Category Archives: New Zealand & Australia

Tasmania – the trip

Hobart Farmers Market Christmas Eve  – a small girl, fascinated by a busker, and then he makes a fart sound.

Hobart Farmer’s Market

She looked around, I imagine, to see if any ‘adults’ had noticed – No – so back to enjoying the music.

A great little market – we had assumed on Christmas eve it would be closed but walked down anyway.

Pleased we did – local produce – honey, cheeses, an enormous variety of sausages, berries, buskers of course  ………

https://www.facebook.com/farmgatemarket/

Being Christmas Eve we were just before the arrival of the Sydney to Hobart yachts and the massive food & wine market that goes with it.

https://www.australia.com/en/events/food-and-wine/the-taste-of-tasmania.html

Highly recommended but no time to enjoy on this trip.

Near Maydena(west of Hobart) on Christmas Day a tree had literally just fallen across the road – a near miss for us – thought this could hold us up for a while as there were few homes visible nearby and it was Christmas Day after all.

A few minutes later, locals appeared with a ‘ute’, chainsaw and eventually a small tractor.

With trapped drivers assisting  we were on our way within 45 minutes. Brilliant – Merry Christmas indeed.

Interesting side note – as you can see the women decided it was important to sweep the leaves and sawdust off the road using the tree branches. No idea why.

Anyway a few days later I mentioned this to some women at Lake Pedder and the reply was ‘they had to do something out of frustration, because the boys controlled the chainsaw and the women couldn’t get there hands on to do any sawing’ – there you go there is an explanation for everything.

Back to the trip – we started in Smithton(in the North West) where great friends very generously let us use their house and car.

Our journey was essentially clockwise Smithton, Devonport, Launceston, Swansea, Hobart, Maydena, Lake Pedder, Bronte Park, Strahan, Cradle Mountain and back to Smithton.

Smithton

Town with a ‘Woollies’ and the important basics but not big on features that would attract many visitors at this stage.

No bus service from Devonport, Burnie, Strahan etc. You need your own bike/car to get there.

However, a great base for us – See Tarkine drives later.

Then heading East …. and clockwise

Stanley & The Nut

Famous spot & nice little tourist town, very pretty cemetery but very light on restaurants mid week.

Stanley & The Nut

The Nut is the hill behind the town – has a cable car that runs when the wind is not too strong – the wind is often strong!

You can walk up in any weather.

Rocky Cape National Park

We drove back and forth to Devonport so many times but actually only turned into this park once on a wild day. Need more time to explore.

Rocky Cape National Park, Tasmania

The tortured bush below emphasises the tough location.

Rocky Cape National Park, Tasmania

and then seemingly completely out of context, in the open and exposed to the worst of Bass Strait weather was aboriginal art.

Rocky Cape National Park, Tasmania

For a little more background

https://www.discovertasmania.com.au/about/national-parks-and-wilderness/rocky-cape-national-park

Onwards clockwise —

Launceston  or ‘Lornie’

Nice town but everyone wanted to see the zoo.

Quite unique – the entrance gate has a large Gorilla perched over the top – looking like King Kong had escaped from a film set, plus an unusual mixture of Lions, a camel(alone in an enclosure with a sheep – ‘mates’ apparently), a concrete stuffed crocodile, a few talkative cockatoos – 1 miaowing(they suspect this Cockatoo spent a lot of time alone in a house with a cat), many Tassie Devils rushing here and there, and a few meerkats (all one sex- cannot remember which) plus a randy wallaby that fell in ‘love’ with a young woman’s leg – ‘ew eeek it won’t let go’ – until it was satisfied of course. Photo coming!

Onwards south

Swansea and Freycinet

To be continued – taking a ‘wee’ break. This means more travels/pictures/website updates/ …..

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Tasmania – the gallery

Cape Freycinet National Park

Not the traditional images you will see, rather a personal take,

I am drawn more to the fallen leaves, branches than to the golden Freycinet beaches & drawn more to the messy darker corners than the sunny highlands.

Click on any image to see more detail.

Australia, Cape Freycinet
Cape Freycinet, Tasmania
Cape Freycinet, Tasmania

Mt Field

Mt Field, Tasmania
Mt Field, Tasmania
Mt Field, Tasmania
Mt Field, Tasmania
Mt Field, Tasmania

Maydena

Maydena, Tasmania
Maydena, Tasmania
Maydena, Tasmania
Maydena, Tasmania
Maydena, Tasmania – The Old Ones
Maydena, Tasmania

Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

The Tarkine

The Tarkine is is essentially a circular drive covering inland forests and Bass Strait coast in the North West.

Both are equally stunning but different – inland is deep quiet forests and sink holes while coastal route is wild, wind and wave swept

Sink Hole, Inland Tarkine, North West Tasmania
Tarkine, North West Tasmania
Sink Hole, Inland Tarkine, North West Tasmania
Tarkine, North West Tasmania
Tarkine, North West Tasmania
Tarkine, North West Tasmania
Tarkine, North West Tasmania
Tarkine, North West Tasmania
Tarkine, North West Tasmania
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New Zealand – South Island

This was a ‘back to my roots’ trip during which I took a few photos – so not a definitive view of New Zealand’s South Island but hopefully enough to pique your curiosity.

Milford Sound below also happens to be a location used for the movie ‘Alien Covenant’ – you’ll see great views of Fiordland even in the Trailer.  Trailer – Alien Covenant

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Oneroa Beach, Waiheke, New Zealand – a September afternoon

Confronted with a choice – a rainy day in Auckland or a rainy day on Waiheke Island. Simple.

Dodged showers while dragging my bags to the bus stop, caught the ferry to Waiheke and checked in at The Courtyard(should have taken photos but suffice to say a fairly typical Kiwi ‘bach’ with 2 nice rooms for guests out the back and very helpful host Jilly).

A short walk to the village for a very nice lunch accompanied by a couple of glasses of Awaroa ‘Requiem’ Cab Merlot Malbec ’12 from Waiheke Island.

Then the sun comes out for the afternoon – making me a local hero for 5 minutes – ‘Ah you must have brought the sun with you’.

Last visit about 40 years ago – it has changed but not that much and the kiwi beach life style is, judging from objects on the beach and chatty locals, alive and well. The locals do seem to spend a lot of time moaning about Auckland and people from Auckland – typical islanders I guess.

Loved the local wines and restaurants but a little pricey even after NZD’s recent drop.

Some of the photos below have just begged me to do them in Black & White – I don’t normally mix B&W and Colour but what are rules for if not …

All photos – Fuji X-T1, 18-55 lens

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