And so the days are filled...

05 December 2006

All the highlights you'd ever want to see

There have recently been a few queries as to whether or not I knit anymore. The answer is yes, I do, and tomorrow you will see the full collection of current knitting works-in-progress! But now it's time for the obligatory holiday slide show. Pull up a comfy chair and a cuppa, we're off to TASMANIA!

Tasmania is known as the Apple Isle. Here are some of Tassie's finest for sale at Hobart's famous Salamanca Markets. Fans of Princess Mary will be pleased to hear that she visited Salamanca Markets on this very same day. Though we saw her photographers, we didn't catch a glimpse of the royal personage, the one great disappointment of my honeymoon. Luckily this was the first day and we got over it quickly enough.

My favourite park in Hobart is St David's Park, where a number of gravestones from colonial (1830-60s) times have been preserved (though the park was "rejuvenated" in the 1920s and is now the location of the Supreme Court). This tombstone reads in part "She Landed in this Colony on the 21st Dec 1833 and died on the 31st of the same month Aged 35 years." I don't think Van Dieman's Land was much of a walk in the proverbial park for anyone.

Hobart is a cosmopolitan place, full of interesting shops. Here we are presented with the ever-challenging shopper's conundrum. Are those leather bags I see in the window?

Or are they earrings?

We also stopped by Antarctica. Ha ha, got you. That's the Sub-Antarctic Plant House in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hobart. It is kept at a relatively constant temperature of 8C, 98% humidity, in order to recreate the climate of Macquarie Island. As a big fan of penguins, it was brilliant to walk a few metres in their sub-antarctic neighbourhood. As a big fan of Norwegians, ditto.

Look like a postcard? This is the well-published view of Wineglass Bay in the Freycinet National Park. Hundreds of people brave a steep climb to this lookout, and while they're there, it looks like they share their food with some of the locals:

Here is a very tame wallaby at the Wineglass Bay lookout. It's the first live wallaby I've ever seen "in the wild" (there are plenty dead on the roads too) but of course I recognise this could hardly be classed as wild. Luckily I saw wallabies on two other less well-trodden paths during this trip, so I can firmly cross Wallaby off my life list of animals. Also an echidna - somehow Fiver spotted one wandering along on the side of the highway as we sped by so we got out and looked at it. This seemed to frighten it as it stuck its head under a rock, so we left it alone after a little bit.

Not satisfied with the Tourist Turnpike up the hill to the Wineglass Bay Lookout, Fiver and I persevered down to the beach itself. Here are our feet, enjoying a well-deserved break. Unfortunately the water was positively numbing, so there was no frolicking in the waves. Mmmmm, I like wineglasses.

Further on during our walk in the Freycinet National Park, we came across this lagoon, much shrunken from its usual size, and showing signs of drought.

Tasmania is also known for its old growth forests. We went to visit the four "White Knights" in the Evercreech Forest Reserve to see the tallest white gums in the world. They were located together in a little quiet grove, it was a lovely spot, not far out of the town of Fingal. One of my favourite places we visited.

After visiting the White Knights, we walked through some more lovely wet sclerophyll forest.

Later in the week, we travelled back to the beaten path and journeyed through the colonial towns along the 'Heritage Highway' between Launceston and Hobart. This gave us a chance to enjoy some nice pastoral scenery, and to meet some locals:

This fellow was grazing out the back of the cute little cottage we rented in Oatlands.

That's where I have to leave you for now - but if you have read this far, do not be sad, the little cottage in Oatlands will make another appearance in these pages in not too long...