If Wishes were (Sea) Horses

If Wishes were (Sea) Horses

I was one of those horse crazy girls – to the extent that if I saw a stray horse, I’d have my school tights off in a flash to make a bridle, and bring the horse home to protect it from being run over. Must have driven my parents nuts.  However, older, wiser and living on a small house block in the middle of town really prevents my horse dreams… but is there another way??

Ohhh, maybe….  Seahorse World in Beauty Point has thousands (millions?) of (sea) horses, and has created a fabulous industry in exporting these black and white, dappled and grey beauties of the underwater world to the world. Small industries like this fascinate me.  A beautiful niche market, but with such reach, and open to the public to wander through.

The company has a breeding program for the Tasmanian seahorses, as well as a program to breed specific colours.  Seahorses can change colour, but apparently not as camouflage (maybe it’s just a yellow kind of day?).  They are found all over the world, but the majority live below the equator, and around Tasmania, a careful check of the kelp beds can help you find your very own horse.

Every child is taught that seahorse dads (stallions?) are the responsible parent, carrying the babies after fertilisation until birth.  Mum specifically looks for a dad with the biggest pot-belly as a partner, and very quickly hands over all of the fertilised eggs and swims off to graze another day.  Around a thousand ‘foals’ can be born, looking like wee, little wriggly specks in the water.  Out in the ocean, this is a dangerous time.  They grow very quickly, and in specially designed tanks to mimic their home environments (warm for the tropical types, a touch on the chilly side for the tougher Tasmanian breeds), they can live for up to four years.

Watching these fascinating creatures prance about, attempt to strangle each other, and feed was amazing.   Patting a seahorse is not quite the same, but without the risk of a solid kick, or a squashed foot.

Which one will you choose?

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, conservation, Fun, Human-nature interaction, Tasmania, Tourism, Weekends, 0 comments
One day in Bruny (Island that is..)

One day in Bruny (Island that is..)

Bruny Island is a lovely little island off the south coast of Tasmania, not far from the Huon Valley.  Access is via a car ferry, and sailings are regular.  A very easy place to spend some time, checking out the winery, the whisky and gin distiller, the oyster shack, cheese factory and all sorts of other food places.

But, being an island, it’s also surrounded by ocean, and if you kept going south you’d hit the Antarctic.  I didn’t plan on going that far, but instead opted for an adventure, travelling on a combination of a boat and rubber duckie, down the east coast.  The brochures promised rocky outcrops, sea animals and birds, and lovely seascapes.  A brilliant morning and a reasonably calm sea (for the Roaring 40s) made the start of our adventure lovely.

Later the winds rose, and the sea became very choppy, so we were very glad we hadn’t booked in for the afternoon adventure – it could have been a little too adventurous, and we’d have missed out on entering some of the little rocky inlets or getting up close and personal with sea caves.

Were there animals and birds – yes… by the boat load. A large Australian fur seal haul out (ie hangout for seals when they aren’t breeding), albatross, sea gulls, Pacific gulls, cormorants…

A lovely day out, followed by chatting to a local, and eating as many oysters as we could fit in at a local oyster shack.


Posted by DeborahH in Australia, conservation, Fun, Nature, Tourism, Weekends, 0 comments
Why Tasmania?  Just one day…

Why Tasmania? Just one day…

Recently I had a sister-in-law come over from the mainland to spend one day with me (OK, she was travelling further on, but it still sounds cool 🙂 ), and we hit quite a few highlights – good food, culture, whisky tasting, market visiting, platypus hunting.  Tasmania has a wonderful variety of things to do in a small space – nothing we did was more than 5kms from my front door. Had we been energetic we could have ridden or jogged to most places – although after the whisky tasting, I’m not sure how well we’d have done on the way home.

So ladies and gentlemen, I present – Adventures in a Day.


Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Cultural dimensions, Daily Life, Nature, Tasmania, Tourism, Weekends, 0 comments
Past Present 1

Past Present 1

This is another ad hoc collection, not of memories of past adventures and events, but of current adventures and events that will become those memories.

9/1/2018 MONA – exhibit 20:50  I took my family to visit MONA in Hobart, and this is one of their new experiential exhibits.  What is it?  🙂
A room partially filled with sump oil that reflects the room itself, and from other angles sky, people, clouds – whatever is above.  20:50 exhibit




Posted by DeborahH in Art and Craft, Australia, Community, Cultural dimensions, Past Present, Tasmania, Tourism, Travel, 0 comments
Why Tassie? Food, fun and festivals

Why Tassie? Food, fun and festivals

Tasmania is an island with some of the most pure air and water in the world. This makes it magic for growing beautiful food. With the (very) slow demise of logging and mining, tourism is becoming a major component of the economy, and tourism based on food and wine is an important sector in that component. There are Wine Trail booklets, and a Tasting Trail leaflet leading people to the wineries and special interest food producers. Organic food is gaining in popularity with local growers and consumers.  To add to the mix, there are Taste of … festivals in several different areas, and open farm days (see our free range chickens!).

Last weekend I headed to the 3rd Annual Tomato and Garlic Festival on a farm outside of the tiny hamlet of Selbourne, I wasn’t really sure of what to expect – could be something really good, or just maybe a couple of stalls of tomato relish. There was a hint of a possible tomato fight, so I thought that was enough of an enticement for me to go anyway.  Well, the cars started piling up on the country back road about 2km from the entrance, and as we approached the gates, marshals were there directing the parking. Okay, not just a couple of relish stalls.  A bit of a trek from car park to entrance, and then into the 1000 strong crowd to see what was happening. Cooking demonstrations, garlic plaiting, garden tours, bushwalk and bird watching (although, with all the noise, any self respecting bird would be a long way away), talks from agricultural experts, food and drink stalls, tomato tasting and evaluation, seed stalls, and a couple of very fancy condiments stalls … definitely way more than I was expecting.

My little veggie garden has a few issues, so I asked one of the seed sellers for a bit of advice.  “What’s the pH of your soil?”. “Ah, I don’t know.”. “Well, you SHOULD! That’s always the first thing you do!!”.  Oh, okay, ummm…. sadly, I’m not about to run pH tests on my garden.  So, feeling a bit of a failure as a veggie gardener, I turned my attention to the tomato tasting area.  Wow! The hundreds of varieties of tomatoes available was really mind boggling.  I ended up voting for a wee, tiny yellow tomato that grows with a little leaf tent around it, and tastes just like pineapple.  The tomato grower tells me that this is a ground cherry. This is fast getting a little confusing – I know tomatoes are a fruit, but now we have a cherry disguised as a tomato, tasting like pineapple….

For some reason, I just couldn’t make it to the garlic eating competition – maybe because I was eating local calamari and chips.  Sadly, with poor weather conditions, not enough tomatoes were available for the tomato fight – but maybe next year!

Love local festivals – and island food festivals are special.


Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Cultural dimensions, Daily Life, Fun, Tasmania, Tourism, 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
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