Sunday 28 April 2013

Travelogue Tasmania Day 4 - Port Arthur

Port Arthur is not a happy place, and in my mind its original dark history had somehow been overshadowed by its more recent tragic one.  So, in a nutshell, I wasn't really sure what to expect here, or how the kids would react to it either.


I can honestly say, for me, this was the highlight of our time in Tasmania.  You cannot help but be touched by what you see here.  The ruined buildings speak to you in a way that I didn't anticipate.  And while there is a beautiful and haunting memorial to that dreadful day almost 20 years ago, that is not what Port Arthur is about.  It is about the lives of the 12,500 convicts (some as young as 9) who served hard, and often, brutal time here.

Saturday 27 April 2013


Untitled by feebee00
he - pre match warm up
Untitled by feebee00
she - I can see you!

" a portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2013"

last week I loved Kylie's beautiful shots of her two littles.

Friday 26 April 2013

Travelogue Tasmania Day 3 - Bicheno to Richmond

Day 3 saw us awake to beautiful, clear skies yet again.  So far the weather gods were smiling on us.  After a quick breakfast we set off in the opposite direction of our walk the day before and headed out to find the blowhole.

The orange rocks, crystal clear blue water and impressive sprays of waves crashing over the shore were so beautiful.  The walk follows for the main part the rocky shoreline, and the kids enjoyed searching out the markers highlighting the trail and scampering up and down the boulders.


Before long we headed back to our cabin, packed up and headed out for Richmond.  First stop was at Kate's Berry Farm just outside of Swansea for a quick coffee (of course) and some home made scones, jam and cream for the kids.  Will decided to have the great scone tasting competition during our trip and this batch were  pretty good according to him.   The views over Great Oyster Bay sitting under the pergola were so lovely and we really didn't want to leave.  

Not long after the farm we came across Spiky Bridge, so named I'm guessing because it looks really spikey?  The bridge was built by convicts in 1843 using local fieldstones but no mortar.  Tasmania is full of these little curiosities just waiting to be found.



Before lunch we found ourselves at our base for the next 2 nights, Richmond.  What a delight.  Sitting on the Coal River, and only 27km from Hobart, Richmond was once an important military post and convict station on the way to Port Arthur.  Now it is a charming little town filled with beautifully maintained historic buildings and  great cafes and restaurants ( meal of the trip was had here at Ashmore on Bridge Street).

Richmond Bridge was built by convicts in 1823, making it the oldest road bridge in Australia.  The kids enjoyed chasing ducks along the banks of the river here.  You can buy bread at the bakery to feed them if you like ( the ducks, not the kids).   We spent a small while at Old Hobart Town Historic Model Village, a re-creation of Hobart town 20 years after its founding.  The little models were quite cute and it was a pleasent enough way to spend an hour or so. 

One of the things we were really looking forward to was spending a couple of nights on a farmstay at Richmond.  Daisy Bank Cottages  were just adorable.  Our accommodation was in an old converted sandstone barn originally built in 1830.  We were free to explore the farm as we liked and both Will and Lucy just loved being around the horses, sheep, chooks ( who provided us with fresh eggs both mornings) and two of the friendliest dogs you ever will meet - Patch and Charlie.  We just didn't want to leave.  Hopefully we will be back one day, and if you ever find yourself in that part of Tasmania, I cannot recommend it highly enough. 

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Travelogue Tasmania Day 2 - Launceston to Bicheno

Photo heavy post, sorry!  We awoke to a glorious autumn morning in Launceston, with a definite nip in the air,  but not a cloud in the sky.  I wish we had allowed more time here to explore the surrounding area, but with only a week in Tasmania there was no way we were ever going to see it all.  There's always next time!

A number of people had told us that Cuccina was the place to go for breakfast, so off we went.  It was an easy walk down the hill from Auldington which was just as well as I was definitely needing a good coffee by this point.  They didn't disappoint.  Will and Lucy really enjoyed their Canadian style pancakes and a pot of English Breakfast tea between them.  How many 10 and almost 8 year olds enjoy a pot of tea with their breakfast?  Maybe lots, I don't know.

Before heading off to Bicheno we stopped off at the Queen Victoria Museum at the Inveresk railyards.  What a treat!  Admission was free and the museum is home to preserved railway workshops as well as social history and natural science collections.  The kids were able to explore the hands on Phenomena Factory and we found The Blacksmith Shop an evocative experience.  Built between 1909 and 1937, a walkway guides you through the shop all the while listening to the voices of workers and sounds of machinery. 

Just before lunch we headed off for Bicheno on the East Coast.  We stopped off at Evandale on the way.  The whole town  is National Trust listed.  The general store was very cute and after purchasing some old fashioned lollies in little white paper bags we were on our way again.

 We arrived at Bicheno mid afternoon, after what seemed like a long and twisty drive.  Will was feeling the worse for it.  The 3km Foreshore Footway extends from the Blowhole around to the Gultch (the harbour) so after after checking into our our digs we headed out for a walk along the rocky forshore to clear our heads.  We were in the "King Billy" cabin, which we thought was quite funny.  By now the weather was definitely cooling off so we headed off to Passinis for some gluten free pizza and the best spaghetti bolognaise Lucy has ever eaten.  I was not offended by this (much!).