My visual diary 2020: Tasmania in Two Weeks in Summer

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One of my favourite parts of our trip, so far, was the easy, short walk into Hogarth Falls, which begins at the People's Park in the Strahan township. The park was a popular recreational reserve from early settlement, later featuring a brass band on Sundays, and becoming a location for the caravan park (later relocated west of the town). The walkway is mostly flat, and keeps pace with a shallow, pebbled stream, heading up to a modest fall - which I didn't get any photos of that I want to share.
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Ocean Beach is only a few kilometres up the coast from Macquarie Heads, on the wild west coast. I loved the smooth pebbles, and the old buoy covered in barnacles, which I noticed slowly seethed with motion, when I looked closely.
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Cederic

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Another thread of holiday snaps photographs.

I do like these. There are some lovely photographs but also the write-up gives a sense of place and time. Plus bonus wallaby!

Your chap should look into getting his cargo sling turned into a product. That'd sell!
 
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Now it's time for trains. Everyone we spoke to who had done the Wilderness Railway tour in the west told us it was an absolute highlight, so we booked the half day rack and gorge tour. Our restored steam train with reproduction carriages left Queenstown at 9am, travelling into the mountains on steeper than usual grades, made possible by the Abt system of cogs between the railway lines. The train makes a number of stops to refill with water, and there are activities for passengers, such as learning to pan for gold, and whiskey tasting.

(Note: I've been having trouble uploading photos for days, and am still, but will try again after posting this.)
 
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This is my favourite photo from the Wilderness Railway tour, showing the train stopped at Rinadeena for water refilling.
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Note: after a week's absence, I'm back in business, albeit with tiny, resized photos. Thanks @barry13 and @BosseBe for your advice on my post in the Help and Feedback forum. I tried uploading many varyingly-smaller sized photos, but can currently only upload at this size, which is almost not with doing. Hopefully things will be restored to normal and I can upload as previously.
 

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Our first stop along the outward bound train journey was at a siding where passengers could get a bag of river sand (on shelves behind the staff member at the counter) and learn how to pan for gold.
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I wasn't interested in joining in, but did take a few photos of the activity.
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Thanks for sharing your photography, very interesting and some beautiful shots. I really like the train, it shows some sort of dynamic motion (hard to put in words but I like it!). And interesting to read your comments. Also a great idea to post the images in a separate forum post.
 
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The unique aspect of this railway journey is the track: in order to travel over steeper than usual grades, the Abt system, using a rack and pinion cog system between the main rails, was installed in the steeper sections (a maximum of 1:12, compared with the usual 1:40). This is visible here:
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With the steep grades, the 120 year old engine needs frequent refilling with water.
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The train stops at the King River Gorge to allow time for photos (from inside the carriages):
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At Rinadeena, currawongs make the most of an easy feed, and boldly scavenge around passengers as they grab a snack from the station.
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Our engineer, Barry.
 
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The following sequence shows the turning-around of the engine for the return journey at Dubbil Barril, by two train attendants using a hand-operated turntable. As you can imagine, this is quite a remarkable feat of engineering and maintenance!

Reversing onto the turntable:
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Stop!
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Now both push:
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And just like that, the engine is facing back down the way we came, then backed up to the carriages for reconnection.
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The bookings-only whiskey-tasting session took place along the downhill run, at Rinadeena; again, I didn't participate, but took a couple of photos before getting some fresh air, followed up by a Valhalla choc-top ice cream cone - Tasmania has wonderful ice creams.
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When I asked Simon (see first photo of last post) where his favourite place to eat in Queenstown was, he recommended the Empire Hotel opposite the railway station, and it didn't disappoint. Here's a detail of the handsome staircase which greets you upon entry:
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Great write up Melanie and glad you enjoyed it.
You're writing us up very well :)

That staircase is a beauty. Tasmanian Blackwood
Made its way into many historic buildings here.
The staircase is National Trust listed. It is made from Tasmanian Blackwood. The raw timber was shipped to England, carved and shipped back to Queenstown for installation.

I didn't know the latter, learnt something from your post

Sounds like you missed the downpour.

That Railway fell on hard times and thankfully the government stepped in and saved it
 
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Great write up Melanie and glad you enjoyed it.
You're writing us up very well :)

That staircase is a beauty. Tasmanian Blackwood
Made its way into many historic buildings here.
The staircase is National Trust listed. It is made from Tasmanian Blackwood. The raw timber was shipped to England, carved and shipped back to Queenstown for installation.

I didn't know the latter, learnt something from your post

Sounds like you missed the downpour.

That Railway fell on hard times and thankfully the government stepped in and saved it
That makes that Blackwood well-travelled! This is the second railway passenger service I've travelled on in the past year where the government has kept it running, though maybe that's not so unusual.
 
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