TAS2022: Back Home

The Tasman Bridge from the Botanic Gardens
The Tasman Bridge from the Botanic Gardens

We have arrived back home on the night ferry this morning after an extremely enjoyable 10 days in Tasmania. After enjoying really good weather for the majority of our stay, the weather deteriorated for our last night and day, but more about that later.

Deloraine

The journey to Deloraine took us across some amazing roads and scenery, dropping down from the heights of Cradle Mountain through Mole Creek to the much lower altitude of Deloraine.

Our booked accommodation was in Blakes Manor, a great example of Georgian architecture, that started life as one of the earliest inns in Deloraine in the mid 1800s. The building went through various different uses, including lodgings for the convent across the road, before being recently renovated and transformed into self-contained accommodation.

After a very comfortable night, our next day’s journey took us through some of the small towns (now by-passed by the main road), such as Campbell Town, Ross and Oatlands on our way to Hobart.

MONA

Our stay in Blakes Manor proved to be our last self-catering accommodation, the next three nights being in Rydges, North Hobart, which we had booked over a year ago and which the trip, to a certain extent, was designed around. Unfortunately, it was a bit further from the CBD than anticipated (and up one of the many Hobart steep hills), so our decision to walk to and from the CBD shops after arriving resulted in a couple of very tired travellers.

As planned, our next day was for visiting MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). During our 2019 Tasmanian trip, we visited MONA on Christmas Day, when, not surprisingly it was closed and we were the only people there. On that occasion I was excited to take lots of photographs of the exterior, so it was with great anticipation that I was looking forward to seeing the inside.

I was told that the best view of MONA is from the ferry as it arrives from Hobart – on this I was very disappointed. However, my disappointment was more than compensated by the fact that we had booked the ‘Posh Pit’ on the ferry. This is a small select area at the front of the ferry where we were served bubbles (yes, at 09:30 in the morning) and nibbles in both directions.

The ferry arriving at MONA to take us back to Hobart

Inside MONA is a different world. Not only are the exhibits themselves very diverse, weird and wonderful, but I also marvelled at the design and engineering that was involved with the creation of the various levels and exhibition ‘halls’.

One of the exhibits – a tunnel carved out of the rock

Due to the potential challenges of parking close to the Hobart Harbour area, we decided to walk down to the ferry and catch a taxi back up – not one of our better decisions! We ended up walking back up the 2km hill to the hotel – the only taxi we came across (in a taxi rank) suddenly had a booking when the driver heard where we were going (clearly the fare was not worth his while).

Hobart

Mount Wellington on our way to MONA on the ferry

Being Saturday, the next morning was spent walking and shopping round Salamanca Market. My previous visit there was disappointing, but this time there were a lot more stalls and a lot more variety. Needless to say, we left with a few ‘goodies’.

The forecast was predicting rain in the afternoon, so we went for a short walk to Myrtle Gully Falls on a track past the Cascade Brewery. I won’t bore you with another waterfall photo, but these falls were especially picturesque. Returning to the hotel, we had a relaxing afternoon. Dinner on out last night in Hobart? What else could we have done, but visit Muirs at the harbour for and enjoyable meal of fish and chips (with an ice cream to finish).

Next day we headed north, but not before going to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. We had a particularly pleasant morning savouring a temperature of 20 degrees, which we know would be the last before getting back home.

The lilly pond at the Gardens

Snow!

Our next and final night in Tasmania was spent one of the two hotels at Miena at the southern end of the Great Lake, comprising mainly fishing shacks. At an elevation of 1052m above sea level, the temperature when we arrived was 8 degrees and dropping (and it was also raining).

By the morning, the rain had turned to snow, much to K’s delight. I reckon it is the coldest I have been since arriving in Australia 18 years ago. Fortunately, the roads were clear of snow by the time we left and headed north to catch the night ferry.

A view across the snow to the lake from our Miena hotel (K’s photo, I was staying warm inside)
A road side mountain dusted with snow

Climbing another 50m in the car we reached the highest point and took a brief and very cold walk to the side of Pine Lake. This features a group of one of Tasmania’s rarest trees – the pencil pine.

Liffey Falls

Back to the warmth of the car we started the long and winding descent back to Deloraine and onward to Devonport. On the way, I had to make one more stop at Liffey Falls. My first visit there was during my 2019 trip and I was keen to see the difference between the Falls in Summer and in Autumn. These two photographs are the same Falls. The first shows that I could stand in the middle of the river to take the shot and the second was as close as I could get without being washed away due to the volume of cascading water.

After one more stop at the Arboretum for K to take some photos of the Platypus, we arrived at the ferry terminal at 17:00 and boarded about half an hour later. The crossing was quite bumpy but we both managed to get some reasonable sleep.

So, here we are, back home! But not for long – in two weeks we head off with the camper trailer on our next three month trip for which we still have a few preparations to make.

5 Responses

  1. Hi Martin. Your photos and narrative of Tassie make me want to go back. I love it there.

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