A Travellerspoint blog

March 2016

Hobart's Market Day

sunny 27 °C

When Hobart was the southern ocean’s whaling capital more than a century ago the quayside warehouses at Salamanca bustled with activity as the whalers brought their great catches ashore for processing…
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Today the old whaler’s warehouses at Salamanca are quieter, (and considerably less smelly), but this area is a hive of activity each Saturday morning when the city’s weekly market is held here. While we missed this market we were lucky enough to catch the Twilight market in the nearby suburb of Sandy Bay…
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Local arts, crafts, pies and beer reminded us of our own weekly market at home – though the idea of people wandering around in public with pints of beer in hand would shock most Canadians to the core…
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This brewery has been operated in Hobart since 1824...
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Less than 50,000 people live in Hobart city, while a further 150,000 are scattered throughout its inlets and islands in quaint seaside communities that could be mistaken for Frinton-on-sea or White Rock in the 1950s. It is a delightful city of parks, gardens and pristine beaches surrounded by forested mountains…
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This sailing ship, the Lady Nelson, is an exact replica of the ship that brought the first Brits to Hobart in 1802. The voyage took 4 months...
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Tasmania truly is at the end of the earth and for many early Antarctic explorers Hobart’s green hills were perhaps the last sighting of verdant life before they were lost forever in the frigid wastes with only penguins for company. Penguins also nest on Tasmania’s rocky shores and we visited the tiny north west community of Penguin in order to see them. We saw this one…
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However, the live fairy penguins of Tasmania are elusive creatures and they certainly eluded us. Another elusive creature unique to this land is the Tasmanian devil. These dog-sized marsupials may look fierce but this little fella in a zoo was just an adorable pup…
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Tasmania somewhat ashamedly calls itself the “Road kill capital the World” and we have seen plenty of evidence to support this. Tasmanian devils are carnivores that love road kill but they have terrible eyesight so often end up being a meal for the next one. They are also dying in the wild because of an epidemic of facial cancer.
We are now saying goodbye to Hobart, but not for us the great southern ocean and the frigid wastes of Antarctica. We are flying north across the Bass Strait to Australia’s main island where, despite the arrival of fall, the mercury is still boiling in the 40s…
We will miss Tasmania with its lovely weather, endless unspoiled beaches, quaint villages and abundance of nature. It is truly one of the world’s best kept secrets.

Posted by Hawkson 03:17 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

Ye Olde England Downunder

sunny 28 °C

Tasmania is roughly half the size of England but has merely 1% of the population, so it’s hardly surprising that most of the country is given over to agriculture. The island has perhaps the perfect climate – rarely too hot or too cold, (though sometimes too dry) - and northern climate crops of all kinds flourish here: vineyards and olive groves vie for land amongst fruit orchards and fields of vegetables, while sheep, goats, alpacas and cattle graze the paddocks alongside wallabies and kangaroos…
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Tasmania is just about as far away from Britain as it is possible to get without dropping off the edge and it is understandable that it was chosen as the first place to transport the ‘great unwashed’ of Victorian times when they became a nuisance at home. It was perhaps inevitable that the administrators, guards, and even the prisoners, would try to make their new home as much like the old as possible. Every town and city has a wealth of buildings straight off the pages of “Victorian British Architecture.” This is Launceston’s High Street…
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This ‘Olde Worlde’ stone bridge at Ross was built by convicts in 1836…
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As was this perfect little church that could be at the centre of any English village…
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…as could Ye Olde British Hotel in Deloraine…
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…and this Lincolnshire flour mill in Callington that still grinds flour today…
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Tasmania is much more British than British Columbia and is even more British than today’s Britain. Tasmania’s high streets are reminiscent of the English high streets of our youth, when sweets could be bought by the ounce from jars like these in Evandale’s general store…
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Unlike the high streets of Britain today, Tasmania’s aren’t awash with charity shops and mobile phone emporiums. Big box malls, dollar stores and American fast food joints are probably coming, but the town centres are still delightful reminders of a lost world. This Fly Fishing store has been here in Launceston a century or more…
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Cornish Pasties, Fish and Chips and Devonshire Cream Teas are staples in Tasmamia but just when you are convinced that you’ve slipped through a time warp and ended up in 1960s Britain you round a corner and find yourself in Switzerland…
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This is the town centre of Grindelwald in central Tasmania while Interlaken is not far away.

Tasmania has a great deal to offer visitors – much more than we anticipated – if only it weren’t so bloomin’ far away. Sentiments no doubt echoed by the thousands of convicts who ended their days here in this corner of a foreign field that will be forever England.

Posted by Hawkson 02:24 Archived in Australia Comments (4)

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