This great cruise on the luxurious Lady Franklin took most of the day, leaving from Strahan early on a misty morning, we went out through Macquarie Harbour, past the pens of a salmon farm and the two lighthouses that mark its entrance at Hell’s Gate – so called because of the submerged rocks, rough waters and the powerful tides that exist there, making it dangerous and difficult to navigate. Turning around just outside in what is the Great Southern Ocean, the boat proceeded back down the harbour and entered the Gordon River. This is a most beautiful area of cold climate rain forest, an ancient wilderness with unique trees, and is a world heritage area. The still dark water provided endless views and amazing reflections of the shoreline. At one point we were able to go ashore and walk through a section of rainforest to see close-up its lush beauty, where trunks were covered with emerald green mosses, and trees festooned with hanging bunches of moss and lichen, while everything dripped around us. After this experience, we returned to the boat for a delicious lunch and a short trip back up the river, stopping at Sarah Island where we again went ashore to see the remains of the penal colony that was there from 1822 -33, and to learn the history of the island from an amusing and well informed guide. Despite the at times inclement weather, it was a wonderful day, and I would recommend anyone to take this cruise if you visit Strahan.
I visited the home of a couple who are friends of the friend with whom I stayed a few days in Hobart ……they have a beautiful home high on the hill, cleverly designed to enjoy extraordinary views from every window as it overlooks the River below and the hills beyond. The owner is an artist and their home and garden were full of wonderful pieces of sculpture and paintings. I particularly liked the eagle with its captured prey…seemingly in mid-air. There were also a couple of cute dogs in residence, and feeling very dog deprived I was more than happy to give them the attention they were seeking.
May I suggest that anyone who goes to Hobart must go and see the new Museum of Old and New Art – if only for the fantastic building in which it is housed. It is mostly underground, built by tunneling into the hillside above the Derwent River by David Walsh, a wealthy businessman and art connoisseur, it is purported to have cost over one hundred million dollars and houses a most eclectic collection of art and antiquities. One could spend a week there, and still not see everything. The owner has described as a subversive adult Disneyland.
These were taken around Constitution Dock, famous for being the mooring place for boats that have completed the annual Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race, and at MONA.
A day trip from Hobart to the Huon Valley, along the River to Franklin and Dover brought more spectacular views and photo opportunities, plus lunch at a most unassuming roadside cafe where I had the best hamburger ever! My brother is a keen sailor, and a short time after my visit he was planning to bring his boat down here on a four day cruise. It was again overcast, a misty morning, sometimes raining a little, and everything looked lush and green. This is an area well known for the gourmet foods grown there, and we saw acres of apple orchards, the trees laden with fruit.
From Bicheno I traveled south down the Tasmanian East Coast, spending time in some of the little towns along the way until I reached Richmond. I did not go to the Freycinet National Park or Wineglass Bay as I had seen them on a previous trip. I did not have a lot of time to spare as this was the only part of my trip which had time restrictions, because I needed to reach Hobart on a particular day. Richmond is one of the most historic towns in Tasmania with the original 1823 convict built bridge still standing as well as many other original sandstone buildings in the main street and local area. I found it full of tourist centred galleries and kitch souvenir shops, very commercialized and difficult to photograph without lots of advertising signs spoiling the view. Instead I took shots of worn original door steps and wondered about all those folk who had crossed the thresholds over the years. What stories the stones might tell if they could speak.
My absence has been due to a fantastic trip to Tasmania – primarily to see the state, take different sorts of photo to my usual macros, and to visit some family and friends. I traveled in my own car on my own, with few plans, no accommodation booked ahead, so could go where I wanted to, stop whenever I saw something worth a photograph or wanted to spend some time – all without having to consider anyone else or stick to a schedule. Selfish, indulgent and wonderful!
I’ll be sharing some of the photos over the next little while – I took over 1000 and am still culling and processing them.
From Devonport where the ferry docks, I drove to the East Coast – these were all taken around Bicheno a popular and pretty coastal town – the weather was overcast but some of these were shot at sunrise or sunset.