This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2000 Travels January 24

MONDAY 24 JANUARY     HOBART

We slept in until about 9.30, after the tiring day yesterday. R slept even later. We were rather slow to get ready for our day out.

We drove up Mt Wellington. R did not like the winding road and steep drops to the sides. I had opted to travel in the back seat while R is visiting, because in the Defender the back seat is high up so it is not all that easy to see well out of the side windows. One can see much more from the front. Being in the back seat on the winding road was not something I enjoyed either!

Up the top, R walked around the circle road at the top, seeming very interested in the remnants of snow and ice in sheltered spots. John and I admired the views over Hobart, again.

01-24-2000 sthern Hobart from Mt Wellington.jpg

Southern Hobart from Mt Wellington

We then drove back down the mountain, and south, down the so picturesque Huon Valley, to Geeveston

At the Forest Centre at Geeveston, John stayed in Truck. R did not want to pay money to go into the wood display and museum sections, so just looked around the shop. She bought a Huon pine bread knife to go with the board she’d bought at the Salamanca Markets.

We then drove up the Arve Road, behind Geeveston, into the forest and wilderness country, to the upper reaches of the Huon River.

01-24-2000 Tahune River.jpg

The upper Huon River

01-24-2000 Arve Forest lookout.jpg

Arve Forest Lookout and swamp gum

At the Tahune Reserve, we did the Huon Pine Walk. We all enjoyed the forest lookouts and the walk.

01-24-2000 huon pine.jpg

A Huon Pine growing by the river

01-24-2000 leatherwood flowers

Leatherwood flowers – the source of the best honey!

01-24-2000 the Arve forest

The Tahune wilderness forest, from lookout

We followed the Arve Loop Road back to Geeveston and then headed back for Hobart. Apparently, there was a jam factory and shop at Grove that R wanted to visit, but she only told us this when we were past it on the way back, and it was too late because the place was shut by then.

Tea was chicken dijonnaise, potato, zucchini, then strawberries. I thought it was a nice meal.

We drove 240kms today.


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1999 Travels December 24

FRIDAY 24 DECEMBER     HOBART

John went and picked up the turkey from the Glenorchy butcher, while I finished clearing up after breakfast. The turkey weighed 3.2kgs and cost $30.

For a pre-Xmas treat, I made smoked salmon and avocado sandwiches for lunch.

We went for a drive up Mt Wellington. There is no way to do this from where we are without going through part of the central city. Fortunately Hobart traffic is not too bad.

The road up the mountain is the most scenic road to drive up. There were very steep roadside drops in parts! For a road that must receive so much visitor traffic, it is extremely narrow, and has steep drops mostly unguarded. At intervals, there were signs showing where walking tracks intersected the road. There are numerous walk tracks on the mountain.

Most notable was the changing vegetation, with altitude, transitioning from forests and fern gullies at the edge of the lower suburbs, to exposed rock and sub-alpine plants at the top. There were lots of dead tree skeletons – maybe from the disastrous 1967 bushfires?

We parked in the carpark at the summit, then walked down the ZigZag walk track for a distance, until it began to get really steep. Not wanting to have to do too much of an uphill climb back, we turned around at that point.

I took some close-up photos of the alpine scrub plants, which quite intrigue me. I have a concept of a couple of good such photos, enlarged and framed in rustic wood, on a wall at home.

12-24-1999 alpine bush mt wellington.jpg

12-24-1999 mt w wildflowers.jpg

Alpine plants on Mt Wellington

We spent some time at the lookouts at the summit, and reading the explanatory information boards and signs. I noticed that whoever planned same could not do basic maths – there were a couple of glaring date discrepancies to do with the new Tasman Bridge and the accident when a ship ran into it.

The original bridge over the Derwent from the city to the eastern shore was a floating pontoon bridge that stretched around in a curve. It had an opening section to allow ships through. The new bridge, designed to take a lot more traffic, was opened in 1964. I have a photo, taken from up here in the summer of early 1964, showing both bridges crossing the river.

In 1975 a freighter collided with a bridge upright, taking out a section of the bridge roadway, sinking itself and killing some crew and some motorists who plunged over the gap in the bridge. The missing link was a major inconvenience for those who needed to travel across the river, as the next bridge was miles upstream at Bridgewater. However, it was good business for a man who built and operated little ferry boats! Repairs were done and the bridge reopened in 1977, after nearly three years. In 1984, the Bowen Bridge, near our camp, was built and opened.

12-24-1999 from mt wellington

Hobart’s northern sprawl. Bowen Bridge at right.

It was cool up on top of the mountain, at just over 1200 metres, with the occasional wisp of cloud coming over. Although it was fine down below, up here we were almost into the cloud ceiling.

12-24-1999 Hobart city from Mt Wellington

Hobart’s centre and south. Tasman Bridge at left.

We made our way back down the mountain. I found navigating through the suburbs on the lower slopes to be hard, and John was not happy with my efforts, saying I was not giving him enough advance notice when turns were coming up. When I did give him good notice about a left turn coming up, he ignored it because “it did not look right”! Tasmanian signposting could be greatly improved!

We drove 80kms today.

Back at camp, there was no one practising on the adjacent Berriedale Bowls Club rinks, so John took us both there for a practice for a couple of hours.

Then John drove off to get fish and chips for him, and chips and squid rings for me. While he was gone, I cooked the frozen fish left from last week, for me. Unfortunately, the shop was really stingy with its chips and there was not really enough for two. The squid rings were far too greasy. It was a disappointing meal.

Fairly early night for me because I would have to be up early tomorrow to cook.