sealed but narrow road to the summit, about 22 kilometres (14 mi) travel from the city.
An enclosed lookout near the summit provides spectacular views of the city below and to the east, the Derwent estuary, and also glimpses of the World Heritage Area nearly 100 kilometres (62 mi) to the west.
Challenge enough – Charles Darwin wrote in his record of the voyage of HMS Beagle that Hobart Town “stands at the base on mount Wellington, a mountain of little picturesque beauty”. Still, it was attractive enough for him to spend two days in efforts to climb it. ON 10 February 1836 he set off via South Hobart and the brewery at the Cascades hoping to take a direct route to the top. It was a frustrating waste of time. Somewhere above the head of Myrtle Gully near Crocodile Rock he and his assistant were forced to turn back: “ We ere foiled by the thickness of the wood”.
Second Try - The following day was hot and windy but he tried again. This time he engaged a guide. The climb revealed to him the order of the rocks which he had found so difficult to understand nearer the town. He recorded that some layers were up to 280million years old. The views from the top were memorable. "to the south the intricate outline of the broken land & water forming many bays was mapped with clearness before us".


We saw three seasons in one hour whilst at the top, there was sunshine,
and always wind!

At Salamanca Place, Hobart there are a couple of eye catching statues created by husband and wife, Gillie and Marc, Australian contemporary artists who collaborate to create art as one, applying the iconic imagery of the dog/human hybrid to celebrate the powerful spiritual relationship that exists between man and animal.
Happy Birthday Mr President XO – 2014
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” Marilyn Monroe

Salamanca Square Water Fountain

Posted by charlystyles 15:51 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sydney to Hoabrt Yacht Race 2014

overcast 16 °C

The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is an annual event starting in Sydney on Boxing Day and finishing in Hobart, Tasmania. The race distance is approximately 630 nautical miles (1,170 km).
It is widely considered to be one of the most difficult yacht races in the world. The race was initially planned to be a cruise by Peter Luke and some friends who had formed a club for those who enjoyed cruising as opposed to racing, however when a visiting British Royal Navy Officer, Captain John Illingworth, suggested it be made a race, the event was born. The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race has grown over the decades, since the inaugural race in 1945, to become one of the top three offshore yacht races in the world, and it now attracts maxi yachts from all around the globe. The 2014 race marked the 70th running of the event.
In 2012 Wild Oats XI set a new record by crossing the line in 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds.
This year, Bob Oatley’s 100-foot supermaxi Wild Oats XI logged a record eighth line honours victory with his other boat, 29 year old Wild Rose, a first grand prix ocean racer, was declared overall winner of the race.

It was great to be able to look at all the boats that had taken part in the race
See all the kit being hung out to dry after a rough few days at sea
and we even saw the oldest boat come in.

Posted by charlystyles 13:39 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney_hobart_yacht_race Comments (0)

Franklin - Huon Valley

sunny 19 °C


Franklin was known as “The Settlement” (circa 1836) until a name change in 1850 recognised the efforts of the Governor John Franklin and his wife to encourage settlers to the area.
The attractive historic ambience of the town stands out through the buildings and the natural features of the Huon River and surrounding hills with farm orchards.
Throughout the town there are the remains of the 100 jetties in the town from the early 1900 and was one of the largest towns in Tasmania due to river transport.

The Franklin Lockup
This small double cell block is one of several 19th century cells of similar design that existed in the Huon Valley. It is likely that the lockup was built by Alexander Adams in July 1889 and designed as a portable holding sell for short-term use. It was later sold to the local mechanic who kept it as a storage shed at the rear of his garage.

Palais Theatre
Originally a smaller stone building in the 1860’sm, it was rebuilt in 1912 to accommodate the Mechanics Institute Library and expand social functions for the valley. By the 1930’s the film-showing era of talkies led to building improvements.
Hotel and Stables – One of six hotels it also served as a schoolroom and lodging. Post-Federation (1901) renamed The Federal, then The Franklin Tavern.

Franklin Working Waterfront Assoc Inc
a community driven initiative with the concept to develop a traditional port and marine precinct on the Huon river for shipwright activities, education and the construction and operation of a merchant trading shooner.. The construction of a traditional merchant trading schooner, restoration and servicing of classic timber vessels and the provision of ancillary shipwright services are key elements of this dynamic, inspirational social enterprise project.
The schooner, built of traditional methods, will carry passengers and local cargo enabling trade and tourism around Australia whilst retaining and teaching shipwright skills.

Posted by charlystyles 15:36 Archived in Australia Tagged huon_valley franklin Comments (0)

Willie Smith's Cider - Huon Valley

The Apple Shed

sunny 19 °C

Early immigrants from England with great faith and a few precious pips, were responsible for the development of an apple industry in Tasmania. About 170 years ago trees were planted at Yorktown on the Tamar and from here the industry began.
Willie Smith’s - William and Elsie Smith inherited land from her parents and planted their first apple trees there towards the end of the 1800s. Aged in his late 40’s when World War 1 began, William was too old to enlist. He kept working, expanding the family business, adding initiatives like beef cattle and the manufacture of timber apple cases to the Smiths’ fruit growing enterprise.
An industry pioneer through the boom years of the 1920’s, William was one of the many Huon Valley orchardists who grew, graded, packed and exported their fruit across the globe. During the 1930’s William gradually stepped back to let his son Ron take over. But when Ron went off to war in 1940, 72 year old William went back to work in the orchard and the packing shed.
Making the grade – Apples were sorted for size through apple graders. Smooth timber rollers and canvas made sure that the precious fruit wasn’t bumped or bruised. Early models were driven by small petrol engines, later electricity turned the roller belts and some machines graded the fruit with an electronic eye. Workers stood alongside the graders, checking and removing and blemished or miss-shapend apples before packing the fruit into boxes.
Done in a flash – here’s the quick way to peel and core and apple – mechanical peelers like this from 1900 were used in factories that produced processed fruit products, like dried apples, jams , sauces and preserves.
Just in case – Before apples were packed in boxes, Huon Valley orchardists used timber apple cases made of rough-sawn local timber. Some growers put their own cases together on a nailing machine, filled them with fruit, pasted their family label on the ends and sent them of around the world. Simple, sturdy and practical, timber apple cases often had a second life – as rustic cupboards, bookshelves and even home-made furniture.

Andrew Smith – A 20year old Andrew Smith made a deal with his Dad – I’ll work in the orchard for sixe months if I can go travelling for the rest of the year. Back home in 1991, he tried to convince his father to make a few changes, instead of 800 tress per hectare, Andrew wanted to plant 2800. After trialling organic techniques in a small section of the property, from the early 2000’s Ian and Andrew worked together to transition the entire orchard to full organic production.
Today the family has the nations largest organic apple orchard – The cider initiative is the Smiths’ latest challenge.
Installing the new apple juicer, stainless steel fermentation vessels and cider bottling plant was a hug investment. There are plans ahead for the family’s organically-grown fruit – calvados liquor, apple spirit, cider vinegar and more.
An internationally famous heritage orchard in our own backyard – The Grove Research and Demonstration Station has been the source of important research and technical innovations that have made major contribution to the nation’s apple industry. In addition the this it is world-renowned in cider circles – it continues to be the supply for the majority of apple tress planted in Australia.

There was even chance to test out one of the apple trucks for size... bit big me thinks...

Of course, all of this is thirsty work, so there had to be some cider tasting...

Posted by charlystyles 12:43 Archived in Australia Tagged huon_valley willie_smith Comments (0)

Mona - Museum of Old and New Art

21 °C

From Hobart, there are many ways to get to the MONA. You can travel by boat on the 'MONA ROMA', by car, even by Sea Plane. We chose to hire bikes and cycle the 15miles return trip to the peninsula. Quite a challenge with three gears, back brakes and uphill the whole way there!
The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is an art museum located within the Moorilla winery on the Berriedale peninsula in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, officially opened on 21 January 2011. It is the largest privately funded museum in Australia.
The museum presents antiquities, modern and contemporary art from the David Walsh collection. Walsh has described the museum as a "subversive adult Disneyland." He's even named his parking spaces...
The single-story MONA building appears at street level to be dominated by its surroundings, but its interior possesses a spiral staircase that leads down to three larger levels of labyrinthine display spaces built into the side of the cliffs around Berriedale peninsula. Most visitors approach by ferry up the River Derwent.
There are no windows and the atmosphere is intentionally ominous. On entering the museum, visitors descend a "seemingly endless flight of stairs", an experience one critic compared with "going down into Petra".
To see the art, the visitor must work back upwards towards the surface, a trajectory that has been contrasted with the descending spiral that many visitors follow in New York's Guggenheim Museum.

Just some of the displays we saw...
Cement Truck
Full-size cement truck of laser-cut corten steel

Fat Car
Erwin Wurm’s humorous sculpture, Fat Car, can be seen as a comment on 21st-century consumer indulgence. He has taken one of the world’s most desirable material symbols of motorized power, style, design and speed – the Porsche Carrera convertible – and engorged it, distended it, almost but not quite beyond recognition. Although there is something about its form that remains instantly recognisable, and the paintwork is superb, this body sags and bulges with excess. Even the seats inside are bloated.

Wim Delvoye’s work is riddled through with visual and historical references – to religion, art history, mathematics, biology, popular culture and more. Look outside. Here – as in so much of Delvoye’s art – purpose, medium and scale are all transmogrified in relation to expectation.

Bookcase comprising two iron elements with lead books (190-200 volumes) and glass

Greg says good art operates on a 'wider broadband': that which transcends words.
‘To put it baldly, buying a living artist’s work has two advantages – the museum pays less and the artist eats.’
– Lloyd Goodrich in the 1960s, then director of The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York


Posted by charlystyles 12:21 Archived in Australia Tagged mona museum_of_old_and_new_art Comments (0)

Historic Richmond Village

sunny 24 °C

As Tasmania's most important historic town, Richmond is one of the state's most popular destinations, with good examples of Tasmania's stark convict heritage and beautiful historic buildings.
The town is as elegant today as it was in the 1820's, when it was an important military staging post and convict station linking Hobart with Port Arthur. Nestled in the Coal River Valley, this classified historic town is famous for its Georgian architecture.

Richmond Bridge (1823).
Originally named Bigge's Bridge, Richmond Bridge is Australia's oldest bridge still in use. It was built by convicts from sandstone quarried at Butchers Hill and hauled by hand carts to the bridge site. The cutwaters were added in 1884. The bridge is said to be haunted by several ghosts, including Grover, a cruel flagellator.

St John's Catholic Church and burial ground (1837)
This is the oldest Catholic Church still in use in Australia. The church has had three spires. The present one was raised in 1972.

St Luke's Anglican Church (1834).
The foundation stone was laid in 1834 by Governor Arthur. Designed by John Lee Archer and built by convict labour, the church was completed in 1835. James Thompson, the convict who was responsible for the original timber work inside the building, was granted his freedom as a reward for his work.

Richmond Court House (1825)
In the early days, it was also used for church services. It was used as Council Chambers from 1861, when the Richmond Municipality was established, until 1993, when Richmond Council amalgamated with Clarence City Council.


Posted by charlystyles 08:07 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Convict Coal Mines, Port Arthur

sunny 24 °C

The Coal Mines Historic Site was Tasmania’s first operational mine, developed both to limit the colony's dependence upon costly imported coal from New South Wales, as well as serving as a place of punishment for the "worst class" of convicts from Port Arthur, the mine was operational for over 40 years.
The Coal Mines Historic Site is part of the epic story of the European settlement of Australia.
When Lempriere (the Commissariat Officer at Port Arthur) reported on the settlement c. 1839 there were 150 prisoners and a detachment of 29 officers stationed at the mines. Large stone barracks which housed up to 170 prisoners, as well as the chapel, bakehouse and store had been erected.
The Coal Mines formed part of the system of convict discipline and punishment on the Tasman Peninsula. During its busiest years almost 600 prisoners with their jailers and their families lived and worked at the Mines. While the underground workings are no longer accessible, you can still see the ruins of houses, barracks, offices and punishment cells.
By 1847 the main shaft was down over 300 feet with an extensive system of subterranean tunnels and caverns. The work of extracting the coal was carried out by convicts in two eight hour shifts. The men had to extract 25 tons in each shift to reach the day's quota.
Hand-driven winding wheels at the top of the shafts were used to bring the coal baskets up from the working galleries. Once at the top, the baskets were upturned into carts for transportation to the jetty at Plunkett Point. This was done via an 'inclined plane' (self-acting tramway) carrying the coal from each shaft. The line of the tramway from the main shaft constructed in 1846 is still clearly visible.
It gives you a faint echo of those long departed men toiling in the dark, and experience something of the isolation and hardship that they endured.

Posted by charlystyles 02:45 Archived in Australia Tagged port_arthur coal_mines Comments (0)

Cape Raoul, Maignon Bay & Remarkable Cave

sunny 24 °C

Maignon Bay

Cape Raoul
On a very clear day, you can see Cape Raoul in the distance with its tall pillars of dolerite rock rising from the sea.
Dolerite columns are common features throughout Tasmania. They formed during the age of the dinosaurs, as molten rock cooled slowly just under the surface of the earth, often cracking into long polygonal columns.

Remarkable Cave
For thousands of years this section of the coastline has been exposed to the sea's erosive powers. Strong South-westerly winds generate pounding wave that attack weaknesses in rock and erode the coastline, forming arches, blowholes, bays, beaches and caves.
The roof of Remarkable cave collapsed long ago - its debris washed out to sea, save for the few large boulders and sea-smoothed rocks below. In front is the remains of the cave tunnel leading out to sea.
Why so remarkable? The entrance to the cave forms the shape of Tasmania!
Also, the cave would have originally had two entrances, one of which has now collapsed.

Posted by charlystyles 01:01 Archived in Australia Tagged remarkable_cave Comments (0)

Port Arthur

...a machine to grind rogues into honest men...

sunny 25 °C

The Port Arthur Historic Site is a place of national and international significance - part of the epic story of the settlement of Australia.
Port Arthur was much more than a prison. It was a complete community - home to military personnel and free settlers. The convicts worked at farming and industries, producing a large range of resources and materials.
Port Arthur Historic Site contains more than 30 buildings, extensive ruins and beautiful grounds and gardens. A short ferry ride from the site if the Isle of the Dead cemetery and the site of the Point Puer Boys' Prison.
The Port Arthur penal station was established in 1830 as a timber getting camp, using convict labour to produce sawn logs for government projects.

From 1833 Port Arthur was used as a punishment station for repeat offenders from all the Australian colonies.

The English prison reformer Jeremy Bentham design a radical new Penitentiary at Pentonville in England, which is now described as a 'machine for grinding rogues into honest men'. This became the model for Port Arthur.

The cogs of this machine included punishment, religious and moral instruction, classification and separation, training and education. Many men were broken, but some left Port Arthur rehabilitated and skilled, some as blacksmiths, shoe makers or ship builders.

Port Arthurs community of military and free men and their families lived their lives in stark contrast to the convicts. Beautiful gardens were created and parties, regattas and literary evenings were common.

By 1840 more than 2,000 convicts, soldiers and civil staff lived at Port Arthur, which by this time was a major industrial settlement. A range of goods were produced here, from worked stone and bricks to furniture and clothing, boats and ships.

The Penitentiary
ion the early days the convicts were housed in rough wooden huts. Later, as convict numbers increased, the flour mill and granary was converted into a four-storey Penitentiary, due to its failure to supply adequate flour to the settlement.
The Penitentiary's two lower floors contained 136 cells for 'prisoners of bad character'. The top floor provided space for 480 better behaved convicts to sleep in bunks.

Point Puer Boys' Prison
Point Puer operated from 1834 to 1849 and was the first purpose built juvenile reformatory in the British Empire. Juvenile offenders were separated from older convicts to protect them from criminals influence. Most of the boys were aged between 14 and 17, with the youngest just 9 years old. Point Puer was renowned for it's regime of stern discipline and harsh punishment, but all the boys received an education while some were given the opportunity of trade training.

The Isle of the Dead
Between 1833 and 1877 around 1,000 people were buried at the settlements cemetery, including military and civil officers, their wives and children and convicts. The most common cause of death among convicts was respiratory disease or industrial accidents.

The Separate Prison
By the early 1840's a major change had taken place in the management of British prisons, with a move away from physical punishment. Designed to deliver a new method of punishment, of reforming the convicts through isolation and contemplation. Convicts were locked for 23 hours a day in single cells. Here they ate, slept and worked, with just one hour a day allowed for exercise, alone, in a high walled yard. The prisoners were kept strictly apart from each other and not a word was heard except in chapel. The intention was to bring their minds to a more 'healthy condition'
Can you spot the convict?

The Church
The foundation stone of the church was laid in 1836 by Lieutenant Governor George Arthur on his final visit to Port Arthur. Although constructed by convicts, much of the stonework and panelled pew fronts were prepared by the boys from the Juvenile Establishment at Point Puer.
the first service was held in 1837. The church was never consecrated, partly because it had to be used by several different denominations and partly due to disagreements between the various Church authorities.
It had a wooden steeple which blew down during a gale in 1876. and in 1884 sparks from a fire lit to clean up around the parsonage caught the old shingles on the church roof and the church burnt to the ground.

St David's Church
Built after many years of conducting Anglican services in the Town Hall / Asylum.
The land was donated and members of the congregation gave money, raised funds and donated altar cloth, seats and carpet. The foundation stone was laid in May 1927 and the church dedicated on 18th December. Despite the rain, people from all over the Peninsula came to see the Bishop of Tasmania, the Rt. Rev. R.S. Hay, preform the ceremony.
The church is still in regular use today.

The Hospital
In the hospital convicts were commonly treated for numerous conditions including respiratory or rheumatic ailments contracted from working outdoors and sleeping in cold cells in wet clothing.

The Asylum
By the early 18960's many convicts were housed and treated in the Paupers' Depot or the Asylum, according to new ideas that included creating a calm, environment.

Rose Cottage - Military Officers Quarters
Rose Cottage was built as a residence for the senior military offices and his family. Lempriere described it in 1838 as a neat cottage with a veranda at the front and comprising of four rooms and a kitchen. The house was built entirely of wood (no bricks were made at Port Arthur before 1839) but the kitchen and outbuildings were later rebuilt in brick.
By the early 1840's the house was occupied but Captain and Mrs Errington. She sent paintings of the house and her little boy to her family in Plymouth, which show a comfortable well-furnished interior. The cottage was extended several times, but as you can see, none of the doors were in line.
In 1887 the cottage was run as a juvenile school and in 1897 it housed the State School.

Tower Cottage - The Officers Quarters
For most of the convict period the Senior Military Officer's Quarters was the home of the Military Office in charge of the soldiers at Port Arthur. Many of the serving soldiers were married and in some cases their families accompanied them to Port Arthur. The soldiers at Port Arthur were responsible for security and for pursuing and capturing escaped convicts.

Smith O'Brian's Cottage
The cottage was originally built as stables in 1840 and was converted to a two room cottage for O'Brien in 1850.
It retains the name of its most famous occupant, William Smith OBrien, member of the British Parliament and leader of the Young Ireland Movement.
After leading an unsuccessful rebellion neat Kilkenny, O'Brien was sentenced to death, then reprieved and transported to Van Diemen's Land. After refusing to promise not to escape, O'Brien was sent first to Maria Island before being transport to Port Arthur in August 1850.
Rooms were later added at either end of the cottage and the building was used for Officers' Quarters.

With the end of the convict transportation in 1853, Port Arthur also became an institution for aging and physically and mentally ill convicts. The Penal settlement finally closed in 1877 and many of the buildings were dismantled or destroyed in bush fires. The area became the centre of a small town renamed Carnarvon in an attempt to erase the hated convict stain. However, tourists began visiting almost immediately after the closure of the penal settlement and it was once again named Port Arthur.

The Parsonage Post Office
The Paronsage was originally a two storey building built in 1842. The Reverend Durham and his family were the first occupants and lived here for ten years. He was reputedly a very difficult man and no convict wanted to work for him. Reverend Eastman, his wife and their ten children were the tenants from 1855 to 1870. He died in an upstairs room of the house and is buried on the Isle of the Dead.
After considerable damage in the 1895 bushfires it was rebuilt as the Carnarvon Post Office.

The Police Station
After the fire of 1897 destroyed the Police Station in the Old Law Courts, the Station for the Peninsula was set up at Premaydene, about 15km away. But as tourist numbers grew, vandalism increased and a police presence was needed.
In 1936 a new house was built on the site of the old Prisoners' Barracks. The local police officer acted as a Bailiff of the court, an Inspector under the Stock Act and a Gaoler. He also helped find missing persons, investigated burglaries, and sheep stealing and prosecuted traffic offenders. There is a single cell at the back of the cottage. At Port Arthur the policeman also had a special duty to safeguard the historic site.

Posted by charlystyles 02:40 Archived in Australia Tagged port_arthur Comments (0)

Stewart's Bay

sunny 20 °C

For the two nights of our visit, we stayed in a bunk room at the Port Arthur Caravan Park. It was great, set in the woods, with full use of under cover BBQ facilities, very quiet and only a 2 minute walk to a very secluded beach.
We enjoyed dinner there in the evening
and got up at 5am to watch the sunrise

I love sunrise and sunsets, so it was great to have such a beautiful view only a couple of minutes walk from bed!


Posted by charlystyles 21:05 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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