Tag Archive | Tasmania

From On High

An Australian Point of View #5 Mountains

One of my most vivid memories of my first year of high school is the day my geography teacher, a European immigrant, made a scathing comment about Australia’s mountains. How dare we call our main mountain range “great” when, in comparison to the European alps it was nothing. I remember, even at the tender age of 12, feeling indignant that he should feel free to criticise my country.

Since then, I’ve seen much of this land and explored many of its mountain areas. I know now that Australia, once part of the supercontinent Gondwana, is the oldest and flattest continent on Earth.

Norseman, Western Australia

Nullarbor Plain, South Australia

Tectonic movement and volcanic activity have shaped the upland areas and erosion by wind and water has worn them away; instead of the rugged craggy peaks seen in Europe and the Americas, Australia’s mountain ranges are characterised by highland plateaus and deep canyons, wide valleys and rounded peaks.

Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake, Tasmania

Mount Wellington, Tasmania

Porongurups, Western Australia

Bungle Bungles, Western Australia

Katherine River and Katherine Gorge, Northern Territory

Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, reaches an elevation of just 2,228 metres above sea level.

Mount Kosciuszko, New South Wales

The Great Dividing Range, so maligned by my teacher, is the third longest land-based mountain range on Earth. It is 3,500 kilometres long and stretches from the northernmost tip of Queensland, through New South wales and into Victoria. At its widest it is more than 300 kilometres across. The range dates from the Carboniferous Period, making it more than 300 million years old. Surely the term “great” is well-deserved.

Where the mountains meet the sea, Cape Tribulation, Far North Queensland

Daintree National Park, Far North Queensland

Kroombit Tops, Central Queensland

Glasshouse Mountains, South East Queensland

Bald Rock National Park, Northern New South Wales

Alpine National Park, Eastern Victoria

Perhaps that teacher needed to study his geography!


An Australian Point of View #1 Capital Cities

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world with a land mass of 7,692,014 square kilometres. Despite its size, Australia is composed of just six states and two territories, all with their own capital city. Every capital has its own distinctive architecture; some buildings are more well-known than others, but each plays a part in the story of its city.

Brisbane, Queensland

The heritage-listed Albert Street Uniting Church, completed in 1889, is dwarfed by the surrounding city tower blocks. By the early 1900s it was the main Methodist Church in the city and is now the home of Wesley Mission Queensland. With its Victorian Gothic architecture and its inner city position, the church is a popular wedding venue.

Melbourne, Victoria

The Arts Centre Melbourne is Australia’s busiest Performing Arts complex. Construction began in 1973 and the buildings were completed in stages, the last being finished in 1984. The steel spire is 162 metres high and is surrounded at the base by a ruffle of steel mesh reminiscent of a ballerina’s tutu.

Adelaide, South Australia

The scoreboard at the Adelaide Oval has been keeping track of cricket matches since 3 November, 1911. The heritage-listed Edwardian scoreboard is the only one of its type in the Southern Hemisphere and is still manually operated.  A tour of Adelaide Oval includes a visit inside the four storey scoreboard.

Perth, Western Australia

The Bell Tower in Barracks Square houses the Swan Bells, a collection of 18 change ringing bells. Twelve of the bells come from St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London and date from the 13th century. They were gifted to the city of Perth during Australia’s Bicentenary, while the Bell Tower was completed in time for Millennium celebrations.

Hobart, Tasmania

The Shot Tower at Taroona, just outside Hobart, was built in 1879 and was, for four years, Australia’s tallest building. Lead shot was produced in the tower for 35 years. Next door is the home of Joseph Moir, who constructed the tower and other landmark buildings in Hobart. The shot tower is still the tallest of its type in the Southern Hemisphere.

Darwin, Northern Territory

Government House, on the Esplanade in Darwin, is the oldest European building in the Northern Territory. Completed in 1871, the house is the official residence of the Administrator of the Northern Territory. The Victorian Gothic design is complemented by wide verandas, which help to cool the house in Darwin’s tropical climate.

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Parliament House is the meeting place of the Parliament of Australia. This is the second Parliament House and replaced Old Parliament House, which was in use from 1927 to 1988. This new building was opened in 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II during Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations. The Commonwealth Coat of Arms adorns the front façade, and an Australian flag the size of a half tennis court flies at the top of the 81 metre high flagpole.

Sydney, New South Wales

The Sydney Opera House, opened in 1973, overlooks Sydney Harbour at Bennelong Point. Every year, more than eight million people visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site and it hosts more than 1,500 events and performances. The Opera House becomes a focal point during Sydney’s Vivid Festival each June.

Participating in Becky’s #RoofSquares Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Spring

St John The Evangelist Catholic Church, in Richmond Tasmania, is the oldest existing Church in Australia. Its original cemetery is no longer in use and the headstones have long ago fallen into disrepair.

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But where there is death, there is also life.

The first blossoms of Spring grow amongst the neglected graves as if in remembrance of those long gone.

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Justin Beaver says See You In The Spring!

Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge – Layers

Coles Bay rests peacefully between The Hazards, a mountainous granite formation which juts out into the ocean, and Freycinet National Park on the east coast of Tasmania.

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At the end of the day the water is glass-like and the layers of ocean debris washed up on the shore can be clearly seen.

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Further up the sand the tiny pieces of detritus are scattered like decorations cast aside after a party.

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Road Trip #4 A Loo With A View!

When travelling, one of the niceties we all look forward to is easy access to rest rooms, as Mrs Carmichael recently mentioned in this post. Usually we’re grateful if they are clean and well-maintained. When they come with a great location, that’s a bonus. Here are some loos and their amazing views…

Richmond River, New South Wales, Australia

Richmond River, New South Wales, Australia


Kroombit Tops National Park, Queensland, Australia

Kroombit Tops National Park, Queensland, Australia


Lake Mungo National Park, New South Wales, Australia

Lake Mungo National Park, New South Wales, Australia



 Mt Wellington Lookout, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


Rob Roy Glacier, Mt Aspiring National Park, South Island, New Zealand

Rob Roy Glacier, Mt Aspiring National Park, South Island, New Zealand


Mt Mackenzie Lookout, Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia

Mt Mackenzie Lookout, Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia


And finally, a loo with a view of you…eeeew!

Puzzling World, Wanaka, New Zealand

Puzzling World, Wanaka, New Zealand

Road Trip #2 No Words Necessary

Along with amusing place names I like to take photos of road signs whose meaning is loud and clear, even without words. It must run in the family, because my mother has a collection of photos of funny signs from all around the world. These are my favourites from our last two trips.


Cows have right of way on this road.

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Watch out for jumping creatures in the dark.


Hold on tight!


He lurks in the grass on the side of the road until you come along, and then he decides to cross the road!


There’s no need to be insulting just because some children don’t walk fast.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Escape

On 26 December 1842 three convicts escaped from a work party at Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula. Martin Cash, George Jones and Lawrence Kavanagh hid in the thick bushland and eventually made their way to the waters off Eaglehawk Neck. The men tied their bundled clothing to their heads and swam across a narrow inlet which was reputed to be infested with sharks.

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Unfortunately the naked trio lost their clothes. They stole some clothing from a nearby hut, beginning a twenty month criminal career of robbing homes, inns and mail coaches.

There were more than 12 000 convicts imprisoned at Port Arthur between 1830 and 1877. Of that number very few escaped and even fewer managed to evade capture. Eaglehawk Neck, the slender strip of land that joins the Tasman Peninsula to the Tasmanian mainland was protected by a security system unrivalled even today.

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In the 1830s John Peyton Jones devised a system to guard Eaglehawk Neck and prevent escaped convicts from crossing. He established a line of vicious dogs chained to posts just far enough apart so that they couldn’t savage each other, with lamps in between. The ground was covered with cockle shells which reflected the lamplight and lit up the night. The dog line made Eaglehawk Neck virtually impassable.

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Today all that remains of the military settlement at Eaglehawk Neck is the Officers’ Quarters, and a bronze statue commemorates the ferocious animals of the dog line. Would you have attempted to escape past one of these?

Walking On Air

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Taking a walk through a Tasmanian forest is like indulging in a feast for the senses. Cool air beneath the dense foliage, melodic birdsong ringing through the trees, the scent of damp vegetation and mottled sunlight playing on the forest floor all heighten our awareness of our surroundings. The Tahune Airwalk in the Tarkine Forest, close to the little town of Geeveston, takes our perceptions of the forest to yet another level.

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The tallest flowering plant in the world grows in the Tarkine Forest: Eucalyptus regnans, commonly known as the swamp gum. When we are standing on the forest floor we crane our necks to look skywards to the tops of these giants, but up on the Airwalk we’re at canopy level. Looking over the railing down the length of the tree trunks to the ground is a dizzying experience.

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The Airwalk leads to a cantilevered platform which is suspended 48 metres above the ground. From here we can see the Hartz Mountains, the highest of which still has a dusting of snow, and the confluence of the Huon and Picton rivers, stained dark brown by the tannin leached from decaying vegetation on the forest floor.

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Other natives grow in the forest alongside the swamp gum – King Billy pine, sassafras and the Huon pine, one of the slowest growing and longest lived plants in the world, prized for its exceptional timber. Huon pines are ancient plants. They were growing on the supercontinent of Gondwana 165 million years ago. Today they are protected and cannot be felled, but timber lying on the forest floor or on the river beds is still usable, centuries after the trees died, due to the natural oils which make the wood resistant to rot. It is one of the best boatbuilding timbers in the world.

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When we are replete with the sights, sounds and smells of the forest, we drive back to Geeveston where we indulge the last of our senses – with mugs of steaming hot chocolate and enormous serves of homemade wagon wheel slice at the Country Café on Church St. Simply sense-ational!

In the Footsteps of the Past – The Four Corners of Ross

Ross, in the midlands of Tasmania, is the best preserved 19th century town in Australia and is listed on the Register of the National Trust. Many of the elegant sandstone buildings, the historic bridge and the remains of the Female Factory are reminders of its convict history.

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The main crossroads of Church and Bridge Streets are flanked on all four sides by original buildings from the early 19th century, each having a different purpose in the life of the early town. They became known as the Four Corners of Ross:

Temptation – the Man O’ Ross Hotel, which dates from 1835, was established by William Sadler.

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Recreation – the Town Hall, where dances and other social events were often held, was originally part of the home of the Governor of the Prison.

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Salvation – originally a store, home and bakery owned by the Bacon family but converted to a Roman Catholic Church in 1920.

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Damnation – now a private residence, but originally the town jail and police station.

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In total there are 40 historic buildings in Ross and they can easily be viewed in a short walk around the town. The Post Office was built in 1896 and retains many of its original features, including a mounting stone for people to climb onto their horses, and an old post box.

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Convict built in 1832, Ross Bakery Inn was first known as the Sherwood Castle Inn and was for many years a coaching inn and horse changing station. It now operates as a Bed and Breakfast and takes its present name from the original bakery which was next door.

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Macquarie House and Store were built in the 1840s by William Carter to service the growing district. Six generations of the same family have lived in this lovely old house.

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Take a gentle stroll along the streets of Ross and you will find yourself, like the early convict inhabitants, transported to another time and place.