My visual diary 2020: Tasmania in Two Weeks in Summer

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One of our most memorable experiences in Tasmania happened in Hamilton, northwest of Hobart. We arrived in this quaint historic village mid-afternoon and heard about a lady who sometimes opened her garden for wood-fired pizza, cooked in the oven she built herself.

It was a delight to be welcomed into Christine's soothing garden to eat delicious pizzas! She used wipe-clean ingredient choice cards - you ticked whatever toppings from it you liked, and it cost $15 for a decent-sized pizza.

We enjoyed it so much, we ordered another round to take away for next-day's meals, warmed on our camp skillet. Christine liked us so much, she made us a fruity dessert pizza to finish!

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Not only did Christine build her own pizza oven, she also built the tiny stone shed behind it - and won second place in a Burke's Backyard shed competition. She showed us other stonework she had done around her home and garden; we were suitably impressed.

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I'm back, after finally being able to upload via my public library Wi-Fi, so will continue my journey this way.

Westerway is a gateway village to Lakes Gordon and Pedder in the vast wilderness which is southwest Tasmania, where we were heading after Hamilton; unfortunately, due to ongoing minor-but-challenging mechanical issues, we only got a short distance past Maydena to this high point before deciding to turn back to civilised safety!
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Instead, we had a roadside stop at Westerway railway siding, where we reheated pizza from the previous night. Delicious!
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I love shabby old houses, like this one across from the station:
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New Norfolk was one of the most interesting towns we visited, mainly because it contained a lot of taxidermied creatures in shops and residences! There was definitely a sense of kookiness about the whole place.

These photos were taken at the Willow Court Antiques Centre, housed in a collection of old red brick buildings once used as an asylum. Naturally, I had a blast there!

https://preciousruthlesscaptures.pixieset.com/tasmaniajanuary2020/day9newnorfolk/
 
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After a morning spent in New Norfolk, we continued south to Hobart, where we visited a second hand camera store (came out empty-handed) and a used hiking goods store (gained a lightweight oilskin coat), before scooting further south to Geeveston, where we camped for a few nights.

These photos were taken around Franklin, home of timber boats.

https://preciousruthlesscaptures.pixieset.com/tasmaniajanuary2020/day10southofhobart/
 
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We really enjoyed seeing the coastline south of Hobart, and especially enjoyed driving to the southern-most point in Australia accessible by public road, Cockle Creek. We didn't have time to camp there, but would like to return another time. Southport was another lovely seaside village we met along the way, with its Rocket @ the End of the World pop-up cafe.

Later we headed back up to Franklin to mooch about and enjoy battered squid and trevally with chips and sweet potato cakes for an early tea, then returned to Geeveston for our last night. We finally decided to take a look at the platypus walk, alongside the river near our camp, and were astonished to see a couple of platypus frolicking unconcernedly in the waters below the bridge which carries traffic into town! I had always believed them to be very shy. My photos of them aren't great, but are included for proof it really happened! Unfortunately I can't upload the video I took, showing one platypus fishing around a submerged log.

https://preciousruthlesscaptures.pixieset.com/tasmaniajanuary2020/day11evenfurthersouthandplatypus/
 
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Nice sets of photos. It looks like you have been giving the camera a work out. I'm sorry you are unable to post them here, but I do like the viewing format that I get by clicking through your link.
Thanks so much for your encouragement, Harvey. I think the Pixieset gallery is a great alternative to share with friends who don't use social media.
 
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After packing up camp at Geeveston (light rain delayed our departure), we headed north through Hobart to Richmond, where we finally encountered the hoardes of tourists we had been warned about! We saw the first of three of Australia's oldest bridges, built by convicts in the early-mid 1800s, at Richmond, Ross (my favourite) and Campbell Town. (To learn more about these bridges, may I suggest this article: https://www.australiantraveller.com/tas/three-tasmanian-bridge-roadtrip/)

Along the way, we also stopped to view the restored flour mill at Oatlands; chatted with the owner of a nicely-done Perentti kit car (looks like a Corvette, but is Australian-built on a Holden 1-tonne utility chassis); wandered the main street of Ross while enjoying delicious, freshly made rhubarb and honey soft-serve ice cream; and arrived at Evandale to find ordinary lodgings for the evening at a typical country pub, The Prince of Wales, where the food far exceeded our expectations.

Of the towns, I enjoyed Evandale the most - probably because I was enamoured with the pioneer park (admittedly viewed at golden hour), which included graves and headstones of pioneers, and also memorial plaques of the more recently-deceased. Within an imposing ironwork fence was enclosed the grave/memorial of the Cox family of Clarendon, a nearby Georgian-styled homestead which we toured the following day. I have tried to show the informal setting and proximity of the graves to the houses across the street. The next day I observed that this park was used recreationally by the public, regardless of the unconvenionality of siting the graves within it.

The two churches are St Andrews Anglican and St Andrews Uniting (formerly Presbyterian): the first I mistook for a Lutheran church, from the very tall spire, the second features a fabulous memorial to Reverend Russell, who ministered there for nearly 40 years in the 1800s.

https://preciousruthlesscaptures.pixieset.com/tasmaniajanuary2020/day12richmondtoevandale/
 
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very nice series Melanie and I like the presentation.

Glad you went far south.
Always love that end of the world, its charm and its history.

We could easily have been speaking French if they'd stayed. They beat the Brits to it.
You may have seen reference when there?

You certainly covered some ground. Well done.
 
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very nice series Melanie and I like the presentation.

Glad you went far south.
Always love that end of the world, its charm and its history.

We could easily have been speaking French if they'd stayed. They beat the Brits to it.
You may have seen reference when there?

You certainly covered some ground. Well done.
Thanks for the nice feedback, Richard. We probably travelled a bit over 2,000km, which doesn't seem a lot considering how much we saw! (However, it is a lot for me, personally, to have driven - I was pleased to find I habituated to driving pretty quickly, once I recovered from sea sickness. The good thing was being able to stop easily whenever I saw a photo opportunity, the bad thing was not taking enough photo opportunities because I was driving!)
 
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I'd like to mention gear, for a moment. I took two Panasonic GX bodies and all of my native lenses except 100-300. I used the P14-140ii most, which is greatly improved by dual IS, and enjoyed the P20, P25, and O45 primes about equally; I didn't use the O60 macro as much as expected, nor the P12-32 which I just plain don't like. I don't think I'd try reducing things by much for future road trips - it's nice to have these options.

I used both bodies, but quickly found I much preferred the JPEG files from the 20MP GX9, and stuck to using the GX7 when I wanted to shoot on the beach (concerns about sand/spray on the 'good' camera) or with both bodies.

The in-camera panorama mode in the GX9 is much improved over the GX7, especially being able to use electronic shutter. It's not top quality, but it did what I wanted it to. (While away, I bought a used GX8 to test on my return, and find I like it even more than the GX9, so will sell the GX9.)

All editing / processing while away was done on my phone using Snapseed app.
 
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When our travel buddy described her grandfather's childhood home as being like Tara from Gone With the Wind, we knew we were in for an amazing peek into a world long-gone. Clarendon Estate, near Evandale, was built in 1838 for wool grower and merchant, James Cox, and remained in the Cox family for around a century. Mareeta's grandfather was the last Cox to live there, leaving in mid-childhood. Clarendon is now run by National Trust volunteers, and stands as a fascinating reminder of how those who were very well-to-do lived back then.

A hightlight of the Clarendon tour was viewing the magnificent painting by Michael McWilliams, of nearby Longford, featuring Tasmania's native wildlife and a few human figures, plus Clarendon itself and McWilliams' pug, which we were told appears in all this paintings. The painting was painted directly onto an antique display table.

After lunch, we drove north to Launceston and took a walk out to Tamar Island along a two kilometre board-walk, traversing mud flats and swampy areas of the western side of the Tamar River. In the wetland visitor building, a display of taxidermied native wildlife brought the animals from the Michael McWilliams painting to 3-D (un)life.

Swans are generally thought to be graceful, so it was with many loud guffaws that we watched the black swans clambering on their clown-feet across the muddy river flat, in search of enough water in which to become graceful once again. Honestly, they were very comical to watch!

https://preciousruthlesscaptures.pi...0/day13clarendonhistorichomesteadtamarisland/
 
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lovely presentation Melanie, thanks for sharing.
Those paintings onto the table are incredible.
It's hard to imagine life back then but the access to wild animals, birds and flowers would be unlimited.

You certainly captured Tasmania very well.

The early colonial history always fascinates me and certainly gives insight into life of a far distant era.
 
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lovely presentation Melanie, thanks for sharing.
Those paintings onto the table are incredible.
It's hard to imagine life back then but the access to wild animals, birds and flowers would be unlimited.

You certainly captured Tasmania very well.

The early colonial history always fascinates me and certainly gives insight into life of a far distant era.
Unlimited access to hunt things to extinction, too! What a shambles. From what I've read, Australasia has the highest number of extinctions.
 
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The final photographic stop of our Tassie trip took us to the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania in Launceston. Having only recently moved into its new premises, the museum was as neat and clean as you'd expect, and quite nicely done, though - to be honest - I was a bit underwhelmed by the number of items on display. That said, I was also underwhelmed by the National Motor Museum in Birdwood, South Australia, which is much larger. Anyway, the Launceston mob used a wall-length mirror to great effect in the main room.

My favourites were the Fiat in the first photos, the Vauxhall Cresta (Britain giving Chevy-esque fins a go), and - surprisingly, as I'm not really an Aussie-made-cars fan - the green HQ Holden which got hung up on the Tasman Bridge back in its heyday.

Onwards: https://preciousruthlesscaptures.pi...2020/day14nationalautomobilemuseumoftasmania/

This concludes my visual diary 2020 Tasmania. Thanks for looking, I hope you enjoyed the tour!
 
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