Road trip

Why Tasmania? Highland country.

Why Tasmania? Highland country.

A long weekend away, staying in a “shack” (Taswegian for holiday home), complete with views through the trees to the Great Lake, and watching the snow clouds come in – what more could you want in winter? The Highland Lakes region is beautiful, with alpine vegetation, dolorite rocks covered in moss and lichen, trees twisted and sculpted by the wind, and the lakes themselves carved out by glaciers.

We arrived the day before trout season opened, so the tiny local shops were busy – in a very laid back, “how’s it going, where’re you headed” way – selling lures, and snow hats. The local hotels had roaring fires to warm the travellers, fishers, and hunters up as they waited for their ‘parmies’. “Parmies” are a very Tasmanian delight – chicken in pyjamas (or bread coating if you must be precise) and deep fried. Hunting season also meant that I could warm up with a rich venison casserole.

Our shack was modern, and heated with a fire that was hard to leave, especially as the chilly evening drew in. Scudding showers made sitting and chatting with friends over a few wines a great alternative to going too far, although we did visit the Wall in the Wilderness.  http://thewalltasmania.com.au/.  The early history of the highlands carved a panel at a time in Huon pine over 12 years was fascinating.

The snow chains had a nice workout on our way home through the back roads, and down side roads that we wanted to explore. The Highland Lakes will be seeing more of me, in winter and summer!

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, conservation, Nature, Road trip, Tasmania, Travel, Weekends, 1 comment
Runaway weekend 2 – MONA

Runaway weekend 2 – MONA

MONA is a magical place. This is one of my favourite places in Tasmania, and at only 3 hours travel away it’s not too difficult to visit.  What is MONA?  Art gallery, museum, winery, brewery, restaurant, music venue and home for the owner.  The owner, David Walsh, has called it a ‘subversive adult Disneyland”, and the eclectic collections displayed are both fascinating and challenging – the sign of good art. A new exhibit (The Origins of Art) opened recently and I was lucky enough to be able to take a friend down for opening day. This exhibit is a conversation with four scientists about the role of art in the world. They don’t necessarily agree with each other, but they certainly allow us to join that conversation as we walk though.

Posted by DeborahH in Art and Craft, Australia, Fun, Road trip, Tasmania, Tourism, Weekends, 1 comment
Runaway weekend

Runaway weekend

When you live in a beautiful, interesting or exotic place, it’s very easy to attract your family and friends to visit you.  The joy of that is that you are able to show people your favourite places that only locals know, and you can explore places you don’t usually have the time for.  My ‘runaway’ Saturdays help me do some exploring, but a whole ‘runaway long weekend’ with a wonderful friend is even better.

Carrol came to visit, and we headed south with a little list of fun and frivolity planned, including the Museum of New and Old Art  (MONA) for the opening day of the new exhibition (See next post), and a couple of whisky tastings, a visit to Bruny Island and the occasional winery visit as well. Join us for our ‘runaway weekend’.

 

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Daily Life, Fun, Human-nature interaction, Road trip, Tasmania, Tourism, Travel, Weekends, 1 comment
Day trip #2

Day trip #2

Going north is pretty hard when you live less than a kilometre from the northern coast of an island. BUT, if I am to do a day trip in each direction, I needed to make it happen.  So my rules were simple: a few kms in each direction, less than a km from the coast.  I explored beaches, turned off to see what the signs along the roads meant, and looked at what weekend life for the people who live in my area was like. What I found was fun. Enjoy day tripping with me!!

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Beach, Cultural dimensions, Daily Life, Fun, Nature, Road trip, Tasmania, Village life, Weekends, 0 comments
Day trip – #1

Day trip – #1

The demands of work, plus running a small, weekly market stall don’t leave much time for exploring Tasmania.  Even though I love sunrises, there really are only so many sunrise images from my windows that can be made and stored. In an effort to overcome the gravitational pull of the gluteus maximus I’ve decided on taking a semi-regular ‘runaway Saturday’. Newest photography book, plus my cameras are loaded into the car, and I head in whichever direction I haven’t been to recently.  This week i decided to head westward with a goal of just cruising along, finding a warm spot to read in, taking some photos of a mini-road trip.

The differences in people, shown in their ways of communicating, and the differences in country and coast, make my ‘runaway Saturdays’ fascinating.

 

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Beach, Cultural dimensions, Daily Life, Road trip, Travel, Weekends, 0 comments
Travels with my brother

Travels with my brother

My brother came to visit for a few weeks, and this gave me the opportunity to explore much more of this beautiful island I live on. Seeing things I am getting used to with new eyes is wonderful. We pretty much covered the island, creating as many adventures as we could into a short time.

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Cultural dimensions, Road trip, Tasmania, Tourism, Village life, Weekends, Wine, 0 comments
Continue 2,454km

Continue 2,454km

This was the voice of my car GPS for the road trip to the next stage of my life.  After a wonderful 3 month holiday staying and playing with family and friends, I had to move on to work and a new state. I was a little daunted so instead of doing the first leg – Brisbane to Canberra in one 14 hour (plus pit stops) hit, I decided to break the drive at Coffs Harbour – a fancy little resort with comfy beds – and Kiama to stay with a lovely cousin.  My lovely cousin plied me with good food and red wine, then we headed out on a sightseeing tour of Kiama.  A lovely little town based around the ocean and mountains behind, with fascinating history, and she was able to fill me in on the history.  Having locals give you insight makes the places so much more interesting.

That afternoon I zoomed off to Canberra to stay two nights with my oldest daughter, and was again plied with more good wine and good food – what is it about me that makes people think this is important??   We also began my cellar with some lovely big reds from local wineries.  (That could be a clue?)

Next day was an early start for Melbourne and an overnight with a mate.  More good food both at home and a local Asian restaurant.  Asian restaurants seem to be much the same in Australia as in Asia – noisy, filled to the brim and people gently being asked to move on – no lingering over coffee. My mate filled me in on bits of local history, but housed me in her “Xi’an” room – filled with bits and pieces from a shared Chinese past.

The almost final leg was the ferry trip across the Bass Strait – 10.5 hours on board.  It was dark by the time we had all the cars, caravans, trailers, semi-trailers etc loaded and sailed off, so there was little to photograph.  Next morning we landed at 6:00am and were off the boat and heading through quarantine before 7:30am and I began the final 25 minute drive to my new home.  End of road trip.

But what did I learn, what did I expect?  I learned that you can cry and drive at the same time – leaving my family was hard.  I learned my own country is beautiful.  Previously I had merely accepted this was Australia, and until I had a comparison the only time I took much notice of the beauty around me was when it was overwhelmingly stunning.  Now with a number of countries under my belt, I can see the beauty in what used to be ‘just Australia’.  I was reminded of the history and geography lessons, passing by towns and cities I had studied when younger. I was reminded of my own history driving past towns I had visited before.  I was reminded of family history looking though the wealth of photos my cousin had inherited from her mother. I was taken back to the near past looking at paintings, sculptures and eating Asian food. All of these things added ideas and dimensions to my road trip, and gave me connections to the past and what I have become.

I expected to stop more often for photographs, but somehow the driving and the destination took over. This seems to me to be a bit of a lifestyle thing, and I decided (once I arrived at the destination!) to make sure that the destination doesn’t outweigh everything else around. I found that it is almost impossible to take good photographs while you are driving, even using the phone camera.  (Is a go-pro on my list?) I expected I would get tired of driving, but I enjoyed it very much – possibly because I also had the “On Taking Photographs” podcasts on for well over half of the 44 +pit stops driving hours. A major reason I enjoyed the driving was the thinking time… huge stretches of time with nothing but my own brain for company.  Alain de Botton has a theory that we are experiencing a ‘wave of insomnia’ because we fill our days with ‘noise’.  As soon as we stop work, we check our mobile phones, our email, social networks.  He believes we no longer give ourselves time to just be, and so at night our brains are now saying “HEY – me time”.  Here I had time and silence in which to think.

When I drove off the boat and through quarantine, I had a tremendous sense of elation – new experiences, new work, new things to learn, do and see are all in front of me. Road trips can be very clarifying, particularly if you are alone.

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Daily Life, Growth and Development, Road trip, 0 comments